|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Fix Bayonets!|
"From the hatla of Mnntesuma To the shores of Tripoli, We have fought our country- battles On the laud and on the sea. , and It closes, gloriously: "It the army and the navy Ever look on heaven's scenes, Tbey will And the streets are guarded By United States marines. . , ." This plutonn, however, led by breien-throuted guuucry sergeant, U roaring out: "Bang Away, Lulu. . , (To be continued) the ilnt over yonder" He led sway from the road, through the trampled wheat to his right, away from the helling. This whs really No Man's land, for the tine curved from the wood, and thrust out again along the line of another crest, also wooded. Such Intervals were watched by day and patrolled by night, and ration ra-tion parties, carrying details, and other wretches who had to traverse them always sweated mightily and anticipated exciting Incideuts, It was full of smells and mysterious horrors In the starlight that wheat. Once UheU&r at Cloe Ranee Described In a ReniarkaMa Jerles Dy an Officer of Ihe " Sl Marines (-" Capt JoWW I HiomiU5on,Jr. Sfe V ? flllmlrsred by ch Author from - " ' the platoon cauie upon a pig, feeding unspeakably. , . . The woods ahead grew plain ; the men walked gingerly, straining their eyes at the shadows. . . , "Eighth machine-gun machine-gun In there take It easy, you risky business, this wish to Ood I'd " The pi ut ooo stopped, frozen, as they heard the charging handle of a IlotetiklHS snick back. A small, sharp voice barked: "llult who' there!" "i'lutoon of the Forty, nluth can we get through herer "My Ood, I diuu' neur gave yon a dipt What the hell, comln' up here don't you know you ain't supposed to come bustln' around a niachliie-guu position posi-tion you" "All right all right I shelllu' the road down there" nnd the platoon scuttled past the llotch-klss llotch-klss gun, while Its crew reviled them. Machine-gunners are a touchy lot, prone to shoot first and Inqulro afterward; the platoon gave thanks for a man who didn't scare. They turned left now and finally reached La Vole du Chntelle, where Regimental was, and there the old Bocho always shelled. It wus a little furm, pretty well knocked to pieces now, but Iteglmentul was reported to prefer It to a chunge; they had the Boche's system down so that they could count on him. Ills shelling always al-ways fell Into method whtti he had long enough, and the superior man could, by watching him a few days, avoid unpleasantness. La Vote du Chutelle, as the world knew, received his attention from 11:45 to 12:10 every night Then he laid off onttl 3, when his day-shift came on. You could set your watch by it The platoon pla-toon went cheerfully past A full kilometer further they hiked, at a furious pace. Then the lieutenant lieuten-ant considered that '.hey might catch a rest ; they bad come a long way and were tn a safe spot Ten minutes' rest out of every hour was the rule when possible. He passed the word: "Fall out to the right of the road," and sat down himself, a little way off, feeling for his chewing tobacco. You didn't smoke on the front at night lights were not safe. And chew In' was next best. Then he observed that the platoon was not falling out They stood In groups on the road, and an angry mutter reached htm. "What th'ellr Coin out, an then he wants to rest!" "Yen, 'fall out on the right of the road, he says, the fool " The lieutenant knew his men, as yon know men you live tn hell with. He got up, chuckling. "Well, If thafs the way you feel about It come on, you birds 1" and ha set them a killing step, at which no man complained. The dawn was coming when they rendezvoused with the battalion In Bots Gros-Jean beans for breakfast, and hot coffee, tins of Jam I That afternoon they had oft their clothes for the first time In three weeks or so, and swan in the Marne at a place called Croutte. And at formation they heard this order published: VI Armee Etat-Major 09302 An 02a te 80 Jntn, 1018. In view of the brilliant conduct of the Fourth brigade of the Second lay quiet and listened to odd, thrashing thrash-ing noises around him, and off to the left a man began to call, very pitifully. piti-fully. At once he heard more ma-) ma-) chine-gun Are he hadn't seemed to hear It before and now the bullets were striking the ground and rlcochettug with peculiar whine In every direction. One ripped Into the dirt by his cheek and tilled his eyes and his mouth with dust The lamentable la-mentable crying stopped; most of the crawling, thrashing noises stopped. He himself was hit again and again. Dp and down bis legs, and he luy very still. Where he lay he could Just see a tree-top he was that near the wood. A few leaves clung to It; he tried to calculate, from the light on them, how low the sun was, and how long It would be until dark. Stretcher bearers would be along at dark, surely. He beard voices, so close that be could distinguish words: "Caput r "Neln-nlcht allea Later, forgetting those voices, he tried to wriggle backward Into a shell-bole shell-bole that he remembered passing. lie was hit again, but somehow he got into t little shell-hole, or got his body Into It, bead first He reflected that be bad bled so much that a bead-downward bead-downward position wouldn't matter, and he didn't wont to be hit again. Men all dead, he supposed. He couldn't hear any of them. He seemed to pass out, and then to have dreamy periods of consciousness. In one of these periods he saw the sky over him was dark, metallic blue; It would be nearly night He heard somebody coming on heavy feet, and cunningly shut his eyes to a silt . . . playing play-ing dead. ... A German officer, jt stiff. Immaculate fellow, stood over him, looking at him. He lay very still, trying not to breathe. The Boche had out his pistol, a short-barreled short-barreled Lnger, rested It on his left forearm, and fired deliberately. He felt the bullet range upward through the sole of his foot, and something excruciating happened In his ankle. Then one called, and the German passed from bis field of vision, returning re-turning his pistol aa he went . . . Later, trying to piece things together, to-gether, be was In an ambulance, being Jolted most Infernally. And later be asked a nnrse by bis bed: "I say, nurse, tell me did we get tha Bola de Belleau t "Why, last Junel" she said. "It's time yon were coming out of ltl This la August" Tha battalion lay tn andean boles on the far face of Bots de Belleau, which was "now United States marine ma-rine corps entirely." The sun was low over Torcy, and all the battalion, except certain designated individuals, slept The artillery, Boche and American, Amer-ican, was engaged In counter-battery work, and the persecuted infantry enjoyed repose. The senior lieutenant of the Forty-ninth company, bedded down under a big rock with bis orderly, or-derly, came up from Infinite depths of slumber with his pistol out, all In one swift motion. Ton awoke like that In the Bots de Bellean. . . . Jennings, company 'runner, showed two buck-teeth at htm and said: Sir, the cap'n wanta to see you" They crawled delicately away from the edge of the wood, to a trail that took yon back under cover, and found the captain frying potatoes In bacon SYNOPSIS CHAPTFin I. The author describes bow the First battalion of the Fifth marines are quartered near Marlsrny during the flrit part ot June, 11S when they are suddenly sent up nortl to relieve the First division, bearing I the brunt of a tidal wave of Germane Juet breaking through for a great of fensive. Part of the Fifth wrest Hill 141 from the enemy and wait there for the 8erman counter offensive they can see forming. While they lie peppering pep-pering the Boche a detachment of Second engineers comes to Uietr assistance. as-sistance. 4eaaTK CHAPTER It A terrlflo German at-taok at-taok soon develops, wreaking fearful tiavoo among the marines, but not dislodging dis-lodging them. In the Immediate vicinity vicin-ity other fierce encounters are reducing reduc-ing the American troops and forcing the necessity of replacements which arrive presently. On the sixth of June the Fifth runs into bitter nxht-Ing nxht-Ing In the vicinity of Champlllon , . . for hours they try to oust the Boche from his stronghold In the woods and succeed commend&bly, but at great ooet, CHAPTER III The Bols de Belleau j Coming ' Out. They tried new tactics to get the bayonets Into the Bols de Belleau. Platoons very lean platoons now-formed now-formed In small combat groups, deployed de-ployed In the wheat, and set out toward to-ward the gloomy wood. Fifty batteries batter-ies were working on It, all the field pieces of tha Second division, and what the French would lend. The shells ripped overhead, and the wood was full of leaping flame, and the smoke of E & and shrapnel The fire from Its edge died down. It was late In the afternoon; the sun was low enough to shine under the edge of your helmet The men went forward for-ward at a walk, their shoulders bunched over, their bodies Inclined, their eyes on the edge of the wood, where shrapnel was raising a hell of a dust Some of them had been this way before; tbelr facee were set bleakly. Others were replacements, a month or so from Quantlco; they were terribly anxious to do the right thing, and they watched cenloufdy the sergeants and the corporals and the lieutenants who led the way with canes. One such group, over to the left, followed a big yonng officer, a replacement re-placement too, but a man who had spent a week In Boureeches and was to be considered a veteran, as such things went In those days, when so 4 many chaps were not with the brigade bri-gade very long. He had not liked ; Boureschea, which ha entered at ' night and where ha lived obscenely In cellars with the dead, and saw men die In the orange flash of mlnen-werfer mlnen-werfer shells, terribly and without 1 the consolation of glory. Here, at last waa attack. ... He thought absently watching hta flank to see that It guided true-guide center was the word of the old men who had - i brought him up to the tales of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, In the war of the Southern confederacy. Great battles, glamorous attacks, full of the color and the high-hearted elan of chivalry. Jackson at Chancellors-' Chancellors-' Ytlle; Pickett at Gettysburg that waa a charge for yon tha rel South- era battle-flags, leading like fierce bright-winged birds the locked ranks of fifteen gray brigades, and the screeching "Rebel" yell, and the field-, music, fife and drum, rattling out ' fresss. "Going- out tonight, ty platoons. pla-toons. Start as soon as If s dark, with tns SsTtntesntb. We are nest Sixth regiment entflt makln' the relief re-lief Ninety-sixth company for tia They've been here before, so yon needn't leete anybody to show them the ground. Soon as they get to yon, beat It Got a sketch of the inapl Have your platoon at Bols Gros-Jean yon knew, beyond Brigade, on the big road t daylight Battalion bas chow there. Got ltr Good " The lieutenant went happily back to his men. The word had already gotten around, by the grapevine route, and grinning heads stuck out ot every hole. "Well, sergeant, pass the word to get set-goln' out tonight" to-night" "Tes, sir! Ready right now I Is the division beln' relieved r "No, Sixth regiment cousin' In" "Well, sir, I hope te God they ain't lata Did you hear, sir, anything about us goln' back to St Denis, and getUn liberty In Parts, an a month's rest'' That unaccountable delusion persist ed In the Marine brigade through ell of June and Into July. It aever happened. hap-pened. "No, I didn't hear any such thing. But it's enough to get out of here. This place Is like the wrath ofOodl" ' ! It was nearly midnight when the relieving troops came in. The lieutenant's lieu-tenant's opposite number reported, chap be hadn't seen since Quantlco, back In another lifetime. "Well, here we are I Out you go" "I say, Is It yen, Bob? Heard you were killed" "Oh, not at all heard the same thing about you not strange; tot of serious accidents have happened around here" "Well, good luck" "Sure bon chance, eh? so long" The platoon left the wood and angled down to the Torcy rosd. A string of shells howled overhead, 85s by the sound of them, end broke on the road. The lieutenant halted and watched: "Dam' unusual, shellln' here this time of night must know It's a relief" It was the conviction ef all that the Boche knew everything, down te the movement of the lowest corporal. cor-poral. "I think we'll cut a corner, Ut ttk t Chance of gettla' thm. i "The Girt I Lett Behind Me": j Oh, It ever I set through this war, And the Lincoln boys don't And me, Fm goln' to go right back again j To the girl I left behind me No music here, no flags, no bright swords, no lines of battle charging with a yell. Combat groups of weary men, In drab and dirty uniforms, dressed approximately on a line, spaced "so that one shrapnel-burst cannot Include more than one group," laden like mules with gas-masks, bandoleers, ban-doleers, grenades, chant-chaut clips, trudging forward without haste and without excitement, they moved on an untidy wood where shells were breaking, a wood that did not answer back, or show an enemy. In Its sl- j lence and anonymity It waa far more sinister than any flag-crowned ram part or stone walls topped with crashing volleys from honest old ! black-powder muskets he considered these things and noted that the wood 1 was very near, and that the German shells were passing high and breaking break-ing In the rear, where the support companies were waiting. Ills own artillery ar-tillery appeared to have lifted Its range; you heard the shells farther . In, In the depths of the wood. The air snapped and crackled all round. The sergeant beside the lieutenant stopped, looked at him with a frosen, foolish smile, and crumpled Into a heap of old clothes. Something took the kneecap off the lieutenant's right knee and his leg buckled under him. He noticed, as he fell sideways, that all his men were tumbling over like duck-pins; there was one fellow that spun around twice, and went over backward with his arms up. Then the wheat shut him In, and he heard cries and a moaning. moan-ing. He observed curiously that he was making some of the noise himself.. him-self.. How could anything hurt sot lie sat np to look at his knee It was tneeding like the deuce I and as he felt for his first-aid packet a bullet wared his shoulder, knocking him on his back again. For a while he Prussians From Von Boehn's Division In the Bols de Belleau. United States division, which In a spirited fight took Bouresches and the Important strong point of Bols de Belleau, Bel-leau, stubbornly defended by a large enemy force, the general commanding the Vlth army orders that, henceforth. hence-forth. In all official papers, the Bols de Belleau shall be named "Bols de la Brigade de Blarine." The General of Division Degoutte : Commanding Vlth Army. (Signed) DEGOUTTE. I "Teh," said the battalion. "Now. about this liberty In Parts But they didn't go to Parts. They took s road that led through Solssons, and St MlhleU and Blanc Mont and the Argonne-Meuse, to NIeuwIed, on the far side of the Rhine. e e e e We can now consider some marines singing one of the marine songs: "Bang Awuy, Lulu". There Is also a very noble song: the Marine Corps hymn. It Is taught along with close order drill and things like that to recruits nt Parrls Island and on the West coast It begins; be-gins; .