31 July 2003
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Scherr & Scherr Family Pages
Diary of Corporal Arthur W. Scherr
107th Field Signal BN.
Wisconsin National Guard
I have transcribed this diary as closely as possible to the original which was written in pencil. Many entries made on board ship going "across" are badly smudged. Lines replace words not readable. Misspellings are those of my grandfather. His poem Somewhere in France, found inside the diary, can be read on its own page.
Throughout this document I have placed photographs of the 107th Field Signal Bn; the 125th, 126th, 127th, 128th Infantry; and the 107th Engineers. Unless otherwise noted, these photos were in a packet given to Michael R. Scherr by our grandfather, author of this diary, and were taken by A. W. Scherr in his capacity as an official photographer with the 107th Field Signal Bn. Some photos were received from Joan Scherr, daughter-in-law of A. W. Scherr, and are the ones with A. W. Scherr appearing in them. If anyone recognizes the men in these photos and/or can identify the equipment in some of the photos, please get in touch with me. (Page may load slowly due large number of photos - please be patient, it's worth the wait.)
1607 8th Street
Mrs. Rose Scherr
Left for Camp Douglas
Left Camp Douglas for Texas
Arrived in Waco Texas 1 P.M.
Experienced first Texas Northener
Laid up with bum foot. Received horses today
Laid up with bum foot
Laid up with bum foot
Laid up with bum foot. Stayed in camp & wrote several letters
Picked my horse! Had bareback riding for about 2 hrs. in a.m. Won $3.50 on White Sox
Had Thanksgiving supper with the Stewarts in Waco and spent an enjoyable evening
Rumors galore that camp was to be quarantined prior to the departure of this division for "across"
Still a strong belief that camp is to be quarantined next week
Quarantine rumor has been dispelled
Had first intimation of a corporalcy. 2nd session of gas mask drill
What at first seemed an authentic, had it that this was day to leave Camp MacArthur for "across"
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Camp MacArthur - started to snow - regular blizzard - returned to camp found tent blown down barrack & squad bags packed ready to move tomorrow. Found my bunk and belongings in Pfeffer's tent.
MacArthur - 3 inches snow 10° at 8:00 A.M. - 18° at noon - ready to move at noon - delayed - pulled out at retreat - entrained at 8 P.M.
Enroute - awake at 8 A.M.
2 meals a day - wrote George - travelling slow - stopped at Tyler Tex for 15 min.
awake 8 o'clock - dreary day - Monroe, La. dry - feeling fine - had drink - left Shreveport at 8 a.m. - got a swig here from a Dr. and bought Jamaica ginger. 1/2 hrs.
Crossed Miss. River at ______ to Vicksburg 12:15 to 1:45 P.M. Porter woke us - ferried over in 2 secs.
Noon Jackson, Miss. - stopped at Meriden for an hour - good looking girls - crossed Tombigbee River 3:15 P.M. - also [Black] Warrior R - hit Birmingham at 9 P.M. - 107 Supply trn there.
arr Anniston at 9 A.M. - Alabama Power Co. looks like iron country - hilly country - winding railroad - stopped at Bremen, Ga. - red headed wife of hotel keep - thru Austell - hit Atlanta outskirts 9 P.M. - went to bed 10:30 P.M.
Woke up at Greenville, SC - 8 A.M. Passed several ______ - Spartanburg 30,000 people - hilly country - numerous rivers & 10 minute walk at Charleston. 2 hr. at Salisburg 6 p.m. - notified of corporalcy today.
Cold & snow covered ground very hilly & wonderful sun use - woke up at Calverton, Va. Hit Washington at noon - sightseeing - hit Philadelphia at 7 P.M. - donations by Red Cross. Hit Jersey City at 10 A.M. Hit bay at 11 P.M.
Were side-tracked during night - breakfast at 6 A.M. - snow and ice covered ground. Dumont is the burg - Camp Merritt is the place - comfortable barracks - had warm bath - snowing at 8 P.M. - finest YMCA bldg. yet.
Reveille at 6 A.M. - not doing anything.
Slept til 7:20 - breakfast - packed barrack bag at 8:30 A.M. at (and) carried same to baggage car at 3 P.M.
All ready to pull out again. Had hot shower bath - not doing much of anything. Bunk fatigue a favorite pastime - warmer _____. Slept with clothes on.
[Much of writing from the 22nd to the 26th is difficult to read - in pencil & very smudged]
Woke up at 8 a.m. -- marched to train at Cresskill[ ______ ______ Jersey City - ferried to point of embarkation - Boarded S.S. [actually R.M.S.] Baltic at 1 P.M. ______ floats British flag - 3rd class accommodations
|Drawing of Rigging profile of the R.M.S. Baltic (Yard Number 352), launched 21 November 1903, delivered June 1904 to Oceanic Steamship Navigation. Click on link to see drawing. Built by Harland and Wolff of Belfast Ireland (see links page)|
RMS Baltic -
photos courtesy of Henrik Ljungström at The Great Ocean Liners web
(see my links page).
Pulled away from Hoboken at 7 a.m. - _____ ______ E deck - and _____ ______ _____ _____ - fine weather - fire boat drill at 2:30 P.M. - boat ____ _____ ____ - carry life belt all the time _____ no lights - no smoking on deck after sundown.
Slept til 9 a.m. - rambled around deck for an hour - read - choppy sea - life boat drill at 2:30 P.M. - sighted freighter also cruiser - seagulls continue to follow us - an hour's walk on deck after dark
Reveille at 6 A.M. - pulled into Halifax before breakfast. Out on deck for ______ & drill 10 minutes - fog in harbor - sighted 1st boat flying stars & stripes - bright moonlight night -- on deck for 2 hrs. P.M. and 1 hr ________ on the deck.
Still in quiet waters - snowed -- had inspection in a.m. - boat drill 3 P.M. Major dished out apples and oranges - ________ taken off ship with measles - ____ in _______ ward with tonsillitis.
8 A.M. breakfast bacon & boiled eggs. Inspection of quarters every a.m. must be on deck during that time. Had chicken for dinner - pulled away at 2 P.M. - Recd. pkg of smokes from tobacco fund - wonderful ________ and half moon - walked deck for 1 hr. and 20 mins.
6:30 breakfast - high sea - walked onto deck - very cold - 2nd section went on guard 3:45 P.M.- _____ blown in rough seas - boats in distance _________ _________.
breakfast at 8:30 - sea is rougher this a.m. Out on deck during much a.m. quarters inspection - boat drill 3 P.M. - snowing - surprised that I am not seasick - one hour ramble on deck 9 to 10 P.M. Cloudy - see phosphorus on water.
breakfast 7:30 B fair sea - saw whale - exchanging of signals & maneuvering of boats - boat drill at 4:05 P.M. - much warmer - signed payroll this evening. Dowd (?) and Bartolini are well again. Sat on deck one hour - cloudy.
breakfast 6:30 - on deck for fresh air 7 to 8 A.M. - much warmer - are in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream. balking rough sea - Muster of the battalion at 2 P.M. - boat drill at 3:05. sea washing the decks of nearby boats - night partly cloudy - sat on deck for an hour 8 to 9 P.M.
Innumerable beliefs among the men on board that according to the Bible the war should come to an end during the month of February.
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breakfast 8:30 - ideal morning - ship rolling - inspection of quarters at 10 A.M. - on deck for 1/2 hrs. - boat drill at 3:10 - new formation of Co. at 3:30 - dished out more apples - music by [smudged] just before retreat - had salt water bath at 10 P.M. - on deck - splendid night.
breakfast 7:30 - weekly inspection on deck by the Major at 9:45 - posting of added guard for stairs, gangway, etc. - ordered to change to field shoes - now in Danger Zone - spring weather - Gill fought - Irving S. Cobb addressed non-coms - display of Northern lights.
awakened at 5:30 on account of being in Danger Zone and subject to attack at daybreak - eggs & bacon breakfast - quiet and mild day - no boat drill - fine afternoon - storm blew up after supper with rain.
up again at 5:30 - rough sea and gale blowing - now have escort of 7 destroyers - cloudy - no boat drill - fair evening.
up again at 5:30 - gale blowing - rough sea - no boat drill - 2nd section on guard - saw land at 5 P.M. - at 6:45 P.M. - an explosion or shot - likely a mine - conflicting rumors - happened in rear of our ship - no confusion as may be supposed - ordered to sleep dressed.
up at 5:30 - rumors that several ships went down during night - pulled into Liverpool at 9 A.M. - had good night's sleep despite last night's excitement - on board ship until 7 P.M. Boarded train for Winchester arr there 4:30 A.M. - hiked for 1-1/2 hrs. to barracks some bunks! not! fine landscape.
Slept until 11 A.M. - rain barracks no good - farmers doing work in fields, meals here no good, anxious to move on. Read in newspapers of the sinking of the Tuscania. about 150 lives lost.
Left camp in Winchester at 9:00 A.M. - entrained for Southhampton - at docks for 5 hrs. - pulled out at dark for Havre - very crowded on boat.
Landed Havre France 7:30 A.M. put up at Rest Camp - eat on meal tickets coming across English Channel. boat back of us had collision - hell of a place - slept on bunks constructed of galvanized iron strips - soldiers of all nations resting here.
up at 2:30 A.M. - arrived at depot 5:15 A.M. - box car accommodations - thru many tunnels and hilly country - wonderful scenery - civilians show effect of long war - 2 meals a day. coffee at midnight - I am cold trying to sleep - tied up in RR yards for 2 hrs. - had conversation with French soldiers who could speak German somewhat - passed many German prisoners during day.
Still travelling a la box car , 2 hrs. sleep last night - breakfast 10 A.M. - damp & cold - wonderful, quiet country. farmers ploughing and working land. eat twice a day - wonderful shaded country roadways - train ran alongside canal for a long distance - sun warmed things up a bit - fairly comfortable - expect to arrive at destination at 10 P.M.
arrived at Vaux suz Aubigny at 10:00 P.M. last night - pitch dark - Battalion was billeted with French people on arrival. Bed felt pretty good - only 5 hrs. sleep in 48. slept like a log - up in time for dinner - shaved & washed clothes in P.M. - was lucky to get my barracks bag. Major Lewis addressed Battalion on discipline & behavior - taps 9 P.M.
up at 6:30 A.M. - had workout in A.M. Pvt. Howard took a fit during night of the 11th and died night of the 12th in hospital - changed my rooming house - now billeted with 1st Sgt. Gill - Sgts Oas & Allen - much better place - French owners seem to be friendly & agreeable people. The meals are not what they might be - but due to the conditions they are overlooked.
Fell in for drill at 8:30 - Pvt Howard buried today at Dijohn 30 miles away - Pall bearers and firing squad from our Co. had French soldiers for escort. The village is being cleaned up, but everything is wet and damp. Have fireplace going all the time to dry out our billet. Learning a few word of French every day.
Fell in for drill at 8 a.m. - meals are not very satisfactory - bread once a day - hard tack at other meals, mostly soft hash - hiked about 5 [m. or hrs.]. Fine weather since we hit this place, bit cool at night - all of us always go out faggotting for about 2 hr. for firewood - No payday in sight yet.
Get up as usual at 6 a.m. - fell in at 8 a.m. for hike of 2 hrs. meals are not yet what they might be. Had a marathon run in the P.M. of the whole Co. - finished in about 40th place - 2 mile run Protroky finished first.
Slept until 7:30. Inspection at 10 a.m. by Gen. Boardman. Quarters were inspected and found not satisfactory - the 4 of us were threatened with being busted but Capt reconsidered and relieved Sgt. Gill by Sgt Hartson (?). Had first dinner today. Very gratifying.
Reveille at 6:30 - good breakfast - fell in for drill at 8 a.m. - dismissed until 9 a.m. - marched to Prauthoy to attend funeral of French officer - Sizer blew taps. No pay day in sight so Capt issued 10¢ in trade(?) at canteen. Had good dinner - very good bread reminds me very much of the bread that Egelkraut baked.
Reveille at 6:30 - invariably chase down to public wash place to take my morning facial plunge. Went on hike for 2 hours. Meals are being improved upon. Had phonograph "concert" at the Y.M.C.A. in the evening.
up with the roosters at 6 a.m. B always on the job for breakfast with a big appetite. Sounds like pay day in the immediate future.
up at usual - rained during night - hiked 2 hours in a.m. Co. was paid at 11:30 P.M. in French money. Stores were doing a great business. Had not been paid since Jan. 4th I received 137 1/2 francs.
Bought milk and eggs for breakfast - much celebrating of pay-day with the usual after affects - but I managed to abstain to a certain extent. Went out map drawing today and had a lecture on map reading - chilly weather. More celebrating by Pinkey and Si. both got zig-zag.
Eggs again for breakfast - the five of us started a mess fund of our own. each contributing 10 francs. Weather bad. roads sloppy. Washed clothes, and met a refugee woman who had run away from the Germans. had much to tell, could speak German quite well. Meals are again good. Hypnotist exh at the "Y."
Slept until 7 a.m. - built fire and started to shave before others arose - cleaned up for inspection at 10 a.m. Gen. Boardman came - complimented Capt Wheaton on the clean and shaven appearance of his men. Had chicken dinner prepared by Madame Duprey.
up as usual - had supper in restaurant last evening. fried potatoes & veal and beer. Slept yesterday P.M. in Prauthoy - rain today - drew the general layout of our section's billets. small party at 3 P.M.
Had interrupted sleep last four nights - probably due to too much eats. got up at first call - cleared up during night - chilly morning. fell in for hike at 9 a.m. had lecture by Leverson and took notes. Drew rough landscape in P.M. Wrote letter to Anita.
Slight drizzle - good breakfast with Duprey's fresh milk - Capt took us for a 2 hrs. hike - had lecture on switchboard wiring - Went out in P.M. to do more landscape sketching - Supper N.G. - went to restaurant and had 4 fried eggs, potatoes and bottle of beer - received 1st list of Tuscania casualties - wrote letter home.
Arthur W. Scherr, in center,
with friends (names unknown) somewhere in France
Rained all night - were mustered for payroll in rain - dismissed for the a.m. Had heliograph exam in P.M. - First mail from Anita - like a Xmas gift. Co. is to be disbanded is the rumor.
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Woke up with 1/2 inch of snow on the ground - very pretty sight - had lecture and oral exam on telephone trouble in a.m. - 2 hours hike in P.M. - Corps Pfeffer, Crull and Holtz leave on detached service.
More snow during night
cleared up during night - had inspection by Major at 10 a.m. - Capt addressed Co. on possibility of being split up and on continuing to be good soldiers - had late dinner - spent P.M. writing letter to Anita - spent evening at home with neighbor children - singing etc.
Started to snow again - went out to the hills visual signaling in snow storm - at 10 A.M. buzzer school - continued buzzer school in P.M. - Cablegram to Mother - Recd. 4 letters from Anita and one from Hep(?).... Anita's letter of Feb 8 tells me of Tuscania disaster.
Snowed again during night - drill call at 8 a.m. - in spite of inclement weather - projector was stopped on acct of heavy snow cont. to fall. A bag of delayed mail was rec'd - 15 letters for me. 36 men to leave most any day for front - been bothered with a cold and cough - first letters from Mother.
Stayed in bed until 11 a.m. - Madame Duprey brought in hot milk during a.m. - Read Mil. (Milwaukee, WI) papers, Mother's - Stayed quarters all day - cold breaking up - but cough continues to be a pest.
Felt better this a.m. took in buzzer classes and worked on projector both a.m. and p.m.
Fine morning - weather warming up - took in buzzer class and worked on projector in a.m. - In P.M. 4th Wis Band gave concert in village square. Took in the "Hole in the Wall" on hill near the Monastery.
A crisp but a fine morning took an hours hike and then worked on buzzer and ciphered code messages - P.M. washed clothes - Recd. letter from George and Anita - Fine weather - warm day.
Clocks were set an hour ahead this A.M. - had inspection of quarters by a Major fr. Div Headquarters. Fine day - warmed up considerable - Took sun bath all P.M. - had supper on hill near the Monastery. Mailed letter to Mother.
Woke up this a.m. with "Summer time" Spent 2 hrs. on the hills with projectors and heliograph - Boys of the Animal Train arrived A.M. after an absence from Company of 2 months - 1 week
Fine weather - Pay day today nuf ced - 166 francs
Fine weather - "Spring fever" had buzzer school in mess hall in a.m. and P.M.
More "spring fever" - hiked for 2 hours, then had buzzer school on up hill - fell asleep in P.M. while taking buzzer.
15 & 16 [No entry]
St. Patrick's Day. Woke up late - missed breakfast - had inspection by Capt Wheaton. Started to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at 10 a.m. and it lasted until 8:30 P.M. - first time zig-zag. Recd. cablegram from Mother.
Up at reveille - fine weather B hiked 1 1/2 hr - projector and buzzer each an hour both A.M. and P.M. First intimation that our section will leave for trenches within a month.
19 & 20 [No entry}
Fine morning. Our section, the 2nd filled up to regulation side with 1st section men and then were told we will leave for the front shortly. Anxious to go.
Warm morning - hiked for 2 hrs. then went up to the trenches. Strung wires and set up the heliograph. Had charge of telegraph in the first line trenches. Had practice charging the enemies trenches.
Fine morning - hiked to the canal about 2 hrs., then again went to the trenches until noon - still in charge of _____ in 1st line trenches - off duty in afternoon.
A real spring morning - the new Y.M.C.A. hut was dedicated. Music and speeches - Palm Sunday Very warm day - took hike up hill to the Monastery.
Arthur W. Scherr at a canal in France - 1918
Capt. Wheaton and Al Miller with 79 more men and 8 officers move to front to get trench training, will be back in 4 to 6 weeks.
Very cold - took a hike and buzzer work in the fields. Paris bombarded since Friday with long range guns. Judge Pollard spoke at the Y.M.C.A. this evening.
Still cold - Sick again this a.m. Had buzzer work and heliograph this a.m. - and heliograph in P.M. Very heavy fighting on the front - Germans having heavy losses.
Warming up again. Having a show down inspection - off duty in P.M.
Took hike to Meuse De John for 1/2 hr. - had buzzer class and heliograph.
Took hike to the canal for 2 hours. A lieutenant from the front, with us on detachment service for instruction gave a lecture B P.M. for washing clothes and cleaning up.
Easter Got up at 7:10 and shaving, had muster for pay at 9:30 P.M. Went to Catholic church at 10 a.m. The first time in 15 years. Rain today - disagreeable weather. Attending a talk given by a Mr. Sweet from Colo., on "A Man's Religion." Very interesting.
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Reported a [at] Co. Headquarters to help on service records. Still raining. First news that Lieut Ward had died.
Still raining - Again reported at Co. Headquarters. Took in buzzer school in the P.M.
Pay Day - 166 francs. Did not ____ a drink today. We all swore off gambling. Tried out the new blinker lamps. Big battle now going for a week.
Total 320 francs
Had rained at intervals. Reported to Capt O'Farrel to take a check on al the Battalion supplies. Had lecture at the Y.M.C.A. on the use of the gas mask. 4 of us ate 5 dozen eggs for supper.
Reported to Capt O'Farrell again.
6 Sat [No entry]
Inspection of billets on account of rain. Staid indoors almost entire day. Cooked ham & eggs for dinner.
8 Mon [No entry]
Left Vaux for the 1st Corps school via Prauthoy. Landed at Langre at 10 a.m. Left at 5 P.M. Arr. Neuchautian at 7:30 P.M. Slept at Y.M.C.A. hut.
Left Neuchatian 7 a.m. Arr. Gondecourt 10 a.m. Registered at the school and was assigned to barracks. Fine weather.
4 Sat [No entry]
Met Norman Herbst and other Battery A boys.
School started - on the go all the time work late at night until 9:40 P.M. - Lights out 10 P.M.
June 1918 [No entries at all for this month]
Packed up today to leave this front - expect to be put into the Big Jam. Left at 9 P.M. on hike to Relite Croix - arrived about 2 a.m. Billeted in large barn.
Spent the day loafing around and had band concert.
22 - 24
Again on hike in Morillars about 10 kilo to entrain. Had warm dinner - box car full - mans[?] at 3 P.M. Through Belfort Lure Visoul passed through Chaumont at 2 a.m. Riding through the Seine Valley - scenery very pretty and picturesque. Went through Paris at 6 P.M. Royal reception and wonderful demonstration by the people. Arrived at Verberie at 12 Mid-night - Finally bunked in some old shacks which we discovered later, were at one time a German Prison Camp. We are about 30 kilo from front and near Compregne.
The 2nd section is still attached to Hdq. Co. 127 Inf. Camping in woods near Verberie.
26 - 28
Ordered to pack up on short notice and hiked to 107 Fld by Bn Hdq - Rained pitchforks wet up to my knees. Changed underwear and make bunk on stone floor in church - had hot coffee before turning in. Boarded trucks at 8 a.m. hiked thru territory only recently captured from the Huns. Passed thru Villers Cotterets. Belleau Woods - village of Vaux battered to hell by our artillery - arrived Chateau Thierry at 4 P.M. Part of city destroyed - many beautiful homes demolished - Slept in Parlor of a French Captain's Home. Still billeted here - Germans on the run.
[Somewhere in France, poem found in this diary written by A. W. Scherr. Probably written about this time.]
29 Was sent out with the 2nd Detail picked and attached to our B Co. - Truck ride to Jaulgonne.
Moved up to Le Charmel never saw so many artillery guns massed as they were here.
Chateau & Div Hdq bombed this eve. also woods nearby and many were killed and wounded. Several gas alarms during night.
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126th in wheat field preparatory to advancing on wood occupied by Germans
Courmont, France, 1 August
Went out on truck to install watch board at Cierges - truck became stuck in mud - slept there - was pulled out at daybreak - Stringing lines into switchboard - awful stench.
Signal Bn. moved into town. This Cierges was the scene of a hard fight by our boys. Swarms of flies - many dead lying around.
Advance in face of German barrage. Fallen Doughboys of 64th Brigade in foreground
Hill near Cierges, Frances, 3 August
Still at Cierges and taking it easy.
5 - 8 [No entry]
Camouflaged "75" of the 119th Field Artillery near Fismes, France
107th Engineers waiting to cross the pontoon bridge over the
Vesle River, near Fismes, France
Packed up and moved on truck presumably for the front as a relief but was taken to Hdq. Co. 127 Inf. - once more camping in woods Vezilly near Cohan. Pitched pup tent.
Still in Vezilly woods.
Still in Vezilly woods. Air raid bombed the surrounding woods. had us guessing.
Had maneuver. Air raid started but were driven back by our anti-aircraft guns.
15 & 16 [No entry]
Still in Vezilly woods.
18 & 19 [No entry]
Another maneuver with officers only.
Wonderful clear moonlight nights - great inducement for the Boche planes to come over.
22 & 23 [No entry]
Left by truck train at 10:45 A.M. and arrived Cuisy La Motte 8 P.M. - slept in woods.
Spent a quiet day. Bombed by Fritz near us. Pitched pup tents.
Orders to pack up & move forward - hiked all night from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. - make bed on side of hill - all in. Sponged eats wherever we could.
Left hillside bed for old trench. French were bringing up convoys of tanks. following them in reserve.
Slept in the demolished trenches.
Resting - left this place at sundown for going into the lines in the A.M.
30 - 31
Arrived at 3 a.m. - slept til 4:20 a.m. roused out and assigned to 3rd Bn. Moved out accompanied by a terrific American Barrage - a wonderful sight at daybreak. Machine gun bullets singing and landing all around as well as Fritz shells.
surprised at my own Behavior. keeping myself well under control.
Advancing today. Major Beveridge wounded. Lieut. Anderson Bn. commander tried to extend telephone but was stopped by German Barrage at 5:30 P.M. and had to jump into shell holes. Sheehan shell shocked - crawled up a few hundred yds to trenches along RR track and slept there overnight. Many casualties.
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Moved forward at 5 a.m. this morning thru a big German harassing barrage for Juvigny. Spoke with Jimmy Hughes yesterday - heard the Boche got him.
107th Field Signal Bn re-stringing wires
after enemy shelling - 1 September
Doughboy on right is Pvt. Elmer G. Weller, C.G.
Photo by Arthur W. Scherr
Machine gun nests, where Germans made their most determined stand, captured by the 128th Infantry. Near Juvigny, France.
Advanced dressing station.
Soldiers placing a few extra touches to the graves of a doughboy just buried.
Near Juvigny. Sept 1st.
2 - 4
Moved forward the right of Juvigny to a sandbagged German dugout. Practically had charge of our signal men as Sergt Pepin failed to show initiative. Run across many things suitable for souvenirs but carting the junk around is hardly worth it. Relieved by Moroccans at about 5 a.m. although we did not pull back until later in the a.m. Back at the original cave and resting - rumors galore that after a few days we are to go back into the lines - nothing authentic.
Still resting in the valley on side of hill in a hole. Signed payroll.
Left 5 a.m. on hike back to Ciersy La Motte - no breakfast, no eats on hike which lasted until 1:30 P.M. Bombed again at night.
Resting in the woods.
Left on foot - stopped half way to railhead - pitched tents in woods.
Hiked to Arroy Glaines for entrainment. Through Paris and Norsy Le Sur.
Arrived at Rochecourt at 9 a.m. Picturesque place - good billets - enough thirst quenching liquid.
Enjoyed a good night's sleep after we put several of the thirsty to bed.
Hiked to Curel about 3 kilo for new billets. Heavy firing in the distance.
Taking it easy - good eats and some thirst quenching. Papers have it the St. Michel Sector has been straightened out by the Americans.
14 [No entry]
Doughboy of the 32nd Division
15 Daily routine
Daily routine - Chas. Bennet and I gave doughboys lectures and instructions on lamp signaling.
Taking it easy -- sleeping well on hay piles in a fair billet -- good weather. Talk of moving. Wagon train left today - presumably for front.
18 & 19 [No entry]
21 [No entry]
Moving day - Loaded onto trucks for the front once more - arrived at Loy Lois at 2 a.m. - billeting was balled up finally bunked in the woods - had been raining for about 2 hours.
|Arthur W. Scherr with "The Troops" in France. Arthur is standing on the step of the vehicle.||
Doughboys of the 127th
Resting in the woods. Camping in pup tents.
Barrage 3:30 P.M. to 7 a.m.
Left on foot for the front - after an all night hike pulled into an orchard after daybreak - slept for a few hours.
Again moved across country winding road etc. - took trails through woods and brush - tough hike - finally arrived at destination during rain - make bed without looking for supper.
Assigned by details to the battalions - again with the 3rd Bn.
Pulled forward again at night - poured all night - roads miserable - mud & water over our ankles - make bed in rain - a hell of a night.
clearing up - a bit chilly - building fires - toasted bread - orders to be ready to move.
Rumors that Bulgaria'd quit - we are looking for a general collapse of the "Mittle Europa"
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1 - 2
Taking it easy - we are billeting on a part of the famous battle fields of the Battle of Verdun in 1914 - Forests and ground all shot up - shell-hole on shell-hole - quite a bit of aeroplane activity.
Moved off at sundown to take up the front.
Hit the front this a.m. under a terrific counter barrage of the Germans. Our artillery and machine guns threw over a deafening barrage.
5 - 7
These were the days "in the lines" hard fighting all the time. It is during this session that the old 32nd Division met the Krenhilde line of trenches - "some" emplacements they had here - but the boys smashed through them. 127 Inf. captured town of Gesnes. 125 Inf. [captured town] of Romagne and other villages - much praise for this work.
This is an example of the deep,
fortified trenches facing the
Back in reserve about 1/2 kilometer - slept on wet ground.
Stay continuous in the lines Orders not to unroll packs
10 - 11
All Moved into the line again - Slept in wine cellar in Gesnes. Boche throwing our "box cars" into Gesnes. Got a doughboy a few yards from our cellar. Went with several men to string a line to proposed new P.C. Upon getting to "front line" Capt Schmidt sends runner calling us back - machine gun fire and "big uns" were making the job unpleasant.
Slept in cellar again over night. Sgt Hutson takes charge
On account of dysentery was left at switchboard in Gesnes
Moved over to left. Pretty weak. not eaten anything for 2 days.
15 - 16
miserable weather continual rains and ankle deep mud
16 - 18 [No entry]
German dugouts used as dressing station to the 64th Brigade P.C. Near Epionville, Meuse, France, 18 October
Being relieved this evening
Pulled back this a.m. to the woods where we came from. It sure was some session and the hardest hitch on the lines
Resting and camping in the woods
22 - 25 [No entry]
127th Infantry going into reserve after 20 days in the lines, near Mount-Faucon, Meuse, France, 22 October
Enjoyed a "decooterizing" bath and a complete change of clothing - feels fine to be without the cooties.
Had occasion and the good luck to go to Soiully to attend maneuvers at an aviation camp. It took us 3 hours to ride on trucks.
Had an easy time in the a.m. Put in 2 hrs maneuver in P.M. with aeroplanes
Had occasion to meet two American women, Y.M. workers and who were originally with 32nd Div Hdq at Prauthoy and ____ sure ___ in soft here
Continue on maneuvers and general inspection of aeroplanes and hangars and had talk with the aviators
Started back to our organizations - got back at noon
armistice and peace with Turkey - Germany about all in
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Enjoying fair weather.
Sargency takes effect today.
2 [No entry]
Raining today. Ordered to pack at 2 a.m. moved forward thru country around Gesnes and Romagne. On the alert to move at anytime.
4 [No entry]
5 & 6
Advised to be packed up ready to move - starts to rain - pulled out at 8 P.M. - make short hike in rain until midnight - billeted in German barracks which are more or less shot up. We learn that Germans are retreating and contact with the enemy has been temporarily lost at some places.
Rumor that Austria will sign armistice
8 - 10
Had eighteen men under me in detail assigned to 3rd Bn. Am personally in charge. Left our shack at 3 a.m. "Call to arms" hiked to Breuilles. Billeted in town. Stayed during day. And while we were getting ready for supper, Call to Arms at 3:14 P.M. Packed up and hiked from 4: P.M. to 1:30 A.M. - all in - over the top at 6 a.m. Unpacked, sleep and woke up 5:30 with frost all over us and the surrounding fields - first taste of what winter would be. Went out in column formation - troops had little resistance - 3rd Bn. Hdq had hard luck.
The eleventh hour, the eleventh day of the eleventh month - Armistice signed and all firing has ceased. Bunked in a German barracks. Armistice supper served ala Banquet - had a fine evening
Still here in the brick factory. Very quiet all along the front which seems queer.
Same place - done linework today and moved to Boche barracks - Learned today that we are picked to march to the Rhine - also to wear Red arrow as Div insignia
Resting nothing doing - chilly weather - we had comfortable fire in our barrack
Resting - Pretty well fixed getting good grub - many French & Italians drifting back from the German lines having been released by the Huns. They walked many miles and our kitchens fed a large number.
Up at 5 a.m. started on March to the Rhine - Crossed No Man's Land with band playing - Hiked about 15 kilo - Headed for Luxembourg - Camped in woods near Longivy.
Up again at 5 a.m. March away at 5:45 - Hiked about 25 kilo and arrived at destination after 1 P.M. a bit tired! Germans pulled through the day before.
19 We rested today
Up at 5 a.m. - pulled through Longivy at 9 a.m. Quite a naturally located city in ravine. passed through many cities rec'd welcome all along
21 - 23 [No entry]
Up again at 5 a.m. on March at 7 a.m. - reached Momspach at 2:20 - billeted in barns.
Taking things easy - Having a time getting up the grub
Moved to a different billet. Milk a franc a pint - eggs 15 marks a doz. and butter 15 marks a pound. Things are scant & expensive. Strung a 3 kilo line today
Seventy men out making line more permanent - missed inspection
Thanksgiving - Had a cleaning of mess kits this a.m. Had beef dinner - started out a fine day - later drizzle
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Up at 3 a.m. - Bn started at 5 a.m. Sig. detail stayed to salvage wine (?) - Crossed into Germany by ferry. Hit Butzwalem [?] at 3:30 P.M. Welcomed with open arms - slept in kitchen with fire had supper with people.
125th Infantry crossing the International Bridge from Echternach, Luxembourg to Echternach-Buck, Germany
32nd Division has the honor of being
1st American troops on German soil.
125th Infantry, Michelbach, Alsace, Germany
"322nd Field Artillery passing through Schons, Germany, on its way to the Rhine. It was a hard and long grind on the horses pulling those heavy guns up the long, steep hills day after day and many of the troops hiked with packs. Dec 1st." This is the caption on the photo, which is difficult to read
Up at 4:30 away at 6 a.m. arr at Heidirler [?] at 1 P.M. - a bit fagged out. Billeted with German Priest who is Pro-German - have had numerous war arguments with him
Rested with the Priest and had repeated arguments with him again - He is very radical and has no faith in the coming peace conference. Bought some fine jam off his sister -
Still here at the Priest's home - he is not as inquisitive today -
Arrived at Grosslitlgen [?]. Left Heidmeiler [?] at 7 a.m. - made quite a hike today - Fair sized village slept in feather bed - had 3 glass of beer the first in 3 months
Arrived at Daun - Left Grosslitlgen on an all day hike pulled into Daun at 5 P.M. - Printey, Oas, Darling and myself put up at Hotel Schramm - had meat supper - also wine with it - encore boucou wine & champagne at midnight
Arrived at Aefla - left Daun at 7:15 and hiked 6 hours and billeted with four people - had nice warm kitchen to sleep in - so far the German people are very courteous and are treating us fine - better than we expected.
Band of 107th Engineers entering Mayen, Germany
125th Supply Train entering Mayen
Band of the 126th Infantry
entering Mayen, on the way to the Rhine
Troops of the 126th Infantry at rest on the road to the Rhine near Kilberg, Germany
Arrived at Kehring - Left Aefla at 7:30 and hit this place and had a regular home fire with the people - she put up lunch for us in [smudged] and then had supper - also breakfast
Arrived at Trimbs - was a short hike - stayed with a family fairly well fixed - the old man was a jolly old codger had a gallon bowl of potato salad given to us
Arrived at Bassenheim - had a room for ourselves , had chicken prepared - 3 chickens for 4 of us - on the march today we were called for having our overcoats partly unbuttoned and unhooked - was a 14 kilo hike
arrived at Bahnhof-Urmitz about one hour from Coblence - had fine bed quarters - clean & neat old lady - had chicken supper - some feed - her niece was very sarcastic
Had a fine sleep last night in feather bed - had supper with the old lady again - mashed potatoes and sauerkraut - had potato pancake at Sam's home
Woke up late - 6 a.m. troops were moving past - got out in 10 minutes hiked 36 kilometers, rained all day, miserable here, cold, wet, fatigued. reached Herschbach about 2:30 P.M. Made a regular home here
This place is hard to take feather beds - fine stove - big parlor downstairs with bedroom upstairs - Bud - Pink - Fred - myself
Sunday - Rumors that we pull out for another village
16 [No entry]
Moved to Selters - distance of about 5 kilometers. Have a good room with electric light & stove
18 & 19 [No entry]
Changed lodging to the Heinstube and have a fine room with electric light & stove
21 - 23 [No entry]
Went and chopped down our Xmas tree and decorated it - also went to next village and bought 7 chickens
Christmas Day - Started the sergeants mess this a.m. - had chicken dinner with the folks. Snowed during night ideal Xmas day
January & February 1919 [No entries]
107th Field Signal Battalion, 32nd Division
Front Row, left to right:
Capt. Crandall; Capt. Reeves
Maj. W. M. Lewis, C.C.
1st Lieuts. Greene, Moore; Schrepper
Borthwick; Kendrick; 2nd Lieut. Safford
2nd Lieut. Allen; 1st Lieut. Kehoe;
1st Lieut. Quinn
Rhenish Prussia, Germany 2-4-19
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Left the Headquarters Co. 127th Regiment at Goddert for our Company at Rengsdorf
Went on furlough to Aux-les-Mains France
Left Aux-les-Mains at 8:20 P.M. to return to Company
6 [No entry]
Arrived at Coblenz at 1:30 a.m. slept in barracks and at 8 a.m. started for Rengsdorf
Received first letter from Geo, home since the 20th of Dec and was somewhat relieved about Mother's condition
Was among those selected to represent C Co. at the decorating of our colors at Durdorf. Rained all day - muddy field
Had company picture taken at Rengsdorf Germany
Detachment of the
15 - 17 [No entry]
Spring weather again after a week's rain - Good Friday
Had "departure inspection" today of packs and billet. Stood "retreat" for last time in Germany
Easter Sunday in Germany. Last reveille in Germany. Left Rengsdorf at 2 P.M. via trucks to Engers. Entrained and started away at 6 P.M.
21 & 22 [No entry]
We arrived at Brest about 7 P.M. had supper at tracks. Hiked hills to Camp Pontanezen arrived there about 10 P.M. In tents, iron cots, mattresses, with 2 extra blankets. Camp has scandalous reputation for conditions etc.
Reveille at 6 a.m. Showdown inspection
Had a "one minute bath" unrolled & rolled packs for inspection "toot sweet" - our stay scheduled for only a few days. Met Norm & Marv Hutsl today. Ray Gottshalke surprised me with visit.
Another day completed. Have not done a thing all day. "Boo-Koo" sleep. after tomorrow's inspection, customary to pull out
Raining to beat the blazes. Had pack inspection in spite of it. Nothing to do but sleep, eat and read. Getting good and boo-koo eats here, one consoling thing about staying here
Raining again. No sign as yet of getting out of here. Italy asks to have Fiume. Italy's withdrawal from peace conference, starts various rumors
Sleep, eat and read. Killing time around camp, visiting Y, movies etc.
No sign as yet of moving
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Had another bath today. Change of underwear
Spent part of a.m. at the library & P.M. at Y at movies
Spent morning in camp. Rumor that transport struck a mine. Rumored that we leave Sunday or Monday. Ordered not to leave camp for more than an hour at a time. Met Bill Roessler 33rd Div.
Spent part of P.M. at the "Y." Subject was "Was it worth the while over here" Unanimous yell "that it was."
Eve. band concert at auditorium also song service
Spent 1/2 hour at sitting up exercise in a.m. Had temperature tests in P.M. also read "The Hope Chest" by Mark Lee Luther. Definite that we embark tomorrow. Baggage detail after this noon
Cleaned camp. Dinner at 11 a.m. Left camp 2 P.M. Warm hike to wharves. Taken out on tug to Battleship Rhode Island. Nearly all men assigned to hammocks
USS Rhode Island
Pulled out of Brest Harbor at 3 P.M. Battleship Virginia steaming ahead of us. Passed inspection in harbor. Denim uniforms issued us.
Up at 5:30 a.m. Had 20 minute sitting up exercise a.m. & P.M. The eats are very good. Cloudy weather very calm sea
Up at 5:30 a.m. - on deck before breakfast - sea smooth as glass - sunshine all day - the sailors say its wonderful weather. Passed sailboat on the starboard horizon & a liner on port side
Up again at 5:30 a.m. on deck before breakfast - started to weather about midnight - the "Bounding main true to life." Also a "howling success in the rigging." Many are feeding the fish. 782 miles in last 3 days
Up at reveille 6 a.m. on deck as usual - slept part of a.m. "Taking the big ones on high." Took snapshots as they came over the bow. Ran into several gales. Three weeks since we left the Rhine. Made 200 miles in last 24 hours.
Up at reveille - still blowing and riding them. The Mt. Vernon passes us on port side. Rolling this P.M. 172
My birthday today - sea calmed down a bit this P.M. Made 195 miles in last 24 hrs.
Seven days today at 3 P.M. Better than half way. Boston by the 20th. The head on wind continues. Made 235 miles in last 24 hrs.
The sea calmed down during night , quite a relief. Very comfortable weather. Passed freighter on starboard side. The ship is 13 years old today. Chief Radio man's 13th trip across. Made 263 miles in last 24 hrs.
Still continues a calm sea. Sighted a whale close by.
Sighted freighter on horizon - our course and its merged together - fell to the rear of it - 275 miles
For this A.M. quiet sea - Sent telegram to Mother and Anita also letter. 318 miles
Landed at 10 a.m. Pulled into Boston amid great demonstrations, committees, etc. Boarded train and rode to Camp Devens. Went thru the delouser
Had Bn. & Co. picture taken A. M. Left Camp Devens at 1 P.M. and pulled away at 3 P.M. Recd telegram from George. Travelled thru Mass, Vermont & New York
21 W [No entry]
Arrive Camp Grant 7 a.m. Had physical inspection and had service records brought down to date, signed payroll, etc. Recd long distance call from Aunt Emma
Arthur William Scherr
Photo found tucked inside diary
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[The following hand-written at back of diary]
Sentinels General Orders (1914)
My general orders are:
1. To take charge of this post and all gov't property in view.
2. To walk my post in military manner. Keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4. To report all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey and pass onto the sentinel who relieves me all orders from the commanding officers, officer of the day and officers and non-commissioned officers of the guards only.
7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
8. In case of fire or disorder to give the alarm.
9. To allow no one to commit a nuisance on or near my post.
10. In any case not covered by instructions to call the officer of the guard.
11. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
12. To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging. To challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
Additional for Sentinel at the post of the guard.
1. Between reveille and retreat to turn out the guard for all persons designated by the commanding officer, for al colors or standards not cased and in time of war for al armed parties of approaching my post, except those at drill and relief and detachments of the guard.
2. At night after challenging any person or party to advance no one but call the corporal of the guard repeating the answer to the challenge.
P. 185 Manuel of internal guard duty.
When the flag
is being lowered at retreat a sentinel on post and in view of the flag will
face the flag and at the first notes of the Star Spangled Banner or to the
colors will come to a "present arms" at the sounding of the last note he
will resume walking his post.
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Wig Wag Code
Wig Wag Code
Intervals and Electricity
Electricity in Motion
Metallic Line continued
and Switch Cable
Be careful of
List of Names
Abandon Ship Bill
Pass to visit Coblenz
January 17th, 1919
Army in the Great War
This is an excellent site - worth visiting
A very fine WW1 site called The Unfortunate Region
Part of site dedicated to the U-Boats of WW II. This page is to dedicated to the saving and preservation of U-995.
Background music is Over There by Irving M.
Please email me if you wish copies of any of the
photographs on this page.
I would be more than happy to send them to you.
Links of Interest
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