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).
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.”
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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