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THE greatest advance on September 13 was made by the 360th Infantry, which enveloped practically the
entire Bois-le-Pretre and inscribed the name “Norroy Quarries” on the roll of brilliant achievements of
the Texas Brigade.
The notorious Bois-le-Pretre had been the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.  In
1915 the French attacked with violence, with hopes of getting through the woods and working down the
ravines toward the Moselle.  The battle continued for months, and gains were measured in terms of
yards.  Later the Germans counter-attacked and wrested away all that had been won from them.  The
French are reported to have lost 123,000 men of whom 18,000 were killed, in this area.  When all
advance ceased in 1915, the opposing trenches were so close together that a sound above a whisper
could be heard by the enemy.  Gradually the contending forces pulled their outposts back, leaving
trenches in No Man’s Land.
In drawing the plans for the St. Mihiel operation, the Norroy Quarries had been particularly
feared.  They were not included in the objectives of the attack, but were left to be dealt with by
exploitation.  However, on September 12 they were the objects of special consideration on the part of
the heavy artillery in order to prepare the way for subsequent operations.  Gas troops had also been
provided, who promised to drive the garrisons from their defenses.  But subsequent investigation
showed that the artillery had been unable to make an impression on the German defenses, which
included mined dugouts forty feet deep.  Furthermore, the gassing program fell through on account of
the fact that the first projector touched off blew up, killing the lieutenant in charge and many of his men.
Receiving permission the night of September 12 to exploit, General McAlexander organized an
operation the purpose of which was to seize all the high ground south of Trey valley.  The brigade was
given the direct support of a battalion of howitzers, in addition to the light regiment covering the brigade
front.  The 360th Infantry was selected to make the attack.
Colonel Price pinched off this formidable spot neatly.  During the night of the 12th, the 2d
Battalion, commanded by Major Charles F. Kerr, which had been released from division reserve, passed
through the 1st, and took up a position in the Bois-le-Pretre along the Route de Bois Communaux.  At 7
A. M. this battalion advanced northeast, simultaneously with the movement of the 3d Battalion due
north.  Their progress was strongly opposed by the enemy, who, protected in concrete pill-boxes, had
not been affected by the artillery preparation.  But, overcoming machine gun resistance, and ignoring the
bursting of high explosives, the two battalions occupied and thoroughly mopped up the quarries by 5 P.
M.  Patrols from the 3d Battalion found the town of Norroy unoccupied.  An outpost was established on
a high point of land known as the Croix des Vandieres, although it was in the sector of 82d Division,
which had not advanced.
Large quantities of stores, especially medical supplies and machine gun parts and ammunition,
were captured.  Among the spoils were minenwerfer, gas projectors, grenades, telephone repair kits,
signal outfits, and German rations and equipment.  The German dugouts, which had been abandoned in
haste, provided the victorious Americans the most comfortable quarters they had enjoyed for many a
day.  There were recreation rooms with pianos and talking-machines intact; handsomely furnished
dining-rooms with beautiful serving sets; and offices equipped with every convenience.
During the day, September 13, the 3d Battalion sent out patrols into the Bois- le-Presle, and at
night moved forward to occupy the Tranchée de la Combe.  The 2d Battalion was later moved forward
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