Somewhere near Etrepilly, 7/27/1918

July 27 I guess


Dear Folks


This is a sheet of paper that Miss Treat sent in a letter I just received but I guess she will excuse me for using it to send a few lines home to let you know Im still O.K. Yes, I came out of it all right but let me say I was lucky more than once for we were in it proper this time. Of coarse the papers are full of it now telling the objectives and successes that have all ready been obtained, and as for my own personal experiences (which are a few) I will leave for a latter date when after going back over them Im sure will loom up so that I can better relate them. I want to admit right here that I was not the bravest guy in the world for I wasn’t just where the brave stuff was pulled.


We are now where we left off following up the Hun which is well behind the lines now for they are still going. We don’t know if we are to go right back at them again or not, for here we are just within ear shot of the guns neither going ahead nor back, and being replaced by new men for those that have been knocked off in the recent fighting. For mine I hope it is back for a rest for beleive me we surly nead it after putting in three weeks on this front.


I got Em’s two letters, one telling of your moving to Everett, but for safty I will send this to 297 so it will not get lost. If we go back for a rest you can expect some real letters from me but I can’t promise much while living this life.


It has been raining now for three days and being out in it can’t be called the best of luck. Was very much pleased with Lena’s letter and will answer you bet.



Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf.



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


Capture of Epieds, 7/22-7/24/1918

On July 22 the entire 52nd Brigade attacked Epieds twice only to be pushed back both times with heavy casualties from German machine gun fire. Overnight more than 1,000 artillery shells fell on the 52nd Brigade’s Command Post and the next day the 52nd was again repulsed in a third attack against Epieds, the vigorous defense of which proved to be merely a rear-guard holding action by the enemy while the main German forces withdrew. By July 24, 1918 the German withdrawal from Epieds was complete and the town was finally taken…

Somewhere advancing on Trugny, 7/21/1918


Dear Em and the rest.


I do not intend to write much, for to tell the truth I am far from the writing mood just now. We are going through a critical period right now, and it is just to let you know that Im all right physically, that Im writing.


I received a letter from Al and one from you dated June 23, in which I got the pictures I appreciate them very much. Leonard sure is some boy. To sum it all up, every one looks natural and I thank you very much for sending them. I recognize Old George’s House all right. Glad to know that Pa is up and about. I hope Pa enjoys his vacation.


Now Em the papers have no doubt imparted the news to you folks at home. It is too much for me to discribe the happenings especially now. As I said before Im O.K. and hope to get through all right.


Give my regards to all, for I can only seem to write only what is nessessary. Trusting this finds to all well



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



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

Taking Sacerie Farm, 7/21/1918

The Brigade advance continued on July 21 as the German Army fell  back across a broad front in a general retreat. The 103rd Infantry moved through Sacerie Wood and Sacerie Farm towards Trugny where it again encountered stiff German resistance in the area of Epieds…

Taking Hill #190, 7/20/1918

The 52nd Brigade resumed the attack on July 20 and reached its objective of Hill #190 on the Entrepilly Height, capturing many of the 200 prisoners taken during the 26th Division’s advance…

Regrouping Under Fire, 7/19/1918

On July 19, the 103rd regiment remained in position in Belleau Wood under heavy German artillery and machine gun fire…

On the Attack at Torcy, 7/18/1918

The Aisne-Marne  Offensive (also known as the Second Battle of the Marne) began on July 18, 1918 with a combined French and American attack on the German forces (7th Army) inside the St. Mihiel Salient. The 52nd Infantry Brigade attacked along the 26th Division’s line from Bouresches to the left of the Division sector. The 52nd Brigade’s initial objective was to take the Torcy-Belleau-Givry Railroad from Givry to Bouresches.

During the day of July 18, battalions of the 103rd Infantry took Torcy and the Bouresches railway station before encountering serious German resistance from Hill #193 and Bouresches Wood. During this action, Private First Class George Dilboy of H Co. posthumously earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism. That night, the 103rd was forced to fall back to Belleau Wood by heavy enemy artillery fire and infantry counter-attack…

Under Bombardment, 7/10-16/1918

From July 9-14, 10,350 high explosive shells fell on the 52nd Brigade sector killing 14 and wounding 84, with intense shelling directed on the 103rd HQ at La Voie du Chatel on July 10. In rain and fog at midnight on July 14, the entire 26th Division front was again heavily shelled with a combination of high explosive and gas, including 1500 rounds falling on the 103rd Infantry positions in the woods near La Voie du Chatel. Another day-long enemy bombardment occurred across the entire Divisional sector on July 15, drenching it with mustard gas. Overnight the 103rd Infantry had 300 mustard and 100 high explosive shells fall on the area of the Regimental P.C. (Command Post) between the hours of 2100-2230 hours on July 15 and 0115-0400 hours on July 16…

Somewhere in the Pas Fini Sector, 7/6/1918


Dear Em and the rest.


As usual I am at this writing, O.K. and although we are now in the thick of it, I am very confident that Ill be all right when things are settled. I try to send a letter from no matter where I happen to be, and at present Im writing this because I have the opportunity, and the inclination (for Im never minus this latter).


Ive answered the two letters you last sent and Im in hopes of getting some more mail soon. Of late Im always pleased, yes, and feel lucky beleive me, to be able to say Im as usual. Some time I hope to be able to relate to you some of the things Ive seen and experienced but at present they had better be left unsaid. Every thing is forgotten as soon as they happen and for this reason I think I would make a very bad story if I tried to explain what is and what has been going on.


I don’t know how you have been receiving my mail, but I hope the few I do write get to you in a reasonable length of time. I hope this mistle finds every one in the best of health and spirits. Rest assured that I will be unless that bunch on the other side of us here don’t spill the beans, and put into reality (for me) that song “I don’t want to get well.”


You say Em that by my letters you can tell how Im feeling and just what mood Im in. Well Em if you follow them very close latly you will see that Im in the mood to just let you know that they havent got me yet and that is all.


I am going to grab off a little chow now and am in hopes of getting a little pound tonight, and so Ill close as ever.



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



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

Happy Independence Day!