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tation. But no one would think of commiserating with Aunt "Titia, although she worked harder than any of the rest and was obliged to do so; and if any had thought of it they would not have braved the look with which she would have received any excess of sympathy. It wouldn't do to insinuate to 'Titia that her husband was shiftless, as they would have done to others, for 'Titia was different. And being different, being what she was a strong, erect, self-respecting, and proud woman-she made the entire neighborhood aware that such virtues not only existed but were worthy of high respect.
Aunt "Titia was an intellectual woman. How she found time to read I know not, but she was well informed upon current topics, particularly politics. Doubtless her experience, and that of her people, in the Civil War exerted a strong influence in keeping up her interest in politics; for though loyal in act, as we have seen, she was a rebel in spirit and she never became reconstructed. "We have been overpowered, but not defeated," she reported her southern friends as saying when, many years after the close of the war, she returned from a visit to the homeland. And the way she said it proved her sympathy with the declaration. She could out-talk and out-argue any man in the community on political questions, and the men were discreetly non-committal in her presence. But her information was so wide and exact that she could talk on many other subjects as well as on politics, and every intelligent man delighted to converse with her.
For the women she had no end of interesting community talk. It was not exactly gossip, because there never was in it a jealous or backbiting spirit; yet it verged toward gossip. She knew all the cases of young men who were "waiting on" young women and what the prospects were for marriages. She was posted as to how recently-married couples were getting along. I am certain she could give the exact day and year of birth of every boy and girl in every family within six miles of her home, for her memory in such matters was seemingly infallible; she kept track of the families who moved from the neighborhood into states farther west. In a word, her interest in all about her was engrossing and her quest for detailed information about persons and families literally unending. How she managed to gain such infor
mation, since she rarely left her cottage door, was one of the mysterious things about her which so gripped the neighborhood. Of course she obtained it by questioning her customers and listening, in a recording attitude, while they talked more or less aimlessly to her.
I believe Aunt 'Titia lived in the log cottage under the hill, taking care of her Alpheus, for more than twenty years, the time of the growth to maturity of the children whose birthdays she retained so marvelously. Close friends heard occasionally of some ailment that made her duty as bread-winner more painful and arduous, but to the outside world appearances always remained about the same. She had the true spirit of craftsmanship, taking satisfaction in doing her work well.
Her husband lived to a fairly ripe old age, but without improving in physical stamina in his later years. At last he passed away, leaving her free of the burden of his support, but also seemingly without the motive which theretofore had urged her to "carry on." In broken health and a spirit remote from resignation she first spent a year or two with her foster son, then entered a home for aged women maintained by the Order of the Eastern Star, of which she had been a member for many years. There she died a few years ago.2
To almost any other woman of her time and neighborhood a life like Aunt 'Titia's would have seemed tragically hopeless, to be endured only in the spirit of self-pity. To her it was a part to be played without complaint and without admission of defeat or even disappointment. She was the best exemplification of morale that our community afforded. In that respect, as in her enforcement of the ideals of intelligence, of good manners, of sympathy, and of worthy conduct, she was a blessing to all, and especially to those who grew to manhood and womanhood under her indirect but unsleeping supervision.
'She entered the Illinois Masonic Home on April 24, 1901, and died there May 10, 1912, aged eighty-three years. Letter of Lola R. Rickard, superintendent, dated Rockford, Illinois, January 23, 1924.
JOURNAL OF A WORLD WAR VETERAN
Ira Lee Peterson was born at Millard, Wisconsin, May 13, 1896, the son of Almon and Laura Peterson. He was thus twenty-one years old when he started this journal. When the Wisconsin Guard was called out for Mexican border service in 1916, Peterson was concluding his second year at Whitewater Normal School, and students of the school formed the nucleus of the Whitewater company of which he was a member. When he returned from the border, he gave a talk on his experiences to the children of the near-by country school which afforded practice teaching classes for the Normal students. One of the
little girls of that school gave him a leather-covered diary and told him to take it to France. This was the origin of the journal which appears here. This diary was lost when stored with other baggage of the Thirty-second Division, but a new one was started (a few back notes being added) and kept in small notebooks, which were left behind at different places as each was filled, with directions for having them sent back to his home if he did not call for them after the war.
When in contact with the enemy, a soldier must not carry papers which might afford the enemy any information if they fell into their hands, so most of the entries about battles were made after withdrawing from the front each time. So far as he knows, Peterson's was the only diary kept consistently in his battalion, and it was never censored by the army authorities.
After the war Mr. Peterson entered the service of the Y. M. C. A., the organization which in some instances had cared for his diary books in France. He was membership secretary of the Madison Y. M. C. A. until recently, and is now associate secretary of the Davenport, Iowa, Y. M. C. A.
References to his size at a few places in the journal will be understood when it is known that Mr. Peterson stands six feet three inches in his stocking feet.
The journal was submitted to the William B. Cairns Post of the American Legion, Madison, in response to a request for members to contribute to the historical collection of the post.
Following is a chronological summary of Mr. Peterson's military service:
COMPANY "K" 128TH UNITED STATES INFANTRY
Enlisted in Co. "C" 1st Wisconsin National Guard at
Re-enlisted in Co. "C"
National Guard of United States called out
Wis. National Guard federalized at Camp Douglas
1st Wis. Infantry entrain for San Antonio, Texas 1st Wis. Infantry entrain for Ft. Sheridan, Ill. 1st Wis. Infantry mustered out
United States declares war on Germany
Wis. National Guard called out
Wis. National Guard mustered into federal service
Wis. National Guard entrain for Camp MacArthur, Waco,
Thirty-second Division formed of Wis. and Mich.
128th Infantry entrain for Camp Merritt, N. J.
Complete training at Chassigny, France
Gassed in action at Fismes (Second Battle of the Marne)
Embark at Marseilles with Wis. Casual Company 1942
Entrain at Camp Merritt for Camp Grant, Ill.
Oct. 2, 1912
Oct. 2, 1915
June 19, 1916
June 22, 1916
July 15, 1916
April 6, 1917
July 15, 1917
Aug. 5, 1917
Sept. 24, 1917
Sept. 24, 1917 Feb. 2, 1918 Feb. 18, 1918
Mar. 4, 1918 May 14, 1918
June 4, 1918
Aug. 3, 1918 Oct. 7, 1918 Mar. 3, 1919 Mar. 20, 1919
Mar. 25, 1919
April 4, 1919
IMPORTANT EVENTS BEFORE ENTERING TRENCHES AT
ALSACE, JUNE 4, 1918
Feb. 18, 1918. We leave Camp Merritt in the morning and load on the Covington at Hoboken at noon. Before passing up the gangplank, we are given coffee and buns by the Red Cross. It is a great sight to look at the lights of New York City that
evening. About eleven o'clock the huge transports glide out of the harbor; we pass the three-mile limit shortly after midnight.
Mar. 1, 1918. So far the convoy has got along safely without meeting any submarines. The fourteen transports travel in a group formation with the U. S. cruiser Huntington leading the way. Our large transports, the Covington, the George Washington and the mystery ship (the barberpole) have six-inch guns on board. About four o'clock this afternoon the cruiser notices something which appears to be the periscope of a submarine. The Huntington gives the warning with five blasts of her whistles, and swings about and fires part of her guns broadside at the object. Our boat and the George Washington then fire and the object disappears. Although it was a great scare, nothing more happened. The voyage has become very tiresome now, and it is a great relief to know we are nearing France. About fifteen subchasers come out to meet us, and the Huntington returns to the U. S. These little mosquitoes-the subchasers-dart all about us and we feel quite safe with them.
Mar. 4, 1918. We sight land this morning and it surely looks good; first we see a large wireless station and then we see the green hills of France. We arrive at Brest about noon but we shall have to stay on the boat for two days yet. Two days later we disembark and go out to the Pontanezen barracks until they are ready to send us to the interior.
Mar. 12, 1918. It has taken us three days to cross France in their box-cars and third-class coaches. The box-cars are marked 8 cheveaux or 40 hommes, which means 8 horses or 40 men. We have lived on corned beef so far in France. We unload at Prauthoy and march to the village where we shall be. The third battalion marches to Chassigny, and here we are to train for a few more weeks before we go to the front. The Thirty-second Division is in the tenth area now, a battalion billeted in each town in this large area. We are in the Haute Marne Department and we are the first Americans in this area.
Tuesday, May 14. Eight weeks of final training has now ended in France. Yesterday there was no drill and we had an inspection of all equipment in the afternoon, and in the forenoon I took