organize where they stood and awaited the next days attack, determined to attach themselves to
the leading elements.
Hill 327was in the hands of the third but tie and that the intrepidity of the man who
pushed on that far must in no way detract from that creditable manner in which the first battalion
endured the hardships of reaching the jumping off place and then dashed forward in the face of
withering fire. The goal was a long line and only a small portion had been occupied. Only a part
of the way was the advance cleared. The battalion was called from a support position in the Bois
le Pretre at 9 oclock on the night of September 14. Under heavy tax and at times wearing gas
masks, for the area was being subjected to a constant bombardment of I explosive and gas shells,
these gallant lads marched until daybreak when they were halted two kilometers from their goal,
under the last vestige of shelter until the Bois de Chenaux should be penetrated. At 8:30 oclock
bayonets were fixed, packs were shouldered and the four companies deployed for combat. These
preparations elicited a terrific barrage from the heavy guns in rear of the German lines and
annihilating machine gun fire from the trenches to the northeast of Villers-sous- Preny, from
trenches south of Vandieres and from other higher points, but once started, the brown line never
wavered, although time gleaming line of bayonets was thinned down one third within two hours,
the battalion forded a small tributary to the Moselle River in the face of this demoralizing fire,
staggered down hillsides when the concentration of the big guns was so great that the green grass
was set ablaze, but spurred on at the sight of splendid courage displayed by men like Corporal
Grimes and his squad of B company no halt was made until the new line was reached and
occupied at 9:50 oclock and a heavy toll in prisoners, machine guns and stores captured.
Instances of personal valor had been numerous. Corporal Grimes entire combat group
was knocked down by a high explosive shell, but it lost only a second before resuming the
advance. Another shell fell in Sergeant Allens platoon of the same company and wiped out an
entire combat group. Collectedly the sergeant went at work reorganizing the remnants of his
command. He was killed in a few minutes after he had started to push forward again at the head
of his men. To the men of Company A goes the credit for first reaching the first battalions goal.
Company D had cleared the Bois de Chenaux with wonderful dispatch and gallantry.
But the new line was no sinecure. The patrols which the first battalion speedily pushed
out to the front when the objective was reached were having plenty of fighting. Cries of
wounded men filtered back to the part of the line held by Company C, and Second Lieutenant G.
A. Shuman left his shelter to aid them, although it meant crossing yards and yards of heavily
shelled area. For his actions in the face of this fire, when the dressed one mans wounds and
carried another back to within his own lines, Lieutenant Shuman was decorated with the
Distinguished Service Cross and afterward with the Croix de Guerre.
Meanwhile it was necessary to reinforce the first battalion, for its losses made it
necessary to hold the line with few men. Each company in the second and third battalions sent
forward a platoon. The reinforcements had to cross a little valley within sight of enemy
observers to reach their positions and it was a perilous task. Here Private Rudolph Negrete of
Company F distinguished himself by acting as guide to the reinforcing platoons and company
runner. He crossed the valley many times that day and the following night. And Sergeant
Mullins refused to go back although he was wounded in the head by shrapnel almost the first
moment he started forward with the platoon from Company I. For his bravery in leading his men
across this spot Sergeant James E. Lambert of Company F was recommended for a decoration by