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Captain Haynes Says His Men Played Heroic Part in Battle of March 5.


In a letter to his home paper, the Centerville Iowegian, Captain G. C. Haynes of Co. D, tells of the splendid bravery of his men in the battle of March 5, in which Alva F. Eaton of Humeston lost his life. The letter, which was dated March 14, will bring an added thrill of pride to every resident of this community to read this letter and see what the captain thinks of the men in his command. It ought to make Liberty bond buyers feel like throwing a few more bonds into the fight against the kaiser.

Following is a portion of the letter as published in the Centerville Daily Iowegian:

I have just gathered up a bundle of papers to send over to the hospital where a number of the men are with minor ailments and six or eight with slight wounds received during the recent engagement Co. D was through.

I would like to give you the full details of the show but would not be permitted to do so. I can say, however, that no troops in this or any other war ever did better service than the men of D and B who were on the line. It was simply wonderful the way the officers and men stood the test. The French colonel who was in command could not believe that they had seen no previous service. "Impossible, new troops do not fight that way."

I have heard a modern bombardment described and at the time it sounded very realistic, but compared with the real thing it is absolutely nothing. I have been informed that during the time the show lasted, we got all the Germans had and I can readily believe it. Of course our artillery gave the Germans all we had and no doubt did them just as much harm as they did us. It sounded like all hell turned loose and as a matter of fact was all hell turned loose, but in spite of it every man in Co. D who was on the line was at his post ready and eager to come in contact, or go over the top, or what was left of the top, at the word.

In spite of our losses, and you perhaps know before this what they were, there is a wonderful feeling of gratification in having such men under your command. Every man on that line on that morning played a heroic part and too much credit can not be given them.

We have been here for about a week resting and think we will have another period of training before hitting the line again. One thing is certain, when the American troops once take over a sector there will be something doing every minute.

With the exception of a few men in the hospital who are doing well and will soon get out, every man in the company is well.

Note: March 5, 1918 was the Battle at Lorraine, France

~source: The Humeston New Era Newspaper, Wayne Co., Iowa, Wednesday, 17 April 1918


-transcribed and submitted by Polly Eckles  <ecklesp@ktis.net>