Note: This diary was transcribed letter for letter by Harry’s granddaughter. Any misspelling is intentional.

 

 Harry was from Grand Haven Michigan and was 26 years old when he was drafted into the Army.

 

Military Diary of Harry J. Baggott.

 

 

I entered the service from Kenosha Wis, on the 21st day of September 1917. Sent to Camp Custer Michigan and was assigned to the supply co. 940th Infantry.

 

 

Oct 7th. Transferred to CoB310th Engineers

 

Bourded train at 2:30 pm July 11th 1918 for camp Mills L.I. Ny Y.

 

July 12th  train stopped and we paraded the streets of Scranton Penn. Arrived at Camp Mills about 9:30 P.M.

 

July 13th   got “overseas”      examaanation and more equipment today.

 

July 15th   Very hot here. Yet examed, every day

 

July 20th  Went down this evening to Hemstead Long Island.

 

July 21st  were called at 2:30 AM. From tents, ate lunch, and we were on our way to train for transport. bourded a tug at 5:30 am. which toke us to the Army transport pier. Walked up the gang plank of the British steamer “Grampian” at 9:00 AM. Ship left the wharf and went toward the mouth of the harbor where it dropped anchor for the night.

 

Mon-July 22th   The ship lifted anchor at sharply 6:00am. And went writ to sea.

 

July 24th  2 days out of New York, weather fine, 16 ships in convoy.  food very poor.

 

Aug 1st  quite a storm raging today. lots of sea sickness. myself not sick a bit. English destroyers come out to escort us thru rub, infested writers.

 

Aug 2nd  Just off coust of Ireland, although very foggy.

 

Aug 3rd  Arrived in the harbor of LiverPool England and dropped anchor at 7:00 AM. The regiment split in two, 2nd Battalion leaves us bid ‘ Poody’ Scott goodbye. Our Baltalion stayed on ship all day until 7:30 PM. The hike to train depot.

 

Aug 4th  Waited at depot from 7:30 AM until 1-30 AM. of the 4th for train very tired slep on side walk. Arrived at 8:30 AM same day at Camp ‘Cow Shot’ Bissley-Surrey.

 

 

 

 

Aug 8th  training like “H---,gas attacks, byonets, practice shams battles, etc.

 

Aug 16th  On pass to London today. Had great time.

 

Aug 19th  2 girls from London out to see me. Also received heavy winter clothing, which undoubteley meant somewhere else instead of France.

 

Aug 25th   broke camp at 12 midnight and hiked to train. Bourded train at 1:10 AM of the

26th and we were off.

 

 

 

After 16 hr ride we get off train at 5:00PM and load on transport the British steamer (J) (S)yderisin City of New Castle, on the tyne. 2 hr and we are leaving the harbor into the North Sea- bound for Russia- 4 ships in convoy-6 destroyers escort us. Very foggy.

 

 

Aug 28th  very cold today, some snow. Destroyers turn back. We are now alone.

 

Aug 30th   We entered the Gulf stream and is quite warmer.

 

Sept 1st  In the Arctic ocean rounding the North coast of Norway.

 

Sept 3rd  Out of Gulf stream very cold again. shore can be seen. In the White sea. Much snow on the shore.

 

Sept 4th  dropped anchor in harbor of Archangel Russia. 9 day trip.

 

Sept 5th  Ship lifts anchor  pulls down the river 7 miles to “Bakaritzia” All troops leave ships. The Infantry battalion of 4 companies load in box cars imeaditetly for all night ride to front. Our Co. commenced to unload the 3 ships. We are quarted in barracks which formally held Russian troops.

 

Sept 7th  (gsl?) of the guard tonight

Guarding a quanity of gun cotton on the wharves (High explosives) Lots of Scotch whiskey being stolen from English.

 

Sept 15th  Building latrine and barracks. And also cleaning up the Russians filth.

Oct 2nd  Our platoon loaded on a scow at 10 P.M. Towed by Russian tug. This is sure a wild night. Raining and cold. Northern lights very visible. We reach Solombia about midnight or shortly after. We were drenched to the skin. Slept in some little old shacks for the night which formily held german prisonors of war.

 

Oct 3rd  Early this morning we went down to the scow and unloaded it.  Birsile our equipment  900 rolls of barbed wire. Severe snowstorm first of season. Rec’ first mail from states.

 

Oct 6th Sunday  Just opened up YMCA in a large building of the late Czar. Raining hard. Some congregation of men “frogs’ “Yanks” “ Russians” “ Scotts” “Tommies” “Canucks” and Italions.

 

Oct 10th  Building barracks for the new Russian army. Weather very cold.

 

 

Oct 21st   Had some dental work done.  8 inches of snow on the level. Getting awoful poor food.  Bully beef and hard tack, day in and day out. English and Americans don’t seem to “hitch” but nothing fort on account of that Everyone has the “Russian blues”. One never dreamed of such a life. British Slabrich legion with quite a number of Russian peasants but they are Boloshirkis at heart.  A hard tack can be sold for 10 reubles (1.00) American money. But the money has no value, there is absolutely nothing to buy.

 

Oct 28th  Snowing like H--. Epidemic spreads amongst the Russians and many die. Perhaps it’s the “flu”. Seen as high as 13 piled on a wagon headed for cemetery. Rec’ letter from girl in London. Sgt. “Sallie” with 14 men from our Co. comprising a barb wire party sent to front. This is the 20th day. Not heard from as yet. 339th Infantry loses heavily in casualties. Co “A” looses 7 men (Engineers). “B” has not lost a man yet to our good luck.

 

Oct 31st  Sent a cable gram home today costing 42 rubles and 84 Kopels. Sgt. “Sallie” heard from on this date. The English ordered him and detail to dig gun pits for Canadian artillery. Russians in their quarters across from the ones we are building mutiny and kick their officers out. The Americans were ordered to turn machine guns on the building for them to come out and surrender. After quite a few got “plucked” they did. Finaly 13 confessed ring leaders of the mutiny were backed to the wall and machine gun turned on them. British battleship in river had guns trained on them but did not think it nessasury to fire.

 

Nov 5th  Our platoon left Salombolia for Bakaritzia today. Weather very cold.

 

 

 

 Nov 6th  We are now making box cars bulletproof by making a wall inside and filling the space with sand. Americans and “Limmies” (English) get into a lot mix ups. Not much friendship existing between us.

 

Nov 8th  Rec’ first mail from home dated Sept 11th.

 

Nov 10th Sunday  Rec’ heavy clothing today. Sleeping bags, shackelton shoes, sheepskin coats, and heavy fur caps.

 

 

Nov 22nd  Very cold today, way below zero. Snow very deep. Harbor of Archangel froze over. French troops almost refuse to fight, dislike English so.

 

Nov 26th  18 below zero, snow very deep. Moved in box cars today to go to railroad front. Another fine trip, trying to put windows and doors on box cars when train is on the move. Arrived at Verst “455” at midnight. 145 Verst (90 miles) south of Archangel. All there is here is snow and woods. Sleeping bags come in pretty handy. 339th loses more men.

 

Nov 27th  Bolshurks getting livily. French armored train next to us open up heavy bombardment. The 4th of July can’t compare with this awful noise.

 

Nov 28th  Weather milder today. This is Thanksgiving day. It’s alright but a hard tack does satisfy our appetites.

 

Dec 19th  19 below today. Again the Russian troops mutiny.

 

Dec 21st  Shortest day of year about 3 hours daylight. 23 degrees below today. 12 of us are left here to finish up the barrack making for the “Y”. The rest of the platoon gone back to “Verst 466” “11 Verst” 62 miles. Sent mail down on midnight train. Rec’ mail from Ken, red cross and Art.

 

Dec 23rd  We finished the “Y” barraks and going back to rejoin rest of platoon at “466”. Our box car ran off track due to the ice froze over the rails. Delayed 5 hr. No one injured.

 

Dec 26th  Planning big drive. French legion, British legion, “Liverpools” and Our Co. “B” comprising the force to attack “Bolosheirfies. Every 2 men has a sled with tent and snow shoes, and also rifles, machine guns, grenades and gun cotton to blow up their positions. Oh yes we wont forget to mention the “bully” and “hardtacks”. After 3 days of floundering around in the snow in the woods, the drive is called off. The “Bolo” being aware of our movements. Good for us for we would be “sprouting up dasises now. They out numbered us 10 to 1. Being glad to get to the box cars, our present home.

 

Jan 1st 1919   19 below today. 75 Americans brought to the Russian red cross hospital here.

 

Jan 3rd 1919  Almost crazy with a toothache. Took chew of tobacco and then I was sick. And not chance to go back to a dentist for a while either.

 

Jan 12th Sunday  The Lieut gave me orders that I was to stay at Oberzerkiga with 5 privates to be assigned to the British Royal Engineers. So we packed our junk and left boxcars. The rest of platoon went down to the front again at “455”. This is the best place that I have found to sleep yet. We all made a bed of burlap sacks. 6 Americans and 5 Englishmen and 3 Scothmen. 24 below zero today. I have about 15 Russian men and 20 women working for me. I have charge of fixing up hangars for aeroplanes for English. It snows so much it sags the tent so the planes have no show whatever of getting in or out.

 

I am hairing (sp?) some large girders clear across the center put it. The women keep the field clear of snow as the planes are continuasly going and coming back after bombing the bolo trenches and dugouts. I don’t take comfort anywhere with such a toothache. And oh what “blues”, snow, pine trees, and Northern lights. Some life “Whow”

 

Sunday Jan 19th  Rec’ letter from Albert Woodard dated Nov 8th

 

Jan 20th  Letter from John dated Nov 30th and from F. Keeller and Pearl. Todays list of dead total 6 officers and 126 men, not including the wounded. 26 below zero today.

 

Jan 28th  To save myself from going crazy I finially get permission from English “Shavetail” to go back to Bakaritzia to the dentist. After a lot of red tape I get a pass to travel on train. Left at 10:00 pm and arrived the following morning at Bakaritzia at 7:30am. The passenger cars have shelves for bunks 3 high. I laid on one and it being pitch dark I knew not what or who was aside of me. On awaking in the morning I find a French soldier on my right and Russian woman on left. She must of washed her clothes in fish oil. Such an awful stench. “Phew”.

 

Jan 29th  Had 3 teeth filled. The dentist is half drunk on scotch whiskey. Took trip across the Dina  river with Eskimo reindeer sled that got very fast. From Bakaritria to Archangel about 7 miles.

 

 

 

             

 

Jan 30th  “Well-Well” had chance to take a bath, and did not let the chance slip by. Toke same trip across today as I took yesterday. Don’t expect to see Archangel again for a while. Going to the river front tomorrow.

 

Jan 31st  Our platoon again loads in boxcars ready for front. Train left at 2:00pm station of Bakaritzia. Arrived in Isikogorka at 5pm after train took on wood, we proceded on our journey. Arrived in Obozerskaya  at 9 am on the first.

 

Feb 1st 1919  Wonderful display of the Northern lights. 33 degrees below.

 

Feb 3rd  We are notified a ship sank in Arctic ocean which carried a quanity of mail for us. Dentist did poor job on my teeth they ache like H—again.

 

Feb 23rd  left again at 9:00PM for Bakaritzia. Arrived at 7 o’clock the following morning for 3 day rest.

 

Feb 27th  Archangel this afternoon, crossed with Eskimo reindeer sled again.

 

Feb 28th  moved in box cars again for a long trip. Left Bakaritzia at 10:30 AM. Arrived in Kholmorvorshaya at 5:30PM. We unload out of box cars, pack all equipment on sleighs starting out hiking thru the thick woods at 9:00PM. Dark and snowing hard. Hairngon shackelton boots they were very slippery. Almost every step I took I would fall, so I took them off and hiked in stocking feet. We will never forget this night, tired and hungry.

We hiked 24 “Verst” (15 miles) and arrived at a little hut in woods called Elmetska at 4:45 AM. Could of slept in snow so tired. The fellows all laid on floor to sleep like so much cattle. We were awakend, packed sleighs and devouring some bully and hard tacks we started out again at 11:30 AM of the morning of the 1st. Having hiked 19 versts (11miles) we arrived at Jilno on the Durina river at 5:30 PM. 1st slept like bunch of rats that night. Cockroaches crawl all over us. Would give most any thing for something to eat.

 

March 2nd  Left Jilno at 8:30 AM. Going in a southerly direction. Arrived at Siskoe at 1:00 PM 16 “verst (10 miles)

 

March 4th  We are not hiking today, making good use of rest. Very cold.

 

March 5th  Leaving Siskoe at 10:30 AM. Here we encounterd a bunch of Russian recruits drilling in road. We arrived at Elmetskoe at 4:30PM. 24 verst. Slept in a one time school house.

 

March 6th  Left again at 8:30AM. I am the advanced guard today, taking turns each day. I get “balled” out today. I got to far ahead of convoy. We reached Vzvos (26 verst) at 4:30 pm. Another place the cockroaches are very lively.

 

7th  Left again at 8:30 AM and arrived at Putshova 16 verst at 12:30 PM. We put the stove in the street and heated our tea on it, very cold today.

 

March 8th  Left at 8:40 AM and arrived at Moryegorskaya at 2:00 PM (20 verst)

 

March 9th  Left 8:30 AM and hiked (23 verst) thru a blinding snowstorm to Pianda arrived at 2:00PM. Ate lunch with Canadian Artillery , and we were on our way again at 4:30 same day. This time we rode (12 verst) to Bresnik American Hdq. This far we have hiked (180 verst) 120 miles thru deep snow and awful cold.

 

March 10th  Not hiking today. Boys steal lots of ‘scotch’ whiskey.

 

March 11th  Waited in snow from 7:30AM until 300 afternoon for orders from British notifying us where we were to go. Left at 300 and arrived at Ust-vaga 6:30 PM (16 verst) We are nearing the front for we are cautioned not to light matches or candles.

 

March 12th  Have no orders to move today so are laying in. Finialy get orders and at 5:15 PM we start out hiking again. We cross the ice of the Vaga river and arrive at Navilok (10 verst) at 8:15PM. Leave  several men here to fortify the place. Within a half hour we procede once more. Moon shining but very cold. We crossed the Dina river this time. The sled I was walking aside had a stove and cooking utensils. Going up the steep bank from the ice the sleigh tipped. Two of us had some job ahead of us trying to lift stove and straighten things out. We reach Rostovskoe at 11:30 PM (18 verst) Tired and hungry and on H---of a toothache. Then there was a scramble to find a place to sleep. Being on the last sleigh comin in I was out of luck. Finnaly I found a place.

 

March 13th  No breakfast, 1 hard tack for dinner . At 3:30 “Y” man gave us some crackers and coffee, could of ate a raw dog. Left at 4:40 and going down the ice of the Dina river “5 verst we crossed over to the land. Arrived at Kurgomin at 11:30 PM (22 verst). Being so tired I slept in spite of the aching of 3 teeth.

 

March 14th  Packed sleeping bags on sleighs. Half of platoon stays here with own “Lieut”. I am put in charge of our convoy of 19 men to go on to Toulgas. Here we crossed the ice again of the Dina. We were not fired upon as there was an awful blizzard. We arrived in Toulgas at 9:00AM March 14th 1919. Our long hike is ended, here sure is a bad place. We relieved “A” Co Engineers. There are a lot of graves here. English and “Yanks”. English officer has charge of us. Our object is to fortify this place so the “Bolo” cant take it.

 

Mar 15th  I am put in charge of construction work- that of machine gun implicements dugouts, urri(sp) entanglements, etc. First firing today Canadians fire their artillery on “Bolo” patrol on island in river for 2 hours.

 

 

 

Mar 17th  I have 42 Russian peasants working in sand pit on bank of river. Bolo see us as it is a very clear day. Bolo fires 5 shots at us with long range naval gun. The five were “duds”, they failed to explode.

 

Mar 18th  No firing today. Mercury down to 40 below.

 

March 19th  Northern lights very distinct to night.

 

March 20th  Bolo shelled us all day along.

 

March 29th  Bolo opened up just after dark and fired until midnight. The guns flashed in the sky like lightning. Then after midnight the Canadians hauled their guns out of the pits and sure give the “Bolo” hell until day break.

 

April 3rd  Bolo fires every day at our working party digging sand for dugouts.

 

April 6th  Snow still deep. Troops are slowly pulling out of here to Kurgomin across the river. Their places are taken over by Russians, Bolshiviks at heart, so it looks kind of dubious for us 17 americans left here.

 

April 9th  Rec’ letter from Sadie today dated Jan 19th.

 

April 16th  We left Toulgas at 4:00 oclock today going back to kurgomin across the ice. Feel safer over here amongst “white” troops.

 

April 17th  Got innoculated in the arm tonight for Cholera. Canadians opened up at mid night with an awful Bombardment. A fine time to sleep.

 

April 18th   “Bolo” fires on our aeroplans to day.

 

20th – Easter Sunday, no firing today. Snow melting fast.

 

April 22nd   Bolo started firing his large guns at 1:45 AM. Puts one in mind of a thunder storm the way the sky gets lite up and that constant booming. But he isn’t very good in finding his mark, or there would be a lot more uncounted for. At 10:00 AM he fires again on our planes. The planes dropped 3 bombs on Topsy their strong point. Captured prisoners stated the Bolo planning on mid night attack on us. So we are all “standing to” tonight.

 

April 23rd  Bolo didn’t make attack as planned-Russian soldiers in Toulgas desert and joins “Bolos”. Their loyal comrades shoot them down as they cross ice.

 

April 24th  got 2nd shot in the arm tonight for cholera.

 

 

April 25th   Russians troops in Toulgas that relieved us, turn Bolsherrkd(sp) 300 infantry men mutiny, killed 8 officers right in the road. They then let the real Bolos come in thru barb wire, so town is lost. We witnest this all from river bank. Although a battery of artillery (Russian) stayed loyal. Hitched horses to 3 big guns and tried to get out of town. The mutineers firing at them as they left. The Canadians got the signal on this side of the river. Then there was some awful firing, The 4 big guns of the ‘Canucks’ shooting across the river, seldom fail to hit their mark. Help ‘Canucks’ carry shells to their guns. It was an awful sight to witness. Our planes come over and drop many bombs on them. The Bolo population is a good deal smaller to day after this awful slaughter.  In margins( Not Louis-Slaughter EITHER)

                                                                                 

April 26th   Bolo makes infantry attack on us, but our machine gunners, and again the “Canucks” spoiled their notions by letting them get up to the barb wire then turn on them with all fury and pep there is in man. They were mowed down like rats.

 

April 27th   During night the bolo gets gun into Toulgas with out the observers seeing them. So now he gives us the devil. We cant even move with out getting fired at. At 4:20AM He made an attack but failed with large losses. 9:30 AM They get into deserted village and place machine guns. When about 200 had got in the 3 deserted shacks the “Canucks” dropped big H.E. shells right in amongst them, and as they tried to retreat across a field they commenced to drop like pins in a bowling alley.

 

April 28th   A little quieter today. Work on big gun pits today getting them ready when Bolo gun boats come down the river in near future. Then worked from 6 to midnight. At mid night as we work in dark he started 3 big guns a going beside the machine guns and star shells.

 

April 29th   This awful shelling it telling on the boys day after day. It sure is a nerve wracker.

 

April 30th  Worked all night on gun pits. Rec’ letter from Art and f Keeller and M. Nyland                                                                                                     

 

May 1st   This is May day “festivals” alright. At 2:30 AM the Bolo came down the river with 5 gun boats. And did he fire? To top it off his shore batteries all were firing on us. As his guns our ranged ours by 2 miles the Canadians simply let their guns stand and crawled into the dug outs. That was all they could do. The Bolo knew this so he tried to destroy our guns by shelling them. He fired until 9:00 AM (6 ½ hours) then his Infantry attacked our rear thru the woods. I think my hair is standing up straight today. And here the Yank machine gunners mowed them down like hay.

 

May 2nd   Bolo made his appearance at 5:00AM and shelled until 7:00 AM. Our big 6 inch guns are now in commission. Althou thes are large the Bolo has larger ones.

 

May 3rd   Same thing today. He has a real long range gun today. He is so far back you cant hear the report of the gun. One would think it was clear back in Petrograd.

 

May 4th   Worked all night digging trenches fearing an Infantry attack any day now.

 

May 5th   Same shelling. Worked all night on trenches.

 

May 6th   English gun boats came down from Archangel today. 3 of them.

 

May 7th   Worked all night on gun pits. Both fleets of boats are firing at each other. Besides all the guns on shore.

 

May 11th   Same artillery duels. Rec’ mail to day.

 

May 12th   Putting barricade behind guns so shrapnel dosen’t kill gunners.

 

May 13th   Bolo patrol got so close to our outpost as to throw hand grenades, killing a few Englishmen last night.

 

May 14th  Gen Richardson came from France to talk to the boys. The big “fat head” called us to the farthest end of Kurgomin so he would be safe from bullets. In the mean while the bolo sees us going out thinks we were retreating so he launches an attack on the side of town where we had our “nest”. Gee-whiz how those bullets whistled for a while.

 

May 15th   Prisoners taken today stated the bolos thinks we have all big guns surround with concrete like germans had in Flanders. So today he fires armour pireseing shells from his 6 inch guns. And what a hole they make. 2 horses could be buried easily in one. Our dug outs wont do any good if one of them lands on top. So we are safter in the open. To day putting up screen to hide the flash of the guns in woods. I caught a Bolshevik horse in woods tonight. It was a slick horse too. First we thought it to be a ruse or trap to get us out in woods than pluck us. But 5 of us undertook the risk.

 

May 17th   Last two day same amount of shelling.

 

May 18th   A little in our favor to day English gun boats came down a little closer. Must have had a larger ration of whiskey. Planning to take back Toulgas today. “Canucks” shell the town setting several houses a fire, where bolo is known to have concentrated. A very weird sight to witness. Sky is lit up. As bolo tries to retreat thru barb wire gun boats spray them with shrapnel.

Finialy after an awful bombardment a company of Welsh machine gunners and our 2nd platoon of “B” company took possession. 3 planes dropping bombs all afternoon. So there’s a lot more for us to “plant”

 

May 19th   Rec’ 4 letters from F Keeler and 1 from Carrie Palmer.

 

May 20th   Big battle both fleets starting in at 2:30AM.

 

May 21st   Having to have reinforcements in Toulgas. 14 of us on this side are ordered to go. I having knowledge of all dugouts and other fortifications when there before, also on the list. A tug took us across. We couldn’t go straight across for we would get blowed to H---. We finaly got there at 9:00PM. The road leading into town was literally covered with debris. Dead horses and also graves along the road. The little log houses of the peasants are practically wiped out. Just a few smouldering pieces are all that is left of the house that we lived in when here before. I found a place to sleep in the attic of a house about 4X9 ft. Van-loo and myself made a bed on the rough logs of the floor. No windows. Such  spookie place.

 

May 22nd   The dug outs that we made before are practically all destroyed. Bolos bombed them when he retreated. So for a place of shelter from heavy shell fire we are compelled to put them in shape again. But while doing this we are being constantly sniped at. So it is a very dangerous job, but most of the boys are so used to this that they duck their heads and joke of it. My squad and self buried a Boloshevik this afternoon. He had 7 bullets close to his heart. He must have had grit for he had a handerchief placed in the wound to take up the blood. We buried him on the bank of the Dina river.

 

May 23rd   Bolo shelled us nearly all day.

 

May 24th   The Toulgas church still stands althou pretty well marred up from so many shells flying. I went to take a look inside of it so see how the Bolos looted it when they had this town. I no sooner got in the door when he let go his (“whis bangs”) Little smaller than 2 inch guns right in the steeple. Then 2 a little lower. I ran outside and laid flat in the road. He then followed by spraying the road with shrapnel. I got up and ran over fences and thru a ravine. He lost track of me for a minute for he still was spraying the road further up. If I hadn’t of got in the ravine I no doubt would of got mine for this was the only chance of escape. I reached the top of the ravine and I see him drop 2 shells just over my head about 200 ft farther down. This was in the rear of the billet (?) where we had our  stove. The fellows all had dove in the dug out good thing, for the next shell blew the stove to a thousand pieces. When I see this one land I imagined I see the whole bunch of fellows go up in the air. Within 50 ft of here we had a large quanity of gun cotton (high explosive) buried. But to our good luck he hit neither boys or gun cotton.

 

May 29th   Some awful shelling the last few days. A few of us took a row boat and a quanity of hand grenades to kill fish with. But we kind of expected this, for when in mid stream, he opened up his large guns on us. There was some hurring for shore. When one of his shells hits the water it kills thousand of fish. But those shells are meant for us so no one takes the chance.

 

May 30th   Buried Lieut Hile today along side the other Americans. This was also done under shell fire. He was hardly recognizable. We thought it to be him from his description.

 

May 31st   This is the 1st day this month that the bolo dident fire. It is 10 ‘oclock PM and the sun is still making his appearance.

 

June 1st   No shelling. Weather very fine.

 

June 2nd   Russian patrol numbering some 30 men with rifles and 2 lewis guns start out early last night for all night patrol. Early this morning we were awakened by some awful yelling and looking at this patrol had encountered the bolo patrol. They were fighting with bayonets. The Russian leader sent up a star shell for the artillery to help them out. Then started to bringing those big guns. But the bolos away back of the line see the star shell too and thinking the signal from his men open up a most deadly fire. But the Russians won out and coming in with their prisoners some with their legs off and quite a few with bayonets wounds. This is what the Bolo leaders dislike to see, his men being taken prisoners, then he opens up his 6 inch guns on them all the way in to Jougas.

Van-loo stood by window until one lit directly in front of house. Could easily put 2 horses in the hole. This is where “Van” and I says, “were going now” and to the dug out we run about 300 ft.

 

June 3rd   Bolo fired from 11 to 12 midnight and 1:30AM until 3:00AM from gun boats and shore batteries.

 

June 5th   Every thing booming to day. I don’t believe a gun idle on either side. Some of the relief (English) came to day.

 

June 7th   Same amount of shelling.

 

June 8th  At last we get orders our warfare is over we are to be relieved. We left Jougals at 9:30 AM hiking to “gunners bridge” there to wait on the river bank for a tug. The Bolo must of knew we were leaving for there wasn’t a shot fired this morning until we got down on the bank. We were just out of his range now. Then he opened up every thing.

We watched the battle from where we lay. The new English relief having quite a bit of the france campaign thought this was to be a frolic. They found out right now it waren’t. They sure got theirs. We laid until 11:30 PM waiting for the tug. Practically 13 hours and not even 1 hard tack. But we knew we were going home now so we could stand it. In the meanwhile to kill time I went around the woods back of Toulgas and bid a lot of the Russians good bye. After their homes were destroyed they took to the woods and made little wig wams of bark. They wished they were going with me. We loaded on tug at 11:30 PM and landed at Bresnik at 2:30 AM of the 9th. We unload the tug and find our tent. For here the rest of the “Co” was waiting for us to assemble.

 

June 10th   drilled to day. All day we could hear the Bolos and English firing at each other although we are 21 miles out of there range. And what a sigh of relief to think of not having to duck any more. One can hardly believe it.

 

June 13th   Toked down tents, packed our equipment and bourded a scow at 2:00PM. At last we are headed for Archangel. 250 men on small scow, awful crowded, but who cares, we are going home.

 

June 14th   We arrived at stop at Bakaritzia at 2:00PM for ½ hr. We are again off. 2 Americans warships anchored in Archangel salute us as our scow passes. We arrived at Solombolo at 4:00PM after 26 hours coming up river. We unload and put up tents. Raining and cold shivering like a leaf.

 

June 16th   turned in our gas masks and helmets to day.

 

June 17th   Sent cablegram home tonight, Barr and myself.

 

June 20th  Turned in our rifles and bayonets to day. We are having 24 hours daylight. Sun shines allnight.

 

June 24th   Paraded in Archangel this morning. Went swimming in the river in the afternoon. This isn’t proper, but never-the-less we have to mention the fact that the women go in bathing here in hot weather, clad in nothing else, but what nature provided them with. So now that we have mentioned these little incidents, we will drop this immeadatly “well spoken”

 

June 25th   Loaded some our junk on the transport to day. Up to Archangel in evening.

 

June 27th   Broke camp at 11:40AM. Our 3 companies were the last to leave Russia. A Russian band leading procession. Thousands of people to see us off. We bourded the steamer Steigenwald a former german ship turned over to England on account of the Armistice agreement at 2:00PM. There was a Russian boy of about 15 years old that stayed with our Co, and even went to the front with us. We tried to get passage to the States for him but we couldn’t so we slipped him on---. The ship left the wharf at 8:00PM. It was a great sensation knowing we were leaving the “Red” Country for good.

 

June 28th   Up in the White sea. A good deal colder. Lots of snow on the shores.

 

June 29th   Entering the Arctic ocean. We ran into the Gulf stream so a good deal warmer. We went up on the deck at midnight. We knew it to be the last chance to see the mid night sun. Just about as high as it would be home at 3:00 in summer.

 

June 30th   We are rounding the Northern cape of Norway- running quite close to shore. Snowing on mountains, saw several shark to day.

 

July 1st   Quite cold to day. We are back in the Atlantic at 12:00 noon, just 425 miles north of the Shetland Islands.

 

July 2nd   A floating mine was sighted about 9:45 AM 300 ft off. The ship stopped and with about 15 minutes of firing it sank out of sight.

At 10:15 AM 2 whales were sighted off about 500 ft

At 8:00 PM a whole school of fish were following the ship. They were from 12 to 15 feet long.

 

July 3rd  dropped anchor in harbor of  Lerureh (sp) Shetland Islands at 4:00 AM. The town is built in a half circle around the bay. Then ineadiatly behind the houses arises the high mountains. Not much rock but grass and just literally covered with sheep clear to the clouds. We pull out again, after taking on water at 12:30 noon. Boats in harbor all salute.

 

July 4th   Running between Scotland and Ireland in North Channel very foggy

 

July 5th    Very foggy

 

July 6th   Arrived and dropped anchor in harbor of Brest France. 11 big ships are anchored close by. Raininng quite hard. Stayed on ship over night.

 

July 7th   Unloaded off ship at 9:00AM onto tug and then from tug on the dock. As we marched thru narrow streets of Brest, so many would yell “where you guys from?”

We were a hard looking lot. Many had no hats. I remember I had no sleeves in my shirt. We reached camp and had dinner at 11:15. We had mashed potatoes and corn, beef, good bread, and beans. And how the boys did wade in. Just a year since we tasted any thing like that.

 

July 8th   Inspections and examinations all day long.

 

July 9th   On guard to day some more inspections.

 

July 10th   Examanations this morning. I got a 5 hr pass in afternoon. Met Locke and Moll.

 

July 11th   We were called at 3:45AM. My squad was on the baggage detail so we were kept busy loading all our company’s supplies, such as all boxes with nerira (sp) records typewriters, etc. We loaded them onto truck , down to the wharf then on to a tug. We came back and ate breakfast. Finaly left  Pontenmazen (sp) camp at 8:00AM and went hiking for the transport. I recall on the road hiking to the dock a large finger made of wood fixed on the corner of a corner of a building. It was pointed to the large ships waiting in the harbor. Just below it was the words “This way back to God’s Country” How well we knew that. Weather very hot. Loaded on tug at 11:00AM As the tug headed for the large ships, the interest was great as to which one we were to get, as the other 3 ships we were on were old freighters, with very poor accomadations for men. There was some cheering when we put up along side of the “Northern Pacific”. Boarded it at 12:30PM . This sure is some ship. It is a ship belonging to the navy, so the whole crew are Jackies. Left the harbor of Brest at sharply 5:00July 11th 1919.

 

July 12th   Ship making 22 knots an hour. The weather is great. Not a ripple on the water. We passed several ships already. Some that left Brest 2 days ahead of us. So we know well we are hitting up a great speed.

 

July 17th   Arrived in the harbor of New York, but it being foggy, the ship ran real slow. Sometime in the afternoon it dropped anchor in mid stream. So we stayed on ship over night. Every one eager for the morning when we would step on land again.

 

July 18th   Ship docked and we were off at 9:00AM. Raining. Rec’ ice cream and pie from Red cross and some things from Jewish welfare board. We then bourded on ferry and over to Hoboken New Jersey. Bourded a train  for Camp Mills at 2:30 PM. Raining hard. At night went down to get a traveling bag.

 

July 19th   Put all clothes thru the delouser today. Turned in our rifles, bayonets, belts, all except 2 blankets and rain coat.

 

July 20th   We are all set for going out of here so we move into tents for night. All Michigan men going to Camp Sherman Ohio. All Wisconsin men to go to Camp Grant, Rockford Ill.

Went to Liberty theatre in evening. Dident sleep much that night, so eager to get out of this life.

 

July 22nd   Were awakened and had breakfast at 3:00AM. Hiked to train still very dark. Raining quite hard. Pulled out of here just 4:00 oclock.

 

July 23rd   We stopped early this morning in Cleveland Ohio for 2 hrs. Toledo a short while. Just 3 hours in Chicago. Arrived at Camp Grant at 11:30PM. Were pretty tired by this time. But the first thing on the program was another examination. By the time we got thru that long line and then found a barrack it was just 3:00 oclock AM of the 24th.

 

 

July 24th   Awakened at 6:30 oclock and got ready for the day. “Went thru the mill” as it is known, that is got examined again only a real thorough one. One had to go before about 8 doctors. The come a lot of papers to sign, Then the pay check.

 

July 25th   Rec pay to day for (blank) and also that long overdue discharge . Felt like getting out of some penitentiary. Went down to station  bought a ticket for Chicago. Left Rockford at 2:00 and arrived in Chicago on the CM and ST.P Railroad at 5:00PM. Bid all the boys good bye right here in the depot on Madison St. I walked down and bourded the Alabama at 6:30PM. At 7:30 pulled out of Chicago. Sat on deck all night so used to missing a nights sleep.

 

July 26th   Arrived in Grand Haven at 4:00AM. I hiked out home and went to sleep on the porch using shoes for pillows, until Sadie awakened me some time later.

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of Harry Baggott