Henry Kindig diary
April-May 1918
June-July 1918
August-September 1918
October-November 1918
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June-July entries

August 1918

August 1, 1918 diary entry



Aug 1
Arrived at Nancy at 10:30 A.M. Hiked 12 kil. to Chaligny. Billeted in barn.
 
Aug 2
Up at 7 A.M. Washed up and rested all day. Band concert in evening. Bed early.
 
August 3-4-5
Up at 6 A.M. Drilled in A.M. Swam in Moselle river in P.M.
 
Aug 6
Drilled and stood bye (sic) to leave.
 
Aug 7
Left Chaligny at 8 A.M. Hiked 18 kil. to Liverdun. Looks like another trip to front.
 
Aug 8
Up at 8 A.M. had chow. Rec'd my first pay in 3 mo. and celebrated. Liverdun a fine and gay old town. Big time.
 
Aug 9-10-11-12-13
Drilled and went swimming in canal.
 
Aug 14
Hiked 14 kil. in A.M. and 18 kil. in P.M. Slept in woods.
 
Aug 15
Up at 6 A.M. Hot 30 kil. in intense heat and arrived in Autreville.
 
Aug 16
Rested all day. This is a hell of hole (sic). No place to buy eats or anything else.
 
Aug 17-18-19
Drilled and practiced formations. No rest for Marines.
 
Aug 20
Walked to British Aviation field and looked over planes. The Tommies had some good beer and we had a bally good time, don't you know?
 
Aug 21
Up 4:30 A.M. Hiked 32 kil. Bois Le Avec which is about 7 kil. from Liverdun. Hottest day of year and many fellows fell out several were overcome with heat. Of course we had to wear helmets. This sure is one hell of an outfit.
 
Aug 22

Up 5:45 A.M. and right out to practice attacks. They sure are handing it to us. Men fast losing spirit. Got to stop or I'll say something I'll be sorry for.
 
Aug 23
Up 4:45 A.M. and went to bombing range until noon. In P.M. we had to go to gas chamber and sit for one hr. with gas masks on. Won't these damn fools realize we know gas masks by this time. Imagine some S.O.S. "tinny auntie" instructing us in the use of gas masks. He looks as though he'd drop dead if he ever heard a shell.
 
Aug 24
Up 3:45 A.M. and shot on rifle range until noon. In P.M. we rehearsed parade. Gen. Pershing will be with us tomorrow.
 
Aug 25
Up 5 A.M. Gen. Pershing as usual did not come. Hiked 32 kil. to Harmonville. Most of men dropped out from exhaustion. Guess I'm not human.
 
Aug 26
Feet blistered and bleeding. An (sic) light duty thank the Lord. How long will it last?
 
Aug 27
Still on light duty.
 
Aug 28
Letter came regarding Mr. Campbell's proposition transferred to scouts. Some people are pretty brainy but they can't pull any wool over my eyes. The hell with them.
 
Aug 29
Assignment position as Btn. observer. Very risky but interesting work.
 
Aug 30
Big divisional maneuver. 8 kil. hike. Privates breaking in officers. This is a great man's army. Such is life.
 
Aug 31
Second day of objective. Thank the Lord it is over. What have they thought up for us to do tomorrow?

September 1918

Sept 1
Orders came in to stand by for move to front. Stood all night but did not move.
 
Sept 2
Drilled all day and hiked 15 kil. at night. Wouldn't you think they would have left us to sleep in day time after standing by all night? No not in the Marines! We have to win the war.
 
Sept 3
They actually let us sleep all day. Hiked 15 kil. at night and pulled in woods at 2 A.M.
 
Sept 4
Slept all day. Hiked 14 kil. at night . Turned in pup tent at 5 A.M. Now in woods north of Toul.
 
Sept 5
Practiced formations all day. We had to hike at night to keep the move secret than they get us out and run us all over the fields in broad day light with Bosch airplanes flying all over. That sounds sensible, don't it?
 
Sept 6
Btn. maneuvers all day in driving rain. No rest for Marines.
 
Sept 7
Still raining. Drilled all A.M. and Maj. Lejeune inspected us in P.M.
 
Sept 8
About the same as usual. Woods are very miserable now. Mud mud and than some more mud. Chow rotten.
 
Sept 9
Paid in A.M. Isn't that one hell of a fine time to pay a man? They never think of pay day when you're near a good town. That's the way it are? in this damn out-fit (sic). Moved in P.M. Stood on cross road all night in cold and blinding rain directing Btn.
 
Sept 10
Waited all day for Btn. which was held up for traffic. Btn. arrived at midnight. Soaked through and through.
 
Sept 11
Still pouring rain. Guided Btn. in lines and had a hard time orienting Capt. Berry. Have been soaked for 5 days now and just starting another offensive. Some life this.
 
Sept 12
Hell broke loose at 1 A.M. Terrific American barrage. "Over the top" at 5 A.M. De Graff and I walked all over Lima under heavy shell fire looking for 23rd inf. P.C. Advanced 12 kil. capturing Thiacourt and releasing many French civilians. They were very happy. Not many casualties. Scouts brought us most valuable info. rec'd in this war. Read high recommendation from Col. Lee.
 
Sept 13
Walked through 3 barrages but finally found place for O.P. [observation post] Went out on recconnoitery (sic) work at night and were seen by Germany aviators. They dropped many bombs and fired machine guns at us by thousands but through some miracle we all escaped. Some wild night. We spotted out Germany strong holds and are going to attack them in A.M.
 
Sept 14
Attack postponed. Observation work all day.
 
Sept 15
"Over the top" at 5 A.M. Much resistance but they can't stop Marines. Reached obj. and dug in with Degraff. A 155 pounder hit on our hole and wounded Degraff very seriously. Dressed his wound and carried him to dressing station through heavy shell fire. Returned for duty. Talk about close shaves. "whoa boy"
 
Sept 16
Relieved at 8:30 P.M. Guided Btn. on 8 kil. hike. Had hot chow for a change and prepared to go further to rear.
 
Sept 17
Hiked 20 kil to woods in pouring rain and pitched pup tent. Bunked with Dad Bradley.
 
Sept 18
Pay day. Laid in woods all day enjoying a much needed rest.
 
Sept 19
Raining as usual. Many boys taken sick and sent to hospital. A great life.
 
Sept 20
Moved from woods to minor villa in A.M. and hiked 25 kil. to Choloy in P.M.
 
Sept 21
Rested all day after hard hike.
 
Sept 22
Up 6:30 A.M. Inspection at 9:30 A.M. Had chow and went to Fouq. Ate 14 eggs, fried potatoes, salad, bread, butter and coffee.
 
Sept 23
Drilled above clouds in A.M. Went to Fouq again in evening and duplicated last night's eats.
 
Sept 24
Went to Toul with Smith and Deible. Rotten town. Saw Jack Haff and Ambler boy. He is doing duty in Toul. Paid 15 francs for overseas hat and went home.
 
Sept 25
Drilled in A.M. and had pistol practice in P.M. Went to Fouq for supper.
 
Sept 26
Drew clothes and played cards.
 
Sept 27
Up 3:30 A.M. Hiked to train moved off at 9:30 A.M. Arrived Chalons at 6 P.M. Hiked 18 kil. to Machez and went to bed. Off to another front for a change.
 
Sept 28

Up 7 A.M. rested all day and stood retreat in P.M.
 
Sept 29
Moved in trucks at 7 P.M. to Camp behind French on Champagne front. Took up support position.
 
Sept 30

Stood bye (sic) all day. French advanced 7 kil. Bulgaria surrendered and St. Quentin falls. Germany's best troops on this front, the Prussian guards. Our division picked by Marshal Foch from entire Allied Armies to capture Blanc Mt. He knows we are the boys to do it.

October-November entries