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WWI American Engineer’s Diary and Personal Items

  • Howard Cutler was a member of Company E, 37th Engineers, AEF. He was Allston, Massachusetts and his soft-covered diary with “Over There” imprinted front cover begins June 9, 1918. The diary was published for troops by Longfellow, Ltd., Boston, and the title page is imprinted with “OVER SEAS JOURNAL” and an imprinted quote by Edward Everett Hale—“REMEMBER, BOY, that behind all these men you have to do with…there is a country herself—Your Country—and that you belong to her as you belong to your own Mother.”
    In his diary, Cutler (no rank noted, but apparently an enlisted man) provides brief descriptions of daily activities (Fort Belvoir) including inspections, training and tours of the Washington, DC area. DIARY SELECTIONS: Notes leaving dock on June 30, 1918 (“Everybody happy.”). Mentions ship fire drills, picking up a convoy and landing at Southampton, England on July 9. On July 21 he was issued a bayonet. Goes to Chateau Thierry on August 4 to trace a map. August 16 he experiences an air raid at 10:30PM (“Killed 2 of our company: Ormonstead & Bennett: Wounded 17 others 1 seriously. Jeeves Auburndale lost an ear. Jack got a hole in his coat. I got struck by a stone on the hand not serious. 13 bombs dropped within 100 yds, 2 within 100 feet of myself. Callahan died abt 20th; Kiefer died abt 22nd; Brown died abt 26.”) Burial in French cemetery. Describes occupation service in and around Coblenz, Germany in December, 1918. Embarkation to United States aboard “Princess Matoika” March 8, 1919. March 18 rough seas (“Badly listed to the port 6’ water in bilge pump out of order. March 20 landed at dock with Camp Stuart (Newport News, Virginina) 2 miles away (“Left ship at 10 up through city with roaring cheers. Candy & smokes. Dinner at 3:00 good supper also. Got deloused again. 4th time.”) For more details about entries in this diary, call 434-296-1288 or email
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