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FRIENDS OF FRANCE***


E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Christian Boissonnas, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team (http://www.pgdp.net)






Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Characters enclosed by curly brackets is superscript
(examples: N{o} or 15{ème}).





[Illustration: _La France Guerrière_]


[Illustration]


FRIENDS OF FRANCE

The Field Service of the American Ambulance described by its members.







Boston and New York
Houghton Mifflin Company,
The Riverside Press - Cambridge

Copyright, 1916, by Houghton Mifflin Company
All Rights Reserved




[Illustration]

TO

M{R} & M{RS}. ROBERT BACON

In appreciation
of all that their effort
in America
has accomplished for this
Service in France




CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION _A. Piatt Andrew_ xvii

LETTER FROM SECTION LEADERS xix

I. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE SERVICE _Stephen Galatti_ 1

II. AT THE BACK OF THE FRONT: DUNKIRK AND YPRES
_Henry Sydnor Harrison_ 6

III. THE SECTION IN ALSACE RECONQUISE _Preston Lockwood_ 21

IV. LAST DAYS IN ALSACE _Everett Jackson_ 51

V. THE SECTION IN LORRAINE _James R. McConnell_ 61
With an introduction by Theodore Roosevelt

VI. AN AMERICAN AMBULANCE IN THE VERDUN ATTACK
_Frank Hoyt Gailor_ 89

VII. ONE OF THE SECTIONS AT VERDUN _Henry Sheahan_ 109

VIII. THE SECTION IN FLANDERS _Joshua G. B. Campbell_ 117

IX. THE BEGINNINGS OF A NEW SECTION _George Rockwell_ 131

X. UN BLESSÉ À MONTAUVILLE _Emery Pottle_ 136

XI. CHRISTMAS EVE, 1915 _Waldo Peirce_ 139

XII. THE INSPECTOR'S LETTER BOX 148

Our ambulances - How the cars reach Paris - _En route_ for the
front - First impressions - The daily programme - Handling the
wounded - The wounded - Night duty - Fitting into the
life - _Paysages de guerre_ - Soldier life - July 22 at
Pont-à-Mousson - Incidents of a driver's life - _Three Croix de
Guerre_ - From day to day - From another diary - Further
pages - A night trip - An attack - _Poilu_ hardships - Winter in
Alsace - Weeks of quiet - Night - Morning - Stray thoughts - A
gallant _blessé_ - Perils of a blizzard - Poignant
impressions - In the hospital - New quarters - The poetry of war.

Champagne, 1914-1915 227

XIII. FOUR LETTERS FROM VERDUN 232

TRIBUTES AND CITATIONS 252

MEMBERS OF THE FIELD SERVICE 337




THE MEMBERS OF THE FIELD SERVICE

DESIRE TO EXPRESS SINCERE GRATITUDE

TO

M. CHARLES HUARD

AND TO

M. BERNARD NAUDIN

FOR

THE INTEREST WHICH

THEIR DISTINGUISHED TALENT

HAS ADDED TO THIS BOOK




ILLUSTRATIONS


_La France Guerrière_ Frontispiece

_Dunkirk, May, 1915_ 6

_An American Ambulance in Flanders_ 10

_An American Ambulance in Ypres_ 12

_Soldiers marching by American Ambulances in a Flemish Town_ 14

_Americans in their Gas-Masks_ 16

_The Col de Bussang - the Gate to Alsace Reconquise_ 22

_Supplies for the Soldiers being carried on Mules over the Vosges
Mountains_ 24

_At a Valley "Poste" (Mittlach)_ 24

_American Drivers in Alsace_ 28

_A "Poste de Secours" in the Valley of the Fecht_ 30

_Sharing Meals at a "Poste"_ 30

_La Terre Promise_ 36

_The Harvard Club of Alsace Reconquise_ 42

_Winter Days in Alsace_ 54

_Effect of German Shells in Alsace_ (_Thann_) 58

_On the Road to Hartmannsweilerkopf, December, 1915_ 58

_Shells breaking on the Côte-de-Mousson_ 70

_Watching an Aeroplane Duel in Pont-à-Mousson_ 70

_In Front of a "Poste de Secours"_ 74

_An American Ambulance Driver_ 74

_On the Road to Bois-le-Prêtre_ 78

_Fontaine du Père Hilarion, Bois-le-Prêtre_ 78

_Loading the Ambulance_ 94

_At a "Poste" at the Very Front_ 104

_Soldiers of France_ 110

_Americans in their Gas-Masks in front of the Bomb-proof
Shelter outside of the Headquarters_ 118

_A "Poste de Secours" in Flanders_ 122

_Waiting at a "Poste de Secours"_ 122

_A Winter Day in Flanders_ 124

_A Group of American Drivers in Northern France_ 128

_The Cathedral in Nieuport, July, 1915_ 128

_Some of the Members of Section IV_ 132

_Approaching the High-Water Mark_ 134

_"Poilus" and Americans sharing their Lunch_ 134

_Richard Hall_ 144

_Richard Hall's Grave_ 146

_An Inspection Trip in Alsace_ 152

_Within Sight of the German Trenches_ 153

_Stretchers slung between Two Wheels on their Way from the
Trenches_ 156

_Evacuating a Hospital_ 158

_Transferring the Wounded to the Train_ 158

_The End of an Ambulance_ 166

_Decoration of Carey and Hale_ 178

_A Winter Morning_ 182

_Alsatian Woods in Winter_ 182

_The "Poste de Secours" near Hartmannsweilerkopf_ 186

_Winter in Alsace_ 194

_What Night Trips without Lights sometimes mean_ 210

_The Dangers of the Road_ 210

_Mule Convoy in Alsace_ 214

_The "Poste" near Hartmannsweilerkopf after a Bombardment_ 214

_One of our Cars in Trouble_ 216

_Coffins in Courtyard of Base Hospital in Alsace_ 216

_Richard Hall's Car after Shell landed under it_ 218

_A "Poste de Secours" at Montauville_ 222

_Saucisse above Verdun_ 232

_At a Dressing-Station near Verdun_ 236

_American Ambulance in Verdun_ 241

_American Ambulance at a Dressing-Station near Verdun_ 246

_A Corner of Verdun, July, 1916_ 250

_Headquarters of the American Ambulance Field Service, 21 Rue
Raynouard, Paris_ 276

_Some of the Men of the American Ambulance Field Service at
their Headquarters, 21 Rue Raynouard, Paris_ 278

_The "Croix de Guerre"_ 278

_The "Médaille Militaire"_ 330

_"Vive la France!"_ 346




PORTRAITS OF MEN "CITED"


_Roger M. L. Balbiani_ 281

_Edward Bartlett_ 281

_William Barber_ 330

_Leslie Buswell_ 283

_Joshua Campbell_ 283

_Graham Carey_ 285

_John Clark_ 285

_Edmund J. Curley_ 287

_Benjamin Dawson_ 287

_David B. Douglass_ 289

_Luke C. Doyle_ 289

_Brooke Leonard Edwards_ 291

_Powel Fenton_ 291

_Stephen Galatti_ 293

_Halcott Glover_ 293

_Richard Hall_ 295

_Dudley Hale_ 297

_Sigurd Hansen_ 297

_Lovering Hill_ 299

_Lawrence Hitt_ 301

_George Hollister_ 301

_Everett Jackson_ 303

_Philip Lewis_ 303

_Walter Lovell_ 305

_James R. McConnell_ 305

_Douglas MacMonagle_ 307

_William T. Martin_ 307

_Joseph Mellen_ 309

_Francis Dashwood Ogilvie_ 309

_Waldo Peirce_ 311

_Thomas Potter_ 311

_Tracy J. Putnam_ 313

_Beverly Rantoul_ 313

_Durant Rice_ 315

_George Roeder_ 315

_Edward Salisbury_ 317

_Roswell Sanders_ 330

_Bernard Schroder_ 317

_James Milton Sponagle_ 319

_Henry Suckley_ 319

_John Taylor_ 321

_Edward Tinkham_ 321

_Donald M. Walden_ 323

_J. Marquand Walker_ 323

_Victor White_ 325

_Walter Wheeler_ 327

_Harold Willis_ 327

_William H. Woolverton_ 329


[Illustration]




INTRODUCTION

Les États-Unis d'Amérique n'ont pas oubliés que la première page
de l'histoire de leur indépendance a été écrite avec un peu de
sang français. (_Général Joffre._)


THE following pages, written and edited in the course of active service
in France, tell, however imperfectly, something of the experiences of a
small group of young Americans who have not been inert onlookers during
the Great War.

Few in number and limited in their activities, this little band of
American ambulance drivers in France is of course insignificant when
compared with the tens of thousands of young Frenchmen who crossed the
ocean as soldiers and sailors to help America in 1777. To the valor and
devotion of these Frenchmen we owe our very existence as an independent
nation, and nothing that Americans have done for France during these
last hard years of trial can be thought of - without embarrassment - in
relation with what Frenchmen did for us in those unforgettable years of
our peril from 1777 to 1781.

The little group of Americans told of in this book who, during the past
two years, have dedicated valiant effort and, not unfrequently, risked
their lives in the service of France, can best be thought of as only
a symbol of millions of other Americans, men and women, who would
gladly have welcomed an opportunity to do what these men have done - or
more. For, notwithstanding official silence and the injunctions
of presidential prudence, the majority of Americans have come to
appreciate the meaning, not only to France, but to all the world, of
the issues that are to-day so desperately at stake, and their hearts
and hopes are all with France in her gigantic struggle. They share with
the world at large a feeling towards the French people of sympathy,
of admiration, and, indeed, of reverence, such as exists towards the
people of no other country; and millions of them, like these volunteers
of the American Ambulance, have been tortured by a longing to have some
share with the people of France in defending the ideals for which, as
they feel, America has always stood, and for which France is now making
such vast, such gallant, and such unflinching sacrifice.

The service to France of Americans, whether ambulance drivers,
surgeons, nurses, donors and distributors of relief, aviators, or
foreign _légionnaires_, when measured by the prodigious tasks with
which France has had to cope during the past two years, has indeed
been infinitesimally small; but their service to America itself has
been important. They have rendered this inestimable benefit to their
country. They have helped to keep alive in France the old feeling
of friendship and respect for us which has existed there since our
earliest days and which, otherwise, would probably have ceased to
exist. They have helped to demonstrate to the chivalrous people of
France that Americans, without hesitating to balance the personal
profit and loss, still respond to the great ideals that inspired the
founders of our Republic. They have helped France to penetrate official
reticence and re-discover America's surviving soul.

When all is said and done, however, the _ambulanciers_ themselves
have gained the most from the work in which they have taken part. It
is a privilege even in ordinary times to live in this "_doux pays de
France_," to move about among its gentle and finished landscapes, in
the presence of its beautiful architectural heritages and in daily
contact with its generous, sensitive, gifted, and highly intelligent
people. Life in France, even in ordinary times, means to those of
almost any other country daily suggestions of courtesy, refinement, and
thoughtful consideration for others. It means continual suggestions of
an intelligent perspective in the art of living and in the things that
give life dignity and worth.

The opportunity of living in France, as these Americans have lived
during the past two years of war, has meant all this and more. It has
meant memories of human nature exalted by love of country, shorn of
self, singing amidst hardships, smiling at pain, unmindful of death.
It has meant contact with the most gentle and the most intelligent
of modern peoples facing mortal peril - facing it with silent and
unshakable resolve, victoriously resisting it with modesty and with
never a vaunting word. It has meant imperishable visions of intrepidity
and of heroism as fine as any in the records of knight-errantry or in
the annals of Homeric days.

Nothing else, surely, can ever offer so much of noble inspiration as
these glimpses of the moral grandeur of unconquerable France.

A. PIATT ANDREW
_Inspector General of the Field Service_

[Illustration]




[Illustration: A la Françoise et Carrément]

THE publication of this book presents an opportunity of showing our
appreciation of the extraordinarily successful work of A. PIATT ANDREW
in reorganizing and furthering the work of the Field Service of the
American Ambulance.

Those of us who were in the service before his arrival and have
continued to work under him have been able to judge the effects of
his efforts, and to realize the amount of activity, patience, and
tact necessary to overcome the numerous difficulties which presented
themselves. It was through the confidence placed in him by the
French military authorities that the small American squads, after
reorganization to army standards, were allowed to take positions of
trust at the front. As a result of his untiring efforts in America
funds were raised and cars donated to continue and advance the work.

No more striking proof can be given of the change in value to the Army
of our Service, and of the change in the attitude of the authorities
towards it, than the recent request of the Automobile Service to the
American Ambulance for other Sections. When Mr. Andrew began his work
we were seeking an opportunity to widen our sphere of work. Now the
efficiency and usefulness of the service are such that the Army has
requested that it be increased.

We all owe much to Mr. Andrew: his devotion to the cause has inspired
all those working with him.

LOVERING HILL
_Commander of Section III_ (_Alsace_)

EDWARD V. SALISBURY
_Commander of Section II_ (_Lorraine_)

H. P. TOWNSEND
_Commander of Section I_ (_Flanders_)




FRIENDS OF FRANCE




I

THE ORGANIZATION OF THE SERVICE

APRIL 1915-APRIL 1916


DURING the first eight months of the war the American Ambulance
continually hoped to extend its work to an Ambulance Service actually
connected with the armies in the field, but not until April, 1915, were
these hopes definitely realized. The history, however, of these first
eight months is important; its mistakes showed the way to success; its
expectations brought gifts of cars, induced volunteers to come from
America, and laid the basis upon which the present service is founded.

A gift of ten Ford ambulances, whose bodies were made out of
packing-boxes, enabled the American Ambulance, at the very outset of
the war, to take part in the transport service, and as more and more
donations were made small squads were formed in an attempt to enlarge
the work. These squads, each of five cars, were offered for service
with the armies, but owing to their inadequate size were in every case
attached by the Government to existing services well in the rear. So
there were small squads at Saint-Pol, Amiens, Paris Plage, Abbeville,
Merville, and Hesdin, attached to British or French Sections, and
they were engaged in evacuating hospitals, work which clearly could be
better done by the larger cars of Sanitary Sections already attached to
these hospitals.

In April, 1915, through the efforts of A. Piatt Andrew, who had then
become Inspector of the Field Service, the French authorities made a
place for American Ambulance Sections at the front on trial. A squad
of ten ambulances was sent to the Vosges, and this group attracted the
attention of their commanding officers, who asked that it be increased
by ten cars so as to form it into an independent Sanitary Section. As
soon as this was done, the unit took its place in conjunction with a
French Section in an important Sector on the front in Alsace.

With this initial success a new order of things began, and in the
same month a second Section of twenty cars was formed and was
stationed, again in conjunction with an existing French service, in the
much-bombarded town of Pont-à-Mousson.

In the meantime, two squads of five cars each had been working at
Dunkirk. These were now re-enforced by ten more and the whole Section
was then moved to the French front in Belgium, with the result that
at the end of the month of April, 1915, the Field Service of the
American Ambulance had really come into existence. It comprised three
Sections of twenty ambulances, a staff car, and a supply car - Section
Sanitaire Américaine N{o} 1, as it was called, stationed at Dunkirk;
Section Sanitaire Américaine N{o} 2, stationed in Lorraine; and Section
Sanitaire Américaine N{o} 3, in the Vosges.

The story of the next year is one of real achievement, in which the
three Sections emerged from the test with a record of having fulfilled
the highest expectations of proving their utility to France. Section
1, having given an excellent account of itself in the long-range
bombardments and air-raids at Dunkirk, was rewarded by being intrusted
with important work in Belgium at Coxyde, Nieuport, Poperinghe,
Elverdinghe, Crombeke, and other _postes de secours_ in that Sector of
the French front.

Section 2 had to win recognition in a region already served by a French
Sanitary Service and to which it was attached to do secondary work. The
Section not only accomplished its own work, but made it possible for
the French Section to be withdrawn, taking over the _postes de secours_
on the line, and finally becoming independently responsible for an area
renowned for its continual heavy fighting.

The record of Section 3 is slightly different. It first successfully
took over the existing service, and then, pushing on, opened up to
motor transport hitherto inaccessible mountain _postes de secours_.

With the three Sections thus established, it is interesting to note why
they have been a recognized success so shortly after their possible
usefulness was appreciated.

In the first place, an admirable type of car was selected. Our light
Ford ambulances, stationed as they were in Belgium, in Lorraine, and
in Alsace, faced three separate transportation problems. At Dunkirk
they found the mud no obstacle; at Pont-à-Mousson they outgeneralled
the _ravitaillement_ convoys; in the Vosges they replaced the mule.
They were driven, too, by college men or men of the college type, who
joined the service to be of use and who brought to the work youth and
intelligence, initiative and courage. There have been to date in the
Field Service 89 men from Harvard, 26 from Yale, 23 from Princeton, 8
from the University of Pennsylvania, 7 from Dartmouth, 6 from Columbia,
4 from the University of Michigan, 4 from the University of Virginia,
18 American Rhodes scholars from Oxford, and representatives of more
than thirty other colleges and universities. Twenty-eight men have
already been cited and awarded the _croix de guerre_.

In November, 1915, at the request of General Headquarters, a fourth
Section, made possible through the continued aid of generous friends
in America, took its place in the field. In December, 1915, Section 1
was moved to the Aisne. In January, 1916, Section 3 was transferred to
the Lorraine front, in February Section 2 was summoned to the vicinity
of Verdun at the moment of the great battle, and in March definite
arrangements for a fifth Section were completed.

So April, 1916, finds the three old Sections still on duty at the
front, the fourth already making its reputation there, and a fifth
being fitted out. Confidence has been gained; we have learned our
parts. The problem of the future is, first, to maintain efficiency,
and at the same time to be ready to put more cars and more men in the
field. Our vision is to play a larger rôle in behalf of France, and
with the continued coöperation of the donors of ambulances and the same
spirit of sacrifice on the part of the men in the field, it should be
realized.[1]

STEPHEN GALATTI


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