Returning to the Regiment, 9/27/1918

Undated (About Sept. 27, 1918)

Dear Em,

Have left the hospital O.K. and Im now on my way back to duty. Im feeling great.




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

Attacking Riaville & Marcheville, 9/26/1918

On September 26, the 1st Battalion of the 103rd attacked Riaville and Marcheville as a diversion for a large combined Allied assault on Verdun and Rheims by the 1st American Army and 4th French Army.

There had been no opportunity for reconnaissance, and with the conditions of the roads it was impossible to provide  the troops with proper rations. Poor visibilility contributed to a general lack of liason among the involved units and they were driven back several times with heavy casualties by heavy enemy artillery and machine gun fire from reinforced gun emplacements.

This repulse was also followed by a severe German gas attack on the front-line units near Champlon in retaliation…

Taking the Heights of St. Maurice, 9/13/1918

By mid-day on September 13, elements of the 103rd Infantry finally reached the heights of St. Maurice and occupied the destroyed towns of Billy-sur-les-Cotes and Vieville-sur-les-Cotes. As they retreated, the Germans attempted to leave little but scorched earth behind for the Allies.

During its advance in the St. Mihiel Offensive, the 103rd captured 900 enemy prisoners, 16 artillery pieces, over 60 machine guns and large quantities of other materiel at a cost of 17 killed and 112 wounded…

Advancing on Dommartin, 9/12/1918

For the men of the 52nd Brigade, the St. Mihiel Offensive began on September 12 with an artillery preparation commencing at 0100 hours. The 103rd Infantry went over the top at 0800 hours following a rolling barrage. From the time of its initial attack, the entire 52nd Brigade was faced with heavy opposition from enemy machine gun fire while moving across terrain that provided little cover but ample obstacles in the form of dense woods and wire.

By nightfall, the 103rd had reached its objective of capturing enemy trenches southwest of Chanot Bois, but advance patrols were driven back from Dommartin by enemy machine gun fire. At midnight orders were received to resume the attack and capture St. Maurice by daybreak…

Preparing to Attack, 9/11/1918

The battalions of the 103rd Infantry were moved into position for the attack on the night of September 11 under heavy rain with the Regimental HQ moved forward to P.C. Cloche. The terrain was very difficult to navigate, pitted with old trench systems and covered with tangled masses of old wire. A detail of Scouts worked throughout the night cutting lanes through the wire to connect with the planned barrage zone…

Base Hospital No. 6 at Bordeaux, 9/7/1918

Undated (Early September, 1918)

Dear Bert,

Still alive and kicking Bert. How are things with you? Im taking a chance that this address will find you. Best of luck.


S.E. Avery, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces



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

Into the Rupt Sector, 9/5/1918

While Sam Avery was still recovering from his gas injuries in the hospital, the 103rd Infantry Regiment had moved back to the front, traveling to Bar-le-Duc by train where it assembled with the rest of the 26th Division in preparation for the St. Mihiel Offensive.

Units remained under the cover of trees during the day to conceal their positions from aerial observation, and movements northward to Rupt-en-Woevre were made by forced night march led by the 52nd Brigade. The 103rd took over its assigned section of the front line by September 5 with Regimental HQ established at P.C. Neuilly in the ravine south of Amblonville Forest. The weather collaborated in concealing the troop movements into the Rupt Sector with heavy cloud cover and torrential downpours of rain…

Base Hospital No. 6 at Bordeaux, 9/3/1918

Dear Em.


Ive sent to the company for my mail for I havent received any as yet since around the 20th of July. Im hoping it gets here before I leave the hospital to rejoin the company for it will mean quite a while before I get it if I dont intercept it here. Ive regained all my strength but my stumack is still a little out of the way. I know if I could get ahold of some of your mail I would have something to say, for there is very little of interest to speak of in a hospital.


The war news is very incouraging and I look for a big break soon. That will be a happy day beleive me. Ive got to continue sending my mail to 297 until I get your mail letting me know where you now live. Gee I would like to get a few letters from you. I hope Pa, Lena, Bert and yourself is O.K. for it seems an age since Ive heard from you.


Give my regards to All the rest



Samuel E. Avery, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. A.E.F.



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