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LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
RIVERSIDE






7



A JOURNAL OF
THE GREAT WAR

IN TWO VOLUMES
VOLUME I



A JOURNAL OF

THE GREAT WAR



CHARLES G. DA WES

BRIGADIER-GENERAL ENGINEERS



WITH ILLUSTRATIONS
VOLUME I




BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

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"D 3 f

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COPYRIGHT, tgat, BY CHARLES G. DAWKS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



PREFACE

WE, of this generation, are too near the Great War to write
its history. Time alone can give perspective and then only
to the historian and his readers. It alone can assign to past
events their relative importance. This generation in the
United States is living and has lived amidst such a succession
of great events that it has ceased to be greatly impressed
by them. Among our people the war is largely forgotten, or
remembered because of some personal consequence or some
prospective personal consequence. Yet an elemental con-
vulsion of humanity has occurred, so profound in its effects
upon life on the earth that it will be studied and described
for thousands of years.

Of all ages and epochs this is the greatest, and the one to
which all those of the future will hark back this, in which,
though we played our great part, we yet live heedlessly and
with little thought of the future.

The war itself was conducted on so vast a scale, involved
so many nations and armies, covered such an extent of terri-
tory, and included such a number of campaigns, that only the
trained mind of the future military student will follow it in
its details. But out of the study of the war in its larger
aspects, already commencing in Europe, there is arising the
first of many great generalizations, to wit: the stupendous
and unnecessary loss of life and waste of wealth, man power,
and material due to the selfish resistance among the Allies
to an earlier central control of military and supply operation.
When in March, 1918, Foch, who in my judgment will be
regarded in history as the greatest of all soldiers, was finally
conceded the central control of Allied army movement, it was
as a result of a crushing defeat of the British which wiped out
their already exhausted Fifth Army. To the support of this



vi PREFACE

army no Allied reserve could be called because bitter opposi-
tion to even such a partial measure of central control had
thwarted a plan of the Supreme War Council, suggested by
Foch and Sir Henry Wilson.

If the English had not then yielded a central control the
British Empire, together with the Allied cause, would, in all
probability, have fallen. To such extremities does the pride
of nations bring them! The attitude of opposition toward
any release of national power by one ally to another, either
over operations or supplies, was essentially the same on the
part of all. While emergency as a rule effected the only
exceptions and these exceptions are but few yet this
journal records the action of one great commander who of-
fered to surrender power for the common good before an
emergency became acute John J. Pershing and what-
ever condemnation history may visit upon others in this re-
gard, his fame will only shine the brighter.

As the Chief of Supply Procurement for the A.E.F., under
a plan devised by General Pershing, which superimposed a
centralizing and coordinating authority over the decentral-
ized services of our own army, the uncoordinated condition
s of the rear of the Allied armies in France naturally forced
itself upon my attention.

About two weeks after the agreement for the Foch com-
mand on March 27, 1918, I proposed a plan to General Per-
shing for coupling up the rear of the three Allied armies in
France as they were coupled up at their front, which was, in
effect, to be an extension over the Allies of his plan in our own
army supply procurement which I was carrying out as an
officer. He adopted the plan in principle, and appointed me
as his representative to endeavor to secure its adoption by
the Allies, authorizing me to offer his own control over the
rear of the American army to French command provided the
English would do likewise.

The importance of such a plan, if adopted, cannot be over-
stated. With the theoretical power to command the move-



PREFACE vii

ment of the three armies, Foch had no power over any lines
of communication except those of his own army. With the
central command he could fight the three armies as one army
only so far as the rigid supply organization of the English
and American armies, of which he had no control or essential
knowledge, would allow of their movement. That he acutely
felt this handicap is evidenced by the fact that in August,
1918, he asked that the supreme control over the Allied rear
be given to General Payot, of his staff, the Chairman of our
Military Board which was, in effect, exactly the same ,
proposition that I had made the Allies in our inter-Allied >
conferences in April.

Apart from the unification of supply activity in the imme-
diate rear of the armies, the release of men from the Service
of Supply for the front which coordination would effect, and
the creation of supply reserves as bearing upon future opera-
tions such as the motor reserves for surprise attack or pur-
suit of the enemy, this central control of the immediate rear
would have extended its economizing influences, all tending
toward increased military effectiveness, over the more dis-
tant rear of supply production England, the United States,
and the south of France. The continued piling-up behind each
army of unnecessary supplies, many of them carried in ships
otherwise available for the transport of combat soldiers, which
resulted from the lack of any bird's-eye view of the supply
situation of the three armies considered as one, would have
been checked. Incalculable wasted effort and wealth would
have been rendered effective in securing earlier victory and
saving precious lives. But we succeeded, through jiiterna-
tional agreement, only in placing the control over the Allied
rear in the hands of a Military Board which could issue orders
to the Allied armies by unanimous agreement.

As a matter of fact, although our Board was called the
"Military Board of Allied Supply," apart from its order
pooling French and American ammunition, it concerned itself
largely with matters other than supply. My journal and my



viii PREFACE

official statements, printed with it, sufficiently cover what
we did accomplish. My purpose in referring to this matter
in this Preface is again to call attention to the results which
we might have achieved, in addition to what we did achieve,
- "' " if our Military Board, which, for over four months preceding
tfoe armistice, conducted many activities in the rear of the
Allied armies, had come into existence at the beginning in-
stead of the end of the war.

So important did I consider this demonstration to military
students that, through this Board, of which I was the Ameri-
can member, I secured the issuance of orders to the Allied
(armies for coordinated reports of the status of the armies on
if October 31, 1918, and the history of their supply organiza-
tion from the beginning of the war. This great compilation
has taken two years of work by the staffs of the different
armies, but is almost ready for publication, its form having
been finally approved by representatives of all the Allied
armies in Paris on October 19, 1920. From these records the
military student of the future will continue the study where
we ended it, just as any allies in war hereafter must start the
work at the point where we ended it, if they are to wage war
with their full effectiveness.

In the pages of this journal, therefore, may be traced the
evolution, under great difficulties, of certain military princi-
ples whose recognition hereafter is necessary if allied armies
are to be effectively fought as one army. In proposing and
establishing them, notwithstanding the innumerable ob-
structions interposed by the authorities of the independent
armies and governments, doubly formidable because na-
tional pride can always be invoked against the establishment
of a superior coordinating power, results were effected
important enough, from a military standpoint, to make
these principles certain of acceptance in the next war fought
by allied armies.

At the time I prepared the monograph on the "Principles
of Army Supply and Purchase," which appears in these



PREFACE



IX



pages, I was much burdened and pressed for time, but I
knew then that in the future this exposition of principles
must always be considered authoritative for the reason that
under an organization based on them, there had been gath-
ered, from countries in Europe supposed to be stripped of
supplies, over ten million tons of material for the Ameri-
can army as compared with about seven million tons which
were shipped to it from the United States. I have been amply
repaid for its preparation in its recognition by the War Staff
College of the United States in its course of instruction.

The contemporaneous notes here published were made
under pressure, but always with a sense of responsibility and
a desire for accuracy. From them can be obtained a true
picture of the great American Commander-in-Chief in action.
Here again time, and time alone, will give to the thoughtful
people of our nation the true measure of his greatness.

CHARLES G. DAWES



ILLUSTRATIONS

THE MILITARY BOARD OF ALLIED SUPPLY

Photogravure Frontispiece
OFFICERS OF THE lyxn ENGINEERS (RAILWAY) AT

ATLANTA, JUNE, 1917 4

SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT ENGINEERS AT ATLANTA, JULY,

1917, ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR FRANCE 8

THE GREAT ADVENTURE 12

SAMUEL M. FELTON 16

GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING 20

COLONEL JOHN STEPHEN SEWELL AND LIEUTENANT-
COLONEL CHARLES G. DA WES, I7TH REGIMENT ENGI-
NEERS (RAILWAY) AT ATLANTA 24
CHAUMONT: GENERAL HEADQUARTERS OF AMERICAN

EXPEDITIONARY FORCES 28

MAJOR-GENERAL J. G. HARBORD, COMMANDING SECOND

DIVISION 32

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL HERMAN H. HARJES 36

CHARLES G. DAWES, BRIGADIER-GENERAL ENGINEERS 40
MAJOR-GENERAL SIR EVAN E. CARTER, DIRECTOR OF

SUPPLIES, B.E.F. 44

IN THE BELGIAN TRENCHES, OCTOBER, 1917: MAJOR

HARJES AND LIEUTENANT-COLONEL DAWES 50

MAJOR-GENERAL CHARLES P. SUMMERALL, COMMANDING

FIRST DIVISION 54

VANCE C. McCoRMiCK 60

MARSHAL PETAIN 66

MAJOR-GENERAL CLARENCE R. EDWARDS, COMMANDING
TWENTY-SIXTH DIVISION, AND A. VAN DE VYVERE,



xii ILLUSTRATIONS

BELGIAN MINISTER OF FINANCE, NEUFCHATEAU,
JANUARY, 1918 70

GENERAL PEYTON C. MARCH, CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S.A. 74
MAJOR-GENERAL FRANCIS J. KERNAN 78

GEORGE MCFADDEN, REPRESENTATIVE IN FRANCE OF

WAR TRADE BOARD 82

MAURICE GANNE 86

GENERAL PERSHING ADDRESSING THE OFFICERS OF THE
IST DIVISION AT CHAUMONT-EN-VEXIN, APRIL 16, 1918,
JUST PRIOR TO THEIR ENTRY INTO BATTLE <)2

GEORGES CLEMENCEAU 96

Louis LOUCHE UR, FRENCH MINISTER OF ARMAMENT 100
COMMANDANT HENRI A. VARAIGNE 106

THE HIGH COMMAND AT GENERAL HEADQUARTERS: THE
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, THE CHIEF OF STAFF, THE
ASSISTANT CHIEFS OF STAFF, AND THE ADJUTANT-
GENERAL 1 10
NEWTON D. BAKER, SECRETARY OF WAR 114
DWIGHT W. MORROW 120
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR JOHN COWANS, QUARTER-
; MASTER-GENERAL FOR THE BRITISH ARMIES 124

From a painting by Sir William Orpen

ANDRE TARDIEU AS CAPTAIN OF ARTILLERY 128

GENERAL PAYOT AND GENERAL DAWES AT LYSEE PAL-
ACE HOTEL HEADQUARTERS 132
PAUL D. CRAVATH 136
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY BOARD OF ALLIED SUPPLY,

COUBERT 140

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL ROBERT LEE BULLARD 144

BELLEAU WOOD 148

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR EDWARD TRAVERS-CLARKE,

B.E.F. 154



ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

MEETING OF MILITARY BOARD OF ALLIED SUPPLY AT
PARIS HEADQUARTERS 158

BRIGADIER-GENERAL H. A. DRUM, CHIEF OF STAFF,
FIRST ARMY, A.E.F. 162

ST. MlHIEL AND THE MEUSE l66

EDWARD R. STETTINIUS 170
DOOR AT CIREY-LE-CHA'TEAU 174
A PART OF THE ARGONNE FOREST WITH ITS BARBED-
WIRE ENTANGLEMENTS 178
MONTFAUCON 1 82
OBSERVATORY OF THE GERMAN CROWN PRINCE AT MONT-
FAUCON 1 86
BATTERY C, io8TH FIELD ARTILLERY, 28TH DIVISION,

FIRING ON THE GERMANS FROM VARENNES IQO
SOUILLY: GENERAL PERSHING'S HEADQUARTERS FOR
FIRST FIELD ARMY DURING THE MEUSE-ARGONNE

OFFENSIVE 194

MARSHAL FOCH 198

LIEUTENANT FRANCIS J. KILKENNY 202

GENERAL PURCHASING BOARD, A.E.F., NOVEMBER,

1918 206

FIELD MARSHAL DOUGLAS HAIG 212

MONTFAUCON: VIEW FROM THE SOUTH 216

OFFICE STAFF OF GENERAL PURCHASING AGENT, A.E.F. 220
HERBERT HOOVER 224

A CROWDED ROAD THROUGH ESNES NEAR THE MEUSE-
ARGONNE FRONT 228
CONFERRING OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL BY

GENERAL PERSHING, TOURS, JANUARY 18, 1919 234

GENERAL PAYOT, REPRESENTING MARSHAL FOCH, CON-
FERRING CROIX DE GUERRE AT LA MORLAYE,
JULY 16, 1919 234



xiv ILLUSTRATIONS

GEORGE WEBSTER OTIS, 17 ENGINEERS 238

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL HUNTER LIGGETT 242

GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING: CLAY MODEL BY Jo

DAVIDSON 246

DAVID LLOYD GEORGE 250

MAJOR-GENERAL J. W. MCANDREW, CHIEF OF STAFF,

A.E.F. 254

CHRISTENING PARTY AT MOUNT EPHRAIM, FAVERSHAM,

KENT 258

GENERAL PERSHING AND GENERAL HARBORD PASSING

THROUGH THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE, VICTORY PARADE,

JULY 14, 1919 262

AMERICAN BATTLE FLAGS IN VICTORY PARADE 266

MARSHAL FOCH AND MARSHAL JOFFRE AT HEAD OF

VICTORY PARADE 266

THE LEVIATHAN 270

MAJOR-GENERAL HARBORD, COMMANDING GENERAL

SERVICE OF SUPPLY, WITH THE GENERAL PURCHASING

AGENT 280

BRIGADIER-GENERAL FRANK McCov, MAJOR-GENERAL

J. G. HARBORD, AND BRIGADIER-GENERAL GEORGE

VAN HORN MOSELEY 306

COLONEL HARRY L. HODGES, CHIEF OF STAFF OF

AMERICAN MEMBER OF THE MILITARY BOARD OF

ALLIED SUPPLY 330

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL R. H. BEADON, B.E.F., FIRST

REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BRITISH WAR OFFICE ON

MILITARY BOARD OF ALLIED SUPPLY 334

COLONEL HENRY C. SMITHER, ASSISTANT CHIEF OF

STAFF, 6-4, S.O.S. 338

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL J. C. ROOP, ASSISTANT GENERAL

PURCHASING AGENT, A.E.F. 342



A JOURNAL OF
THE GREAT WAR

August 21, igij-August 2, 1919



A JOURNAL OF

THE GREAT WAR

August 21, 1917- August 2, 1919

St. Nazaire, France
August 21, 1917

I GAVE up a journal in 1912 after the tragic death of my
dearly beloved son Rufus Fearing. In the course of the
"day's work" I have become a military man, and am living
in the midst of events so important that a record of them will
be interesting to others and to myself later.

Through the friendship of S. M. Felton, Director-General
of Railways, a member of the Board of Directors of the Cen-
tral Trust Company of Illinois, and with the cooperation of
John Pershing, my old friend, I received a commission as
Major in the Engineers (iyth Regiment, National Army).
I reported at Atlanta, Georgia, leaving Chicago May 27,
1917, with Colonel Sewell (then Major) who commanded the
regiment. I cannot overemphasize my debt to Colonel
Sewell. My selection was approved by him. In all circum-
stances, some of which must have been extremely annoying
to him, he was the courteous, kindly, loyal friend. He is a
man of great executive ability, of wide engineering experi-
ence, of broad culture and high education. A graduate of
West Point with twenty years' experience in the army and
ten in an active business in civil life, he is the ideal com-
mander of a regiment of engineers.

I took a private car with me to Atlanta and Colonel Sewell
and I lived on it while we were there. Mrs. Sewell and Caro
and Carolyn 1 joined us for several weeks. During the two
1 My wife and daughter.



4 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

months I was with the regiment in America Colonel Sewell
and I, together with Captain Coe (of Co. A, the engineer of
the Florida East Coast "Sea-Going" Railway during its con-
struction) and our families, went to Marietta and New York.
At Marietta, my old home, we recruited forty men for our
regiment under the direction of D. B. Torpy and H. E.
Smith. I bade "good-bye" to my mother and to the rest of
the Marietta branch of the family. My mother is a great
and good woman. She is also a dear mother.

Assisted somewhat in recruiting the regiment (i7th En-
gineers, Railway) through my railroad friends in the North.
At length we had about three hundred and fifty men from
the North and seven hundred and fifty from the South a
splendid group. Our time at Atlanta was spent in hard work,
drilling and organizing. The tactics came a little hard for
me ; but I was soon drilling a battalion and feeling thoroughly
at home in it. Colonel Sewell was more than kind in giving
me every opportunity to develop along military lines. I
found I did not mind long marches or horseback riding, and
became acclimated soon.

Our battalion drilling-grounds were on South Gordon
Street, Atlanta, probably named after the famous and splen-
did old Confederate Major-General, John B. Gordon, whose
name is reverenced throughout the South and especially in
this section. I rode out to see his old home "Southerland,"
a fine example of the best Southern architecture. Talked
with many who knew him. One told me of a remark of his
to a young man who wanted to get his uniform quickly so
that he could drill his men. "Young man," said Gordon,
"if you are not a Captain in your shirt-sleeves, I can't make
you one with a uniform."

We left Atlanta for France on July 26. I had in the mean-
time received my commission as Lieutenant-Colonel and
Colonel Sewell his commission as Colonel. I forgot to say
that when I was in Washington applying for my commission
I met my old friend John J. Pershing, who had been put




OFFICERS OF THE I7TH ENGINEERS (RAILWAY) AT ATLANTA, JUNE,

Left to right, first row: Colonel Sewell, Lieutenant-Colonel Dawes, Major
Atwood. Second row: Captains Causey, Coe, Cooper, Ryan, Lieutenant
Bullard. Third row : Lieutenant Roop, Captain Maddox, Captain Perkins,
Lieutenant Howard, Lieutenant Rhodes. Fourth row : Lieutenants Dickin-
son, Halleck, Yarcho, Farrington, Welch. Top row : Lieutenants Heinz,
James, McCarty.



PERSHING AND HOOVER 5

in command of the United States Expeditionary Force in
France. I took lunch with him and Charlie Magoon at the
Metropolitan Club and spent the balance of the day with
him and his staff at his headquarters at the War Department.
He sent one of his aides, Captain Margotte, to the Army
Surgeon with me for my physical examination, and made
himself a lot of trouble in helping me get my commission.
At lunch Charlie Magoon 1 remarked that he (Pershing) would
become the great hero of the war, etc. John answered : ' ' Tell
me one man who started in this war in supreme command
who lasted. What I am going to do is simply the best I can,
and there is nothing in what you say worth thinking about."

I also took lunch with Hoover (the food control man) and
Fred Delano, of the Federal Reserve Board. Hoover wanted
me to become the head of the organization he proposed to
make to control the prices of grain in the United States. He
talked with me an hour or so, and was very emphatic in his
invitation. He said, "I can find a hundred men who will
make better Lieutenant-Colonels of Engineers and I want
you right here." He is an extremely able man. He will
succeed if any one can in such a difficult task as confronts
him.

After reaching Atlanta and receiving my commission,
Hoover gave me a great scare by wiring, "Would you bear
me implacable resentment if I asked the President to assign
you to me?" I answered: "Under no circumstances do such
a thing. It would be unfair and cruel, and I know you would
not consider it." Heard no further from the matter to my
great relief.

We reached New York on July 28 and were embarked
on the ship Carmania, together with the I2th Regiment of
Engineers. In all there were about 2500 soldiers on board.
The ship was commanded by Captain Charles, the senior

1 Charles E. Magoon, now deceased, was an old Lincoln, Nebraska,
friend of General Pershing and myself. He was at one time Governor-
General of Cuba.



6 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

Captain of the Cunard Line, formerly Captain of the Lusi-
tania, though not on her when she was torpedoed. The
Chief Officer was J. Close and the First Officer E. W. Bamber.

Colonel Sewell placed me in command of the regimental
"boat drill," to devise the method of getting the men on
deck most expeditiously opposite their assigned boats and
rafts in case of submarine attack. It was a very important
and responsible assignment, and I worked hard at it, grad-
ually getting it into good shape.

We went from New York to Halifax Harbor, where we
spent two days and where we met the balance of our fleet,
the Adriatic, the Ordena, and the Bermudian the latter
loaded with colored troops from Bermuda. As we steamed
out of the harbor in the evening of a wet and foggy day, the
crew of an English battleship in line on the decks gave three
cheers while their band played the "Star-Spangled Banner,"
to which our men responded. '

From the commencement of my assignment in command
of boat drill I slept with my clothes on in the "after wheel
house" where the "officers of the night" could reach me at a
moment's notice, and from where I could reach the top of
the "after island" which was to be my post in case of attack.
During the long nights I made friends of the gunners who
served the six-inch gun on the stern and of the after crew of
the boat. They were very considerate. If they thought
I was sleeping they all walked on "tip-toe." They were
interesting companions all the way over. From them I
gained much information about the submarine warfare, as
I did from the ship's officers, who had most of them been
on torpedoed vessels. A torpedo travels about thirty-five
knots per hour. The submarine itself has to be aimed to dis-
charge it at its mark. Hence the zigzagging of the ships ex-
pecting an attack. Our fleet zigzagged all the way across.
Ships are continually attacked, and the situation is much
more dangerous than would seem to one on shore. From
the beginning of the voyage I endeavored to gather informa-



IN THE DANGER ZONE 7

tion, and after having made a good record in the time con-
sumed in getting the regiment on deck from the hold, I com-
piled a report which was commended to General Pershing by
Colonel Sewell and recommended for distribution by Captain
Charles. This report and my instructions to our Captains
in case of attack I shall sometime attach hereto, as it will
give a better idea of what a ship and its officers constantly
confront than anything I could write here. 1

During one night when we were in the danger zone the
sea was rough, and while it would have been difficult for a
submarine to hit us I realized that if it did our loss of life
would have been very large. It was very dark and cold, and
it would have been almost impossible for the men to reach
the rafts as we threw them off. To hear a discussion of a
raft detail on a cold, dark, and foggy deck as to whether it
would not be better in case of a sinking ship to take to the
water without life preservers, in order to have things over
quicker, only indicates how hopeless the outlook sometimes
seems when one is on the sea and up against it, as compared
with a discussion as to a course of action held on land before
sailing.

While I do not know what use General Pershing may make
of my report, I feel that something of the kind should be sent
to landsmen officers in command of troops on army trans-
ports. During the whole voyage I worked so hard at "boat
drill" and making up my report that I had little time for
anything else. After a long time one foggy evening a little
light appeared away to the front. It was the signal light on
one of the six British destroyers sent out to convoy us in.
Captain Charles told me afterward how relieved he was
when he saw it. His rendezvous with the convoy had been
changed on the way over and our course was very erratic
made so to avoid submarines. We went apparently far north
and then south again. We were about eleven days at sea from
Halifax to Liverpool, and two weeks traveling from New
1 See Appendix D, vol. u, pp. 253-266.



8 JOURNAL OF THE GREAT WAR

York to Liverpool. The New York, which sailed from New
York after us, reached Liverpool before us, and was attacked
on the way over. The Belgic was attacked just before we
arrived, and two of our destroyers left us to chase the sub-
marine. And here I may say that there are a large number
of hostile submarines off this coast now hovering around this
American base (St. Nazaire). Yesterday (or the day before)
five torpedoes * were discharged at the Finland. I suppose
the most dangerous part of our passage was the trip from
Southampton to Havre. At some time some of our trans-
ports will likely be struck, and with the crowded-in soldiers



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