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the only store in Fullerin, and the old lady gives me a small piece of bread. I have to pay five francs for the cans.
French artillery very active all morning, and Germans bombard about two o'clock in the afternoon, one shell hitting an old woman near the "Y." Report is that gas is sent over on "L" and "M" companies. Heavy shelling there also.
Wednesday, June 12. Rise at five o'clock and at six we march on and dig trenches again. Not so bad this morning, and we come in at nine o'clock. After dinner we roll our packs again and this time we carry all our stuff, that is, the two blankets and anything we own. I have over a hundred pounds. About eight o'clock we get ready, forming the G. C.'s, and I have charge of the one that goes to the American sector nearest the Swiss border, with Lieut. Solm. We march to the trenches and the guide puts Lieut. Solm and our G. C. in the wrong billets. They are very good ones and we wish we could stay there. It is a very quiet night and nice weather now. I post a guard for the night and then we have a good sleep on the ticks the little Frenchman gave us. Shorty Campbell imagines there are Huns all around when he walks his post.
Thursday, June 13. Lieut. Trautman tells Lieut. Solm we must move immediately to the right place, which is only seventyfive yards away. "M" Co. G. C., who went back from there, reported Lieut. Solm and G. C. lost. We move over and Corporal Senten and I have a dandy place to move in, which is shell proof. It must have been a French officer's office. As I am in charge I am very busy all day. The four men of my squad are with "B" Company. Heavy machine gun company and other men are added to our group during the day. Men are organized for what they would do in case of an attack, and at eight-thirty I establish a guard with very strict orders, as Germans have been caught several times lurking around the woods. At one o'clock a great deal of shooting is going on and the sky is lighted up with flare lights. When S. O. S. M. G. opens up, all the men are got out ready for instant use. Artillery soon quiets down.
Friday, June 14. We have a good place here if we would only get three good meals a day. Trouble is that the transportation isn't going as it should. We have a guard in the sentry box as the
gas guard and at night we have a guard of four men to guard the G. C., two hours for each man. Only a few hours of the night are really dark, from ten o'clock till three o'clock, and the weather is ideal now. I have plenty to do, having charge of this G. C., which is P. C. [post of command]. Men are quite busy here, doing detail work these days. Everything goes through P. C. before going to the lines.
Not much doing today and most of the fellows do laundry work down at the spring. Corporal Senten and Graham have the guard tonight and I get a chance for a good rest. A fellow from Utah in our company, who is a Mormon, wrote a very good poem, which is as follows:
MY FIRST NIGHT IN THE FRONT LINE
I sat in front of the dugout
With my rifle on my knees
I sat in the chilling atmosphere
And every little stick that cracked
Till my eyes get tired and fall shut
And the good things I used to eat.
Till the Sergeant comes with a relief.
Then I go in the dugout
And prepare for a right good rest,
I lay there with my eyes shut afighting cooties
A big rat went over my head.
But when I came out of the dugout
Everything looked bright and gay
And I thought what a happy life 'twill be
Saturday, June 15. Rains this forenoon and I sleep most of the morning. Such a kick has gone in about eats that we get all the dinner we can eat today.
Sunday, June 16. Baptism with shell fire. A very memorable morning in P. C. under Lieut. Solm. I have been corporal of the guard from midnight on, Ostrum and Hassing being the last two reliefs. It has been so quiet on our sector all night that all one could hear was the rats running around bumping into cans and wire. About four o'clock it is fairly daylight even though it's cloudy this morning and I am waiting to let the patrol through. Hassing is walking post. About four-twenty, while I am sitting in our little room reading in a little book about "The Life of Jesus," I hear a low rumble in Germany, which is nothing unusual, but a few seconds later I hear a whizzing sound and while I am holding my breath and sitting at attention, it bursts about two hundred yards away. The second follows its path. Hassing comes rather fast and I have him call the others. Most of the volley lands between us and the kitchen half a kilometer away, trying to get our artillery, which is very well hidden. They are whistling too low over our P. C. for comfort, so every one is running for the dugout we designated in case of bombardment. Lavender is in such a hurry he doesn't stop fully to dress. It lets up in a few minutes and the fellows go back, when in about five minutes it seemed as if the earth were blowing up; one shell flies low over us and bursts near enough to make the buildings tremble. Ostrum calls Campbell and Guild, who were in a building by themselves, and as they are leaving at their greatest speed a shell bursts behind them and a piece of shrapnel goes entirely through the calf of Campbell's leg. Five of us are crowding in Senten's and my room, which is supposed to be bomb-proof, and just as we are getting in, a shell bursts right in the center of the P. C. At the same moment I see Ostrum and Manly fairly dive for the dugout. I never saw such fast movements in all my life. How all the fellows are getting in there, as the shells are falling thick and fast in our P. C. and the whole place is trembling! Some one tells me of Campbell's wound as they go by the door. Just then Kent comes in on the double, miraculously dodging all the explosions; we have to shut the door as the place is just trembling now. It seems as if the whole place is getting blown up.
As soon as it stops, after about five minutes, I dash down into the dugout to see Campbell, he having kept right on running to
the dugout. Manly, who has proved himself one of the best soldiers by his first guard duty at this P. C., has taken off Campbell's legging and shoe and applied first aid so quickly he has lost hardly any blood. A trail of blood can be seen from where he was hit, up the walk, down the steps into the dugout, the first blood I have seen shed in this war. Campbell is the first casualty in "K" Co. He is from Oklahoma, and came with a contingent to the company at Chassigny. I no more than get up the stairs before the third burst comes and every one is quick as gophers to get in under safe cover. We blame our bombardment to the German aeroplane which has just flown over, probably seeing something and signalling to their artillery, although we cannot guess what it is, as we kept everybody out of sight. The third volley soon ceases, Austin and Manly having just got to the firstaid dugout with Campbell before the third started. The artillery has combed the whole woods in search of ours and failed to do anything to them. Breakfast finally arrives, and we finally settle down for a quiet Sunday, as it rained all day. We consider it miraculous that no one is killed. In the evening, Senten and I are corporals of the guard, and I am on duty up till twelve-thirty. It's so dark at midnight the guard can't move. Orders from Major for tonight, “By all indications, things point to an enemy raid tonight; get some of them.”
Monday, June 17. Engebretson fires two shots into the entanglements, while on guard, thinking he hears some one there. Has been a quiet night. Lieut. Trautman treats us to chocolate and cookies, which are very much appreciated. Manly sets off an offensive bomb in the evening, and the way it surprises some is very laughable, some diving into dugouts, and Guild runs at a good pace.
Tuesday, June 18. Sleep all forenoon and it's very quiet around the P. C. as every one is sleeping except the guard. Manly, Fetrow, Engebretson, Hammond, and Kluge went on patrol at three o'clock with Sergt. Hughes. Roll packs in afternoon and at ten o'clock "M" Co. relief comes and relieves us. It is a great sight to see each group walking silently and in single file back to Fullerin. We are put in good billet. Hear that Capt. Lindbaum has returned.
Wednesday, June 19. Sleep till nine o'clock and then go up and get some breakfast. Sergt. Barker puts me and nine of my P. C. group on guard to relieve "I" Co., as it was considered we had had it the easiest in the trenches, which we could not deny. Relieve them at noon and we find easy guard duty compared with what we had out in the trenches. Have a good supper of steaks and mashed potato.
Thursday, June 20. Remain on guard till noon; warn guard to prepare for Gen. Pershing's visit, but he doesn't come today. After supper Andrew Peterson and I go over to St. Ulrich and make some purchases at the Y. M. Ordinary chocolate bar is one franc but we are glad to get it. Country is wonderfully beautiful here. See Ed. Vance at headquarters and I walk back with him. He left the U. S. 22nd of April.
Friday, June 21. Rains most of the forenoon; as I have a number of letters to write I try hard to write one that sounds some way interesting, and make copies of it. Gen. Pershing is at St. Ulrich after dinner and we can hear the French and the regimental band playing. Corporal McIvers of the Military Police and I walk over to see the General but we are too late. German drives are at a standstill.
Saturday, June 22. Sleep till nearly noon on account of rain. After dinner Ashbrook, Lavender, and I go over to a wood and climb a high cherry tree and eat to our fill. Just before supper we go to a funeral at Mertzen. An American soldier in "B" Co. was shot by a German patrol, and a corporal along with the one that was shot shoots the German right through the heart. Two firing squads fire the salute and taps echo through the valleys of Alsace.
Sunday, June 23. Have had cossack post2 No. 1 for the night, Neimi, A. Peterson, and Shellor being the sentries. In the afternoon I get a pass for Graham, Peter Peterson, and myself, and we go to Dannemaire. I never saw such a beautiful country as Alsace, the great valleys and woods, and in the distance the Vosges Mountains form a wonderful background. Dannemaire is quite a little city, with several stores and a beautiful church.
'A cossack post is a double-sentry outpost.