The next night's march (July 9-10) found us at Bois de -, near Duizy, a reserve position where the company stayed until they intrucked on camions on the afternoon of July 16th for Foret Domaniale de Ritz [sic]. The rolling kitchen, combat, and escort wagons moved on the night of the 15th and 16th. Nobody knew where we were going but every one was of the opinion that we were going to a training area south of Meaux. Those that harbored this opinion soon changed their minds however for the camion train continued to move northwest all through the night, and toward morning we passed troop after troop of French Cavalry and many tanks. This together with the direction we were travelling gave us a pretty good idea what was coming off.
THe company arrived at Foret Domaniale de Retz near Taillefontaine about noon July 17th and had just gotten settled when orders came to strike tents and prepare to move at once that we were going to attack the Boche next morning at daybreak. The company was on the way in a very short time and every man was in excellent spirits even though they had been at Chateau-Thierry for 40 days and had not had any sleep, and nothing but a sandwich to eat for the past 24 hours.
The hike that followed will be long remembered by the company, the roads were muddy and so crowded with artillery, ammunition trains, tanks, ambulances, automobiles, rolling kitchens, cavalry, etc. the doughboys had to hike in the gutter. We arrived at our destination just before dark. Maps and orders were issued and the officers got busy reconnoitering the positions. A thunder storm came up after dark and all through the night ammunition details were trudging over the dark and muddy road. 4:35 was the h hour. At 4:15 the company was in position along unimproved road forming triangle 600 meters north of Chavigny Fme waiting for the word to move forward. At 4:35 sharp the artillery opened up like a clap of thunder and the company moved forward in a northeasterly direction at 100 Yds per two minutes.
The Bosche frantically sent up their barrage signals all along the line and in a short time their artillery had a well defined barrage line.
The first prisoner taken was a youngster of about 16 years who had a gunshot wound in the left ear. He was in a very hysterical state of mind and apparently thought he was about to be shot in cold blood for he kept his hands in the air and Kept yelling "Kamurad" long after he had been taken prisoner. The company encountered its first hard fighting by machine guns near Beaurepaire Fme. The company being held up by the right flank. Two automatic riflemen instantly got into position & in a short time the machine guns had been located, shot up, and the company moved forward again. 500 meters north of Beaurepaire Fme the company captured a battery of artillery and several machine guns, the captured guns were still hot. Between this artillery position and Maison Neuve Fme the company encountered another machine gun nest, Corporal Sanders on his own initiative crept forward, killed a Bosche [sic] machine gunner and captured four of the crew and turned the gun on the retreating Bosche.
At Maison Neupe [sic] Fme the company was held up for about 30 minutes, finally two big tanks came to our assistance. The Bosche had several machine guns located there and a battery of artillery 100 meters northwest of the farm which was using direct fire. After cleaning up Maison Neupe Fme and taking several prisoners the company in liason with a gallant first Moroccan Division on our left moved in a southeasterly direction on ravine running from Chaudun to Vierzey [sic]. The Bosche made a desperate stand in the ravine but were soon driven out. Vierzy fell that afternoon.
After a hasty reorganization the company again went into the attack forming in the ravine near Vierzy and advancing under heavy artillery and machine gun fire until compelled by darkness to stop and consolidate.
After the first attack only three officers were left in the 3rd Btn., remainder being killed lr [sic] wounded and shortly after the second attack started Captain Henry W. Worthington was killed gallantly leading the battalion, leaving only two officers.
After the company passed the road leading into Vierzy from the northeast, numerous machine gun nests were encountered and the small tanks at this point gave valuable assistance.
The company consolidated for the night two kilometers east
its left flank resting on the Chauden-Villmontoire [sic] road.
At daybreak the morning of the 19th flock after flock of Bosche planes flew over, giving the Bosche artillery exact range of our position. At 7 A.M. the Marines were shceduled [sic] to pass through our line and we were to be in readiness for any eventuallity.
THe company maintained its position under extremely
heavy shell fire during the day and was relieved the night ofthe 19th and 20th.