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For God and Country





Gold star.


Gold star.



       The 167th U. S. Infantry came in on the 25th of July, about noon. We had hiked for three days and had not a great deal to eat. We came to a 26th Division Artillery kitchen and some of the boys asked for a hand-out, but mess sergeant would not give them anything until I told him he had better as some of us were almost famished for the want of food and the the boys were desperate, and then we received something to eat.

      We laid in the trees that night in holes that we dug and the next morning were issued three days rations and orders to go over at three o'clock in the afternoon, July 26, 1918.

      I was a member of the Stokes Mortar Platoon, Headquarters Company , 167th Infantry, 42nd Division, Rainbow. We were in two sections, the lieutenant was in charge of the second section and was to go over with the third battalion and my section was to go over with the first battalion, as the second battalion was to be in reserve. We started for the front, a distance of one and one-half kilometers, at 1:30 p. m. As we were passing the implacement of the reserve section of Company K, a high explosive hit a tree directly over my section, knocking down several of us and wounding two of Company K boys. At this, Captain Walden, in command of Company K, came out and yelled until you could hear him above the noise of the shells that were falling thick and fast at that time in there as the first line was just starting over. He said, "K company fall in and follow its captain." These few words I will never forget as Captain Walden was my former captain of Headquarters Company, 167th Infantry, and a better soldier never was.

       We went on and fell in line with Company C, but soon advanced so that the range of our guns were dangerous to our own men. Then we laid them down and fixed bayonets and went into the hot of it where we were for four hours hand to hand with the famous Prussian guard. This was a terrible struggle and with a great many casualties on both sides, me among them at about 5:30 p. m., July 26, 1918. When the Germans retreated to their second line and we ran into machine gun nests that mowed us down like grain in a field. I received five machine gun bullets before I could get down, all in the right leg between the knee and thigh. I fell behind a log and was given first aid by a member of my section. Here I lost considerable blood and spent the most terrible night with it raining and the raiding parties passing over me several times and unable to even move my head that was lying on a French loaf of bread, and my pack carrier over my leg to keep the rain off and the moaning of many wounded and dying boys that were around me -- it was a great night. Here I laid that night and the next day and the next night, and the next morning I was picked up and carried four kilometers in a blanket to the 84th Brigade dressing station and loaded in an ambulance and taken to Field Hospital 26, where my leg was amputated at 9 p. m. Here I stayed until July 30, when I was sent to Evacuation No. 7, and from there to Base Hospital 22, at Bordeaux, France, where I was until the first of November, then to Brest, where I celebrated the Armistice getting on the ship "Mongolia," November 13, and arriving in New York, November 23, at the Greenhut Hospital, Eighteenth Street and Sixth Avenue, leaving there February 4, 1919, for Ft. Des Moines, Iowa, being operated on there February 14.  Discharged April 16, 1919.

     Joined the Monahan Post, American Legion, December 1919, Sioux City, Iowa.


~~ F. M. W.



      Will never forget the first day I spent in camp. I saw Greek and Italian, Jew and Gentile, laborer and capitalist, men of almost every nationality, representing every creed, every political belief, standing side by side, united for the common purpose, "The democracy might not perish from the earth."

       Let us see what a few months training together has done for those men, Private Jones from Waco, Texas, has learned that Private Smith from Brooklyn, New York, is a pretty good sort of buddy despite the fact that three months ago he thought all New Yorkers were crooks. And so the welding process continued. Men from different sections of the country, of different political and religious beliefs, workers from farm and factory, saw each other's view point as never before. And so, when I hear and read that this government is about to crumble to pieces, that the Bolshevists and Reds will soon be in control, I recall the lasting friendships made in the camps and also the caustic comments of one of my old teachers, "Empty barrels, like empty heads, make much noise."        


~~ G. R. T.



       Being a musician did not except us from the rougher duty. In the St. Mihiel "hitch" it was our business to call for the wounded, bury the dead, etc. While in the Argonne our duties extended to almost every branch of the service. After our seven-night hike from St. Mihiel we found ourselves outside of Aubreville. Here I got the pleasant summons to gather a detail of eight band men and proceed at once to Hill No. 290.  Leaving the remainder of the band men and proceeding at once to Hill No. 290. ... being told our supplies would "be up tomorrow" and set out. What I considered the most remarkable thing in this incident is that we didn't die of hunger. Our first duty was that of engineering, viz: dig a hole for ourselves, then one for the colonel. This work was done in shifts, half of the boys dug while the other half were out raiding supply wagons for something to eat. All in the night time. One fellow hauled out a five-gallon can of molasses to us and another "corned willie," so we lived on that for five days -- no punk! Then we had night messenger work since no communication was yet established. After we had eight days we were relieved to try something worse -- haul ammunition. I had the thrilling experience of taking an ammunition train of twelve wagons through "Hell's Valley" on a night when the Germans gave us a counter barrage. Many horses were killed, but no man seriously wounded. The following night one "G. I. Can" lit up our fisket line and killed 37 horses and partly blew away the tent I was sleeping in. No rest for the wicked those days -- moreover, not for a band leader.  


~~S. C. T.




        First evening at Camp de Souge, France, near Bordeaux, when our regiment stood retreat, an American band playing the "Star Spangled Banner," when the last note was through every man seemed to remain in position for a moment before "falling out." Many of the men remarking of the thrill they felt to be in a foreign land standing retreat and saluting our own flag there.


~~ F. J. V.


One hundred- thirteen cont. ~

 One hundred-fifteen


~ scanned and submitted by Paula Hinkel