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come up the night before over almost impassable terrain and had taken up its position with such
order that the enemy in front had been entirely deceived.  The attack was launched at 9:30
o’clock, and throughout the day the battle was waged.  Keyed to a pitch of zeal which refused to
recognize fatigue or the destructiveness at concentrated machine gun fire and high explosives
bursting among them the battalions fought from strong point to strong point until at 4 o’clock
that afternoon a position on a line from Camp de la Scource on the left to Hill 319.2, north of
Norroy, on the right, had been occupied.  Camp de Norroy was entirely in the possession of the
regiment and the town of Norroy itself had been swept clear of the Germans by men of Company
I and gun crews from Company D of the 345th machine gun battalion, which had followed
Major Allen’s troops forward by bounds.  The town was not occupied, however, because it lay
with an another division’s sector and because it was the center of a heavy concentration of
enemy gas. 
The Bois le Pretre had been cleared, although at a considerable loss of life and many
lesser casualties. 
The new line of resistance was raked incessantly by combined minenwerfer and machine
gun fire, with 88's and heavier pieces alternating their fire on the front and support lines, but the
work of reversing the trenches and generally improving positions was never halted.  The
expected counter attack was prevented by the aggressiveness and determination of the troops to
hold the ground won at such a cost.  Every move on the part of the enemy was anticipated and a
number of enemy batteries were located by observers, reported and quickly put out of action by
the supporting artillery.  Large stores of German supplies and ammunition had been captured, as
well as several machine guns. 
It was this exploit which astonished the higher commanders in the division and brought
forth an avalanche of commendation after they had personally visited the scene and visualized
the obstacles in the path of the advance.  In a letter to the commander in chief of the American
Expeditionary Forces.  General McAlexander declared, in part:
“Colonel H. C. Price … has the equal of any regiment in the A. E. F. in morale, in
harmony and efficiency. …  In the St. Mihiel salient action of September 12, 1918, his regiment
gained its objective ahead of schedule time.  The army objective did not include the notorious
Bois le Pretre, owing, as I am informed to a report mode by the French – in fact, by Marshal
Petain – that the wood was regarded as invulnerable.  … On the morning of September 13
Colonel Price went into the Bois le Pretre, and before the day was over had cleared it of the
enemy, who had held it for four years.  The fighting in this wood had in four years cost the
French one hundred and twenty-three thousand casualties, of whom eighteen thousand were
killed.  It was only through the energy and splendid leadership of Colonel H. C. Price that the
capture of this wood was made possible.”
With characteristic fairness Colonel Price does not permit the assumption that the
German resistance was as strong at the time of the capture of the wood as it had been when the
French assaulted in vain.  In an official report he declares:
“It is not intended to convey the idea that the defense encountered at the time the 360th
Infantry attacked the Bois le Pretre is comparable to that shown by the Germans against the
French in previous engagements and attacks.  But, nevertheless, the fact remains that the 360th
Infantry attacked in a maze of woods, barbed wire, trenches and shell torn area and cleared the
Bois le Pretre of an enemy who had held it so long and so well.”
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