My Grandfather’s World War I Log Book – Part 14 – War May Be Over by Xmas

My Grandfather’s World War I Log Book – Part 14 – France

October 3 – 8, 1918

” The war may be over by Xmas yet.”

My comments: My grandfather was with the U.S. Army 111th Engineers battalion.  In this excerpt from his Log Book, they are still building roads in support of the Argonne offensive, and my grandfather reads good news on the Headquarters bulletin board.

Excerpts from Log Book*:

Oct 3rd: Pvts Cummings & Shannon returned feeling good.  Col. Baker said ‘Lieut. Singleton would get back to the company’ & I sure was glad to hear it.”

World War I

Oct 3, 1918 – View of Battery “A”, 108th Field Artillery (formerly 2nd Regiment, Field Artillery and detachment of the 1st Cavalry, Pennsylvania National Guard) in action, showing piles of ammunition, Varennes-en-Argonne, Meuse
(photo from Imperial War Museum, UK)

Oct 4th: Pvts Gunter, Trent & Jack returned today. Corp. Wood is working in the office again.”

Oct 5th: The boys are coming back slow but sure. Corps Cook, Braught & Duckett returned.”

World War I, Argonne

Congestion on supply roads to Argonne offensive 1918
(photo from National Archives)

[My Comment: This photo shows why the turnout road built by the 111th Engineers from October 6 – 8 was badly needed.]

Oct 6th: Building one-way road at Varennes being used as a turn-out.  Lieut. Ferlet complimented us on our work & it sure surprised me as he always tried to find fault with the platoon since our Lieut. left.

Bulletin posted in front of Hdqr. at Varennes reads: ‘Germany & Austria-Hungary wish President Wilson grant them a 48 hour armistice to draw up peace terms.’ That sounds as if they have got their belly-full of this fighting.  The war may be over by Xmas yet.  Patterson & Fisher – our gold-brick twins – returned today.”

[Historical context for the bulletin my grandfather read in front of Headquarters on October 6th“October 4, 1918 – President Woodrow Wilson receives a request from the German government, sent via the Swiss, asking for armistice discussions on the basis of his Fourteen Points. The Germans have bypassed the French and British in the hope of negotiating with Wilson who they perceive as more lenient. They are disappointed, however, when Wilson responds with a list of demands as a prelude to discussions including German withdrawal from all occupied territories and a total halt of U-Boat attacks.”]

Log Book continued:

Oct 7th: Lieut. Vaughn returned & sure glad to get back with the company.  He said that Sgt. Wolfe is on his way back but must be lost on the road.”

Oct 8th: Finished road at Varennes.  The boys sure did some good work there.”

Next post will be — Story describing how Sgt. Alvin York became the most decorated American soldier of World War I (Sgt. York was not part of my grandfather’s Log Book, but it is an amazing story that happened on October 8, 1918).

 Please share this with friends who might be interested so they can follow the story too.

*Quotes are from my grandfather Sergeant 1st Class Lou Sheckard’s World War I handwritten Log Book.  He describes his experience with the U.S. Army 111th Engineers from March 1, 1917 to June 15, 1919.  To learn how I discovered this 100-year-old family treasure, click here.

Peter Finkle bio: Husband, Father, Writer | Herbal Health Researcher | Co-Founder: Vets Vites dietary supplements

This story is brought to you by Vets Vites dietary supplements, a company with a mission to serve veterans and their families.  You can sign up for the Vets Vites Updates email list below.