header image

July 21, 1918.
Report Col. Upton Operations Beaurepaire Farm July 17-21,1918.

Images 1 | 2 | 3
 
To Commanding General, 3rd Brigade.

In compliance with your Memo this date the following is submitted:

For movement 9th Infantry July 17th and 18th till 5.00 P.M., see my report battle BEAUREPAIRE FARM July 18th. About 5.00 P.M. July 18th, I received orders to attack to south-east on left of Division and Brigade front with 23rd Infantry on r_ight. As all units were mixed up, the attack could not be launFhed till 7.30 P.I. when the regiment formed up on a front of about 1 kilometer on the eastern edge of ravine northwest of 7ILRZY. A battalion of Marines (2nd Bn. 5th I believe) was assigned me. I issued orders for attack with two battalions in 1st line, 2 battalions in support, 2nd Bn. 9th Infi, on right, Marines on left, 3rd Bn. 9th Inf., in support on right, 1st Bn., 9th Inf., on left. A M.G. Co., reported and was assigned to accompany attack with support (Note. I wa8 my own adjutant and everything else as all my officers were back at old P.C. - the group I took forward being wounded and sick. I lost all copies orders and. my memory cannot supply details). Two Companies M.G. under Capt. Chapman were to follow the attack. I never say" or heard of them as they did not arrive before I moved out. At 7.30 P.M. I started the attack in person with a group of runners for liaison. The 1st Bn. 15th Field Artillery was to sutport the attack bUt no attempt was made for a barragei counter battery work bel4g requested. For about 1,kilometer no resistance was encountered, then boche M.G. held us up. I received late word that 15 tanks would attack with us,. These were late in arriving but froM my position near the front line I 0ould bee theM advancing so I gave orders to wait,for them, When they arrived the lihe went forward. When the left arrived optosite the BOIS de ECHELLE a hey boche M.G. fire opened, having:. the iine in flank. Out' information in the attack ordea! 'stated that the Ftench had advanced on our left and that French th.valry had advanced in out front, all of which was erroneous and led to our heaviest losses. When the M.G. fire developed the MarineS swung to the left accompanied by their tanks to meet, the new opposition and I saw no more of them. My 1st Bn. followed the Marine tight and landed in the BOIS de ECHELLE near the cross road 1 kilometer northeast of VIERZY and I did not see them till the next day. In crossing the beet field where the line split I lost a man killed and 1 wounded from my small group. I picked. up a few stragglers and pushed on to the front to get contact with my right. The fighting was very brisk at the crossroads 1 kilometer northeast of VIERZY and after passing this point I ran into my front linc, now a mere line of skirmishers and all there was left of the regiment. We continued to advance till dark at 9.00 Then we halted and dug in, assisted by the 2nd Engineers who arrived then. The line then vas Company D, about 30 men left on left of road, 3rd En., under Lt. Davis, 130 men on right of road, 2nd Bn. under Lt. Knott on right of 3rd Bn., approximately 150 men.

All.my battalion commanders were killed or wounded. Captain Worthington was killed and Captains Speer and Colburn were rounded. My line was broken due to Machine Gun fire in ECHELLE Woods and I had no liaison with Marines or 1st Battalion except Company D, which was with me and was my left which was in the air. As my battalion Commanders were young 1st Lieutenants I decided to maintain my P.C. at the front line to handle the situation in person and help them by my presence. We dug in and maintained our position against a boche counter attack the morning of July 19th and at 9.00 A.M., the 6th Marines passed thru us to attack and some French came up on our left.

2. Liaison.

The only liaison that could be maintained was by runner T.: all our other means failed, due to lack of equipment, time
establish and congestion in rear. Runner liaison was kept up during the first attack on July 18th, but failed utterly in the 2nd attack due to the nature of the terrain; casualties to Battalion Commanders and the fact that the Re'imental Commander accompanied the attack in person. I sent my acting Liaison Officer, Lieut. Keen, 15th F.A., to direct the line to advance, but never saw him again. He reported next day and told how he had tried to rejoin but simply could not find me. In the first battle, my P.C. was at the edge of the BOIS de VILLIERS COTTERETTS in rear of my sector. I moved to BEAU-REPAIRE FARM at noon. I had liaison with 23rd but none with 5th Marines, as my runners could not find them. Notice of change of P.C. was sent to 23rd Infantry and 3rd Brigade.

In the 2nd Attack the 23rd Infantry was notified in person of location of P.C. Brigade was not until cross road N.E. VIERZY was reached.

3. Prisoners.

12 officers and 238 men were sent back thru my old P.C. during first fight. One prisoner was taken in 2nd fight. The boche line broke and ran back when we were waiting for the tanks and boche M.G. in woods before mentioned prevented pursuit. The boche played M.G. from wheat field, etc., and kept falling back so there was no chance of taking prisoners.

Prisoners were sent back under guard to Division. This was done after I had left my old. P.C.

4. Guns and materiel captured. It is impossible to make any exact report for it is unknown, how many guns were abandoned by the boche in our front. The whole ravine northwest of VIERZY was lined with guns of all calibres, all of which were abandoned. If this information is wanted for giving credit the only way to give credit would be to locate guns in fronts passed over by regiments. All my battalion and Company Commanders were either killed or wounded so I cannot call on them for reports and any estimate would be a mere guess, especially as due to the mixture of elements of 5th Marines, 9th Infantry and 23rd Infantry, near BEAUREPAIRE FARM, caused by change of direction of attack.

I think a fair estimate would be that the 23rd Infantry captured 2 guns per 1 for 9th Infantry.

The hardship imposed on men already exhausted by the first attack by being required to again advance without food was great and reflected the high quality of our troops in being able to advance under such conditions.

 
(Signed) L. S. UPTON,
Colonel, 9th Infantry.
 
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.
 
Last Update: 06/18/2017 8:42 AM Sitemap Search this Site ©2002-2017 MG Ryder & Contributors