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From diary of 1st Lieut. Elmer Hess, MCR, 15th FA:


"On the march out as we were passing through one of the villages in this region just behind the old front, we witnessed one of the most touching incidents of the war. A battalion of the 9th Infantry of our division was passing. The men noticed their old colonel (Upton), now brigadier general, on the steps of one of the houses. The recognition was mutual. The straggling route step became one of perfect cadence. Every man automatically stiffened. The old man stood there on the steps saluting his old outfit. Suddenly, the whole column broke into a song that he had taught them months before. They still loved him, and he them—and they say there's no such a thing as sentiment. Why, sentiment is the soldier's religion."
 
Lieut. Hess mentions another incident:
 
"Late in the afternoon of September 10th, while on our way to St. Mihiel front, orders were received to march that night and there was much hustle and bustle. The roads were more crowded, if that were possible, than ever before. Everyone was wet and covered with mud splashed by the trucks. The strange thing is that anybody was permitted to sing, and all through the night the gang of prisoners, marching at the tail of the column, sang continuously. These men had excellent voices and they made us forget the otherwise unpleasant night. These prisoners were a tough crew. As we marched, the 9th Infantry passed us, and their men could not understand why so many foot soldiers were with a regiment of field artillery. Curiosity finally got the best of them and a 9th Infantryman yelled across the road: 'What in Hell outfit is that, anyhow?' The reply from a prisoner immediately went back: 'We are Y.M.C.A. replacements!' "
 
 
Spaulding, Oliver Lyman. The Second Division, American Expeditionary Force In France, 1917-1919.
New York: Historical Committee, Second Division Association, The Hillman Press, Inc., 1937.
 
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