My Grandfather’s World War I Log Book – Part 17 – 52 Loads of Rock

My Grandfather’s World War I Log Book – Part 17 – France

October 14 – 23, 1918

“52 loads of rock”

My comments:My grandfather was with the U.S. Army 111th Engineers battalion.  In this excerpt from his Log Book, they are bombed by a German plane at night, work on roads and in a quarry, as they support the Argonne offensive.  I am including photos from the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in this excerpt (thankfully my grandfather survived the war).

World War I, cemetery

Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.  Over 14,000 American soldiers are buried here.
(Photo taken 1923, from National Museum of the US Navy)

Excerpts from Log Book*:

October 14th: Pvt. Smedley was sent to the hospital today with some sort of rash broken out on him.”

October 15th: Raining and cold enough to make road work hell.”

October 17th: Lieut. Singleton returned and sure felt like celebrating.  The boys sure welcomed him too.  Received the following new men: Hancock, Burnett, Hawn, Code, Carbroner, Costor, Cox, Wayne, Daniels and Burk.”

October 18th: Working on road near Mountblainville.”

October 19th: Moved to quarry near Apremont.  Worked on road in afternoon.”

World War I, map

Map showing Varennes, Montblainville and Apremont, towns where my grandfather’s battalion repaired roads and worked in the quarry

October 20th: The boys sure must have gone over the top this morning by the sound of the [artillery] barrage that was put over.”

October 21st: Some boche [German] aviator was having some fun with us last night as he insisted in dropping several bombs around us.”

October 22nd: It has come at last.  We were given the day to clean up & say the boys sure did. Lieut. Singleton inspected us at 10:30 A.M. and all was OK.”

October 23rd: Working at the quarry today.  The boys put out 52 loads of rock & that’s the record so far.”

Another photo of Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
(Photo taken 1923, from Photos from National Museum of the US Navy)

[Comment: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, France, located about 23 miles northwest of Verdun, and is the burial place of over 14,000 American soldiers, most of whom lost their lives in the Meuse-Argonne operation (September 26, 1918-November 11, 1918). Between these dates 22 American divisions (employing a total of about 1,200,000 men) and 6 French divisions engaged and decisively defeated 43 German divisions, cutting the enemy’s main line of communication and forcing him to request the Armistice, ending the war.]

Next post will be — “Sure thought my time had come.”

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*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

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