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Ferris Wellman Myrice Diary - MMS 1729

Ferris Wellman Myrice enlisted in the Army March 28, 1918, aged 21 years, 10 months. Born in Deshler, Ohio, he served in Company L of the 332nd Infantry.  He was promoted to Corporal on March 1, 1919. He saw service at Vittorio-Veneto and in the Defensive Sector. He was with the American Expeditionary Forces from June 6, 1918 to April 14, 1919 and was honorably discharged on August 5, 1919.

Ferris Wellman Myrice - 1918 Diary

Ferris W. Myrice, WWI diary - 1918-1919

[at top of page] Copied from small note book

March 1918

March 28, 1918. Reported for selective service at Napoleon, Ohio
March 29. Arrived at Camp Sherman - 7:40 P.M. Moved to 1st Co 1st Tr Bat. 158 Depot Brigade M 31. then to I 21. Drill and detail work until

April 1918

April 21. Transferred to Co L. 332 M.-Apr. 22 '18. Practiced sighting all day. Received Rifle belt, bayonet, pack etc.
April 26. ---
" 27. Sat. we left for 5 days on the rifle range. Some experience work from 5 A.M. until 8 P.M. every day.
P'lynegar-Crinkie- very realistic at retreat when the band played "Star S.B." and they were having rapid firing practice in the range.

May 1918

May 2. Dirty as pigs - return to camp S. took half a day to clean up.
May 3. First day at bombing and bayonets drill. Also "discovered Bart." Evening semaphore drill had charge of several fellows.
May 4. Learning to pitch tents.
May 5. Passed in Review before Ge. Glenn and Gar. Cox.- Pearl and Homer over to see me. Heaps of fun getting ready for bunk inspection - changed model for equipment six times.
May 7. Received the "Devils" picture
May 11. Co L. on guard Fuzzy acting corporal. Mother also comes.
May 12. Visitors galore - Received my first pass - 7-17 uptown with mother
May 13. Started gas drill night hike of 8 miles Received a big bunch of violets from Margaret also a letter from H.I.S.
May 15. Big day - on kitchen police - pay day and entered the gas chamber in gas drill.
May 19. Skermish drill on the range. hiked out and in on sunday
May 25. Left C. Sherman at 1 P.M. Arrived in Cleveland at 10:30 - Passed thru Buffalo - also near Albany - Red + [cross] at Syeracuse gave us lunch. Capt. Postun say - front line in 40 days. Fine news along the Hudson arrived at C. Merritt at 12 P.M. Lt. John seems very unsober.
May 28. Hike around town in the morning. Bought a 50 hane certificate for $8.85. Thinks look serious on the western front. We'll probably be pushing up daises before many moons
May 29. Listened to a lecture on veneral disease in the morning - drill in afternoon.
May 30. Shut in - one of the boys with measles.
May 31. One great inspection by major etc.

June 1918

June 2. Hike to the Hudon. Some view. 331st left for (?) I suppose we leave tomorrow.
June 3. Roy down.
June 4. Another Hike to the Hudson Sir Johns on war path as usual - He surely takes the pep out of the company. Morrillio-says "I have a broken sex."
June 6. Thursday - up early breakfast - policed up Hike with full pack about 2 miles to Dumont station - Erie R.R. New York - across Hudson on a Ferry boat to Cunard dock and then on board the Agutanea - Bolton deck - "G" - Hill - hot etc. farthest from the propeller - corpalthea first to the Titanic's aid - lying alongside, walked deck for two hours watching crap and poker games - $100 a throw.
June 7. In harbor all day - L. Co goes on guard Shore a post on deck near front end. Fire drill.
June 8. Called to quarters at 7:45 - ship started at 8:10 - just saw about ½ of statue of Liberty - on guard 15 out of 24 hours - Mess certainly soften. Bloomin Hinglish starve us and then sell us foot at high prices. In bed with a dizzy feeling + a fine watch is kept - a destroyer lead the way - a plane also watches over us.
June 10. All's well - I watch the sea about half my time. spend the rest - reading. Water - wild water - blue-black on instance pure white the next saw a school of flying fish - the fish were 4 or 5 inches long.
June 11. -With a cork preserver for a desk - all on top as yet - they say its our last night to sleep without clothes- on this trip. Real danger zone tomorrow. On cleaning up detail with squad today.
June 12. A mine sighted. - order, sleep with clothes on. danger zone. Danger every where - but one never realizes it - . A trifle homesick.
June 13. June 13. This old sea is sure rocking the boat.
June 14. Land sighted sure looked good. One of the convoys sighted a sub - not so good. Sea looked green. So near Ireland, I suppose.
June 15. In the Merci river-Liverpool England - off ship and on train. Trains are sure strange affairs - fine ride to South Hampton.
June 16. Arrived at 10:30 P.M. bed 12 P.M. up at 5:30 - sandwich at 10:30. 4 or 5 planes flying over head all the time. Some pretty place - but has such an oldish look, some "fast" town.
June 17. Across the channel to Hurn T. for a day of rest. This place is much different from England much better looking - the French people seem very much "down at the heels" everyone working at some war work.
June 18. Rest. - Reading by daylight at 10 P.M. - some country.
June 19. Off for the front in a box car. Fine scenery - the people all seem to be beggars. "biscuit" is about all one could hear about the track - Women washing along the Seine River.
June 20. Arrived at Foulain - some where in France. After miles of riding in a truck then magnificent country and finally dropped off at 10 P.M. at Essy des Eaux. They say it's a typical french town - a regular mud hole houses and barns combined. The street and barnyards are "one" and a very dirty and smelly "one". Billeting in an upper room - fine, rain came thru the roof and on my clothes.
June 21. Up and very hungry - not much doing all day - reporting at 9-2-6 every day. Evening and all is well - about ½ miles from the village - seated on a stone - such a beautiful country, but oh! what a dirty town. The people sure do need help - why can't they keep their homes, streets and silver looking as beautiful as their hills, fields and cattle? The people did not expect us last night - thot the germans had broken thru - but all O.K. this A.M. all smiles and willing to help all they can, which is very little - they themselves have nothing but work. Only one good looking girl in town - "school marm" and she talks a little English - very much monopolized by officers - no chance for privates. Just a trifle homesick for U.S.A., home and friends. May this war - end and end quickly, here's a prayer at least - Bon Soir.
June 22. Up and drill until noon after dinner welcomes the town or I should say started to - I am afraid the cows had a hard time finding their homes - for we sure did make a hole in the years of dirt and manure lying around on the street. The place doesn't look half bad now Trouble with that squad of mine - I wish it was in Heaven. Tomorrow is Sunday but - I suppose it will be shovel manure all day. Firing could be heard today - must be some guns.
June 23. Up at 6:30 - Inspection of quarters at 9. - call for review before Gen. Pershing, but he did not show up. Explored "the hill" after dinner. After supper helped the "monsuir" to put up some hay. U.S. soldiers will leave an impression in France other that as soldiers.
June 24. Still cleaning up Essey. Was in charge of squad hauling manure all day. On detail works - corporals - do have a scrap. Hunted 3 hours for "acting private" Korn. 3 drunks pounded stone as a punishment. Hope it does some good.
June 25. ------
June 26. Received word that the 332d leaves for Italy in a few days. For my part - I think that we are going to "show off." The war will soon end - so I prophecy and U.S. must be represented in as many countries as possible. We hear that 2 German spies are working in the territory. The old women - around here drive their cows out to pasture, accompanied by a couple of dogs. She watches her cattle - also knows when the cattle stray - she sends the dogs after them. One can see 3 or 4 women sitting, watching, and sewing at most any time of the day. One queer thing I have noticed - In hauling in a load of hay a farmer uses only one horse, but if he hauls manure, on a cart, he uses 3 or 4 horses. About the only occupation around here is cattle raising for dairy products when haying is done the heaviest work is done. The implements used are far behind ours - tho one sees some modern machinery from U.S.A. over here. Horses are not harnessed beside each other - they are placed one behind the other. One doesn't see farm houses sitting off by themselves. All are together - the farmers running up to the town and like the spokes of a wheel. Boys wear big black aprons over their other clothing.
June 28. Sham battle with M.Co. We wiped them out.
June 29. Releif of all releifs - squad 7 was given to Ronshien No doubt but I'd like to have a squad - but not one like the peanut squad and its sure a releif not to have to look after one. We haven't much to do to day or tomorrow - resting for out trip to Italy - I suppose - May it come soon. - I think we will make a good showing down there when the slow ones are removed.
June 30. Muster - the names of those who are to be transfred from Co L. - are read the sure did break up the peanut squad Kanic, Carlin, and Grin Onean.

July 1918

July 1. & 2. On guard at night while walking post a couple of dogs jumped out behind me and I certainly did turnaround in a hurry. My post was pas on old church surrounded by a cemetery. A very spooky post. Awakened by rifle shots about 11:30 Korn discovered 3 fellers sneaking in and fired up on them - all excaped. Appointed signaling 1st platoon. Looks as if we will leave soon - cooks are getting rid of excess supplies.
July 4. Some 4th scouting work in the morning, sleep in afternoon. New fellows come some bunch. Pay cold squad at 9 P.M. in bed - 11:30 -6! frans recher
July 5. Signal and scouting work. Plans are busy in this part of the country something seem the matter.
July 7. Baldy over in the morning gas instruction in afternoon - over in Nogent from 4 to 8 - tired but in good spirits It sure was good to meet an old friend in a God forsaken world, especially a saint. Also there was an American girl in the Y English language spoken by an American girl sounded like music.
July 8. Up at 4 A.M. started on hike at 6:15 hiked until 12 with only a few halts, every thing on schedule time whole 332nd on the hike 25 miles - dinner at 2:30. Foot inspection at 4 P.M.
July 12. High up in a tree near Easy - squad out on a scouting party - have found enemy and are waiting for the time to go in - sure a fine place to write
July 13. On a 15 mile hike
"" 14. French day of Independence. Did nothing but read all day
July 15. Transferreed to Hdg.. platoon - sure some job - working with sir Johns - I don't see how one could be such a grouch.
July 16. At Donne Marie - all day - learning to read maps - sketch etc. Eat dinner with K. Co.
July 17. Up early - hike - inspection, sham battle - hike about 18 miles - was almost all in. Acted as laison agent for battallion Hdg - the major sure had a pick on me - did more then all the other 3 agents. We hear that the Germans have started the biggest drive of 2 years - Monday morning at 5:27 - Here is hoping it is stopped.
July 18. Our barracks bags leave town - I wonder when we leave.
July 19. Joe Calabria - blows off The Italian sure must look out when they get back to U.S.A. About 50 of us sernaded the town. Paraded the streets etc. We are going to Italy - we're going to Italy - why! We are tired of wading in the cro -
July 21. Sunday and still here. Great news from the front - if its all true.
July 22. A hard day of drill we hear we may not go to Italy. More news from the front - "we" take 20,00 and 400 cannons - and the Bocke still running. The Germans are all entering Paris - dead ones floating down the river. Some improvement in my signal work Roy will have to hurry if he keeps up now.
July 24. Took cow - s - hill for the last time - we rest tomorrow and leave tomorrow night - Received two letters from mother one dated July 1. Received year book and watch yesterday.
July 26. Up at 2:30 - started marching at 4 A.M. hiked 12 miles - packs were hauled. Entrained at Foulain - 40 in a car.
July 27. Saturday - riding thru the Alps - They sure are wonderful but I believe U.S. has some just as fine. The rides are all cultivated very far up grapes - wheat and corn are raised thru here. We see snow on the mountain top - just before learning France - sure are a number of tunnel aroung this country arrived in Italy about 3:15 P.M. This country sure is a revelation to me - seems much more progressive to me than some other countries Being the first troops here every one seems tob e out watching us parade in Turin. Sat eve. Arrived in Verona Sunday - then to Villa Franca where - we are billeted.
July 30th. On guard, more like war every day to us - our post (3 of us and an CO) over the ammunition dump - easy - far away from town. We could see our ships and search lights - guarding the front during the night. the planes heave light on them. We thot they were stars at first but we could hear the engines From the room where we are billeted - we can see a big cathedral very near. In the distance are snow capped mountains There is an old - monistary in "V-F" it is several centuries old. The women of France heard cows - here they watch queese They have mosquitos and flies here - big ones - They have issued mosquitos ban for protection for us.
July 31 Worked hard all day getting ready for the big event of the season. We pass in review befor the King of Italy tomorrow.

Cities and Towns I've been in - Europe after leaving for Italy

  • Foulain
  • Langres
  • Langres
  • Gray
  • St Jean De Losuc
  • Louhans
  • St Amour
  • Bours - En Bresse
  • Chambrey
  • St Micheal
  • Sursa
  • Torino
  • San Gaia
  • Verculli
  • Navara
  • Milano
  • Treniglia
  • Bercamo
  • Breschia
  • Verona
  • Modana
  • Villa France
  • Pischerea
  • Lac de Gorda
  • Valeggia
  • Custoza
  • Verona
  • Veneenza
  • Citadella
  • Castle France
  • Treviso
  • Sprisiano
  • Peare River
  • Tezze
  • Vazzda - stop
  • Cimitta
  • Cadogne
  • Albino
  • Brugnera
  • Viccinato
  • San Toni
  • Premariacca
  • Tpplis - stop
  • Corna - Di - Rosozzo
  • Visinole
  • Pratta - stop
  • Porcia
  • Pordenane
  • Cosarsa
  • Valvosone stop
  • Taglimento stop
  • Cedroipo
  • La Scntisimo
  • Rinolta
  • Neapolita
  • Pozzuola - stop
  • Samardenchen
  • Cortilla
  • Lovaria - stop
  • Buttira
  • Brazzano
  • Coumons stop
  • Langares stop
  • Fuince
  • Dusack

Letter from Commander

From Colonel William Wallace, 332nd Infantry.
To: The Officers and Enlisted men of the 332nd Inf.
Subject: The 332nd Infantry, U.S.A. in Italy.

The Italian Campaign of the 332nd Infantry has been exceedingly credible. The Government, State and friends of the Regiment have reason to be greatly pleased and the soldiers composing it to be rather proud of themselves and of each other for the excellent manner in which they have adjusted themselves through many trying experiences.

The Regiment had two missions, one, to fight if occasion arose. The other, to act as a propaganist or diplomatic agent.

As to the fighting, some regretted not being thrown into battle immeadiatly on arrival. This could not be. There was no fighting taking place, the activity on the Italian front consisting solely in the exchange of occasional artillery complements. More over we were not sufficiently trained. So the time that might have been wasted in boresome guard duty in unhealthy trenches was spent in better fitting us to fight. The result was that no other Regiment ever underwent so thorough a course of battle tactics as did this under the tutelage of Major Allegrette's, 23rd Assalt Bat. of Ardittes. It was as near the real thing as training can be made. And for those who still cherish regret for lost time, it may be said, that there seemed to be more warlike activity around the training camps of the 332nd than at any other place on the Italian Front. The instruction was ideal and marred only by the deplorable accident which killed six and injured 50.

Owing to the, he place and the occasion, these comrades of ours are and should be held as reverently in our memories as tho their death and wounding had occurred in combat with the enemy.

In order to hold a place for the Regiment when the advance should take place and actual fighting begin, one battalion was sent to take over a section of the Piane trenches. It received high praise from all superiors for its conduct there. Three weeks later the rest of the regiment was moved to Trenso to be put in readiness for the expected offensive. Ten days hard marching followed. No doubt it hurt, but if it had not been exacted, the Regiment despite its previous training, would never have reached the Tagliament With any integrity left. As it was, when the order to move against the Austrians came in and crossing the Piane the hard marches that insued were accomplished in a manner that would have been creditable to veterans. We were honored by being made during the advance, the Advance guard, of the 31st Italian Division (major general De Angelis) of the tenth British Army, (General Coran). That is we were an American Regiment in an Italian Division of a British Army, and in a position showing utmost confidence by both our Allies. That the Regiment did not fail this confidence, the attached letters by our Generals fully show.

During the advance, Austrian rear guard action by means of machine gun patrols and nests were momentarily expected and, in all, probability, heavier and more determined stands at river crossings. But the Austrians seemed bent only on getting away and paused only to break all bridges to delay our march. Not until the Tagliamento was reached on November 3d was it possible to catch up. Here (at Ponte della Deligna) the enemy made a slight opposition to our crossing. The 2d Bat. was ordered to clear the way. During the night it field across a narrow plank bridge and deployed in position in the gravel bed of the river. About four platoons of the others Battalions had forced the river during the day and were in position farther to the right. Sixteen machine guns were in place in the line. The 3d Bat. awaited on the bank up the river and the 1st Bat. stood in readiness as Reserve, both to be called upon to reinforced thatail if by any chance it should be checked. At 5 A.M. the attacking line advanced. The Austrain machine guns and riflemen opened fire upon our advanceing line. The line however moved steadily forward and in about 20 minutes charged, going over the top in a line as perfect at a drill and with a cheer that could have been heard a mile, the the position and started the pursuit only one man was killed and six wounded. The Austrian fire had swept the ground only a short distance to the rear of the advancing single line. The 2d Bat. was holded at Lodroipo, four miles to the front, and the only engagement of the campaign was completed. Small as it was it showed your metal and it proved pure gold.

Cpl. Charles A. Kell, the American killed was probably the last man of any Allied nations to lay down his life for our just cause on the Italian front. At 11 A.M. the Armistice was signed and the war, one of whose great purposes was the restoration of Italy's integrity was won. Italy's ancient foe was humbled beyond possibility of recovery, her lost provinces reconquered, and let us hope, her people again cemented together in bonds of lasting loyalty to her good King and Government.

To have had your part in all this and played that part well is great credit to yourselves and a good heritage of honor for your children. As for the diplomatic part of the mission. That was of deepest concern In a land where the language was unspoken by us, where many ideas, customs, and manners differed radically from our own, where the people were sensitive and likely to jarred by one American brusquerros, for 4000 of us to live and march among them for 4 months without a note of friction, is simply marvelous. What praise you may get for having "the fighting spirit" is as nothing in comparison to the credit due all for the self restraint that imposed upon your selves a more tempered conduct than we are likely to employ even at home.

In the reorganization of the Regiment back in France when it was ordered to Italy, it was asked that it might be made up, not only of soldiers but gentlemen, without any of the latter's bad habits, such as late rising and certain prejudices against work. That was a joke - a dread then - but a reality now.

You have more than fulfilled expectations.

Thank you -

William Wallace
Colonel, 332nd Infantry

Purchased book - July 30, 1918
At Villa Franca, Italy

August 1918

August 1 Time I was in bed and I sure feel like being there - but will jot down a few little notes. Up early and hiked to an aviation field near here. There by 7:30. We formed the regiment there were also Italian infantry and cavalry there. The king appeared at about 9:00 we stood at present arms for 18 minutes while he inspected us. Then we passed in review. He says he was well pleased. The place was sure well protected - airships etc. Motion pictures were taken of the affair. I suppose they will be shown in good old Ohio, U.S.A. in a few weeks. After the "parade" before the "------" we drilled until 7. - Supper at 8:00 - sure are giving us Hell - I believe in that place now - but its here on earth "And several of the hellish force are U.S. officers.
August 2 Drilling as usual some not. An Italian aviator showed off before us to day - doing flip flops, spirals, loop the loops all together. They sure are dare devils or at least he was. They say we leave for the front in a few days - but why the fancy drilling - if we are to fight why not drill a little in that line. I sure am getting "many returns" for my ten dollars donation to the "Y" last winter - drank several glasses of lemonade today sure tasted fine -
August 3 Saturday and a fairly easy day. We took a short hike in the morning. In afternoon we (Jepson and myself Bathed and washed our cloths In the evening I went up in the tower of the old castle sure some new trees and trees. The castle must be several centuries old.
Aug. 4 Many of the boys went to Verona - I prefered to rest - went to church and Y.M. I like to hear Valley talk. In evening I walked around a little - seeing sights one can see women and girls coming on in town (about 5000 inhabitants) with out shoes - think of an American woman doing that - no hose no shoes. Then one can see very dreams in silk hose and lingerie and French heels and all that a girl uses to dress up - But usually you can find that these dreams come and return to some home that are as dirty as our dir test
P.S. All is not as dirty on the outside as it lately seems.
Aug 5 we have a shorter drill schedule much better.
Aug 6 we hear that the allies are nearing Loan - and several were talking of what the peace terms would be. Also how soon the war would end. It will be over by Xmas - The terms - I think - results U.S. world mastery awaking of U.S. Millions of dollars of trade. 5 million men content with U.S.A. and many others Belgium - restored German Africa to France and England Alsace-Lorraine to France Poland - a free state. Constantinoble - to Russia. Palastine to England - Italy part of Austria along the Adriatic Germany - put back in her place. Phillipines - to Japan in a short time. Home rule to Ireland Yes Home rule - but there are different homes in Ireland.
Aug 8 Broke - dead broke I guess I've been a little too liberal and loaned too much - my last dime was spent for a piece of chocolate. Laison work today - much easier than drilling. Wig-waged with gas masks on. First time I've ever broke may it be the last time.
Aug 10 Saturday and a day of rest and cleaning up. Rifle inspection. Mail
Aug 11 Thot I would get to go to Verona but did not. Went to a performance given by some crack Italian troops. It was fairly good went to bed early with a headache.
Aug 12 A full day - up early - 15 planes in sight at one time we drill in the morning , in at noon there was to be a funeral of one of the boys in G. Co., Maser from near Toledo. They did not have it 'twas to be a regimental funeral - military. We fell out at 3:10 P.M. Lined in battalion front with salute as the hearse and his company passed. We then marched to the cemetery and stood at parade rest during the the firing of the 3 volleys and playing of taps. Sure was a grand way to "go across" if it had only been in U.S.A. And then one can hardly realize how his people at home that we also learned that we were to move again.
Aug 13 Hardly any sleep - those bloomin' bites. We left at 8 A.M. marched about 7 miles and are now encamped in squad tents, the whole regiment is here - The Col. Just came along said we should move our tents. In swimming in an irrigation ditch - about 500 fellows in at the same time, sure a sight.
Aug 14 moving time - took all day to move about 10 feet - and doesn't look right yet. More mail - Mildred and mother - hear that I'm engaged - Bernita - said to any one who would have me - no I think hard - I always thot myself a little choicy in my choosing of female companions.
Aug 15 Mail again - One year today - I took my first exam for service. We began our new work schedule - much better - if it holds. Drill for 4 hrs. in the morning 6:30 to 10:30 and lecture and games 230: 5:30 up a little early 5 A.M. but it puts the pep in a man. We hear that the (U.S. people) are celebrating some victory's - we are not allowed to.
Aug 16 Worked in orderly room all day. some fine job - I sure am getting tired of nothing by agrial work. In evening several of us rode to Villa Franca on a truck sure was a fine ride - if it had only been in U.S>A. Back after taps.
Aug 16 [17] Inspections - may there be none in heaven. PM In swimming in the River sure some water and current. The town of Valligio has some pretty places near it. Our meals are running short - sure are feeding us men very poor meals. - I wonder if the people at home know it? Mothers letter of the 25th July says she hasn't received any mail since July 6. - sure some mail system. Uncle Sam isn't taking very good care of her humanity workers. I'm disgusted with army life. - the ignorance of the men in the ranks, the "big" feeling of the NCO's and the efficiency of the officers - they hog it all.
Sunday Aug 18 Layed around all morning - went swimming in afternoon - 300 Austrians came down and crawled in - I (at the same time crawled out - too crowded. Grimes and myself then climbed into a trap - up a hill into a high fence three trenches, barbed wire and finally down a wall almost in the heart of the town.
Aug 19 Worked with the company all day went on guard in the evening. We practiced for formal guard mount and then didn't have it. went over to guard house and - then "wonder of wonders" I was choosen orderly for the Colonel - in bed early but sleep disturbed frequently - hiking back to the small canvas covered in - closure in rear of company street.
Aug 20 It sure is one sweet job - colonel's orderly nothing to do - and nothing to sit on The day finaley passed and I went to bed in my new bed - sleep was much "sweeter".
August 21 Company orderly - and nothing to do. - wrote a couple of letters. Payday - and it sure was time - a couple of hours were spent in paying debts - by everyone. Gave 100 lire to Lt. John to keep for me.
August 22 Nothing of interest has happened today There seems to be a heap of "robbing" about the Red and "Y" I guess they think they are not getting enough for their money. Perhaps the "Y" is making a profit - but they are doing a heap of good also. There are loop-holes for profit in all organizations and I suppose a heap of money that should be used for the boys - is making some one rich. The longer I am in the army the more inefficient I find the army to be - 40 days and no mail has reached home as yet. I hope that ones who are holding it up died before morning. I don't care - if don't get mail - just so mother gets mine. I do believe I am getting tired of the army.
Aug 23 Up early - the crack Italian gave a bombing exhibition sure was punk, only a 4th of July celebration. One fellow had his hand blown off - result - a lire. lire from the men each of this regiment and 5 from each officer. A young fortune for him. Missed Retreat - on purpose - to eat at the "Y".
Aug 24 Another exhibition by the wops. but they are more careful today afterwards our own fellows do some throwing of real bombs. The Italians pass in review - at double time. Rifle and bunk inspections - and a sermon by "John". A meal for cold regions again served to us. The climate is sure a queer here - hot from 9:30 to 4:30 and beautiful evening - cold mornings. A letter from mother - God help her - may he keep her strong and sweet. May this Hell end before Ray has to join the army. I believe in God and trust in him - and I believe he will see that this cruel thing ends soon the longer I am in it the more I believe it is for greed and not for humanity. May the Devil and his crew die soon.
Aug 24 Run the ½ mile in a company field meet in preparation for the batillion and regimental meets - won time 2:39 - means that I will run in the batillion meet. Officers give a big blowout at the "Y" - beer and liquors of all king flowed freely - great numbers of the U.S. officers were reported - to be drunk. It seems to me a disgrace to humanity and our parents - I think the money used in building the "Y" could be used in housing a better party than a beer party. The men of the regiment do not live the partially show to the officers by -------------- They sure are very undemocratic. Crabbing is about all 85% of the men are doing now.
Aug 25 Almost all the officers have gone to Venice. I am orderly today with nothing to do but hang around religious meetings this morn - where last night a beer party was held.
August 26 A very fine day. Not much hard work, hike in the morning, then Valligis and out the river road, only one officer present, rest-not returned form Venince. After dinner hiked to the canal and went in swimming sure ws fine. The entertainment for the wops took place in the evening. a great no. of our company did not go - I was one of them. We did not approve of the "doings" After it was out sandwiches, doughnuts, watermelon, birra and lemonade was served at the mess tent. Stood in line until after taps to get a few eats - what one wont do for a few eats when he isn't properly fed. Sunday a wrote a card to Mother - it didn't pass the censor because I said I didn't approve of some of the things that took place at the entertainment. Officers sure do not stand for - free-press etc in the U.S. army - I wonder what will happen when we get back to U.S. - we hear that they are progressing very well on the western front - Received a letter from Roy -
Aug. 27 started training systematicly as sgt. Wilson says. Hendershot and I hiked to the Custodia monument - there are over 2000 skuls on shelves there - bones piled as if they were cord wood and relics of all kinds A fine rain - just as we arrived at Custodia In afternoon we took another long hike - passing a couple of Austrian prison camps They are keeping the Austrian prisoners busy - building - wire entanglements and trenches.
Aug 28  
Aug 29 On the range - shooting very poor - partly because of Lt. John and partly otherwise. Back at noon - for an afternoon of lying around - laison work. Rained - hard - with prospects of more Kept us busy moving our things into dry places.
Aug. 30 "soldiered" almost all morning - In afternoon - laison work - otherwise laying around work - dismissed early to see a field meet more rain just at supper time Hear that we go to the reserve trenches Sunday. Also have to turn in our ammunition - trenches and nothing to shoot. Softley first.
Aug 31 Last day of August. How fast and yet how slow the time passes. Wilson, Hendershot, and myself went for a ramble this A.M. We hiked over to the second line of foothills where we could see the Alps about 20 miles in the distance - they looked very rugged - and cold - nothing but snow on the peaks - I could almost "see" Hannibal and Napoleon with their armies high up on the mountains. The second battillion were having a sham battle with some Italians five or ten miles away from us - in the 4th line trenches - we could see no one - but over the place where the battle was taking place - a dense cloud of smoke was hanging - also a dirigible and a couple of airplances were flying over the - "sham" It was a beautiful view from where we sat - towns nestled in the hills in every direction. And with every town a high church steeple. The line of hills behind us were lined with trenches and barbed wire entanglements - made by Austrian prisoners. Grapes in abundance were also growing on the slopes of these hills - (no?) we didn't eat any - I feel the effects of them yet - also blackberries in the wild state - big and juicy. We passed several girls and ladies on the way back - Italian females are sure - untidy - dirty and every thing that goes with it. Missed physical, bunk and gen inspection signed payroll after retreat - hope we receive our pay soon - I am almost broke again.

September 1918

Sept. 1 Sunday - we held our battillion meet at 10 A.M. the boys made some very fine marks - Co I took it all. I cam out 4th in the half mile - Wilson set the pace - a little too fast - I let them get to long a lead and couldn't sprint fast enough to win. Left for trenches at 4:20, eat at 6 P.M. along the road - arrived at 8:30 - Beginning to look like rain. Bat. Hdg - out under the trees. we pitch our "pup" tent but not soon enough, our tent floor was soaked In a short time I went out to locate L. Co's Hdg. found it at the extreme left flank of the trenches. Carrying messages in the dark is some sport - especially if a gas attack is on. I was resting peacefully in my tent, when the gas alarm was given. The major then sent me out with a patrol to L's Hdg but attack was over before we were well started - In one trip over the hill looking for Lt. John we didn't have to walk very far before we say his white pants in the distance - and then we soon discovered him. L. Co became lost in trying to find the reserve - Lt. Pail says Poor old L. Co. It was sure a wierd old night and a wet and sloppy day - rain, rain, rain Everyone looked as if he'd rather be in the real front lines that there. The day finally did end and we started "home" - about 8:30 P.M. one long sad hike - "Sister" John seems lost again All taken for consideration I beleive my place as laison is more preferable than a NCO's -
Sept 3 Out for bombing practice - sit around all morning watching others. I don't care anything for "bums". Spent most of the afternoon in cleaning ----- Lt. John left in the morning - Capt. Postum came back at Eve. same old capt. seemed glad to get back - and we are glad to get him back.
Sept. 4 In training again.
Sept. 7. We hear that a big surprise awaits us. 2d Battalion wins ball game from 1st Battalion - winning regimental championship. Game witnessed by "wops" high and low. The second Bat. celebrates in evening saw motion pictures of "Playing Dead" at the "Y" also some good rumors flying and I am feeling about the best I ever did in "this man's" army.
Sept 8. Sunday and the regimental field meet is on 3d Bat run away with the "bacon" - winning meet 57-32-15 points. In after noon a bunch goes to Verona to an entertainment. I was not one of them. A wind and rain storm comes up plays "hob" with many tents - we have to hold ours down.
September 9. A quiet day - we rest up - to go to the trenches. The 2d Bat. are issued their "kaikin" to go to the "Front" - we arrive at the trenches at 7:30 a quiet night and a heap of sleep.
Sept 10 Sir John arrives in the morning - I wonder if he has my 100 lira. We examine some of the Italians guns. Rusty looking guns. One of them said one shot would clean the gun out - Yes it might but I wouldn't want to be the one to fire it - the Italians seem very inefficient in their work around here. About all they can do is talk. They seem very careless also - one picked up a lighted rocket and it went off in his hand. - I was behind a tree - also a captain and several others. A gas attack was due in the eve but thru a misunderstanding we did not have it. The "Ardides" attacked the left flank - where L. Co. was located one could hear them yell for miles - an Italian Lt. said they took the hill beautifully - Sgt. Battin said that half of the Italians would have been killed with a machine gun. I rested in peace for the rest of the night. After the fireworks had stopped.
Sept 11 Lt. sargent tells - what the thot was the saddest happening of the day. We make a raid - on a grape arbor - it was sure "stripped"
Sept 12 Watching the Italians do some more maneuvering. Pay-day 86 liras.
Sept. 13 Friday the 13th and it sure was unlucky for the 3d Batallion. - we went out to the field where the maneuvers are held and watched the Italians prepare and then we began our part of the days work Several trench mortors were going to send over a barrage, they were slow in getting started. Major McKinney asked the reason and the Lt. in charge replied that he was waiting on an orderly, just then he appeared and the Lt. told the major he would start in two minutes. Then things started - By pure accident or carelessness a shell went straight up and down - exploded among the men - mostly officers - one - a gunner was killed - inst. six others are reported as dying later and several more are not expected to live - including Major McKinney and Lt. Bails. Lt. Carter of M.Co - has died - the first Lt. I really knew - and that anything of I met him at the range in Sherman in my early days "over there". - A fine chap lost for U.S. I often wondered what I would do when I saw dead and wounded lying all around - I surprised myself, I felt no inclination to faint etc. - I even helped to bind a wound for Nayer. Our officers and men did fine in such a time. L. Co was lucky only a few slight scratches - where much of the shrapnel hit - the MCO's were standing a few minutes before. - We receive word that the sammies are going after Metz - heres hoping they get it and soon - I've seen all of war I want to war is sure hell. I hear yells in the air now - one of the companies down the line has just received the news of the attack of Metz.
September 14. Saturday and wonders of wonders we have drill and no inspections. - In the orderly room so it doesn't effect me. Funeral in the afternoon the company marches to Villa Franca - five are buried - they say it was an awful hike.
Sept. 13. Mother's Birthday I receive a letter from Mother saying that - she is attending the Vandiver reunion. Note bakes a pie for me - Grape. Walter, Luts, Farmer and myself eat it first piece in 4 months - sure tasted good. - Heard Cameron - lecture on England.
September 15. Sunday. Receive a letter from Tebay.
Sept. 16. Out to the boming field again we attack a trench I fired 5 rounds wasn't supposed to fire any - but the spirit moved me and I was soon in the battle to the full extent of my ammunition. Motion picture at the "Y" in the eve.
Sept. 17. Squad drill all morning - in the afternoon the entire squad went in swimming in the Minces - one fellow went in over his head - took on too much water and Cameron had to pull him out.
Sept 20 Friday - Italian holiday - part of the Batallion go to Lake Gorda I soon saw all the city I wished and went in swimming in the lake - Then by good fortune was given a long ride in a "rig" with a couple of sergants. We took pictures and eat grapes. Watermelon later.
Sept. 21 Movies at Y.
" 22 A big entertainment given by ardid (?) in the afternoon.
Sept. 23. - Another accident. We were having some attacking problems and one of the machine guns throwing a barrage over the heads of the men - fell short and shot shot up -.
24th soldiers day - rain! rain! Boxing at the Y.
25th 12 mile hike in the morning - foot inspection and drill in afternoon
Sept 28. Saturday and on the bombing range Our last day for some time.
Sept. 29. Went to Verona in the afternoon. 'Tis a city of several very interesting places. There is an Arena where many christians were killed A tomb for Romeo and Juliet - also a balcony which is known as the balcony of Romeo and Juliet. The cemetery is also very interesting. In my wandering over this city I also discovered a smaller arena - very small in ruins, an old whipping post and also a place where prisoners were fastened. On our way home our driver became lost and our engine stalled - hard luck.
September 30. Inspections - and checking of A.M.C. and ordance.

October 1918

October 1. Tuesday. Close order drill all day.
Oct. 2. We prepare for a practice hike - it rains and we lie around until 8 or 9 o'clock when we receive orders to get ready to move. We pack up strike tents, police up and pitch pup tents and get set for the night
Oct. 3. Detail all morning. In afternoon we hike with heavy packs to Villa-Franca. We "pup tent" "all night" and get up at 3:30 AM.
Oct. 4. Leave V.F. at 8:10 AM. Arrived at Trevisa at 5:30 P.M. Hike to our barracks - to be. 'Tis a barracks worth while a huge brick and stone 3 storied structure that would make some hotel in the states. Four companies are quartered in it - we have water etc on each floor. The place was formerly the quarters for a regiment of cavalery. The main building is surrounded by fine buildings for stables, supplies, etc.
Oct. 5 Up at 7:15 and on detail all day. There are 10 of us in one room. 5 sargents, 2 highers, 3 laison men, a fine crowd. We all have erected cots. Fine. 5:30 - on a new schedule 1st call 7 - taps 10 - 6 hours of drill. drill 3 miles from the front Ye! Gods. Airoplane battles all day. Every thing spic and span. The boys predict an air-raid. -
Oct 6. Yes - we had an air raid last evening. The raiders were successful to some extent - they brot down a balloon in flames but lost a plane in doing so - thus being the losers. Night passes in fine shape - a little cool towards morning. Sunday and nothing doing all morning. In the afternoon we hiked to a branch of the Piare River. Here we take our first lesson in crossing rivers in boats it was some experience. Going over there were six of us in the boat with two Italian boatmen. In coming back two of our men acted as boatmen. The current was very swift - so it required some skill in getting the boats across. One of our fellow acting as boatmen fell in. Going over Capt. Vaughan lost several friends in L. Co. - he "called" Lt. McGowan for something that was his own fauld. - Rumor that we have been "issued: to the Italian Army - the straw that broke the Camels back. -
Oct 7 Barey's on guard and I am in the orderly room in his place. I hear that an American Flag is to be presented to the 332nd this afternoon. - (more later) 'Tis queer - why do they call us - American - while the the Candaian Mexican etc all are American. - The parade (they say) was a great affair and Capt. Vaughan thanked everybody for their wonderful work. - Mail from home but too dark to read it.
Oct. 8 Up at 5:30 - on the schedule - many "reports" during the night. Down at the river taking another lesson in crossing rivers. Our company did fine. Many rumors of peace in a short time - may the dreams come true. In mother's letter I can see that she is feeling fairly well the victories seem to have a good effect on every one.
Oct 9. "The cold winds do blow" - and it rains - we have signal work in the building. No signal work in the afternoon - we receive notice to pack up our barracks bags - and to be ready to leave for the front at any time. Every one seems happy - well I believe that it will be better than squads right - some of us will get picked off - but what of that.
Oct. 10. Still here
Oct. 11. " "
Oct. 12 Columbus day and we pass in review before Samual Gompers. A very appropriate day to parade before an American in the land that produced the discoverer of our own country. 'Twas our first parade before an American in Italy - nothing seemed to thrill me when we marched before a king or duke or general - but before an American it did - we had to wait a couple of hours on him to. Several U.S. planes passed over us while we were waiting Several of our bunch go as a detail carring ammunition to our future sector - They find it a very dirty and wet place!
Oct. 13 Things have changed - same detail goes to bring our bullets back - we move but - were too? such an uncertain life. Things open up a little passes are issued for down town.
Oct 14. We get our barracks bags for a few hours. "Y" is restocked - I eat my fill.
Oct. 15. In orderly room. We receive our coupons for Xmas packages. I hope the packages now have time to come over. The battle still rages - Duke Rain is not in power we stay in all day. Rumors still come in. May some of them be true. Our sector is gone! The English take it - I wonder that they will do with us?
Oct. 16 Ye Gods! The Colonel says the war is over - as far as we are concerned - we receive a new "schedule" - its too good to last. From 810 to 12 AM Afternoons off. With permission to visit the city of Treviso between 2 and 5 P.M. The acting - Major says "it" will last as long as we behave ourselves. Visited the city in the afternoon. Didn't appeal to me so I returned to the barracks. The New Y. Hearld - says the Germans agree to Wilson's terms. May they fix "it" up soon and let us go home.
Oct. 17. Might have known something was up. We receive orders to prepare for a 3 day hike - only one day of that grand schedule. Yes - they are still fighting.
Oct. 18. At present - I'm about 7 miles from Treviso - lying under a cart. Its raining to beat the ears' - the rest are out in it. it sure has been some hike so far - not a 3 day hike but 3 days of hiking. Italy has good raods - but we hit one today that is worse than any of our Henry Co. roads. May the Lord intervene and end this bloomin war. Very much of this will finish me.
Copied from another book
Oct-19-20-21-22 ^air raid-22^heavy canading shells pass over
Oct. 24. Englishman says - he feels for the company runner." "The news may come to send a message to a Lt. down the line - you go - you may arrive all O.K. - if you do chances are they will award a medal to you sometime later." - must be a little dangerous. We receive word to get ready to move to the front.
Oct. 25. Reviewed by Wop General. We thot we were going to the front - some dissappointed bunch. We return to the barracks are given orders to be ready to move with in five minutes notice. We get a New Capt. Capt. Dickerson - he seems like a fairly fine fellow - very thotful. Might be a little yellow in a fight.
Oct. 26. Hike - Rumor - we leave at 2:30 A.M. Looks like we might have an air raid. - a little extra time so - I'll write what I think of the air raid of the 22nd - In the first place I'll tell what I think of air raids - and then about the one we saw. - or rather heard - mostly. - What I think of them - they are horrid - one's enough for me. 'Twas a moonlight night. we retired early. Wanting to get a good nights sleep for a long hike the next day. When we went to bed - about 8 P.M. only a few reports of the big guns far in the distance - it was much different when we awoke about 3 hours later. We thot the roof - walls and everything else was coming in on us. We grabbed helmets, masks and guns - all kinds of thots passed thru our "nuts." We thot 'twas big guns, air raids and thot the Austrians had broken thru. - But it was anti air craft guns - here there - everywhere. I guess the planes dropped a few bombs but - oh! those guns - I didn't know there were so many on the whole front. The "drama" was in four acts - the 1st act was very thrilling - I couldn't have written my name during the first act if it had cost my life. 2d act was very good - the search lights (there must have been several dozen of them) found a plane high in the air. The light followed the plane aross the sky - high above the range of the guns. But it was fianally lost in the clouds As for the 3d act it was very "sane" - I sleep thru the 4th act which took place about 4:30 AM. May the moon light nights be few and far between when air raids are in fashion.
Oct. 27. Capt. Vaughan says, "We are on the alert," whatever that is" - I freeze almost all night.
Oct. 28. Drill and a short hike - Bought 19 lires of chocolate - Call to arms at 10 P.M. we start at 10:30 P.M.
Oct. 29. We hike about 6K in 24 hr. - 7 or 8 hundred "Jerries" pass us we camp - waiting on the bridge builders - hundreds of wops - pass us going to the front. The heavy guns seemed very near this A.M. but now they seem far in front. Word comes that the drive is coming fine.
Oct. 30 Its somewhat different being in reserve" - than doing "squads right." We have advanced to with in 2 ½ miles of the Piave R. and are awaiting orders. When we arrived here yesterday we were near the artillery. Observation ballons were within a few yards of us. After lying along the road ( a very conjested one) for about 12 hours - orders were given to fall in - and out - and pitch tents. We peacefully sleep during the night. Artillery has stopped firing. Many hundred of "Jerries" pass us. - writing home by candle light - lying under my shelter half - here's hoping the bed will be soft to night.
Oct. 31. Up at 5:30 - start to cross the Piave - takes us 8 hours to reach it. We start crossing at 3:50 - and arrive on the other side at 5:20. We see our first real signs of war - drowned horses wound and dead Tommies and Jerries. some had lain for 3 days - ammunition of all kinds everywhere. shell holes and signs of mustard gas. The Tommies and Hell Ladies must have given them "Hell" - A large town just on this side of the river was "ruined". After hiking for several hours we pulled into a field and pupped tented all night -corn stalks for a bed.
P.S. People are coming back to their home, homes that are nothing but stone piles.
Note (afterwards) we were several miles beyond Aust Rearguards at different times

November 1918

Nov. 1 Hiking - 2d stop (Volzzora?) start hiking at 1:30 - more resistance - at the dike - dead strung out all along the trenches.
Nov 2 A hard day - on reserve rations. More - dead - machine gunners - 3 - dead. trail getting warmer they left this morning 7 hours ahead of us. They sure are going some - our advance guard came across some colonary - but Aust - men.
Nov. 3. We pass some British - They had been chasing the Austs since the beginning of the drive. Nothing between us and Austrians but the "Tag." Our patrols cross over Austrians by the thousands meet them and say the war is over.
Nov. 4. Much firing to our right - doesn't sound like "its" over. One great feed this morning - we get rations - British tea, hard tack and bully beef - green cabbage and turnips. I have all the "bully beef" I can eat. Later we start to advance L. Co - advance guard. We are halted about 1 K. from the "Tag." We can see it in the distance. Orders are to halt and camp war must be over - war also over on western front - by rumor - we may reach home by Xmas. Kitchem also appear before noon. Coming from the direction of the enemy - seems queer - they had been hunting for us for two days. The "Veterans of the Piave" 2d Batallion crossed the river this A.M. under fire - and a corporal was killed - to bad - and its so near the end.
Nov. 5. We more to Valmazone stay all night.
Nov. 6. Cross the "Tag" - by frorced march moved to a short distance of Udine -
Nov. 7. Marched 17 hours - until 4 A.M. slept for 1 ½ hr. and then eat reserve rations and started another forced hike for 6 hours landed at Lovare's. Looks as thou we move again tomorrow.
Nov. 8. About all I can say for today is - we had a good rest and a heap of mush to eat. We move again leave at 11:30 we are very down hearted - rumor - again - war ends at 2:30 we hear that Germany gave up - it may not be true - but it sure did put the pep in the boys. We encamp in an old drill field of the Austrians.
Nov. 9. A good rest and a fine bath in a cold mountain stream - some sight to see two batallions - in bathing at once - heaps of rumors.
Nov 10. Sunday - no orders to move -
Nov. 10. Colonel - gone - grenades gone to - the companies thru them away this A.M. looks as tho the war was ended. More "Rumors" as to our next move" - King offers ships etc. "some - "
Nov. 11. Still loafing - no news
Nov. 12. Wakened at about 12 A.M. (nite) - to turn in ammunition for 2nd battalion - who left early in the morning in trucks - we leave at 12:30 P.M. - on foot. Hiked about - 12 K. The. Austs seemed to be in a hurry to leave this part of the country - didn't even blow up the bridges - we camp near Cormons - near a railway - heres hoping we get a ride. This section seemed to be the old boundry between Austria and Italy. Much ammunition and war material is stored here.
Nov. 13 Nothing doing - but loaf until 3 P.M. we hear we are to move - we hike about 2 miles out to a hospital where two 1st and 3d batallions are quartered some place - or rather it had been some place. Co. L. on guard and I am selected as runner between Reg. Hdg and the camp. - I get a bike and ride into Corman - not a very bad town. In bed at 8 P.M.
Nov. 14. Review of the Regiment in the morning - but I missed it - came back just in time to see the finis - Col. Everson made a speech to the N.C.O.'s - a heap of nonsense - but he said the war was over but that it may be some time before we get home. "Y" gives hot chocolate, in the eve - didn't indulge.
Nov. 15. Our squad rolls arrive or rather what was left everything seems to have been salvaged. We do close order drill etc -Ye Gods! I'll be glad when I get away from officers, N.C.O.s and the Army. Its sure one great #?* Mail come in - I sit up until 10 P.M. reading - 12 letters. Couple of months. That Kid brother of mine is sure some chap. - run from the Huns - why we can't even catch up with them - No brother - no relics - for me.
Nov. 16. Inspections - 2d class mail - Flags - still waiting to move. I beleive they are getting our boat ready for us to sail for dear old U.S.A. I think we will be on the "High Seas" in 15 days - here's hoping - We hear its _______ for some time. IN evening we becoma hungry. I found an enterpreter and we started out to look for polinty or mush we found a farm house. The family was gathered around a fire in the center of the room. 4 men - 2 boys - 2 girls and 4 women - 5 generations. The room was about 20 ft. square and the roof or ceiling formed a huge chimney over the fire a pot of polinty was cooking - one of the girls was stirring the mush by turning a handle on rollers - etc. Every one seemed to be trying to chatter the most - only on was quiet - a young man who had been in the Austrian Army. After finishing their evening meal one of the old women fixed us up a pot of "it" - 5 lires not very dear - for Italy. Some experience - gave me a good picture of peasant life over here. Card playing - very popular
Nov. 17. We hear that we move tomorrow - To bad we must leave our warm fire - for it is getting much colder we have our first snow very light - but snow just the same. We are told that we have spanish flu in the co. so Farmer and Myself took a long hike for the fresh air.
Nov. 18. Up at 4:30 ready to move at 7. Wait until 1:30 P.M. for the train. Snowed during the night - the mountains certainly looked - beautiful - some train ride up thru the mountains.
Nov. 19. The country thru which we passed must have been grand - but we saw very little of it - to cold to have the door or windows open. Marked time during the night to keep warm. Arrived at Flume at 7 A.M. It seems to be some city... the people seem to be glad we have come.
Nov. 20. Things seem to be getting lively around here - scraps of all kinds - The men of K and M were taken over the canal this morning "on apeace mission". Just the same everyone had loaded guns. The Hugo-Slav's aremuch more numerous across the canal and the Italians seem to want everything their own way - and the U. S. authorities seemed to think trouble might be brewing - we have been all ready for a call all day I hope they settle their quarrels in this part of the world in a short time so that we can make our way homeward. The Italians have been parading on this side of the canal all day trying to boost Italy's interests. For my part Im with the slavs - I would dislike to be under Italian rule any length of time There are ships of war - from England, France, U.S. Italy - U.S. sailors sure look good. Every thing is sure high priced in this city. Bread 9 Koronas suits 9 or 10 hundred - But one can buy most anything if he has the money. This city seems like the the city in the Grustark stories. So many in uniform and such a variety of uniforms. The blanc race seem to be a much better class of people than the Italians. There are a great number of different languages spoken here Very much German is spoken and as for Italian - every one seems to be against it - our "interpreters" have taken a back seat. Most of their "upishness" has been knocked out of them. The men of the 332nd haven't any use for Italians - not even those of the reg. We are quartered in a school building in the center of the city - high buildings all-around - fine stone structures. The children are having a rotation until our barracks are ready for us. We hear they are to be five ---- cots! Hot and cold water etc This building is the cleanest place we have been quartered in Europe. Running water and a maid to take care of the latrines. Lt. Mac. gave us a lecture on keeping the place clean - I wonder if he knew - we had chamber maids to look after our quarters? Wow is the time for the U. to show if its of any thing to do. They could supply us with a little reading matter - as yet they have not been of any value - except to sell us chocolate - at high prices. If the entire Y could be judged by ours - I'm afraid that it is an institution that has robbed the American people.
Nov. 21. Last evening we left for the Hugo-Slav side of the town to acts as agents of peace. We were billeted in a large school building high on a hill side It is a wonderful structure and shows what the Slavs think of education. Had a good nights sleep on the school room floor. From here we can look far out over the gulf. It is a wonderful view. On this side of the canal there are hundreds of beautiful structures. The Italians say they (the Slavs) are not civilized if appearances count for anything - the slav's out class the wops it will take a hundred years to catch up. If it would take proof to convince anyone of the above statement - they should see parts of that building that the wops have been using - hogs. I watched the children as they came to school all-clean - near and bright looking children. Some one produced a couple of American stamps - the kids almost fought over them. We (several U.S. soldiers) had a very interesting political geography lesson. The geography teacher - explained several things (thru an interpreter) I think it was a half hour well spent. During the talk several Italians stopped the lecture and called U.S. officers - a wop who could understand the lingo was placed in the room to see that no "plots" were formed - If I could think any less of the Italians I surly would. We ate our dinner and returned to the "main stem". We hear that an American boat is in shore I guess about all the battalions were down trying to get a glimpse of men - Too dark so we returned to "home" Kim, Lutz, Farmer and myself take in the under world - of Flume. It's a real live town at night. But nothing compared to an American city.
Nov. 22. The movie actors are busy again, we take a hike and have out pictures taken high up on the hill. It should be a fine picture. The whole city - hills and all - form the background. We have something unusual - a big dinner. After dinner I visit the U.S. destroyer - Iseral 98 15 or 20 of the boys eat their dinner aboard. It sure did us heaps of good to see Americans and an American boat. We get a real bath. In the afternoon word comes for us to get ready to clean up a little. We hike almost 2 miles but it was sure worth it. The took us to a real bath house. There were 15 showers and a pool and oceans of hot water. The cuties had a real good swim. In the evening Barcy and I take in the Fenive Teatre and a tea house. The pictures were not worth remembering - but the tickets were worth keeping for souvenirs. They have a queer system over here - just opposite of ours - he higher up you go the more it costs The first floor was 2 Coronas - and extra for each floor above the first.
Nov. 23. We get paid - at 6.35 per. I had 50 lires changed to Coronas at 2.5 per lire spins 60 Ks and lent the rest so its nothing but lires again.
Menu for today.
Breakfast, - bread and coffee coffee and bread.
Supper - stew.
A poor beginning but better afterwards. Made several purchases P. knife - _____ souvenir - knife and fort silver 20K. These sure do hand it to the American soldier. We pay 3 lires to someone (they say the Italian people) for grapes we eat when we were on out maneuvers at Vallego and Custozo. Some one sure is making a personal fortune by flimflamming the 332nd vof.
Nov. 24. Sunday - but as usual no church - also no drill. I take along ramble up the mountainside in the rear of the city. I kept climbing - thinking each ridge would be the highest - but there seemed to be no end. I climbed up to a huge cross high on the mountain side and from there I had a fine view of the city gulf and surrounding country - a fine view. The socialists had a big parade in the morning. All quiet the rest of the day. Some British soldiers were supposed to come in - as yet they haven't arrived. More cookies at 4 cents a small one. Run out of Korans so I stopped buying eats.
Nov. 25. No formation until 9:15 so I wandered about a little - taking in the sights of the harbor. Funeral at 9:15 - Mohler - we hiked out of the cemetery and saw him laid away as best one can put them away in this country. They were burying a number of Austrians 142 - who had died as result of burns. Prison ship caught on fire and having no medical treatment great numbers of them dies. The way they buried them makes me shutter - to think of it. Four deep and 5 or 60 in a trench. After words I went down to see the prison ship. They had no food so the people of the city were bringing them bread - it sure was an act of mercy. Men, women and children were bringing them bread. One little girl had several loves of bread - She was the most beautiful little girl - I believe I've ever seen. Ranshier was collecting "souviniers". After dinner I went over on the other side of the docks and looked at the U.-40 my first glimpse of a sub and that after the war was over.
Nov. 26. On sick call marked quarters - lying around all day. Three U.S.S.L. are in port - causing much "cheer" among the boys. In bed with a triffic headache.
Nov. 27. Feeling better but still in quarters Dr. says get some fresh air" so I strolled down to see something real American. The boats were good for sore eyes. Many wild rumors about leaving for home. Tomorrow is Thanks-giving, I am wondering what we will get to eat?
Nov. 28. Thanks-giving day went on sick call. Dr. gave me a large drink of castor oil. - Result - couldn't eat my dinner. Only dinner that was fit to eat in last 4 months - Feeling better now. On hike with the Co marched up thru the mountains it sure - fine scenery.
Nov. 29 ----------------
Nov. 30 Inspection of rifles and quarters. New order 50% of company allowed out from - 6 - 9 P.M. As a result the boys are sending great numbers of cards and letters.

December 1918

Dec 1. Fine weather for December. Last evening we had a new song composed by one of the boys in the room - "Its Coats Time in Flume" - and it sure is. One of the fellows discovered that he was "inhabited" so the hunt was on. Almost every one had his shirt off, looking for the "creepers" One of the sergeants found a cooty and he spent the rest of the night looking for them. I turned off the lights so he had to stopp. I beleive Ive laughed more last evening and today than any other day in the army. It sure is comical them, (myself - well - I am afraid to look for them) pawing over them selves. Some of the boys were up to the castle in which - Napoleon held sway long ago - from the fort a couple of guns could blow Flume to - "____" I guess I'll have to borrow a corona and see the place. Got a hair cut - over on the boat - the officers have fine quarters. I would like a few weeks on board if they would give me books. Evening bery quiet
Dec. 2. Hiking this morning run into British so we turn back. Physical inspection at 10 A.M. A number of fellows are found who have the cooties - several from the other companies have ven. Diseases - but none in the Co. L. In the afternoon - Barcy and myself climb up to the castle - some place. It was built by the Hugo-Slavs about 125 years ago. It was held by Princce Apane and the Nugent family most of the time. We entered the castle thru a gate above which was formerly the alarm tower. To reach this gate we climbed over 400 steps. One tower contained cannon that belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte - the tower over looked the city and gulf - one cannon was blow to pieces. We then went up to the top of the tower where we could see the entire city, gulf and outlet to the sea. We then visited a well from which Napoleon's men drew water and were poisoned by drinking it Napoleon - captured the city in 1808 - we were shown the bed he used in his campaign. In the court room were the tombs of F.W. Nugent, wife and child. There were iron chairs - that were heated and prisoners seated upon them. In the center of the room was a hole about 18 inches square - an opening to the dungeon below - thru it the prisoners were dropped and left to starve. In the dungeon we saw a small room in which Prince Apane sealed his wife and left her starve to death. Many of the Nugent family were buried near the castle - Johann - Grof Nugent and Mauri " " were two of them. Barcy and I returned by the shortest way - down the mountain side.
Dec. 3. Sgt. Says "they must have the road to China open" - I guess because we are having so much rice. The Italians have posted up our building and others with signs. O Italia O Morte - its Morte for the signs around here - for the Americans sure are showing what they think of Italy and her signs. Two of the Kitchens have a separate mess for their sergeants - Kitchen police bring up heir meals to them - I think it will be a separate "Mess" when they get home. Seven sub-chasers in port - quite a little navy. Oh! such a dreadful way to spend one's life just lying around - when will it all end?
Dec. 4. A couple of the boys have returned from the hospital - looking fairly well. We passed over some very interesting ground on our hike this A.M. We passed a place along the road where roses were blooming in the yard. Great numbers of Americans and Slavs Flags are appearing on the streets. Spent 10 Ks for some imitiation pie about five cents worth - a fellow would need about a 100 dollars to buy a good meal over here. Evening and rumors by the hundreds. Out barracks bags have arrived - also mail.
Dec. 5. We get our bags - L gets 6 bags of mail and later the Y brings in 4 more sacks. I received 23 letters and some papers. Checking up our cloths - all must have a new suit - I suppose for parading and they say we leave before the 20th of Dec. - I prophecy 19th 12:30 P.M. News just arrives that Flume has been turned over to the wops.
Dec. 6. We check for out new uniforms - we hope to be home in a few weeks. Y opens up - sells all the chocolate we want - must have a heap to sell in a short time.
Dec 7. Inspections.
Dec. 8. A service stripe due us today. Much excitement - Italians are tearing off the slavs colors and its causing trouble.
Dec. 9. U.S. Soldiers - are in it we - hear that some American are being used very rough and some one calls us out. We sure did want to get into it - but officers say bullets.
Dec. 10. Things are quiet again today The wop general - apoligizes for the "disturbances". Evversom hands him some dope - all of us - expect rifle men etc. We get another bath.
Dec. 11. One month today the war ended. Gertie Russell and Ronshien - leave for Trieste - to check up - co. property. Co. on guard - so we do no drilling this A.M.
Dec. 12. Many men - of note - in town today - Lord Caran - Gen Haig - Admiral Ballard (U.S.A.) Nothing new - otherwise
Dec. 13. Friday and the 13th the only thing seems to forcast shadow - Col. Billy - is coming or here. - I hope it doesn't mean a long drill schedule for us Three months today - the Friday 13th of Sept. the terrible accident happened to 3 Bat. - 332 Butter for dinner For supper - S.O.S.
Dec. 14. Inspection of rifles in the morning - Cap Capt. Story. - I missed it - orderly - Much excitement - in A.M. Every one seems to be enguard Canavaw - acts like a little kid. American destroyer arrives in the Afternoon. I give it the once over in the evening on eof the sailors took me over the ship afterwards - I had a long chat with one of the chiefs. - some boat - also did me a heap of good to talk a an American sailor.
Dec. 15. Quiet all day - Wops play the British in Soccer but - nothing-doing. I take a long walk. British win.
Dec. 16. Day of the big show. I run around most of the day looking for flags. Teatro Finice - house packed. I watched the Col. Bill and U.S. admirals boxes until they arrived. There were 3 admirals, 3 generals - colonels and other officers galore. Billy Jones - danced a very "taking" dance - especially for the few ladies present. 2 boxing matches - favor - U.S. over British.
Dec. 17. Y gives show at "Finse" but I played Rummy
Dec 18 Biringham in - they say it has - mail etc on it - here's hopeing - British give show - 3 shows in 3 nights show - at 17:30 hour. More rumors of leaving for home - Oh! may it come soon such a life.
Dec 19 _____________
Dec 20. Four more of the fellows from the hospital came in today - they say the mail is on the side track over near Endive.
Dec. 21 Shortest day of the year - but oh! such a long one - Mail in ______________ must of covered the lost miles in a hurry. Received a few letters - gum from Mother and a handkerchief from Margaret. Dec. 22. A few shirts in - a few little articles yesterday - I think the 3d Batallion is S.O.S. when it comes to being out fitted this trip. It looks more unfavorable for us going home every day. Three or four months ack - what waste of time
Ferris W. Myrice
Flume, Hungry
Dec. 23. Y trucks in with Xmas packages and supplies.
Dec. 24. Feeling - homesick.
Dec. 25. Real big meal at 4 P.M. Saw some swimming contests in the morning very cold but 35 entered the first contest.
Dec 26 ________
Dec 27. - A great day - I really eat - I went down to the Birmingham for supper - white bread and butter - Oh Yes!
28 _______________
Dec 29. Eat apple pie on the Birmingham
Dec. 30 Eat "supper" on the U.S.S. B. The sailors also but on a show at the Fenice, but I went to bed. Box from home - came in - sure did treat it fine - eat most all of in before bed time - ach it contained just what I wanted.
Dec. 31 _____________

MMS 1729 - Ferris Wellman Myrice Diary Guide
Manuscripts by Subject | U. S. in Wartime Collections