Somewhere near Raulecourt, 6/24/1918

Dear Em,


It has been at least three weeks now since Ive heard from you or any one else as far as that is conserned. I know this is not your fault for no one has received as much as a letter since taking over this sector. My letter in answer to your last one was written only recently and the reason for my writing so soon again is the fear that I may not hear from you nor be able to write for some time after mailing this.


We are expecting to move any hour now but dont know where or how long it will take to reach our destination. We do know that it will be no short trip, for every indication points this way. Unless the mail (and Im sure there is some on the way) reaches us before we leave here (which as I said may be any time) we will receive none until the place where we are going is reached. No one knows whether we are going back for a rest or to another front nor does any one Ive heard, seem to care much.


There is a draft outfit here now who are going to releave us, that is they are going to take over this part of the line under the tutorage of some French that are coming in with them. Just think Em the draft men are now on the line which shows that America is getting pretty well into this big game. Let them come, there is plenty of room for them, yes and work too. They are asking us all kinds of questions, and we answer and incourage them all we can. Experience is what will teach them tho- and nothing verbal. Of coarse only the vanguard is here now, and since they arrived things have been as quiet as it was last winter when we were miles behind the lines and couldn’t hear the sound of a gun. I will be thinking of them when they undergo their first barrage. But they are Americans and they will be there every minute Im sure.


They tell me that the 301st is here and I believe them for if any of them left as a unit surly Boston’s Own must have been among the first to leave. It would surprise you if I mentioned in this, the date they left the States, but this would not be wise. I will say that they’ve only been in France a very short time.


As is usually the case Im fine and I trust this will find you all the same. Will send some money to pay for my insurance soon so please keep it going. Give every one my kindest regards and I remain




Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces.


P.S. This, just to remind you that although we had a very lively little time a week ago Im as whole as ever, having learned a great deal and seen and experienced not a little. Will try and give an account of this later if nothing of more importance turns up to drive this from my memory. Im living the life and I havent weakened. Heads up.



© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.


Under Bombardment, 6/19/1918

On June 19 the 103rd Infantry suffered 172 more gas casualties during a bombardment of 2000 gas shells which began at 0315, directed at Seicheprey, Beaumont and Nandres in retaliation for a large American gas attack on German targets in the Bois de la Sonnard…

Somewhere near Raulecourt, 6/18/1918

Dear Em,


Here I am again and, how do you do. As for me, Im great (as if this was any news). Its better news than none though Em and as I havent received any mail from you since (the last letter I suppose) which was dated May 13, Im waiting for at least this much news of you folks. True, I havent written very often of late myself but this has not been altogether my fault. Since writing my last letter, Ive been on a two day leave spending the time in a town of pretty fair size situated near where we were at that time stationed. We are now at the front again, but I must say that I had a very good time on my few days leave.


The weather is fine now and beleive me we appreciate it, for were it otherwise it would be very uncomfortable. You have probably read (by this time) of the little affair we got into, and let me tell you Em they sure did get the worst of the argument, and then some. That was quite an item and picture of the new church, and I suppose it is quite a sight to watch the different peoples congragate. I thought it would be funny if Al didn’t get over to see it if he was any where near Boston. Dont forget those pictures will you Em? I tried to have some taken of myself but as usual I was last on the list and couldn’t be handled in the two only places in the town.


Has Harry left yet? Yesterday was the 17th bt I thought nothing of it until a little while ago. Of coarse I knew it was the 17 of June but as every day is the same here it ment nothing to me. Was glad to hear every body was well and I hope that things will continue on this train. Summer; I suppose it is in full swing now, and I hope you all enjoy a pleasant vacation.


This is about all I can scrape up to say this time, but will try and write soon again. Tell every one I was asking for them and send my best regards. Trusting this finds you all well I will bid you good night




Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces.


[Editor’s Note: June 17th is Bunker Hill Day, a legal holiday in the City of Boston and surrounding Suffolk County, Massachusetts which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775 at the beginning of the American Revolution. Bunker Hill itself and the Bunker Hill Monument are located in Sam’s home neighborhood on Bunker Hill Street in Charlestown. The town Sam refers to taking leave in is most probably Toul, France.]



© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Battle of Xivray-et-Marvoisin, 6/16/1918

On the morning of June 16, the 103rd Infantry was attacked in force by German infantry while holding the sub-sector of Xivray-et-Marvoisin, Bouconville and Rambucourt very close to the enemy lines. The attack began with a concentrated artillery bombardment followed by infantry assaults on three sides (north, east and west). The 103rd repulsed the German attacks at a cost of 28 killed, 167 wounded and 47 gassed. The Germans withdrew leaving more than 60 dead, 10 prisoners and equipment including machine guns and flame throwers. Heavy German shelling continued throughout the sector for the next four days, eventually forcing evacuation of the 26th Division HQ from Boucq to Trondes a mile further to the rear…

Honoring Flag Day, June 14th