Fred R. Batchelder diary
2009.034

Summary Information

Repository
The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title
Fred R. Batchelder WWI diary
ID
2009.034
Date
1918
Extent
0.1 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
Pocket diary (Standard Diary 1918, published by The Standard Diary Co.) is missing front cover and spine. Back cover is detached from green endpapers. Diary pages are in good condition, although the text block is loosening. Entries are written in pencil. Goldleaf foredge. Given the diary's overall condition, it is recommended that the transcript be used rather than the diary itself.
Dimensions note
11.9 x 7.4 x 2.2 cm
Language
English
Language
These materials are in English.

Preferred Citation note

Fred R. Batchelder diary, 1918. Coll No. 2009.034. McFarlin Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. University of Tulsa.

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Scope and Contents note

1918 pocket diary of Fred R. Batchelder US Army 401st Telegraph Battalion, Supply Detachment. 165 daily entries documenting his experiences while serving in France. Includes descriptions of the countryside, the extensive damage of country, towns, and villages, German prisoners of war, massive air sortes, bombing and shelling, etc.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives 2013 November

McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa, OK, 74104-3123
918-631-2496
Marc-carlson@utulsa.edu

Access

This material is open for research use by any registered reader.

Use and Copyright

This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright. Therefore, permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository and the copyright holder.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Charles Apfelbaum. Rare Manuscripts and Archives.

Personal Name(s)

  • Batchelder, Fred R.

Subject(s)

  • Special Collections -- Manuscripts -- Batchelder, Fred R.
  • United States. Army. Telegraph Battalion, 401st.
  • World War I Collection.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Diaries.
  • World War, 1914-1918.

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Collection Inventory

Wednesday 1918 February 27 

Scope and Contents note

3 p.m. On trains leaving Devens for Camp Merritt, N.J. Just as we started from barracks DeCaro came and walked by my side down to the 317 Field Sig. B. where we had a fine dinner. All are glad to leave as the camp routine gets tiresome. Going via Albany. Trip supposed to be 5 hrs.

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Thursday 1918 February 28 

Scope and Contents note

We arrived about 6 a.m. It was a ____ of a night for me. Had to try to sleep in seats. Could not because 5 poker friends kept chinking coins all night in next seat.

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Friday 1918 March 1 

Scope and Contents note

Very good barracks with heaters like Devens. Camp is mud, mud, mud and very damp. Rains lots. Not much doing, just go for commissary. A hike every day but I don't always get in on it.

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Monday 1918 March 4 

Scope and Contents note

Supposed to leave the 3rd for "over there". All packed. Dr. took throat cultures on 2nd, results kept us back. Hiked to the Hudson today, opposite Yonkers. Got permission and entered private estate--stood on Palisades 200' above river. Fine view--great treat for quarantined men. Results of cultures were waiting on our return so about 30 men (3 officers) sent to hospital. Since Sat. its been one d___ inspection after another and 5 short arms. Can't leave barracks except to hike.

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Tuesday 1918 March 5 

Scope and Contents note

Snowing. Main interest for others is shooting crap. Mine is listening. POker nuts are also busy. Bill Bradley--250 lbs or more, is star crappist. Keiths licked to a frazzle. Rolls his dice and says "Hah I see you 5" or "Hello 8" or "Hello waiter" or "H' I see 6 now". Carr and I laugh on the outside. Bill sweats and "Hah Levensworth Kansas" or "Hah eight from Decatur". Bryan bet Bill would win as he started to roll, but he failed. Bill said "Hah, long [---]" then "G___ d___ you Bryan, wish you'd keep off me!"

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Saturday 1918 March 9 

Scope and Contents note

Carried barracks bags to stations on our backs. Fine! Lots of fun. 2 mi. through mud.

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Sunday 1918 March 10 

Scope and Contents note

Left camp this morning--got up about 4 a.m.--marched 2 mi. to station with packs. Sherwin marched us fast. Arrived wet with sweat then waited about an hour for train. Went to Hoboken--marched through streets and finally ini under an arch marked U.S. Transport Service on to dock. Funny sensations--wondering what the near future will bring. Went on ship--Gt. Northern--quarters right up in the nose close to waterline--where they bump the mines. Down 2 narrow steep flights from deck. Fine chicken dinner on boat.

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Monday 1918 March 11 

Scope and Contents note

Last night was "bell hop" for Major. Felt sick and fairly staggered trying to walk. This morning in mess line I nearly fainted so gave up breakfast. Going to see Dr. soon.

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Friday 1918 March 15 

Scope and Contents note

Out of ships hospital. Had grip with bad fever. Came out so weak I could scarcely walk. Good care in hospital--good coffee--toast--dropped egg. Had target practice one day for first time and skylight came down. Couldn't sleep much on account of fever and cough and ships rolling and bells for gun drill. Just one d___ thing after another.

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Saturday 1918 March 16 

Scope and Contents note

Meals on ship scandalous. Mess hall worse than a pig pen. Smell at two flights up is sickening. Not strength to stand up and no place to sit down. So hard to drive myself. Can't sleep at night--cough like hell. Grub not fit for a dog--coffee is even revolting.

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Sunday 1918 March 17 

Scope and Contents note

Very rough sea. Life drill in foreroom and gun practice. Turned around today and ran back. The boat pitched badly and many who had been very happy became suddenly very gloomy.

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Tuesday 1918 March 19 

Scope and Contents note

Got a convoy of two destroyers. Up all night last night as we were in danger gone. Tried to sleep a little lying on deck--braced to keep from sliding down into scuppers but most of night stood up and kept moving.

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Wednesday 1918 March 20 

Scope and Contents note

Up all night standing on deck and moving when became too sleepy. Pulled into Brest harbor about noon. Landed at night. While waiting to land nearly went to sleep standing up--start to lose balance and then catch myself.

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Thursday 1918 March 21 

Scope and Contents note

Landed last night--carried ashore on a lighter. Marched about 4 mi. about all up hill. Arrived at barracks 9 p.m. wet with sweat. Thick fogg [sic] and very damp so had to keep walking. Didn't dare stop, as it took about all hour for them to decide on a barracks. No mattress--bar slats to sleep on. Hodges loaned me an extra blanket. Cup of coffee and two hardtack with jam at midnight. Cooks set up the range as we had no supper.

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Friday 1918 March 22 

Scope and Contents note

[Portanazou] barracks started by Julius Caesar and finished by Napoleon. Built of concrete. Breakfast was has, slice bread, black coffee. No coffee with cream and sugar ever tasted better. Lots of drafted men here.

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Saturday 1918 March 23 

Scope and Contents note

Season much advanced here over ours--perhaps two weeks. Lookiong out over the 10ft. stone wall from a wooden framework on training field can see houses of Brest. Very pretty. Rolling country. Some gardens well started. Adjoining fields separated by hedges--no fences or walls. Day sunny & warm. Night is cool. Funny trees--new to me. One--a kind of bush--resembles pussy willow. Trunks bare 25ft from ground, then branches spread horizontally giving appearance of a flat top.

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Saturday 1918 March 23 

Scope and Contents note

3-23-18 cont'd. Have had canned beans aand canned meat put in pan and baked. Going tomorrow. Report says no freight car. Can't be worse than boat no matter how we travel. Working people here wear wooden shoes. An old lady and crippled man collect [swill with team]. Shoes clatter like a horse. Did washing where Napoleon men did theirs. Wash room a chamber under ground, built of stone, open at [top] with roof. Two pools about 6' x 8' by 1 1/2' walls bordering are granite and about 3' above floor. Four stone troughts run length of room.

[Pencilled diagram is drawn below written text to illustrate]

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Saturday 1918 March 30 

Scope and Contents note

We don't hear anything authentic of the big battle but see soldiers going through on trains. This life even is enough to make a man appreciate home. Hungry most of the time as we are on field rations. It keeps one going all right but he knows he has a stomach. No chance to wash except in a dirty pond or steal a cup of drinking water we have to haul 2 miles. Still we are not down to lice--thank heaven! Many grumble but we are probably getting more than some. Chinese coolies work about here--some speak French. They are very dark copper colored and lousy if looks count.

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Sunday 1918 March 31 

Scope and Contents note

Cloudy--windy--no sun. Reveille one hr. later today--6.45. Got wooden bunks and with tick rest well. Good breakfast. Bacon, potato, one egg, bread. Coffee. Had carreid beef about all the week--beans now and then. Rather salt [sic] gets tiresome. I get so hungry, can't complain. Men went to work in freight yard just the same. My turn off as I went yesterday. March down and back in blue dennims, hob nails cruncing on gravel road. Can't think of myself as anything but a convict. However, I realize am having it easy and trucks are coming, be on construction then. Birds sing outside--early in morn. One like our red mavis. Men left behind sick have not arrived. Cassidy and I talked to a 15 yr. old boy last night. Can make ourselves understood. He has lost a brother in the war. His name is Andre Corbiere--birght kid--works farming--up at 4.30 and at it till dark.

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Monday 1918 April 1 

Scope and Contents note

Everyone forgot this is April Fools day. No mood to fool. Rained all forenoon. Helped unload oats, 140lb bags and bales of hay. Pretty hard as breakfast was light. Afternoon in storehouse piling up bags of ten [---]. Good hard work for office men. Talked with Corbiere this eve. He has a black dog that chases any stray cows. Not like ours but very intelligent. Went to YMCA with Cassidy. Had cup of chocolate and small piece of lemon pie. Cost 40 cents.

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Tuesday 1918 April 2 

Scope and Contents note

Sun out bright. Wind blowing and cool.

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Wednesday 1918 April 3 

Scope and Contents note

Arrived at Bordeaux about 6 p.m. Came after auto. Sent to Hotel American by YMCA. Had good supper at "YM" and later went to find hotel. Rained like the devil. Streets all dark, but finally found it.

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Thursday 1918 April 4 

Scope and Contents note

Room 5f. Supper 3.5f. No auto here. Had a great rest in a fine bed last night. Looked about town today. Many fine stores. Finally told to report for orders at 5 p.m. Met 2 men of the 408 Tel. Ba. and 2 of the 413th after dars. Told to got to La [Pa---] after Packards. Women run the cars here. Many cafes. Men and women go in and sit at tables and drink glass [sic] of hot black coffee sweetend with sacharine and play checkers or something similar. Bkfast 3f 50. Dinner 3f 50.

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Friday 1918 April 5 

Scope and Contents note

Took 6.48 a.m. train and reached La [Pa---] about noon. After dinner found out cars are at Rochefast 25 miles south. Helped haul trucks out of yard this p.m. Lots of them here and this is becoming a busy seaport since Uncle Sam came. After supper there were lots of kids with dirty black faces about. Fellows chased them over the field like so many calves. Carried them back kicking and squiring and washed their faces. Lined them up and fed them afterward. Bet their own mothers didn't know them. It was a lark. Got bottle of beer later at a hotel. Full of cursing soldiers and sailors. Military police keep order. Seems that these men, who may at any time be shipped to Front and get killed, instead of trying to be clean in mind are just the opposite. I curse myself, but this jarred on my nerves and I left after about 10 mins. Funny compressed air [tramway] woman conductor blows a little horn to start car. Very old town--nothing modern.

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Saturday 1918 April 6 

Scope and Contents note

Worked at Rochefort all day uncrating and setting up Packards. Back at night. Made trip in auto. Got room at hotel for 3f. fine bed and a clean room. Can you heat it? 60 cents! Guess I'll get it tomorrow instead of sleeping (?) on slats at barracks.

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Sunday 1918 April 7 

Scope and Contents note

At R--- put on tops, wind shields and tire carriers. Put in oil and gas. Had good dinner at restaurant. Bacon, omlet, steak, bread, coffee.

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Monday 1918 April 8 

Scope and Contents note

Put gas and oil in other Packards set up by other men and waited around expecting to get word to start. Instead a Lt. of the Aviation came in, thanked us for setting up the cars as they were assigned to him. Uncrated more Packards ______ for someone else, I guess.

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Tuesday 1918 April 9 

Scope and Contents note

Uncrated more Packards. Not much to be done and we didn't kill ourselves either.

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Wednesday 1918 April 10 

Scope and Contents note

Set up Quads at La P---. No orders.

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Thursday 1918 April 11 

Scope and Contents note

Setting up Quads at La P---. Water front a La Rochelle a stone wall. Entrance to small harbor between two stone towers forming a gate. Probably for defence in early days. Entrance to business district through stone arch. Mored good luck this p.m. Body of Packard truck fell on my foot. Did not break any bones but at night could scarcely walk. Saw Dr. and he said ambulance would come to take me to hospital.

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Friday 1918 April 12 

Scope and Contents note

Sat around today. Used scalding hot water on foot last eve and this forenoon. Found out from maid they use alcohol camphere (camphorated alcohol) for bruises so got some. Finally got shoe on and limped around some. Expect to be sent back to G--- in auto tomorrow as no orders came and a party is leaving for our locality in Dodges. Ambulance came this p.m. but I wouldn't go.

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Saturday 1918 April 13 

Scope and Contents note

Able to walk fairly well today. Saw the Lt. this noon. He arranged with landlady for us to stay here and sleep, she to get pay when we leave. No word as to getting car or leaving. Have some blothches on my arms like hives. A fellow said it is French itch. Dinners at barracks are fierce. Meat in chunks - arteries and gristle - any old thing. A hell of a set of cooks. Tables black with dirt. Flies crawling over meat which lies on a table. Shall be glad to leave.

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Sunday 1918 April 14 

Scope and Contents note

Visited a new freighter at dock, the Fairmont. 9000 tons. First trip. Saw the guns, etc. Cox, Frank Bridges, Rockland, me, whom I met ashore, showed me around.

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Monday 1918 April 15 

Scope and Contents note

Finally got orders after a lot of backing and [fitling] at 4 p.m. to go back to G--- by train. Left 7.43 p.m. Arr. Thovals 12.30. Waited till 5.56 for train for Tours.

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Tuesday 1918 April 16 

Scope and Contents note

Arr. Tours about 11 a.m. Good dinner at YMCA. Looked over town. Took 4.25 p.m. train for G---. Arr. about 7.30 p.m. Major had received no word until this p.m. from me. Knew nothing altho the Signal Officers at La P-- repeatedly told us our battalion commnaders had been notified. We were not allowed to telegraph from there as we might have told the truth.

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Wednesday 1918 April 17 

Scope and Contents note

Found some Quads at camp and some H.D. cycles with side cars.

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Thursday 1918 April 18 

Scope and Contents note

Cold north wind and cloudy. Trip to QM and Ord. Depot. Called at farmhouse. Left tobacco for woman's husband at the front. A man plyed an accordian for us.

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Friday 1918 April 19 

Scope and Contents note

Expect to move soon. Rumor we are going to Bordeaux. Quiet today. Trip to Ord. Depot. Saw new YMCA building. Victrola, piano, large hall and reading room, novies as soon as wiring is put in. Can buy many thing here. Called on some family and found three other men from camp in front of firepalce. Had some milk fresh from the cow.

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Sunday 1918 April 21 

Scope and Contents note

Went to Romorantin this a.m. Like most French cities rather ancient in appearance. There is a market place on main street. Women sit on boxes and curb selling vegetables etc. Good YMCA here. Have to have a pass to get into town and it has to be stamped by M.P.s after you get in. Rained as we started back but got ride on truck.

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Monday 1918 April 22 

Scope and Contents note

Nothing definite about moving.

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Tuesday 1918 April 23 

Scope and Contents note

Our packing cases came at last. Got my tobacco and French dictionary.

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Wednesday 1918 April 24 

Scope and Contents note

7.15 a.m. train passed on my way to Romarantin. It always has two cars of straw on the rear. Got a rotton cold. Got some medicine.

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Thursday 1918 April 25 

Scope and Contents note

Feel rotton as had fever through the night. Weak as a rag. Rained all day and I laid low. Am lucky. Sergeant is a good fellow. Some would have driven me out. Called on Dr. tonight but he said I'd have to wait for pleasant weather to cure me. He could give a man a little help to start him on road to recovery. Been raining a lot and muddy as hell here. Fine prospect!

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Friday 1918 April 26 

Scope and Contents note

Pleasant today ;but awful muddy. Felt awful weak. Packed up to move tomorrow. Chest feels pretty sore but have raised lots and feel a little better. "Sunny France" is a misprint. Should be "Muddy France."

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Saturday 1918 April 27 

Scope and Contents note

Left camp about 9 a.m. Drinving Quad. Russell, Wilkins, Cadrain, Cadoret, and Pariseall. Passed through Grives Varennes. Stopped for lunch after going 19 mi in 3 hrs. Front truck towing field kitchen seems to bother. Sawmill here and Russians are getting out railroad ties.

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Sunday 1918 April 28 

Scope and Contents note

Sick today. Chills. Saw Dr. and then wrapped up and rode in behind. Finally reached Aix. After fiddling around, they got me a room at a hotel. Found me with temp. of 103 degrees. I feel great.

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Wednesday 1918 May 8 

Scope and Contents note

In hospital at Limoges. Dressed for first time today. Came in the 29th. This is what comes of trying to save a few pills. Been raining. Dull weather. A hell of a climate. Never will I criticize New England. I think Mark Twain was a narrow old cuss. At least he never traveled if he credits N.E. with all the bum weather.

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Thursday 1918 May 9 

Scope and Contents note

Met a fellow who had been gassed. Wears black glasses and then can't stand the sun. But he hasn't been bothered a hell of a lot lately. Has a bad cough, too.

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Friday 1918 May 10 

Scope and Contents note

Took a walk about Limoges. A little sunshine this p.m. but day generally hazy.

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Saturday 1918 May 11 

Scope and Contents note

Walked out again today. Sun shone a little more this p.m. and air was clearer. Went to the Velodrome.

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Sunday 1918 May 12 

Scope and Contents note

Went out to Velodrome as there was to be a bicycle race. Rain prevented.

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Monday 1918 May 13 

Scope and Contents note

Back with the battalion. Nice quarters. We are in two small rooms in chateau. The company is in the barn. Pretty yard, beautiful trees and shrubs and a fountain. Ground show lack of care which is natural at this time. Quiet here. We are in from the road about 300 yds. Drill weather. Showers.

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Tuesday 1918 May 14 

Scope and Contents note

Drill. Showers. Not much to do. They seem to be letting me take it easy. Bankd concert to be given here tonight by the 59th Artillery band. Men are busy setting poles, about 25' and 8" butt. 10 [pins] cross arm. Co. D working toward Chaloux.

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Wednesday 1918 May 15 

Scope and Contents note

Pleasant today. All day bright and clear. Rode to Chaloux with load of cross arms. Quite warm this p.m. Went down to a creek and had a plunge after using soap. Swam about 20 yds. and was glad to get out. It was so cold. Felt good afterwards tho.

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Tuesday 1918 June 25 

Scope and Contents note

Left for Bordeaux.

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Wednesday 1918 June 26 

Scope and Contents note

Arrived Bordeaux.

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Thursday 1918 August 8 

Scope and Contents note

Left Bordeaux about 5 p.m. with truck train and went just beyond Libourne--about 27 mi. Called at a house with 4 other fellows and the people gave us 4 bottles of white wine. Refused to take any pay.

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Friday 1918 August 9 

Scope and Contents note

Up at 5 a.m. Called at a house where an old lady made some coffee and gave us some ham. Met E Company and started about 8.30. Went about 86 mi. Camped at roadside near small village. Bought supper there. Fried eggs, omlet, fr.fr. potatoes.

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Saturday 1918 August 10 

Scope and Contents note

Up 5 a.m. Left ahead of train with Lt. Clark Hodges, Dexheimer and Herrendeen. Went about 85 mi. Camped at roadside. Got milk and eggs from farmer. Had hot beans, poached eggs, bread, coffee.

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Sunday 1918 August 11 

Scope and Contents note

Up 5.30 a.m. Had dropped eggs, corned hash, bread, jam, coffee. Went through Burges to Nevers, arriving about 3 p.m. Went about town a bit after supper. Saw cathedral and former palace of Duke of Nevers. Slept in French barracks - Napoleon's.

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Monday 1918 August 12 

Scope and Contents note

Waited around all day for motor parts. Not much of a town.

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Monday 1918 September 9 

Scope and Contents note

Came to Toul today. Situated in nice large stone barracks. Rained hard about all day. Just while loading truck, oil skin coat wet through. It is no good. Boots came in handy, also the tin helmet which didn't wet through.

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Tuesday 1918 September 10 

Scope and Contents note

Trip to Neufchateau today. Rained hard about all day.

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Wednesday 1918 September 11 

Scope and Contents note

Heavy showers. Clear at times. Awoke this morning to hear the big guns going. Sounded like heavy surf. Guess the drive toward Metz is on. Our men went up toward the front today. On the way up they saw a big pen under construction. On way back tonight it was full of Germans, air full of planes all day. Climbed the big hill tonight. Saw two fires off in the distance and in a body of trees every few minutes a big flash and then smoke. Must have been big guns. Hear our men have advanced to Thiaucourt.

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Thursday 1918 September 12 

Scope and Contents note

Heavy showers. Could hear big guns at times.

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Friday 1918 September 13 

Scope and Contents note

Showers. Tonight just before supper, 3500 prisoners captured by our men were marched on the way to a prison camp. There were young boys and old men. Many were all in--could scarcely walk. They were a pretty hard looking crowd, as if they had had a tough time. It looks as if Germany's army is crumbling. The Kaiser must be worrying about his job these days. In spite of the fact they were Germans, and represented a certain [number] of our men fallen, the sight of some was pitiful. Why does god allow one man to cause so much misery?

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Sunday 1918 September 15 

Scope and Contents note

Left this morning in truck for Nevers going after motor parts. Clear weather.

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Monday 1918 September 16 

Scope and Contents note

Stayed in hotel at Beaune last night. Clear weather. At "workingsmens club" tonight.

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Tuesday 1918 September 17 

Scope and Contents note

Rode until about 7.0 p.m. reaching Autun. Stayed at YMCA. (Heavy showers about supper time. Moon appeared) [text within ( ) was crossed out] Clear weather.

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Wednesday 1918 September 18 

Scope and Contents note

Continued on through Langres to Neufchateau arriving about 10 p.m. Heavy showers at supper time - later moon came out making trip agreeable.

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Thursday 1918 September 19 

Scope and Contents note

Arrived back at Toul - 260 miles from Nevers. Showers. To Neufchateau this p.m. for oil.

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Saturday 1918 September 21 

Scope and Contents note

Went out to a French motor park for parts to Saurer trucks but did not have any luck. Ran into rain on the way - wind awful cold.

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Sunday 1918 September 22 

Scope and Contents note

Left Toul about 10 a.m. coming to Longchamp and arriving about 4 p.m. Passed through [---] at St. Mihiel Sabient. Saw the houses that had been shot up. Wires stretched between trees along roadside and supporting branches of trees on cheesecloth painted to conceal road. Also saw old trenches, barbed wire, entanglements and several graves. Rained today at times and tonight.

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Monday 1918 September 23 

Scope and Contents note

Our billets here are what were occupied up to the time of our coming by Chanticler and his several mates. It is rain, rain, everyday mud like soup. A Frenchman told me it was this way 7 mos. a year. "Sunny France"! Hell! Went to Souilly today for beef etc. Raining this morning. Showers and overcast all day.

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Tuesday 1918 September 24 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Neufchateau in Ford with Dr. today after officers commissary.

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Wednesday 1918 September 25 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Not much work. The air has been full of planes. Counted 29 at one time. Look like flocks of geese.

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Thursday 1918 September 26 

Scope and Contents note

Generally fair. Air full of planes. Heavy barrage last night and this morning. Sounds to the west of Verdun.

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Friday 1918 September 27 

Scope and Contents note

Generally fair. Went to Souilly. Could hear the canon plainly. Here at Longchamps, air was full of planes. Saw some wounded brought in at S__.

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Saturday 1918 September 28 

Scope and Contents note

Generally fair. Shower tonight. Went up to Souilly today--some 4500 prisoners in pens - brought in yesterday - and saw about 500 more coming in. Fellows traded tobacco with them for buttons, watch chains, coins, etc. Pretty good looking men as a whole.

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Sunday 1918 September 29 

Scope and Contents note

To Neufchateau in Ford with Lt. Rained all the forenoon but cleared in the afternoon. Returned via Toul.

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Monday 1918 September 30 

Scope and Contents note

to Souilly for oil. Saw lots of prisoners being sent away by rail. While waiting a shower came up and it rained in sheets for about 15 min. It was cold and raw. Saw Red Cross train of wounded pulling out for hospitals further south. Fellows waved. There is a line of graves near the hospital - results of this drive. Prisoners dug the long trench. Fellows laid in side by side. Fine news - Bulgaria gives up.

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Tuesday 1918 October 1 

Scope and Contents note

To Souilly for gas this a.m. Mist, cold, biting raw wind - chilled to the marrow. Went beyond S__ a way looking for clothing depot. Got into a train of troops going "up". All were muddy and cheerful. Another trip this p.m. after clothes. Long line of wooden crosses near hospital. Line of trucks waiting to unload wounded - soon as one pulled out two or three new ones came to end of line. Lots of leg, foot a and arm wounds. Pretty ragged, muddy, wretched looking crowd. Also wounded prisoners brought in. Sun out this p.m. but cold. This country is as comfortable as a refrigerated car.

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Thursday 1918 October 3 

Scope and Contents note

Some pleasant weather. Usual trip to Souilly. Letter from Ned and one from Annette and one from Pa & Ma about this time.

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Friday 1918 October 4 

Scope and Contents note

Pleasant - but heavy fogg [sic] mornings.

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Saturday 1918 October 5 

Scope and Contents note

To Langres after motor parts. Tried all hotels for room and didn't get any - town full of officers and embryo officers. Finally accosted some French soldiers who inquired at two places and the last place got a room. Place was full of young rowdies - 3 in room below - all cocked - sung (?) and howled till midnight.

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Sunday 1918 October 6 

Scope and Contents note

At Langres - not much luck getting parts. Left for Neufchateau about 3 p.m. and arrived for supper with 407 Tel. B. at our old barracks.

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Monday 1918 October 7 

Scope and Contents note

Some pleasant weather (usual trips after gas etc) [text in ( ) has been crossed out]. Back from Langres at supper time. Got tangled up in truck train on slippery hill. Had been raining. Had two fellows aboard who knew Charlie Sullivan. Said he had been shot in foot. Got lots of mail. 3 from home Aug 18, 25 & Sept. 8. Annette Aug 18. One from Winthrop, one from C. Gridley, two from Mary.

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Tuesday 1918 October 8 

Scope and Contents note

This p.m. thunder shower with hail. After the prettiest double rainbow - two complete arcs.

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Wednesday 1918 October 9 

Scope and Contents note

Paid tonight. Heavy fogg [sic] this forenoon but burned off about noon. Took a bath and washed out some clothes. First bath for about a month. Have a shower arrangement with stove attached at the public wash tub. Truck canvas to screen us, but all the kids in the village thought it a rare sight and watched through windows. Bombarding last night & today. I [---] shock in night. Counted about 60 planes in three flocks all going by at the same time towards the front tonight. Some sight against the sky.

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Thursday 1918 October 10 

Scope and Contents note

Fair trip.

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Friday 1918 October 11 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Trip to Souilly in a.m. to St. Mihiel in p.m. Went into trenches and concrete apartments underground. All sorts of tools and ammunition lying around. Received letter from Annette and one from home.

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Saturday 1918 October 12 

Scope and Contents note

Showers. Started to overhaul truck. Took block off.

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Sunday 1918 October 13 

Scope and Contents note

Rain, mud and more mud. Truck is in a shelter under a roof. Have pit under engine.

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Monday 1918 October 14 

Scope and Contents note

Dull rain - mjd. Waiting to hear Pres. reply to Germany as to whether the U.S. will talk peace. All French say it will be over right away. They say "Feeneesh". Could hear guns today.

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Tuesday 1918 October 15 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - some rain. Working on truck.

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Wednesday 1918 October 16 

Scope and Contents note

Nasty drizzle and mist all day. This soil is the limit - you must walk as if you were on ice and you slip back fast as you go ahead. If you step on a sloping place you are lucky if you don't go down. A lovely lake of mud - [squtter] - in the public square.

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Thursday 1918 October 17 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - rain - gloomy.

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Friday 1918 October 18 

Scope and Contents note

Partly clear - did not rain. Went to Souilly in truck, on way back noticed a funny cloud against the blue, of a scroll shape and like a ribbon. To examine closer saw it being extended and by straining my eyes saw a plane. They make them at the Front to hide behined when fighting. Plane looked the size of a midget.

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Saturday 1918 October 19 

Scope and Contents note

No rain but not clear. French are getting in their crop of sugar beets. Hodges came back tonight from Varennes. I received mail, two from home 9/20 & 9/27, Annette 9/12 - Simon 10/18, two cards from Winthrop, J. Howard & E. Irving 9/18. Truck runs well. Heavy mist tonight.

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Sunday 1918 October 20 

Scope and Contents note

Nasty drizzle all day. Trip to Souilly for food. Loaded trucks to move in the morning.

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Monday 1918 October 21 

Scope and Contents note

Moved today to a set of French huts outside of Courcelles. Did not rain but it was cloudy and raw.

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Tuesday 1918 October 22 

Scope and Contents note

Rain - dull. Trip to Souilly for gas. Last eve. German planes came over and dropped bombs near - trying to hit an aviation field. Three sets of guns let fly at him.

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Wednesday 1918 October 23 

Scope and Contents note

Fine day. Sunny and warm. Trip to Souilly after grub. Saw some small tanks.

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Thursday 1918 October 24 

Scope and Contents note

Cloudy. Remained at camp and did washing. Capt. Clark and Sgt. Russell went to Ligny to get mail. I got a letter from Ned with postcard written 9/28. This p.m. looked at two anti-aircraft guns. Two kinds of shells - H.E. & shrapnel. Also looked at a fallen "chaser" 9 cyl. engine - cylinder's radial.

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Friday 1918 October 25 

Scope and Contents note

Cloudy. Started for Dijon in Ford with Capt. Clark & 3 D Co. chauffers after Garfords. Stopped at Souilly and learned that trucks had been already taken. Had dinner at Souilly. Got a letter from Mother dated 9/15. Chauffers drove two HD cycles back.

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Sunday 1918 October 27 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went to neighboring village after a Garford.

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Monday 1918 October 28 

Scope and Contents note

Fair & cloudy at times. Went after provisions today. Was told our men were called off from line construction further up because shells were coming too thick.

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Tuesday 1918 October 29 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went to Sampigny for motor parts and stopped for clothing on the way. Fine day and truck went well. Lt. Jones & Sgt. Russell went too. Tried to hit crow with rifle but missed him. Rats raised cain here last night. Russell was swearing and kicking them off his bed. Rec'd order from Annette.

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Wednesday 1918 October 30 

Scope and Contents note

Fine day. Went to revigny on cycle with Capt. Clark. Two trucks of E. Co. came down to install tel. lines at Hdqrs. of 40th Div. After work was nearly done and it was dark had our beds made up - got word to return. Bright starlight so could see fairly well. Our truck went into ditch blinded by arc lights on a French auto - but pulled out all right. Got back at 12.30 a.m.

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Thursday 1918 October 31 

Scope and Contents note

Fine day. Didn't go anywhere. Boch plane came over very high - guns fired at him but didn't hurt him any.

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Friday 1918 November 1 

Scope and Contents note

Fair this a.m. Overcast and raw and damp this p.m. No trip today. Heard a fierce barrage early this morning. Hear the fellows advanced 10 km. Also hear Austria is all done.

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Saturday 1918 November 2 

Scope and Contents note

Cloudy. Trip to Souilly.

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Sunday 1918 November 3 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Souilly.

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Monday 1918 November 4 

Scope and Contents note

Cloudy. Left Courcelles. Came to St. [Jurvin] Place and country a mess. Debris, mud, shell holes, German supplies.

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Tuesday 1918 November 5 

Scope and Contents note

To Souilly - back after dark. Driving at night is ___. Cloudy all day.

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Wednesday 1918 November 6 

Scope and Contents note

Usual trips to Souilly.

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Sunday 1918 November 10 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Parous.

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Monday 1918 November 11 

Scope and Contents note

Heavy fogg [sic] all day. Cold.

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Tuesday 1918 November 12 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Moved to (St. Jarvan) [text in ( ) has been crossed out] Dun. Villages on way demolished. Roadsides dug in where the doughboys made a stand. Fields all full of shell holes. Country one desolate bare expanse. Villages a mass of timbers, stones.

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Wednesday 1918 November 13 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Cold nights and foggy mornings. Went to St. Jarvan after wire. Pretty raw and cold. Sun does not run very high here.

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Thursday 1918 November 14 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went to St. Jarvan after a load of wire. Very hard road. Same as next page.

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Friday 1918 November 15 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went to St. Jarvan and brought back load of wire. Passed thru side road via Rouannes. Saw lots of signs of shelling, dead horses, big guns still in position, lots of ammunitions. Country completely shot up. road was fierce. 1st & 2nd speed a lot of time and rarely in high.

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Saturday 1918 November 16 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Fresh NE wind very cold like Dec. day at homne. Froze last night. Moved from Dun to Belrupt. Had big load on truck and towed an old Ford loaded to its brim. Passed thru on side of Verdun. Roads all camouflaged and shelled and there are lots of signs of battle. Followed down valley of Meuse.

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Sunday 1918 November 17 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. After gas. Finially had to go to Bar-le-Duc. Back about 9.30 p.m. Cloudy but moon made it easy driving after dark.

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Monday 1918 November 18 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Fleury after clothing. Back late.

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Tuesday 1918 November 19 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Pomport for gas.

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Wednesday 1918 November 20 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. To Clermont after gas. Back in good season.

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Thursday 1918 November 21 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Up at 4 a.m. Loaded trucks last night. Left about 5.30. Stopped at Souilly for gas. Met our truck train and continued on for Bar-sur-Aube. Got delayed about 12 km out as we took wrong road and ran out of gas. Arrived late. Got hay for tick - lucky - very cold at night. Quite a nice place. Sure is good to see some civilians and country not torn up by war. Rec'd letter from A__ written 10-16-18.

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Friday 1918 November 22 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went to Q.M. after rations. Most of day was getting settled in new quarters - all but my [---] bed and things. That has to be done after dark. Heard censorship is off. Same fellows took first opportunity and got lit up today. Bright starlight tonight and cold. Sun doesn't run very high here. Rolling country - hill froze.

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Saturday 1918 November 23 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went into Bar-su-Aube for gas. Took a bath at hospital. Hear we have 25 mi. of wire to string. Froze last night.

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Sunday 1918 November 24 

Scope and Contents note

Rain - dull. Went after gas. Stayed in this p.m. Cold and disagreeable. Hear furloughs will be granted for 7 days to certain nunber that want it. But if Battln. moves in meantime (home) you are S.O.L.

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Monday 1918 November 25 

Scope and Contents note

Rainy. Mud here is fierce. Trip to town for gas.

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Tuesday 1918 November 26 

Scope and Contents note

Rain part of day. Went for wood to Rennes. Quite a trip.

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Wednesday 1918 November 27 

Scope and Contents note

Shower during day. No sun. Went in town and bought some articles to take home.

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Thursday 1918 November 28 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Had big turkey dinner. Such a shock to the stomach it is a question if I can keep it down.

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Friday 1918 November 29 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Went for gas. Nothing special doing. Didn't keep it down.

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Saturday 1918 November 30 

Scope and Contents note

Dull but not rain. Went after wood in the forenoon. Wrote letter in the p.m. Very muddy here.

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Sunday 1918 December 1 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went in town for rations. Not much else doing. Woodward gone to Toul with the Lt. after barracks bags.

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Monday 1918 December 2 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Went for wood at Rennes Pont. Battn. started to drill and hike today. No news about going home or parade or anything.

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Tuesday 1918 December 3 

Scope and Contents note

Rain & mist.

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Wednesday 1918 December 4 

Scope and Contents note

Dull. Went to Langres after motor parts. Feeneesh r-r-r-oom!

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Thursday 1918 December 5 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Fogg [sic] this a.m. Thick fogg on way home.

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Friday 1918 December 6 

Scope and Contents note

Fair & warm.

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Saturday 1918 December 7 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. First inspection. Bath in bath house.

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Sunday 1918 December 8 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - rain. Went to Is-sur-Tille after dinner on road. Tried to heat beans on kerosene stove and found water in it. Put in gas and it went fine. Tried casual barracks and red Cross at I-sur-T and could not get anything. Put up in truck by side of road.

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Monday 1918 December 9 

Scope and Contents note

Went to Q.M. & got stoves. Left after dinner time. Had to get ours on road. Went on to Graver le Chateau and rented room. Good room. Woman made fire for me - good supper and bed. Had good rest as I felt mean from cold. Had coffee and toast for breakfast 22f for three of us. John Apple makes [---].

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Tuesday 1918 December 10 

Scope and Contents note

Showers - but pretty good day. Continued trip to B-sur-A arriving in afternoon. Nothing happened while gone.

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Wednesday 1918 December 11 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Went for rations in a.m. and wood in p.m. Going all day.

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Thursday 1918 December 12 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Put truck in barn at chateau and helped put on tires. Very muddy and disagreeable.

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Friday 1918 December 13 

Scope and Contents note

Rain at times. Quiet today. Received shoes from home. Some fellows leave tomorrow for Aixe-les-Bains.

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Sunday 1918 December 15 

Scope and Contents note

Fair. Warm. Took tramp over hill. Went to church in morning. Received shoes.

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Monday 1918 December 16 

Scope and Contents note

Unsettled. Quiet day. Went down town at night. Streets - or a least the square - was lighted up more than usual. Not much work done today. Hear we may leave in two weeks. "May" is good.

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Tueday 1918 December 17 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - showers. Rode around with Lt. in Ford. Much colder - strong breeze.

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Wednesday 1918 December 18 

Scope and Contents note

Rain and high wind from S.E. direction.l Not much going on . S__ and Dex went to Neufchateau after some motor parts but got nothing.

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Thursday 1918 December 19 

Scope and Contents note

High wind - fair this morning but cloudy67 and hail later in a.m. Got word that trucks are to be turned in.

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Friday 1918 December 20 

Scope and Contents note

Showers.

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Saturday 1918 December 21 

Scope and Contents note

Dull but did not rain much. About town with Lt. in Ford.

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Monday 1918 December 23 

Scope and Contents note

Dull all day. Mud up to the ankles where there has been any travel. Turned in touring cars today. Very high wind.

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Tuesday 1918 December 24 

Scope and Contents note

Sun appeared this a.m. Went to Newfchateau in Ford with Lt. leading 10 Quads to turn in. Dull in p.m. Arrived about 5 p.m. in rain. Came back in thick wet snow. Arrived about 10.15. Rained torrents here in p.m. and snowed later. Received my Xmas pkg. and a letter from A.

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Wednesday 1918 December 25 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - overcast. Canal overflowed last night. Our shack almost completely surrounded by water. Had turkey dinner. Mill decorated with Jap. lanterns & trees. Orch gave us music. Four [c--- g---] gave us some music. Then the fellows put on a small minst. show. Snowed hard tonight - wet snow. Hear we leave soon.

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Thursday 1919 December 26 

Scope and Contents note

Rain.

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Friday 1918 December 27 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Everything quiet.

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Saturday 1918 December 28 

Scope and Contents note

Rain. Inspection this morning. Nothing much doing today. Am lying around getting fat and waiting for mail.

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Sunday 1918 December 29 

Scope and Contents note

Dull - rain. Held up for about 2 hr. after dinner. Long enough to go for papers.

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Monday 1918 December 30 

Scope and Contents note

Blue sky for about 2 hrs this morning. Rained rest of day.

[Last entry]

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Identity card 1918 October 27   Paper form, pre-printed in English and French, with information typed in; initialled by Col. Parker Hitt, SC. Originally folded in quarters. 10.5 x 10.9 cm

Scope and Contents note

Paper identity card (Carte d'Identite) for men of the American Expeditionary Forces for Batchelder, Fred R.

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Note Undated   Handwritten note in pencil, written on the corner fragment of an invoice or receipt. 9 x 10.8 cm

Scope and Contents note

"Madame Husson avenue du petit Port N. 37 Aise-les-Bains Savoie"

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