This is the WWI memoir of Ward Schrantz, a National Guard officer and machine gun company commander in the Kansas-Missouri 35th Division. He extensively documents his experiences and those of his men, from training at Camp Doniphan to their voyage across the Atlantic, and to their time in the trenches in France’s Vosges Mountains and ultimately to their return home. He devotes much of his memoir to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, in which the 35th Division suffered heavy casualties and made only moderate gains before being replaced by fresh troops. Schrantz also describes the daily life of a soldier, including living conditions, relations between officers and enlisted men, and the horrific experience of combat.
Editor Jeffrey Patrick combines his narrative with excerpts from a detailed history of the unit that Schrantz wrote for his local newspaper, and also provides an editor’s introduction and annotations.