Caissons Go Rolling Along
A Memoir of America in Post-World War I Germany
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
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Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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Lee Hagood (1846–1890), Johnson Hagood’s father, was one of eleven chil-dren and a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. In 1863 Lee left school tojoin his older brother Capt. James R. Hagood, who was on his way to east-ern Tennessee with the First South Carolina Volunteer Infantry. Failing tolocate James, sixteen-year-old Lee was taken under the wing of Brig. Gen....
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Johnson Hagood was a prolific author and military commentator as well asan experienced publisher of books and articles. He intended to publish Cais-sons Go Rolling Along as a sequel to The Ser vices of Supply (Doubleday,1927) using material from the same wartime journal. Although Caissons wasunpublished when he died in 1948, a letter from his literary agency, George...
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The basis of this work is my diary, written in Germany, during the Americanoccupation of the Rhine. I had plenty of time on my hands and a good ste-nographer, so spent a little of this time each day in recording current eventsUpon my return to the United States I expanded the German notes intomore readable form. More recently I have checked up on obvious errors of...
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Being the Summary of a Previous Work—the ser vices of supply, a When the war broke out, I was a Lieutenant Colonel, Regular Army, on staffduty in Charleston. My immediate Chief was Brigadier General C. P. Towns-ley, commanding the South Atlantic Coast Artillery District. But my bigChief was Major General Leonard Wood, commanding the Department of...
Chapter 1: Back with the Old Brigade: Armistice Day—Mailly-le-Camp—Haussimont—General Chamberlaine—Naval Guns—In Front of the Front—Prisoners of War—Étain—Metz—Marshal Pétain&
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It had been finally decided that pending my promotion to major general andcommand of an infantry division, I should go up to the front and take over theold Railway Artillery Brigade with which I had come to France. This brigadehad been reorganized once or twice, split up to form new organizations, andHarbord was certain that the appointment as major general would come...
Chapter 2: The Army Artillery: Visit to G.H.Q.—Luxemburg—Hotel Staar—66th F.A. Brigade—Blercourt—Getting Back to Normalcy—Brigade Mess—Robert
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On November 22nd in accordance with telephonic instructions, I went overfrom Haussimont to G.H.Q., and was informed by General Leroy Eltinge,Deputy Chief of Staff, that General Pershing had given instructions that Ishould not return to the United States with the railway artillery being col-lected at Haussimont for that purpose, but should be given an active com-...
Chapter 3: On the Move: Out of Blercourt into Esch—Welcomed by the Luxemburgers— The Grand Duchesse—Cost of Living High—Mertert—Peasant Life in Luxemburg—First Glimpse of Germany&
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In accordance with orders from the 3d Army, the brigade started its marchto the Rhine, leaving Blercourt at 6o’clock Monday morning, December 2d.Our destination was the vicinity of Coblenz, over a route to be indicated fromtime to time from Army Headquarters.1 We started out through Verdun andÉtain and spent the first night at Piennes. Our column consisted of 48 guns,...
Chapter 4: Marching through Germany: Crossing the Frontier—Bitburg—The Count A. . . von A. . .n and His Wife—First Impressions Favorable—On to Hillesheim— America Crosses the Rhine—The Doctor’s Office&
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We crossed the Moselle and started upon our march through German terri-tory. I went on in advance and arrived at Bitburg about noon. This town hadpreviously been occupied as headquarters of the Third Army, so that we wereWurtz always laughed at me because he said the thing most interesting toAmericans about any European city was the number of people that lived...
Chapter 5: Bassenheim: The Château—The Knights’ Hall—Extensive Gardens—Abundant Food—Well Trained Servants—Letter to the Burgomaster—General Hines at Neuwied—Christmas Eve among the Robber Barons—
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This château, like many others in Europe, was enclosed in a stone wall, alarge park surrounding. The main entrance was on the town square, and thegrounds extended into the country. The enclosure contained about thirtyacres, with a lake, a small stream, fine old trees, roads, and grassy lawns. Theoriginal castle, dating back to the Middle Ages, had fallen down, and about...
Chapter 6: Höhr-Grenzhausen: Journey’s End—Fish—Army Artillery Commander—Our Area— Command—Pottery—Billets—Brigade Commander’s Quarters— Servants—Office Space—German Prisoners
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Well, we are on the move once more—this time to Höhr-Grenzhausen, andthe smaller towns of Nauort, Wirscheid, Alsbach, Kaan,1 and Stromberg. Icrossed the bridge at Coblenz and made a reconnaissance first with Wurtz andafterwards with Colonel Jonathan M. Wainwright of G-3, 3rd Army.2 Thewhole country was covered with snow, and I reported that it would be diffi-...
Chapter 7: Gott Strafe England—Und America Introductory—First Impressions—von Steuben—Ambassador Gerard—Hate—The Lusitania—Post War Attitude—Greeted with Flags—Servility—What are We Fighting For?
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It is not unusual for an American to form opinions of a foreign people aftera short visit to their country, and to make himself ridiculous by paradingthese opinions in public print. No one cares what I think about the Germansor what the Germans think about me. As a matter of fact, they do not knowof my existence. But a hundred million Americans had made war on Ger-...
Chapter 8: Squareheads: Our Attitude towards the Germans—Atrocities—Children— Schools—No Poverty—Motor Trucks—Precedence—First Division
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The strange attitude of the Germans toward our soldiers got us all confused.It was so different from what we expected that we did not know how to meetit. The average American soldier is honest, straightforward, and frank. He isaccustomed to saying what he really thinks, about whatever comes to hismind. He does not understand synthetic conversation, made to order by...
Chapter 9: Welfare Workers: Soldiers Want to See Some Skirts—Letter to Carter—Miss Waller and Mrs. Stevens—Y.M.C.A. Building—Shows—Y.M.C.A. Entertainers—Saving the Boxing Game—Chaplains as Managers— Selling
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One of the great needs we had in our area just now was “skirts.” The sol-diers were fed up on themselves, and they wanted to see some of these goodlooking welfare workers that they had heard about but had never seen. Inthe same way that the 66th Brigade had been short on clothes and rations,it had been short on welfare workers. In fact, some of the men said they had...
Chapter 10: The School at Trèves: Vocational Work—Dardanelles—Working on Hunches—Augustus Treverorum—Porta Nigra—The School—Politics Back Home
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For the first two weeks of February, 1919, there are some blank spaces in mydiary. I think the reason is that times were very dull in Höhr-Grenzhausen,and after recording my reactions on the Germans and the Y.M.C.A., I taperedoff a little and ne glected to write down some very important happenings. Atany rate, just at this time several things were put up to me in rapid succession,...
Chapter 11: Belgium: Brussels—“Ouf! Ils Sont Partis!”—Louvain Victim of Frightfulness— Liège—Ludendorff’s Own Story&
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As Washington advised us to keep out of foreign entanglements, it wouldseem that February 22nd was an appropriate day upon which to start an ex -pedition to see just how much we had entangled ourselves by trying to res-cue the Fairy Princess from the Dragon’s Cave—in other words, to save theBelgians from the Boche.1 I have already indicated that I had no prewar...
Chapter 12: Over the Battle Fields: Military Barriers—France and Germany—Area of the Somme, Marne and Meuse-Argonne—Order of Battle
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The most important feature of our course of instruction in the school at Trèveswas the opportunity of going over the actual battle fields, in company withthe actual commanders of American, British, and French units, that had playedimportant rôles in these battles. Such an opportunity could come but once ina life time, because the units of all armies were being rapidly dispersed,1 and...
Chapter 13: With the British: Vimy Ridge—General Morrison—Importance—Albert—Third Battle of the Somme—46th British Division—St. Quentin Canal— Bellenglise Tunnel—General Boyd—The Australians—Thie
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At 7:30 a.m. Saint Patrick’s Day 1919, we left our hotel at Amiens for a sidetrip with the British. We are to see three battle fields in the Somme area, thescenes of some of the fiercest fighting on the British front. Colonel Mitchellof the British ser vice and General Frank Parker rode in my car. We were fur-nished with wonderful British maps and a short typewritten account of the...
Chapter 14 Who Broke the Hindenburg Line?: The Thirtieth Division—Abbéville Agreement—Plan of Operation— How It Came Out—Citations
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We know that the Hindenburg Line, the last stand of the Germans, was bro-ken by a concerted Allied drive along the entire front. Some one organi zation,however, had to be the first to get through, and there has been some littlerivalry as to just which organization that first one was. Among the contendersfor this honor was the Thirtieth American Division, and it was be cause of...
Chapter 15: With the Americans Sedan—Stenay—Grand Pré—Amiens—Cantigny&
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We shall now take the reader back to Trèves, from which point we started outat the end of Chapter XII for our two week’s [sic] trip over the battle fields.The class, under the guidance of Colonel Locke, Colonel Horowitz, ColonelPeyton, and Colonel Sparks left Trèves at 8:30 a.m. We passed through Lux-emburg and arrived at Sedan in time for a very excellent lunch at a French...
Chapter 16 With the Americans (Cont’d.): Château Thierry—General Situation—Holding the Bridge—The Second Division—Who Signed the Chit?—Big Bertha—The Third Division—What Makes ’em Fight?
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Leaving Cantigny, we went considerably to the south, hoping to find betterroads, and did not arrive at Château Thierry until about 6:30in the evening.We stopped at the Hôtel de la Gare. I was surprised to see the town not moreshot up. The hotel had been struck several times. One shell blew out the backof the house [hotel] including the stairway, but temporary repairs had been...
Chapter 17: With the French Soissons—First Visit to the Front—Chemin des Dames—Soissons’ Last Fight—Laon and Rheims—Verdun—The Human Soup Bowl— Guests of the French Government—The Big Battle—Au R
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We have already seen that the Marne area extended from the Somme areaon the west to the Meuse-Argonne on the east, that it consisted of the Cham-pagne, or open country, and the Marne Plateau; [and] that the latter wascrossed by many difficult barriers in the way of rivers, ridges, and deep ravines,whose general trend was east and west—directly across the line of march from...
Chapter 18: Homeward Bound: Heavy Snow—Hôtel Porta Nigra—Waffles and Syrup—Back in Beastly Germany—Chamberlaine’s Story—Shake-ups in the Brigade—Big News—Trip to Italy—Demonstration against Wilson
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We left Verdun in a heavy snow and, passing through Étain and Luxem-burg, arrived at the Porta Nigra Hôtel at Trèves. Parker, who was in the carwith me, went on to Coblenz by train. My limousine had broken down,and I had had to leave it at Verdun to be repaired and was traveling in anopen Cadillac, which under the circumstances was not particularly comfort-...
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About the Editor
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Larry A. Grant is a retired U.S. Navy surface war fare officer who specialized in seamanship, training, and management. Now a his torical re searcher and freelance writer, Grant lives in Charles - ton, South Carolina.
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2012