The Polk County post. (Independence, Or.) 1918-19??, June 14, 1918, Image 3

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M A , I P THK-V W«vu>
H A V fc A C C E P T ■ E e D o ME
d a v T 6^
fr c -
^ E STeR
Perhaps Mother Kno w » Father's best qualities
“ TH6 B u . t e r 5 t>
1 ? . <^ 11,V0W ' N ^ ' T A M Ä / n f
MO 1
/“ T H IN K . I P H & I-E I».
T f^
Tho (bnfcssi
# a German
Written by a Prussian O fficer Z ¿5^»
RTio Participated in the R avag^^Z s
big and Pillaging o f Belgium,
Copyigk to DrtroU Pm A mt ,
(Continued from Tuesday)
corpses, uusneicerea unaer a dazing
A company o f Hessian reserves, sun, were encamped wretched fugi
every one a veteran, passed with tlves, because they were forbidden the
bowed heads and tlred~feetTThey must ( "!® .°f l heA ° ad/
hare had a very long march. Their of- ed them, which was practically all the
I deers tried to make them move more time.
In tbe evening, a fter a long march,
lively. They ordered that a song be
we reached tbs town o f Sulppes. Here
sung but the Hessians were not In the our captain told us w e would tlnd nu­
merous frank-tlreurs.
W e were or­
“ W ill you sing, you pigs?" cried an dered to bivouac, Instead o f being as­
officer and the pltlful-looklng “ pigs” signed quarters, and all going Into the
tried to obey this order. Faintly sound­ village were obliged to take guns and
ed from the ranks o f the overtired 1 cartridges with them. A fter a brief
m en:
“ Deutschland,
Deutschland rest we entered the village In search of
Ueber Alles, Ueber Alles In Der Welt.” food. Dead civilians lay In the middle
Despite their broken strength, their o f the streets. They were citizens of
tired feet, disgusted and resentful, the village. W e could not learn the
these men sang their symphony o f su­ reason for their having been shot. The
only answer to our questions was a
Several comrades who like myself I shrug o f tbe shoulder.
The village Itself had not suffered
bad watched this troop pass came to
j to any noticeable degree as far as
destruction o f buildings was concerned,
but never In the course of the war hud
I seen a more complete job of plunder-
, ing than bad been done In Sulppes.
That we had to live and eat Is true,
! and as the Inhabitants and merchant*
had flown there was no opportunity to
pay fo r our necessities. Therefore we
simply entered a store, put on stock­
ings, laundry, and left the old things,
then went to another place, took what­
ever food looked good to ns, and then
proceeded to a wine cellar, there to
seize as much as our hearts desired.
Tbe men o f the ammunition column,
located In the village as well as the
sanitary soldiers and cavalry by tbe
hundreds, searched *he houses and took
whatever they liked best The finest
ind largest business places In Sulppes
served a very large rural district sur­
rounding and therefore were stocked
up on almost everythin!.
Within a
hurt t!-oc ihej.e plare- b.ifl been
clc-itied out.
Toe munition drivers
unil train columns curried awi.y old
pieces of silk, ladies' dresses, linens,
shoes, dr- ss goods and every other ar­
ticle Imaginable. ami .-Hired them away
in their ammunition cases They took
children’s am! women's -hoes, aud
everything else they could lay their
hands upon, although inaev of these
articles Imd to be thrown oway short­
Sitting, Bitterly Crying, by the Debris
ly afterward
l.ater. wbm tin; fief'l
of Her Late Home.
peat was«,developed and gave tegular
me and said. “ Let us go to the camp service, trnnv-of »bece things were sent
and try to sleep so that we might for­ hou*e.
A large chocolate factory was -obhed
get all this.”
completely, and chocolate and candy
We were hungry and on the way
home caught several chickens.
We In heaps were trampled In the ground.
Empty houses were broken into and
ate them half-raw and then laid down
wrecked, wine cellars cleaned out and
in the open and slept until four o’clock
in the morning when we had to be windows smashed, the latter being a
special pastlm.e of the cavalrymen. As
ready to march.
Our destination on this day was we had to pass the night In the open,
Sulppes. Before the march started the we tried to, find some quilts and en­
tered a grocery store and a market
following army order was read:
place. The store was partly demol­
"Soldiers, his majesty the emperor,
our supreme war lord, thanks the sol­ ished. hut the apartment upstairs was
diers of the Fourth army and sends to as yet Intact with all the rooms locked,
it was evident that a woman’s hand
them his full appreciation. You have
saved our beloved Germany from the had worked In this house, for every­
thing was neat and cozy. But all this
Invasion o f hostile hordes. We will not
rest until the last enemy lies on the order was still surpassed h.v the ar­
rangement In a large room, which ap­
ground and before the leaves fall from
the trees we shall return home vic­ parently had been Inhabited by a
torious. The enemy Is In full retreat young woman.
were almost
and the Almighty will bless our arms f ashamed to enter the sanctuary
! our astonishment we saw hnnglng on
After this talk we gave three cheers, the wall opposite the door a picture
something which had become routine burned In wood and under It a German
for us. And then we resumed
our j verse: "H on of the women, they weave
march. We now had plenty of
time : a hrald o f heavenly roses I d their
and opportunity to discuss the gratl-
earthly life.” (Schiller). The owner
tilde expressed by the supreme
war apparently was a young bride, for In
lord. We could not make out Just what | the wardrobe was a trousseau, tied
fatherland we had to defend so fa r In i with neat blue ribbons, carefully put
France. One of the soldiers expressed nw«y. All the wardrobe drawer# lay
the opinion thst the Lord had blessed open. Nothing was touched here.
our arms, to which another replied:
When we visited the same place the
“ A religious man repeating such silly next morning, impelled by some Im­
sentiments Is guilty o f sacrilege. If he pulse. we found everything In that
speaks seriously.”
house destroyed. Barbarians had gona
Everywhere, on tbs march to Snip- through this home, and with bitter
pea, In the Held» and In the ditches, ruthlessnesa had devastated every­
lay dead soldiers, moat o f them with thing, with every evidence of having
hideous-looking opaa wounds. Thou­ utterly cast off tho ethics and stand­
sands o f huge flies swarmad on tho ard* o f civilized racaa.
corpses, partly deewmposed. and giv­
The entire trnuaaeau hud been torn
in g o f f s fsaxful sfeoch. A # o a g these from the drawers and throws partly
on tne uoor. Pictures, pnotogrupns,
mirrors, everything was In pieces. The
three o f us wbo had entered the room
cleuched our fists with Impotent wroth.
We received orders to remain In
Sulppes until further notice and tho
next day witnessed the return o f many
fugitives. They came In great throngs
from the direction o f Chalons-sur-
Marne. They found Instead of the
peaceful homes they had left a wretch­
ed and deserted ruin. A furniture
denier returned to hls store, as we
stood In front of hls house. He broke
down when he viewed the remains of
hls enterprise. Everything had been
| taken away. Wo approached the man.
He was a Jew and spoke German.
When be calmed down a little ha told
us that bis store bad contained mer­
chandise worth more than 8,000 franca,
“ Had the soldiers only taken what
j they needed for themselves,” ho said,
“ I would he satisfied, fo r I did not ex-
' pect anything else. But I never would
have believed o f the Germans that
they would have destroyed everything."
Not even a cup and saucer were
left In this man’s bouse. He had a
wife and five children, but had no Idea
o f what had become o f them. And
there were many more Uke him.
The following night, remaining In
Sulppes, we were again obliged to camp
in the open “ because It swarmed with
frank-tlreurs." Such w ere our lnstruc-
Devastated Everything.
tlons. In reality nothing was seen ef
frank-tlreurs, but by this method the
enmity toward the people living In tbe
towns along our line o f march was
maintained. The Germans practiced
the theory that the solnMers fight bet­
ter aud are more amenable to dis­
cipline when filled with hatred o f their
The next day we were obliged to
march to Chalons-sur-Marne. Thla
was one o f the hardest days we ever
had. From the very beginning, as w#
began our Journey, the sun blazed
down upon us. It Is about 35 kilome­
ters from Sulppes to Chalons-sur-
Marne. This distance would not have
been so bad. despite the heat: we had
already made longer marches; hut tho
beautiful road from Sulppes to Chal­
ons goes with unending monotony with­
out so much as a curve or a bend to
the right or left. As far as we could
see It stretched before us like a long
white snake.
Many soldiers fainted or ware strick­
en with sunstroke. They were picked
up by the Infirmary columns which fol­
lowed. That the troops who had trav­
ersed this road before ns hnd fared
worse was evident from the many dead
Germans who lay along the road. The
commander feared that he could not
get the machine I d motion again If It
was halted, and permitted to stretch
Its weary limbs on the ground for a
brief rest And so It crept along like
a snail.
Only, Instead o f having a
snail's shell on Its back, there was t
leaden burden.
H ie monotony of the march was
broken when we reached the enor­
mous camp at Chalons. This Is one
o f the largest of the French army
camps. We saw Chalons from the dis­
tance. As we halted about an hour
lite r outside the city In an orchard,
without a single exception every man
fell to the ground exhausted. The field
kitchens were soon brought up, but the
men were too tired to eat. We did eat
later and then wanted to go to town to
purchase some articles, particularly
tobacco, which we missed moat. No­
body waa allowed to leave camp. We
were told that entering the city was
strictly forbidden. Chalons had paid
a war contribution and therefore ao
one was permitted In the city.
tne battery men.
We heard the dull sounds of the
“ Is It Impossible to bring ummunl
cannon In the distance and suspected •Ion through this barrage?’’
! that our rest would be brief. The i - “ No,” replied the artilleryman, "but
rolling o f gunfire continued to grow
there Is no more ammunition. That Is
stronger. We did not know then that
why we cannot get any. At Neufchn-
1 a fight had begun which was destined
teau we started like wild men after the
i to become fatal to the Germans.
enemy. Man and beast died from the
The first day’s battle of the Marne
heat, railroads and other mediums ot
I had begun I
transportation were left In their dam­
aged condition In the wild excitement
o f victory, as we dashed Into the heart
of France. We raced on, blindly and
At 12 o’clock, midnight, we were | thoughtlessly,
alarmed and half an hour later were communication with our bases, ran
] on the march. The cool night air felt directly Into the trap set for us by the
good, and despite our weariness, we French. Before the first ammunition
made rapid progress.
Toward four and other relief supplies reach us we
o’clock In the morning we arrived at will all be killed.”
Cheppy. It had been completely plun-
Dp to this time we hnd trusted
i dered.
We halted here for a brief
blindly In the Invincible strategy of our
rest and watched preparations being
great general staff. Now It was brought
made for the execution o f two fra o
home to us on all sides that the
dreurs. They were two little farmers
French were fighting at home, close
who bad supposedly concealed a
to their greatest source o f supply, and
French machine gun with its crew
hnd excellent railroad connections at
from the Germans. The sentence was
■ their disposal. Further than that the
executed In such a way that the peo­
French maintained a terrible artillery
ple were ahown who their real rulers
; fire from guns o f far greater caliber
now were.
than we believed they owned. This led
The little town o f Pogny, located
! us to the conclusion that they were oc­
midway between Chalona-iur-Marne
cupying positions which bad been pre-
and Vltry-le-Francota, fared no bet­
j pared for a long time. Yet we believed
ter than Cheppy, a fact which we dis­
that the picture painted by the artil­
covered when we entered there at nine
leryman had been too black. We were
soon to know better.
We were now considerably nearer
As we approached the enemy’s
the spot where the guns were roar­
trenches, we were met with a heavy
ing, and retiring o f wounded and the
machine gun fire, and In double-quick
munition columns showed us that west
atep hurried to the temporary protec­
o f Vltry-le-Francols. a terrible battle
raged. At four o’clock In the after­ tion o f hastily thrown up dugouts. A
bard rain had set In. Th »-field around
noon, we arrived at Vltry-le-Francols
after a forced march. The city was ns was covered with dead and wound­
tiled with wounded, but the town It- ed. Even our trench was filled with
eelf was not damaged. The battle must wounded, which made its occupation
hare been going badly for the Germans by the defenders difficult Many o f
because we were ordered Into action the wounded men were paralysed from
without being given any rest W e were lying on the slimy ground. All were
within three kilometers o f the battle without bandages. They begged for
line, when we came within reach o f bread and water, but we had none for
hostile Are. a terrific hall o f shells tore ourselves. They pleaded piteously, Just
up every foot o f ground. Thousands for a scrap o f bread. Many o f then
• f corpses o f German soldiers Indi­ bad lain In this Inferno for two days,
cated at what enormous cost the Ger­ without having eaten anything what­
mans hnd brought up all available re­ ever.
We were scarcely established when
serves. The French did everything
they could to prevent the Germans the French attacked en masse. Tbe oc­
from getting the reserves Into action cupants o f these trenches, whom we
' and Increased the artillery fire to un­ had re-enforced bad already repulsed
heard-of violence. It seemed lmpos- several o f these attacks. They urged
! slble for us to be able to break through us to shoot and fired wildly themselves
' this barrage.
We saw hundreds of Into the ranks o f the advancing masses.
shells exploding every minute.
We W e responded to the exhortations of
were ordered to run the gauntlet of the Infantry officers: "Fire, fire hard­
er, harder I"
this hell In single file.
We fired until the barrels o f our
Lying prone upon the ground, we
saw how the first o f our men at- guns became red-hot. The enemy
i tempted to pass. They ran, unmindful turned. The victims o f our fire al­
| o f th> -hells bursting around them, like ready lying In heaps In No Man's Land
madmen; others were burled under between our lines and the enemy’s
: ground thrown up by the hlgh-power were Increased by hundreds. The at­
explosives, or torn by shrapnel or gren­ tack was repulsed.
It is dark, aud It rains and rains. All
ades. Tw o men had scarcely reached
i the line when a well-directed shot from shout ns In the darkness are heard
a gun o f a large caliber burst directly the wounded weeping, monnlug. Im­
at their feeL When the smoke cieured. ploring. Their cries are augmented
by other wounded closer by. All called
j there was no trace o f the men.
You can Imagine the feelings of for bandages, hut we had none left. We
those who lay on the ground not 100 tore strips from our muddy shirts and
feet away witnessing this spectacle, with them covered the gaping wounds.
Men are dying constantly. There are
and waiting their turn.
An officer cried: “ N extI” It was no doctors, no bandages, nothing. The
my turn. As If aroused from a night­ wounded must be assisted, but first the
mare, I sprang up, my gun In my right French must be repulsed.
The rain falls harder constantly and
hand, sldearm In my left, and ran
ahead. I dodged two shells Just as we are all wet to the skin. We shoot
they burst and ran close to several blindly into the night The fluctuating
others, bursting the same Instant. A fire of musketry becomes strong, then
number o f times I sprang back, then weaker, then strong again.
We pioneers are scattered among the
Hhead again, running to and fro like a
madman, seeking a loophole. But every­ infantry. My neighbor touches me.
"Say," he calls.
where there was Iron and fire. I run
“ What do you want?” 1 ask. “ Who
like a hunted animal seeking a way to
pass to save myself, with a hell In \ are you?”
“ Come here,” he hissed.
front of me, and an officer's revolver ;
It Is eerie, alone In this devil's night
always ready behind.
“ Why are you here? Will you mur­
Throwing caution to the winds,
prepared to meet death and the devil der me like those over there. Soon
himself, I at last ran blindly ahend; they will return from over there and
ran. ran, ran. until someone seized my the fun will he on again. Do you hear
the others weep?"
coat tall and shouted In my ear:
And he laughed.
"H ere we are. Are you wounded?
Suddenly he started again: " I .al­
You had better look. Perhaps you are
ways shoot at them until they stop
wounded and don’t know It.’’
weeping. That la fun.”
I was among those of my comrades
And again he laughed, maniacally,
who had gotten through. Trembling
aud louder than before.
all over, I stopped and looked around.
I realized finally that this man had
“ Sit down and you will feel better,”
lost hls reason. A man passed bring­
said one of the men. “ We also have
ing ammunition and I asked him to
fetch the commander at once. The of­
were ficer arrived, accompanied by an infan­
brought up. Tbers were about 48 men try lieutenant I met them and report­
and a sergeant took command. Noth­ ed that my neighbor had been firing on
ing more was seen o f our officers.
the wounded, talking nonsense, and
W e continued to advance and passed undoubtedly was Insane. The lieuten­
several German batteries. Many had ant stepped between us.
suffered heavily In dead and wounded,
“ Can you see anything?” he asked.
which lay around theli guns destroyed
“ Seel No. But I hear them moan-
by enemy fire. Other batteries still
ng and weeping. As soon as I hit oue
manned were useless because no more he Is quiet for he sleeps I”
ammunition could be gotten through.
The lieutenant nodded to me. He
W e paused to rest
Several artil­ tried to take the gun from the man,
lerymen approached us, and a noncom­
it the latter seized It .quickly and
missioned officer asked them why they
rang back to cover. From there be
did not fire.
fired while standing among the wound­
“ Because we have used op all oar ! ed, until a moment lafbr, be himself
am aunlOja/’jrta ^ h s ^ n a w s r erf one af
ten. rum let i o.v uim q u u iics.
The drama had only a few specta­
tors. It tvns hardly over before It tva»
forgotten. Anything but sentiment.
The blind tlriDg coutluued. T b e
cries of the wounded became constant­
ly louder.
Why? These wounded lying be­
tween the two fighting lines ure ex­
posed to the firing of both parties. No
one can help them for It would be In­
sanity to venture Into No Man’s Land.
Ever louder and with more heart­
rending pleadings, the wounded called
for the stretchers, for help, for water.
At the most a curse or an oath is the
only response.
Onr trench was filled with several
Inches o f water and underneath thaL
In this morass lay dead and
wounded, thrown together. It became
necessary to make room and so the
dead were thrown over the ramparts.
At one o’clock In the night men came
with stretchers and took away some o f
the wounded, hut for those wretches
lying In No Man's Land there was no
To complete our misery, we received
orders during the night to attack the
French at 4:15 In the morning. W e
made our preparations under a pour­
ing rain. Promptly at 4:19 we wont
over the top. Jumping over corpses sod
wounded inen. We were forced to ro-
tlre before a hall of machine gun A t e
and sustaining a large number o f un­
necessary casualties.
Hardly had we regained our trenches
when the French attacked us. They
came within three meters o f our trench,
and here their attack broke down un­
der our fire. They too had to retire
with fearful losses.
Three times In two hours the French
attacked, always with heavy I oases
and no results. We were at our w it's
end. Unless help came soon It would
be Impossible for us to hold the posi­
tion. W e were tortured by hunger and
thirst as well as being wet to the skin
and were so exhausted that we could
hardly stand.
(Continued Tuesday.)
Mr. and Mrs. W aller Plant and
two children and Mr. and Mrs.
Ralph Porterfield and two children
motored to Albany Saturday even-
Misses Lena Tobey and Mildred
and Rea trie Morse of Albany are
visiting Miss Evelyn Tobey.
Mr. and Mrs. F. I,. Chown and
son, Ernest, spent Sunday at Mc­
Mr. and. George DeForest motor­
ed lo Albany and Corvallis Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Chown and Mr.
and Mrs. Ralph Porterfield were
callers at tbe E. M. Lichty homo at
Buena Vista on Monday evening.
W ill Roberts of Highland and Mr.
McComas of Wigrich combined
business with pleasure in Salem on
Mrs. Ralph Bartholomew and Ray
Hentoti of Perrydale and Mrs. Rho-
da Green and son, Jav, of Dallas,
Wednesday evening and
Thursday with Mr. and Mrs. Harry
Mrs. I>. E. Moore of Albany, who
lias been visiting Mrs. Della Miller
went to Corvallis Saturday.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin Christenson
and Mrs. A. B. Si nger motored to
Corvallis Saturday to visit relatives.
Andy Ayers and A. R. Xenger were
Corvallis visitors Saturday.
Bruce Miller has liouglit a car.
Mrs. D. E. Moore and Mrs. Della
Miler and children visited Tuesday
witli Mrs. Win. Smitii.
We understand Independence will
celebrate the Fourth of July with
Kings Valley this year.
Mrs. Wm. Moser is on the sick list.
Christensons have bought an auto
truck to haul lumber.
I. 0. O. r. Building
Independence, »