Category: coming home

,                     “April 5 1919, steaming up Boston Harbor with the Yankees on board”

‘We forgot all about everything; all we had on our minds was our homes, our
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and sweethearts. Many of them had come for
miles to greet us. We finally pulled alongside the pier at noon, April
5, 1919, and
as it was low tide the pier looked quite high. There were many dignitaries and a group girls on the edge of the pier, all
singing “Smiles.” What excitement!

The ship was secured with big hawsers and big booms about ten feet long
were set out from the side of the
ship to the pier. A gangplank was lowered, and several dignitaries were allowed
aboard, one of whom was none other than Colonel W. C. Hayes. With tears in his eyes and full of emotion, he addressed us as follows : “our Country and New England especially
is proud of you. Your splendid record on the other side is appreciated by the whole Country.
You came through despite everything, and we know that you are entitled to every bit of the credit
which has come to you.

You are
coming home to take your places in civil life. Conditions have changed at home since you
went away. You must prepare yourselves to think in terms of 1919 and not 1914.
The people at
home are relying on you to perform these duties as nobly as you did those in the

April 5 1919, American soldier, member of the 26th "Yankee” DivisionThe Yankee
 – Photo: April 5 1919, steaming up Boston harbor, with the Yankees
on board – Naval History, NavSource – US Army Photo Archives

                                              “Worry and care were thrown to the winds”

“We sailed
from St. Nazaire on March 13th. We were a happy
outfit. The first two days out were strenuous, as the weather is always nasty
in the Bay of Biscay, and the sea is always rough. There was some sea-sickness, but
nothing like what it was on the journey over, as the men were not crowded and
were allowed to remain on deck and smoke after dark, all of which was denied on
the way to France. Worry and care were thrown to the winds, and there were few
kicks left in the system of any soul aboard. The distance from St. Nazaire to Charleston was 4,135 miles. The vessel passed
in sight of the Azores and just north of Bermuda, and arrived at Charleston on
the afternoon of March 27th.”

1919 – History of the Fifty-fifth Field Artillery Brigade – Photos:
1919, a vessel transporting American troops leaves Saint Nazaire, France – Private collection – Matthieu1856
Delcampe, France.

                                                    “Oh, the joy of finally coming home!”

December 1918, French soldier coming
home for Christmas – Mémoires de la grande guerre – Image: Noël dans
les yeux des artistes