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Plattsmouth Journal, December 30, 1918




Makes Most Interesting Story of the Way Over and Doings in the Battle Line.

Barricourt, France, Nov. 22, 1918

Dear Dad: Now that the war is over and the censorship is lifted, I am going to start in and tell you about my trip since leaving New York. We came over on the steamship Battle, an English passenger boat, and landed in Liverpool on June 15 at 2:30 p.m. we stayed on the boat that night and unloaded the next morning, then we loaded on trains and rode all day, finally landing in Ramsey, England, where we stayed for a rest and a little training, leaving here on June 23 and hiking to Southampton, where we were loaded on a boat and left at 9 p.m. across the English channel and landed at La Havre, France at 6:45 a.m. We hiked about three miles and stayed over night at a rest camp. The next day we pounded through La Havre and on to the railroad station and were loaded into compartment coaches and on the twenty-sixth day of the month we landed at Lefol La Grande, staying overnight and then hiking to Grand the next morning. We spent a month in Grand, training every day. The band played concerts in Alianville and at Biarchenville, small villages and about two miles apart. We stayed until August third and then we moved in trucks to Frondes, staying there two days and then hiking to Ansonville and relieved the Eighty-second Division and took over the Toul sector. We lost about 500 men on the seventh of August in a big gas attack and it is claimed that the Germans shot over 1,500 gas shells into a small area. Most of our men just came back within the last few weeks, having been in the hospital, died and some are still in the hospitals.

         We had plenty of excitement while in this sector as the German aeroplanes came over regularly on bombing expeditions and after our observation balloons. They burned up three of our balloons in one day. They generally came over the balloon: at a great height and dove down firing phosphorous bullets from a machine gun at the balloon, causing it to catch on fire and burn up. We stayed on this front and went over the top on the morning of September 12 in the big St. Mihiel drive, which straightened out the salient. We finally located in Beny, which was about one and one half kilos from the front line. Our regiment had advanced this far and was holding the line.

         Regimental headquarters was established at Beny and it sure was a hot place as it was shelled all the time and before we left most of the buildings were torn up by shell fire. We moved to the woods near [looks like] Euvezin for a few days’ rest on September 22 and moved back again in Beny on September 29. I didn’t like Beny very well as I had to keep too close to the dugout, and believe me, I consider myself mighty lucky as men were killed by shells every day. We couldn’t have any fires in the daytime and no traffic was allowed; everything was brought up after dark. We were relieved on the eighth of October by the Thirty-seventh Division and we moved to Rececourt, stayed there until October 13, and then we moved to the Argonne Woods, staying overnight and moving the next morning a few kilos forward and camping on a hill near Appionville.

         It was very disagreeable here as it rained almost every day and the mud was a foot deep and sleeping on damp ground in a little two by four tent is not very pleasant. On September 20 we moved forward about four kilometers and located overnight on a hill and in a shed that was shot full of holes. I tried to find a dry spot for a bed and in the morning I work[sic] up all wet, as it was raining all night.

         Oh, I tell you it’s a great life, but people in the States where it’s comfortable never realize what we have to go through here. At the present time I’m sleeping on a [little] straw and it’s the best bed I’ve had in months.

         And the other day I took a bath with the aid of a bucket and a sponge — the first bath in four weeks. No wonder the fellows get lousy! Most of the fellows complain of having cooties, but as yet I haven’t had the pleasure. But to go on with the story:

         We moved the next morning to a woods about one and one-half kilos west of Romagne; here we located in a genuine camp. I’d found a good old log house with a stove and some wire bunks, had a good fire and got my clothes dry and was thinking how lucky I was landing a comfortable place and how I’d enjoy sleeping, when at 9 p.m. that evening we received orders to move back. So we started out and tramped in the mud through woods until 2 a.m. and that night I slept in an open shed. I was so tired that it was a hotel to me.

         The next day we located some pretty fair buildings, as it was a German camp, and we stayed here until Saturday, October 26, moving again forward, and this time in a woods near Gucsnes[sic], staying here until October 31, when the Argonne Meuse drive started. In this camp we were shelled quite often, and men were killed by shells.

We started out in the reserve of this drive and moved out on November first, and believe me, there was sure plenty of excitement, as it seemed that artillery was banging away from everywhere along the road. We located that night just over the German line in an old house, and dead Germans and Americans and horses were lying all around. We moved again the next morning, and it was the same from then on, dead Germans, Americans, horses, ammunition, supplies, guns, everywhere.

We stayed in the woods again overnight. I happened to find a comfortable dugout with a stove but was called at 2 a.m. to move again as the next morning our regiment took over the lines. So we moved ahead again and that night we stayed in Failly. We were shelled all along this trip and had plenty of excitement. The next evening we moved to Beauclair and stayed there until November 8. On November 4, when we got into Beauclair had charge of a ration-carrying detail of about 100 men, and we carried rations to the men holding the line in a strip of woods about four kilometers northeast of Beaulieu. The Germans had blown up a bridge and had blocked the roads by cutting down large trees across the roads, so the only way the food could be gotten up was by being carried, so we carried up corned beef, hardtack and jam, coffee and sugar. This is all we had to eat from November 1 until November 9.

As we couldn’t build fires in the daytime, so if we were lucky enough to find a stove at night, we could have some hot coffee. On November 8, the Captain and myself moved to Luneville and along this trip is where I had my narrow escape, lying in a ditch for about half an hour while the shells played a tune, and with most all over we just got to stay in Luneville for a few minutes and were ordered back to Beaulieu. I didn’t regret this move as it was mighty hot in the town. It was shelled continually, and I was mighty glad to go back where the shells were not coming so thick.

We stayed in Beauclair until the armistice was declared and then we moved forward to Beaublau Farm, about seven kilometers from Luneville. Here we stayed for a couple of days and then moved back here to Baricourt. We have been drilling, cleaning up the town and getting new equipment here and expect to move Sunday to Germany to occupy during the armistice. I thought that we were going back soon, but it don’t look that way now, as I expect we will be about the last to leave. We are in the Third army with the first, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty-second, Forty-second, Eighty-ninth and Ninetieth Divisions which comprise the army of occupation, so I will be "hike" from now on. But one good thing, I will be home some time, and that’s some satisfaction. It is sure a relief to have it quiet and no more of the fear of shells. I am still top sergeant of the company but I play with the band as they have been giving concerts here every day.

Well, this is an exceptionally long letter for me to write, so I guess I’ll call in "finis."

Best regards to all my friends and tell them I’ll celebrate the Fourth in Platts. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, with love to all,

Sapogne, France, Nov. 27, 1918

Well, we are on our way to Germany. We left Baricourt on the twenty-fourth at 8 a.m. and hiked to Stenay, arriving there at 1 p.m. It was about a 17 kilometer hike. We stayed there overnight, leaving the next morning. Stenay is quite a large city with several factories, hotels and large buildings. It is entirely abandoned, just a few civilians left, and is occupied by soldiers.

We left at 8:30 a.m. and hiked again about 18 kilometers and arrived at Sapogne at 2:30 p.m. and we are resting here at the present time and expect to go on the latter part of the week. This is not a very large village and just a few civilians are left here. We had a welcome service in the village church last night and the padre told us his experiences with the Germans. He said that the people here were from the north and were brought here from captured towns by the Germans. He told many sad stories about the barbarous treatment by the Germans.

We expect to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, but there won’t be any turkey and cranberries. I sent out a couple of the boys on a scouting trip this afternoon and they are going to try to buy some chickens, apples, etc. but I doubt if they can get anything as the people here are short of food. I was lucky today as I got in on some prune pie. I have a good stand-in with the cooks, so we generally try to get some fruit and have a little extra on the bill of fare. We are only about three kilometers from the Belgian line, which is less than two miles. I understand that we are going on into Germany and occupy some large town until peace is signed; then we will be sent home. I’m sure anxious to get back, and I know now that it won’t be long. With love to all, ROY

Plattsmouth Journal, Monday, December 2, 1918




They Will Now Soon Be Home Again and Gladden the Hearts of the Folks.

      Three Plattsmouth boys [George Schiessl, Peter Kratachnil and Henry Lamphear – all posted on this web site] write letters to home folks from over-seas which are very interesting. The boys tell of the good times they are having over there, mingled with the grief that comes. They describe the country as beautiful, but seem to think there is nothing in the tale of exquisitely beautiful maidens in the country. When they return these boys will all have some wonderful tales to tell:

From George Schiessl

Somewhere in France, October 21, 1918.

Dear Folks:

      I must write you a few lines while I have the chance, as I have been riding on the train since October 3, until yesterday and I sure have had enough of train riding. I am now in France and have been over quite a little of the country already. Can hear the big guns now. This is sure some country. Some of it is level and some is rather hilly. Really I have seen places which sure reminded me of John Falter’s pasture. There are lots of rock here but yet things are nice. It seems funny to hear the French people talk. Can’t understand a word but some boys who came over first can talk it quite well and get along fine. Joe (my pal) is not with me any more. We were split up somewhere in France. I sure hated it but that didn’t do much good. I have different work every day. Get along fine. Did you ever hear from Max Vallery any more? Send me his address. Maybe I will be luckey [sic] enough to run onto him one of these days. Have not seen any one I know nor have I received any mail yet. Well, I am in the best of health. Get plenty of sleep and plenty to eat, so don’t worry a bit about me. Tell the rest of the folks hello for me. Will write as often as I can and hope you will do the same. With love from your son,

George Schiessl.

Address Med. Rep. Evacuation Hosp. No. 8, A.P.O. 702, A.E.F., France

Plattsmouth Journal, Thursday, December 5, 1918




Was In Hospital For a Few Days But Is Out At This Time.

From Monday’s Daily.

         The following letter written the day following the peace celebration here, tells of how the people took the news in France, where he was and Harry gives a good description of the way the signing of the armistice was received:

Somewhere in France

November 13, 1918

Dear Mother, Father, Sister and Brother:

         Received two letters from home in the last two days, and was sure glad to hear that everyone at home was well and having a most enjoyable time when the letter was written.

         I am not in the hospital at this time, have been out for five days, and am feeling fine. My other tonsil is slightly affected, like the one I told you about when I was in the hospital. It will only be a couple of days now until I will be all o.k. My tonsil I meant to say.

         We had a big celebration yesterday. We mean everybody in this town, where I am. We got news about noon that peace was declared and everybody was celebrating, a city of nearly a million inhabitants, so you can imagine how things were. The streets were so crowded that one could hardly move, with everybody singing, yelling etc. doing everything imaginable in the line of celebration. Old and young were grabbing each other, especially the soldiers. I got my share, I’ll say that much. The street cars had to stop running. You would be walking along and meet a bunch of girls all having their arms locked together, and if you got by without being kissed you were pretty slick. When it first started the Americans thought it great fun, but towards evening they began to shy away, thinking they had enough, I guess. I know I did.

         We had liberty yesterday afternoon and are off all day today.

         I suppose it is the same all over France, and in fact in all the allied countries, it may not be as bad as here, but I’ll bet things are surely lively. By bad, I do not mean anything wrong is being carried on.

          I’ll stake a wager that the people in the good old U.S.A. were all celebrating to the greatest, although they hadn’t had as long a trial as most allied countries.

          I had a letter from Ruby yesterday, written October 19th she seems to be getting along just swell, not complaining in the least, and seems to like the school she had this year better than the one she had last year. With love to all the home folks, I am,

Your son and brother,


Address Co. P., [blurred 38?] Regt., F.C.

Am. E.F., A.P.O. [blurred 783?], France


Plattsmouth Journal, July 28, 1919


From Friday’s Daily.

          Another familiar face to be seen on the streets is that of Harry Winscott who has been in France for a long time. Harry was among the first to enlist and so got into the big struggle overseas and is among the last to get home. We are none the less glad to see him. He is looking well and of course that is natural as who wouldn’t look well and happy to be back in native land and with the home folks once more. To all of our returned boys the heartiest kind of a welcome.

Plattsmouth Journal, August 5, 1918


Plattsmouth Boy Received Wound In Battle; Particulars Not Obtainable At This Time,
Information Will Be Given As Received.

Washington, D.C., Aug. 7, (10:00 A.M.)

Alexander M. Arries, Plattsmouth, Nebr.,

          Regret to inform you that cablegram from abroad, advises that Corporal Byron E. Arries Marine Corps was wounded on July Nineteenth. Nor further particulars available. Official cablegrams cannot be sent asking about his condition, but you will be notified should further details be received.

GEORGE BARNETT, Major General Commandant.

          The above telegram was received this morning by A.M. Arries telling of the wounding of his son. All know Byron E. Arries, and one of the fine young men of Plattsmouth, everybody will be grieved at this sad news and hope that the wound is not serious. How it is no one knows, and from the wording of the telegram it leaves one only to guess how seriously [sic] the wound is. This is the first of the many boys who have gone from this city and county to have been reported wounded. Byron was where the fighting was the hottest, and a member of the Marines that stopped the onslaught of the Huns, in their drive towards Paris. Mr. Arries and wife have the sympathy of all the citizens of this city, in this time of sorrow, and uncertainty, as to the exact conditions. With the good constitution and the exemplary habits of this young man, we are certain that he will with a half a show, show great recuperative qualities, and will unless the wound is very severe recover. What the facts are, no one can surmise, until that time when more definite information shall have arrived. We are hoping for the best in the case.

Plattsmouth Journal, December 16, 1918




Also Other Wounds From H. E. But Claims He Will Be Able to Be Out Soon.

From Friday’s Daily.

          Mr. And Mrs. A. M. Arries received a letter from their son Don yesterday, in which he said that he had received a letter from both the other boys, they both being in a hospital, but were getting along with the best of care, and that they would be there for some time but would recover. Don had written the letter on November 20th saying that he was endeavoring to get away for a short time to go see the brothers who are in the hospitals. The letter from Byron tells of having received a machine gun bullet through his leg, and some minor wounds with H. E. whatever that may be, but he was getting along as well as could be expected, and as the letter was written more than a week after the war, the chances are that both the boys will be all right. Major said he was still in the hospital, and was still having his foot treated, which had been injured with a bit of shrapnel. It is indeed pleasing news to know that they while reported as dangerously wounded, that there is a good chance for them to get well again, and back home some of these days.


Plattsmouth Journal, July 3, 1919


From Wednesday’s Daily.

          A message from Don E. Arries tells of his arrival at the port of New York day before yesterday, and that he has been assigned to a camp and would write as soon as he could. The message had to come to Omaha, and be mailed here from that point. Don has been overseas for a year and a half having been the first of the boys to go over and the last one to return. It is not known just when he will be discharged, but it is expected it will be at an early date and this should put him home in a short time.


Plattsmouth Journal, July 28, 1919




Although He Is Only Home on Furlough and Must return to the Army Hospital.

From Thursday’s Daily.

          Yesterday afternoon, when the car in which Byron Arries came up Main Street, stopped briefly a number of people rushed out to take him by the hand and welcome him back home again.

          Corporal Arries, of the 80th company, 6th regiment, U.S. Marines, bearing the scars of battle, arrived in Plattsmouth Wednesday on a furlough, for a visit with his parents, Mr. And Mrs. A. M. Arries. He has been in the marine hospital at Hampton, Virginia, since his return from overseas.

          "By," as he is familiarly known among his Plattsmouth friends, has had an extremely hazardous experience fighting to protect the liberties of America. January 30, 1918, he enlisted in the United States Marines and after intensive training sailed from Philadelphia for France, arriving at Brest in May, 1918. On June 3, 1918, he moved to the battle front before Chateau Thiery [sic] and received his baptism of fire in that decisive battle. July 18th, "By" was transferred to the Soissons front and the next day while participating in the battle of Soissons was wounded by a machine gun bullet which kept him in the hospital until the first of October. From that time until the first of November, he was again on the battle front. November 1st, while fighting in the Argonne forest, he received eight wounds from machine gun bullets and high explosive shells.

          From then until February, he was in the military hospitals in France. February 9th, he sailed from St. Massier [sic], France, for Newport News, Va., in the good old U.S.A. and since landing has been in the U.S. Naval hospital at that place until receiving his furlough for a visit home.

          For the first time since the three boys enlisted, the Arries family is again united. Major A. Arries was also wounded in battle while fighting with the 18th Company, 5th regiment, U.S. Marines in the Argonne forest and Donald E. Arries saw service in France with the 649 U.S. Aero Squad. Both have received honorable discharges from the U.S. service. Every true blooded American who enjoys life and liberty, whose home and fireside are protected and whose family is secure, appreciates the devotion, courage and sacrifice displayed by the Arries boys, together with the thousands of other American boys in repelling the menace of barbarism which threatened to overwhelm us.

          The people of Plattsmouth should never forget the sacrifice made by Byron Arries to protect the sanctity of their homes and the liberties of their families. They should never forget those long hours of courageous vigil on the battle lines, with death stalking over near, those long days of extreme suffering, and the long years yet to come of patient and silent suffering endured by Byron Arries for them. Let us remember that from young manhood to old age, Byron will carry with him the scars of battle received in repelling the danger which threatened the sanctity of our nation, the liberties of our children and the security of American institutions [several illegible sentences — blurred print].

          -come you, Byron. We know and appreciate your service and in the future ever remember:

          "Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our fears;
            Our faith, triumphant o’er our fears,
            Are all with thee, are all with thee."

Dear Friend

Here's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Day. Hope we will soon see your smiling face in Union, the place we all would love to see you. Your Friend, Mrs C Garrison

Dear Uncle Gene,

I am glad you are back in the U. S. again, and hope you will soon be home we would all like to see you. Well I will close for this time
As Ever "Dick" [Dick Applegate]

Nov. 25 -1918

Dear Friend,

Well I sure am glad to hear of you being in the U. S. I wrote to you after you were wounded but I don't suppose you got it. You ought to be in the U. H. S. as we have some Supt, Pretty & Everything home soon
Hoping to see you home soon.
your Friend Dot. [probably Dorothy Hall]

Nov. 25, '18

Dear Gene-

We wish you all kinds of Thanksgiving luck, and all of the turkey you can possibly hold. Everyone is fine around here. Only 2 cases of "flu" now. Had a light snow. Hope you are much better now and that we will soon see you home again.
With lots of love,
Mr. & Mrs. Ben Roddy & Baby John

Dyneld [?] France.
Dec. 19 /18

Dear ???

Recieved your letter and was glad to hear from you. But couldn't wait till xmas to open it, as little comes to few and far between over here. Many thanks for the pictures and I think they are fine.

Love to all

Corp. J. C. Applegate
Co. C. 316 Eng.
A. ?. F. A. P. o776
censored by --
Lieut. ?. S. E??.

Since you couldn't come to the party, a little bit of party is coming to you. Was so sorry you couldn't come for we had a real jolly time & I want to know you too.
Best Wishes -
Jane B. Nelly--

Hello Julian; how are you getting along. I rec. a letter from Clee the other day and she wants to knit me a pair of sock, but I cant wear them and it wont be cold enough for them here anyway. I saw your name in the casualty list as severely wounded this was a Brooklyn paper dated Aug 10. I hope you are O.K. by this time if you get a leave and can meet me in London or in Dublin I will be there but were not allowed to go to Paris. If you need cigarettes, candy, money, or any thing else let me know. R. B. R.

R. [Robert] B. [Bernard] Roddy
U.S. Naval Air Station Wexford Ireland
C/O GPO London
[Note: Bernard RODDY died not long after this card was sent.]

Dear Friend Gene-: I recd a letter from Clee a week ago and also some pictures of her and little Louise. Louise is sure a sweet little girl. Write and tell me how you like France. Papa [? Gmpa] said he would like to have a talk with you. Many happy returns of the day Feb. 28. As ever Thelma E. Gifford

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