1918-6-3 To Liverpool

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To Liverpool, England.

             At Last when the dawn of June 3rd 1918 opened we were in readiness to aboard the train for New York City. Out company had been entertained by continuous rumor about our place of arrival in New York. The majority of our group started with the idea that we would remain at Hoboken, New Jersey until we sailed, which as will be seen later was another wild story.

That morning of June 3rd was a busy morning. Our boxes and barrack bags were all piled outside ready for the trucks to haul them to the train. The barracks were swept and our packs were gotten ready to sling over our shoulders

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 at any minute at the order of march. [Inserted–] The sign “TO vent” [MSC—not clear] In speaking of cleaning the barracks, I should not neglect a word concerning our care in always cleaning and keeping barracks and roads clean after us. Our artillery regiment had this good name of being very particular in this respect.

The colonel with his adjutant finally came about that morning, gave us an inspection and inquired of each individual if he was ready to go. Of course every man responded affirmatively. Who would have the nerve to step out in front of that company and say that he was not ready, after he had trained for nine months with that same

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group of men. I think that I am speaking for the whole group of boys when I say that we were ready—not only ready but willing. The boys would have been sadly disappointed had they missed the opportunity of crossing the sea.

After the Colonel inspected, the order march was given and we went directly to the train, which was in readiness for us on the track. All our seats were numbered and our names were written on or near each seat.

The sergeant was to have a seat to himself. As a rule sergeants in the U.S. army are treated just about the same by an officer as a private, and as a full

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fledged American, I believe that is as it should be. The thing to be despised worst in the army is that thing relegated from medieval times, which we call class. I which that we might have an army without that word.

           In some respects the army is very democratic, in others it is very aristocratic. It is democratic, because every one when he is drafted or enlists is placed upon an equal basis. A common bum wears the same colored and the same priced suit as the millionaire—again that is as it should be, but just as soon as we cross the borderline in to the commissioned class, that democracy ceases and then aristocracy creeps in. They claim

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 that it is necessary for discipline. That may be, but it is the most cutting thing to an American to withstand, that is to respect and obey a young man with bars on his shoulder, who perhaps was the employee of the private (American) [army?—msc] before the war. However, we can say that in most respects there was and is closer contact between the enlisted men and the commissioned officers than in any other army, unless it be the Canadian.

           We were disappointed that morning. Our train did not suit us. There were no sleeping cars save one and it was for the officers in charge. Surely there had been a mistake! We were to travel three days without sleep. Oh! well we

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 later in our army experience that we were treated like lords on that trip.

            Our departure from camp was in some respects a sad one. We knew that our week end passes had come to an end, and that probably we would never see our people again before the war ended. Very few of us ever dreamed but what we would come back. If we look at the army statistics and note the casualties we will notice that the names recorded there are many in comparison to the time we were in the fight. We Knew, though that those who died  did not do so in vain—rather the opposite. We were not permitted to  Friends were not permitted to visit the leaving trains.

 

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