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  • World War I two (2)-book diary set used by Private Cleveland Bishop of Battery A, 102nd Field Artillery. Exceptional content. The first diary, consisting of 11-1/2 pages, is an account of Bishop’s enlistment in the artillery battery on May 25, 1917. He arrived in France on October 5, 1917, after training at a camp in Boxford where, during a big thunderstorm, “…one of the boys was killed.” On Oct. 21 he had his first practice on gun and … “fired the guns for the first time.” He reported on Feb. 7, 1918, “The firing battery left for the front. Feb. 8 Bat. A fires first shot at the boche. Feb. 11 Machine Gun Co. leaves for the front in the Chemin De Dames sector. Feb. 12 We fire out first shot at Boche plane & boche planes gets sausage. Feb. 13 Germans send over barrage of gas shells mixed in.” On the 17th of February Bishop wrote the Americans were fired upon by Boche Artillery, and then on the 18th, “Pretty near got hit by shrapnel.” The same day he noted “Americans get Boche plane,” and “French get Boche plane,” and on the 19th the French get another enemy plane. The second diary book is titled on its cover “The Soldier’s Diary and Note Book,” and contains combat references on approximately 24 filled pages. Written in pen and pencil. One descriptive entry (February 12, 1918) reads “Our first glimpse of war this afternoon. While watching a bombardment of aeroplanes an observation balloon was sent up. Suddenly two German planes shot out of the clouds pursued by French planes. One shot down. Got the balloon and the other came over us probably taking pictures. Balloon burst into flames and observers dropt in parachutes. This war is getting too close for comfort.” Although no name clearly written in either diary, within the latter diary was a hand-written pass dated November 9th, 1917. “Pvt. Bishop Batt ‘A’ 102 F.A. has permission to be absent from camp from 7A.M. Nov. 9th until 8:30 P.M. Nov. 10th.”
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