Clayton M. Sherwood:
Diary of Foreign Service, August 1917 to February 1919

[Battery L, 6th Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps]


Monday, August 13, 1917.
Left Newport [RI] for New York. Went through Providence [RI], New London [CT], New Haven [CT].

Aug. 14. [Tuesday]
I arrived in New York on train 2:20 A.M. Squad helped load baggage on lighter. Went down East River to Cunard docks (Hoboken [NJ]) and boarded English ship Andania. Left New York 4:00 P.M.

[Passenger accommodation aboard the Andania was 520 in 2nd class, 1,540 in 3rd class. Many of the movements of Clayton’s unit appear to be identical with the movements of the 57th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 31st Brigade, Coast Artillery Corps. Following is an entry from “The History of the 57th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 31st Brigade, Coast Artillery Corps During World War One”: “We left the train at 7:45 A.M. and took the ferry across to Pier 54, Hoboken, New Jersey, where we embarked on the Cunard Liner, Andania, at 10:25 A.M. At 3 P.M. we were all ready and steamed out of the bay flying the British flag, with everybody below deck, No cheers, not even a smile to send us on our way to an unknown land, to fight for and protect that which we all love best, ‘Liberty.’”]

At right: Fort Andrews is on Peddock’s Island in Boston Harbor. After training, Clayton left here July 21, 1917, for Fort Adams.

Aug. 15 [Wednesday]
Nothing eventful. Saw school of porpoises and what some said was a whale. Put on permanent police detail so walk no guard or do K. Police.

Aug. 16 [Thursday]
[Date skipped, with next entry written here.]

[Aug. 17, Friday.]
Arrived in Halifax about 8:00 P.M. Friday. Drills with life boats and belts.

Aug. 18 [Saturday]
Did same as Friday

Aug. 19 [Sunday]
Company on guard.

Aug. 20 [Monday]
Drilled and slept on deck last night.

At right: An early depiction of Fort Adams in Newport Harbor of Rhode Island, where Clayton arrived in July 1917 before going on to Hoboken, N.J., for transport to France.

Aug. 21 [Tuesday]
Drilled. Fine harbor here. Land about reminding of Longfellow’s description of Arcadia in [long poem “]Evangeline.[”] Left Halifax seven ships in all about 6:30. Received mail. Letters from [brother] Elmer, [sister] Edna, Bertine.

Aug. 22. [Wednesday]
Company took bath, salt water. Slept on deck last night. Rained at night and very foggy.

Aug. 23. [Thursday]
Rocky all day and quite a number seasick, though I’m not yet. Slept on second deck last night.

Aug. 24, Friday.
One fellow dislocated his jaw from eating ship’s biscuits. Get pretty poor grub and most of us eat but little. Slept on deck again last night.

At right: A parade of troops at Fort Adams in Newport Harbor of Rhode Island, where Clayton arrived in July 1917 before going on to Hoboken, N.J., to be transported to France.

Aug. 25. [Saturday]
Slept on deck last night with Frenchy [Clement Arsenält] and [Herbert] Eastman. Pass time playing cards.

Aug. 26. [Sunday]
Sunday church on deck. Andania bulletin issued telling of Italian and Allied gains. Tobacco issued. Gave mine to Frenchy. Rough sea, are now in Devil’s Pond. Water splashing on decks from big waves [note ship’s size in photograph next page].

Aug. 27. [Monday]
Sea calm today and are in very dangerous zone, no lights on any ships. I expect convoy tomorrow.

Aug. 28. [Tuesday]
Slept on deck last night though pretty cold. Life belts to be worn fastened at all times except in bed. No convoy yet but soon expected.

Aug. 29. [Wednesday]
Some warmer. Bought candy and played cards with Bernie [Barnacastle], Frenchy [Arsenält] and [Herbert] Eastman. Met convoy of 8 [anti-submarine] destroyers.

Aug. 30. [Thursday]
No land yet but expected tomorrow.

Aug. 31. [Friday]
Coast of Ireland sighted. Report of submarine sighted and tramp ships sunk. Put in Bantry Bay, Ireland [on the southwest coast]. Rainy and cold. Mustered and company went on guard. Was supernumerary and had it soft. Slept on deck all night. Cabled home and wrote letter home and Bertine.

At right: The Andania at sea. In 1917, Clayton was transported to Ireland and then to England on this Cunard ship, which shuttled from New York to Liverpool.

Original text © 2002-2004 by, Willowshade, West Grove, PA


Foreword and Summary

THIS PAGE: AUGUST 1917 | September 1917 | October 1917
November 1917 | December 1917

January 1918 | February 1918 | March 1918 | April 1918
May 1918 | June 1918 | July 1918 | August 1918
September 1918 | October 1918 | November 1918 | December 1918

January 1919 | February 1919

Battle analysis | Definitions | Names | Family

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