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Transcribed and contributed by Joe Conroy.
[Coordinator's Note: Some of these transcriptions contain
Helmets En Route
Since the post office department has ruled that a soldier may write his home address on a captured German helmet or other souvenir and have it forwarded to America by regular parcel post, it is said that several such are now on their way to Carroll relatives of boys who have been to the front. One boy who writes home that he is sending one says there was no trouble at all about getting them during the last few days of the war, as the German soldiers in their headlong flight littered the ground with them, as well as with rifles, iron crosses and other junk. The most valuable helmets are said to be those with a hole in the top — provided the hole wasn't drilled there with machinery. It must be a jagged hole to be really interesting. One Carroll county boy got an iron cross in addition to a helmet, the cross being taken from the body of a German aviator who lost a fight with an American machine.
Three More Boys Dead
Tuesday's casualty list as published in the daily press carried the names of Peter Marshall, of Dedham, killed in action, and Bernard Kalkhoff, of Templeton, and Frank Irlmeier, of Dedham, died of disease. This is the first news that has been received in Carroll of the deaths of any of these men, and no particulars are available. Kalkhoff and Irlmeier were in the large draft call of last July, when 246 men from this county went to Camp Gordon, Ga. Marshall is not remembered by the local draft authorities.
Carroll Boy Honored
Private Elgie M. Daugherty, of Carroll, has been cited for special bravery during a fire which recently occurred in Evacuation Hospital No. 12 in France. Another man named Carpenter, whose address is not known, shared in his honors. Mr. Daugherty is a member of the 37th Engineers, Company A, and left Carroll some time ago for service in France. The communications from the Colonel of the medical corps to the commander under whom Mr. Daugherty is serving reads as follows:
"I desire to commend Pvts. Arnold B. Carpenter and E. M. Daugherty of your company, who, on the occasion of a fire in the Engine Room at the Hospital, displayed more than ordinary courage, intelligence and judgement in fighting the flames. The carburetor was flooded, and leaking gasoline ignited by the electric spark. That a disastrous fire did not occur is due to the excellent work of these two men. H. D. Bloombergh, Colonel Medical Corps.
Edward Harris Is Missing In Action
Mr. and Mrs. James Harris, of This City, Receive Word Last Sunday Night.
Mr. and Mrs. James Harris, of this city, received word last Sunday evening from the war department informing them that their son, Edward Harris, had been missing since November 1, the last knowledge of him being that he had gone into action with his company on that date.
Mr. Harris was raised in Carroll and is known to everyone here, but did not go with the boys from this county. He registered in Ft. Dodge on June 5, 1917, and was called to Camp Gordon with the boys from that city at the same time the big bunch left Carroll, July 26 last. He is one of the few of that draft who saw service at the front in France.
It is barely possible that he was taken prisoner, but as most of the American prisoners have been returned by the Germans this hope is remote. Several other boys who at times have been reported as missing in action have later been found wounded in French or British hospitals, and the Harris family is entertaining the hope that such will be found to be the case with Edward.
Pvt. Edward Harris Prisoner Of War
Carroll Man Released from Prison After Six Weeks Suffering for Want of Food.
Although the relatives in this city have received no official word from the war department confirming the news, the daily papers of yesterday contained a brief announcement to the effect that Private Edward Harris, of Carroll, had been released from a German prison camp. It was only last week that the relatives received the word that he had been reported missing in action on November 1, so there is good reason to hope that the report is true, and that Mr. Harris is now back among his friends and comrades and getting three square meals a day.
The press dispatch stated that Harris and one other man had been released by the Germans from Coblenz, where they had been held prisoners since their capture and that they were in good health except for the fact that they had been nearly starved and were suffering for want of food.
The many friends of the family, which has already made one sacrifice to the nation, will rejoice to learn that Edward is still alive, and will await his return to the homeland with impatience. It is likely that he will have an interesting story to tell and that some illuminating side-lights on German prison life will be revealed at first hand.
Definite news concerning his fate affords a great relief to the relatives, who were much perturbed by the uncertainty.
Local Boards End Work December 30
Final Dissolution of Bodies Ordered on That Date
Clerks Go This Week
Will Not be Used to Assist in Discharging Soldiers, as Was at First Planned — Many Boys Coming Home Daily and Others Come Soon
The local draft board received a bulletin from the adjustant's office last Monday informing it that it would be formally discharged on December 30. This will mark the end of the great war-time organization which mustered millions of men into the service and which created a record for efficiency never before equalled in history.
The limited service men who have constituted the minor clerical force of the office will be called to Des Moines this week and discharged from Camp Dodge. In the local board these are Privates John Bowers, of Le Mars, and L. H. Mohr, of Glidden. Miss Freeda Brown, statistical clerk in the local office, was mustered out of service on Monday of this week.
The local board has been advised that after its discharge there will be an informal organization to assist in mustering out the men in service and to help them find positions in civil life. This work will not amount to very much in this county, as a great majority of the men who have gone from here know that they will receive their old jobs back, or else are farmers or sons of farmers to whom their discharge will mean only a return to their own homes and their own farms.
The chief clerk of the local board, J. M. Ralph, has received no news of his future status, but is inclined to the belief that he will be discharged at the time the local board is dissolved. The records and questionnaires of the board were sealed up by Sheriff Janssen on December 10, according to orders previously received, and whole days go by now without the board members or clerks doing a solitary thing except inhabit their offices, or probably endorse an application for a farm boy's discharge. This work can as well be done by members ex-officio, by the county agricultural agent, or by any member of the food administration in this county.
No instructions have been received as to the disposition of the questionnaires and other records, but it is believed that these will be sent to Washington at some later time. It was announced some time ago that this would be done, and it is evident in any case that the government intends to keep them permanently, or until the present crop of registrants has grown too old to fight.
It was at first thought that the local boards would be called upon to assist in mustering out the army, but such is not to be the case. No matter to what cantonment Iowa boys were sent, or where they may have enlisted, all Iowa units are being sent back to Camp Dodge for mustering out.
The dissolution of the S. A. T. C. at Ames and other colleges has brought back many local boys within the past week, and The Times sincerely regrets that it is not possible to obtain all, or any considerable number of their names. Instead of coming back in units or parts of units the boys are merely being sent directly home without even reporting at the county seat where they were mustered into service.
Many boys who were in the national army are also returning, besides those in the student corps, and farmers who have boys in service in this country are now pretty well assured that they will be home in time to take up their spring work. The full volume of the return of men will probably be reached some time in January. No men have at yet been discharged from the navy, but this is expected to begin in the near future.
The announcement that only veterans who have seen service will be used in the army of occupation is taken to mean that the men in some of the large calls of last summer will be home some time during the winter. The boys who left here for Camp Gordon on July 26, for instance, are in this class, as but very few of them ever reached the front lines. They were among the very last to embark for France, because the influenza epidemic stopped all sailings soon after their departure, and most of them are expected to return soon, or as soon as men are started direct from France, which is not yet being done.
Bagged Four Alone
Harry Dreeszen, of Lidderdale, has written County Auditor John C. Wohlenberg advising him that Mr. Dreeszen, just before the end of the fighting, had the honor of bringing into camp four German soldiers and a machine gun which he had captured all by his lonesome. Mr. Dreeszen stated that pulling off a stunt of this kind made him feel that he might be a man some day, after all. He and Mr. Wohlenberg are cousins.
Lieut. Weeks In Northern Russia
Carroll Boy Now Fighting The Bolsheviki Troops
Tells of Wild Country
And Still Wilder People — Has Been in Action Several Times and Praises Valor of Yankee Troops — Misses His Jewelry Tools.
E. W. Zinser, of this city, has recently received a letter from First Lieutenant Glenn N. Weeks, of the 339th Infantry, which is at present engaged in fighting the Bolsheviki in northern Russia. Mr. Weeks was employed in the Zinser jewelry store before leaving for the army, and The Times is delighted to be able to print his letter for the information of his scores of friends in this community:
Northern Russia, Nov. 5, 1918.
Mr. E. W. Zinser, Carroll, Iowa.
Dear Mr. Zinser and Friends in the store: We are again at the front, and having lots of fun shooting up the Bolsheviks. I don't remember when or where I was when I wrote you last. I better start near our "debut" into Russia. We arrived in Archangel on the fourth of September. Our stop there however was very short, we got on a barge and went up the river, and it only took a few days on the barge, after which we started over land and we soon had action.
Our Division were, whatever you want to call it, lucky or unlucky. Our entire outfit was in action before we had been across a month. Of course some in France and some here. Out of our division our regiment was the only one sent up here, the rest went to France. You see we were a replacement division, because we were considered one of the best. Our men did not need any further training. In fact, they say the Americans take to the fighting like ducks to water.
Of course up here it is different. We not only have trench warfare, but we have the good old maneuver kind. Here you can use your head and save your men, while over there it is always an advance directly to your front. For instance, we have inflicted some terrible losses on the enemy and our casualties have been almost nothing. We have taken a great number of prisoners and so far we haven't had any Americans taken. One good thing with our boys, they will not give up no matter what odds are against them. We prefer death to torture, and believe me they are sure barbarous.
Northern Russia is mostly timber, and every few miles there is a break of about a mile square with a village stuck in to break the monotony. The villages are built along the rivers, which is their only means of communication with the rest of the country. Of course we are not near the railroads, however we have a force operating over there. My chum's outfit is over with them.
You should hear the orders which come from Bolsheviki headquarters. They order them to advance 300 versts (1 verst is 2/3 of a mile) so they can spend the winter in Archangel. They are now only about eight versts from here, and believe me they are going to have a sweet time getting by us, let alone taking the positions we occupy to our rear.
Do you know I have wished many times I had brought a few of my jewelry tools with me, so I could at least clean my watch. They have houses they call jewelry stores, but if they didn't tell you about it you would never suspect what they were. The store itself is one room which is part of the jeweler's log house. And their tools are certainly crude. No lathe of course. But I saw one Boley stakeing tool, just a small one of course. I went in and cleaned a couple of watches, my own and another officer's. They have no saw dust, in fact they never heard of it.
Of course they have nothing in the way of jewelry, because the Bolsheviki have robbed them long ago. You should see the watches they have to work on, most all are Swiss and French, with a few English now and then. I have seen one National cash register and it sure looked mighty good.
Well I must close now and inspect my outguards. With regards to Mrs. Zinser.
John Halbur Dead
Adam M. Steffes, of Roselle, received word from the war department Tuesday to the effect that John Halbur, who made his home with the Steffes family for some time, had died of pneumonia in France on December 11. Mr. Halbur registered in the eastern part of the state and was inducted into service on July 24. He was well known to most people in the Roselle community.
First Over-Seas Soldier Is Home
Wade Wissler Discharged From The Army Last Saturday
Spent Time In England
Entered Motor Transport Section of Aviation in December of Last Year — Had Interesting Time, but is Glad to be Back Home Again.
Carroll gave its first returning overseas soldier a rousing welcome last Saturday afternoon when Wade Wissler stepped off a Northwestern train and into civil life again. The affair was strictly informal and lasted but a few minutes, but it was none the less enthusiastic and whole-hearted.
The news that he was due to arrive on Number 3 came to town earlier in the day and to attract public attention to the event the fire whistle was blown a couple of times. Before train time most of the population had been informed of the purport of the whistling, and a crowd of several hundred people gathered at the station by the time the train arrived, which was about 1:30 o'clock.
Wade was escorted to an open place on Fifth street, near the station, where Rev. J. P. Lester made a short talk and the crowd waved its greetings, after which Wissler was escorted to his home. The arrival of the train was received with the blowing whistles and a general noisy time.
Wade left home to enter the motor transport service of the aviation section on December 6 last year, going to Denver. He was assigned to the motorcycle squad, and later went to Kelly Field, Texas, then to Garden City, N. Y., from where he sailed for England on July 6 of this year.
The camp to which he was attached was located at Shawbury, in Shropshire, about 125 miles south of Liverpool, and the latter city, as well as London and other places, was visited during the stay in England. One trip of especial interest was to Manchester, where the largest cotton mills in the world are located.
The trip across to England was made in 12 days, with a convoy of 15 ships. The return trip on the Mauretania lasted from November 25 to December 2, and on the return the worst seas in years were encountered. Wade says that the government saved a great deal of grub on that account, as nine tenths of the boys "manned the rail" day in and day out, but he wasn't seasick for a minute, as was evidenced by his meal card, which shows every meal properly punched.
Wade was in Shrewsbury on November 11, when the armistice was signed, and he says the celebrations in this country couldn't have been any more joyful or hilarious than those staged by our English cousins on the other side of the water. The Yankee boys also joined in and everybody is reported to have enjoyed themselves immensely, thanks to a little injection of yankee pep. Wissler says there was no more flying done at the field for a week after that date, for reasons which may be guessed.
He doesn't think much of England as a place to live, seeming to prefer the U. S. A., and particularly that part known on the map as Iowa. He states that he has seen enough of the rest of the world to make him think more than ever of Carroll and wants to stick right here for the remainder of his time.
Wade has had many interesting and exciting experiences, too many to relate in one issue of any newspaper, but after going through it all announces that he will soon be ready to return to school and finish his education. He is 19 years of age, and owing to the time lost in the army, not yet quite through high school. That the experience, besides giving him a broadening of knowledge which no amount of money could buy, has not injured him physically, is borne out by the fact that he is twenty pounds heavier than when he went away.
His first attempt at getting back into his civilian clothing, which he left when he joined the service, was a dismal failure, and a trip to the tailor for the purchase of an entire new and larger outfit was inevitable.
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