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(Co. A, 150th Machine Gun Battalion)


Page 16

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           The 13th we marched to Landres St. Georges via Sevry, and Imecourt, where we bivouaced. The weather was cold but it was our last bivouac.

        The 16th we marched to Clery le Petite via Bantheville (flat to the earth) Rinerville and Clery le Grand and the 17th Stenay via Sassey and Mouzay. Here we rested up and drew clothing and equipment and I took command of the old company. Capt. Combs going to C Company. I'll never be a captain, but I had the satisfaction of riding at the head of the old outfit when we passed into Belgium and Luxemburg. Possibly my luck will hold till we enter Hunland. The War Department has adopted a policy of making no more promotions and, of course, Captain Graef is blocked from being Major. Major Scott has just been made a Lt. Colonel. He was here a day or two ago.



Boevange, Luxemburg, November 28.

           These last two days have brought me 'beaucoup' mail, including all that which has been forwarded me when at Langres at Machine Gun school. By the way, the name of the Fort there where we were stationed was 'Con­stance Chiore' Auct Peigney, the Auct standing for ancient, the site being the scene of a battle between the original Huns and the Romans, in which the latter won—Fritz never entered the town in 1870 nor in 1914-18. The place is never called by its newer name, always being known as Fort Peigney. It was completed in 1875. Another point, the farm where we were quartered around July 15 in Champagne was a 'stud' built by Napoleon Third, all the doors and windows had keystones of the letter 'N' and over the principal door was a more ornate one.

           We leave tomorrow for Fischbach, a march of 13 kilometers (eight and one-half miles), not a hard hike, and the men are in much better shape than when we started from the old French barracks at Stenay to cross Belgium and enter Luxemburg. Our march will consist of six or seven days of hiking followed by a period of rest, then hike, then rest again till we get there, our destination is in the vicinity of Coblenz.

           We anticipate no trouble but are prepared for all eventualities. During the stop here we have drilled and instructed daily and will continue the work at the next stop. The men were badly in need of disciplinary drill, owing to the large percentage of replacements who seemed fated to always arrive just before a push and who had never had close order drill since arriving, but the company picked up with remarkable speed and is as well disciplined and as courteous an organization as you'd care to see. It would delight General King to see us do close-order, though the lack of rifles reduces the snappy appearance a well drilled infantry company presents. We have for brigade commander Brigadier General Caldwell, who commanded the 4th Wisconsin in '98 and was an inspector later. That puts the 42nd Division brigades under Wisconsin men. MacArthur (a 'first class fighting man') having the 84th. MacArthur commanded the division for a time and Colonel Henry J. Reilly the 83rd, but the war department decision not to promote caused their return to their old outfits and they put General Flagler in command of the division.

           Speaking of generals, I was with Liggett for a moment or two when on the Ourc. General Lenihan had sent me forward to an observation post to watch the attack of our brigade. I couldn't see our own, but could see the 84th brigade go through the wheat towards Sergy. It was more like a movie battle than reality. Our barrage advancing steadily, the men follow­ing at a steady walk, the Hun barrage dropping on them, many falling, the line advancing steadily and surely.

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