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KEYSTONE SOLDIER DESCRIBES BARRAGE, “HUNS ON THE R
- Small World War I address book and larger diary with board covers kept by Vernon Collins, Hiram, Ohio. The soldier does not specifically give his unit but in the back of the address book he drew in ink the “Keystone” insignia of the 28th Division followed by “Div.” and the word “Hdq.” Besides names and addresses of comrades in the address book, Collins added various bits of information including two lists, one identified as “On Person,” in which he listed everything worn by the soldier, including “hat and cord,” “ornaments 2,” and “tags Ident.” The other list is headed “In long pack,” and lists everything contained therein, including “shelter half,” “2 blankets,” “mess kit,” “toilet & shaving articles” and “baking can.” The diary is 21 pages in length and is written in pen and pencil. He prefaces it with “The following tells briefly of my travels abroad—yes, France.” It begins with a May 28, 1918 entry of entering the service, and ends May 9, 1919. Contains some combat descriptions including one on September 26 (1918). “Were taken up into the Aragonne wood on M.P. detail. Had great experience trying to sleep on ground near a French 6 in. gun and an anti aircraft also. When the barrage started about 1 A.M. I soon got into a dugout, with the ammunition, for the concussion of such a gun is fierce.” Then, on Sept. 27, “Guarded Boche prisoners, Sept. 28th more prisoners then a long hard hike to Varennes here went on cross-road to keep traffic open. Div. moving up everything—Huns on the run. However they shelled the road and bridge near Varennes. Made my home in a German wine cellar in this shattered town which had been the German’s Hdqts only a few days previous. ” The diary is in very good condition; the address book has chips to covers and is in fair condition.