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much to enlarge our mental horizons. Some years later he took me with him to drive his fine team of ponies through the neighboring villages. At Rubicon he set me on the train for home, while he drove on. It was harvest time in the country, and I recall the pleasure we took in the scenery and in the activity of the farmers. One thing he said on this trip I remember distinctly; it contrasted with the general cheerfulness of our talk. On noticing some women pitching and loading grain in a field we were passing, he said, "Some of those women give birth to a child in the morning and are back milking cows at night." Later, when I learned that his wife was an invalid and that his two daughters had died of consumption, I understood why he should have spoken in such an unusual way to a boy of fourteen. Later Davis changed houses; that is, he represented a different firm. My father was disturbed, for he had to choose between loyalty to the old firm, against which he had no complaint to make, and to Davis, whom he regarded as an old friend. Perhaps it was the influence of the children in favor of Davis that was the deciding factor, for father bought of the new firm. Most of the goods of our store were ordered from the salesmen, who carried samples. Thread and notions, however, were bought directly of Campbell, a vigorous, hearty Scotchman, who looked exactly like the pictures of Hughes, the author of Tom Brown's Schooldays. We always looked forward to his arrival. He came regularly with his large covered wagon, which held a great variety of needles, thread, lace, hooks and eyes, etc. His load was drawn by two large white horses. Some of Campbell's remarks were of a tenor I did not comprehend at the time he uttered them, but still they stuck in my memory. I recall his vigorous "D--n the Kirk! If it had not been for her, Scotland would have been three hundred years ago where she is today. Superstition is the hangman's whip that keeps the Scots in bondage." I remember how sorry we used to feel for all the Scotch who had failed to migrate to this country. Campbell talked some of Burns, and once read parts of Tam o'Shanter. He seemed to care most for the lines beginning, "But pleasures are like poppies spread."
One day this denouncer of superstition astonished us by stating
that he refused to use the telephone, which had just come into use in our neighborhood, because the Devil was "back of it." For his militant spirit of democracy, however, we admired him. He told us how he shocked his mother when he revisited Scotland years after he first came to America. In her presence he refused to take off his hat to a "laird," something she had taught him very carefully to do when he was a boy. He tried to right himself with her by saying that now he was an American citizen, and that in America one man is as good as another. If his mother still questioned the merits of his action, his narrative of the event certainly made us greater admirers of her son. Campbell frequently said that he hoped to die on his wagon. Whether his wish was granted, I do not know; but he is surely dead, for it is thirty years since he made his last trip through central Wisconsin, and he was then an old man.
JOURNAL OF A WORLD WAR VETERAN1
IRA LEE PETERSON
Sunday, July 28. There were so many troops in Chateau Thierry that we had to march to a little place just outside the city and sleep under trees. When we wake up we hear that it will be a couple of days before our cook wagon will catch up. Every one is desperate now as we had practically nothing to eat the day before. There is a potato patch near by and every one gets busy "jungling up." Scribner, Smith, and I make our meals together for the day. Smith manages to get some bread from the French soldiers. I get carrots and onions and we live pretty well on vegetables for the day. About five o'clock the battalion gets on the move and we march through the war-wrecked country north of Chateau Thierry.
Monday, July 29. Have marched nearly all night; we must have marched over twelve miles. Every one is dead tired and a
We go through villages that
few have fallen out along the way. are nothing but ruins and we pass by an immense cannon that speaks about every five minutes. The shot goes so far after the retreating Germans we cannot hear its explosion. We are put in an opening by an immense forest and there we go to sleep. About nine o'clock we are moved into the woods and after a while we are issued some dry rations which are very welcome. The cannon boom so all day and the aeroplanes are so busy that one can't sleep. From what we hear we know they have the Germans retreating at a great rate.
Tuesday, July 30. My squad and I draw the ammunition this morning. We had been out at the corner of the road a couple of hours during the night waiting for it, but it did not come. While out there we had the chance to hold our breath while four immense French cannon took turns lighting up the country and with a deafening roar sending shells whistling after the Germans.
1 The first installment of this diary was printed in the December, 1924, issue of this magazine.
During the afternoon we are got all ready to move on a moment's notice as the Americans are marching on attack. We have to destroy all letters, etc., on our persons. We are not needed that afternoon so we do not move till in the evening. We move into a thick grove on a hillside where it is very difficult to hang on long enough to sleep any.
Wednesday, July 31. The cooks and cook wagons have caught up now, so we have a chance to get something warm. We find five dead Americans from the 30th Infantry down by the river. Sergt. Ponte with a detail buries one of them. Have chance to watch a battery of French 155's work. Move to another wood near by just before sunset. Hear stories from other fellows about this great drive. From a line between Soissons and Rheims the Germans got to Chateau Thierry in their spring drive. About July 12 the Americans started them back. The result is that with the German pillaging and the Allied artillery the country is in ruins. About ten miles north of Chateau Thierry the 30th Infantry is bombarded terrifically on July 14, and three divisions of Prussian guards try to break through but fail.
"K" COMPANY GOING INTO BATTLE
Thursday, Aug. 1. We are in a nice wood this morning where it is more quiet than in most of the woods. During the morning the American planes bring down one German plane. We are resting most of the day in the wood when about three o'clock we get hurry orders to move. Inside of fifteen minutes we are moving without suspecting what the reason is. After we have marched about two kilometers and get upon the high ground, we realize. The Americans are going to it in great style. Such a sight I never saw in my life. Off in a distance we can see great clouds of dust and smoke where shells are lighting. All along the road and fields are dead bodies and dead horses. And ambulance after ambulance passes us going to the rear, filled with wounded. Everybody seems excited as the Americans are advancing so fast. Every once in a while groups of prisoners are brought along by M. P.'s. I see Harry Davis bringing back two. We soon arrive in the village just back of our firing line. Soon the facts dawn on us;
the 127th is fighting and an awful fight they are putting up. Wounded come back by the hundreds and several are killed. They have taken a village and a wood which was full of machinegun nests. I meet two fellows from "G" Company of Madison, and they tell me of what is going on. "G" Company has between 50 and 60 able-bodied men left; other companies of the regiment are not much larger. Most all of the casualties have been from machine-guns and some from shell fire while they were in a wood. Our cook wagon has not caught up, so we eat supper at headquarters company who are feeding anybody. It is a dandy supper; we get all we want. After supper we get ready to move. The packs of the 127th are lying all over. We pile up our stuff near the kitchen and carry light packs. I do not carry any pack at all, as I have been advised not to. We march out to the edge of the village and as we are going out I happen to look at a stretcher going by and Glen Sweno raises his head and smiles at me. His foot is all bandaged up. Matters look serious now when I see one of my neighbors going by wounded. We are halted on the edge of the village and sit down to wait for the dark. It is a very strange evening; every one is quiet and reflecting on his future. The sun is setting behind a cloud, and from remarks heard around, every one is wondering how long he has to live. 127th wiped out, the 128th to continue the battle, one doesn't seem very funny now. It finally grows dark and we march up to the woods the 127th took, and extend in line of skirmishers. It happens to be a quiet night and there are no casualties.
"OVER THE TOP"
Friday, Aug. 2. Just as some of us are thinking about sleeping some, toward three o'clock in the morning we are ordered to march to the clearing and assemble. Then platoon commanders inform their platoons that acting Major Lindbaum has just received orders to relieve the 127th Infantry, and after a barrage lasting for ten minutes starting at four o'clock, we are to go over the top and advance three hundred yards. The 127th seems rather anxious to leave there—that is, what is left of them-and the relief was not made in any orderly way. The words "Over the