The 101st Field Artillery, A.E.F., 1917-1919

Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1940. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Hardcover. xiii, [3], 306 pages. Endpaper map. Illustrations. Maps. Roster. Slight discoloration inside boards, ink notation inside front flyleaf. Numerous B/W illustrations and maps scattered through the book. Fold out of unit personnel at rear of book. Russell Gordon Carter was an American author. Born in 1892 in New Jersey. He died in 1957. His ambition was always to become a writer. After a stint as a reporter and magazine editor and serving in the army in the First World War, he began to work as a freelance writer and novelist. He soon became a prolific author, with over 30 titles to his name as well as numerous short stories. His books, influenced by his experiences in the war, had a military theme. He also seems to have been fond of animals as they appear in a number of his books. Both these themes come together in his one horse story, which was based upon his relationship with his sorrel horse Shaggy during the war. The website which his daughter had set up to commemorate him is no more. On 21 September 1917, the division arrived at Saint-Nazaire, France. It was the second division of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to arrive on the Western Front at the time, and the first division wholly organized in the United States, joining the 1st Division. Two additional divisions completed the first wave of American troop deployment, with the 2nd Division formed in France and the 42nd Division arriving at St. Nazaire on 29 October. The division immediately moved to Neufchâteau for training, as most of the division's soldiers were raw recruits, new to military service. Because of this, much of the division's force was trained by the experienced French forces. It trained extensively with the other three US divisions, organized as the U.S. I Corps in January 1918, before being moved into a quiet sector of the trenches in February. The 26th Infantry Division remained in a relatively quiet region of the lines along the Chemin des Dames for several months before it relieved the 1st Division near Saint-Mihiel on 3 April. The line here taken over extended from the vicinity of Apremont, on the west, in front of Xivray-Marvoisin, Seicheprey, and Bois de Remieres, as far as the Bois de Jury, on the right, where the French line joined the American line. Division Headquarters were at Boucq. In late April, German infantry conducted a raid on positions of the 26th Division, one of the first attacks on Americans during the war. At 0400 on 20 April, German field artillery bombarded the 102nd Infantry's positions near Seicheprey before German moved against the village. The artillery box barrage, continuing 36 hours, isolated American units. The Germans overwhelmed a machine gun company and two infantry companies of the 102nd and temporarily breached the trenches before elements of the division rallied and recaptured the village. The Germans withdrew before the division could counterattack but inflicted 634 casualties, including 80 killed, 424 wounded, and 130 captured, while losing over 600 men, including 150 killed of their own. Similar raids struck the 101st infantry at Flirey on 27 May, and the 103rd Infantry at Xivray-et-Marvoisin on 16 June, but were repulsed. The 26th Division was relieved by the 82nd Division on 28 June, moved by train to Meaux, and entered the line again northwest of Chateau Thierry, relieving the 2nd Division on 5 July. As the size of the AEF grew, the division was placed under command of I Corps in July. When the Aisne-Marne campaign began shortly thereafter, the division, under I Corps was placed under command of the French Sixth Army protecting its east flank. When the offensive began, the division advanced up the spine of the Marne salient for several weeks, pushing through Belleau Wood, moving 10 miles from 18 to 25 July. On 12 August it was pulled from the lines near Toul to prepare for the next offensive. The division was then a part of the offensive at Saint-Mihiel, during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. The division then moved in position for the last major offensive of the war, at Meuse-Argonne. This campaign was the last of the war, as an armistice was signed shortly thereafter. During World War I the 26th Division spent 210 days in combat, and suffered 1,587 killed in action and 12,077 wounded in action. The division returned to the United States and was demobilized on 3 May 1919 at Camp Devens, Massachusetts. Condition: Good.

Keywords: WW1, Unit History, Chateau-Thierry, Ainse-Marne, St. Mihiel, Verdun, Toul, Camp Coetquidan, Troyon, 26th Division, Chemin des Dames, Soissons, Hill 190, Ourcq, Vesle, Bernecourt, Apremont, Belleau, Brabant

[Book #5604]

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