The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki - Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919
by Joel R. Moore
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[Transcriber's Notes]

Here are the definitions of several unfamiliar (to me) words.

batmen Soldier assigned to an officer as a servant.

batushka Village priest.

drosky Cart

felcher Second-rate medical student or anyone with some medical knowledge.

hors de combat Out of the fight; disabled; not able to fight.

junker Aristocratic Prussian landholder devoted to militarism and authoritarianism, providing the German military forces with many of its officers.

knout Whip with a lash of leather thongs, formerly used in Russia for flogging criminals. To flog with the knout.

mashie nib Mashie-Niblick (mah-she nib-lik)—Wood shafted golf club with about the same loft and length as today's seven iron.

poilus French common soldier, especially in World War I.

verst Russian measure of distance; 3500 feet, 0.6629 mile, 1.067 km.

viand Choice or delicate food.

volplane Glide in an airplane without power.

I (Don Kostuch) am the son of John Kostuch, then from Detroit, who was a Mechanic in the 339th, Company M. He saw some action in the fall of 1918 but due to flu, exposure and a dislocated joint, was evacuated to England on December 1, 1918 before the gruesome winter described in the book. {sources: "M" Company 339th records and Golden C. Bahr papers, 1918-1919.}

The following text is copied from a newspaper clipping in the book. The Declaration of War is on one side and an incomplete local news item is on the other side.

From The Indianapolis News, Monday, April 9, 1917

U. S. Declaration of War

Sixty-fifth Congress of the United States of America At the First Session Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the second day of April, one thousand nine hundred and seventeen


Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial German Government and the Government of the people of the United States and making provision to the same.

Whereas the Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America, Therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

?? Speaker of the House of Representatives

Thomas R. Marshall Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate

Approved 6 April, 1917 Woodrow Wilson

From The Indianapolis News, Monday, April 9, 1917




The movement to make the state of Indiana economically and agriculturally prepared for war, as recommended by Governor James P, Goodrich, had its beginning in Marion county at a meeting of farmers and those interested in soil cultivation held Saturday afternoon in the criminal courtroom.

The necessity for the efficient utilization of all the soil resources of Indiana were emphasized in addresses at the meeting, which was the beginning of a plan to create a county-wide interest in the movement.

Another Meeting Monday.

The general idea of the need for greater food production, as outlined at the meeting, will be crystallized into definite plans for meeting the situation at a meeting called for Monday night, to be held in the criminal court room. Representatives of commercial, labor and civic bodies and organizations of all kinds are invited and requested to attend the meeting Monday night and assist in the work.

Stirring appeals to the people of Indianapolis and the county to respond to the agricultural need which this country faces in the present war period were made by speakers, including: Charles V. Fairbanks, formerly Vice-president of the United States; the Rev. Frank L. Loveland, pastor of the Meridian Street M. E. Church; H. Orme, president of the Better Farming Association, and Ralph M. Gilbert, county agricultural agent.

Resolutions Adopted.

Resolutions were adopted at the meeting pledging the support of the citizens of Marion county in all measures taken for the defense of the nation and urging the people to respond to the resolutions prepared for greater and efficient food production. The resolutions prepared by a committee composed of Mord Gardner, Ralph C. Avery, Fred L., Smock, John E. Shearer, C. C. Osborn, Grace May Stutsman, Charles P. Wright and Leo Fesler were as follows:

"Whereas, By joint resolution of congress and the proclamation of the President, war has been declared on Germany, and

"'Whereas, The President has earnestly appealed to all citizens to support the government in every possible way, and our Governor has called, for meetings in each county to plan preparedness in every occupation. "Resolved, That we, the citizens of Marion county, assembled in meetings at the courthouse do loyally pledge the support... [torn]

The following map was provide by Mike Grobbel ( who photographed it from the Frederick C. O'Dell Map Collection, Folder Number 9, Map Number 1, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Mr. Grobbel is the grandson of "CORP. C. A. GROBBELL, "I" Co." mentioned on page 284 as a recipient of the French Croix de Guerre. The correct spelling is "Grobbel".

Corp. Grobbel received the Distinguished Service Cross, not mentioned in this book.

[End of Transcriber's notes]

Hundreds of Miles Through Solid Forests of Pine and Spruce

The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki

Campaigning in North Russia


Compiled and Edited by

CAPT. JOEL R. MOORE, 339th U. S. Infantry LIEUT. HARRY H. MEAD, 339th U. S. Infantry LIEUT. LEWIS E. JAHNS, 339th U. S. Infantry

Published by

The Polar Bear Publishing Co. Detroit, Mich.



To the men who in North Russia died in battle and of wounds, or of sickness due directly to hardship and exposure, this book is reverently dedicated.

To Our Comrades and Friends

To our comrades and friends we address these prefatory words. The book is about to go to the printers and binders. Constantly while writing the historical account of the American expedition, which fought the Bolsheviki in North Russia, we have had our comrades in mind. You are the ones most interested in getting a complete historical account. It is a wonderful story of your own fighting and hardships, of your own fortitude and valor. It is a story that will make the eyes of the home folks shine with pride.

Probably you never could have known how remarkably good is the record of your outfits in that strange campaign if you had not commissioned three of your comrades to write the book for you. In the national army, we happened to be officers; in civil life we are respectively, college professor, lawyer, and public accountant, in the order in which our names appear on the title page. But we prefer to come to you now with the finished product merely as comrades who request you to take the book at its actual value to you—a faithful description of our part in the great world war. We are proud of the record the Americans made in the expedition.

We think that nothing of importance has been omitted. Some sources of information were not open to us—will be to no one for years. But from some copies of official reports, from company and individual diaries, and from special contributions written for us, we have been able to write a complete narrative of the expedition. In all cases except a few where the modesty of the writer impelled him to ask us not to mention his name, we have referred to individuals who have contributed to the book. To these contributors all, we here make acknowledgment of our debt to them for their cordial co-operation. For the wealth of photo-engravures which the book carries, we have given acknowledgment along with each individual engraving, for furnishing us with the photographic views of the war scenes and folk scenes of North Russia. Most of them are, of course, from the official United States Signal Corps war pictures.

When we started the book, we had no idea that it would develop into the big book it is, a de luxe edition, of fine materials and fine workmanship. We have not been able to risk a large edition. Only two thousand copies are being printed. They are made especially for the boys who were up there under the Arctic Circle, made as nice as we could get them made. Of many of the comrades we have lost track, but we trust that somehow they will hear of this book and become one of the proud possessors of a copy. To our comrades and friends, we offer this volume with the expectation that you will be pleased with it and that after you have read it, you will glow with pride when you pass it over to a relative or friend to read.

Detroit, Michigan, September, 1920 JOEL R. MOORE HARRY H. MEAD LEWIS E. JAHNS

Table of Contents

Index to Photo-Engravures


U. S. A. Medical Units on the Arctic Ocean

Fall Offensive on the Railroad

River Push for Kotlas

Doughboys on Guard in Archangel

Why American Troops Were Sent to Russia

On the Famous Kodish Front in the Fall

Penetrating to Ust Padenga

Peasantry of the Archangel Province

"H" Company Pushes Up the Onega Valley

"G" Company Far Up the Pinega River

With Wounded and Sick

Armistice Day with Americans in North Russia

Winter Defense of Toulgas

Great White Reaches

Mournful Kodish

Ust Padenga

The Retreat from Shenkursk

Defense of Pinega

The Land and the People

Holding the Onega Valley

Ice-Bound Archangel

Winter on the Railroad


Letting Go the Tail-Holt

The 310th Engineers

"Come Get Your Pills"

Signal Platoon Wins Commendation

The Doughboy's Money in Archangel

Propaganda and Propaganda and—

Real Facts about Alleged Mutiny

Our Allies, French, British and Russian

Felchers, Priests and Icons


Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. with Troops

"Dobra" Convalescent Hospital

American Red Cross in North Russia

Captive Doughboys in Bolshevikdom

Military Decorations

Homeward Bound

In Russia's Fields (Poem)

Our Roll of Honored Dead

Map of the Archangel Fighting Area

Index of Photo-Engravures

Hundreds of Miles Through Solid Forests

Surgical Operation, Receiving Hospital, Archangel

Old Glory Protects Our Hospital

Used as 53rd Stationary Hospital

"Olympia" Sailors Fought Reds

After 17-Hour March in Forest

Loading a Drosky at Obozerskaya

Wireless Operators-Signal Platoon

A Shell Screeched Over This Burial Scene

Vickers Machine Gun Helping Hold Lines

Our Armored Train

First Battalion Hurries Up River

Lonely Post in Dense Forest

Statue of Peter the Great and Public Buildings, Archangel

Drawing Rations, Verst 455

List Honors to a Soldier

Olga Barracks

Street Car Strike in Archangel

American Hospitals

"Supply" Co. Canteen "Accommodates" Boys

Red Cross Ambulances, Archangel

"Cootie Mill" Operating at Smolny Annex

Single Flat Strip of Iron on Plow Point

Thankful for What at Home We Feed Pigs

Artillery "O. P." Kodish

Mill for Grinding Grain

Pioneer Platoon Clearing Fire Lane

Testing Vickers Machine Gun

Doughboy Observing Bolo in Pagosta, near Ust Padenga

Cossack Receiving First Aid

Ready for Day's Work

Flax Hung Up to Dry

310th Engineers at Beresnik

Joe Chinzi and Russian Bride

Watching Her Weave Cloth

Doughboy Attends Spinning Bee

Doughboy in Best Bed—On Stove

Defiance to Bolo Advance

337th Hospital at Beresnik


Y. M. C. A., Obozerskaya

Trench Mortar Crew, Chekuevo—Hand Artillery

Wounded and Sick—Over a Thousand in All

Bolo Killed in Action—For Russia or Trotsky?

Monastery at Pinega

Russian 75's Bound for Pinega

"G" Men near Pinega

Lewis Gun Protects Mess Hall

Something Like Selective Draft

Canadian Artillery, Kurgomin

Watch Tower, Verst 455

Toulgas Outpost

One of a Bolo Patrol


By Reindeer Jitney to Bakaritza

Russian Eskimos at Home near Pinega

Fortified House, Toulgas

To Bolsheozerki

Colonel Morris, at Right

Russian Eskimo Idol

Ambulance Men

Practising Rifle and Pistol Fire, on Onega Front

French Machine Gun Men at Kodish

Allied Plane Carrying Bombs

Dance at Convalescent Hospital—Nurses and "Y" Girls

Subornya Cathedral

Building a Blockhouse

Market Scene, Yemetskoe

Old Russian Prison—Annex to British Hospital

Wash Day—Rinsing in River

Archangel Cab-Men

Minstrels of "I" Company Repeat Program in Y. M. C. A

Archangel Girls Filling Christmas Stockings

Y. M. C. A. Rest Room, Archangel

Russian Masonry Stove—American Convalescent Hospital

Comrade Allikas Finds His Mother in Archangel

Printing "The American Sentinel"

Flashlight of a Doughboy Outpost at Verst 455

Bolo Commander's Sword Taken in Battle of Bolsheozerki

Eight Days without a Shave, near Bolsheozerki

Woodpile Strong-Point, Verst 445

Verst 455—"Fort Nichols"

Back from Patrol

Our Shell Bursts near the Bolo Skirmish Line

Blockhouse at Shred Makrenga

Hot Summer Day at Pinega before the World War

Dvina River Ice Jam in April

Bare Mejinovsky—Near Kodish

Bolo General under Flag Truce at 445, April, 1919

After Prisoner Exchange Parley

Pioneer Platoon Has Fire

310th Engineers Under Canvas near Bolsheozerki with "M" Co

Hospital "K. P.'s"

Red Cross Nurses



Colonel Dupont (French) at 455 Bestows Many Croix de Guerre Medals on Americans

Polish Artillery and Mascot

Russian Artillery, Verst 18

Canadian Artillery—Americans Were Strong for Them

Making Khleba—Black Bread

Stout Defense of Kitsa

Christmas Dinner, Convalescent Hospital, Archangel

"Come and Get It" at 455

Orderly Room, Convalescent Hospital, Archangel

American Hospital Scene

Doughboys Entertained by "Y" Girls in Hostess House

Doughboys Drubbed Sailors

Yank and Scot Guarding Bolo Prisoners, Beresnik

View of Archangel in Summer

General Ironside Inspecting Doughboys

Burial of Lt. Clifford Phillips, American Cemetery, Archangel

Major J. Brooks Nichols in his Railway Detachment Field Hq

Ready to Head Memorial Day Parade, Archangel, 1919

American Cemetery, Archangel

Soldiers and Sailors of Six Nations Reverence Dead

Graves of First Three Americans Killed, Obozerskaya, Russia

Sailors Parade on Memorial Day

Through Ice Floes in Arctic Homeward Bound

Out of White Sea into Arctic, under Midnight Sun


The troopships "Somali," "Tydeus," and "Nagoya" rubbed the Bakaritza and Smolny quays sullenly and listed heavily to port. The American doughboys grimly marched down the gangplanks and set their feet on the soil of Russia, September 5th, 1918. The dark waters of the Dvina River were beaten into fury by the opposing north wind and ocean tide. And the lowering clouds of the Arctic sky added their dismal bit to this introduction to the dreadful conflict which these American sons of liberty were to wage with the Bolsheviki during the year's campaign.

In the rainy fall season by their dash and valor they were to expel the Red Guards from the cities and villages of the state of Archangel, pursuing the enemy vigorously up the Dvina, the Vaga, the Onega and the Pinega Rivers, and up the Archangel-Vologda Railway and the Kodish-Plesetskaya-Petrograd state highway. They were to plant their entrenched outposts in a great irregular horseshoe line, one cork at Chekuevo, the toe at Ust-Padenga, the other cork of the shoe at Karpagorskaya. They were to run out from the city of Archangel long, long lines of communication, spread wide like the fingers of a great hand that sought seemingly to cover as much of North Russia as possible with Allied military protection.

In the winter, in the long, long nights and black, howling forests and frozen trenches, with ever-deepening snows and sinking thermometer, with the rivers and the White Sea and the Arctic Ocean solid ice fifteen feet thick, these same soldiers now seen disembarking from the troopships, were to find their enemy greatly increasing his forces every month at all points on the Allied line. Stern defense everywhere on that far-flung trench and blockhouse and fortified-village battle line. They were to feel the overwhelming pressure of superior artillery and superior equipment and transportation controlled by the enemy and especially the crushing odds of four to ten times the number of men on the battle lines. And with it they were to feel the dogged sense of the grim necessity of fighting for every verst of frozen ground. Their very lives were to depend upon the stubbornness of their holding retreat. There could be no retreating beyond Archangel, for the ships were frozen in the harbor. Indeed a retreat to the city of Archangel itself was dangerous. It might lead to revulsion of temper among the populace and enable the Red Guards to secure aid from within the lines so as to carry out Trotsky's threat of pushing the foreign bayonets all under the ice of the White Sea. And in that remarkable winter defense these American soldiers were to make history for American arms, exhibiting courage and fortitude and heroism, the stories of which are to embellish the annals of American martial exploits. They were destined, a handful of them here, a handful there, to successfully baffle the Bolshevik hordes in their savage drives.

In the spring the great ice crunching up in the rivers and the sea was to behold those same veteran Yanks still fighting the Red Guard armies and doing their bit to keep the state of Archangel, the North Russian Republic, safe, and their own skins whole. The warming sun and bursting green were to see the olive-drab uniform, tattered and torn as it was, covering a wearied and hungry and homesick but nevertheless fearless and valiant American soldier. With deadly effect they were to meet the onrushing swarms of Bolos on all fronts and slaughter them on their wire with rifle and machine gun fire and smash up their reserves with artillery fire. With desperation they were to dispute the overwhelming columns of infantry who were hurled by no less a renowned old Russian General than Kuropatkin, and at Malo Bereznik and Bolsheozerki, in particular, to send them reeling back in bloody disaster. They were to fight the Bolshevik to a standstill so that they could make their guarded getaway.

Summer was to see these Americans at last handing over the defenses to Russian Northern Republic soldiers who had been trained during the winter at Archangel and gradually during the spring broken in for duty alongside the American and British troops and later were to hold the lines in some places by themselves and in others to share the lines with the new British troops coming in twenty thousand strong "to finish the bloody show." Gaily decorated Archangel was to bid the Americanski dasvedanhnia and God-speed in June. Blue rippling waters were to meet the ocean-bound prows. Music from the Cruiser "Des Moines" (come to see us out) was to blow fainter and fainter in the distance as they cheered us out of the Dvina River for home.

Now the troops are hurrying off the transport. They are just facing the strange, terrible campaign faintly outlined. It is now our duty to faithfully tell the detailed story of it—"The History of the American North Russian Expedition," to try to do justice in this short volume to the gripping story of the American soldiers "Campaigning in North Russia, 1918-1919."

The American North Russian Expeditionary Force consisted of the 339th Infantry, which had been known at Camp Custer as "Detroit's Own," one battalion of the 310th Engineers, the 337th Ambulance Company, and the 337th Field Hospital Company. The force was under the command of Col. George E. Stewart, 339th Infantry, who was a veteran of the Philippines and of Alaska. The force numbered in all, with the replacements who came later, about five thousand five hundred men.

These units had been detached from the 85th Division, the Custer Division, while it was enroute to France, and had been assembled in southern England, there re-outfitted for the climate and warfare of the North of Russia. On August the 25th, the American forces embarked at Newcastle-on-Tyne in three British troopships, the "Somali," the "Tydeus" and the "Nagoya" and set sail for Archangel, Russia. A fourth transport, the "Czar," carried Italian troops who travelled as far as the Murmansk with our convoy.

The voyage up the North Sea and across the Arctic Ocean, zig-zagging day and night for fear of the submarines, rounding the North Cape far toward the pole where the summer sun at midnight scarcely set below the northwestern horizon, was uneventful save for the occasional alarm of a floating mine and for the dreadful outbreak of Spanish "flu" on board the ships. On board one of the ships the supply of yeast ran out and breadless days stared the soldiers in the face till a resourceful army cook cudgelled up recollections of seeing his mother use drainings from the potato kettle in making her bread. Then he put the lightening once more into the dough. And the boys will remember also the frigid breezes of the Arctic that made them wish for their overcoats which by order had been packed in their barrack bags, stowed deep down in the hold of the ships. And this suffering from the cold as they crossed the Arctic circle was a foretaste of what they were to be up against in the long months to come in North Russia.

We had thought to touch the Murmansk coast on our way to Archangel, but as we zig-zagged through the white-capped Arctic waves we picked up a wireless from the authorities in command at Archangel which ordered the American troopships to hasten on at full speed. The handful of American sailors from the "Olympia," the crippled category men from England and the little battalion of French troops, which had boldly driven the Red Guards from Archangel and pursued them up the Dvina and up the Archangel-Vologda Railway, were threatened with extermination. The Reds had gathered forces and turned savagely upon them.

So we sped up into the White Sea and into the winding channels of the broad Dvina. For miles and miles we passed along the shores dotted with fishing villages and with great lumber camps. The distant domes of the cathedrals in Archangel came nearer and nearer. At last the water front of that great lumber port of old Peter the Great lay before us strange and picturesque. We dropped anchor at 10:00 a. m. on the fourth day of September, 1918. The anchor chains ran out with a cautious rattle. We swung on the swift current of the Dvina, studied the shoreline and the skyline of the city of Archangel, saw the Allied cruisers, bulldogs of the sea, and turned our eyes southward toward the boundless pine forest where our American and Allied forces were somewhere beset by the Bolsheviki, or we turned our eyes northward and westward whence we had come and wondered what the folks back home would say to hear of our fighting in North Russia.



Someone Blunders About Medicine Stores—Spanish Influenza At Sea And No Medicine—Improvised Hospitals At Time Of Landing—Getting Results In Spite Of Red Tape—Raising Stars And Stripes To Hold The Hospital—Aid Of American Red Cross—Doughboys Dislike British Hospital—Starting American Receiving Hospital—Blessings On The Medical Men.

At Stoney Castle camp in England, inquiry by the Americans had elicited statement from the British authorities that each ship would be well supplied with medicines and hospital equipment for the long voyage into the frigid Arctic. But it happened that none were put on the boat and all that the medical officers had to use were three or four boxes of medical supplies that they had clung to all the way from Camp Custer.

Before half the perilous and tedious voyage was completed, the dreaded Spanish influenza broke out on three of the ships. On the "Somali," which is typical of the three ships, every available bed was full on the fifth day out at sea. Congestion was so bad that men with a temperature of only 101 or 102 degrees were not put into the hospital but lay in their hammocks or on the decks. To make matters worse, on the eighth day out all the "flu" medicines were exhausted.

It was a frantic medical detachment that paced the decks of those three ships for two days and nights after the ships arrived in the harbor of Archangel while preparations were being made for the improvisation of hospitals.

On the 6th of September they debarked in the rain at Bakaritza. About thirty men could be accommodated in the old Russian Red Cross Hospital, such as it was, dirt and all. The remainder were temporarily put into old barracks. What "flu"-weakened soldier will ever forget those double decked pine board beds, sans mattress, sans linen, sans pillows? If lucky, a man had two blankets. He could not take off his clothes. Death stalked gauntly through and many a man died with his boots on in bed. The glory of dying in France to lie under a field of poppies had come to this drear mystery of dying in Russia under a dread disease in a strange and unlovely place. Nearly a hundred of them died and the wonder is that more men did not die. What stamina and courage the American soldier showed, to recover in those first dreadful weeks!

No attempt is made to fasten blame for this upon the American medical officers, nor upon the British for that matter. Many a soldier, though, was wont to wish that Major Longley had not himself been nearly dead of the disease when the ships arrived. To the credit of Adjutant Kiley, Captains Hall, Kinyon, Martin and Greenleaf and Lieutenants Lowenstein and Danzinger and the enlisted medical men, let it be said that they performed prodigies of labor trying to serve the sick men who were crowded into the five hastily improvised hospitals.

The big American Red Cross Hospital, receiving hospital at the base, was started at Archangel November 22nd by Captain Pyle under orders of Major Longley. The latter had been striving for quite a while to start a separate receiving hospital for American wounded, but had been blocked by the British medical authorities in Archangel. They declared that it was not feasible as the Americans had no equipment, supplies or medical personnel.

However, the officer in charge of the American Red Cross force in Archangel offered to supply the needed things, either by purchasing them from the stores of British medical supplies in Archangel or by sending back to England for them. It is said that the repeated letters of Major Longley to SOS in England somehow were always tangled in the British and American red tape, in going through military channels.

At last Major Longley took the bull by the horns and accepted the aid of the Red Cross and selected and trained a personnel to run the hospital from among the officers and men who had been wounded and were recovered or partially recovered and were not fit for further heavy duty on the fighting line. He had the valuable assistance also of the two American Red Cross nurses, Miss Foerster and Miss Gosling, the former later being one of five American women who, for services in the World War, were awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal.

On September 10th, we opened the first Red Cross Hospital which was also used in connection with the Russian Red Cross Hospital and was served by Russian Red Cross nurses. Captain Hall and Lieutenant Kiley were in charge of the hospital.

A few days later an infirmary was opened for the machine gunners and Company "C" of the engineers at Solombola.

A good story goes in connection with this piece of history of the little Red Cross hospital on Troitsky near Olga barracks. There had been rumor and more or less open declaration of the British medical authorities that the Americans would not be permitted to start a hospital of their own in Archangel. The Russian sisters who owned the building were interested observers as to the outcome of this clash in authority. It was settled one morning about ten o'clock in a spectacular manner much to the satisfaction of the Americans and Russians. Captain Wynn of the American Red Cross came to the assistance of Captain Hall, supplying the American flag and helping raise it over the building and dared the British to take it down. Then he supplied the hospital with beds and linen and other supplies and comfort bags for the men, dishes, etc. This little hospital is a haven of rest that appears in the dreams today of many a doughboy who went through those dismal days of the first month in Archangel. There they got American treatment and as far as possible food cooked in American style.

In October the number of sick and wounded men was so large that another hospital for the exclusive use of convalescents was opened in an old Russian sailor's home in the near vicinity of American Headquarters.

RED CROSS PHOTO Surgical Operation American Receiving Hospital, Archangel, 1918

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO Old Glory Protects Our Hospital

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO Used as 53rd Stationary Hospital

U. S OFFICIAL PHOTO Sailors from "Olympia" Fought Reds

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO After 17-Hour March in Forest

U.S. Official Photo Loading a Drosky at Obozerskaya

U.S. Official Photo Wireless operators—Signal Platoon

During this controversy with the British medical authorities, the head American medical officer was always handicapped, as indeed was many a fighting line officer, by the fact that the British medical officer outranked him. Let it be understood right here that many a British officer was decorated with insignia of high rank but drew pay of low rank. It was actually done over and over again to give the British officer ranking authority over the American officers.

What American doughboy who ever went through the old 53rd Stationary hospital will ever forget his homesickness and feeling of outrage at the treatment by the perhaps well-meaning but nevertheless callous and coarse British personnel. Think of tea, jam and bread for sick and wounded men. An American medical sergeant who has often eaten with the British sergeants at that hospital, Sergeant Glenn Winslow, who made out the medical record for every wounded and sick man of the Americans who went through the various hospitals at Archangel, and who was frequently present at the British sergeant's mess at the hospital, relates that there were plenty of fine foods and delicacies and drink for the sergeant's messes, corroborated by Mess Sgt. Vincent of. "F" Company. And a similar story was told by an American medical officer who was invalided home in charge of over fifty wounded Americans. He had often heard that the comforts and delicacies among the British hospital supplies went to the British officers' messes. Captain Pyle was in command on the icebreaker "Canada" and saw to it that the limited supply of delicacies went to the wounded men most in need of it. There were several British officers on the icebreaker enroute to Murmansk who set up a pitiful cry that they had seen none of the extras to which they were accustomed, thinking doubtless that the American officer was holding back on them. Captain Pyle on the big ship out of Murmansk took occasion to request of the British skipper that the American wounded on board the ship be given more food and more palatable food. He was asked if he expected more for the doughboy than was given to the Tommie. The American officer's reply was characteristic of the difference between the attitude of British and American officers toward the enlisted man:

"No, sir, it is not a question of different treatment as between Tommie and doughboy. It is difference in the feeding of the wounded and sick American officers and the feeding of wounded and sick American enlisted men. My government makes no such great difference. I demand that my American wounded men be fed more like the way in which the officers on this ship are fed."

Lest we forget, this same medical officer in charge at one time of a temporary hospital at a key point in the field, was over-ranked and put under a British medical officer who brought about the American officer's recall to the base because he refused to put the limited American medical personnel of enlisted men to digging latrines for the British officers' quarters.

Many a man discharged from the British 53rd Stationary Hospital as fit for duty, was examined by American medical officers and put either into our own Red Cross Hospital or into the American Convalescent Hospital for proper treatment and nourishment back to fighting condition. It was openly charged by the Americans that several Americans in the British hospital were neglected till they were bedsore and their lives endangered. Sick and wounded men were required to do orderly work. When a sturdy American corporal refused to do work or to supervise work of that nature in the hospital, he was court-martialed by order of the American colonel commanding the American forces in North Russia. Of course it must needs be said that there were many fine men among the British medical officers and enlisted personnel. But what they did to serve the American doughboys was overborne by the mistreatment of the others.

Finally no more wounded Americans were sent to the British hospital and no sick except those sick under G. O. 45. These latter found themselves cooped up in an old Russian prison, partially cleaned up for a hospital ward. This was a real chamber of horrors to many an unfortunate soldier who was buffetted from hospital to Major Young's summary court to hospital or back to the guardhouse, all the while worrying about the ineffectiveness of his treatment.

So the American soldiers at last got their own receiving hospital and their own convalescent hospital. Of course at the fighting fronts they were nearly always in the hands of their own American medical officers and enlisted men. The bright story of the Convalescent Hospital appears in another place. This receiving hospital was a fine old building which one time had been a meteorological institute, a Russian imperial educational institution. Its great stone exterior had gathered a venerable look in its two hundred years. The Americans were to give its interior a sanitary improvement by way of a set of modern plumbing. But the thing that pleased the wounded doughboy most was to find himself, when in dreadful need of the probe or knife, under the familiar and understanding and sympathetic eyes of Majors Henry or Longley or some other American officer, to find his wants answered by an enlisted man who knew the slang of Broadway and Hamtramck and the small town slang of "back home in Michigan, down on the farm," and to find his food cooked and served as near as possible like it was "back home" to a sick man. Blessings on the medical men!



Third Battalion Hurries From Troopship To Troop-Train Bound For Obozerskaya—We Relieve Wearied French Battalion—"We Are Fighting An Offensive War"—First Engagement—Memorable Night March Ends At Edge Of Lake—Our Enemy Compels Respect At Verst 458—American Major Hangs On—Successful Flank March Takes Verst 455—Front Line Is Set At 445 By Dashing Attack—We Hold It Despite Severe Bombardments And Heavy Assaults.

On the afternoon of September the fifth the 3rd Battalion of the 339th Infantry debarked hurriedly at Bakaritza. Doughboys marched down the gangplank with their full field equipment ready for movement to the fighting front. Somewhere deep in the forest beyond that skyline of pine tree tops a handful of French and Scots and American sailors were battling the Bolos for their lives. The anxiety of the British staff officer—we know it was one of General Poole's staff, for we remember the red band on his cap, was evidenced by his impatience to get the Americans aboard the string of tiny freight cars.

Doughboys stretched their sea legs comfortably and formed in column of squads under the empty supply shed on the quay, to escape the cold drizzle of rain, while Major Young explained in detail how Captain Donoghue was to conduct the second train.

All night long the two troop trains rattled along the Russki railway or stood interminably at strange-looking stations. The bare box cars were corded deep with sitting and curled up soldiers fitfully sleeping and starting to consciousness at the jerking and swaying of the train. Once at a weird log station by the flaring torchlights they had stood for a few minutes beside a northbound train loaded with Bolshevik prisoners and deserters gathered in that day after the successful Allied engagement. Morning found them at a big bridge that had been destroyed by artillery fire of the Red Guards the afternoon before, not far from the important village of Obozerskaya, a vital keypoint which just now we were to endeavor to organize the defense of, and use as a depot and junction point for other forces.

No one who was there will forget the initial scene at Obozerskaya when two companies of Americans, "I" and "L", proceeded' up the railroad track in column of twos and halted in ranks before the tall station building, with their battalion commander holding officers call at command of the bugle. An excited little French officer popped out of his dugout and pointed at the shell holes in the ground and in the station and spoke a terse phrase in French to the British field staff officer who was gnawing his mustache. The latter overcame his embarrassment enough to tell Major Young that the French officer feared the Bolo any minute would reopen artillery fire. Then we realized we were in the fighting zone. The major shouted orders out and shooed the platoons off into the woods.

Later into the woods the French officers led the Americans who relieved them of their circle of fortified outposts. Some few in the vicinity of the scattered village made use of buildings, but most of the men stood guard in the drizzly rain in water up to their knees and between listening post tricks labored to cut branches enough to build up a dry platform for rest. The veteran French soldier had built him a fire at each post to dry his socks and breeches legs, but "the strict old disciplinarian," Major Young, ordered "No fires on the outpost."

And this was war. Far up the railroad track "at the military crest" an outpost trench was dug in strict accordance with army book plans. The first night we had a casualty, a painful wound in a doughboy's leg from the rifle of a sentry who cried halt and fired at the same time. An officer and party on a handcar had been rattling in from a visit to the front outguard. All the surrounding roads and trails were patrolled.

Armed escorts went with British intelligence officers to outlying villages to assemble the peasants and tell them why the soldiers were coming into North Russia and enlist their civil co-operation and inspire them to enlist their young men in the Slavo-British Allied Legion, that is to put on brass buttoned khaki, eat British army rations, and drill for the day when they should go with the Allies to clear the country of the detested Bolsheviki. To the American doughboys it did not seem as though the peasants' wearied-of-war countenances showed much elation nor much inclination to join up.

The inhabitants of Obozerskaya had fled for the most part before the Reds. Some of the men and women had been forced to go with the Red Guards. They now crept back into their villages, stolidly accepted the occupancy of their homes by the Americans, hunted up their horses which they had driven into the wilderness to save them from the plundering Bolo, greased up their funny looking little droskies, or carts, and began hauling supplies for the Allied command and begging tobacco from the American soldiers.

Captain Donoghue with two platoons of "K" Company, the other two having been dropped temporarily at Issaka Gorka to guard that railroad repair shop and wireless station, now moved right out by order of Colonel Guard, on September seventh, on a trail leading off toward Tiogra and Seletskoe. Somewhere in the wilds he would find traces of or might succor the handful of American sailors and Scots who, under Col. Hazelden, a British officer, had been cornered by the Red Guards.

"Reece, reece," said the excited drosky driver as he greedily accepted his handful of driver's rations. He had not seen rice for three years. Thankfully he took the food. His family left at home would also learn how to barter with the generous doughboy for his tobacco and bully beef and crackers, which at times, very rarely of course, in the advanced sectors, he was lucky enough to exchange for handfuls of vegetables that the old women plucked out of their caches in the rich black mould of the small garden, or from a cellar-like hole under a loose board in the log house.

"Guard duty at Archangel" was aiming now to be a real war, on a small scale but intensive. Obozerskaya, about one hundred miles south of Archangel, in a few days took on the appearance of an active field base for aggressive advance on the enemy. Here were the rapid assembling of fighting units; of transport and supply units; of railroad repairing crews, Russian, under British officers; of signals; of armored automobile, our nearest approach to a tank, which stuck in the mud and broke through the frail Russki bridges and was useless; of the feverish clearing and smoothing of a landing field near the station for our supply of spavined air-planes that had already done their bit on the Western Front; of the improvement of our ferocious-looking armored train, with its coal-car mounted naval guns, buttressed with sand bags and preceded by a similar car bristling with machine guns and Lewis automatics in the hands of a motley crew of Polish gunners and Russki gunners and a British sergeant or two. This armored train was under the command of the blue-coated, one-armed old commander Young, hero of the Zeebrugge Raid, who parked his train every night on the switch track next to the British Headquarters car, the Blue Car with the Union Jack flying over it and the whole Allied force. Secretly, he itched to get his armored train into point-blank engagement with the Bolshevik armored train.

"All patrols must be aggressive," directed a secret order of Col. Guard, the British officer commanding this "A" Force on the railroad, "and it must be impressed on all ranks that we are fighting an offensive war, and not a defensive one, although for the time being it is the duty of everybody to get the present area in a sound state of defense. All posts must be held to the last as we do not intend to give up any ground which we have made good."

And within a week after landing in Russia the American soldier was indeed making head on an offensive campaign, for on September 11th two platoons of "M" Company reconnoitering in force met a heavy force of Bolos on similar mission and fought the first engagement with the Red Guards, driving the Reds from the station at Verst 466 and taking possession of the bridge at Verst 464.

We had ridden out past the outguard on the armored train, left it and proceeded along the railway. Remember that first Bolo shell? Well, yes. That thing far down the straight track three miles away Col. Guard, before going to the rear, derisively told Lieut. Danley could not be a Bolo armored train but was a sawmill smoke stack. Suddenly it flashed. Then came the distant boom. Came then the whining, twist-whistling shell that passed over us and showered shrapnel near the trenches where lay our reserves. He shortened his range but we hurried on and closed with his infantry with the decision in the American doughboy's favor in his first fight. He had learned that it takes many shrapnel shells and bullets to hit one man, that to be hit is not necessarily to be killed.

A few days later "L" Company supported in the nick of time by two platoons of "I" Company repulsed a savage counter-attack staged by the Red Guards, September 16th, on a morning that followed the capture of a crashing Red bombing plane in the evening and the midnight conflagration in "L" Company's fortified camp that might have been misinterpreted as an evacuation by the Bolo. In this engagement Lieut. Gordon B. Reese and his platoon of "I" Company marked themselves with distinction by charging the Reds as a last resort when ammunition had been exhausted in a vain attempt to gain fire superiority against the overwhelming and enveloping Red line, and gave the Bolshevik soldiers a sample of the fighting spirit of the Americans. And the Reds broke and ran. Also our little graveyard of brave American soldiers at Obozerskaya began to grow.

It was the evening before when the Bolo airman, who had dropped two small bombs at the Americans at Obozerskaya, was obliged to volplane to earth on the railroad near the 464 outguard. Major Young was there at the time. He declared the approaching bomb-plane by its markings was certainly an Allied plane, ordered the men not to discharge their Lewis gun which they had trained upon it, and as the Bolos hit the dirt two hundred yards away, he rushed out shouting his command, which afterwards became famous, "Don't fire! We are Americans." But the Bolo did not "pahneemahya" and answered with his own Lewis gun sending the impetuous American officer to cover where he lay even after the Bolo had darted into the woods and the doughboys ran up and pulled the moss off their battalion commander whom they thought had been killed by the short burst of the Bolo's automatic fire, as the major had not arisen to reply with his trusty six shooter.

Meanwhile "K" Company had met the enemy on the Seletskoe-Kodish front as will be related later, and plans were being laid for a converging attack by the Kodish, Onega and Railroad columns upon Plesetskaya. "L" Company was sent to support "K" Company and the Railroad Force marked time till the other two columns could get into position for the joint drive. Machine gun men and medical men coming to us from Archangel brought unverified stories of fighting far up the Dvina and Onega Rivers where the Bolshevik was gathering forces for a determined stand and had caused the digging of American graves and the sending back to Archangel of wounded men. This is told elsewhere. Our patrols daily kept in contact with Red Guard outposts on the railroad, occasionally bringing in wounded Bolos or deserters, who informed us of intrenchments and armored trains and augmenting Bolshevik regiments.

Our Allied force of Cossacks proved unreliable and officer's patrols of Americans served better but owing to lack of maps or guides were able to gain but little information of the forest trails of the area. British intelligence officers depending on old forester's maps and on deserters and prisoners and neutral natives allowed the time for "Pat Rooney's work," personal reconnaissance, to go by till one day, September 28th, General Finlayson arrived at Obozerskaya in person at noon and peremptorily ordered an advance to be started that afternoon on the enemy's works at Versts 458 and 455. Col. Sutherland was caught unprepared but had to obey.

Calling up one company of the resting French troops under the veteran African fighter, Captain Alliez, for support, Col. Sutherland asked Major Young to divide his two American companies into two detachments for making the flank marches and attacks upon the Red positions. The marches to be made to position in the afternoon and night and the attacks to were be put on at dawn. The armored train and other guns manned by the Poles were to give a barrage on the frontal positions as soon as the American soldiers had opened their surprise flank and rear attacks. Then the Bolos were supposed to run away and a French company supported by a section of American machine guns and a "Hq." section that had been trained hastily into a Stokes mortar section, were to rush in and assist in consolidating the positions gained.

But this hurriedly contrived advance was doomed to failure before it started. There had not been proper preparations. The main force consisting of "M" Company and two platoons of "I" Company and a small detachment of Engineers to blow the track in rear of the Bolo position at 455 was to march many miles by the flank in the afternoon and night but were not provided with even a map that showed anything but the merest outlines. The other detachment consisting of two remaining platoons of "I" Company were little better off only they had no such great distance to go. Both detachments after long hours were unable to reach the objective.

This was so memorable a night march and so typical of the fall operations everywhere that space has been allowed to describe it. No one had been over the proposed route of march ordered by Col. Sutherland. No Russian guide could be provided. We must follow the blazed trail of an east-and-west forest line till we came to a certain broad north-and-south cutting laid out in the days of Peter the Great. Down this cutting we were to march so many versts, told by the decaying old notched posts, till we passed the enemy's flank at 455, then turn in toward the railroad, camp for the night in the woods and attack him in the rear at 6:00 a. m.

At five o'clock in the afternoon the detachment struck into the woods. Lieut. Chantrill, the pleasant British intelligence officer who acted as interpreter, volunteered to go as guide although he had no familiarity with the swamp-infested forest area. It was dark long before we reached the broad cutting. No one will forget the ordeal of that night march. Could not see the man ahead of you. Ears told you he was tripping over fallen timber or sloshing in knee-deep bog hole. Hard breathing told the story of exertion. Only above and forward was there a faint streak of starlight that uncertainly led us on and on south toward the vicinity of the Bolo positions.

Hours later we emerge from the woods cutting into a great marsh. Far in the dark on the other side we must hit the cutting in the heavy pine woods. For two hours we struggle on. We lose our direction. The marsh is a bog. To the right, to the left, in front the tantalizing optical illusion lures us on toward an apparently firmer footing. But ever the same, or worse, treacherous mire. We cannot stand a moment in a spot. We must flounder on. The column has to spread. Distress comes from every side. Men are down and groggy. Some one who is responsible for that body of men sweats blood and swears hatred to the muddler who is to blame. How clearly sounds the exhaust of the locomotives in the Bolo camp on the nearby railroad. Will their outguards hear us? Courage, men, we must get on.

This is a fine end. D— that unverified old map the Colonel has. It did not show this lake that baffles our further struggles to advance. Detour of the unknown lake without a guide, especially in our present exhausted condition, is impossible. (Two weeks later with two Russian guides and American officers who had explored the way, we thought it a wonderful feat to thread our way around with a column). Judgment now dictates that it is best to retrace our steps and cut in at 461 to be in position to be of use in the reserve or in the consolidation. We have failed to reach our objective but it is not our fault. We followed orders and directions but they were faulty. It is a story that was to be duplicated over and over by one American force after another on the various fronts in the rainy fall season, operating under British officers who took desperate chances and acted on the theory that "You Americans," as Col. Sutherland said, "can do it somehow, you know." And as to numbers, why, "Ten Americans are as good as a hundred Bolos, aren't they?"

But how shall we extricate ourselves? Who knows where the cutting may be found? Can staggering men again survive the treacherous morass? It is lighter now. We will pick our way better. But where is the cutting? Chantrill and the Captain despair. Have we missed it in, the dark? Then we are done for. Where is the "I" Co. detachment again? Lost? Here Corporal Grahek, and you, Sgt. Getzloff, you old woodsmen from north Michigan pines, scout around here and find the cutting and that rear party. Who is it that you men are carrying?

No trace of the rear part of the column nor of the cutting! One thing remains to do. We must risk a shout, though the Reds may hear.

"Danley! eeyohoh!"

"Yes, h-e-e-e-r-r-e on the c-u-t-t-i-n-g!"

Did ever the straight and narrow way seem so good. The column is soon united again and the back trail despondingly begun. Daylight of a Sunday morning aids our footsteps. We cross again the stream we had waded waist deep in the pitch dark and wondered that no one had been drowned.

Zero hour arrives and we listen to the artillery of both sides and for the rat-tat-tat of the Bolo machine guns when our forces move on the bridgehead. We hurry on. The battle is joined. Pine woods roar and reverberate with roar. By taking a nearer blazed trail we may come out to the railway somewhere near the battle line.

At 8:40 a. m. we emerge from the woods near our armored train. At field headquarters, Major Nichols, who in the thick of the battle has arrived to relieve Major Young, orders every man at once to be made as comfortable as possible. Men build fires and warm and dry their clammy water-soaked feet, picture of which is shown in this volume. Bully and tea and hard tack revive a good many. It is well they do, for the fight is going against us and two detachments of volunteers from these men are soon, to be asked for to go forward to the battle line.

Considerable detail has been given about this march of "I" and "M" because writer was familiar with it, but a similar story might be told of "H" in the swamps on the Onega, or of "K" or "L" and "M. G." at Kodish, or of "A," "B," "C" or "D" on the River Fronts, and with equal praise for the hardihood of the American doughboy hopelessly mired in swamps and lost in the dense forests, baffled in his attempts because of no fault of his own, but ready after an hour's rest to go at it again, as in this case when a volunteer platoon went forward to support the badly suffering line. The Red Guards composed of the Letts and sailors were fiercely counter-attacking and threatening to sweep back the line and capture field-headquarters.

During the preceding hours the French company had pressed in gallantly after the artillery and machine gun barrage and captured the bridgehead, and, supported by the American machine gun men and the trench mortar men, had taken the Bolo's first trench line, seeking to consolidate the position.

Lieut. Keith of "Hq." Company with twenty-one men and three Stokes mortars had gone through the woods and taking a lucky direction, avoided the swamp and cut in to the railroad, arriving in the morning just after the barrage and the French infantry attack had driven the Reds from their first line. They took possession of three Bolshevik shacks and a German machine gun, using hand grenades in driving the Reds out. Then they placed their trench mortars in position to meet the Bolo counter-attack.

The Bolos came in on the left flank under cover of the woods, the French infantry at that time being on the right flank in the woods, and two platoons of Americans being lost somewhere on the left in the swamp. This counterattack of the Reds was repulsed by the trench mortar boys who, however, found themselves at the end of the attack with no more ammunition for their mortars, Col. Sutherland not having provided for the sending of reserve ammunition to the mortars from Obozerskaya. Consequently the second attack of the Reds was waited with anxiety. The Reds were in great force and well led. They came in at a new angle and divided the Americans and French, completely overwhelming the trench mortar men's rifle fire and putting Costello's valiant machine guns out of action, too. Lieut Keith was severely wounded, one man was killed, four wounded and three missing. Sgt. Kolbe and Pvt. Driscoll after prodigies of valor with their machine guns were obliged to fall back with the French. Kolbe was severely wounded. So the Bolo yells that day sounded in triumph as they won back their positions from the Americans and French.

The writer knows, for he heard those hellish yells. Under cover of the single "M" Company platoon rushed up to the bridge, the Americans and French whose gallant efforts had gone for naught because Col. Sutherland's battle plan was a "dud," retired to field headquarters at 461. A half platoon of "I" men hurried up to support. The veteran Alliez encouraged the American officer Captain Moore, to hang on to the bridge. Lieut. Spitler came on with a machine gun and the position was consolidated and held in spite of heavy shelling by the Bolo armored trains and his desperate raids at night and in the morning, for the purpose of destroying the bridge. His high explosive tore up the track but did no damage to the bridge. His infantry recoiled from the Lewis gun and machine gun fire of the Americans that covered the bridge and its approaches.

The day's operations had been costly. The French had lost eight, killed and wounded and missing. The Americans had lost four killed, fourteen wounded, among whom were Lieuts. Lawrence Keith and James R. Donovan, and five missing. Many of these casualties were suffered by the resolute platoon at the bridge. There Lieut. Donovan was caught by machine gun fire and a private by shrapnel from a searching barrage of the Bolos, as was also a sergeant of "F" Company who was attached for observation. But the eight others who were wounded, two of them mortally, owed their unfortunate condition to the altogether unnecessary and ill-advised attempt by Col. Sutherland to shell the bridge which was being held by his own troops. He had the panicky idea that the Red Guards were coming or going to come across that bridge and ordered the shrapnel which cut up the platoon of "M" Company with its hail of lead instead of the Reds who had halted 700 yards away and themselves were shelling the bridge but to no effect. Not only that but when Col. Sutherland was informed that his artillery was getting his own troops, he first asked on one telephone for another quart of whisky and later called up his artillery officer and ordered the deadly fire to lengthen range. This was observed by an American soldier, Ernest Roleau, at Verst 466, who acted as interpreter and orderly in Sutherland's headquarters that day.

The British officer sadly retired to his Blue Car headquarters at Verst 466, thinking the Reds would surely recapture the bridge. But Major Nichols in command at field headquarters at Verst 461 thought differently. When the order came over the wire for him to withdraw his Americans from the bridge, this infantry reserve officer whose previously most desperate battle, outside of a melee between the Bulls and Bears on Wall Street, had been to mashie nib out of a double bunkered trap on the Detroit Country Club golf course, as usual with him, took "plenty of sand." He shoved the order to one side till he heard from the officer at the front and then requested a countermanding order. He made use of the veteran Alliez's counsel. And for two dubious nights and days with "M" and "I" Companies he held on to the scant three miles of advance which had been paid for so dearly. And the Reds never did get back the important bridge.

Now it was evident that the Bolshevik rear-guard action was not to be scared out. It was bent on regaining its ground. During these last September days of supposed converging drive in three columns on Plesetskaya our widely separated forces had all met with stiff resistance and been worsted in action. The Bolshevik had earned our respect as a fighter. More fighting units were hurried up. Our "A" Force Command began careful reconnaissance and plans of advance. American officers and doughboys had their first experiences, of the many experiences to follow, of taking out Russian guides and from their own observations and the crude old maps and from doubtful hearsay to piece together a workable military sketch of the densely forested area.

Artillery actions and patrol actions were almost daily diet till, with the advance two weeks later on October thirteenth, the offensive movement started again. This time French and Americans closely co-operated. The Reds evidently had some inkling of it, for on the morning when the amalgamated "M"-"Boyer" force entered the woods, inside fifteen minutes the long, thin column of horizon blue and olive drab was under shrapnel fire of the Bolo. With careful march this force gained the flank and rear of the enemy at Verst 455, and camped in a hollow square, munched on hardtack and slept on their arms in the cold rain. Lieut. Stoner, Capt. Boyer, the irrepressible French fun-maker, Capt. Moore and Lieut. Giffels slept on the same patch of wet moss with the same log for a pillow, unregardful of the TNT in the Engineer officer's pocket, which was for use the next morning in blowing the enemy's armored train.

At last 5:00 a. m. comes but it is still dark and foggy. Men stretch their cold and cramped limbs after the interminable night. No smokes. No eats. In ten minutes of whispering the columns are under way. The leading platoon gets out of our reach. Delay while we get a new guide lets them get on ahead of the other platoons. Too bad. It spoils the plan. The main part of the attacking forces can not press forward fast enough to catch up. The engineers will be too late to blow the track in rear of the Bolo train.

The Red Guard listening posts and his big tower on the flank now stand him in good stead. He sees the little platoon of Franco-Americans approaching in line, and sends out a superior force to meet the attack. Ten minutes of stiff fire fight ensues during which the other attacking platoons strive to get up to their positions in rear and rear flank. But our comrades are evidently out-numbered and being worsted. We must spring our attack to save them.

Oh, those bugles! Who ever heard of a half mile charge? And such a melee. Firing and yelling and tooting like ten thousand the main party goes in. What would the first "old man" of the 339th, our beloved Colonel John W. Craig, have said at sight of that confused swarm of soldiers heading straight for the Bolo positions. Lucky for us the Bolo does not hold his fire till we swarm out of the woods. As it is in his panic he blazes away into the woods pointblank with his artillery mounted on the trains and with his machine guns, two of which only are on ground positions. And his excited aim is characteristically high, Slavo Bogga. We surge in. He jumps to his troop trains, tries to cover his withdrawal by the two machine guns, and gets away, but with hundreds of casualties from our fire that we pour into the moving trains. Marvellous luck, we have monkeyed with a buzz saw and suffered only slight casualties, one American killed and four wounded. Two French wounded.

The surprise at 455 threw "the wind" up the Bolo's back at his forward positions, 457 and 457-1/2, and Lieuts. Primm and Soyer's amalgamated French-American attacking party won a quick victory. The armored train came on through over the precious bridge at Verst 458, the track was repaired and our artillery came up to 455 and answered the Red armored train that was shelling us while we consolidated the position. Lieut. Anselmi's resolute American signal men unmindful of the straggling Bolos who were working south in the woods along the railroad, "ran" the railway telephone lines back to field headquarters at 458 and established communications with Major Nichols.

As soon as transportation was open "I" Company and Apsche's company of French moved up and went on through to battle the Reds in the same afternoon out of their position at Verst 450 where they had rallied and to advance on the fifteenth to a position at 448, where the Americans dug in. Trouble with the French battalion was brewing for the British Command. The poilus had heard of the proposed armistice on the Western Front. "La guerre finis," they declared, and refused to remain with "I" Company on the line.

So on October sixteenth this company found itself single-handed holding the advanced position against the counter-attack of the reinforced Reds. After a severe artillery barrage of the Reds, Captain Winslow pushed forward to meet the attack of the Bolos and fought a drawn battle with them in the woods in the afternoon. Both sides dug in. "I" Company lost one killed and four wounded.

Meanwhile "M" Company, after one day to reorganize and rest, hurried up during the afternoon fight and prepared to relieve "I" Company. Sleeping on their arms around the dull-burning fires at 448 between noisy periods of night exchanges of fire by the Americans and Red Guards, this company next morning at 6:00 a. m. went through under a rolling barrage of Major Lee's artillery, which had been able to improve its position during the night, thanks to the resolute work of Lieut. Giffels and his American Engineers on the railroad track. Stoner's platoon destroyed the heavy outpost of Bolos with a sharp fire fight and a charge and swept on, only halting when he reached a large stream. Beyond this was a half-mile square clearing with characteristic woodpiles and station and woodmen's houses, occupied by a heavy force of six hundred Red Guards, themselves preparing for attack on the Americans. Here Captain Moore timed his three platoons and Lieut. Spitler's machine guns for a rush on three sides with intent to gain a foothold at least within the clearing. The very impetuosity of the doughboy's noisy attack struck panic into the poorly led Bolsheviks and they won an easy victory, having possession of the position inside half an hour. The Reds were routed and pursued beyond the objectives set by Col. Sutherland. And the old company horse shoe again worked. Though many men had their clothes riddled not a man was scratched.

The position was consolidated. An hour after the engagement two sections of the French Company that had sulked the preceding day came smilingly up and helped fortify the flanks. Their beloved old battalion commander, Major Alabernarde, had shamed them out of their mutinous conduct and they were satisfied again to help their much admired American comrades in this strange, faraway side show of the great world war.

One or two interesting reminiscences here crowd in. It was during the charge on 445 that Lieut. Stoner missed a dugout door by a foot with his hand grenade and his tender heart near froze with horror an hour afterward when he came back from pursuit of the Reds to find that with the one Bolo soldier in the dugout were cowering twenty-seven women and children, one eight days old. The red-whiskered old Bolo soldier had a hand grenade in his pocket and Sergeant Dundon nearly shook his yellow teeth loose trying to make him reply to questions in English. And the poor varlet nearly expired with terror later in the day when Lieut. Riis of the American Embassy stood him up with his back against a shack. "Comrades, have mercy on me! My wife and my children," he begged as he fell on his knees before the click of the camera.

Another good story was often told about the alleged "Bolo Spy Dog Patrols" first discovered when the British officer led his Royal Scots, most of them raw Russian recruits, to the front posts at 445 to reinforce "M" Co. "Old Ruble" had been a familiar sight to the Americans. At this time he had picked up a couple of cur buddies, and was staying with the Americans at the front, having perpetual pass good at any part of the four-square outpost. But the British officer reported him to the American officer as a sure-enough trained Bolshevik patrol dog and threatened to shoot him. And at four o'clock the next morning they did fire at the dogs and started up the nervous Red Guards into machine gun fire from their not distant trench line and brought everyone out to man our lines for defense. And the heavy enemy shelling cut up Scots (Russians) as well as Americans.

Here the fall advance on the Archangel-Vologda Railway ended. We were a few versts north of Emtsa, but "mnoga, mnoga versts," many versts, distant from Vologda, the objective picked by General Poole for this handful of men. Emtsa was a railroad repair shop village. We wanted it. General Ironside who relieved Poole, however, had issued a general order to hold up further advances on all the fronts. So we dug in. Winter would soon be on, anyway.

The Red Guards, however, meant to punish us for the capture of this position. He thoroughly and savagely shelled the position repeatedly and the British artillery moved up as the Yankee engineers restored the destroyed railroad track and duelled daily with the very efficient Red artillery. We have to admit that with his knowledge of the area the Red artillery officer had the best of the strategy and the shooting. He had the most guns too.

Major Nichols was heard to remark the day after he had been through the severe six gun barrage of the Reds who poured their wrath on the Americans at 445 before they could but more than get slight shrapnel shelters made, and had suffered four casualties, and the Royal Scots had lost a fine Scotch lieutenant and two Russian soldiers. "This shelling of course would be small peanuts to the French and British soldiers who were on the Western Front, but to us Americans fresh from the fields and city offices and shops of Michigan it is a little hell." And so the digging was good at 445 during the last of October and the first of November while Major Nichols with "M" and "I" and French and American machine gun sections held this front.

On the fourth of November "I" Company supported by the French machine gunners sustained a terrific attack by the Reds in powerful force, repulsed them finally after several hours, with great losses, and gained from General Ironside a telegram of congratulations. "I" Co. lost one killed, one missing, two wounded, one of which was Lieut. Reese. After that big attack the enemy left us in possession and we began to fear winter as much as we did the enemy. The only event that broke the routine of patrols and artillery duels was the accidental bombing by our Allied airplane of our position instead of the half-mile distant enemy trenches, one of the two 112-lb. bombs taking the life of Floyd Sickles, "M" Company's barber and wounding another soldier.

Amusing things also are recalled. The American medical officer at the front line one morning looked at a French soldier who seemed to be coming down with a heavy cold and generously doped him up with hot water and whiskey. Next morning the whole machine gun section of French were on sick call. But Collins was wise, and perhaps his bottle was empty.

One day a big, husky Yank in "I" Company was brokenly "parlevooing" with a little French gunner, who was seen to leap excitedly into the air and drape himself about the doughboy's neck exclaiming with joy, "My son, my son, my dear sister's son." This is the truth. And he took the Yank over to his dugout for a celebration of this strange family meeting, filled him up with sour wine, and his pockets with pictures of dancing girls.

Of course we were to learn to our discomfort and peril that winter was the time chosen by Trotsky for his counter-offensive against the Allied forces in the North. Of that winter campaign we shall tell in later chapters. We leave the Americans now on the railroad associated with their French comrades and 310th Engineers building blockhouses for defense and quarters to keep warm.



First Battalion Hurries Up The River—We Take Chamova—The Lay Of The River Land—Battling For Seltso—Retire To Yakovlevskoe—That Most Wonderful Smoke—Incidents Of The March—Sudden Shift To Shenkursk Area—The Battalion Splits—Again At Seltso—Bolos Attack—Edvyinson A Hero.

That dismal, gloomy day—September 6, 1915—the first battalion, under Lt.-Col. James Corbley, spent on board transport, watching the third battalion disembark and getting on board the freight cars that were to carry them down to the Railroad Front. Each man on board was aching to set foot on dry land once more and would gladly have marched to any front in order to avoid the dull monotony aboard ship, with nothing of interest to view but the gleaming spires of the cathedrals or the cold, gray northern sky, but there is an end to all such trials, and late that evening we received word that our battalion was to embark on several river barges to proceed up the Dvina River.

The following day all hands turned to bright and early and from early dawn until late that afternoon every man that was able to stand, and some that were not, were busily engaged in making up packs, issuing ammunition and loading up the barges. By six o'clock that evening they had marched on board the barges—some of the men in the first stages of "flu" had to be assisted on board with their packs. These barges, as we afterward learned, were a good example of the Russian idea of sanitation and cleanliness. They had been previously used for hauling coal, cattle, produce, flax, and a thousand-and-one other things, and in their years of usage had accumulated an unbelievable amount of filth and dirt. In addition to all this, they were leaky, and the lower holds, where hundreds of men had to sleep that week, were cold, dismal and damp. Small wonder that our little force was daily decreased by sickness and death. After five days of this slow, monotonous means of travel, we finally arrived at the town of Beresnik, which afterward became the base for the river column troops.

The following day "A" Company, 339th Infantry, under Capt. Otto Odjard, took over the defense of the village in order to relieve a detachment of Royal Scots who were occupying the town. All that day we saw and heard the dull roar of the artillery further up the river, where the Royal Scots, accompanied by a gunboat, were attempting to drive the enemy before them. Meeting with considerable opposition in the vicinity of Chamova, a village about fifty versts from Beresnik, a rush call was sent in for American reinforcements.

The first battalion of the 339th Infantry left Beresnik about September 15th under command of Major Corbley, and started up the Dvina. The first incident worthy of record occurred at Chamova. As advance company we arrived about 1:00 a. m. at Chamova, which was garrisoned by a small force of Scots. We put out our outposts in the brush which surrounded the town, and shortly afterward, about 5:00 a. m., we were alarmed by the sound of musketry near the river bank. We deployed and advanced to what seemed to be a small party from a gunboat. They had killed two Scots who had mistaken them for a supply boat from Beresnik and gone to meet them empty-handed. The Bolo had regained his boat after a little firing between him and the second platoon which was at the upper end of the village. We were trying to locate oars for the clumsy Russian barzhaks on the bank, intending to cross to the island where the gunboat was moored and do a little navy work, when the British monitor hove into sight around a bend about three miles down stream, and opened fire on the gunboat. The first shot was a little long, the second a little short, and the third was a clean hit amid ship which set the gunboat on fire. John Bolo in the meantime took a hasty departure by way of the island. We were immensely disappointed by the advent of the monitor, as the gunboat would have been very handy in navigating the Russian roads.

This Monitor, by the way, was much feared by the Russians, but was very temperamental, and if it was sadly needed, as it was later at Toulgas when we were badly outranged, it reposed calmly at Beresnik. When the Monitor first made its advent on the Dvina she steamed into Beresnik, and her commander inquired loftily, "Where are the bloody Bolsheviks, and which is the way to Kotlas?" Upon being informed she steamed boldly up the Dvina on the road to Kotlas, found the Bolo, who promptly slapped a shell into their internal workings, killing several men and putting the Monitor temporarily hors de combat. After that the Monitor was very prudent and displayed no especial longing to visit Kotlas.

In order to better comprehend the situation and terrain of the river forces, a few words regarding the two rivers and their surroundings will not be without interest. This region is composed of vast tundras or marshes and the balance of the entire province is covered with almost impenetrable forests of pine and evergreen of different varieties. The tundras or marshes are very treacherous, for the traveler marching along on what appears to be a rough strip of solid ground, suddenly may feel the same give way and he is precipitated into a bath of ice cold muddy water. Great areas of these tundras are nothing more than a thickly woven matting of grasses and weeds overgrowing creeks or ponds and many a lonely traveler has been known to disappear in one of these marshes never to be seen again.

This condition is especially typical of the Dvina River. The Dvina is a much larger river than the Vaga and compares favorably to the lower Mississippi in our own country. It meanders and spreads about over the surrounding country by a thousand different routes, inasmuch as there are practically no banks and nothing to hold it within its course. The Vaga, on the other hand, is a narrower and swifter river and much more attractive and interesting. It has very few islands and is lined on either side by comparatively steep bluffs, varying from fifty to one hundred feet in height. The villages which line the banks are larger and comparatively more prosperous, but regarding the villages more will be said later.

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO A Shell Screeched Over This Burial Scene

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO Vickers Machine Gun Helping Hold Lines

U S OFFICIAL PHOTO Our Armored Train

RENICKE First Battalion Hurries Up River

RED CROSS PHOTO Lonely Post in Dense Forest

MORRIS Statue of Peter the Great and State Buildings in Archangel

U. S. OFFICIAL PHOTO Drawing Rations, Verst 455

RED CROSS PHOTO Last Honors to a Soldier

We continued our march up the Dvina, about two days behind the fleeing Bolo, hoping that he would decide to make a stand. This he did at Seltso. On the morning of September 19th, through mud and water, at times waist deep and too precarious for hauling artillery, the advance began on Seltso. At 1:00 p. m. the advance party, "D" Company, under Captain Coleman, reached Yakovlevskaya, a village just north of Seltso and separated from it by a mile of wide open marsh which is crossed by a meandering arm of the nearby Dvina. A single road and bridge lead across to Seltso. "D" Company gallantly deployed and wading the swamp approached within one thousand five hundred yards of the enemy, who suddenly opened up with machine guns, rifles, and Russian pom pom. This latter gun is a rapid fire artillery piece, firing a clip of five shells weighing about one pound apiece, in rapid succession. We later discovered that they, as well as most of the flimsy rifles, were made by several of the prominent gun manufacturers of the United States.

"D" Company found further advance impossible without support and dug in. "C" Company under Capt. Fitz Simmons hurried up and took position in a tongue of woods at the right of "D" and were joined after dark by "B" Company. None of the officers in command of this movement knew anything of the geography nor much of anything else regarding this position, so the men were compelled to dig in as best they could in the mud and water to await orders from Colonel Corbley, who had not come up. At eleven o'clock that night a drizzling rain set in, and huddled and crouched together in this vile morass, unprotected by even an overcoat, without rations, tired and exhausted from the day's march and fighting, the battalion bivouacked. All night the enemy kept searching the woods and marshes with his artillery, but with little effect. During the night we learned that the Bolo had a land battery of three-inch guns and five gunboats in the river at their flank with six and nine-inch guns aboard rafts. This was none too pleasing a situation for an infantry attack with no artillery preparation, coupled with the miserable condition of the troops.

As daylight approached the shelling became more and more violent. The Bolo was sending over everything at his command and it was decided to continue the attack lest we be exterminated by the enemy artillery. At daybreak Lt. Dressing of "B" Company took out a reconnaissance patrol to feel out the enemy lines of defense, but owing to the nature of the ground he had little success. His patrol ran into a Bolo outpost and was scattered by machine gun fire. It was here that Corporal Shroeder was lost, no trace ever being found of his body or equipment.

About noon two platoons of Company "B" went out to occupy a certain objective. This they found was a well constructed trench system filled with Bolos, and flanked by machine gun positions. In the ensuing action we had three men killed and eight men wounded, including Lt. A. M. Smith, who received a severe wound in the side, but continued handling his platoon effectively, showing exceptional fortitude. The battle continued during the afternoon all along the line. "C" and "D" were supporting "B" with as much fire as possible. But troops could not stay where they were under the enemy fire, and Col. Corbley, who had at last arrived, ordered a frontal attack to come off after a preparatory barrage by our Russian artillery which had at last toiled up to a position.

Here fortune favored the Americans. The Russian artillery officer placed a beautiful barrage upon the village and the enemy gunboats, which continued from 4:45 to 5:00 p.m. At 5:00 o'clock, the zero hour, the infantry made the attack and in less than an hour's time they had gained the village.

The Bolsheviks had been preparing to evacuate anyway, as the persistence of our attack and effectiveness of our rifle fire had nearly broken their morale. Americans with white, strained faces, in contrast with their muck-daubed uniforms, shook hands prayerfully as they discussed how a determined defense could have murdered them all in making that frontal attack across a swamp in face of well-set machine gun positions.

However, the Americans were scarcely better off when they had taken Seltso, for their artillery now could not get up to them. So the enemy gunboats could shell Seltso at will. Hence it appeared wise to retire for a few days to Yakovlevskaya. In the early hours of the morning following the battle the Americans retired from Seltso. They were exceedingly hungry, dog-tired, sore in spirit, but they had undergone their baptism of fire.

After a few days spent in Yakovlevskoe we set out again, and advanced as far as a village called Pouchuga. Here we expected another encounter with the Bolo, but he had just left when we arrived. We were fallen out temporarily on a muddy Russian hillside in the middle of the afternoon, the rain was falling steadily, we had been marching for a week through the muddiest mud that ever was, the rations were hard tack and bully, and tobacco had been out for several weeks. A more miserable looking and feeling outfit can scarce be imagined. A bedraggled looking convoy of Russian carts under Lt. Warner came up, and he informed us that he could let us have one package of cigarettes per man. We accepted his offer without any reluctance, and passed them out. To paraphrase Gunga Din, says Capt. Boyd:

"They were British and they stunk as anyone who smoked British issue cigarettes with forty-two medals can tell you, but of all the smokes I've (I should say 'smunk' to continue the paraphrase) I'm gratefulest to those from Lt. Warner. You could see man after man light his cigarette, take a long draw, and relax in unadulterated enjoyment. Ten minutes later they were a different outfit, and nowhere as wet, cold, tired or hungry. Lucy Page Gaston and the Anti-Cigarette League please note."

After a long day's march we finally arrived in a "suburb" of Pouchuga about 7:00 p.m. with orders to place our outposts and remain there that night. By nine o'clock this was done, and the rest of the company was scattered in billets all over the village, being so tired that they flopped in the first place where there was floor space to spread a blanket. Then came an order to march to the main village and join Major Corbley. At least a dozen of the men could not get their shoes on by reason of their feet being swollen, but we finally set out on a pitch black night through the thick mud. We staggered on, every man falling full length in the mud innumerable times, and finally reached our destination. Captain Boyd writes:

"I shall never forget poor Wilson on that march, cheery and good-spirited in spite of everything. His loss later at Toulgas was a personal one as well as the loss of a good soldier.

"I also remember Babcock on that march—Babcock, who was one of our best machine gunners, never complaining and always dependable. We were ploughing along through the mud when from my place at the head of the column I heard a splash. I went back to investigate and there was Babcock floundering in a ditch with sides too slippery to crawl up. The column was marching stolidly past, each man with but one thought, to pull his foot out of the mud and put it in a little farther on. We finally got Babcock up to terra firma, he explained that it had looked like good walking, nice and smooth, and he had gone down to try it. I cautioned him that he should never try to take a bath while in military formation, and he seemed to think the advice was sound."

Now the battalion was needed over on the Vaga river front, the story of whose advance there is told in another chapter. By barge the Americans went down the Dvina to its junction with the Vaga and then proceeded up that river as far as Shenkursk. To the doughboys this upper Vaga area seemed a veritable land of milk and honey when compared with the miserable upper Dvina area. Fresh meat and eggs were obtainable. There were even women there who wore hats and stockings, in place of boots and shawls. We had comfortable billets. But it was too good to be true. In less than a week the Bolo's renewed activities on the upper Dvina made it necessary for one company of the first battalion to go again to that area. Colonel Corbley saw "B" Company depart on the tug "Retvizan" and so far as field activities were concerned it was to be part of the British forces on the Dvina from October till April rather than part of the first battalion force. The company commander was to be drafted as "left bank" commander of a mixed force and hold Toulgas those long, long months. The only help he remembers from Colonel Corbley or Colonel Stewart in the field operations was a single visit from each, the one to examine his company fund book, the other to visit the troops on the line in obedience to orders from Washington and General Ironside. Of this visit Captain Boyd writes:

"When Col. Stewart made his trip to Toulgas his advent was marked principally by his losing one of his mittens, which were the ordinary issue variety. He searched everywhere, and half insinuated that Capt. Dean, my adjutant, a British officer, had taken it. I could see Dean getting hot under the collar. Then he told me that my orderly must have taken it. I knew Adamson was more honest than either myself or the colonel, and that made me hot. Then he finally found the mitten where he had dropped it, on the porch, and everything was serene again.

"Col. Stewart went with me up to one of the forward blockhouses, which at that time was manned by the Scots. After the stock questions of 'where are you from' and 'what did you do in civil life' he launched into a dissertation on the disadvantages of serving in an allied command. The Scot looked at him in surprise and said, 'Why, sir, we've been very glad to serve with the Americans, sir, and especially under Lt. Dennis. There's an officer any man would be proud to serve under.' That ended the discussion."

After this slight digression from the narrative, we may take up the thread of the story of this push for Kotlas. Royal Scots and Russians had been left in quiet possession of the upper Dvina near Seltso after the struggle already related. But hard pressed again, they were waiting the arrival of the company of Americans, who arrived one morning about 6:00 a. m. a few miles below our old friend, the village of Yakovlevskoe. We marched to the village, reported to the British officer in command at Seltso, and received the order, "Come over here as quick as you possibly can." The situation there was as follows: The Bolos had come back down the river in force with gunboats and artillery, and were making it exceedingly uncomfortable for the small British garrisons at Seltso and Borok across the river. We marched around the town, through swamps at times almost waist deep, and attacked the Bolo trenches from the flank at dusk. We were successful, driving them back, and capturing a good bit of supplies, including machine guns and a pom pom. The Bolos lost two officers and twenty-seven men killed, while we had two men slightly wounded, both of whom were later able to rejoin the company.

"We expected a counter attack from the Bolo, as our force was much smaller than his, and spent the first part of the night making trenches. An excavation deeper than eighteen inches would have water in the bottom. We were very cold, as it was October in Russia, and every man wet to the skin, with no blankets or overcoats. About midnight the British sent up two jugs of rum, which was immediately issued, contrary to military regulations. It made about two swallows per man, but was a lifesaver. At least a dozen men told me that they could not sleep before that because they were so cold, but that this started their circulation enough so they were able to sleep later.

In the morning we advanced to Lipovit and attacked there, but ran into a jam, had both flanks turned by a much larger force, and were very fortunate to get out with only one casualty. Corporal Downs lost his eye, and showed extreme grit in the hard march back through the swamp, never complaining. I saw, after returning to the States, an interview with Col. Josselyn, at that time in command of the Dvina force, in which he mentioned Downs, and commended him very highly."

The ensuing week we spent in Seltso, the Bolos occupying trenches around the upper part of our defenses. They had gunboats and naval guns on rafts, and made it quite uncomfortable for us with their shelling, although the only American casualties were in the detachment of 310th Engineers. Our victory was short lived, however, for in a few days our river monitor was forced to return to Archangel on account of the rapidly receding river, which gave the enemy the opportunity of moving up their 9.2 inch naval guns, with double the range of our land batteries, making our further occupation of Seltso impossible.

On the afternoon of October 14, the second and third platoons of Company "B" were occupying the blockhouses when the Bolos made an attack, which was easily repelled. As we were under artillery fire with no means of replying, the British commander decided to evacuate that night. It was impossible to get supplies out owing to the lack of transportation facilities. That part of Company "B" in the village left at midnight, followed by the force in the blockhouses at 3:00 a. m. After a very hard march we reached Toulgas and established a position there.

Our position at Toulgas in the beginning was very unfavorable, being a long narrow string of villages along the Dvina which was bordered with thick underbrush extending a few hundred yards to the woods. We had a string of machine gun posts scattered through the brush, and when our line of defense was occupied there was less than two platoons left as a reserve. With us at this time we had Company "A" of the 2nd Tenth Royal Scots (British) under Captain Shute, and a section of Canadian artillery.

The Bolos followed us here and after several days shelling, to which because of being outranged we were unable to reply, they attacked late in the afternoon of October 23rd. Our outposts held, and we immediately counter attacked. The enemy was repulsed in disorder, losing some machine guns, and having about one hundred casualties, while we came out Scot free.

It was during the shelling incidental to this that Edvinson, the Viking, did his stunt. He was in a machine gun emplacement which was hit by a small H. E. shell. The others were considerably shaken up, and pulled back, reporting Edvinson killed, that he had gone up in the air one way, and the Lewis gun the other. We established the post a little farther back and went out at dusk to get Edvinson's body. Much was the surprise of the party when he hailed them with, "Well, I think she's all right." He had collected himself, retrieved the Lewis gun, taken it apart and cleaned it and stuck to his post. The shelling and sniping here had been quite heavy. His action was recognized by the British, who awarded him a Military Medal, just as they did Corporal Morrow who was instrumental in reoccupying and holding an important post which had been driven in early in the engagement. Corporal Dreskey and Private Lintula also distinguished themselves at this point.

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