After the Amistice
On the 9th, the regiment moved back to Armoises and the
next day to Sommanthe, and then on to Verpel on the 11th. It was
here at 4:00 that the troops heard of the Armistice.
This started a long period of movement toward the Rhine with
conditions being much better as most lodging was in German
barracks. Finnaly on the 15th after 21 days of marching and
covering more than 240 miles, the Rhine was reached. Here the men
were quarted in hotels, private residences, and chateeaus. Beds
with sheets were the order of the day. The war was over.
Undated post card with picture of bridge:
This is a picture of one of the bridges we crossed just before we reached the Rhine. There are some of the prettiest places through here & lots of fine summer homes and hotels along the river. We are going to move into a hotel that will hold a whole battalion. A bed for every man, every 3rd room a bathroom with steam heat and running water. The road we came over has a tunnel every little way too. A.D.Boyd
|Postcard front the above message was writtn on.
It is the
RR bridge Altenahr which was rebuilt after WW2. (Thanks to Egbert for the ID)
A.E.F. Germany, Dec 17, 1918
Received your letter of Nov 14th yesterday and will try to answer it. I haven't got the box yet but expect it any time now. We have been in Germany since the 3rd of Dec and reached the Rhine the 15th. I am on detail with the
supply company now as they were short of men. I don't know how long it will last but it suits me allright. It seems natural to be working around mules again and you don't have to walk either or carry a pack. We were stationed right on the bank of the Rhine but yesterday we moved back about 2 kilometers. It is not such a big stream here The town's name on the Rhine is Oberwinter. It is quite a good sized town for this country. This country is awful hilly through here. The hills are terraced and farmed to the very tops. every in of space is used. Planted mostly in grape vines. The towns and people in Germany are mutch (sic) cleaner and better taken care of then they are in France. The people treat us better too. they want to be awful good to us. They are just as glad the war is finished as we are. They surely had a tough time under the Kaiser's rule. They had to buy their own stuff from the Government and pay out everthing they make for taxes. One man told us they paid 8 marks a pound for their own butter that they made. A mark used to be worth about a quarter but German money has dropped a great deal in value now. Well I guess this is about all for this time.
Co. D. 166 Inf. American E.F. A.P.O 715
This photo was found in Grandpa's effects. There are no markings on it, but after doing some research on a WW1 forum I think we've pretty conclusively determined that the building is the summer hotel that Grandpa refers to in his letters. It is Schloss
. The Web page referenced here states that
the photo for much higher resolution version.
This is presumably Co. D, 166th Inf, 42 Div at Unkelbach,
Germany in January, 1919 at Schloss Enich - the " big
summer hotel on the bank of the Rhine river," that Grandpa
wrote about in his letter. Officers in the center are Lts, Todd, Crotinger & Maxwell from left to right.
I've not been able to identify him in the photo, perhaps because
he was now assigned to the supply co.
Unkelbach, Germany, December 22, 1918
Got another old letter from you today and will write a few lines tonight and enclose a Reveille too. I am still with the supply co. and like it fine. You have just so mutch (sic) work to do then you are done and can do what you like or go anywhere in the regiment. I got a letter from Ed the other day but haven't heard from Cary or Molly for a coon's age. It is trying to snow tonight but isn't doing mutch of a job. It has been nice and warm here so far. Last year this time it was colder than the devil and we were 3 or 4 hundred kilometers farther south than we are now. I'd like to have some of that cornbread and chicken. They are both scarce here. A chicken cost about $2.00
American money and you can very seldom get one at that. You can get a pretty fair meal here for 3 marks. A mark is worth about 12 or 13 cents now so that ain't so bad. It is against the military law to buy bread or fats of any kind from the German people. The bread they have isn't fit to eat anyway. It's as black as your hat and as hard as iron but you can cut it if you are hungry enough. There are some mighty good looking women here in Germany. They've got the French and Belgians beat a block. They are lots cleaner too. We are only a short ways from Remegan where you can buy a pie and cake. I haven't eat a piece of pie since last Xmas. We didn't get any turkey Thanksgiving. Don't know whether we will Xmas or not. The Xmas boxes are beginning to come in but mine hasn't arrived yet. They say now that we will leave here for the coast the 10th of Jan. and go home with the President. I hope so, I don't know. I might reenlist after while. It would be an easy life in peace times. Everytime you reenlist you get $3.00 more a month so the wages aren't so bad either. I believe I'd like to see some more of this old world. There is no fun staying in one place but I don't know, I'll see how things are when I get home. Well, I guess I will close for this time, wishing you a Merry Xmas and a happy new year. I remain your son,
Co. D 166 Inf American E.F. A.P.O. 715
Unkelbach, Germany, Dec. 26, 1918
Got the box yesterday. It came just right to be an Xmas present. Everything was just what I wanted too. The chocolate sure tasted good. I got letters from the rest of them too but they were old ones that had been written in October. I don't think we will be here mutch (sic) longer. The officers all say this division is going home right away but you can't most always sometimes tell you know. It snowed Christmas Eve here so we had a white Xmas too but it not (sic) very cold this morning. Well, I guess this is all for this time.
Co. D. 166 Inf. American E. F. A.P.O. 715
Jan. 17, 1919, Rolensick, Germany
Will write you a few lines tonight to let you know that I am well and hope that you are the same. We are living in a big summer hotel on the bank of the Rhine river. It is certainly been a swell place but it is not os nice now but it beats a hay mow or a shell hole all hollow. We are eating pretty good and as I am with the Supply Co. yet I have it pretty easy. I don't have to answer any calls, drill any, or do any guard or detail work. All I do is take care of 2 mules and make a trip after rations or forage once or twice a week and I can make the trip in an hour easy. I don't think that I will have to go back to the company as long as we have any mules. I heard from both of the girls since I wrote last and I wrote them too but I'm not mutch good at writing as you know. I got my box on Xmas day as you know if you got my other letters. Well there isn't mutch (sic) to write about here. It is the same old thing every day. I don't have any idea when we will leave here. Everybody is anxious to know when we are going home and if i knew I could make a lot of money. The boys are getting passes to go to Coblenoy and other cities but I can't afford it. I don't draw enough money and things are mighty expensive here but not as high as in France, Belgium or Luxemburg. Luxemburg was the worst. You couldn't turn around with out it costing you a Franc or two. Hoping you are well and not worrying. I remain,
Co. D. 166 Inf. American E.F. A.P.O. 715
Rolanseck, Jan. 24, 1919
Got your letter of Dec. 24th today and will try to answer it. Things are going along in the same old way out here. There is not much doing here. There are some old satles around here that I'm going to vivist if I ever get a chance. I don't have mutch (sic) to do only we have to be here about all the time. Everybody thinks we are going to start home pretty soon and that will take all the mules and wagons with us and parade in the States with our wagon train rolling kitchens and all. I hope so for maybe I will get to stay with the Supply Co. till we are mustered out. Its a whole lot better than drilling you bet. I don't beleive that we will be here mutch (sic) longer myself but you can never tell. I'd just as leave stay here till warm weather myself although its not cold now, not like it is there. I haven't been across the river yet but lots of the fellows have and some of them got put in the guard house. I've never been in yet and don't intend to get in now. I want a clean discharge when I do get it. I haven't heard from the rest of them for quite a while. I got the box all O.K. as you know by this time. Hoping this finds you well. I remain,
Co. D. 166 Inf. American E.F. A.P.O. 715
(Following is a post card furnished by the A.E.F.)
Feb. 6, 1919
I am now stationed at Rolanseck, Ger. with Co.D. 166 Inf. and am alright, only a touch of rheumatism.
Rolenseck, Germany, Feb 14, 1919
Will try to write you a few lines tonight because I don't think that I will write many more letters from this side of the water. I know we are going to move soon and I hope it's homeward bound. I am still with the Supply Co. and we have all our wagons painted and the harness and mules shined up to beat the band all ready for the final inspection which comes off Sunday. I haven't heard from over there for a long time. I guess everybody has broke their arms. There is nothing mutch (sic) doing here only we've been busy the last week cleaning up everything. There has been ice cakes going down the river for the last few days so I guess the winter is about over. It has been pretty chilly the last couple of weeks. They say the states are going dry. If they do I'm coming back over here or go to South America. Its pretty good when they get all the voters over here, all but the old men and slackers and then vote it dry. There will sure be some hell around there when they all get back. Its about as rotten as the rest of the doings. Wait till some the combat divisions get home. They'll tell the people who won the war. All the men going home now are causals or men who have never been to the front. I suppose you have heard about Chester Danner and all the stuff he's been spilling around Marion. Well don't beleive it because he is nothing more than a big coward who run for the rear before the battle of the Ourqc really started. He claims he was gassed and all the gas he ever smelt was under the covers when he was in bed. That's what makes me so sore. The men that do the business don't get the credit for it. Well hoping this finds you in the best of health. I remain,
Co. D. 166 Inf. Amer. E.F.
Mar. 3, 1919, Rolenseck, Ger.
Will drop you a few lines this morning. It is raining a little so we didin't have to exercise our mules this morning. There is nothing doing here. The 42nd division is booked to sail for home the last week in April so we won't be here very much longer. I took a trip across the Rhine about a week ago and had a fine time. We were about 15 kilometers over into Germany and there has been very few Americans that far over. The people sure treated us fine. Idon't know what I will do when I do get home. I don't think that there will be any good jobs open by that time. I'll never do as hard a work as I have done. I think the army will be a pretty good place for a few years and way but I don't know which way the cat will jump yet till I get back and look things over. This is the finest part of Germany we are in now. Great summer resorts and chateaus. I would like to have seen it befroe the war. We are getting all we can eat now and a good many clothes too. I got a letter from Cary and Mollie too the other day. haven't heard from Edna for a long time. Well this is about all for this time I guess. Hoping this finds you in good health and spirits. I remain,
Co D. 166 Inf. A.P.O. 715
Rolenseck, Ger., April 1, 1919
Will drop you a few lines to let you know that we leave here the 7th of April for a French port to sail so will probably be in the states by my birthday. I hope so anyway. There is nothing doing here only getting ready to leave. Are you getting that money regularly? I will need some when we hit the states. I haven't got any mail for a long time. Did you get the pictures I sent you yet? Well I guess this is about all for this time. his is my last letter from here I guess. Was in the hospital 13 days with barber's itch but am all right now. Passed our final physical examination yesterday. Will probably be at home by the last of May. Well good bye for this time.
Co. D. 166 Inf.
enters New York harbor, April 25th, 1919
On April 7, the first Battalion boarded troop trains and
after 3 days and nights, they arrived at Brest. A week of delousing
cleaning up, and issuing of new equipment (that's the army for
you), made them ready to board the Levithan on
April 15th and head back home.
He was discharged from the army in 1919 at Fort Sherman near
Company D lost 16 men killed in action, or died of wounds, and 112
were wounded in action. Four members won the distinguished service
Cros, and four, the French Croix de Guerre.