Charles Gates Dawes.

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9.30 P.M. The General has moved some war maps to the


office in the car of his train so as to have them before him
there as well as at the staff building in Souilly. The terrible
battle is at its height and will probably remain so for some
time. Our casualties so far in this movement have been
75,000. It is a greater Battle of the Wilderness. Some officers
and Generals are weakening but not so the Commander-

Paris, Saturday, October 26, 1918

INTERRUPTED last Thursday by callers, one of them Colonel
Milton J. Foreman; also M. Ganne, who came from Cle-
menceau with the word that for the present he could
not see his way clear to requisition additional horses for our
army from France. I do not wonder at this, as France has
already given us over 125,000. Lest I forget it, will say here
that General Travers-Clarke telephones me to-day that we
can now hope for up to 13,000 horses from the English. So
I am getting a start on horses to get which I am turning
heaven and earth. In this war quantities are so enormous
and needs so critical all the time that I wonder how normal
business conditions will seem to me after it is over.

After being at the front and looking at a German barrage
laid on our first line, I know what artillery horses mean to
our men. That is why I keep everybody on a tension of
nervous effort and keep myself there. Ever since I have
been here I have tried to visualize military emergency needs
to keep myself at the highest pitch of effort. I have tried to
see always a private soldier holding out his hands to me,
and my beloved Commander-in-Chief smiling when I filled
them. Now to resume:

Spent the evening when at Souilly with General Pershing
alone. We stayed up until nearly one o'clock in the morning.
He is in the midst of his greatest work, his most difficult test.
After our talk he decided to go to Paris and see Clemenceau
and to Foch's Headquarters. He started by his special train
Monday evening while Gushing and I started by motor Mon-


day morning, October 21, as I wanted to see how our supply
trains, etc., were functioning at the front. Took the road
from Souilly to Varennes everything running finely. We
went up from Varennes as far as Fleville, near Grandpr
everything running smoothly. The reorganized transport
system, A.E.F., is in partial effect and the graduates of our
Military Board Motor Transport School are at work on the
roads guiding traffic, although the orders actually author-
izing the reorganization have not yet been issued by G.H.Q.

Moseley deserves great credit for the way our supplies
reach our troops. He makes a great Chief of G~4, G.H.Q.
To occasionally visit the front and see his work and that of
our organization there always encourages me.

At Fleville, where we took lunch with the soldiers, the
town was under shell-fire and Gushing had his first expe-
rience with it. It was very mild. But what our own batteries
there were giving the Germans was another matter. We
reached Paris Monday night. Tuesday General Harbord ar-
rived in the city. I have been so busy on horses and every-
thing else that I cannot remember and have no time to
try and fix the time whether it was Tuesday or Wednes-
day night, but on one or the other General Pershing tele-
phoned to us and we three took dinner at F^tyot's (that is
not spelled right, but the name sounds like that), where
General Pershing often takes us. We had an interesting
time. John was entirely satisfied with his trip. He feared,
from what Clemenceau told him, what has since happened,
that the former would not requisition additional horses for us.

Am writing very hastily, for callers are waiting, but I
want to record my admiration for my nephew, Lieutenant
William Dawes, who commanded a tank in the recent attack
of the British and Americans upon the northern Hindenburg
line. His ride in his tank, as I cabled his father, should be-
come as much a matter of pride in our family as the ride of
his great-great-grandfather with Paul Revere. Rockenbach
tells me in our American tanks our percentage of casualties


among officers is very heavy. And here I also want to record
what I have often meant to do before, that is my new ad-
miration for my father and my Uncle Eph. Interrupted here
but will complete this later.

, Sunday P.M.
October 26, 1918

To have taken the 6th Wisconsin through its charge upon
and capture of the 2d Mississippi Regiment at Gettysburg,
where every other man of the 6th was killed or wounded,
and to have been in eighteen battles of the Civil War besides
skirmishes, means something more to me now about my
father. I have seen war as it is. To the memory of my brave
Uncle Eph, shot through the jaw at Dallas, I also uncover.
My experiences on the line are nothing as compared to theirs,
but enough to give me knowledge of what a long continuance
of such an experience entails in physical and nervous strain.
Before the front-line private soldier and the front-line offi-
cers, the aviators and the tank men, a Staff officer, no matter
how essential his work or high his rank, feels like standing
at salute. At least I do.

fsiippose ^Jeace is near at hand. General Pershing and
all are here to-day. The conference on the terms of armistice
to be offered by the Allies will be held at Versailles Tuesday.
But like the runners at the end of a race, our heads are down
in the effort and we cannot stop to concern ourselves with
that which is not our business. To do one's own part is
privilege enough.

If the German army breaks before the armistice is declared,
Foch notifies us on the Board through Payot that the po-
tential inter-army motor transport reserve which we have
organized will be needed in pursuit. I think we can furnish
12,000 camions at least. We ought to have 24,000.

I am just as hard after horses as if the war was just com-
mencing. It is our duty to keep at our maximum efficiency
until the righting actually ceases and peace is declared.


The Headquarters Building is the three-story building just at left of center

of picture


Parts, Monday (noon)
October 28, 1918

HAVE just come from General Pershing's bedroom, where he
is slightly ill of grippe or a cold. When I got back from the
theater with Covell and Griscom last night received a note
to call up the General's house immediately, which gave me a
shock for fear he was seriously ill. He had wanted me to
come there and so I went this morning. His purpose was
to talk over the attitude he is to take at the Versailles con-
ference Wednesday which is to settle the Allies' terms for
granting an armistice. He has made up his mind that his
position will be that the only thing to do is to demand un-
conditional surrender. He told me what he had suggested at
Foch's Headquarters last Thursday when he, Foch, Haig,
and Petain held a conference at St. Lys to compare notes on
what the military terms of the armistice should be. The
General after the conference carefully wrote out his personal
suggestions and submitted them. Foch has a copy. He
made his suggestions verbally at the conference and reduced
them to writing afterward. Will not go into detail as to
these terms, as all these things will be better recorded else-
where, but was impressed with Pershing's suggestion in his
proposal as to terms that the Allied armies should take pos-
session of the east bank of the Rhine. At the conference
Haig spoke of the French and English armies as somewhat
tired. Foch took issue with this. Haig also made some slight
reflections on the organization of the American army which
John let pass without comment. But Foch, on the other
hand, paid our army and its command the highest tribute.

What is forming in General Pershing's mind now is the
form of his statement at Versailles. This he discussed at
length. He will make a review of the military situation in
connection with it. He is convinced that if civilization is to
receive the full benefit of this terrible war it must end only
with the unconditional surrender of Germany. The military


situation is such that in his judgment there can be no excuse
for not obtaining unconditional surrender. Not even the
quagmires of a Versailles conference can impede in my judg-
ment its ultimate acceptance of the General's position as
correct. I think the General will be able to get out of doors
by to-morrow.

Paris, October 29, 1918 (2.30 P.M.)

HAVE spent the last two evenings with General Pershing
who is still confined to his room with the grippe. He is,
however, working as hard as ever. He read me the first draft
last night of what he is to say at the Versailles conference,
which has now been postponed to Friday. Told me of Major
Robert Bacon's good work in connection with Haig's re-
flections on the A.E.F. made at the Foch conference. At
that time General Pershing made no comment on them, but
felt them deeply, which fact Bacon communicated to Haig.
Sir Douglas did not really mean what he said at the con-
ference, and sent General Pershing through Major Bacon a
three-page letter saying so. Inasmuch as he had left a memo-
randum with Foch in which this slight criticism appeared,
he sent a Staff officer and withdrew it substituting another
statement. This is only another indication of the essential
fairness and high-mindedness of Sir Douglas and of all
the English. They are stubborn and outspoken in argument,
but at all times essentially helpful and cooperative. Bacon
did a good service to Pershing and the A.E.F. and a greater
one to Haig himself, who is justly honored by us all, and who
last of all would wish to malce a serious reflection on our ad-
vancing army which has already lost over 75,000 men en-
gaging German forces on our front, some of which otherwise
would have been fighting Haig and his troops.

The Commander-in-Chief (J. J. P.) seemed much better
last night. He is preparing a brief and strong statement.

At noon yesterday I went to La Morlaye, about one hour
distant by motor from Paris. There I took lunch with Payot


and his Staff, who are quartered in Baron Rothschild's fine
country residence. Discussed with Payot important matters
now before our board. Was absent from my office only about
four hours, but had to work pretty lively the balance of the
day in consequence. Am very fond of Payot. It is in times
of greatest trial that the most enduring friendships are born.

Paris, Wednesday
October 30, 1918 (10.15 P- M -)

HAVE just returned from General Pershing's house. He
leaves to-night for the front. He will resume the general at-
tack with his armies day after to-morrow. The conference
at Versailles Friday will not be held. Am glad things are
being settled without a Versailles town meeting. The General
attended a conference of the Prime Ministers at Quai D'Or-
say this afternoon. House was there. The armistice terms
for Austria-Hungary have been agreed upon and will be
announced. Austria-Hungary has surrendered. The armi-
stice terms of the Allies for Germany are still under discussion.
At the Foch conference at St. Lys, Pershing and Petain
handed their suggestions to Foch. He has handed his to the
Ministers. The General said they did not differ much from
those suggested by him, which were drastic. Notwithstand-
ing there will be no general conference Friday, General
Pershing to-day sent to the Supreme War Council at Ver-
sailles his views as to armistice. He argues against an
armistice and for peace that it may be enduring by
the sword rather than by negotiation. These are his views
as a military adviser. He gave House a copy of them. Per-
shing's statement is a series of numbered paragraphs, clear,
concise, and to the point, devoid of any attempt at rhetoric
and designed only at clear presentation. He has worked
hard in his sick-room. To-night he was dressed and feeling
fit. Besides the armistice and peace conditions we discussed
imminent supply situations, notably horses. The General
thinks it will be nearly a year before he and I can go home,


even though an armistice is declared immediately which he
thinks very likely.

Have had a very busy day. Payot came to the hotel and
gave me a signed photograph of Foch this evening.

Paris, Friday
November I, 1918 (1.30 P.M.)

NOTICE by the papers that meetings at Versailles are being
held after all. Although Foch and Haig were present, with
others for their Governments, the United States was not
represented except by House and the navy chiefs. Owing to
his care not to catch the grippe or other reasons, the Colonel
has not leaned, and evidently does not intend to lean, heavily
upon the General in connection with advice as to peace
negotiations. The General's views are on record, however,
as those of a military adviser.

Now that the war is about over, I am resigning myself to
the inevitable future in which the critic and the politician
take the center of the stage. If there is any way in which
General Pershing can be attacked, they may be trusted to
find it.

Attended Military Board meeting at Coubert yesterday.
Took Stettinius and Colonel Dudley, of the Gas Service,
with me. Senator Beranger, head of the French Gas and Oil
Service, was present and we reached some agreements.

Am making some headway in the horse and mule supply.
My work was never more exacting since entering the service,
but my health keeps good.

Paris, Sunday
November 3, 1918 (mornirg)

YESTERDAY General Pershing was in the city. Attended the
conference. Says Foch and Lloyd George have commended
highly his written statement to the Versailles Supreme War
Council. However others may think of it, it nevertheless
expresses not only what should but what will happen a

Taken at the time of crisis, 1918


peace by victory, not by negotiation. Germany will soon be
in a state of complete military and governmental collapse.
Since peace terms under these conditions mean negotiation
simply among the Allies between themselves, the so-called
peace conferences are comparatively unimportant as shaping
results. The troops at the front are furnishing these. Last
night the telephone from Souilly to the General announced
the splendid advance of our troops, which have at last broken
through. How pitifully cheap now sounds the pessimistic
chirp of the fireside crickets who have maintained that lack
of organization in our rear, and not the fierce resistance at the
front, has made our progress slow and painful up until yes-
terday when our break-through commenced. Let the casualty
lists answer this lie. I am not going to concern myself with it
further. Reports having come to General Pershing that House
was repeating such views, he asked House about it and the
latter denied it. At 5.30 last evening James Keeley brought
Lord Northcliffe to my room at the hotel. The latter said
Grasty, of the New York Times (who has proved a loyal de-
fender of the General and a valuable one since he has been
in personal contact with the conditions at the front), desired
him to make a statement to the American people through the
New York Times which would assist in quieting this unfounded
criticism of our rear. He asked my opinion about the matter
and the situation, and I gave it emphatically. As a result he
went to his room, wrote a splendid article, which he submitted
to me, and I in turn to General Pershing later in the evening.
It has therefore gone forward.

Reported to the General that in my judgment we had es-
tablished a weekly flow o{ animals to the First Army of about
seven thousand. Hope this will be the last emergency work
put upon me, as peace seems imminent.

John is well very tense, very energetic, very determined.
He made up his mind that the American army would break
through and they and he accomplished it. Six new German
divisions were put in against him in the last few days. Got


him to sign approval of the inter-army regulations for second-
line telegraph and telephone system adopted by the Military
Board of Allied Supply.

Smashed up in the automobile coming back from the
General's train, on which he left at II P.M., and bumped my
head, but not enough to prevent it working as usual.

Paris, Friday
November i, 1918 (9.30 P.M.)

COLONEL MOTT has just told me that our attack has attained
a depth in the center at last reports of seven to eight kilo-
meters with 1200 prisoners. It started at 6 A.M. to-day.
Germany internally seems in a bad way. Realizing that
prophecy is generally unprofitable I have nevertheless been
predicting for the last six months that finally the Allies in
peace negotiations will have in Germany no better form of
government with which to deal than Germany formerly had
with Russia after the collapse of the dynasty. That enduring
results for the good of humanity should arise out of this terri-
ble war it will be best so.
Have had a busy day as usual.

To the future student and historian of the methods of allied

warfare :

Largely for your assistance as well as because the informa-
tion is of practical use at present for our armies, I am taking
steps to have the Military Board of Allied Supply gather in-
formation as to the present military status of the three armies
in regard to their supplies, transportation, lines of communica-
tion installations, etc., as of date October 31, iQiS. 1 I hope
one or more of you will be able to clearly demonstrate from
these data the overwhelming advantages in allied army coop-
eration of a military unification of supply as well as of combat
operations. The work of the Board, of course, has already

1 See Report of Daily Activities, November 21, paragraph 10, and
November 30, paragraph 4. Appendix C, vol. n, pp. 235, 245.


demonstrated many of these advantages. But you should be
able to show that if from the first the Allies could have
united their rear activities as well as those of the front the
war would have been won long ago. To fully understand the
situation you must thoroughly go over France itself. And you
should also be able to show that the central control of the
rear of any allied armies is as important as a central mili-
tary control of their combat movements. The work I have
done, with the splendid support of my able and generous
Commander-in-Chief, in forcing the international consent
for such unification of the rear as we have been able to effect
through our Military Board, has been the most difficult of
my varied experience here.

As you point out many things which could have been
done in improvement of our allied military position some
of which I have fruitlessly labored for and of some of which
I probably have never thought it will be difficult for you,
in considering their self-evident importance, to realize the
enormous obstacles in the way of this kind of improvement,
which we here to-day confront and have confronted from the
first. You will realize them better when I state that if at the
next meeting of the Board I should ask for an order to issue to
the three armies requiring a report of the three Quartermaster
Departments as to food supplies on hand, it would be impossi-
ble to get the unanimous consent necessary. Therefore I have
asked for information on munitions first. So fearful are the
Quartermaster Departments, especially the English, that a
superimposed authority exercised for the common good might
interfere in their separate control, that in my judgment they
would veto even the gathering of information which might
lead to a discussion of a betterment of conditions. The defeat
of the English in front of Calais brought about the control of
Foch, brought about the transport of the bulk of the American
army by British ships, brought about a desperate struggle on
the part of our proud and independent army elements to get
together in many ways. In those dark days in April with their


ominous outlook was born my own effort to contribute to
the effectiveness of the Allied armies by securing unity of
supply and supply movement to match the unity of the
front under Foch. Had the Allied armies been confronted
from a supply standpoint with a situation as critical as their
military position after the March offensive of the German
army, my idea of a central control of the rear would have
been adopted. It takes more than reason to bend national
pride. Necessity must also exist.

But I persevered in my efforts, and General Pershing, in-
tervening at a critical time by securing the Clemenceau
agreement, rendered possible the partial adoption of the prin-
ciple of proper inter-army Allied cooperation by the estab-
lishment of our great Board whose work even with its handi-
caps should ever make it remembered in history.

Paris, November 11, 1918 (6.15 P.M.)

THE greatest struggle of humanity ended to-day with the
signing of the armistice by the Germans. Colonel Robert
Bacon called me by telephone at eight in the morning saying
it was signed at 5 A.M. After breakfast, on my way to my
Headquarters at the Elysee Palace Hotel, was met by my
faithful aide, Lieutenant Kilkenny, who said General Per-
shing wanted me to call him up immediately on the telephone
at Chaumont. For the first time since being over here I did
not anticipate an emergency, but thought his mind might be
on the victory. It was characteristic of the Commander-in-
Chief that he was hard at work, and what he wanted was to
talk over the plan for a financial section of the General Staff.
During our conversation I suggested that he should issue to
the army chiefs of services an order relative to stopping
immediately construction and purchases not essential to the
A.E.F. under the new conditions created by the armistice.
While the C.-in-C., Harbord, and I have all had this matter
under consideration and have taken action therein as far as
possible up to this time, it seemed to me that a statement by



the C.-in-C., issued on the very day of the armistice, would
not only result in a great saving through the prompter action of
the chiefs of the services, but would indicate to the American
people that the A.E.F. appreciated its duty to save every-
thing possible in view of the enormous self-sacrifice which our
nation had made in order to supply us.

At the request of the Commander-in-Chief I later dictated
over the telephone such a suggested statement, first tele-
phoning it to Harbord, who approved it. Am anxious to see
how the Commander-in-Chief will finally issue the statement.
In anything important he usually writes out the matter in
long hand, then gives it careful revision. As a result Pershing's
individuality is so apparent in his orders that I can gener-
ally tell from reading the ones he has personally prepared.
He is a great master of English. When I congratulated him
on his success he said he would not regard that he had suc-
ceeded until the army was safely back in the United States.

Went to lunch given at the Inter-Allied Circle by George
McFadden at noon; present, Ambassador Sharp, Ganne,
General Harts, Dwight Morrow, Auchincloss, Stevens of the
Shipping Board, Atwood (who came with me), Stettinius,
and others. Worked at office in the afternoon. The city has
gone wild. Great crowds are everywhere. People are singing
and cheering and carrying up and down the streets the flags
of the Allied nations. The Place de la Concorde is jammed,
especially in front of the Metz and Strasbourg statues.
Clemenceau was to make the announcement of the signing
of the armistice in the Chamber of Deputies to-day, but I
made no effort to go.

Somehow and I think it is true of almost every one else
I keep thinking of what I have seen and of those who made
all this possible, but themselves cannot know of it as they
sleep buried in the wheat-fields and by the roadways of
northern France. I could not cheer to save my life, but I have
to try hard all the time to keep from crying. Am waiting now
for my dear friend Harbord who is coming by motor from


Tours to spend to-morrow with me. We plan to see General
Pershing on Wednesday.

Last Tuesday I went by motor to Tours, spent the night
and Wednesday there, staying at Harbord's house. Went with

Online LibraryCharles Gates DawesA journal of the great war (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 30)