Transcribed from photo copied records of the original typed records Apr. 16, 1920 Obtained from the National Archives Records Administration, Washington D.C. Record Group 165 War Dept. General and Special Staff. History of the 56th CAC Regt. Box 330, 4W2/26/10/D Transcribed by Joe Hartwell 18 November, 1998
In compliance with instructions contained in CONFIDENTIAL communication (322.05) dated War Department Adjutant Generals Office, Washington, November 20, 1917, the 56th Artillery (C.A.C) Regiment was organized by the Coast Defense Commander, Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound.
All transfers of enlisted personnel from the Coast Defenses to the Regiment being made effective December 20, 1917. The several organizations of the Regiment were made up of the following classes of troops on duty in the Defenses:
1) Headquarters Company, Battery A and Battery C form enlisted personnel of the Regular Coast Artillery.
2) Supply Company, Battery B, Battery D, Battery E and Battery F from enlisted personnel of the Connecticut National Guard Coast Artillery.
3) Medical Detachment from personnel of the Regular Army and from the National Guard.
4) The Band was originally the 11th Artillery Band but prior to the departure of the Regiment for France a number of the bandsmen were transferred back to the defenses and an equal number of men from the Connecticut Coast Artillery Band was transferred to the 56th Regiment Band.
During the period that the Regiment was in training in the Coast Defenses, from the time the organization was completed to the time that orders were received to proceed overseas, a great many transfers of commissioned and enlisted personnel were made. The principal transfer being that of relieving fifty National Guardsmen from each of the Batteries composed of National Guard Troops and assigning in their stead fifty National Army Troops for each of those Batteries.
In General the several organizations were made up as follows:
Headquarters Company: Personnel from 14th Company, Long Island Sound, formerly the 4th Co. Fort Terry, New York, formerly the 100th Co. C.A.C. Also certain non-commissioned staff officers and enlisted specialists from the Coast Defenses. Also bandsmen from the 11th Artillery Band and the Conn. Coast Artillery Band.
Supply Company: Composed principally of men from the 26th Co., Long Island Sound, formerly members of the Conn. Coast Artillery and men of the National Army who mostly came from Connecticut.
Medical Detachment: Composed of men from the Regular Army and the Connecticut Coast Artillery.
Ordnance Detachment: Composed of men on duty in the Coast Defenses and assigned to duty with the Regiment by Headquarters Eastern Department (Special Order No. 40, 1918)
Battery A: Composed principally of men from the 13th and 16th Co's, Long Island Sound. The 13th Co. was originally the 133rd Co. C.A.C.
Battery B: Composed principally of men from the 37th Co. Long Island Sound, formerly members of the Conn. Coast Artillery and members of the National Army most of whom came from Connecticut.
Battery C: Composed principally of men from 3rd Co. Long Island Sound, formerly 5th Co. Fort H. G. Wright, N.Y. formerly the 146th Co. C.A.C.
Battery D: Composed principally of men from 38th Co. Long Island Sound, formerly members of the Conn. Coast Artillery and members of the National Army most of whom came from Conn.
Battery E: Composed principally of men from 29th Co. Long Island Sound, formerly members of the Conn. Coast Artillery and members of the national Army most of whom came from Conn.
Battery F: Composed principally of men from 27th Co. Long Island Sound formerly members of the Conn. Coast Artillery and National Army men most of whom came from Conn.
After the organization of the Regiment was completed, December 20, 1917, the Regiment remained in the Coast Defenses of Long Island Sound until March 26, 1918. During this period training of commissioned and enlisted personnel was carried on to the fullest extent to fit the Regiment for overseas duty. Schools of instruction for Officers and men were established at Forts Terry and Wright by competent instructors. Enlisted men were sent to Automobile schools to take special courses.
Every man was fully equipped and requisitions for the Regimental equipment were forwarded and the material was received to be taken overseas when orders to leave arrived.
Orders were received by the Regimental Commander to move the Regiment on March 26, 1918. On the afternoon of March 26, 1918 the entire Regiment consisting of 62 officers and 1679 enlisted men left Fort H.G. Wright, New York for overseas. The Regiment traveled by boat to New London, Conn. and from there by New York,New Haven & Hartford Railroad to Harlem River Yards, at this place the Regiment detrained and was transported by ferry to Pier 59 North River and boarded the Admiralty Transport No. 527, RMS Olympic. http://members.aol.com/WakkoW5/olympic.html
RMS Olympic dressed out in her Dazzle paint. This was supposed to camoflage the ship and keep the U-boats from getting a good fix on there target. It was said that it really didn't do much good anyway.
On March 28th the 56th Regiment (62 Officers and 1679 Enlisted men) and the 59th Regiment (69 Officers and 1712 Enlisted men) together sailed on the White Star liner "Olympic," without convoy. Colonel Sydney Grant, C.A.N.G., was in command of the 59th Regiment. The "Olympic" was headed for Liverpool, but wireless orders en route changed the course to Brest. Alternate concerts by the bands of the 56th and 59th helped relieve the tension that came from daily wearing of life preservers and that even the arrival of the convoying destroyers, in the danger zone, could not remove.
The Transport sailed from Port of Embarkation for France at 10 o'clock in the morning March 28, 1918. During the time the Regiment was aboard the Transport abandon ship drills were held frequently but nothing of importance occurred during the trip.
On April 3rd while the Transport was in mid-ocean, Private Leonard S. Davis a member of the Medical Detachment passed away from the effects of Pneumonia. Private Davis was buried at sea at 12 o'clock noon with full military honors.
The Transport arrived at Port of Embarkation, Brest , France at 8 o'clock P.M. April 4th, 1918. The Regiment started debarking on the morning of April 5th and marched to Pontaczen Barracks a distance of about 2 1/2 miles from the point of landing.
The Regiment was quartered in Barracks until April 7th when orders were received to move. The Field and Staff, Batteries D, E, F, and Supply Co. and one half (15 men) of Sanitary Detachment left Pontanczen Barracks 8 o'clock A.M. April 7th and marched to the Railroad yards at Brest and entrained for Clermont-Ferrand. The balance of the regiment left Pontanczen Barracks at 5:30 P.M. April 8th and marched to Brest and entrained for Clermont-Ferrand.
The Field and Staff, Batteries D, E, F, Supply Co. and Sanitary Detachment arrived Clermont-Ferrand at 7 o'clock A.M. April 9th, detrained and marched to Gribeauval Barracks (French) and were assigned quarters. The balance of the Regiment arrived Clermont-Ferrand at 7:30 P.M. April 11th and proceeded to Gribeauval Barracks and were assigned quarters.
On April 12th, 20 Officers were detached and sent to Tractor School at Vincennes, France. On the same date 40 enlisted men were detached and sent to Tremblay for course of instruction.
On April 13th, 31 commissioned officers were attached to the Regiment for duty. most of the officers were junior Lieutenants and were recent graduates of various schools in England and France.
On April 14th, 31 officers were detached from the Regiment and directed to proceed to Mailly-le-Camp to attend the Army Heavy Artillery School established at that place. On April 14th the First Battalion moved from Clermont-Ferrand to Le Cendres and went into billets at that place.
On April 19th, 20 additional officers were assigned to the regiment for duty.
On April 21st, 42 enlisted men of the Regiment transferred to the 57th Field Artillery Brigade and 43 enlisted men were transferred from the 57th Field Artillery Brigade to the Regiment.
On April 30th, 8 officers of the Regiment returned from the Army Heavy Artillery School at Mailly-le-Camp.
On April 29th, the Second Battalion moved from Clermont-Ferrand to Lempdes and went into billets at that place.
On May 4th the Regimental Headquarters, Supply Co. and Third Battalion moved from Clermont-Ferrand to Cournon and went into billets at that place.
On May 9th, 79 enlisted men were detached and sent to Boulogne-sur-Seine for instruction.
On May 10th, 45 replacement troops joined the Regiment for duty.
On May 17th, 34 enlisted men were sent to O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand to take a course of instruction.
On May 20th, 20 Officers reported from Tractor Artillery School, Vincennes. On this same date 108 men were sent to O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand to take a course of instruction.
On May 22nd, one Officer and two non-commissioned officers from the 146th Field Artillery Reg. were assigned as instructors at each of the billets occupied by this Regiment. On this same date 114 men were sent to O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand for instruction. Also 15 Officers sent to take a special course.
On May 23rd, 4 Officers were detached and sent to take a course for Aerial Observers.
On May 25th, 70 enlisted men were sent to O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand for Special Duty at the School.
On May 30th the Regiment participated in a Brigade Field Meet at Aulnat, France.
On June 11th, 72 enlisted men were returned to the regiment from the Tractor School at Boulogne-sur-Seine.
On June 13th Private John Schraeder a member of Battery A died of fever at Base Hospital No. 30, Royat, France.
On June 15th, 24 men were sent to O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand for instruction. Also 24 men to O&T Center School at Le Cendre, (near Clermont-Ferrand).
On June 17th, 4 Privates (Medical) attached to Regiment.
On June 20th, 4 Officers were relieved from duty with the Regiment.
On June 21st, 15 enlisted men transferred from the Regiment to the 54th Artillery (Replacement).
On June 24, 10 men transferred to the 55th Artillery C.A.C.
On June 26th, 4 men were transferred to the 54th Artillery (Replacement) for the purpose of attending the Army Candidate School.
During the remaining days of June 1918 and the first part of July the Officers and men who had previously detached to attend schools at various places in France were returned to the Regiment and intensive training was taken up in all billets preparatory to the Regiments leaving for action at the front.
During the month of July 1918, 3 Officers were transferred out or the regiment, 15 enlisted men were transferred to the regiment and 49 transferred out.
This post card has Cpl. Edington's handwriting on it. It says "56th C.A.C. Loaded here leaving for front. July 3rd 1918." The date seems to be wrong as the Regiment did not leave for the front until 31st July 1918. It is possible that Cpl. Edington wrote this on the card sometime after and didn't recall the correct date. Or another explanation could be that this was the date they headed for the target range. The post card is the rail yard at Clermont-Ferrand, France. At this place was O&T Center No. 3 APO 723. This is where the firing range was that the 56th Regiment trained at before moving up to the front.
During the month of July each Battalion of the Regiment spent 10 days at the target range located at Randanne, Puy-de-Dome. The work at the range consisted of emplacing and camouflaging the 155mm. guns, firing various problems with both 75mm. guns and 155mm. guns. The Battalions of the Regiment were sent to the range in accordance with a standard of proficiency determined by the Artillery Instructors at the O&T Center No. 3, Clermont-Ferrand. The 3rd Battalion was first at the range then the 1st Battalion and then the 2nd Battalion. The work done by all Battalions at the range was considered by the Inspectors to be well done and the Regiment was declared sufficiently well trained for service at the front.
|This photo was taken 20 July 1918 at the firing range at Puy-de-Dome, France. This is Battery F, 56th Regiment.
This photo was obtained from the Still Picture Branch, National Archives, Washington D.C.
|This is the same 155mm GPF gun but a closer view.
This photo was obtained from the Still Picture Branch, National Archives, Washington D.C.
During the months of June and July 1918, the Regiment received the material it was to use at the front. This material consisted principally of 24 French G.P.F. 155 mm. Guns, 24 seventy five horsepower Holt Tractors, ammunition and cargo body trucks, gas defense equipment and necessary Signal Corps and Engineer equipment. Notwithstanding the fact that every effort was made to complete the full equipment there still existed a considerable shortage especially of motor transportation when during the latter part of July orders were received for the Regiment to entrain for service in the Zone of Advance.
|This is a post card that Cpl. Edington brought back from France with him. I can remember him showing me this post card and telling that this was what the "big guns" looked like and the tractors they used to haul them from place to place. It is entitled; CHATEAU-THIERRY Rue de la Barre - Artilleurs se dirigeant sur le front.|
On July 13th the Guns and Motor transportation the Regiment was sent from the Various billets to Clermont-Ferrand railroad yards.
On July 31st all material was loaded on cars and the personnel entrained. Three trains were necessary to accommodate the Regiment, each train consisted of about 50 cars. The Commissioned personnel traveled in first-class coaches and the enlisted personnel in wooden box cars. The box cars accommodating from 30 to 40 men each.
The trains carrying the Regiment and material arrived at La Fort-sous-Jouarre during the night of August 1-2. As the trains arrived the personnel detrained and the material was unloaded. Billets for the personnel was previously arranged for at Charly (on the Marne River). As soon as the trains were unloaded personnel and materiel was moved to the billets.
The entire Regiment remained at Charly until August 5th on which day the 1st Battalion under command of Colonel James L. Long were ordered to go into position for action against the enemy. During the period the Regiment was together at Charly the Motor Transportation was increased to a considerable extent so that by the time the Regiment moved a sufficient number of motor trucks were available to handle all materiel and personnel although it was necessary to double up at times, this being done by one Battalion making a forward movement and then loaning its motor equipment to the next Battalion.
NOTE: Inasmuch as the movements of the various Battalions of the Regiment were separate after August 5th, 1918 the Record of Events will be noted separately for each Battalion up to the time the Battalions were brought together after the signing of the Armistice, by the German Nation, on November 11th, 1918.
1 August, 1918: Regimental Section arrived at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre from Clermont-Ferrand at 9:00 P.M.
2 August: Moved from La Ferte to Charteve.
3 August: Moved from Charteve to Charly-sur-Marne and established Regimental Headquarters.
4 August - 14 August: Routine duties performed. During this period the Regiment was inspected by Col. H.T. Matthews, Inspector Generals Department.
15 August: Headquarters moved to Mottin Farm in the vicinity of Mareuil-en Dole.
16 August - 19 August: Routine duties performed at Mottin Farm. During this period the Headquarters was subjected to considerable enemy fire but no casualties were suffered by any of the personnel.
|A close in view of the Mottin Farm taken in the spring of 2003 by Cyrille (email@example.com) who lives in Coulonges, France. At this farm the Regimental Headquarters was based from 15 August - 20 August, 1918.|
|Another view of the Mottin Farm showing the rolling farm lands and woods in the background. The look of the land is remarkably simular to the way it looked in August of 1918. This view is in a North-Westerly direction.|
20 August: On account of the frequency of the enemy artillery fire it was considered advisable to move the Regimental Headquarters to Party Farm located south of Mareuil-en Dole.
21 August - 31 August: Routine duties performed at Party Farm. During the month of August the weather was hot and dry except during the last week when it was cooler and rainy. The health of the troops attached to the Regimental Section was excellent although frequent cases of Dysentery developed. During the month of August several changes in the commissioned personnel of the Regiment. Colonel L.R. Burgess, Commanding Officer was relieved from Command to assume Command of the Brigade. Colonel James L. Long was relived from Command of the Regiment. Major Franklin L. Babcock assumed Command of the 1st Battalion succeeding Col. Long.
1 Sept. - 4 Sept.: Routine duties performed at Party Farm.
4 Sept.: Regimental Headquarters moved from Party Farm back to Mottin Farm (see August 15). Change made between 8 and 9:00 P.M.
|A close in view of the Party Farm taken in the spring of 2003 by Cyrille (firstname.lastname@example.org) who lives in Coulonges, France. At this farm the Regimental Headquarters was based from 20 August - 4 September, 1918.|
|Another view of the Party Farm area showing the open fields and wooded areas farther in the distance. This view is looking West.|
5 Sept. - 8 Sept.: Routine Duties performed at Mottin Farm.
9 Sept.: Moved from Mottin Farm 6:00 am to Chalet Villardelle arriving at 7:00 A.M. Established temporary administrative Headquarters at this place. The Regiment at this time under orders to proceed to the ARGONNE.
10 Sept.: Routine duties at Chalet Villardelle.
11 Sept.: Moved from Chalet Villardelle to Chouilly (about 8 Kilos. East of Epernay) and established temporary Headquarters. Left Chalet Villardelle 10:00 A.M. and arrived at Chouilly 7:00 P.M.
|The Chalet de la villardelle taken in the spring of 2003 by Cyrille (email@example.com) who lives in Coulonges, France. This was where the Headquarters of the 56th Artillery was on 10-11 September, 1918.|
12 Sept.: Left Chouilly 9:00 P.M. and arrived Courtisols 11:00 P.M. a temporary stop made at this place to feed men and adjust the heavy truck convoy.
13 Sept.: Left Courtisols 7:00 P.M. and arrived at Charmantois 9:00 P.M. The Regimental Section billeted at this place until the evening of the 15th.
15 Sept.: Left Charmantois 7:00 P.M. and arrived at Souhesme-la-Grande 9:00 P.M. Regimental Section billeted at that place for the night.
16 Sept.: Left Souhesme-la-Grande 6:00 P.M. and arrived at Moulin Brule. The Regimental Section was assigned quarters in Cantonment buildings and arrangements were made for several days rest.
17 Sept. - 25 Sept.: Regimental Section except tactical headquarters remained at Moulin Brule.
18 Sept.: Regimental Tactical P.C. moved from Moulin Brule to a dugout located about one-half kilometer North of Recicourt.
26 Sept.: Regimental Section including Administrative headquarters moved from Moulin Brule to Jubecourt (Camp Pascal).
27 Sept.: Regimental Section including Administrative headquarters moved from Jubecourt (Camp Pascal) to Camp Source located about one-half kilometer Northeast of Recicourt.
28 Sept.- 30 Sept.: Routine duties performed by both the Tactical and the Administrative P.C.'s
1 October - 31 October, 1918: The Supply Company was located at Camp Source about one-half kilometer Northeast of Recicourt from which joint commissary and quartermaster stores were transported to the various Battalions of the Regiment by trucks.
1 Oct.- 5 Oct.: Tactical Headquarters still in dugout about one-half kilometer North of Recicourt. Administrative P.C. at Camp Source about one-half kilometer Northeast of Recicourt, routine duties.
6 Oct.: Tactical P.C. moved to hut in woods about 2 kilometers West of the village of Very. Administrative P.C. left Camp Source 8:00 and moved to Cheppy. Headquarters established in an abandoned dugout about 1 kilometer from Cheppy an the Montfaucen Road.
Position of the 2nd Battalion in the Orchard above Very.
The Villiage of Very from the top of the hill.
7 Oct.- 12 Oct.: Routine duties performed at both P.C.'s
13 Oct.: Tactical and Administrative P.C.'s left present headquarters and moved to Bois-des-Epinettes and located in huts about 1 kilometer Northeast of Lolisfontaine.
14 Oct. - 31 Oct.: Routine duties performed by both Tactical and Administrative P.C.'s. No Change of location since the 13th.
1 Nov. - 4 Nov., 1918: Routine duties performed at both P.C's
5 Nov.: Both the Tactical and the Administrative P.C.'s left the Bois-des-Epinettes at 10:30 A.M. and moved to Remonvliie arriving there at 11:30 A.M. Tactical and Administrative Headquarters established in an abandoned house in the village. Personnel assigned billets in the village.
6 Nov. - 10 Nov.: Routine duties performed at Remonville.
11 Nov.: The Supply Company moved to Bois-des-Epinettes and established a supply station at that place. Regimental P.C.'s moved from Remonville to Clery-le-Petit on the Meuse River.
13 Nov.: Supply Co. moved from Bois-des Epinettes and moved to Louppy. Balance of the Regimental Section including Tactical and Administrative P.C.'s moved from Clery-le-Petit and proceeded to Louppy.
14 Nov. - 24 Nov., 1918: Routine duties to Louppy.
25 Nov.: Regimental Headquarters left Louppy and proceeded to Blaise (18th training Area, North of Chaumont). Headquarters Co. and Supply Co. left Louppy en route to Blaise. Spent the night in woods near Eclisfontaine.
Note: After this date all movements of the Regiment were made by the different Battalions at the same time and will not be considered separately in this record of events.
1 Aug., 1918: Arrived at La Ferte sous Jouarre at 3:00 A.M. from Clermont-Ferrand, detrained and made temporary camp. Guns and tractors proceeded to Charly as soon as unloaded.
2 Aug.: Balance of troops and equipment left La Ferte for Charly at 12 noon. Arrived Charly at 3:15 P.M. joining the heavy convoy of guns and tractors at this place. Guns, tractors and motor equipment parked and personnel assigned to billets.
3 Aug. - 4 Aug.: At Charly preparing equipment for service.
5 Aug.: Battalion left Charly en route for the front. Heavy column consisting of guns and tractors and some trucks Charly 4:00 A.M. and arrived Le Charmel 6:00 P.M. Light convoy carrying personnel and equipment left Charly 6:00 A.M. and arrived Le Charmel 3:00 P.M. Guns and tractors and other equipment parked at Le Charmel and personnel assigned billets.
6 Aug.: Battalion at Le Charmel.
These two photo's were given to me by Gilles Lagin his e-mail address is Gilles.Lagin@wanadoo.fr
|Gilles is a Battlefield Historian and authority on the American Army during WWI and is a French citizen who lives near Chateau-Thierry, France. The photo on the left shows Graffiti left by "Claude L. Adams of Battery B 56th Artillery". Gilles had taken this photo and several more of names inscribed on a wall of a tool shed in the civilian cemetery of Le Charmel. Most of the names according to Gilles are from the 56th Regiment. Hopefully I can get Gilles to e-mail me the names and I will post them here. The below photo is of the farm of Gilles Great Grandfather at Le Charmel where the 1st Battalion, 56th Regiment stayed close by during the 5-7 August 1918.|
This is the link to Gilles home page: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/war_1/
7 Aug.: Battalion left Le Charmel at 1:00 P.M. en route to Goussancourt. Light column arrived Goussancourt about 6:00 P.M. and the heavy column at 10:00 P.M. Battalion billeted at Goussancourt for the night.
8 Aug.: Battalion left Goussancourt 7:45 A.M. en route to positions selected in the vicinity of Chemy Chantnouve. Light columns arriving at Dravegay at 11:15 A.M. Personnel went into Camp, working parties prepared gun emplacements.
9 Aug.: Battalion Billeted at Dravegay.
10 Aug.: Heavy column of guns and tractors went into position at emplacements prepared by personnel of light column.
11 Aug.: Batteries opened fire on a regular schedule at midnight. During the afternoon enemy fire was directed at targets near the emplacements, high explosive and some gas. Three casualties in the Battalion caused by the enemy.
12 Aug.: Battalion in action same position. Enemy counter fire continues.
13 Aug. - 23 Aug.: Battalion in action in same position. During this period the enemy continued an intermittent firing using high explosive and gas shells.
24 Aug.: Battalion moved from original position to the rear and went into position in the vicinity of Coulanges. Rear echelon established in rear of the village and gun positions near main road about 2 kilometers in front of echelon.
25 Aug. - 31 Aug.: Battalion in position in the vicinity of Coulanges. During this period no firing was done by the Battalion. The troops remained in the echelon established in the rear of the village of Coulanges.
1 Sept. - 2 Sept.: Battalion in same position as of the last date.
3 Sept.: Battalion moved to Chery Chartreuve. Positions prepared North of the village.
4 Sept. - 7 Sept.: Guns in position North of Chery Chartreuve. Firing done on regular schedules, mostly interdiction fire on crossroads and bridges and ammunition dumps.
8 Sept.: Battalion left Chery Chartreuve. Heavy convoy consisting of guns and tractors, light convoy of trucks and automobiles. About 100 rounds of ammunition per gun was carried by the light convoy. The carrying of ammunition made it necessary for the personnel to march.
9 Sept.: Light and heavy convoys and infantry column arrived at La Verneuil about 3:00 P.M. and went into camp using shelter tents and billets where possible.
10 Sept. - 11 Sept.: Battalion in tents and billets at La Verneuil.
12 Sept.: Battalion left La Verneuil about 9:00 A.M. and passed through Dormans, Triossy and Epernay en route to Chouilly. Same formation a 8 Sept.
13 Sept.: Battalion arrived at Chouilly at 3:00 A.M. and went into billets. Heavy convoy consisting of guns and tractors and disabled trucks returned to Epernay (about 8 kilometers) and were parked to await rail transportation. Light convoy of automobiles and trucks and as many of the personnel as could be carried left Chouilly 10:00 P.M. en route to Charmentois. Arrived Charmentois Le Roi 5:00 A.M. Sept. 15th.
16 Sept.: Battalion light column left Charmentois Le Roi 8:30 P.M. en route to Soushesme.
17 Sept.: Battalion light column arrived Soushesme 1:00 P.M. Left Soushesme 4:00 P.M. en route to Moulin Brule, arrived Moulin Brule 5:00 P.M. Personnel assigned billets. (French cantonment buildings). During the evening German avions bombed in the vicinity causing slight casualties.
18 Sept.: Heavy convoy of guns and tractors arrived at Souilly by way of rail from Epernay and were parked along the highway for the night.
19 Sept.: Reconnaissance for positions made in the Foret de Hesse. Guns moved into position and work of preparing shelters and ammunition dumps started.
20 Sept. - 25 Sept.: Battalion in position preparing for action.
26 Sept.: Battalion participated in opening fire of the Argonne Offensive. Started firing on previously designated targets at 2:30 A.M.
27 Sept. - 29 Sept.: In action at position selected 19 September.
29 Sept.: Battalion left position to take up new position in Bois-de-Chehemin.
30 Sept.: Arrived Bois de Chehemin 8:00 A.M. and went into position in previously selected location. Battery rear echelons remained in the vicinity of Recicourt.
1 Oct. - 6 Oct. Batteries of the Battalion in position in the Bois-de-Chehemin, west of Montfaucon. Battalion P.C. located near the batteries. During this period the batteries fired daily at targets as directed by the Regimental P.C. The targets being generally cross roads and bridges, ammunition dumps and special targets such as large enemy convoys on the roads, also special fire on enemy concentration points and enemy rest areas.
7 Oct.: Battalion rear echelons moved forward to vicinity of the gun positions in the Bois-de-Chehemin.
8 Oct.: Batteries moved forward and took position in the Bois-de-Cierges, south of Romage. Battalion P.C. also moved forward and located in the vicinity of the batteries. Battalion echelons remained in the Bois-de-Chehemin.
9 Oct. - 25 Oct.: Batteries in same positions. During this period the batteries fired daily according to irregular schedules received from Regimental P.C. In general the targets consisted of interdiction fire on crossroads and bridges, occasional counter-battery work and fire on ammunition dumps, convoys and rest areas.
26 Oct.: Battery A rear echelon moved forward to vicinity of their battery.
27 Oct. - 28 Oct.: Schedule fire carried on by both batteries of the battalion. Battery B echelon moved forward to the vicinity of the guns.
29 Oct. - 31 Oct.: All personnel and materiel located in the Bois-de-Cierges. Batteries firing daily.
8 Oct. - 31 Oct.: During the period October 8th to October 31st the woods occupied by the Battalion was shelled daily by the enemy to such an extent that the construction of the dug-outs and splinter-proofs was made necessary. Several batteries were used by the enemy as shells of the 77, 88 and 150mm were identified on the different occasions. No casualties on account of this enemy fire was made on the Battalion. In General the shells used by the enemy were filled with a high explosive bursting charge, gas shells were not used to any extent.
1 Nov. - 2 Nov.: Entire Battalion at Bois-de-Cierges.
3 Nov. - 4 Nov.: Guns and tractors moved North to the vicinity of Duhy Farm and went into position.
5 Nov.: All personnel of Battalion and materiel of Battalion located at Duhy Farm. During this period extensive work done to the farm buildings and grounds in the vicinity to make the place habitable for a long period. During this period the guns of the Battalion were not in action at all.
6 Nov. - 9 Nov.: Entire materiel and personnel of Battalion located at Duhy Farm.
10 Nov.: Entire Battalion left Duhy Farm en route to Baalon. Billeted for the night at Clery-le-Petit and the Meuse River.
11 November, 1918: News arrived that the armistice had been signed. Heavy convoy moved to vicinity of Baalon.
12 Nov. - 25 nov.: Guns put into selected positions between Mauzey and Baalon. Remainder of Battalion arrived from Clery-le-Petit at about 5:00 P.M. on the 13th and were assigned billets in the village of Baalon. During this period ordinary garrison duties were performed.
25 Nov.: Battalion left Baalon en route for Blaise (18th training area North of Chaument). Routine stops were made at Romange, Locheres, Dammaric. Battalion joined Headquarters Section and other Battalions of the Regiment at Eclisfontaine and proceeded in conjunction with them to Blaise and adjoining villages.
29 Nov.: Battalion arrived in 18th training area. Battery A billeted at Blasie and Battery B billeted in the village of Guindrecourt.
30 Nov.: Batteries doing routine duties in billets.
Note: After this date all movements of the Regiment were made by the different Battalions at the same time and will not be considered separately in this record of events.
1 August, 1918: Battalion arrived by train from Clermont-Ferrand to La Ferte Sous-Jouarre. Personnel detrained and equipment unloaded.
2 Aug.: Battalion personnel moved from La Ferte to Charly (on the Marne river) and was assigned billets. Guns and tractors moved to Charly and parked.
3 - 14 Aug.: Battalion at Charly preparing equipment and training personnel for service at the front.
15 Aug.: Battalion left Charly en route to Mareuil-en-Dole. Personnel established camp in the vicinity of Mareuil-en-Dole.
16 Aug.: Guns placed in positions East of Mareuil-en-Dole.
17 Aug.: Routine duties at camp. Work of improving positions carried on at gun emplacements.
18 Aug.: Guns of Battery D Placed in firing position between Bruys and Shuys. Routine duties performed by Battery C
19 - 28 Aug.: Routine duties performed by both Batteries. Firing of both Batteries directed on targets assigned by Regimental P.C. In general targets consisted of fire on cross-roads, bridges, ammunition dumps, troop movements and rest areas. During this period the Battalion suffered a great many casualties from enemy shell fire. 1st Lieutenant Oscar H. Cowan of Battery D and three enlisted men of Battery D died from the effects of shell fragment wounds received.
29 Aug.: One platoon of Battery C moved to a new position North West of Mottin Farm.
30-31 Aug.: Routine duties performed. Firing at scheduled targets.
1-5 Sept.: Both Battery echelons located near Mareuil-en-Dole. Battery C guns East of Mareuil. Battery B guns near Lhuys.
6 Sept.: Batteries left positions at 9:30 P.M. and moved to Foret Villardelle located about 10 Kilometers South of Fere-en-Tardenois. Arrived Foret Villardelle about 5:00 A.M. of September 7th.
7 Sept.: Battalion arrived at Foret Villardelle 5:00 A.M. and made camp.
8-10 Sept.: Battalion encamped at Foret Villardelle.
11 Sept.: The two Batteries of the Battalion divided into three sections a heavy section consisting of guns and tractors and necessary personnel, a light section consisting of trucks and other vehicles, and a marching section consisting of all men not required for the two other sections. Heavy column and the marching column left in the early morning and the light column in the afternoon. The three columns moved over the Treloup-Dormans road en route to Chouilly (about 8 Kilometers East of Epernay). Light column and marching column arrived in Chouilly late in the evening and personnel were billeted in the village. The heavy gun column was parked along the road just West of Epernay.
12 Sept.: Guns parked in Epernay awaiting rail transportation to Souilly. All disabled trucks left with gun convoy. Balance of trucks and so many of the troops as could be taken on available trucks left Chouilly 8:00 P.M. en route to Courtisols.
13 Sept.: Battalion arrived Courtisols about 6:00 A.M. and was assigned billets. Battalion left Courtisols about 5:00 P.M. en route to Charmentois-le-rois.
14 Sept.: Battalion arrived Charmentois-le-rois about 6:00 A.M. and was assigned billets.
15 Sept.: Battalion left Chaementois-le-rois at 7:30 P.M. en route to a cantonment in the vicinity of Shouhesme-le-Grande arriving there about midnight.
16 Sept.: Battalion moved to Cantonment in woods at Moulin Brule. Guns and tractors left at Epernay loaded on train.
17 Sept.: Train left Epernay for Souilly 12:30 P.M. arriving at Souilly at 9:00 P.M. Train unloaded and guns and tractors parked along road. Trucks and personnel moved to Moulin Brule and assigned billets with the balance of the Battalion which arrived on the 16th.
18 Sept.: Battalion at Moulin Brule, Reconnaissance made and positions selected for batteries in Foret-de-Hesse, North of Recicourt.
19-25 Sept.: During this period the guns of both batteries were put in place and the positions improved. Echelons left at Moulin Brule.
26 Sept.: Both batteries opened fire at 2:30 A.M. being the first day of the Argonne offensive.
27 Sept.: Battery echelons moved to woods north of Recicourt.
28-30 Sept.: Firing continued at targets assigned by Regimental P.C. Principally on cross-roads, bridges, ammunition dumps, troop convoys and concentration points.
1-6 Oct., 1918: Battalion echelons in woods North of Recicourt. Guns in positions about 2 Kilometers North of echelon. Battery positions same as selected September 18th.
6 Oct.: Guns moved to new positions about 17 kilometers North to a place North East of Cheppy (6942 Verdun). Guns in action during the night. Echelons remaining at location in woods north of Recicourt.
2nd Battalion Position on the left of Cheppy
7-9 Oct.: Guns in action in new position.
10 Oct.: Battery echelons left woods at 8:00 A.M. and arrived at Cheppy 11:00 A.M. Troops sheltered in woods in old buildings, dug-outs and shelter tents.
11-12 Oct.: In action near Cheppy.
A Street in Cheppy
13 Oct.: One platoon of Battery D moved to new position in the Bois-de-Cierges.
14 Oct.: Battery C guns moved to new positions near Battery D.
15-24 Oct.: Battalion in action daily at Bois-de-Cierges.
25 Oct.: Balance of Battery D's guns put in position.
26-31 Oct.: Battalion in action in Bois-de-Cierges.
1 Nov., 1918: Guns put in road position ready to move forward.
2 Nov.: Battalion left the Bois-de-Cierges to move forward. Heavy convoy of guns and tractors left at 6:00 P.M. and arrived at a point 3 Kilometers North of Bantheville at midnight. Light convoy left Bois-de-Cierges 3:00 P.M. and arrived 3 kilometers North of Bantheville at 7:00 P.M. and parked for the night.
3 Nov.: Convoys continued the march. Heavy column arrived above Bayonville at 8:00 P.M. One tractor and gun of Battery D disabled and left on road near Romange.
4 Nov.: Battery C echelon moved from Bayonville to 1 Kilometer West of Barricourt. Battery D echelon moved from near Bayonville to 2 Kilometers South of Barricourt.
5 Nov.: Battalion Headquarters moved from Bois-de-Epinettes to Bayonville leaving at 10:00 A.M. and arriving at 1:00 P.M. One gun of Battery D in firing position at 7:00 A.M. All guns in road position at 4:00 P.M. Major Harry A. Skinner was relieved of Command of the 2nd Battalion, 56th Artillery and Major John A. Hoag assumed Command as per Special Order 134 HQ 56th Artillery.
6 Nov.: Battery C moved from Barricourt at 1:00 P.M. to a place 1 Kilometer West of Beauclair arriving at 5:00 P.M. Guns of Battery D in road position on Bayonville-Barricourt road.
7 Nov.: Two guns of battery C put in position. Firing commenced at noon. Battery D guns still in road position.
8 Nov.: One gun of Battery C out of action, elevating mechanism out of order. Battalion Headquarters moved from Bayonville to Nouart. Third gun of Battery C in firing position at 8:00 P.M.
9 Nov.: Fourth gun of Battery put in firing position. Firing continued.
10 Nov.: Three tractors of Battery C turned over to Battery D.
11 November, 1918: Battery C continued firing up to the last hour of the signing of the armistice at 11:00 A.M. Last salvo fired at exactly 11:00 A.M. battery D guns in road position on roar near Barricourt.
12 Nov.: Battery D light column moved from Remonville to Clery-le-Petit leaving at 8:00 A.M. and arriving at 4:00 P.M.
13 Nov.: Battalion Headquarters left Nouart at 10:00 A.M. and arrived at Clery-le-Petit 12:30 P.M. Light column of Battery C left Nouart at 12:00 and arrived at Clery-le-Petit 3:00 P.M. Heavy column of Battery C left Nouart at 4:00 P.M. and arrived Clery-le Petit at midnight. Battery C ammunition trucks loaded with powder and shells left Nouart at noon and arrived at Beauzy at midnight. Battery D echelon moved from Bois-de-Cierges to Clery-le-Petit.
14 Nov.: Battalion light columns left Clery-le-Petit at 1:00 P.M. en route to Louppy arriving there at 6:00 P.M.
15 Nov.: Battalion Headquarters left Clery-Le-Petit at 8:00 am and arrived at Louppy at 11:30 am.
16-20 Nov.: No change except guns moved to a point on West side of the Meuse River opposite of Dun-Sur-Meuse. Troops and Motor equipment in billets at Louppy.
21 Nov.: Battery C heavy column left for Romange at 4:00 pm arriving at 7:00 pm.
22 Nov.: Battery D heavy column left Romange at 4:00 pm arriving at 7:00 pm.
23-24 Nov.: No Change.
25 Nov.: Battalion light columns left Louppy at 6:30 pm for Bois-de-Cierges arriving at 1:00 pm, a distance of thirty-five kilometers.
26 Nov.: Light columns left Bois-Le-Cierges at 6:30 am en route to Clermont-Argonne arriving at 10:00 pm. Heavy convoys left Romange at 6:30 am and arrived at Auzeville at 3:00 pm. Troops billeted at these two places for the night.
27 Nov.: Light convoys left Clermont-Argonne at 7:00 am and arrived at Deuxneude at 12:00 noon. Heavy convoys left Auzeville at 6:30 am and arrived at Deuxneude at 2:00 pm. Troops billeted at Deuxneude for the night.
28 Nov.: Heavy and light convoys left Deuxneude at 10:00 am for Dammarie. Light convoy arriving at 10:30 pm. Heavy convoy still on the road.
29 Nov.: Light convoys left Dammarie at midnight of the 28th. Battalion Headquarters convoy arrived at Boussancourt at noon. Battery C light convoy arrived at Boussancourt at 3:00 pm. Battery D light convoy arrived at Daillancourt at 1:00 pm. Troops billeted at these two places. Heavy convoy on the road en route.
30 Nov.: Heavy convoy still on the road.
1 Dec.: Heavy convoys arrived and guns parked near the two villages where the troops were billeted.
Note: After this date all movements of the Regiment were made by the different Battalions at the same time and will not be considered separately in this record of events.
1 Aug.: En route from Clermont-Ferrand to La Ferte-sous- Jouarre.
2 Aug.: Arrived at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre at 12:30 am and detrained. Unloading of materiel started at once. Finished unloading at 8:00 am Personnel and materiel moved over road to Charly (on the Marne River). On arrival of troops they were assigned to billets in the village. Battalion Headquarters and attached personnel billeted in Chateau in the southern part of the village. Heavy convoy from La Ferte on the road between that place and Charly.
3 Aug.: Heavy convoy arrived from La Ferte and guns and tractors parked in the village. Started routine drills to prepare the personnel for active service at the front.
4-14 Aug.: All kinds of Infantry drills held, gas defense protection drills held and gun materiel thoroughly overhauled. During this period additional motor transportation was received, also fire control equipment. Drivers were given opportunity to learn to drive at night without lights. On the 10, 11, and 12th. the Battalion was inspected by Colonel Matthews of the Inspectors General's Department.
14 Aug.: The Battalion Commander accompanied by the two Battery Commanders made a reconnaissance of the ground in the vicinity to the West of Chery Chartreuve and selected gun positions for both batteries.
15 Aug.: Battalion left Charly for front to the positions selected on the 14th, a road march of 48 kilometers. Convoys arrived at a selected place on the road, about 12 kilometers from the proposed positions, at 6:00 pm. Battalion and Battery light convoys left to go to the echelon in the vicinity of Le Craux at 9:00 pm. The light convoy of the Battalion Headquarters was caught in a jamb at a cross road and at this time were fired on by enemy batteries, Sergeant Fletcher, Battalion Supply Sergeant was killed and several men wounded and evacuated. The heavy convoy, gun and tractors, of Battery E started for the gun positions at 9:00 pm, but on account of the difficulty of maneuvering in the soft ground were unable to get into firing position.
16 Aug.: Battery E moved into position. Battery F moved guns to a position near selected firing positions and left them to be put into position later. No work done in the daytime on account of the position being under enemy observation. Personnel of the Battalion established echelon about three kilometers in the rear of the Batteries. Battery E and F, P.C. located near the guns. Battalion P.C. located near the echelon.
17 Aug.: Batteries improving positions and making shelters for personnel. Ammunition dump located about 3 kilometers from batteries. Battalion P.C. furnished with a list of objectives. During the day two allied planes operated by American pilots collided in the air directly over the rear echelon, at an altitude of about 5000 feet, both machines were seriously damaged and fell to the ground out of control. Both pilots were instantly killed. One plane fell about 100 meters from the Battalion P.C. The pilots were buried where they fell by troops in the vicinity.
18 Aug.: Work of emplacing guns and improving positions about completed, orders to begin opening fire received from Regimental P.C. Schedule of fire contemplated and expenditure of 260 rounds of ammunition per day. Target assigned to Battery E; Bridge at Bourg-et-Comin. Target assigned to Battery F; Bridge at Pont Arcy. Both these targets near the Aisne River.
19 Aug.: Completing schedule started the 18th, Batteries having some difficulty with guns on account of soft ground. Vicinity of Batteries shelled intermittently by the enemy.
20 Aug.: Both Batteries firing at same targets assigned on the 18th. In the afternoon Battery E assigned new targets. During the day the position was heavily shelled with gas. Up to the present date there has been 27 casualties in the Battalion, most of which have been slight caused by gas and shell fragments.
21 Aug.: New fire schedule received. Target Beurg-et-Mountin, 150 rounds per day.
22 Aug.: Firing continued at enemy targets. Counter Battery work without observation carried on during the night. Reconnaissance for new position made during the day and Battery during the night.
23 Aug.: Firing on enemy positions continued. New targets assigned at midnight. Battery E only firing. Battery F forced to evacuate position on account of heavy gas attack.
24 Aug.: Battery F firing at enemy targets. Made reconnaissance and new positions selected for Battery F (One Platoon).
25 Aug.: One platoon Battery E firing intermittently all day. Both Battery E and F firing on special targets at night. One platoon of Battery F started firing on a regular schedule of 140 rounds of ammunition per day.
26 Aug.: Arrangements made to hold registration fire with aeroplane observation.
27 Aug.: Battery F firing (one platoon) at two different targets a total of 140 rounds in 24 hours. Reconnaissance made and new position selected for one platoon of Battery E. Special targets assigned to the Battalion by Regimental P.C. during the night. Battery E started firing on regular schedule at midnight.
28 Aug.: Battery E had registration fire with aeroplane observation. A member of Battery shot himself through the foot while cleaning his rifle.
29 Aug.: Battery F located in new position one platoon. Position selected August 24th. Battery E held registration fire with aeroplane observation. Battery F started firing a schedule received from Regimental P.C. at noon.
30 Aug.: Battery F firing on regular schedule at selected target Battalion called on by Regimental P.C. to fire 40 rounds at enemy Battery in the evening.
31 Aug.: Platoon of Battery F that was moved on the 29th, was under a heavy shell fire. Estimated that 75 shells dropped in the vicinity in about fifteen minutes. One shell fell between the trails of one gun as the gun was being loaded and killed two of the members of the gun crew, set fire to the powder and camouflage. The fragments from the shell damaged the recoil system of the gun to such an extent as to put it temporarily out of action. The recoil system of the other gun of the platoon was put on the damaged gun so that the shell in the damaged gun could be fired out. After this was done the gun was moved to an Ordanance repair shop at Nogent. The other platoon of Battery F and Battery E continued firing on schedule.
1 Sept.: Batteries firing on scheduled targets. Funeral of two men killed held. Buried in an orchard near La Cruax.
2 Sept.: Batteries E and F had registration fire with balloon observation. During the day two allied balloons shot down by German aeroplanes. One German aeroplane shot down by machine gun fire, the machine guns operated by men located at the Batteries.
3 Sept.: During the day two balloons shot down by German aviators. One German plane brought down by anti-aircraft guns. Both Batteries firing on regular schedule. Batteries also detailed to fire on special targets. During the day 423 rounds of ammunition fired. Battery E detailed to fire on German ammunition dump, a balloon observed the fire and reported the dump blew up after the second salvo was fired. Battery E continued firing throughout the night on selected points.
4 Sept.: Battery E firing on regular schedule. During the afternoon the battery had a registration fire with balloon observation, the target was a bridge over the Aisne River. Balloon observation reported two direct hits on the bridge. No firing done by either Battery after 6:00 pm.
5 Sept.: No firing by either Battery during the day.
6 Sept.: Orders received to make reconnaissance for new positions in the vicinity of Serval. The reconnaissance was made under unusually heavy enemy fire and report made that the location was not yet ready for heavy Artillery as the proposed gun positions were still in the hands of the enemy and were not taken until several hours after the reconnaissance was made. Orders were later received to make reconnaissance for positions in the vicinity of Paars, a village just North of the Vesle River, and about 6 kilometers Southwest of the place where the first reconnaissance was made earlier in the day. Report made to Brigade Headquarters after reconnaissance at Paars was completed that the bridge across the Vesle was not sufficiently strong to carry the G.P.F. guns. Orders received from Regimental P.C. to move the Battalion to Foret Villardelle (on Courmont-Treloup road en route to the Argonne sector).
7 Sept.: Last of the Battalion arrived at Feret Villardelle at 8:00 am.
8-11 Sept.: Battalion bivouacked at Feret Villardelle. During this period equipment was looked over and every thing put in readiness for a long road march. Each Battery carrying 100 rounds of ammunition for each gun. 55th Regiment joined the 56th, during this period.
11 Sept.: Battalion left for Epernay, all men except necessary drivers marching. Left Feret Villardelle at 6:30 am and arrived at Chouilly about 8 kilometers East of Epernay at midnight. Distance about 50 Kilometers. Marching column arrived disorganized on account of the long march. Heavy column of guns and tractors and disabled trucks parked along the road between Chouilly and Epernay. Personnel billeted at Chouilly.
12 Sept.: Arrangements made to move as many men as possible on the light convoy trucks and to leave the balance with the guns and tractors and disabled trucks to proceed by rail. About 1600 men of the 55th and 56th Regiments left behind. Light convoy left Chouilly at 10:00 pm for Courtisols arriving there 6:00 am of the 13th. Troops billeted until 5:00pm when orders to move to Charmentois-Le-Roi were given, arriving at Charmentois-Le-Roi 6:00 am of the 14th and assigned to billets. Battalion left Charmentois-Le-Roi at 8:30 pm en route to Souhesme, at Soushesme 1:00 pm of the 17th. Left Souhesme 4:00 pm of the 17th and moved to Moulin Brule arriving there at 5:00 pm of the 17th. Personnel assigned billets in French Cantonment buildings. During the night of the 17th the vicinity was bombed by German avions.
12-16 Sept.: The heavy convoy consisting of all guns, tractors and disabled trucks and about 800 men of the Regiment remained in the vicinity of Chouilly during this period. On the 13th all motor equipment and guns were moved from the roads where they were parked to place De-La-Republique in Epernay. On the 14th rations for the personnel were drawn from the French Commissary as the light column took all available rations when they left for Courtisols on the 12th. Personnel loaded on train and left Epernay on the 16th.
17 Sept.: Loaded Regimental equipment on train at Epernay and left for Souilly at 12:30 pm arriving there at 9:00 pm. Train unloaded and guns and tractors parked along road North of Souilly. Personnel billeted at Moulin Brule with balance of Regiment which arrived on the 16th.
18 Sept.: Reconnaissance made and positions selected for P.C.'s and guns in the Foret De Hesse, North of Reicourt. During the night the guns and tractors were moved to the vicinity of the positions and work commenced preparing the locations to receive the guns.
19 Sept.: Guns moved into position. Ammunition brought up to vicinity of guns. 800 rounds of ammunition in the Battalion.
20 Sept.: Improving positions. Additional supply of ammunition received.
21 Sept.: Routine work at Batteries. No firing.
22-24 Sept.: Work of emplacing guns and improving positions completed. Ammunition greatly increased. Program to be followed received. Guns manned at all times.
25 Sept.: Started firing at objectives at 11:30 pm one Battalion of each Artillery Regiment on this front started operations at this time. All other Battalions opened fire at 2:30 am of the 26th.
26 Sept.: Firing continued without interruption until 5:00 pm. During this period it was estimated that 3,000 pieces of artillery of all caliber's (75 to 320mm) were in action. The third Battalion fired approximately 1,060 rounds in the 17 1/2 hours they were firing. This date was the first day of the Argonne offensive, during the day the Infantry advanced approximately 12 kilometers and took about 8,000 prisoners. No enemy fire was received anywhere near the Battalion gun positions. During the afternoon of the 26th the Battery echelons were moved from Moulin Brule to Camp Pascal (East of Jubecourt).
27 Sept.: Batteries firing at special targets in the afternoon. Reconnaissance of roads as far as Avocourt made.
28-30 Sept.: No firing done by the Battalion this period.
1 Oct.: Orders received from Regimental P.C. to be ready to move forward.
2 Oct.: Battery echelons moved from camp Pascal to the vicinity of the Batteries.
The road to Varrennes.
The church in Varrennes showing captured materials.
3 Oct.: Orders received from Brigade Headquarters for Battalion to move forward to vicinity of the First Battalion in the Bois-De-Chehemin. At noon time the orders were changed and the Battalion was directed to take up positions between Baulny and Charpentry. A hasty reconnaissance was made and the convoys already on the road, were ordered to proceed to the new positions. On the road North of Varennes the convoys were severely shelled by German Batteries and one tractor was disabled and a few casualties resulted among the personnel. The guns of Battery F were parked just West of Charpentry while positions were being prepared. During this time the enemy shell fire turned over one gun, damaged another by fire and put two more tractors out of commission, also destroyed an ammunition dump near where the guns were parked. While the work of preparing positions was being carried on the vicinity was heavily gas shelled to the extent that the personnel were complied to wear gas masks for about six hours. During the night there were eight causalities in the Battalion.
This photo was taken on 5 October, 1918 Charpentry, Meuse, France by Sgt. Marshall Signal Corps. It is Battery F and 2nd Lt. F. J. Lewis is at the breech of the gun. The gun suffered a direct hit and was hurled 40 feet. This photo was obtained from the Still Picture Branch, National Archives, Washington D.C.
4 Oct.: Attack started at 5:30 am but no firing was done by the Battalion on account of not being able to get into position. Firing program received from Brigade Headquarters. Started firing on cross-roads in the evening. Battalion P.C. established in a dug-out at Very. Telephone lines established from Battalion P.C. to the Batteries and also to the Regimental P.C.
5 Oct.: Batteries in action all night firing on cross-roads and bridges.
This photo was taken on 5 October, 1918 Charpentry, Meuse, France by Sgt. Marshall Signal Corps. It shows Battery E firing in support of the 1st Division near Charpentry.
6 Oct.: Batteries firing all night at cross-roads and bridges in the vicinity of the following villages: Immecourt, Verpel, Allepont, Landres St. Georges and Bayonville-et-Channery.
7 Oct.: Firing all night. No firing done in the day time on account of the exposed position of the Batteries. Up to the present time the guns of the Battalion were further advanced than the 75mm guns. On this date the German infantry was only 3 1/2 kilometers in front of the guns.
8 Oct.: Battalion Headquarters personnel moved from Foret de Hesse to the village of Very and billeted in dug-outs. Germans shelled Very about noon time. No serious causalities. No firing done by either Battery on this date.
9 Oct.: Batteries firing on cross-roads and bridges. Battery F moved echelon forward to vicinity of guns.
10 Oct.: 59th Regiment (8 British Howitzers) went into position in the vicinity of Battalion P.C. Battalion assigned as a target a convoy of German troops moving on the road between Landres St. Gorges and Landreville. Observers reported that fire was extremely accurate and that the entire convoy was shot off the road. Batteries firing on cross-roads at irregular intervals.
11 Oct.: Batteries firing on cross-roads and bridges.
12 Oct.: Batteries firing on cross-roads and bridges.
13 Oct.: No change in program except that dirextrix of Battery F shifted.
14 Oct.: No change in program. General Davis assumed command of the Brigade relieving Col. L.R. Burgess.
15 Oct.: Firing on regular program, except Battery E was temporally assigned to do some counter-Battery work.
16 Oct.: No Unusual change in program. Both Batteries firing on cross-roads and bridges in the vicinity of villages also some firing on German rest areas and ammunition dumps.
17 Oct.: Reconnaissance made and positions selected in the vicinity of Fleville. Batteries continuing regular firing schedule.
18 Oct.: Positions selected on the 17th abandoned as they were out of the brigade area. New reconnaissance made and positions selected in the vicinity of Gesnes. Battery F moved from vicinity of Charpentry to new position on road between Gesnes and Romange.
19 Oct.: Battalion P.C. moved from Very to an abandoned cottage on the North edge of the Bois-de-Cierges, about 1 kilometer in front of the First Battalion batteries. Battery E moved to new positions on Gesnes-Romange Road. Vicinity of Battalion P.C. shelled during the night.
20 Oct.: Batteries improving their positions through the day. Battery F in action with 3 guns during the night.
21 Oct.: Battery F in action until 9:30 am. Battalion inspected by General Davis, Commanding Brigade.
22 Oct.: Battery E guns in position ready for action. No firing by either Battery during the day. Large quantities of ammunition received for future use.
23 Oct.: Rear echelons inspected by Regimental and battalion Commanders. Battalion inspected by Lt. Col. Thompson from Army Artillery Headquarters. Purpose of inspection to make report regarding the loss of guns October 3rd. Battery E firing on cross-roads where enemy troops were reported passing.
24 Oct.: No firing by either Battery during the day. Guns and ammunition being prepared for heavy firing.
25 Oct.: No firing by either battery. Lt. Col. M. P. Andruss and several other field officers at the Battalion Headquarters on instruction tour.
26 Oct.: Complete inspection of Batteries made by Regimental and Battalion Commanders. Everything put in readiness for action. Confidential firing orders for extensive artillery preparation received from Regimental P.C. Both Batteries stared heavy artillery fire at 8:30 pm.
27 Oct.: Firing discontinued by both Batteries in the early morning. The proposed attack being postponed. Altogether the two Batteries of the Battalion expended about 800 rounds of ammunition.
28 Oct.: Rear echelons of the Battalion at Charpentry inspected by the Battalion Commander. Interdiction fire carried on through the night by both Batteries.
29 Oct.: Both Batteries firing on cross-roads and woods through the day and night. Battalion observation post established about 3 kilometers Northwest of Gesnes, manned day and night. Vicinity of Battalion P.C. bombed by German avions during the night.
30 Oct.: Interdiction fire by both Batteries through the day and night. Battery E had registration shoot with terrestrial observation. Battery F assigned to a counter-battery shoot the observers reported one direct hit. Confidential orders received for artillery preparation fire. Vicinity of Battalion P.C. bombed again by enemy avaions.
31 Oct.: Received 0 hour from Regimental P.C. Battery positions under heavy enemy shell fire, one man killed two wounded, all from Battery F. During the latter part of the month the Battalion P.C. and the Battery positions were shelled regularly by German Batteries, the shells falling near the Batteries being 150mm, and those near the Battalion P.C. being 77 or 88 mm. Very few causalities.
1 Nov.: Zero hour 5:30 am. Batteries started firing at minus three hours or at 2:30 am. Finished firing program at 12:30 pm. During the ten hours of firing the two Batteries expended about 820 rounds of ammunition.
2 Nov.: Reconnaissance made by the Regimental and Battalion Commanders in the vicinity of Remonville and Bantheville and positions selected for future gun positions. Batteries did no firing on this date.
3 Nov.: Germans on this date practically out of range of the guns of the Battalion in their present position. Battery positions inspected by Battalion Commander.
4 Nov.: Regimental and Battalion commander made a reconnaissance as far North as Champs Haut (North of Nouart). Batteries put guns into road positions and all arrangements made to move forward.
5 Nov.: The heavy column of each Battery consisting of guns, tractors and materiel trucks left the positions North of Gesnes-Romange-Bantheville-Remonville road, about 6:00am and proceeded over the Gesnes-Romange-Bantheville-Remonville road, Halting about 2 kilometers South of the village of Remonville. Guns parked along side of road and personnel went into camp in woods nearby.
6 Nov.: Battalion P.C. and Headquarters personnel moved from Bois-de-Cierges to Remonville and established Headquarters in a house in the village. Regimental and Battalion Commander made a reconnaissance with General Davis, Brigade Commander, as far North as Beaufort. Heavy convoy and personnel with it remained in woods South of Remonville.
7 Nov.: Battery rear echelons moved forward and went into camp near heavy convoy South of Remonville. Most of ammunition on hand turned over to 52nd. Ammunition train.
8 - 9 Nov.: No change in locations. Battalion P.C. at Remonville and Batteries and all equipment in woods 2 kilometers South.
10 Nov.: Reconnaissance of roads as far as Clery-Le-Petit. Both Batteries and all personnel left positions South of Remonville and moved over the road to Clery-Le-Petit by the way of Bantheville. Arriving at Clery-Le-Petit late that night. The materiel was parked and the troops assigned billets. Battery F occupying as a billet an old German prison camp.
11 Nov.: Headquarters personnel left Remonville at 9:00am and moved to Clery-Le-Petit, arriving there at noon time. Battalion P.C. established. News of the signing of the Armistice received.
12 Nov.: Batteries inspected by Battalion Commander. Reconnaissance made of the roads from Clery-Le-Petit to Louppy by the way of Dun-Sur-Meuse, Stenay, Baalon.
13 Nov.: Battery light convoy and majority of men of both Batteries left Clery-Le-Petit at 8:00 am and proceeded to Louppy where they were assigned to billets. Part of each Battery remained in Clery-Le-Petit with the guns and tractors until such time as authority would be granted to cross temporary bridge at Dun-Sur-Meuse. Orders were received for the 3rd Battalion to relieve a Battalion of the 146th F.A. which supposedly at Louppy but upon arrival at Louppy it was found that the 146th had not brought their guns further North that a village just North of Dun-Sur-Meuse. A reconnaissance was made during the afternoon and gun positions selected just South of Louppy. Preparation of the positions was begun by both Batteries at once. Battery personnel were billeted in a German cantonment village on the South edge of the village of O.U. Louppy. At this time the German patrol was posted on the north edge of the village.
14 Nov.: Battalion P.C. and attached personnel proceeded from Clery-Le-Petit to Louppy and established Headquarters in a house vacated by the Regimental Commander 146th Field Artillery. Orders received to leave guns and tractors at Clery-Le-Petit.
15 Nov.: Held formal muster of all men of the Battalion. All light motor transportation ordered turned in for the use of the 146th F.A. which was ordered to the rear for new equipment and then to Coblenz. The 146th was equipped with 155mm G.P.F. guns and had fired 7,200 rounds during its service at the front.
16 Nov.: All personnel and equipment of the Battalion inspected by the Battalion Commander.
17-20 Nov.: Battalion at Louppy and Clery-Le-Petit doing routine work and preparing to move to the rear.
21 Nov.: Orders revived to move guns and tractors to Romange to join Regimental heavy convoy.
22 Nov.: Officers detached to proceed to 18th Training Area (North of Chaumont) to arrange for billets.
23-24 Nov.: No change during this period.
25 Nov.: Battalion light convoy consisting of all motor transportation and personnel except those with heavy convoy, left for Bois-de-Cierges about 7:30 am and arrived there at 11:00 am. Equipment parked for the night and personnel sheltered in woods, shelter tents, buildings and dug-outs.
26 Nov.: Heavy convoy left Romange 6:30 am and arrived at Auzeville at about 5:00 pm and parked for the night. Light convoy left Bois-de-Cierges at 8:00 am and proceeded to Locheres by the way of Epionville, Charpentry, Varannes, Boureuilles and Neuvilly, arriving at Locheres at 11:30 am. Troops billeted at this place for the night.
27 Nov.: Light convoy left Locheres 8:00 am and proceeded to Bulaincourt by the way of Clermont-en-Aronne, Fleury-Sur-Aire and Robecourt, arriving at Boulaincourt at 11:30 am. Troops billeted at this place for the night. Heavy convoy moved from Auzeville over same route and parked on the main highway near Boulaincourt. Personnel of heavy convoy billeted with other personnel at Boulaincourt. During the night a fire broke out in a barn occupied by men of Battery F. The claim (L100 Francs) was paid from the Battery funds by verbal order of the Regimental Commander.
28 Nov.: Thanksgiving Day. Light convoy left Boulaincourt at 8:30 am and proceeded to Morley by the way of Beuzee-Sur-Aire, Brise-Le-Petit, Rumont-Var-Le-Duc, Montplonne, Stainville and Dammarie. Arriving at Morley at 4:00pm. Orders received to proceed to Cirey-Sur-Blaise. Heavy convoy procceded over same route as far as Naives and parked for the night.
29 Nov.: Battalion Headquarters convoy arrived at Cirey-Sur-Blaise at 3:00 am. Battery E light convoy arrived at Cirey-Sur-Blaise at 10:00 am. Battery F light convoy arrived at Arnancourt at 11:00 am. As soon as convoys arrived the motor transportation was parked and personnel assigned billets. Heavy convoy still on the road.
30 Nov.: Routine duties performed at billets. Equipment being overhauled and cleaned for final inspection. Heavy convoy still on the road.
1 Dec.: Heavy convoy of both Batteries arrived during the afternoon and were parked near villages occupied by the Batteries.
Note: After this date the Regiment was practically together and the Record of Events will consider the Regiment as a whole and not by separate Battalions.
1 Dec., 1918: All organizations of the Regiment and all equipment in billets in the 18th Training Area, North of Chaumont, France.
2 Dec.: Routine duties in billets.
3-8 Dec.: Routine duties. All materiel being overhauled preparatory to being turned in.
8 Dec.: The entire Brigade and Ammunition Train reviewed at Blaise by Major General McNair and Brigadier General Davis.
9-12 Dec.: Turning in all classes of property not to be taken with the Regiment to the United States.
13 Dec.: Heavy baggage shipped from billets to entraining point at Vimory, France.
14 Dec.: The entire Regiment left billets and marched to Vimory, entrained at that place for Brest, France. Passed through Bar-Sur-Aube, Chaumont, Troyes, Bourges, Tours, LeMans, Rennes and Brieux.
17 Dec.: Regiment arrived at Brest, France at 1:15 am, detrained and marched to camp in the vicinity of Pontanezen Barracks. Officers and men assigned to tents.
18 Dec., 1918 - 4 Jan., 1919: The Regiment during this period was at Brest, France awaiting transportation to the United States. From the 17th of Dec. until the 31st, the Regiment lived in tents. On the 31st of December it was moved into wooden quarters. During the time that the Regiment was at Brest it was doing all manner of fatigue work at the camp and also a number of large details were sent to the harbor to help coal transports. During the stay in Brest the weather was very bad, it rained practically every day and the facilities for drying clothes and bathing were very bad. During this period all regular and temporary officers were detached from the Regiment and sent to other duties in various parts of France. Also a number of enlisted men, mostly men with clerical experience were detached to do duty at the Camp Headquarters.
5 Jan., 1919: The entire Regiment, less Battery F left the camp at 3:00 am and marched to Brest and went aboard the U.S.S. South Dakota for transportation to the United States. The ship left Brest harbor at 1:00pm, just nine months from the day the Regiment landed at Brest (April 5, 1918). In addition to the Regiment the only other troops aboard the ship was an Aero Squadron.
5 Jan-18 Jan.: Regiment aboard U.S.S. South Dakota en route from Brest, France to the United States. On 7 Jan. a heavy storm was encountered that damaged the pilot house and chart room of the ship and injured the Captain, Executive Officer and some members of the crew. No member of the Army troops injured. The intensity of the storm and the desire to add to the comfort of the Army personnel aboard influenced the captain of the ship to turn about and head for the coast of Spain. As soon as the storm abdicated the ship was brought about to her proper course. About 36 hours was lost on account of the storm. On 10 Jan. the ship passed the Azores about 5 miles South of San Miguel. On 16 Jan. radios were sent to the United States announcing the probable arrival of the ship on the 18th.
18 Jan.: U.S.S. South Dakota docked at pier 34, Hoboken N.J. at 11:45 am. Troops transferred to Government boat, all baggage and all personnel boarded Ferry for Garden City, L.I. Arriving at Garden City the Regiment entrained and proceeded to Camp Mills where quarters in Barracks was furnished for Officers and men.
19-21 Jan.: Regiment at camp mills undergoing Sanitary Process.
22 Jan.: Left Camp Mills at 10:00 am for Fort Schuyler, NY via Long Island City and Boat. Regiment arrived at Fort Schuyler about 3:30 pm where all arrangements for quartering the troops had been made by the Commanding Officer of that Post.
23-28 Jan.: Work of preparing discharge papers of all National Guard, National Army and Emergency Regulars being done at Fort Schuyler, NY. Battery F which was left at Brest, France when the balance of the Regiment embarked, arrived at Fort Totten, NY and went into quarters at that place.
28 Jan.: The majority of the men of the Regiment eligible for discharge were paid off and received their discharge.
29 Jan - 5 Feb.: All but five of the Commissioned personnel that returned from France with the Regiment discharged during this period.
5 Feb.: Orders received for the regiment to proceed to San Francisco for station.
6 Feb.: Orders for Regiment to proceed to San Francisco canceled. The 56th Regiment to be part of the 39th Artillery Brigade C.A.C. The Brigade to consist of the 44th - 51st and 56th Regiments. The 56th to be stationed at Fort Schuyler, NY.
March, 1919: Regiment received a shipment of 10 ten-ton tractors.
19 Mar.: Regiment received a shipment of 3 155mm G.P.F. guns. These guns were used in France by the 57th Regiment.
26 Mar.: The Regiment inspected by Brigadier General W. C. Davis, Commanding 39th Artillery Brigade C.A.C.
1 April: At this time the Regiment consisted of 6 Commissioned Officers and about 190 enlisted men.
7 April - 13 May: One Officer and 15 enlisted men of the Regiment attached to Victory Loan Train and toured through 16 Eastern States in the interests of recruiting and also to promote interest in the 5th Victory Loan.
|One of the Holt tractors of the 56th Artillery on tour with the Victory Loan Train to raise funds for the 5th Victory Loan.|
14 May - 25 May 1919: One Officer with enlisted man and tractor and one G.P.F. gun on recruiting campaign in the Western part of Connecticut.
19 May - ? May: One Officer and enlisted men with two guns and tractors located near Municipal building New York city on recruiting campaign.
22 May, 1919: Twenty one more guns arrived at Fort Schuyler for the Regiment. Some of these guns were used by the Regiment in France. Others were used by the 60th Regiment in France.
20 December, 1917: Regiment Organized.
28 March, 1918: Regiment sailed for France.
5 April, 1918: Regiment landed in France.
31 July, 1918:Regiment left training area in France for service on the Western Front.
10 August, 1918: 1st Battalion went into Action.
18 August, 1918: 2nd and 3rd Battalions went into action.
8 September, 1918: Regiment left Marne front to go to the Argonne.
26 September, 1918: Opening fire of the Argonne Offensive.
5 November, 1918: Regiment left Argonne area to go to the rear.
5 January, 1919: Regiment left France for the United States.
18 January, 1919: Regiment arrived in the United States.
22 January, 1919: Regiment arrived at Fort Schuyler, NY and ordered demobilized. Orders afterwards received to the effect that the Regiment would be retained in the service as part of the 39th Artillery Brigade, but men eligible for discharge would not be held in the service.
1 February, 1919: All men eligible for discharge gone.
This page was created on 15 December, 1999 and last updated on
© 2003 Joe Hartwell. If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell