"The Price of Our Heritage"


In memory of the

Heroic Dead of the

168th Infantry



Argonne Offensive

Honor Roll, The Argonne Dead




       The regiment after its work on the St. Mihiel front, rested only a few days in the territory which it had conquered.  The movement then was to be westward, into the battle of battles, in the wooded hills of the Argonne. One day's march from the resting place brought us almost back to the old trench line, and there we were hastily loaded aboard trucks and in one night's seemingly endless ride, we landed near the town of Deuxnouds-debant-Beauzee, just to the west of Verdun. Here we bivouacked for a few nights, and again took up the move into the line of battle.  Two days march placed us south of that historic city of Montfaucon, in the woods that bear its name.  Here amid shell holes, shattered trunks of trees and the debris of battle, we pitched our shelter tents and rested as only tired men rest.  This stop was short. We moved forward past the town of Montfaucon, westward to Epinonville, through the village of Eclise Fontaine and the valley of River Exermont.  Brief was the time to grasp the situation.  Forward into the fight we moved, and relieved the famous and battle-scarred First Division, which had been doing battle with the enemy.  Here we entered upon the first phase of the most trying battle throughout the term of war.  Of this battle nothing would add to the commendation given by the General commanding the Fifth Army Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces to the 84th Infantyr Brigade, of which this regiment is a part:



American Expeditionary Forces


France, 26 October, 1918


From:       Commanding General, V Army Corps

To:            Commanding General 42nd Division U. S.

Subject:    Service of 42nd Division with V Army Corps.


       The 84th Infantry Brigade:


       The Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur, has manifested the highest soldierly qualities and has rendered service of the greatest value during the present operations. With a dash, courage and a fighting spirit worthy of the best traditions of the American Army, this Brigade carried by assault the strongly fortified Hill 288 on the Kriemhilde, Stellung and unceasingly pressed its advance until it had captured the Tuilerie Ferme and the Bois de Chatillon, thus placing itself at least a kilometer beyond the enemy's strong line of resistance. During this advance the enemy fought with unusual determination with a first class division and in many cases resorted to hand to hand fighting when our troops approached his rear. The conduct of this Brigade has reflected honor upon the Division, the Army and the States from which the Regiments came.


*   *   *   *   *


                              Major General Commanding.



    That the victory we won was possible; that the commendation we received was due us; that the strong line of resistance was broken, was through the heroic work of all, both the living and the dead. We record, in this memorial, the names of our dead that the world may know our appreciation of their comradeship, and as an acknowledgement of their heroic deeds.

     Today there lies resting among the pinnacled hills between Exermont and Landres St. George our contribution to that gigantic struggle; there we left them amid a grandeur of towering hills and steep ravines.  Unsurpassed in beauty will be their resting place, when nature has kindly healed her wounds from passing Armies.
     Unsurpassed was their glorious death upon the steep and wooded slopes of Hill 288 and the Cote de Chatillon, and unparalleled were the difficulties they overcame, the heroic feats they accomplished; always face to face with an enemy who is desperation was fighting as he never fought before, and proudly I write here that facing that enemy they died.
     Time may fill the minds of the living with many thoughts, but will never erase from our memory the names, the acts, or the gallant work of the men whose names are herein inscribed.



~ reference: "THE PRICE OF OUR HERITAGE", W. E. Robb,  1919 American Lithography and Printing Company, Des Moines, Iowa

~ contributed by Cay Merryman for Iowa in the Great War Special Project