THE policy of the 1st Army during this offensive was to use every division to its maximum capacity.  The number of combatant divisions was limited, and the United States army had been given a task, the achieving of which virtually meant the defeat of the German armies on the Western front.  All the Allies were putting in every ounce of energy at this time in the hope of ending the war before winter.  Hence it was necessary that the division, which is the principal unit of combat, should so conserve its force as to be able to carry on a long sustained operation under trying circumstances.  With this in view, the policy was followed of designating one brigade as an attacking brigade and the other brigade as the reserve brigade.  The attacking brigade was thus replaced by the reserve one when heavy casualties and utter exhaustion made it absolutely necessary that the former be withdrawn for rest and replacements.


            So when the 90th Division went into the line of the Meuse-Argonne front, the night of October 21-22, the 179th Brigade relieved the 10th Brigade of the 5th Division (the 357th took over from the 6th Infantry, and the 358th from the 11th Infantry) , and the 180th Brigade moved up from Jouy and Rampont to the Bois de Cuisy.  The 155th Field Artillery Brigade (80th Division), which was already in the sector, was attached to the Division.


            The artillery fire was very severe the night of the relief, and not all of the machine guns had been cleared out of Clairs ChLne woods.  Lieutenant Thomas R. Ridley, Company L, 358th Infantry, was killed the morning of October 22 by high explosive in the Bois des Rappes.


            Where the 5th Division had left off the 90th Division took up the task of developing the Freya Stellung and establishing a good jump-off position for the next general attack, which came on November 1.


            The front line, as taken over on October 21, ran as follows: The 357th Infantry connected with the 89th Division on the northern outskirts of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, and held a line extending over the ridge northwest of the town to the Bois de la Pultiere, whence the 358th Infantry extended the line around the western and northern edges of the Bois des Rappes to the northeastern corner of the woods, there making connection with the 3d Division.  The 89th Division remained on our left until the armistice.  The 3d Division was relieved on the night of October 26-27 by the 5th Division, which retained thereafter the position on our right.


            Thus it will be seen that the Germans held a pocket between the Bois des Rappes and Bois de Bantheville, in which were included the towns of Bantheville and Bourrut.  The first mission of the 90th Division was to straighten out the line by cutting off this pocket.


             About nine o’clock on the night of October 22, a long message in code was received at P. C. O’Neil – a deep German dugout at Madeleine Farm – which message, when translated into every-day language, was an order to advance the line on the following day to include the towns of Bantheville and Bourrut and also the ridge to the northwest of Bourrut, known as Hill 270.






View of village of Bantheville, showing the results of heavy shelling,

first by American artillery and later by the Germans.







THE mission assigned the 179th Brigade was achieved by the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 357th Infantry.  To the 1st Battalion was assigned the principal role.  The commanding officer, Major Aubrey G. Alexander, received his orders at the brigade P. C. after midnight of October 22-23, and rushed back to his own P. C. to move his battalion under cover of darkness to their jumping-off place in the Bois de Chauvignon, a kilometer and a half southwest of Bantheville, in the sector of the 89th Division.  By starting from this position it was hoped to avoid the losses which a long advance across the open north of Romagne would naturally involve.  From this position the 1st Battalion was to advance, first due north, cleaning out the sunken roads which ran into Bantheville from the west, and also the enemy machine gunners who were still believed to be lurking in the Bois de Bantheville.  Having reached the sunken road, Company D was to veer to the right, mopping up Bantheville, then turning again to the left to take Hill 270 in flank.  The 3d Battalion was to jump off from its trenches and advance north, taking Bourrut and connecting with the 3d Battalion of the 358th Infantry.


            The affair started at 3 P. M., after thirty minutes’ artillery bombardment of Bantheville and Bourrut.  Bantheville was soon taken, together with a machine gun and the crew left to delay the American advance.  But on leaving the town, Company D was forced to pass through a heavy barrage.  Undaunted, they made their way through the curtain of fire, turned aside to clean up some machine gun nests in Bourrut which were holding up the 3d Battalion, and reached the objective.  Captain Beauford H. Jester had been badly gassed during the attack, but remained with the company.


            The total casualties from this affair were only about twenty.  The 3d Battalion suffered the heaviest.  Captain Harry E. Windebank was killed by shell fire: Lieutenant C. W. Paine, Company I, was knocked down and slightly injured by high explosive; and Lieutenant E. C. Martin, Company I, was saved only by his helmet, a fragment piercing the steel and entering his head.


            The regimental 37-mm, platoon was able to render valuable assistance in this attack by firing on machine gun emplacements.  The trench mortar platoon followed up the infantry, and remained to consolidate the position.  Its commanding officer, Lieutenant Robert C. Murphy, was wounded by high explosive on October 26 and died two days later.


            Lieutenant Albert Garther, Company A, who had joined the regiment at Bois de Sivry, was killed by a machine gun bullet.  He had received his commission at an Officers’ Training School in France.


            The success of the 179th Brigade in establishing its position, and in sticking to it without a single man wavering or yielding an inch (this success coming at a period of the operations of the 1st Army when straggling had become a curse), won the highest commendation of the higher commanders.  The commanding general of the army sent the following congratulations:


            “The army commander directs that you convey to the commanding general, officers, and men of the 90th Division his appreciation of their persistent and successful efforts in improving the line by driving the enemy from the Grand Carré Farm and the Bois de Bantheville.

                                                                                                                       (Signed) H. A. DRUM.”



            To this message the commanding general of the 3d Army Corps added the following:


            “The difficulties under which the 3d Corps has labored to improve its position have been numerous and great, and the part the 90th Division took in establishing the present advantageous position of this corps is deeply appreciated by the corps commander, and he adds his congratulations to those of the commanding general of the army for the vigorous and untiring efforts of the personnel thereof, whose resolution and fortitude are worthy of the best traditions of the American.

                                                                                                                         (Signed) J. L. HINES.”


            That night word came down from corps headquarters that intelligence reports pointed to an enemy withdrawal for ten miles opposite our front, and orders were given to gain and keep active contact with the enemy.  Patrols from the 357th Infantry soon gained contact of the liveliest sort and were forced to retire to our lines.  Lieutenant Bateman of Company I was taken prisoner.  Two companies of the 3d Battalion, 358th Infantry, succeeded in crossing the Andon brook before being halted by machine gun fire along the Aincreville-Bantheville road.  Major Terry D. Allen, commanding the 3d Battalion, was cited in a division order for his coolness and bravery in this action.


            At 11 o’clock on October 24, following an artillery preparation, a further attack was made to mop up positions from which the enemy continued to harass us.  The result was that the top of Hill 270 was established as No Man’s Land.  During the brief struggle the 1st Battalion alone took forty-one prisoners and six machine guns.  But the 1st Battalion also suffered heavy losses, particularly in the fighting around Grand Carré Farm.  Companies E, G, and H, 2nd Battalion, which had been sent up to reinforce the 1st Battalion, also participated in the successes and losses.  Lieutenant Henry C. DeGrummond, Company K, and Lieutenant Edmund K. Whitaker, Machine Gun Company, 357th Infantry, received machine gun wounds.  Lieutenant Whitaker was wounded while making a reconnaissance for his guns to protect the 1st Battalion’s right flank.  Corporal Charles F. Chaffin continued his work and carried out his orders.  Lieutenant DeGrummond was wounded before the advance got under way.


            The Germans retaliated during the afternoon with a mustard gas concentration.  Captain William F. Cooper, commanding the 3d Battalion; Lieutenant Ed. McCoy, his adjutant; and Captain Joseph M. Simpson, 357th Machine Gun Company, were evacuated.  Lieutenant W. B. Johnson, regimental intelligence officer, took command of the battalion for a day, until relieved by Captain John Hopkins, Headquarters Company.




            During the day of October 25 occurred an incident both dramatic and amusing in its appeal to the human emotions.  Aniello Spamanato, an Italian who had been drafted and was now a private in Company L, 357th Infantry, found himself, with three other soldiers, on outpost duty just north of  Bourrut.  Their position was being harassed by a machine gun manned by six Germans.  After killing one German with a rifle shot, Spamanato suggested to his comrades that they go after the machine gun.  The others being unwilling, the little Italian started out alone.  He killed two of the Germans and captured the remaining three, whom he forced to carry the gun back to our lines.  He was allowed to conduct his prisoners back to division headquarters, and there, in broken English, Spamanato explained what he had done.  For this exploit he was awarded the D. S. C.




THE following days were severe and trying.  About 5:30 P. M., October 25, the Germans made an attempt to regain their lost ground.  Following a terrific preparation lasting about forty minutes, enemy infantry made a rush for the top of the hill opposite Company D, 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry.  The counter-attack was stopped by rifle and machine gun fire.  The 357th Machine Gun Company, which had played its part in taking these positions, rendered very great service by holding them and continually harassing the opposing forces.


            The official communiqué for October 26 read: “On the Verdun front, yesterday evening, the enemy extended to the west side of the Meuse his efforts to wrest from our troops the gains of the preceding days.  In the region of Bantheville, after artillery preparation lasting half an hour, he attacked our positions between the Bois des Rappes and the Bois de Bantheville.  After sharp fighting he was repulsed with heavy losses, our line remaining everywhere unchanged.”


            On the afternoon of October 26 the second counter-attack was delivered.  This was noted in the official communiqué of October 27 as follows: “North of Verdun the enemy renewed without success his attempts to regain the ground lost in recent fighting.  Yesterday evening an attack launched with strong forces against our positions between Bantheville and the Bois des Rappes broke down under our artillery fire before reaching our lines.” A modest notice, but full of suggestion!  It is safe to assume that no Texan or Oklahoman, on reading the communiqué for October 27, realized that lives of loved ones had been in the balance, but that the danger “broke down.”  So close was the fighting that hand-grenades were used.


            For a week the 3d Battalion, 358th Infantry, clung perilously to its position along the Aincreville-Bantheville road.  The two companies which held this position were in a hotbed of Boche snipers and trench mortars, which found effective concealment in Aincreville and the Ravin l’Etaillon.  Early on the morning of October 23, while patrolling toward Aincreville, Lieutenant Lyle K. Morgan, Company M, was killed by a rifle shot, and immediately afterward George F. Dobbs of the same company was severely wounded.  Owing to the peculiar situation of the 3d Battalion, the only avenue of communication was down the open slope from the Bois des Rappes and across the Andon brook, and the slightest move by day brought forth a hail of bullets from German sharpshooters.  “Chow details” which attempted to fetch a bit of food for their comrades across the creek suffered particularly until Sergeant Charles Ward, Company K, with deadly aim succeeded in “bagging” the Hun.  Sergeant Ward himself received several bullet holes in his helmet and the back of his blouse.


            The 344th Machine Gun Battalion, commanded by Major Claude B. Gullette, played an important role during this period.  Its best opportunity came when two companies in the Bois des Rappes succeeded in catching the Germans in a terrific barrage while forming up in the Ravin Cheline for a counterattack against our positions.  The 358th Machine Gun Company, commanded by Captain Mark D. Fowler, also participated in this barrage.  On October 30 the machine guns of the 179th Brigade assisted the 5th Division in the taking of Aincreville by firing on enemy positions to the north and west of the town.  Aincreville was easily taken, but was immediately afterward subjected to such heavy artillery fire that it was necessary to withdraw from the town.  Captain Clarke W. Clarke, who had brought the 358th Machine Gun Company to France, was gassed at Vilcey-sur-Trey on September 14.


            The stubbornness of the fighting in this region is to be attributed not only to the determination to hold this precious ground, but also to the quality of the German divisions opposing our troops.  When the Division entered the line the sector opposite was held by the 123d Division, with which the men had become acquainted in the St. Mihiel attack.  As has been seen, this division was in reserve at the beginning of operations on September 12, and was thrown in to counter-attack, colliding with the 3d Battalion, 357th Infantry, on September 14.  All three of its regiments were identified by prisoners captured in taking Bantheville.  Following this attack, however, two regiments were relieved by the 109th Body Grenadier Regiment and the 110th Grenadier Regiment of the 28th Division, which were put in by the enemy to regain the lost ground and hold it at all costs.  On the night of October 26-27 the 40th Fusilier Regiment of the 28th Division came into line between the 109th and the 110th, with orders to counter-attack on the morning of October 27.


            This 28th Division was one of the best divisions in the German army, and had won such a reputation as shock troops that it was known as “The Kaiser’s Favorite.”




“Chow” detail, Company D, 358th Infantry, 90th Division, taking bread

 and hot “chow” to the men I front lines, Bois des Rappes,

 near Cunel, Meuse, France, October 25, 1918.






NOT only the troops actually in the front line, but the rear areas as well, were subjected during this period to intermittent bombardment which took its daily toll.  The Bois des Rappes and the area around Madeleine Farm were favorite targets.  The 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry, in support of the 3d Battalion, suffered heavily from this fire.  Lieutenant (later Captain) J. P. Woods and Lieutenant Haley G. Heavenhill were wounded by shrapnel; the woods continually reeked with “yellow and blue cross” gas, and Lieutenant Ralph D. Walker, the sole remaining officer of Company D, was overcome and evacuated.  On October 25, when the battalion was moving to the northern edge of the Bois des Rappes to support the 3d Battalion more closely, a shell dropped directly in front of Lieutenant Samson B. Brasher, Company A, killing him and his orderly, Private James F. Matlock.


            Nor was life still further to the rear any more pleasant.  The headquarters of the 180th Brigade, in Nantillois, were continually shelled; Lieutenant John H. Byrd, assistant adjutant being severely wounded by a shell fragment while eating lunch.  The Montfaucon-Nantillois-Cunel road was constantly harassed, particularly in the vicinity of the junction of the Nantillois-Cunel and the Nantillois-Cierges roads.  There were ammunition and food dumps near this junction.  Field Hospital No. 360, which was also in this neighborhood, suffered from the searching artillery fire on October 25.  A shell passed through one ward tent and demolished two other ward tents.  Two men were killed, a sergeant was mortally wounded, Lieutenant Lee Woodward and twelve enlisted men were seriously wounded, and four other men were slightly injured.


            The 90th Division chaplains, with the aid of details furnished by infantry and engineer units, undertook the work of burying the scores of dead of the 4th and 5th Divisions.  Which had suffered very heavily in the severe fighting in this region.  There were corpses in all parts of the divisional sector, particularly in the Bois des Rappes.  The burials were carried on despite the constant shelling.  While engaged in this duty, Chaplain Charles D. Priest was mortally wounded by the explosion of a shell near him on October 27.  He was buried at Rampont on October 30 by the Division chaplain.  Chaplains F. A. Magee, 357th Infantry, and Milles F. Hoon, 358th Infantry, were wounded about the same time.


            Chaplain Priest was known as one of the bravest men of the Division, and was posthumously awarded the D. S. C.  On one occasion he buried a man in a position enfiladed by a German one-pounder.  After two burial squads had been driven from the work, Chaplain Priest himself shouldered the tools and went out and dug the grave, placed the body in its resting-place with a short service, covered it over, and returned to our lines.  The one-pounder dug holes in the ground all around the chaplain but he stuck to his work.


            Despite the severity of the fighting which marked the establishing of our line north of Bantheville, the operations were only a prelude to the general attack on the army front on November 1.  The 180th Brigade was chosen to make this attack for the Division.


            All corps orders during this period directed the Division to “improve its position in preparation for further attack.”  On October 28 was issued the corps field order outlining the attack, big preparations for which were already under way.  By this time the 179th Brigade was pretty well spent.  Only eight officers remained in the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, and some companies were so badly reduced that it was necessary to consolidate them.  October 31 proved to be “D minus one day” – that is, one day before the big attack.


            The 180th Brigade, which was to deliver the attack, was brought into line the night of October 30-31, long enough before the attack to allow it to become familiar with the terrain.  This policy proved to be doubly wise in view of the heavy artillery reaction the night before the attack, which reaction would have caught both brigades at the worst possible moment, when relieving and relieved troops are both in the forward zone.  As it turned out, the relief was made without a casualty.


            On October 30 the Division P. C. moved to Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, being housed in dugouts constructed by the Engineers and made more comfortable by the Headquarters Troop under the direction of Captain Donald Henderson.


            The stage was now set for the third and last phase of the battle of the Meuse-Argonne.




Former German headquarters building in Cunel,

used as dressing station be 3d Battalion, 359th Infantry.






Commanding the 180th Infantry Brigade




PRIOR to arriving at a decision as to the best manner of attack, any commander, from a corporal leading a squad to General Pershing himself, must study all the factors affecting his own and the enemy forces.  This mental process is described in Field Service Regulations – the Bible of the soldier – as an “estimate of the situation.”  In order, then, to understand the plan of attack of November 1 it will be necessary for the reader to make such an estimate.  Under the head of our own forces, it suffices to say that when the 180th Brigade jumped off on November 1 its strength was only at 50 per cent, of its officers and 65 per cent of its enlisted personnel.  The headings which will require explanation are: the terrain, the organization of that terrain by the Germans for defense, and the intentions of the enemy – that is, whether or not the Germans planned to hold their present positions or were merely lighting a rear-guard action preparatory to a general retirement.


            First, then, must be understood the terrain over which the advance was to be made.  The principal feature on the immediate front of the Division was the wooded ridge running north along the left boundary – that is, roughly speaking, between Grand Carré Farm and the heights north of Andevanne.  From this high ground there was an open slope toward the Meuse.  This open ground was cut on the front of the 90th Division into three ridges, and by two ravines which flowed in a southeasterly direction into the Andon brook.  The highest point of the region was a heavily wooded hill known as Côte 243, which was just west of Villers-devant-Dun and linked up with the wooded ridge along the left boundary.


            Sloping north from Côte 243 was a relatively open space of an average width of two kilometers before entering the dense Bois de TailIy, Bois de Montigny, Bois de Mont, and Bois de Sassey.  The first two woods, which formed a continuous forest, were separated from the last-named two woods by a deep ravine, along which ran the Villers-Montigny road.  The northeastern edge of this wooded area marked the crest of a high bluff.  From the foot of these bluffs to the Meuse the country was flat and open.


            As to the organization of the terrain by the enemy, suffice it to say that on November 1 the 90th Division held a line opposite the Freya Stellung.  This defensive position, which the Germans relied upon to hold the American attacks, and was organized in depth to include a first or covering position between Aincreville and Grand Carré Farm, and, secondly, the main line of resistance, which embraced Andevanne, Côte243, and Villers-devant-Dun.  And it was manned with troops rated among the best in the German army.  The enemy order of battle, at the beginning of the operation, was, from west to east, 88th Division, 28th Division, and 107th Division.  “The Kaiser’s Favorite” held most of the sector, but there were elements of the 88th and 107th Divisions on the flanks.


            As the operations in the Meuse-Argonne region shaded into what is popularly known as “open warfare,” as compared with “trench warfare” and “warfare of position,” there was not to be found on this front the maze of trenches and entanglements, such as faced the Division at St. Mihiel.  The artificial defenses consisted for the most part of pits for machine gunners and “fox-holes,” The latter are individual pits dug at scattered intervals so as to afford the maximum protection from shell fire.  There was some wire, particularly on Côte 243, but the enemy relied principally upon machine guns, concealed in woods, holes, and isolated farms or villages, to bar the way.


            Practically all of the above information was known by General McAlexander before he was called upon to make his decision as to the manner in which the attack would be made.  This information was supplied by the second section of the General Staff.  The story of the life of the Boche, his home and his habits, had been pieced together by Lieutenant-Colonel H. C. Tatum and the regimental and battalion intelligence officers, from evidence received by ground observation, aerial observation and photographs, the statements of prisoners, and other sources.


            The one element in the “estimate of the situation” still a bit doubtful was “intentions of the enemy.” Several matters are worthy of note in this connection.  In the first place, it was evident that the enemy would hold on to every inch of soil here in order not to sacrifice what remained of the big armies still retreating from the Laon salient toward Germany, Then there was the quality of the divisions opposing the 90th Division – first class; and the sort of resistance they offered – to the death.  At the same time it was necessary to keep in mind the possibility of a retirement or a break through at any time, and the American armies must be prepared to take up the pursuit.




THE plan of attack for the Division, which was issued as Field Order No. 13 – lucky number! – was generally as follows:


            The 90th Division, as at St. Mihiel, was on the right flank of the 1st Army attack.  On our left was the 5th Corps, which by a direct drive was to seize the ridge of the Bois de Barricourt and the heights northeast of Bayonville, thus effecting a complete rupture of the enemy’s main line of resistance the first day.  The 5th Division – the other front line division of the 3d Corps – was to hold on our right, merely sending out patrols to reconnoiter the Bois de Babiemont and Côte 261, the only two spots of possible danger in their front.  These two points were on the brink of a huge basin, in the center of which was a small elevation called 216.  The town of Doulcon is located in this “punch bowl.” The wooded heights north of the “punch bowl,” known as Bois de Sassey, were to be saturated with “yellow cross” gas so as to eliminate any danger from that flank.


            The principal mission of the 90th Division on the first day of the general attack was to capture the wooded ridge along the left boundary of the Division.  The 360th Infantry was assigned this task.  To their right the 359th Infantry was to attack northeast across Cheline and Etaillon ravines, covering the flank of the 360th Infantry.  The front of the 360th Infantry was made very narrow, and the infantry attack was to be supported powerfully by a deep rolling barrage of four waves, in addition to gas, smoke, and overhead machine gun fire, in order that the mission of the regiment might be accomplished as speedily as possible.  As has been pointed out in the description of the terrain, the Andevanne ridge dominated the open space which the 359th was to cross; hence that regiment’s advance must follow the neutralization of the woods to the left.  Furthermore, the possession of this ridge would facilitate the advance of the 89th Division on our left.


            The first day’s attack was divided into two phases.  There was an intermediate objective – Hills 300 and 278 and Cheline Ravine – which all troops were scheduled to reach by two hours and a half after H hour, and where all units were to halt, catch their breath, and start off afresh.  Then there was the corps objective, the final objective for the day, which included the heights north and northeast of Andevanne and the ridge running southeast from Andevanne to Croix St. Mouclen, a point one kilometer west of Aincreville.  Nothing was left to chance.  The exact rate of advance, with varying speed limits across the open, up the hills, and through the woods, was set forth in orders, and the exact position of every unit throughout the attack was planned in advance.  On the second day, however, there was no “set piece,” but merely an “exploitation”; that is, on November 2 each organization was to advance as far as local successes and the nature of enemy resistance on their front would permit.



Grand Carre Farm, located northwest of Bantheville on the high ground  in close

 proximity to shell-torn woods.  Used by the Germans for an observation post,

 it was the scene of heavy fighting on October 23 and November 1.

  Captured by the 360th Infantry on November 1.







A DESCRIPTION of the thrust of the 360th Infantry is the most logical starting-point of the narration of the attack of November 1.  The 3d Battalion, commanded by Major J. W. F. Allen, which was to make the assault for the regiment, took up its position for the jump-off just north of the road leading northwest from Bantheville, at the point where it loops around the northeast corner of the Bois de Bantheville.  The 2d Battalion in support, and the 1st Battalion in reserve, were in position in the Bois de Bantheville and the sunken roads to the east of the woods.  Some casualties were suffered from an enemy heavy artillery fire which opened about midnight.  The regimental P. C., located in a light shelter in the Bois de Bantheville, suffered a direct hit about 1:30 A. M.  There were twenty-six casualties in the regimental headquarters detachment during the night.  The American artillery bombardment, which opened at 3:30 A. M., also brought down an enemy counter-preparation.


            H hour was 5:30 A. M.  No sooner had the assaulting wave debouched from its cover when a terrific machine gun fire poured into the lines.  Particular trouble was experienced from the direction of Grand Carré Farm, which was well situated on the top of the open ridge.  Despite the thoroughness of our magnificent artillery barrage, many enemy gunners found cover in the shelters in the vicinity of the farm and came to the surface again in time to catch the advancing infantry.


            But the men of Companies I and K, forming the assaulting wave, were not to he daunted.  Particularly heroic was the conduct of the 2d Platoon of Company K, which succeeded in capturing the Grand Carré Farm, thus putting out of action the enemy guns which were holding up the entire line.  Led by Sergeant Frank B. Losscher, who was awarded the D. S. C. for this feat, this platoon maneuvered to the right of the strong point, and by the use of rifle and rifle-grenade fire and hand-grenades forced the garrison to yield.  Seventy Germans were rounded up in one dugout, and fourteen machine guns were captured.


            Lieutenant Wylie Murray, Lieutenant James H. Crosby, and Lieutenant John Sieber were wounded during this fighting.  Lieutenant Murray later died of his wounds.  Lieutenant Fleming Burk, commanding Company D, which was maintaining liaison with the 89th Division, was wounded, Lieutenant Alfred L. Jones taking command in his stead.  Lieutenant Patrick Edwards and Lieutenant Mason Coney, of the regimental machine gun company, were evacuated.


            After capturing Hills 300 and 278 the battalion halted on the intermediate objective for thirty minutes, in accordance with the field order.  This delay in the operation afforded the enemy a breathing-spell during which machine guns and light artillery were concentrated on the battalion front.  At 8: 30 A. M. an attempt was made to resume the advance, but the line was halted by a withering fire.  Twice again a start forward was made, but the result was so ghastly that the line was halted, the men taking refuge in shell-holes, and the situation reported to regimental headquarters.  Colonel Price ordered the 2d Battalion to take up the advance.  The battalion was led by Major Hall Etter, who, as a lieutenant, had been regimental adjutant at Camp Travis.  On coming to France he was made operations officer, and just before the Division left the St. Mihiel sector took command of the 2d Battalion, Captain Lyman Chatfield succeeding him as operations officer for the regiment.


            The advance got under way at noon.  In order to avoid the open ground south of Andevanne, now being swept by enemy fire, Major Etter maneuvered the battalion to the west through the Bois d’Andevanne, and went forward into the Bois Carpiere, north of Andevanne.  The advance was made with such rapidity that enemy machine gunners were captured in position, together with their guns.  The closeness of the fighting in this wood is illustrated by the extraordinary experience of Sergeant Alfred Buchanan, Company G, who, upon returning from an aid station after having his wounds dressed, reached the German lines instead of our own, but succeeded in escaping and finding his own platoon which he led with marked courage until wounded a second time.  When darkness came the battalion had reached the narrow-gauge railway running west through the woods from Côte 243.  Lieutenant Thomas E. Hazlett, Company E, had been killed shortly after the attack was launched.  Captain Charles D. Birkhead, Company F, and Lieutenant John S. LeClercq were wounded.


            The 1st Battalion, which had moved forward to the right rear of the 2d Battalion, was in position south of Andevanne at 4:30 P. M., when Major W. H. H. Morris, the commanding officer, received orders to pass to the right of the 2d Battalion and seize Côte 243.  Owing to the darkness it was necessary for the battalion to advance by compass bearing.  Shells from our own artillery, which had been playing on the hill at intervals throughout the day, were bursting on Côte 243 when Major Morris reached the foot of the wooded heights.  As telephonic communication with regimental headquarters had been maintained practically continuously, the artillery fire was soon stopped and the battalion moved up the hill.  Major Morris established his P. C. there about 8:00 P. M.  Captain Gustav Dittmar, Captain Mike Hogg, Lieutenant Lonus Read, and Lieutenant Robert Campbell were wounded during the advance.  In mopping up the hill the next morning, a battery of 77’s and two 105’s and fifteen artillerymen, as well as the infantry officers, were captured.  The guns were manned by our own artillery and fired on the Germans, there being a plentiful supply of ammunition at hand.


            The 1st Battalion, 359th Infantry, was subjected to an enemy heavy artillery barrage just as the attack got under way.  The advance proceeded rapidly, despite the machine gun fire which swept the open ridges from the north, the intermediate objective being reached at 6 A. M. and the corps objective at 9:30 A. M.  During this advance Lieutenant Raymond A. Schoberth, Company B, was killed by a shell fragment near Cheline Ravine.  Early in the morning he had been wounded by a machine gun bullet, but refused to give up.  He was awarded the D. S. C. posthumously.


            While organizing the line of the corps objective, which it was planned to hold against counter-attacks during the night of November 1, the battalion suffered very heavily from artillery fire.  Captain John R. Burkett, Company C; Lieutenant Eugene C. Bell, Company B; and Lieutenant Eugene A. Scanlon, Company D, were killed here.


            The 1st Battalion was commanded by Major William R. Brown, who, as a captain, had served as regimental operations officer during the St. Mihiel offensive.  Captain George Knox, who had done excellent work as regimental intelligence officer, was now operations officer.


            During this advance the 2d Battalion had followed the 1st as support.  Some casualties had been suffered in passing through Bantheville and Bourrut, on which towns the enemy had laid down a thick barrage; but the company officers, inspired by the example of Major Tom G. Woolen, the battalion commander, led the men through without the slightest interruption of the regularity of the approach formation.  In the advance one platoon of Company F extended too far to the right and came under machine gun fire.  Two guns and their crews of four men each were speedily captured.  Lieutenant Vernon B. Zacher, commanding the platoon, was awarded the D. S. C.


            At 1:30 P. M. the 2d Battalion passed through the 1st and continued the advance toward Chassogne Farm.  The farm itself offered no resistance, as the artillery had played havoc with it; but, on reaching this crest, the battalion found itself under machine gun fire from all sides.  Darkness found the battalion’s outposts along the Aincreville-Villers-devant-Dun road, at the edge of the triangular woods north of Aincreville.  Patrols brought back the information that the enemy was falling back toward Villers.


            The big attack had been a complete success.  By 4:30 P. M. – the hour that the 2d Battalion, 360th Infantry, had achieved its mission for the day – all troops of the 180th Brigade were on the corps objective, thus breaking the Freya Stellung.  The other divisions in the 1st Army had also succeeded in their missions, and the enemy’s main line of resistance was broken.  In order to make the most of the exploitation, division orders were issued about 6 P. M. for the 180th Brigade to organize the corps objective line for defense, at the same time pushing forward fresh troops with the utmost vigor.  The 179th Brigade in the meantime had been telephoned to move forward to position in the woods west of Bantheville.


            But, owing to the general disorganization of the enemy, corps instructions were issued at 11 P. M., ordering a further advance on November 2 than was originally contemplated.  Hence division orders were also changed.  The 179th Brigade was given the task of holding the corps objective to guard against counterattacks, and General McAlexander was directed to use his entire brigade to push the advance on November 2 to the Halles-Mont-devant-Sassey bluffs.






View taken of Bantheville while it was being shelled on the morning of the drive, November 1.







P. C. Sterling of the 359th Infantry, one kilometer north of Cunel.

  The officers shown are, from left to right: Captain Geo. Young,

 Colonel E. K. Sterling, Captain Irwin O. Montgomery,

 Captain G. P. Knox and Lieutenant Chas. P. Hinkle.







THE next morning severe machine gun opposition was encountered all along the division front.  As there was no set program for the day’s attack, infantry commanders called for artillery support as the centers of resistance developed.  In the sector of the 360th Infantry – whose fortunes will be considered first – it was found that the principal volume of fire came from Hill 321, a very small, wooded eminence immediately northeast of Villers-devant-Dun, and from Bois de Raux, a patch of woods, about half a kilometer wide, which lay to the west of Hill 321.  At 11:30 A. M. an hour’s artillery preparation was ordered on these two positions preparatory to an attack.  In the meantime the 3d Battalion, which had spent the night on the corps objective, moved up and prepared to pass through the 2d Battalion.


            About 1:30 P. M. the 3d Battalion moved against Bois de Raux and the 1st Battalion began its attack on Hill 321.  The 1st Battalion met with particularly bitter opposition.  The little hill they had set out to take was a solid nest of machine gunners who had been left in their positions to fight a rear-guard action to the death.  Obedient to command, these men in field-gray performed their work well, and many of them died at their posts at the point of the bayonet.  But, led on by the example of Major Morris, who, despite his wounds, exposed himself to the deadly fire, and pointed out the enemy positions with the walking-stick which he always carried, by 2:15 P. M. our men had captured the hill and were moving further to the north.


            Both the officers and men of Company A, which led this assault, displayed marked heroism.  The company commander, Captain Charles E. Delano, received a wound during the action and went to the aid station to have it dressed.  While at the aid station he received the news that Lieutenant George P. Cole had been killed, that Lieutenant Harold H. Shear was seriously wounded, and that the company was without an officer.  He immediately started again for the front, but was killed on rejoining his company.  Even the 1st Sergeant was put out of action.  But the company had been inspired by the fine acts of courage of its officers, and continued the advance under the ranking sergeant, Robert J. Moreland, even repelling a counter-attack after it passed Hill 321.


            In the 2d Battalion Lieutenant Burr S. Weaver and Lieutenant Govan N. Stroman were wounded.




THE 359th Infantry found its task on November 2 to be much more difficult than that of the preceding day.  In a dense fog at 5:30 A. M. the 2d Battalion, which had taken over from the 1st Battalion the afternoon of November 1, was formed up as follows to go after the Hun: Company H to go north to Villers, with Company E in support; Company F to clear the triangular wood, take Remé Farm, and continue north, Company G being in support.  Company F did not encounter serious difficulty in the first part of its mission, but it was brought to a standstill south of the road which runs southeast from Villers-devant-Dun to Doulcon by fire from the heights “en Haut,” just north of the road.  Company G took up the advance.  Lieutenant John C. Patterson was shot through the leg, and the command passed to Lieutenant Patrick J.  Murphy, who was the first man of the company to hurdle the wire.


            Company H had its troubles from the outset.  Machine gun positions had been sited skillfully to cover the road from Aincreville to Villers-devant-Dun.  After these positions had been cleared, the advancing line came under fire from the heights “en Haut,” from the vicinity of Villers itself, and from the eastern edge of Hill 321.  The supporting artillery fired on these positions for twenty minutes, after which the advance was renewed, and by 2 P. M.  Company H had taken the town and the crest to the north.  These positions were held under the most trying circumstances A rain of artillery came pouring down as soon as the Germans were out, and small detachments of the enemy, with light machine guns, worked forward by rushes up the Ravin du Fond de Theisse and attempted to retake the town.  Captain H. S. Hilburn, commanding Company H, received the D. S. C. for his work here.


            The counter-attack was delivered by troops of the 27th German Division, a first-class unit which was put into the line after four weeks’ rest.  According to prisoners’ statements, this division was put in with the express purpose of counter-attacking and saving the situation at this point.  It went into position between the 88th and 28th German Divisions.  Elements of these three divisions, as well as of a fourth, the 107th Division, had opposed the 180th Brigade during this operation.  While the enemy units became mixed during the retreat, and the order of battle by sectors was hard to determine, it is probable that no units engaged opposite the 90th Division were withdrawn, the presence of new troops indicating a reinforcement.


            In the meantime the 1st Battalion had received orders to move north as far as Villers, pass through the 2d, and continue northeast, south of the Villers-Montigny road.  In the fog, a group of sixteen Company H men on the heights north of Villers were overlooked and were not relieved.  Lieutenant Walter S. Burke, who was in command of this small force, had been wounded during the fighting but refused to give in and maintained his post throughout the night.


            The 1st Battalion carried on the fight, arriving at the edge of the dense Bois de Sassey at nightfall.  Forty-two Germans were killed in one nest of resistance on the brink of the “punch bowl” east of “en Haut.” Corporal T. W. Butcher, Company C, received the D. S. C. for his feat in capturing three machine guns after he had been wounded in the back.  Major Brown was cited in division orders.  He had placed himself in the front line, rounded up the men who had taken refuge in shell-holes and directed the operations under machine gun fire.  The bravery of Captain William Fisk, Company D, also inspired the men of his company to greater action.  On this occasion, as repeatedly on November 1, Corporal Clive C. Collier and Corporal Glen A. Bell, both of Company D, displayed such soldierly qualities in leading their squads that they were awarded crosses.


            A little strip of woods called “les Dix Jours” caused the last trouble of the day.  Here Captain Dan C. Leeper, who was posthumously awarded the D. S. C., was killed.


            The part of the 3d Battalion, 359th Infantry, in the two days of fighting had been to maintain liaison with the 5th Division on the right.  Before leaving the Bois des Rappes on the morning of the 1st, Captain Victor H. Nysewander, Company K, was killed by artillery fire.  During the night of the 1st, two companies connected the right of the 2d Battalion with the 5th Division at Aincreville, the remaining two companies being in position with the 1st Battalion on the corps objective.  On November 2, Companies I and K entered Bois de Babiemont, a wood which the 5th Division had experienced great difficulty in taking from the south.  Patrols from these two companies explored the “punch bowl” and took up position on Côte 216, two kilometers out of the Division sector. At night they were pulled back to join their units.


            During its two days of smashing attacks, the 180th Brigade captured eighteen German officers and 789 enlisted men, of which number a majority of the officers and about 680 men were taken by the 360th Infantry. A considerable amount of artillery and sixty-eight machine guns were taken also during the fighting of November 1 and 2.  The 3d Battalion, 360th Infantry, captured two 77’S near Grand Carré Farm, and a detail of artillerymen who had taken station at Colonel Price’s P. C. turned them on the enemy immediately, there being a plentiful supply of ammunition at hand.  A battery of 77’s located south of Andevanne was abandoned by its crew after the guns had been incapacitated for further use.  A 210-mm. gun was captured by Major Etter’s battalion north of Andevanne.  From the firing chart of one of the two 105’s captured on Côte 243, Colonel Price found the explanation of the bombardment of his P. C. early the morning of November 1.  It appeared that the shelter had been spotted by aerial photography, and that the coordinates were turned over to this gun as one of its targets.


            The operations of the 180th Brigade in breaking the Freya Stellung received the following commendations:


            “From Chief of Staff, 1st Army, to Chief of Staff, 3d Corps, November 1, 22h.20: The Army Commander desires to congratulate the 3d Corps and express to you his appreciation of the work done this date. He desires that you express his appreciation to the 90th Division.  Please have this information transmitted to all organizations as far as possible this night.



            General Hines added to this the following endorsement: “The corps commander desires to add his congratulations to those of the army commander to express his appreciation of the gallant work of your Division to-day.”





View showing Boche machine gun nest and dead gunner, Villers-devant-Dun.






TO this brief exposition of the infantry action of November 1 and 2 must now be added an account of the part played by machine guns and artillery.  The machine guns will be reviewed first.  The most notable thing about their use was the manner in which the 345th Machine Gun Battalion supported the advance of the infantry by direct overhead fire.  The terrain was particularly adapted for effective barrage fire, and the degree of success with which Major H. R. Kimberling, brigade machine gun officer, exploited this opportunity established the action as one of the most successful machine gun operations ever attempted on any front.


            Companies A and B, 345th Machine Gun Battalion, under command of Captain H. B. Irwin, were sited in the Bois des Rappes, covering the ravines over which the 359th Infantry was to advance; and Companies C and D, commanded by Captain Louis L. Chatkin, were in the northern edge of the Bois de Bantheville, from which position they could neutralize the edge of the Bois d’Andevanne as well as the positions around the town of Andevanne itself.


            Perhaps it will convey some faint idea of the activity of these barrage guns to state that they fired a total of approximately a million and a quarter rounds of ammunition.  Nor were these bullets wasted.  The greater part of this fire was observed, and a German officer captured the first day testified that it was the most intense machine gun fire he had ever witnessed.  The guns also received credit for silencing two batteries of enemy artillery – a very unusual feat.  About 11 A. M. November 1, a battery of artillery was located in the triangular woods just east of Chassogne Farm, and Major Kimberling directed twelve guns on this spot for twenty minutes, with the result that the battery ceased to trouble us.  A short time later an observer in the Bois des Rappes saw the Germans trying to get their guns out of the woods.  Fire was again opened.  After the woods were captured, the artillery pieces were found.  The sides of the horses which were hitched to the caissons were riddled with bullets.  About 1 P. M. another battery was silenced near the Bois de Babiemont,


            Companies C and B fired from 5:30 to 7: 30 A. M., and then moved forward to join the infantry.  The guns in the Bois des Rappes, however, continued firing for a period of nine and a half hours on November 1 without stopping.  Again, on the morning of November 2, these same guns fired for forty-five minutes on targets in the sector of the 359th Infantry, at a range of approximately 3000 meters, with good effect.


            This wonderful result was achieved at the expense of only four men killed and twenty-one wounded.  The slight casualties were due to the precautions which Major Kimberling took to have all men dig in properly before the action opened.  The major assembled not only his officers, but his section leaders as well, at his headquarters at Nantillois several days before the attack, and there he explained in detail everything that was to be done.  A model trench and machine gun emplacement, with section belt refilling station, had been dug at Nantillois.  On the night of October 28 the men began digging similar emplacements for their barrage positions.  During the daytime the range to all conceivable targets was taken, the compass bearings obtained, and charts made for each gun in order that all guns might be directed on the same target at a minute’s notice, if it should be so desired.


            The gunners who fired with such marvelous accuracy on November 1 had been without sleep for several days and nights.  In addition to the work involved in digging in, there was an immense amount of ammunition to be carried forward from the dumps to the guns.  The left group of gunners, in the Bois de Bantheville, were forced to carry 300,000 rounds from trucks which became stalled south of Bantheville.


            But the 345th Machine Gun Battalion was only half of the machine guns participating in this action, The other gunners performed their tasks with equal distinction.  The entire machine gun plan had been coordinated by Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Thompson, division machine gun officer, who followed the principle of keeping the guns out of the front wave, and, instead, searching out commanding ground from which the guns could aid the infantry advance by delivering direct overhead fire.  The 343d Machine Gun Battalion was in readiness in the Bois de Bantheville before H hour, and at 5:50 A. M. went over the top behind the assaulting infantry wave.  Company A established itself on Hill 278, from which point it fired on the centers of resistance around Andevanne.  One gunner alone fired eight boxes of ammunition on the edge of Bois d’Andevanne, with excellent results.  It was the plan for Company B to move forward to Grand Carré Farm to cover the advance of the right regiment, but only the 2d Platoon was able to arrive at the objective intact.  The 1st and 2d Platoons, as well as the Headquarters Platoon, suffered severely from shell fire.  During the night of the 1st the 343d Machine Gun Battalion moved forward and took up a defensive position on Côte 243.  On November 2 the battalion assisted the advance of the 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry, against Hill 321, and had a part in breaking up the enemy counter-attack in that region.  Despite its rapid movement, the battalion maintained constant telephonic communication with Major Kimberling throughout the action.


            The regimental machine gun companies of the 359th and 360th Infantry were attached to the assaulting battalions of their regiments, advancing by bounds and covering the advance of the infantry wave.


            Although not an organic part of the Division, the 155th Field Artillery Brigade, which supported the Division in the attack, won for itself a warm place in the hearts of commanders, staffs, and doughboys alike.  Every member of that brave organization, from Colonel Robert S. Welsh, the brigade commander, who was killed by shell fire the morning of November 5 on the road between Villers-devant-Dun and Montigny, down to the humblest gunner who assisted in dragging his battery into position with ropes the night before the attack, has the heart and soul of a soldier.


            The 2d Battalion, 313th Field Artillery, commanded by Major John Nash, particularly distinguished itself in the eyes of the infantry.  The regiment, commanded by Colonel O. L. Brunzehl, was in direct liaison with General McAlexander, and the 2d Battalion furnished the forward guns which were to follow up and support the infantry advance by direct fire.  Immediately after the infantry jumped off, the batteries prepared to move forward.  In order to reach their positions south of Grand Carré Farm and behind Ridge 270, it was necessary to cross the open ground under both machine gun and artillery fire.  Going first at a trot and then at a gallop, Batteries D, E, and F went into action in a spectacular manner that rallied the infantry and caused men to remark, “With such artillery we can go through hell.”  Captain Anderson of Battery E was killed in this noble charge in the face of machine gun fire.


            There were only two hours of preparatory fire before the attack.  However, during the night non-persistent gas had been fired into the Bois d’Andevanne.  The rolling barrage under which the infantry advanced at H hour was exceedingly effective.  This barrage, which was 1000 meters deep and 1200 meters wide, consisted of four waves, the first two being high explosive.  It was fired by seventeen batteries of 75's and six batteries of 155’s.  The effectiveness of this fire was later revealed by the number of machine gunners found dead in their fox-holes.  As the smoke made observation of the bursts impossible, different heights of bursts were used.  In addition to this barrage, the advance of the 360th Infantry was aided by raking fire on Grand Carré Farm, Côte 243, and other dangerous points.  There was no rolling barrage in front of the 359th Infantry, the accompaniment consisting of raking fire on Cheline Ravine, Chassogne Farm, and other suspected enemy positions.


            The 2d Battalion, 314th Field Artillery, was designated to fire on targets of opportunity and surprise.  It was pulled by drag-ropes into the northern edge of the Bois des Rappes, and there awaited its chances.  But the fog and smoke so completely obscured all observation that the battalion could render but little service.


            Colonel William Tidball, who succeeded Colonel Welsh in command of the brigade, commanded the heavy regiment, the 315th Field Artillery.  In addition to the organic units of the 155th Field Artillery Brigade, the 16th Field Artillery and the 250th R. A. C. P. (French) were under the divisional artillery commander.


            Before the action Captain Francis Tweddell of the 305th Ammunition Train organized a detail of twenty-four men to handle captured guns.  Of the thirty-two guns captured, four 77’s were used against the enemy, firing a total of 226 rounds, and two 105-mm. guns, firing a total of 275 rounds.  A battery of 105’s put in operation on the heights south of Mont-devant-Sassey was given the name of “Hindenburg.” The principal difficulty found by Captain Tweddell was that the guns had been stripped of their sights or disabled by the retiring enemy, or that there was no transport available to haul them into range.


            As in the St. Mihiel operation, the gas troops were unable to be of great service.  Company F, 1st Gas Regiment, attached to the 90th Division, installed four 4-inch Stokes mortars in the northern edge of Bois de Bantheville and twenty gas projectors in the Ravin-dit-Fosse-de-Balandre, between the wood and the town of Bantheville, and planned to assist the infantry with smoke screens and lethal gas.  But owing to adverse wind conditions no gas was fired.  However, the mortars were able to fire thermite on enemy targets in the woods south of the Bois d’Andevanne and Grand Carré Farm before H hour, and at H hour to create a white phosphorus smoke screen.  But about twenty minutes after the advance started, the Stokes mortar section was caught by enemy shell-fire and broken up, five men being killed and thirteen wounded.


            The exploitation on November 2 turned out to be as costly as the set attack of the first day.  In consideration of the urgent need of pressing the enemy without respite, and owing to the fact that the 180th Brigade had suffered heavy casualties and was nearing exhaustion, a division order was issued at 2 P. M. directing the 179th Brigade to relieve the 180th Brigade and carry on the latter’s mission of exploitation.


            But, as on the previous night, further information regarding the great success of the divisions further to the west brought about a change in the army’s plans.  The enemy was now in full retreat and was withdrawing so fast that the 4th French Army, to the left of the 1st United States Army, had lost contact altogether.  The French troops had entered Boult-aux-Bois, just east of the Argonne Forest, there making connection with the Americans.


            The front of the 90th Division was the pivot of this retreat; Hill 321 and Villers-devant-Dun were the hinge which had held fast while the door was swinging backward.  So it was decided to attack in full force the morning of November 3 in order to smash this hinge.


            Field Order No. 16, 90th Division, specified that the 179th Brigade would make this attack, while the 180th Brigade would continue to hold the line which it had established during the day – Bois de Raux, Hill 321, Ravin de Theisse, and Les Dix Jours.


            The objective of the attack was the heights from Halles to the Meuse.  Simultaneously the 5th Division was to attack and then to cross the Meuse.


            After midnight of November 1-2, and during the morning of the 2d, the troops of the 179th Brigade were moving forward to occupy the corps objective.  The 357th Infantry got into position on the right, but the 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry, captured four prisoners and suffered some losses from shell-fire before getting into place.  During the night of November 2 the battalions of both regiments continued the march to get in position for the passage of lines through the 180th Brigade.




CONSIDERABLE difficulty was anticipated in piercing the dense woods on the Halles-Montigny heights.  The attack was to be made at 8 A. M., November 3, by the 358th on the left and the 357th on the right.  During the night the artillery had bombarded enemy positions with gas, and a rolling barrage advancing at the rate of 100 meters in eight minutes was put down in front of the infantry.  The 343d Machine Gun Battalion was attached to the 179th Brigade.


            Imagine the general surprise, then, when the troops entered the woods without a hostile shot opposing them.  The bursting of our own shells among the trees, as the barrage crept forward, was the only artillery firing to be heard.  The Germans had made good their escape across the Meuse during the night.  Our men went romping through the forest, and at 11: 30 A. M. Lieutenant-Colonel Waddill, second in command of the 357th Infantry, sent back this message from the heights south of Montigny: “No enemy in sight; no artillery; good view for miles.”


            As soon as full information concerning the German withdrawal had been received by the 3d Army Corps, orders were issued by headquarters of that corps directing the 90th Division to keep up vigorous contact with the enemy and to push detachments, accompanied by machine guns, across the Meuse River to protect a crossing.  This order was immediately telephoned to General O’Neil, who made plans accordingly.  The 357th Infantry prepared to put a force across the river at Sassey, while the 358th Infantry exploited toward Stenay.


            This was about noon.  But during the afternoon another corps order was issued, changing the previous plans, and providing that the 90th Division would hold the bulk of its forces on the Halles-Montigny heights, while the 5th Division, on the right, developed a bridgehead at Dun-sur-Meuse.  The 90th Division was to aid with the bulk of its artillery the establishment of this bridgehead, and was also to locate and protect any undestroyed bridges over the Meuse within its sector.




IN the meantime the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, was advancing toward Sassey-sur-Meuse and came under machine gun fire from east of the river.  It was found that a storm arch had been blown out of the bridge at Sassey, leaving a gap of about sixty feet, and that the foot-bridges at Sassey and Saulmaury were destroyed.  The 2d and 3d Battalions assembled south of Montigny.  The P. C. of the 179th Brigade was established at Montigny at 8:30 P. M., moving from Grand Carré Farm, which had been left far behind in the rapid advance.  The P. C., 357th Infantry, was also established there.  During the night patrols from the 357th Infantry went up the river as far as possible without entering the heavily gassed area in the Bois de Sassey, and down the river to Wiseppe, where machine gun fire was encountered.  The 358th Infantry assembled in the Bois de Halles, but the regimental P. C. was not able to stay in Halles the afternoon of the 3d on account of a gas concentration.  It was also found that a number of machine gun nests still remained north and east of Halles, and approaches to the town were swept by their fire.


            The period from the time our victorious battalions reached the bluffs overlooking the Meuse River on November 3 until definite orders were received on November 9 to make a crossing and take up the pursuit, was one of great uncertainty.  On October 30 the 3d Army Corps had issued a “plan in case of withdrawal of the enemy,” which was to be effective when the Germans began a general retirement.  This order provided that the 90th Division would cross the river at Stenay and pursue almost due east toward Montmédy.  That this would be put into force was generally expected.  During the afternoon and night of November 4 the 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry, moved up to Côte 205, a height half-way between Halles and Laneuville (the latter town being across the river from Stenay), and sent patrols into Laneuville, where similar patrols from the 89th Division were met.  On November 5 the P. C. of the 358th Infantry moved to Boulain Farm, occupying the former P. C. of a German division commander, and the 2d Battalion moved to Bois de Boulain in support of the 1st Battalion.  On November 6 the 3d Battalion filtered across the Wiseppe River and took up a position near the 1st and 2d Battalions in the southeastern edge of the ForLt de Dieulet.


             Likewise, the artillery was moved forward to cover a crossing in that vicinity.  During the night of November 3 and the morning of November 4 the 313th and 315th Field Artillery regiments were moved to positions east and south of Villers-devant-Dun in order to aid the 5th Division in establishing the Dun bridgehead.  But on the night of November 6, both regiments moved forward again to positions near Halles, the 313th batteries being located near the town of Halles and in the Chenois Woods, and the 315th’s guns going into the ravine running north from Le Fourneau, just west of Bois de Halles.  The 314th Field Artillery regiment, in liaison with the 179th Brigade, went into the Bois de Mont on the morning of November 4, along the road running west from Mont-devant-Sassey, and remained there during this period.


            Engineering preparations were also made for this crossing.  All the area between Laneuville and Stenay was very low, and the road connecting these two towns was on an embankment.  Between the Stenay railway station, which is nearer Laneuville than Stenay itself, and the Meuse River proper, there were a number of small streams, including the Wiseppe River.  This Laneuville-Stenay roadway was in the nature of a long approach fill leading to the bridge proper, and there were five openings in the fill, varying in length from thirty to eighty feet, over the five streams.  A reconnaissance showed that not only had the main bridge been destroyed, but the structures spanning the small streams had also been blown up.


            The stream channel had been flooded by locking the gates of the canal and by felling trees along the river bank.  As the flooded area was about a kilometer wide, it was impossible to cross except on the approach; so preparations were made to bridge its gaps.  Company E, 315th Engineers, was assigned to this work, and the necessary material for the job was hauled from a German dump at Montigny to Laneuville by the trucks of the 315th Engineer Train and trucks of the 343d Machine Gun Battalion.  It was expected to cross the river proper by pontoons, and a pontoon train was sent up by the army.  But the change in plans rendered this work unnecessary, and the river was bridged by other engineers after the armistice.


            The engineering work was directed by Colonel Jarvis J. Bain, who was assigned as division engineer when Colonel Pope returned to the United States.


            Although the exact direction of the next advance was uncertain, there being an intimation from higher headquarters that the Division might push north on the west side of the river instead of crossing, General O’Neil continued to make preparations for getting across the Meuse in case a forced crossing were ordered.  Several boats and rafts were constructed by the 315th Engineers and men of the Brigade.





A bridge across the Meuse River, between Laneuville and Stenay,

 which was blown up by the Germans in their retreat.






Bridges over the Meuse River, showing damage left by the Germans in their retreat.











THE orders of the corps between November 4 and the night of November 7 stressed the reconnaissance of river crossings in the vicinity of Stenay, as well as pushing patrols across the stream to keep contact with the enemy.  During this time the 5th Division was crossing the Meuse further south and was developing a bridgehead at Dun-sur-Meuse, while the 89th Division and divisions further to the west were cleaning out the enemy on the west bank of the river as far north as Sedan.  The 5th Division effected a crossing on the night of November 4-5 at Brieniles, and on November 5 the 32d Division, which had been in 3d Corps reserve behind the 90th Division, sent a regiment across to work on the right flank of the 5th Division.  Several temporary bridges had been constructed, and a bridge capable of carrying heavy trucks at Dun-sur-Meuse was in operation on November 6.


            This period of waiting sorely tried the patience of the men, who were eager to keep after the Boche.  And the longer the halt lasted, the worse the situation became.  Artillery fire on Halles, Montigny, Mont, the road from Villers-devant-Dun to Montigny, and other points daily became heavier; bombing planes paid nightly visits to practically all the towns holding troops, including Villers-devant-Dun, to which town Division Headquarters had moved on November 3; and the machine gun positions east of the Meuse were strengthened.


            The last enemy machine guns were not cleared out of Wiseppe until the night of November 4.  At daybreak that morning Captain DeWitt Neighbors, Company E, 357th Infantry, had advanced against the town, but was forced to withdraw after having fourteen men killed and thirty-eight wounded.  Lieutenant Thomas S. Frere was badly wounded.  The withdrawal was so hasty that six wounded men were left behind.  These men were picked up by the Germans and taken to a building in Wiseppe, where they were given first-aid treatment, food, and wine.  They were found again when the town was re-occupied by our troops on November 6.  On the afternoon of November 4, Companies E and H, 357th Infantry, again advanced and reached Hill 206, northwest of Wiseppe, but the town was avoided, as the Germans were then shelling it very heavily.


            The territory between the bluffs and the river is as smooth as the top of a table, and any movement drew enemy fire.  Patrols attempting to investigate the condition of the river bank and crossings were sniped at, not only by rifles and machine guns, but also by one-pounder guns and 77’s.  The information desired was obtained under the most trying circumstances and at the greatest possible risk.  Imagine, for example, the situation of Lieutenant Frank Feuille, 358th Infantry, who went out on November 6 in broad daylight to investigate river crossings east of Wiseppe.  He was forced to cross the Wiseppe River, in plain view of the enemy, and after every movement there went whizzing by his head a one-pounder shell from a gun on the east bank of the Meuse.


            Attempts to cross the Meuse were costly.  On the night of November 5 a patrol from the 357th Infantry placed a ladder across the gap in the cement bridge at Sassey, but the fire on the bridge was so heavy that no crossing was made.  Lieutenant Wendell F. Prime, attached to Company L, was killed the same night in attempting to cross near Saulmaury.  The first crossing was made on the night of November 6, opposite Villefranche, in a boat.


            Patrols of the 358th Infantry were particularly active in investigating approaches to Stenay.  On the 8th a patrol led by Lieutenant Rufus Boylan, 2d Battalion, succeeded in wading across the five streams between Stenay station and the main bridge, and brought back much valuable information.  On November 6 one platoon of the 358th Infantry took station in Laneuville.  Engineers who accompanied the other troops removed no less than twenty-five treacherous mines from the buildings in which the men were later billeted.


            On November 7, while the 5th Division was engaged in operations which resulted in the capture of Côte Saint Germain, a formidable height east of Sassey, patrols from the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, crossed at Sassey and went about two kilometers north along the river.  Due to the advances on the east bank, the enemy were evacuating the lowlands between the river and the canal.  This patrol also established a post in a stone building about 750 meters southeast of Sassey, in the angle formed by the canal and a bend in the river.  During the night a detachment from the 5th Division came up to this point and a joint post was established.


            A very amusing incident occurred about 5:20 o’clock that afternoon.  Five ambulances from the 5th Division, which had evidently lost their direction, went too far along the Route Nationale, which runs north from Dun-sur-Meuse to Stenay, and were captured north of Sassey.  The ambulance drivers’ plight was observed by Lieutenant R. H. Peake, Company C, 357th Infantry, who was inspecting his outposts, and also by an engineer officer of the 32d Division, who had begun work about noon that day repairing the Sassey bridge.  Prompt action by these two officers, operating on both sides of the roadway, succeeded in recapturing the ambulances.  Four Germans, with three light machine guns, were also captured and sent back to the 5th Division in the ambulances under guard of two men from Company C.


            On November 7 the Division received orders to organize its sector for defense.  Division orders were accordingly issued, stating that the 179th Brigade would hold the outpost line along the Meuse and the main line of resistance along the heights from Halles to the Meuse.  The 180th Brigade continued in reserve.  This brigade had followed up the advance on November 3, the troops of the 359th Infantry going into barracks south of Montigny, and the 360th Infantry bivouacking in the Bois de Montigny.  The brigade P. C. was at Villers-devant-Dun, the 359th P. C. at Montigny, and the 360th at St. Marie Farm, the second farm of that name to play a part in the Division’s history.


            The physical condition of the men of the 360th Infantry was very serious at this time.  The physical strain of the severe fighting in piercing the Freya Stellung; the damp, unhealthy surroundings in which they found themselves in the Bois de Montigny, without sufficient blankets or overcoats, as all packs had not yet been brought up; impure water and cold meals at uncertain hours – these were some of the circumstances which made nearly forty per cent of the regiment victims of diarrhea, and twenty per cent, patients with sub-acute bronchitis.  In view of these conditions, it was decided to put the men in better billets.  The morning of November 7 they marched to billets as follows: Regimental P. C. and 3d Battalion, Andevanne; 1st Battalion, Villers-devant-Dun; and 2d Battalion, Bantheville.


            The shelling of Montigny with long-range guns during the day of the 8th pointed to the withdrawal of the enemy light artillery.  This seemed to indicate that he was retiring to another position further to the rear.  Accordingly, all troops were kept on the alert, and patrolling was very vigorous.  One patrol from the 357th Infantry reached the outskirts of Mouzay and another got to a point south of the Bois de Lion, both patrols encountering machine gun fire at several points.


            On the morning of November 9 reports definitely indicated that the Germans had withdrawn and halted on a line connecting the heights two kilometers east of Stenay and the heights north of Baalon.  The moment had come to take up the pursuit.


            The reason for all the delay was now beginning to become evident.  The first goal of the Meuse-Argonne offensive was to cut the railway – Metz-Montmédy-Sedan-MéziPres-Lille.  This had been definitely accomplished by the 6th, when the 42d Division reached a point on the Meuse opposite Sedan.  General Pershing’s plan for the further use of the American forces was for the 1st Army to advance between the Meuse and the Moselle in the direction of Longwy; the 2d Army, which extended the line of the 1st Army east to a point just beyond the Moselle, to attack toward the iron-fields of Briey; and, later on, for six American divisions to assume the offensive near Nancy in the direction of Château-Saline, in conjunction with nineteen French divisions, under the command of General Mangin.  The attack of the 2d Army was made on November 10, and was in progress when stopped by the armistice.  The date of the un-fought battle in Lorraine was set for November 14.


            While the wait of six days did not appeal to the eager soldiers of the 90th Division, it was in keeping with the strategical plan.  During the last three days of this waiting period the 5th and 32d Divisions, in conjunction with French troops on their right, had forced the Germans from the hills along the Meuse and had driven them into the plain.


            Orders were received shortly after noon of the 9th to begin the crossing of infantry at once.  The engineers promised to have the bridge at Sassey, which would take artillery and wagons, ready by 4 P. M.


            The 179th Brigade was ordered to move out at once as advance-guard.  To the 358th Infantry was assigned the task of taking Stenay.  The 357th Infantry was to take the wooded heights west and south of Baalon, known as Bois du Chenois, and to assist the 358th Infantry in taking Stenay and the heights to the northeast of that city.  Although several foot-bridges had been constructed, it was deemed best to cross the entire brigade over the repaired bridge at Sassey.  Unfortunately, during the period of waiting the 358th Infantry had been moved to the woods near Laneuville, with a view of crossing at Stenay, and was forced to march over seven kilometers to Sassey and thence back up an equal distance on the other side of the river before the attack could be launched.




THE 357th Infantry moved out first.  The 1st Battalion’s leading unit started across the bridge about 5 P.   M.  The 358th Infantry followed the 357th, and then came the 314th Field Artillery and Companies D and F of the 315th Engineers, attached to the 179th Brigade, and one battalion of the 315th Field Artillery Regiment.  The brigade P. C. moved to Sassey at 6 P. M.  The 3d Battalion, 358th Infantry, and one battalion, 313th Field Artillery, were left near Côte 205 to guard the left flank of the Division.  On the afternoon of November 10 the 3d Battalion was ordered to cross at Villefranche and join the regiment.  But when General Allen decided to continue the attack on November 11 with the 180th Brigade, further orders were sent to the 3d Battalion, stopping it for the night to billet in Villefranche.


            The movement of the artillery up the Route Nationale was hampered by craters which had been blown by the retreating Germans, by destroyed bridges, and by trees which had been felled across the highway.  These obstacles were quickly smoothed out by the engineers, and the road made passable by 2 this A. M., although prisoners stated that it had been calculated to delay the artillery at east forty-eight hours.


            During the night the 180th Brigade, in reserve, moved forward, and the next morning the 359th Infantry crossed at Sassey and the 360th at Dun-sur-Meuse.


            When the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, reached Mouzay, about midnight, the town was being heavily shelled, and the troops were disposed in the safest places on the outskirts.  Mouzay had been entered on November 9 by troops of the 5th Division, who soon withdrew to operate further to the east in the ForLt du Woevre.  By 3 A. M. of the 10th, brigade and both regimental P. C.’s were in Mouzay.


            Colonel Hartmann, who had been gassed on September 21 but remained in command, went to the hospital on the night of November 7, and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel James Everington, who was in turn succeeded on the morning of November 10 by Lieutenant-Colonel Waddill.


            The news of the abdication of the Kaiser came at the moment that the Meuse was being crossed.  In a despatch from Berlin, the Imperial Chancellor, Prince Max of Baden, published the statement: “The Emperor and King has decided to abdicate the throne.”


            The end of hostilities was now plainly in sight.  Since the signing of the armistice with Bulgaria on October 29, with Turkey on October 31, and with Austria-Hungary on November 4, the days of further fighting had been numbered.  The hope for peace, however, did not in any way slow down the offensive.  Rather, it was the universal desire to fight all the harder in order to deliver the knockout blow as soon as possible.


            Through the radio despatches sent out from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, picked up by division, brigade and regimental radio sets, the progress of the armistice negotiations was followed with interest.  On November 7 the following message was received from Marshal Foch’s headquarters:

            “If parliamentarians present themselves at any point on the front to submit request to Marshal Foch, they will be stopped at the front line division.  This division will immediately inform Marshal Foch of their status and the object of their mission.  They will be detained at the division until Marshal Foch has made known his reply.”


             However, the delegates did not come our way At 10:30 P. M., November 7, the plenipotentiaries arrived in the French lines at Hondroy, north of La Capelle, some twenty-five kilometers northeast of Guise.







View showing section of flooded area between Sassey and Stenay

and trees felled by the Germans along the line of retreat.




German Prisoners of the 92d Regiment, 20th Division, being questioned

 by Lieutenant Deschler, Corps of Interpreters, at Sassey-sur-Meuse.

These were the last prisoners taken by the division before the armistice.








THE fighting on the day preceding the armistice was both severe and costly. It is probable that no other division in the Expeditionary Forces met with such stubborn resistance during the last hours preceding the cessation of hostilities. According to prisoners’ statements, the next German position behind the Meuse was along the heights north and east of the Chiers River, which runs through Montmédy. But the retirement to this position was by no means precipitate.  In order to cover this withdrawal, the enemy had left two companies out of each regiment, reinforced by machine gun detachments, on the heights between Stenay and Baalon and in the Bois du Chenois, southwest of Baalon, and this force fought with the fiendish skill which characterized German rear-guards.


            Realizing the importance of this pivotal sector opposite the 90th Division, the German high command had thrown into line there its last remaining fresh division – the 20th – a first-class unit.  The 55th Infantry regiment of the 13th Division, also a first-class organization, opposed the 358th Infantry at Stenay.  The enemy order of battle on the last day was, from west to east: 55th Infantry Regiment (13th Division); 92d Infantry Regiment; 77th Infantry Regiment; 79th Infantry Regiment (20th Division), and; 354th Infantry Regiment (216th Division).


            The casualties in our ranks on November 10 testify to the nature of the operations, one officer and 33 enlisted men being killed, and 12 officers and 171 men wounded.


            Of primary interest is the fighting for Stenay, where was located in 1916 the headquarters of the German Crown Prince during the attack on Verdun.  The 2d Battalion, 358th Infantry, led the attack.  This battalion had marched all night long from its position south of Laneuville, and reached Mouzay about daybreak.  The night was bitter cold, and the feet of many of the men, and many of the officers as well, were so badly frozen that they could hardly walk farther.  It was only the bare remnant of a battalion which took up the advance at six o’clock.


            About one and a half kilometers north of Mouzay was an old French rifle-range called the “Stand.” Machine gun fire from this place, as well as from pits along the Route Nationale from Mouzay to Stenay, barred the way.  But, led by Company G, the companies maneuvered around these positions, and, under cover of the unimproved road branching off south of the Stand, the progress continued.  By 7:15 A. M. men had entered the outskirts of the town, and two hours later the battalion had gained possession of the quadrangle of buildings called La Forge and established its P. C. there.  This structure was a bakery, and there were captured two thousand loaves of bread and seventeen “fishes,” the latter being German prisoners.  The battalion’s advance was materially assisted by Company C, 343th Machine Gun Battalion, one platoon being used on each flank of the support companies to keep down harassing fire.  Captain J. F. Hennessey, Jr., commanding Company C, was cited for his work here.


            The north wall of the quadrangle was covered by machine guns and snipers, and any attempt to leave this shelter meant death.  The Americans could reply only by firing from the windows of the bakery.  But their aim was so deadly that twenty-four Germans were accounted for.  All of these victims, it was later found, were shot through the head, the only exposed portion of the body.  According to German officers interviewed after the armistice, the gun with which their men did most damage was located in the steeple of the church at Stenay.  Guns intrenched off an island between the river and the canal also made the Americans’ position uncomfortable.  In this predicament Major Sim C. Souther counted his rifles, and found that he had exactly eighty-five.  This number was manifestly insufficient to mop up a city the size of Stenay, and a report was made to regimental headquarters.  Heavy artillery fire rendered the battalion’s situation even more precarious.


            About nine o’clock the 1st Battalion, which had been in support, was ordered to reinforce on the right, and proceeded immediately toward Stenay along the main Stenay-Mouzay road.  Its advance was held up, however, near the French barracks known as Blanc Fontaine, five hundred meters out of Stenay, by the cross-fire of machine gunners and snipers from the church steeple in the city, and from the slopes of Aviation Hill to the east of Stenay.  The 2d Battalion had been protected partially by the morning fog, but this lifted, unhappily, in time to expose the 1st Battalion.  A machine gun mounted in a window of the barracks kept down some of the enemy fire, and Major Danenhour, firing a rifle from another window, personally accounted for some snipers.  But the heavy casualties and the reduced strength of the organization rendered further advance inadvisable and the men were ordered to dig in and hold on.


            When the progress slowed down, Colonel Leary decided to go forward and look at matters for himself.  En route he came across about 150 men, consisting of part of a machine gun company and a platoon of riflemen, who had become separated from the battalion near the Stand.  Colonel Leary personally led this detachment forward to replenish the thin front line.  For this act of heroism he was awarded the D. S. C.  On account of the difficulty of locating the enemy machine guns with sufficient accuracy for the artillery to knock them out, Colonel Leary gave orders to organize for defense, worry the Boche all night, and clean up the town the next morning.


            This was done.  Patrols, advancing cautiously the morning of the 11th, found that the Germans had evacuated, barricading the two principal streets with the finest French furniture, rifled from residences.  A patrol led by Lieutenant Frank Feuille found four Germans who had been left behind.  Before eleven o’clock outposts had been established around the city, with machine guns sited on all roads.  About two hundred civilians remained in Stenay, hundreds of others having been evacuated during the last few days of fighting.  Early in the morning a little girl was sent by the citizens to the bakery to present a bouquet of flowers and a flag to Major Soother and Captain Hennessey, who were welcomed as the deliverers of Stenay.






French civilians, under German rule for four years, gathered at the city hall

of Mouzay to receive food and supplies from the Americans on the day following

the evacuation by the Germans, November 11, 1918.




Street scene showing American soldiers in Stenay on the day

following the taking of the town by the 358th Infantry.





A VIEW of the terrain is essential to an understanding of the operations of the 357th Infantry.  The town of Baalon, the immediate objective of the regiment, was situated in the valley of the ravine of a creek which flowed northward into the Chiers, about three and a half kilometers northeast of Mouzay and the same distance east of Stenay.  A ridge running from northwest to southeast hides Baalon from both Stenay and Mouzay.  The part of this ridge between Baalon and Mouzay is covered by a wood called Bois du Chenois.  On the open part of the ridge between Stenay and Baalon were a German aviation field and Jardinelle Farm.


            When the 1st Battalion, 357th Infantry, reached Mouzay, it was ordered to remain there in reserve, at the same time sending out patrols to connect with the 5th Division in the ForLt de Woevre.  To the 3d Battalion, supported by the 2d Battalion, was assigned the task of taking Baalon.  Captain Hopkins, battalion commander, was knocked down by a shell at Mouzay, fragments of the same shell striking Captain Leister, Company K, in the leg, causing the loss of the limb.  1st Lieutenant Frank J. Lindsey, battalion intelligence officer, took command, and during the night led his men along the Mouzay-Baalon road, by daybreak reaching the center of the Bois du Chenois.  Shortly before eight o’clock the battalion P. C., while moving forward, was near this road at the edge of the woods overlooking Baalon.  This position was observed by the Germans and was immediately fired on.  A shell struck in the center of the group.  Lieutenant Paul O. Pretre, regimental intelligence officer, was killed, and Captain Robert S. Marx, regimental operations officer, who had been sent to take command of this battalion, was severely wounded.  Lieutenant W. B. Johnson, battalion adjutant, was wounded, and the battalion sergeant-major and corporal observer were killed.


            Shortly before nine o’clock the 2d Battalion received orders to assist the 358th Infantry’s attack on Stenay by advancing against Aviation Hill, but at 9:50 o’clock this was changed, and the mission of the 357th Infantry was given as pushing on toward Montmédy with all energy and speed.  In the meantime the 3d Battalion was having great difficulty in taking Baalon.  A patrol which succeeded in entering the town was driven out by superior numbers, and all attempts to cross the ravine south of the town were defeated by machine gun fire from the opposite bank.


            Lieutenant-Colonel Waddill now planned the maneuver as follows: Artillery fire was put on Baalon and vicinity from 10:30 to 12 o’clock; then the 2d Battalion was to capture Jardinelle Farm and advance on Baalon from the northwest; the 3d Battalion to go forward again when the 2d Battalion had succeeded in its mission.  By clever maneuvering, Major Lammons had the farm in his possession by 2:40 o’clock, and was going on when instructions were received that the 2d and 3d Battalions would hold the high ground which overlooked Baalon.


            The 3d Battalion would have run short of ammunition during these operations had it not been for the bravery of eleven men of Company D, 315th Engineers which had been attached to the brigade in the movement forward.  These men volunteered to carry the boxes forward, and succeeded in delivering them after crossing two and a half kilometers in the face of artillery and machine gun fire.  The work of the 179th Brigade, November 10, was summed up in the official communiqué of G. H. Q. for that evening as follows: “Troops of the 1st Army reached the southern outskirts of Stenay and occupied Bois du Chenois, south of Baalon’’


            The Division had given the order to the 179th Brigade to hold the ground it had captured, with the intention of passing through the 180th Brigade, which was to renew the attack at daybreak in the direction of Montmédy.  This order was issued about eleven o’clock on the night of the 10th.  Further orders from the 3d Army Corps changed the zone of action of the 90th Division, and assigned the national highway from Stenay to Montmedy to the 89th Division, on our left.  Still later in the night, at about 1 A. M., it was necessary to make still further changes.


            Field Order No. 21, 90th Division, as finally issued, explained the plans for November 11 as follows: The first mission of the Division would be to assist the 89th Division in crossing the Meuse at Pouilly and by pontoon bridges between Inor and Stenay.  This mission was to be carried out by the 179th Brigade by pressing the enemy and seizing any ground possible between Stenay and Baalon.  The 89th Division was to attack at daybreak and capture the heights east and southeast of Inor.  When it had succeeded in this task, the second mission of the 90th Division would be undertaken, namely, to advance in liaison with the 89th Division against the heights overlooking the Chiers River.


            The 180th Brigade was to perform this second mission.  It moved up before daylight of the 11th, in readiness to advance when the time came.  The 1st Battalion relieved the 3d Battalion, 357th Infantry, about midnight and had its jump-off positions prepared.  The 2d Battalion was in support and the 3d Battalion in reserve.  The 359th Infantry was formed up in the Bois du Chenois, with the 3d Battalion leading and the 2d and 1st Battalions in support and reserve respectively.  The principal force of the 89th Division crossed at Pouilly, although two battalions went over on the foot-bridge opposite Villefranche, which had been built by Company E, 315th Engineers.


            The Germans’ artillery severely gassed Mouzay during the night of November 10-11, despite the presence of about six hundred civilians.  General O’Neil was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his efforts on behalf of the population.  The headquarters and troops located in the town suffered, as did also the men of the 180th Brigade, who were moving forward into position. Major J. W. F. Allen. 3d Battalion, 360th Infantry, was among those evacuated.




THE glad tidings that the armistice was signed were received at division headquarters at 7:20 A. M.  The following bulletin from the 3d Army Corps was published:

            “1. You are informed that hostilities will cease along the whole front at 11 hours on November 11, 1918, Paris time.

            “2. No allied troops will pass the line reached by them at that hour and date until further orders.

            “3. All communication with the enemy, both before and after the termination of hostilities, is absolutely forbidden.  In case of violation of this order the severest disciplinary measures will be immediately taken.  Any officer offending will be sent to these headquarters under guard.

            “4.  Every emphasis will he laid on the fact that the arrangement is an armistice only, and not a peace.

            “5. There must not be the slightest relaxation of vigilance.  The troops must be prepared any moment for further operations.  Special steps will be taken by all commanders to insure the strictest discipline and that all troops are in readiness and fully prepared for any eventualities.  Division and brigade commanders and commanders of corps units will personally inspect all organizations with the foregoing in view.

            “By command of Major-General Hines:

                                                                                                                            CAMPBELL KING,

                                                                                                                                    Chief of Staff.”


            The news that the “war is over” was received without excitement.  The men of the 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry, who were set for another scrap, were almost disappointed.  They sighed, and dug in a little deeper, for “you never can tell.”  Patrols of the 179th Brigade were busy before eleven o’clock straightening out their line.  Stenay was occupied throughout by the 2d Battalion, 358th Infantry; the 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry, took over the heights to the east of the city; and the 2d Battalion, 357th Infantry, occupied Baalon.  This line was extended by the 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry, along the northeast edge of the Bois du Chenois.  That was the way the official line ran at the time the armistice went into effect.


            The German artillery had a little spree before abandoning their guns.  Mouzay was shelled about 8:30 A. M.   The 155th Field Artillery Brigade replied with retaliatory fire until 9:30 A. M., when all firing ceased.  The German artillery fire claimed four victims on the morning of November 11.  Three of these were killed between seven and eight o’clock in the Bois du Chenois, namely, Sergeant Joe G. Lloyd, Corporal Russel E. Wylie, and Private Earl Barkduhl, all of Company L, 359th Infantry.  The last man of the Division to be killed in action was Mechanic Carl Sheffield, Company B, 360th Infantry, who was killed about 10:30 A. M. at Mouzay.


            Division headquarters moved to Mouzay on the morning of November 11, headquarters of the two Brigades and the four regiments also being located there.  The Division P. C. was at Sassey-sur-Meuse on the night of November 10.





An exterior view of the Château des Verdier, the home in Stenay

of the German crown prince for thirty-two months.  The officers here shown

are from left to right: Major-General H. T. Allen, commanding 90th division;

Colonel J. H. Reeves, commanding 177th Brigade, 89th Division; Colonel J. J. Kingman,

Chief of Staff, 90th Division; and Major G. E. English, Adjutant, 177th Brigade, 89th Division.



Major General Henry T. Allen and a portion of his staff at Mouzay, preceding the ceremony

 of presenting D. S. C.’s to officers and men off the division, November 14.