Alfred H Davies.

Twentieth engineers, France, 1917-1918-1919 online

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Professor Myron Kruego '

Affri. - Foreetr)' - Main Library


The follow it\L; paraj^raphs shouki follow the stor\- of "[""orls-
ihitxl linginccrs :

("o. D of the 43ivl, the 4'-)th and fag-end company of the
Twentieth, reported to the La Cluse-Bourg District, Ninth
Battalion, and were given charge of the Murat operation, in the
upper valley of the river AUier, in south central France. Here
they operated a McDonough sawmill of 10,000 rated capacity.
The region was rich in timber resources, and its importance led
to the establishment of a new F'orestry district at LePuy, si.xty
miles to the east, with Fourteenth Battalion Headquarters in
control. At the cessation of hostilities several new camps were
in progress of development in the neighborhood.

Upon release from the Le Puy District the 49th Co. was sent
to join the assembled Forest troops in the Landes, and spent the
spring in road repair details around Ponten.x and Labouheyre.
After the Fourth Battalion left for home, early in May, the 49th
took over the job of liquidating the American mills in the Da.x
district, as well as at f^ontenx, iVlimizan and the Burnt Area.
Sale of the bulk of equipment remaining to French railway in-
terests closed the need for garrison functions, and the scattered
details started for the States, leaving only a forlorn rearguard,
and warped and silent shanties, to recall to the Landais villagers
the boom days of '17-19.

"The F\)rty-Second Engineers " (Fourteenth Battalion, Twen-
tieth Engineers) to read "The Forty-Second Engineers.""

"The InirtN- FhirLl Engineers " (bifteenth Battalion, Twentieth
Engineers) to read "The Forty-Third Engineers (Fouricctiih
Battalion, Twentieth Lingineers.)

Press of


Henry BIdg., Portland, Oregon




743 GreeuM^ood Aveuue

Portland, Or«.



Aeri F->nacfr<- - Main Library


Perez Simmons, Alhambra, Calif., 4th Bn.
Alfred H. Davies, Portland, Ore., 4th Bn.
Shelby L. Davies, Portland, Ore., 6th Bn.

William W. Logan, Sioux City, Iowa
George W. Batten, New York City
Theo. Tandberg, Goodrich, Minn.
Clarence H. Burrage, DeForest, Ga.
Clinton E. Young, Voorheesville, N. Y
Frank S. McNally, New York City
Lyall Tracy, Minneapolis, Minn. .
George A. Faulkner, Augusta, Me.
Robert Major, Ogden, Utah
Charles Boorman, Great Falls, Mont.
A. L. Van Riper, Berkeley, Cal.
Philip B. Custard, Ridgefield, Wash.
Oscar E. Johnson, New Britain, Conn
Clifford t. Dodds. Berkeley, Cal.
Francis H. Gott, Rochester, N. Y.
Ole E. Stokke, Rose Lake, Idaho .
Kenneth Shetterly, Willamina, Ore.
J. E. Hennessey, Excelsior, Minn.
Harold C. Johns, Titusville, Pa.
E. R. Herzog, New York, N. Y.
Henry J. Askew, Merkcl, Tex.
Ray O. Rennie, Thurston, Ore.
Walter Tillotson, Richey, Mont.
Raymond A. Crago, Flint, Mich.
George R. Napper, Creswell, Ore.
William R. Bone, Salem, Ore. .
J. E. Schwarz, St. Louis, Mo. .
Proctor M. McClure, Chicago, HI.
George W. Anderson, Kenosha, Wi
R. D. Remington, Hibbing, Minn.
A. L. Lake, Mason City, Iowa
William Houck, Plummer, Idaho
Cecil E. Haworth, Medway, Mass.
J. B. Campbell, Ontario, Cal. .
Thomas Carney, Medford, Ore.
David G. Glass, Pendleton, Ore.
Leo F. Shields, Faribault, K4inn.
Lynton E. Athey, Portland, Ore.
C. C. Buenger, Chicago, 111.
C. M. Cradlebaugh, Portland, Ore
Sam C. Yockev, Harrisville, Mich.

. Editor


Business Manager

. Regimental Hq.

10th Engineers.

10th Engineers.

10th Engineers.

10th Engineers.

10th Engineers.

1st Battalion.

1st Battalion.

1st Battalion.

2nd Battalion.

2nd Battalion

3rd Battalion.

3rd Battalion.

4th Battalion.

4th Battalion.

4th Battalion.

5th Battalion.

5th Battalion.

5th Battalion.

5th Battalion.

6th Battalion.

6th Battalion.

7th Battalion.

8th Battalion.

8th Battalion.

9th Battalion.

9th Battalion.

9th Battalion.
10th Battalion.
10th Battalion.
10th Battalion.
10th Battalion.
41st Engineers.
41st Engineers.
41st Engineers.
42nd Engineers.
42nd Engineers.
43rd Engineers.
43rd Engineers.
43 rd Engineers.
43rd Engineers.


Table of Contents



The Engineers in France '

Division of Construction and Forestry

The Twentieth Engineers

Regimental Headquarters

The Tenth Engineers

First Battalion

Second Battalion

Third Battalion

Fourth Battalion

Fifth Battalion

Sixth Battalion

Seventh Battalion

Eighth Battalion

Ninth Battalion

Tenth Battalion

Forty-First Engineers

Forty-Second Engineers

Forty-Third Engineers



"Official" Band

New England Units

Canadian Foresters

Flying Knots

Editorially Speaking

Casualty List


to our unforgotten comrades, who passed
from among us in camp, field or the
breakers of I slay, and whose mem-
ory is at once our most pxDignant
sorrow and our loftiest pride.


When America entered (he war in 1917, one of the
first demands of the Commander-in-Chief was for a
regiment of forestry engineers. If an army of the size
comtemplated was to be put at the front, docks must be
built; railroads laid; barracks, warehouses, hospitals,
bakeries, refrigerator plants, and power plants provided;
and trench timbers, dug-outs, and barb-wire stakes fur-
nished. The basic factor in all these necessities was
lumber and the Twentieth Engineers, detailed to this
task, more than met their tremendous responsibility.

It meant work; hard, monotonous, and unrelenting,
but never did men respond more nobly. From these first
days in the Fall of 1917 when I saw men hitched to
wagons and pulling like horses because we had none;
through those terrible spring days of 1918 when the
Germans were driving on toward Paris and these men
scattered from the Pyrenees to the Argonne toiled day and
night to make possible our defense; down through the
armistice until the last man came home, in all my ex-
perience across the seas I never saw more faithful and
conscientious effort. Brave deeds abounded in France
but equal in spirit to any of them was the persistent
devotion to his task, so vitally essential but lacking in
personal glory, of many a man in this largest regiment ui

It was my great privilege to serve men of many
regiments, but in all my service never did I find an or-
ganization of better personnel, or men who responded
more quickly to high ideals and unselfish service. The
story of these men, their devotion, their sacrifice, and their
loyalty will be related as long as the history of American
accomplishments in the \\ orld \\ ar shall be recorded.


Caitain Howard Y. William.^
Regimental Chaplain,

Seaule, Wash.,
April 14, 1^20.

To the Officers and N4en of the 20th Engineers (Forestry):

As your former Commanding OlTicer it gives me great pleasure
to have this opportunity to send you a greeting and my appre-
ciation of your services in !•" ranee in the WorkI War, an account
of which is containei^l in this history of the Regiment.

As patriots and woodsmen you promptly answered the call
of your country and by your skill, enthusiasm and unceasing effort
you made a record in the American Expeditionary Forces in
France of which \-ou ma\ well he proud.

I shall alw ays feel that it w as a great honor to have commanded
such an organization of American soldiers.


[j.-CoL. Cor(:)s of Engineers,
i . S. Arnix.

Colonel J. A. Woodruff

To the licliiors — 1 listory of 2()lh Lingineers:

It is to m\ w.'md an excellent effort on \our part to endcasor
to compile a history of the \'ery important work of the 20th
Engineers, which will not only be of \alue to the public but will,
it is hoped, inform all of the men of the regiment of the enormous
amount of work carried on by this regiment, of which only those
members who were familiar with the work at headquarters could
haxe lully appreciated.

I he record accomplished b\' the 2()th Engineers and the
auxiliary units attached to it is one of which e\ery member can
well be proud. I consider the year in which I was fortunate
enough to be a member of the 2()th Engineers, as one of the most
\'aluable in my life and it gi\es me the greatest pleasure to ha\'e
this opportunity of expressing a word of greeting to the members
of the organization.


Edw IN 1 1. Marks,

Major, Corps of En^^ineers.
(Col. of Engrs. during emergency)

Colonel Edwin H. Marks


The work of the 20th Engineers in I^>ance was one of the best
examples of the value of industrial training in furnishing citizen
soldiers well qualified for meeting one of the critical emergencies
of the great war. General Pershing had been in France but a
few weeks before he was impressed with the necessity of a special
organization for supplying the American army with the \ast
quantity of timber needed in its operations at and behind the
front. The 20th Engineers was the answer to this problem. It
was organized largely from men trained in the forest industries
of America. These men brought to the colors not onI>' the
patriotism of the citizen but the adaptability, the physical hardi-
ness, and the rough and ready m.echanical skill of the American
woodsmen. They knew the work which they were called upon
to perform; and they put into it not only the woodcraft which
they had acquired but a spirit of backing up the fighting dough-
boys which was unexcelled in the Expeditionary Force.

In an incredibly short time, this regiment established an
enormous lumber industry in France. It erected, mo\ed, and
reset sawmills at a rate which woulci take away the breath of the
peace-time operator. When equipment was lacking, it improvised
the tools needed out of any odds and ends of material available.
It broke records of lumber production so fast that we could
scarcely keep the count. It attained and held a reputation in
the Army for being always on the job and for more than making
good in the work expected of it. Its record is refiected in the
recommendations made to the War Department by high Engineer
officers that when such an organization can be gotten together
and thrown overseas in so short a time there is no necessity for
including lumber manufacture in the training of the regular

Notwithstanding the rapid expansion of the size of the Ex-
peditionary I-"orce beyond all earlier estimates and the corre-
sponding increase in its demands for timber, the Army was kept
well supplied with this vital necessity of modern warfare. The
20th Engineers, including of course the old 10th Engineers and
the battalions organized originally for road work, deli\ered the
goods; and it should be a source of lasting pride and gratification
to every member of this organization w ho had a part in its splcndii.1

W. B. Greeley,

Lieut. -Col. , 20th lingineers.

Lt.-Col. W. B. Greeley

Colonel W, a. Mm hi 1 1,

American Forestry Assn.

Washington. D. C.

Americans who went across the
sea to aid in the fight for world-wide
liberty — the hoys of our Forest
Regiments, whose actual record of
achievement in production stands
unparalleled — the American Forestry
Association proudly and gratefully
greets you in this your book.

P. S. Ridsdale.


Our own Elsie Janis said, a year after the Armistice, "The
Boys miss the war; it was a jake old war. " In some ways Elsie
is right — we do miss the war. Not that we want to do it all over
again. But after seven or eight months of very civil life, we began
to feel that something was lacking. We felt like the guy who
swore off smoking forever, and wanders around aimless, not
knowing what's wrong till he drifts by a lad with a pipe in his
face and gets that smell of something cooking on the back of the
stove, whereupon he knows what's the trouble, and brushes in
past the wooden Indian.

Wed been writing to a few of the gang; then we started
circular letters around, each in his own old outfit. We figured
on a handmade newsletter. But all that didn't suffice. It had to
be something to satisfy that feeling we had about the Regiment.
We missed the old war and wanted to see, and have, something
that will bring it back to us, and that will tell us, and the cockeyed
world if it chooses to listen, what a life we led in those days when
men crossed seas and proved their manhood where the proving
was good.

That is why this volume was produced. It had to be done;
somebody had to do it. The Twentieth Engineers was not one of
a line of temporary outfits. We were the biggest regiment in the
world, we were unique in military annals. We were not recruited
hit-or-miss, nor g'athered in by the numbers. Every man had to
prove that he was qualified for responsible duty when he joined
and God knows his proofs were put to the test when we got across.
Of all the outfits that made up the A. E. F"., probably none had a
higher percentage of men fitted for skilled and exacting service,
and ready to deliver that service without the traditional discipline
that all good military writers tell us is necessary to make a soldier
do his duty. We did our duty because that's what we went there
for. We knew there would be no medals, and there were none.
We were the only outfit without which our war could not have
been won, and we knew that too. When the job was over, we were
O so glad to get out of it all, but nowadays we've got to admit
that, with certain limitations, those were The Days.

History of the Twentieth Engineers

To date nothing has appeared to fill the need for a review of
the job that we, the enlisted men of the Twentieth, did over there.
A number of picture galleries of the executives of the Twentieth
have appeared, and numerous articles by various officers narrating
their achiexements, have been published, but a diligent perusal
of these stories lea\es a reader with a confused notion that the
forces employed in achieving the successes so vividly portrayed
were all mechanical. Reminders that the human beings who put
the job across were really there, arc infrequent, and generally
amount to casual mention of the "men," dropped in at the closing
paragraph. Men! We'll say they were men! And had the fact
that they were men been recognized in a fuller degree, we would
gladly have left the publication of our Regimental story to those
whose time and opportunity, now as in the days of service, are
greater than ours.

It is not with a primary intention of recording our Regimental
History that this volume is compiled. History consists of essential
facts alone, and to us the workaday facts of our participation in
the World War are drab and aching memories of monotonous
drudgery. A History of the Twentieth Engineers would be, in
the main, a resun-.e of output and shipments, feet B. M. and meter-
gauge, Clark 20s and Tower 3-saws, steres and kilos, operation
strengths and acquisition factors. To us, the men who li\ed
that History into being, our service was so rich in things tp re-
member, so filled with things we cannbt fprget, that the actual
record of our technical achievements, and the imposing records
of our executi\es, we leave for others to tell. This book is the
story of 18,000 men who went over to France and cut lumber
because it was needed to w in the w ar. We are endeavoring to tell
the story as we told it to our folks w hen we got home — our comings
and goings, our good times and bad times.

We have no axe to grind in this book. The war is over. There
is no need of urging reforms, because the Forestry division of the
United States Army is gone. Readers may think we devote too
much stress and criticism toward our former superiors, the officers.
Well, what is more humorous, now that it is over, than a nice new

History of the Twentieth Engineers

shiny officer, in full regalia, and without any knowledge worth
mentioning of Army or lumber, bossing an outfit of hard-working
birds most of whom knew more than he? In those days it wasn't so
damned funny. They really got away with a good deal at our
expense, and caused us beaucoup grief. Those of our veterans who
served under the President's commission, looking back to 1918
from this civilian year of 1920, will probably concede that we're
entitled to declare ourselves along this line. How about it, SIR;'
We'll just make you a proposition: you admit that you could have
been a lot more human two years ago, and we'll cut out a lot of
the stuff that we were just aching to unload in the fag end of the

Concluding, well say a few words to the man for whom we'\e
compiled the book — the unsung, uncited buck of the Twentieth
Engineers. You never got your photograph in the magazines,
but that didn't impair the quality of your slumber any. You are
the guy that put the job over; you unloaded the boat, you built
the camp, the road, the mill, the yard and the railroad. You
kept the mill roaring, and when they had no more timber to cut
you turned around and rebuilt the roads the other guys had
smashed. You made many a reputation, earned many a ribbon
and citation, but not for yourself. That's fair enough; you didn't
go after such things, and you had no place to wear 'em if you'd
got 'em. In your ragged, pitchy fatigues you were far from a
beauty, but you were sure effective. If another war comes along
before we're dependents, we'd like to gang up with you again.


The'Eclitors acknow ledge w ith appreciation the assistance of the
many who have co-operated in making the publication of this
\olume possible. Our policy of reflecting the personalviewpoint
of our Regimental experiences necessitated the collection and
assembling of \arious first-hand narratix'cs, and the high degree
of interest shown by those to whom we ha\e appealed for contri-
butions has been a source of pride in our Regimental solidarity.

To our staff of xolunteer associate editors we are indebted for
a large share of our material. These men, veterans all, are
scattered through the nation, and e\ery one is as busy as the
ex-service man must needs be to survive. The staff, as listed,
consists of former enlisted men of the Regiment, who have ren-
dered assistance in many ways, historical, lyrical, or pictorial.

Our one-time Commander, Major Edwin H. Marks, now
attached to the staff of the Chief of Engineers, has been of great
assistance on a number of parts of the Book, compiling the em-
barkation list, summary of overseas organization, the casualty
list, and other matter. Capt. Paul D. Mackie, of the Fourth and
Eighteenth Battalions, contributed the record of the reinforce-
ments still in the States at the Armistice. Capt. Tom Sweeney,
49th Co., and Lieuts. David Glass, 45th Co. and O. W. Lazen-
dorf, 47th Co., provided narratives of their outfits' activities

Lieut. Col. James A. Woodruff made available to us his
exhaustive article upon engineer construction in France, which
has been drawn upon freely. A pamphlet issued by tiie Chief of
Engineers furnished data for the brief summary on the Engineers
in France. Major Swift Berry furnished the statement of facts
about the Ekirnt Area operation.

Miss E. S. McMillan, War Historical Bureau, National War
Work Council, compiled extensive data on the leave areas in
France. Mr. Ralph H. Varney. later of the Twentieth Engineers,
has provided material concerning the New England Units in

The Editors of the Saturday Ii\ening Post, The Independent.

History of the Twentieth Eng ineers

nnK.\ y\mcrican Lumbermen ha\c been o{ substantial help. Free
use has been made of several articles in American I'orestry and
the American Lumberman.

We owe and declare a special debt to Mr. P. S. Ridsdale,
Editor of American Forestry, for the use of his roster of the
Regiment — the only such record in existence, outside of the
archives of the Adjutant General, which will not be available
for a long time.

I'inally, we report the follow-ing published sources of in-

Book I, Twentieth Engineers; Preliminary Outline by Capt.
Arno Kolbe, 1019. Loaned by Major General Lansing H. Beach,
Chief of Engineers.

The Canadian F-"orestry Corps. By C. W. Bird and Lieut.
J. B. Davies, C. F. C. 1919. Sent by the Director of Historical
Section, D. of M. and D., Ottawa.

History of the Spruce Production Di\ision.
Capt. David J. Witmer of the Division.

I ,oaned by

New England Sawmill Units. From the office of Massachu-
setts Committee on Public Safety, Mr. James J. Storrow, Boston.

The Engineers in France

The Corps of Engineers was represented in France by the
Division of Construction and F"orestry, the Division of Military
Iingineering and Engineer Supplies, and the Division of Light
Railways and Roads. On the day the Armistice became
effective the Engineers — the largest of all the technical services
in the American Expeditionary Forces — numbered 174,000 men,
distributed as follows:

With the Armies 86,400

Miscellaneous (in training, at schools, shops,

etc.) 18,500

Construction (in the S. O. S.. under the Divi-
sion of Construction and F^orestry) . 43,000

Forestry 18,500

Supplies 7,600

Total 174.000

In addition, there were engaged in construction and road work
in the A. E. F., mainly under the supervision of the D. C. and F".,
about 34,500 troops of other arms of the Service, 34,000 civilians,
and 15,000 prisioners of war.

The Engineers operating with the Armies maintained lines
of communication, built bridges, fought as Infantry, conducted
camouflage, searchlight, flash and sound ranging, water supply,
and many other functions.

Behind the Lines .

The Division of Engineer Supplies handled a total of 3,255,000
tons of Engineer supplies, occupying 764,000 square feet of covered
space and 14,352,000 square feet of open space. Before the
Armistice, the repair shops of the Division had completed more
than 2,000 orders. Seven cement mills produced 315,000 barrels
of cement and manufactured over 100 miles of concrete pipe.

The Division of Eight Railways and Roads was operating,
when the fighting ended, 2,240 kilometers of light railway, of
which 1,740 kilometers had been taken from the Cermans. At
Abain\illc 10 shops buildings were constructed: 2,300 cars

History of the Twentieth Engineers

erected; and 140 locoinoti\cs repaired. The total tonnage handled
by the Division, up to February 1, 1919, was 860,000.

The Division of Construction and Forestry was responsible
for the major part of the immense construction accomplished in
France. In the words of Colonel Ernest Graves, "A comparison,
based on the number of men engaged, the amounts of materials
consumed, and money spent, and the results accomplished in a
given time, would show that the construction of the Panama
Canal, that 'greatest feat of man,' is overtopped and dwarfed by
the work of the Engineers in France during the great war."

The Division of Construction
and Forestry

Tlic back-hone of the construction forces of the Service of
Supplies was formed of 5 regiments of Engineers— Railway
Engineers (the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th) and Forestry Engineers
(20th). Other regiments, such as the 1 1th, 23rd, 25th, 33rd, 55th,
32nd, 106th, 109th, 309th, 311th; 312th, 318th, 319th, and many
other regiments and battalions performed valuable service in the
S. O. S. But the distinction of being the mainstay regiments has
been accorded to these fi\'e organizations, both because of their
early arrival an^i long service and because of the fine work they
accomplished, under conditions fraught with difficulties, during
the first winter of the A. E. F. in bVance. The 15th Engineers,
under the command of Col. Edgar Jadwin, arri\ed at Vierson on
the 28th of July, 1917; the 17th Engineers arrived at St. Nazaire
August 17; the 16th arrived at Is-sur-Tille August 26th; the 18th
landed at Bordeaux August 20; the 10th (later merged with all
forest troops into the 20th) arrived at Nevers October 9, under
the command of Col. J. A. Woodruff; and the vanguard of the
20th arri\cd Noxcmber 28.

\\ ith enormous increase in the strength of the American
Expeditionary Forces, these regiments saw the work behind the
lines expand to embrace great undertakings, the strength of the
personnel involved reaching at times a maximum of 160,000
men. After reorganizations to meet changing conditions of growth,

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