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HEADQUARTERS SECOND BATTALION,
NINTH INFANTRY, A. E. F.,
MARCH 24, 1918.

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Report of Reconnaissance & Ambuscade Patrol #3, 2nd Bn. 9th Inf. March 24, 1918.
 

Patrol Commander, Lieut. Taylor,

Strength of patrol, Lieut. Taylor, Lieut. Buermeyer, and 16 men.

Point of exit and time of departure:

G. C. TUMULUS - 1:30 a.m. Mar. 24th.

Direction taken - East for about 400 meters, south-east for about 400 meters, and then east for about 500 meters.

Object of patrol: To lay in ambuscade on the SPADA-LAMOURVILLE road at a point 400 meters north of the RELAINCOURT Mill and obtain any possible information about the enemy.

Result: The patrol was driven away from its position by enemy fire from the trench running north-east of RELAINCOURT, followed by an attack over the open. Also M.G. fire from the enemy strong point at RELAINCOURT.

No information obtained except that the enemy trench seemed to be defended by 35 to 45 men.

"Going in No Man's Land: Very bad for the patrol. The moon was very bright and was directly behind us. By the time the patrol neared its destination the moon was low and we were in a direct line between the moon and the enemy. No cover was available.

General Report: The formation of the patrol was as follows:

Lieut. Taylor Lieut.
Buermeyer
[and 16 men]

After leaving our wire the patrol proceeded due east for about 400 meters We then turned southeast At this point Lieut. Taylor was lost sight of and the patrol halted until he dropped back again. This halt consumed about half an hour. After going a little further it was discovered that two men were following the patrol. The patrol halted and Lieut. Taylor took two men and circled back to the south to try to pick them up. They had not been seen very distinctly and could not be located. As soon as the patrol started forward again one of these men was again seen. Lieut. Taylor, Lieut. Buermeyer and one man took after him on the run. He tried to circle around to the south but was headed off and escaped in the darkness. The patrol was deployed in skirmish line and worked back over the ground but could find no trace of him. This took quite some time.

 
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HEADQUARTERS SECOND BATTALION
NINTH INFANTRY, A. E. F.,
March 24, 1918.
 
From: Commanding Officer, 2nd Bn. 9th Infantry,
To: Commanding Officer, 9th Infantry.
Subject: Patrol Operations 23-24 Mch. 1918.
 

1. On the night of 23-24 Mch., at 1:30 a.m. a patrol, consisting of 2 officers (Lieut Moses W. Taylor, 9th Inf., patrol leader, and 2nd Lieut. Herbert A.Buermeyer, 9th Inf.), and 16 men left G. C. TUMULUS, as per attached patrol orders, to reach a point about 1300 meters east of TUMULUS and 400 meters north of RELAINCOURT MILL, to lie in ambuscade on the LAMOUR-VILLE-SPADA road, with a view to intercepting enemy liaison patrols, and, if possible, taking prisoners.

2. During the trip out, the patrol halted twice. At each halt Lieut. Buermeyer saw some one following; at the first halt two men, at the second halt one man. Each time an endeavor was made to intercept these men, but they succeeded in evading the patrol.

3. The patrol finally halted on the west side of the LAMOURVILLE-SPADA road, and Lieut. Taylor and Sergeant Abe E. Ruskin, 39191, Co. E, 9th Inf., crossed the road to reconnoiter. After placing the patrol in position, Lieut. Buermeyer followed, at about 15 meters distance from the two.

4. Lieut. Taylor and Sergeant Ruskin pushed on until within about 10 meters of a small ditch or trench with a shell crater in front. Sergeant Ruskin reports that at this point a German fired a rifle at Lieut. Taylor, who threw up his hands and fell, saying "Russ" as he did so, apparently endeavoring to warn Sergeant Ruskin. Sergeant Ruskin fired his pistol at the German, who dropped back into the crater, apparently hit. Simultaneously, a strong burst of fire, apparently from 30 to 40 rifles, came from the trench, and a machine gun opened from RELAINCOURT.

5. Lieut. Buermeyer heard the fire and saw Lieut. Taylor drop. The Germans then rushed, and Sergeant Ruskin and Lieut. Buermeyer fell back on the patrol as quickly as possible. The patrol fell back about 400 or 500 meters, found they were pursued no further, then formed and returned to TUMULUS, Lieut. Buermeyer deeming it not advisable to return to engage an enemy who greatly outnumbered his, both in men and rifles. His patrol was armed, one half with rifles, the rest with pistols.

6. An earlier patrol of the same strength, under 2nd Lieut. Edward N. Wigton, had come in contact with a strong body of the enemy at about the same place at about 10:00 p.m., and had driven them back with V.B. fire. Upon returning to TUMULUS at 12 midnight, Lieut. Wigton instructed the sentry at the point of departure and reentry to notify the next patrol, but failed to report his contact with the enemy until 8:00 a.m. 24th March.

7. Copy of patrol leader's reports has been furnished Intelligence Officer, 9th Infantry.

 
JOSEPH J. TRAVIS,
Major, 9th Infantry, Att.
 
 
1st Ind.
Hq.9th Inf.,A.E.F.,France, 25 March 1918 - To Comd'g General,
2nd Division, A.E.F. (Thru Military Channels.)
 

1. Forwarded. In view of the position in which Lieutenant Buermeyer found himself when rushed after Lieutenant Taylor was shot it is believed that he could not have recovered. Lieutenant Taylor's body except at an additional loss of men and even then it is problematical if he could have succeeded.

2. It is believed that patrols should not be sent out regularly and when patrols cover the same ground no patrol should go out until the return of the preceding one.

 
L.S. UPTON,
Col., 9th Inf., Comd'g.
 
2nd Ind.
Hq.3rd Brig.2nd Div.A.E.F. Mch 26/18., To the Comd'g Gen'i 2nd Div. A.E.F. forwarded: With reference to paragraph 2, 1st indorsement--- instructions have been issued by the Colonel commanding I.D. (French) covering point raised, pertaining to sending out and conduct of patrols.
 
PETER MURRAY,
Brig.Gen'l.N.A.
Comdlg.
 
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BATTALION,
NINTH INFANTRY, A. E. F.,
March 23, 1918.
PATROL ORDERS:

Three patrols of two officers (to be detailed by Bn Scout Officer) and 16 men each, will leave TUMULUS and lie in ambuscade for one hour each at point on LAMOURVILLE-SPADA Road about 400 meters N of RELAINCOURT. Sergeant Guillemin, 325th R.P. will accompany the first patrol.

Equipment: as usual.
Hours of patrol: 1st patro1,8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  2nd patrol,11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
  3rd patrol, 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
All patrols report, with sketch, to Scout Officer, before 8:00 a.m.
By order of Major Travis:
W.L. HANAVAN,
1st Lieut.,9th Infantry,Att.
Adjutant
 
March 23 - 24, 1918.
Patrol Orders 2nd Bn. 9th Inf., Mich. 23-24, '18 -(to accompany Patrol Operations 2nd Bn. 9th Inf. Mch. 23-24 '18.)
 
March 23, 1918.
 
To: Lt. Taylor, Co. E.
From: Scout Officer, 2nd Bn, 9th Inf.
You will take another officer and 16 men of your company to be the third patrol tonight. Take half of the men those who have already been on a battalion patrol. Leave Tumulus at 2:00 a.m.,March 24, relieving 2nd patrol under Lt. Brainerd, Co. F, at position of ambuscade. Establish ambuscade with lookouts posted to observe in several directions for security. You will return at 5;00 a.m. Mar. 24 Over same route.
V. A. HOERSCH,
1st Lt., 9th Inf.
 
Records Of The Second Division (Regular) Volume 7; Operation Reports — War Diaries — Patrol Reports
Second Division Historical Section, The Army War College, Washington, D. C.
 
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