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


[March 1918]

March 1. [Friday]
Bad afternoon. Muddy and snowing hard, big flakes. Glad to get off guard. Wrote to Stanley
and Rheo [Hainstock, listed among addresses as a serviceman].
[Inserted at top of page:] Much snow and mud for a few days.

March 2. [Saturday]
Supposed to have athletics. Some of us marched up road, got beer, telling capt[ain] we were ailing.

March 3. Sunday
Wrote letters and went on prison guard. Considerable mail. Box of chocolate from B.W. [Bernice White]

March 4. [Monday]
Co[mpany] on fatigue. Came off guard.

[March] 5. [Tuesday]
Drilled and had instructions inside.

[March] 6. [Wednesday]
Cleaned barracks, no inspection.

[March] 7. [Thursday]
On fatigue at commiss[ary]. At night went to newly opened Foyer Cooperative south of French cantine. Big and well fixed. Pershing in camp. Things cleaned up. [Gen. John J. Pershing was commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.]

[March] 8. [Friday]
Drilled. In kitchen. Co[mpany] on guard.

[March] 9. [Saturday]
Kitchen. Both fine days.

[March] 10. Sunday
To church with Barny [Barnacastle] and walked. Wrote home and Bernice [White].

[March] 11. [Monday]
On fatigue at Y.M.[C.A.] making floor. Fine weather.

[March] 12. [Tuesday]
At guns. Exhibition drill by our section for French general and about 50 officers. [Later inserted:] Elsie Janis at cinema, danced and sang. [Elsie Janis was a popular vaudeville entertainer who staged shows for U.S. troops in Europe. A member of Janis’ troupe in France, comic magician Donald “Monk” Watson, later of Colon, Michigan, wrote in his book “The Professional Touch” that he toured with the Janis show while in France, and continued to work with the Janis company after the war. Watson was a frequent pharmacy customer of Clayton’s son, Clayton C. Sherwood, in Tekonsha, Michigan, as well as a professional acquaintance of the latter’s son, John C. Sherwood.]

[March] 13. [Wednesday]
Inspection. Ball game in P.M.

[March] 14. [Thursday]
Drilled on guns.

[March] 15. [Friday]
On fatigue.

[March] 16. [Saturday]
Ballgame with ambulance drivers working with French. Beaten 14-3. Met fellow [inserted: “L. Hunter”] from U[niversity] of M[ichigan]. Went on guard.

[March] 17. [Sunday]
Off guard. Bath and went to church with Thomas [whose ear was bitten in the fight Dec. 9, 1917].

[March] 18. [Monday]
Fatigue. D Batt[ery] coming in with trucks.

[March] 19. [Tuesday]

[March] 20. [Wednesday]
Afternoon off. rainy.

[March] 21. [Thursday]
Drilled, cleared off after dinner.

[March] 22. [Friday]
On fatigue at Y.[M.C.A.] in A.M., mules P.M. Mail at noon from home, Bert[ine] and Lill. Paid today, 54 F[rancs] 70 c[entimes]. Ladies’ hut opened in eve[ning]. Fine place, new chairs and table. Free tonight for eats.

[March] 23. [Saturday]
Smashed two toes of right foot as no. 1 am [?] marked quarters. Toenails broken. Fine day.

[March] 24. Sunday
Fine day. Foot dressed, feels pretty good. Several drunk. Am keeping money for Thomas. [News]Papers tonight tell of German gun bombarding Paris from 75 miles away. Also heavy attack by over 600,000 on British front of nearly 50 miles. Motorcyclist O. Davis telling of bombing of Chalons[-sur-Marne] creating terrible havoc. [Inserted at top of page:] Considerable excitement.

March 25. [Monday]
Cleaned barracks in A.M. Bomka and Gob [?] helped me carry stuff in and out. Inspection in P.M. Papers tell more of drive and gun shooting to Paris. Germans advanced some, with big loss.

March 26. [Tuesday]
Company on guard. Thomasson playing accordion. Went to Y.[M.C.A.] in P.M., got algebra and gov[ernment] book. Also candy and eats. 1st Batt[alion] leaving, also K & I, taking our field kitchen. Bomka and Thomas drunk, out now in heavy marching order. Brought me bottle of vin [wine].

[March] 26-31. [Tuesday through Sunday]
[This is the first time such an extended number of days is covered with one entry.]
Nothing much. K and I [batteries] left for Sommesous [north of Paris] where they are placed in howitzer reg[iment]. Bunch of our men left also for machine gun drill there, Barnacastle among them. Mustered and signed payroll.

Original text © 2002-2003 by, Willowshade, West Grove, PA


Foreword and Summary

August 1917 | September 1917 | October 1917
November 1917 | December 1917

January 1918 | February 1918 | THIS PAGE: 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

WWI and the CAC in general
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Camp Bordon, England
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Other personal recollections
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John C. Sherwood's Bibliography

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