"On October 3 we were relieved by the machine gunners of the 32nd Division, and moved back after dark to a position on the northwest edge of the Bois de Very. We were looking forward to a period of rest and of recuperation from the dysentery which had become very prevalent in the ranks, but we were instead detached from the 91st Division and placed under the control of the First Amy Corps. With some disgust, because of our weekend condition, we saw the other brigade of our division go back to a rest area, while we went forward again on the night of October 7, to the front line in the sector to the west of that formerly occupied." (Calkins)
Uncle Joshua did not move on with the rest of the Battalion. As recorded in the battalion records:
"Private Bates was just going into a dugout to report having called in a part of a company D platoon that he had been ordered to bring, preparatory to its going back [the relief order]. Suddenly a pair of bracket shells came. Private Bates was struck by a fragment high up in the chest and died practically instantly. All he said was, "Oh". This happened in the southeast corner of the Bois de Baloney.... Private Bates was buried where he fell.... 'Private Bates was an exceptionally conscientious and cheerful soldier, --a high class man,' said Captain Thomas. He was the last man killed before the 346th machine gun battalion was relieved for the first time." (Dyment, p. 17)
His death was early on the 4 October 1918, two days ago. The AEF recognized 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded in the Meuse-Argonne.
World War I Centennial Videos:
This series available on YouTube is well worth watching. There are to be seven videos created by the United States Army Center of Military History for the Centennial. The main title is "The Great War." Not all were published on YouTube when I wrote this posting.
Into the Fight
Building an Army
Peace Without Victory
They are concise military perspective videos that are quite frank, especially about the foibles surrounding the reasons for the war (assassination of a leader in a country of lesser power) and the sloppy settlement which ushered in usurpers like Adolph Hitler. Even Peter Jackson, in The Lord of the Rings documentaries, mentioned the futility of The Great War. We already know that Tolkien based much of his great novel on his experience in Somme and the mechanization of society and the weapons of war. Only the "wild" antics of the Americans jarred the stalemate of mutual destruction.
World War I Songs (from Ardee Music on YouTube) this is a playlist with many songs of the era. I was surprised at how many I knew. What is your favorite?