Category: us army


“We’re here because we’re here”

“We would have given anything we
owned to have been one of that great delirious mob that surged over Paris on Armistice
and even though we had been sent to the Arctic Circle, we wanted to have
our share in the shouting.
But the days, deadly and monotonous, followed one another with ever gloomy
regularity, and there was no relief, no word, no news of any kind. In the general hilarity over peace,
we were forgotten. After all, who had time in these world stirring days to
think of an insignificant regiment performing in a fantastic Arctic side show?

We could not get information straight from home. We were sore. But why fret?
The best answer was the philosophic "We’re here because we’re here” and he went on building blockhouses  to prepare for
the inevitable winter campaign which began about the time of the Armistice Day,
which in North Russia did not mean cease firing.”

1918, after the Armistice, American soldier, member of the “Polar Bears Expedition” in North Russia – Photo: 1918, North Russia, American soldier’s outpost in a snow-covered forest near the Vologda
Railroad Front. See Map.  Text and photo: “The History of the
American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki”

Note: @ the
US WW1 Centennial Commission, a great article about the US Army “Polar Bears” in North

“They were a motley crew; every type was repre…

were a motley crew; every type was represented—the gunman and the gangster, the
student and the clerk, the laborer and the loafer, the daily plodder, the
lawyer. From the variety of languages spoken one might have imagined himself at
the Tower of Babel. These divers types, accustomed to every condition of life,
knowing for the most part no master, were to bow down before the military God
and emerge from the melting pot of training, an
amalgamated mass of men of whom America might well be proud.”

of the Seventy Seventh Division, August 25th, 1917, November 11th, 1918
– Photo
: World War I in Ohio


                                                     Brighten the Corner Where You Are

famous WW1 photo depicts members of two ambulance companies resting in a
church in the village of Vaux. It was November 5, 1918, a week before the
Armistice, and the men were heading toward Sedan. In the image, Howard
plays the organ and leads the men in singing “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”,
a traditional church hymn.

declared that “this picture exemplifies the spirit of the American
Soldier and is hereby officially designated as ‘The Spirit of the A. E. F.’”
The image was also Chief of Staff George C. Marshall’s favorite image. Tired of
images of American soldiers shown “drinking and carousing,” he
commissioned an oil painting of the reverent photograph to hang in his office
at the Pentagon, and after his death, it became part of the Marshall Collection
at the George C. Marshall Foundation.

Source: Marshall Museum  Photo: November 5 1918, members of the 317th
and 319th Ambulance companies and the 305th Sanitary Train in Vaux, Ardennes,
France –  from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

“At Boult-aux-Bois, our men j…

Boult-aux-Bois, our men joined up with the happy, rejoicing French troops, who
had come up on the west side of the Bois de Bourgogne.”

‘Nov. 3, evening – Communiqué
of the American Expeditionary Forces –
The First American Army continued its successful attack today, capturing in its
advance the following villages: Boult-au-Bois,
Autruche, Belleville, Harricourt, Germont, Authe, Fossé,
Soinmauthe, Belval, Nouart, St Pierremont, Barricourt, Tailly, Châtillon-sur-Bar, Brieulles-sur-Bar. Statements
of prisoners show that the Germans have been thrown into great confusion
.’ map

Photo: November 3 1918, Soldiers of the US 78th division
and French soldiers cheering when they linked up at Boult-aux-Bois, Meuse,


of the Seventy-Eighth Division in the World War

“Cheese sandwiches, good coffee with milk and …

“Cheese sandwiches, good coffee with
milk and sugar, and beaucoup chocolate and cocoa. The more you eat
the better you like it!”

1918, WW1, somewhere on the Western Front, American soldier’s letter to his mom
Ripley County’s Part in the World War, 1917-1918 — Image: 1918, Hungry American
soldier and horse in the Meuse, France, “the more you eat it the better you like it!”

Captain Marcellus H. Chiles, U.S. Army, 356th …

Captain Marcellus H. Chiles, U.S. Army, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Le Champy Bas, France, 3 November 1918. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: Eureka Springs, Ark. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919.


When his battalion, of which he had just taken command, was halted by machinegun fire from the front and left flank, he picked up the rifle of a dead soldier and, calling on his men to follow led the advance across a stream, waist deep, in the face of the machinegun fire. Upon reaching the opposite bank this gallant officer was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a sniper, but before permitting himself to be evacuated he made complete arrangements for turning over his command to the next senior officer, and under the inspiration of his fearless leadership his battalion reached its objective. Capt. Chiles died shortly after reaching the hospital.

‘Friday November 11918 – Played good Hal…

‘Friday November 11918 – Played good Halloween
joke on boche the other night – Sent over a stiff barrage for about 6 hours and
then our infantry went over and advanced about 4 kilometers and took 1500 huns.’

American ambulance driver’s diary in the Meuse Argonne
sector – Diary of Hugo Hap Gruenberg – Ambulance Company
167, 117th Sanitary Train, 42nd (Rainbow) Division – Photo: 1918, Germans
soldiers surrendering – Images 14-18, France


                                               “Over the top.” St Georges. 11-1-18

“Morning came at last. Our Infantry went over the top. We got
a few shells and laid sort of a barrage and Jerry laid one too. He caught our
Infantry with it. He sure slaughtered them for a while. It looked awful. Men dying
and dead everywhere. Jerry shot all kind of gases in there. I wore a gas mask
all day that day.”

American soldier’s diary in the Meuse Argonne Offensive. Text
and photo: The 80th Division Veterans Association

Note: starting November
1 1918, the US infantry/artillery advanced and captured Landres-et-St.Georges, St. Georges, Landreville, and Bayonville;
continued the advance for several days; captured Fosse, Nouart, Letanne, and and Beaumont. Crossed the Meuse the night of
November 10-11, 1918. See Google Map.


                                                    “Gee, wish I was a

we bought a kitten,—a wild-eyed kitten brought in last night by a lad as a
gift. The boys immediately christened her “The O. D. Cat.” Every time
I give her a caress some one of the boys leaning over the counter is sure to
remark: “Gee, wish I was a cat!”

“But what shall I feed her?” I questioned, thinking of
the difficulty of fresh milk. “Corn willy and cognac! What else would you
give an O. D. cat?” they chorused!”

October 1918, American YMCA canteen lady in the Meuse Argonne,
France –

Uncensored Letters of a Canteen Girl



By Lieut. P. L. CROSBY

Do you know Crosby’s Pictures? He is the Bairnsfather of the American

If you have a friend who is a rookie, this book will delight
you.To rookies themselves, the naiveness of Private Dubb will mean even more,
and should set whole camps laughing.

75 cents”

1918, a short book review in The Independent, Volume 94

“That Rookie From the 13th Squad” @ Internet Archive