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TWO 301ST INFANTRY DOUGHBOY’S DIARIES W/ ARTIFACTS
- WWI diaries (2), ephemera and artifacts belonging to Leon A. Achorn, Co. G, 301st Infantry. Achorn’s diary begins on July 4, 1918, when he leaves camp by train going to New York City and the White Star Docks. His account of his boarding a transport is one of the most detailed encountered, and a good portion of his remarks are included here.
“Great sendoff at all factories along shore. Loaded on boat at 3:30, R. Cross gave ice cream and cookies. Went down to hell hole but slept on open deck. Left dock at 4 A.M. Met other boats and left harbor at 11 A.M. Very calm sea, a long, dreary day…slept on open deck. Routed out at 3 A.M. to clear deck for sailing out harbor. Ship Cedric. All ships camoflouged.” On Sunday, July 7, he wrote—“Routed out at 5 A.M. to clear deck for washing. Capt. Smith received staterooms for a few N.C.O.’s. Mine was like a sweatbox but a clean place. We all got life preservers to wear at all times. Life boat drill began. Sea a little choppy. Saw school of porpouses around ship.” July 8—“Regular routine with one hour’s drill for each co. 240 men posted for guard and most decks cleaned for drill which made life miserable for all concerned. Boys about 16 very prevalent among ship’s crew. Target practice at 200 yds.” July 9—“Man died of heart failure. Feeds rotten as usual and feeling bum from sleeping in such hot quarters. Had a detail of men working sorting out barrack bags all day.” July 10—“Very warm and uncomfortable in most parts of the ship. Sea very calm. Haven’t been sea-sick yet. Living mostly on canteen products. Man died of appendicitis. Expect to arrive in Liverpool on the 17th.” July 11—“Much cooler, having left Gulf Stream; sea quite rough and choppy, waves breaking across deck. Can sleep comfortable now. Packed all barrack bags ready for disembarkation. Have bought $12.00 of food from canteen so far.” To read more, call 434-296-1288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org