The Diary of 1st
Lt. George W. Stoner, Jr.
Company M, 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Division, U.S. Army
Nov. 29, 1918 through July 7, 1919
Transcribed and edited by his son, George W. Stoner, 2009
BEGINNING OF PART 2
Fri., Nov. 29--Moved to 445--quiet.
Thurs., Dec. 5--Fired on by patrol.
Fri., Dec. 6--Bombed by British plane--Sickles killed, one wounded. Relieved by French to Oberzerskaya, finished at 10:30 PM. Received mail London & Achinson[?], book from Marg & papers.
Sat., Dec. 7--Inspected outposts.
Sun., Dec. 8--Over to Malorzerka
[After securing the outposts along the
Railway, M Company received new orders.]
Mon., Dec. 9--Orders to move to Pinega--Investigations of plane accident.
Thurs., Dec. 12--Arrived at Bakaritza
crossed ice to
Tues., Dec. 17--Mail, Cable, packages. Cabled home.
Wed., Dec. 18--Left Archangel at 11:55 arrived at Uemaskaya at 3:15 PM--16 versts.
Thurs., Dec. 19--Left Uemaskaya at 8:40 AM--arrived at Liablskaya at 12:40. Fine quarters. 17 versts.
Fri., Dec. 20--Liablskaya at 7:30 AM arrived at Kossogorskay at 10:30 AM--19 versts. Many hills and fine scenery.
Sat., Dec. 21--Left Koshogorskay at 8:30 arrived at Kholmogori at 1:30 PM. Beautiful scenery, cold wind, poor hiking. 21 versts.
Sun., Dec. 22--Rest at Kholmogori.
Mon., Dec. 23--Left Khol. at 8 AM arrived Ust penega t 11:45 AM--19 versts.
Tues., Dec. 24--Left Ust penega at 8 AM arrived at 1:30 PM Verklme Pallenga. Fine quarters--Wrote 9 letters. 23 versts.
Wed., Dec. 25--Sgt. Dundon, Cooks Pavlin, Johnson & I left V Pelenga 7:30 AM--drove 24 versts to Leonova--11:30 AM--Poor billet. Dont look much like Christmas but feel good just the same. Here is hoping the silver lining will show up soon and that next Xmas will be better. Saw two Russian women washing clothes thru a hole in the ice.
Thurs., Dec. 26--Left Leunova at 8:30 arrived at Gbach 1:45 PM. Tough going. Good quarters.
Fri., Dec. 27--Left Gbach 8:30 arrived Svila at 12--Left at 3 arrived Pinega 6:30. Quick trip, interesting news--up all night quartering men--good sleep after.
Sat., Dec. 28--Rested, moved men into new quarters.
[While little action is listed in the battle history, some orders from Capt. Moore describe the strategies employed on some specific dates. Copies of the orders are shown elsewhere. Russian commanders and volunteer troops are stationed in this area and referred to in some of the orders.]
Co M 339 Inf Pinega, Dec 29Capt Moore to Lt. Stoner1. You will proceed by sleigh as soon as possible today to Soyala where you will establish your Hq. Enemy threatens to come across from TRUFANAGORA to cut line of communications, and perhaps hopes, as indicated by telephonic message intercepted, to capture or bar the progress of our artillery enroute from base2. Your chief mission is to get the artillery here3. Your second mission is to organize defense of l of c, leaving men at various points which you deem strategically necessary. Moore, Capt.
Sun., Dec. 29--Left Pinega 2:30 PM [advanced outpost position, some versts south of Pinega], 29 sleighs-45 men. Arrived 7 PM. Cold trip, up most of night.
Mon., Dec. 30--Inspected guards. Sent patrol to meet artillery. Magin to Zrozera--changed guard.
Dec. 31--Everything quiet, got telephone working to Pinega. Messages from Magin. New Year s Eve at Soyolski.
Jan. 1-1919--No convoy yet, visited mens quarters, inspected rifles. Convoy arrived between 9 & 11 PM.
Jan. 2-19-Convoy left 9 AM. Corp Laur for Gbach at 9:30 AM. Everything quiet.
While the 1st
squad (Stoners) is on the line at Soyala, this situation
developed: Hq Allied Forces Pinega Jan 5 1919SECRETCapt
Moore to Sgt Magincopy sent to Lt Stoner1. The enemy
has been reported to be fortifying TRUFANAGORO, 50 versts east of
your position, and also to be cutting a oad west with intent to
attack SOYALA. 2. Our forces are beginning an operation to beat
him to it. Lt. Mozelenski with two companies is now working east
form your position. He has a telephone at Zaouezera and will send
runners back to communicate with Capt Akutin by phone. Capt
Akutin with main body moves by river road with artillery and 17
Americans. [No #3, page 2 continues] 4. You are to receive
?? squad from Lt Stoner. I have ordered it by phone. Copy of this
order goes to him5. You are to keep constantly informed of
the progress of events making brief record in writing. Be sure to
inform me or Lt Stoner. Keep up your own patrolling and stand
ready to support the Volunteers. 6. Verify the report as far as
possible. The Volunteers tell big tales. Moore Capt [On
reverse side of page 2] Sheridan and 50 men will be in Leunova
tomorrow night. Supply train will come on through Wednesday from
Jan 5-Sun. Everything quiet-sun shown all day about 15 degrees below. On river watching Russians fishing through ice.
Mon Jan-Sent Corp. Bitz to Zorgera 8:15 AM.-Hand arrived at 2.30 PM. With rations, sent Magin 10 days.
Tue Jan 7-Christmas Day for Russians. Sent Laurs rations to Gbach. Everything quiet.
Wed Jan 8-talked to Lt. Sheridan at Leunova. Sent Magins cigarette rations. Convoy of 23 sleighs to Pinega. Laur returned. Volunteers fought at Pochezero.
ForcesPINEGA Jan 8/19Capt Moore to Lt Stoner,
Soyla1. It is some comfort to know that our rear is well
guarded by you at the point where the enemy boasts that he will
break through. We are tidat trying the doubtful issue of battle
at TRUFANAGORO. The Volunteers will perhaps be back at Pinega
tomorrow. We are hoping they will win. If they lose and the enemy
pursues, you may have some fighting at Zaouzera and Soyla. We
will hav e them turning our left flank. But we feel lots more
confidentt than we didDonovan left Arkangel
yesterdayWe shall soon be more powerful. 2.
Thur Jan 9-Much excitement, little sleep, but nothing happened. Weather very moderate.
Fri Jan 10-Prisoner convoy going South also 25 empty sleighs. Wool to Pinega.
Sat Jan-Lt.Sheridan left for P:inega12 Noon. I left at 2.30 PM arrived at 6 PM. Received mail, Minn, Marion, Gladys, Willie N., Mrs. McKee & F Kull.
Sun Jan 12-Left Pinega 2.30 PM. Arrived Soyala 6 PM.-15 below zero-22 versts-some ride. Lt. Sheridan stayed all night. McGregor to Zorgera.
Mon Jan 13
Tue Jan 14-Jimmy passed through at 10.30 AM. not quite so cold. Sent Mosher to Pinega.
Wed Jan 15-Visited village priest-YMCA man brought mail, cigarettes and tobacco, had supper with us. Letters from Maude, Mardia, Gladys & Mrs. Cleis.-wrote L.L.W.
Thur Jan 16-Sgt. Peterson, Wilson & Thomas arrived at 3 PM. With rations up to & including 24th. Everything quiet.
Fri Jan 17-Corp
Picard went to Zorgera in AM. Sgt. Peterson went on patrol
through woods. Y man stopped at 5.30 PM. On way to
Sat Jan-Sgt. Peterson to Zorgera. Built Barricades-Wm. Lewis arrived.
Sun Jn 19-30 below clear & quiet. Sgt. Peterson & I went to Zorgera.
Mon Jan 20-Quiet.
Tue Jan 21-Clear, quiet & cold.
Wed Jan 22-Quiet-6
months since we left
Thur Jan 23-Med Sgt arrived at noon with supplies. Pvt. Lang left at 12.30 with rations. Word at 12 PM Bolos attacking volunteers at lake ?-Lt. Primm arrived at 10 PM.-letter from Maude Nov 30.
Fri Jan24-received orders to proceed to Pinega-Left at 6 PM arrived 9:30 PM clear & quiet.
Sat Jan 25-Re-organnized platoon-Hebner plat Sgt-drew equipment.
Sun Jan 26-Received dope on future plans-quiet.
Mon Jan 27-Quiet,
Tue Jan 28-Left for Kohm at 1 PM-arrived 3 PM>
Wed Jan 29-Left Thur 30 Kohm at 7 PM stayed at 707 two hrs-moved across river and back, reached Toromgorski 4 A.M. built barricades-fight at Ust Pocha.
Fri Jan 31-Left Torom at 3.30 AM arrived at Pinega at 8.30 A.M.
Sat-Feb 1-Plat on guard.
Sun Feb 2-Bob to Uralskaya B active on front. Tested M Guns
TroopsFeb 4/19Capt Moore to Lt Stoner1. Enemy
probably will attack our forces at PELIGORSKAYA tody. Heis
occupying SHELIENSKAYA. Our forces occupy a village 2 versts this
side of SHELIENSKAYA. 2. We want to inflict severe losses on
enemy and repulse him. Our artillery goes out at 9:00 A.M. You
will go with it as guard and act as artillery support and flank
guard to main position. Later I shall send ½ platoon to assist
you. 3. Lt. Wright will aid you with a flank attack on evening.
Try to find out where his trail comes in. 4. Report to Capt
Akutin and tell him my play of action. Any radical change of plan
Akutin will be first explained to me by message or phone.
Tue Feb 4-Left P at 9 AM with Art for Peligorskaya-two patrols met North of Pele. Guarded artillery-cold night & quarters.
Wed Feb 5-Relieved at 11 AM by Lt. Wright-very cold ride-arr Pinega at 1.30 PM.
Thur Feb 6-Left P-at 9 AM to Pelegori-relieved Lt. Wright-Ordered back to Kholm at 3.30 arr at 4.30 PM-
Fri Feb 7-Quiet at Kholm
Sat Feb-8-Relieved by Lt Weiczorek at 9 AM arr at P. at 10.30-Fine day & cold.
Sun Feb 9-At Pinega-tested L Guns & Chauchen in P.M. Bolos reported moving back.
Mon Feb 10-Drove to Monastary opposite Uralski. Had Chi
Tue Feb 11-Lewis G instruction
Wed Feb 12-Drilled plat in AM
Sat Feb 15-Drilled plat in A.M.
Sun Feb 16-Went to R dance
Mon Feb 17-in Charge of outpost 35 below.
Tue Feb 18-Mail
coming-42 below. Received mail-carton of Fatimas from
Wed Feb 19-40 below snowing and blowing-answered letters
Sat Feb 22-Had our dance: some party.
Mon-Feb 24-Jimmy left for Arch.
Tue Feb 25-Quiet. Dance at Y.
Wed Feb 25. Dinner at Mil Commandants. Received good news that we were to be relieved as soon as possible, also that we had been awarded Croix de Guerres.
orders to proceed to
Tue Mar 4-Left Pinega at 5 PM-Arr-Soyolski 9.45 left 1030-arr Gbach 3.30 AM
Wed Mar 5-Left Gbach 10 AM Arr-Leonova 2.15 left at 4 PM-arr Verst Pelenga at 8.30 PM
Thur Mar 6-Left Verst Pelenga 7 A.M. arrived Kholmogaro 3 PM.
Fri Mar 7-Left Kholm-11 A.M-arr Luvola 6.30 PM.
Sat Mar 8-Left Luvola 7 A.M. arr-Smolny 11.30 A.M. Reported at Am H.Q. in afternoon. Heil here.
Sun Mar 9-Men of 1st & 2nd platoons inspected. (medical).
Wed Mar 12-Started LG School at Smolny.
Sat Mar 16-Received mail-(Family. Gladys, Marcia, Smiler ECR & Bert L. Dance at Regt. Hq. More mail Mother, Minn John, Florence Marguerite.
Tue Mar 18-Finished
Fri Mar 21-Lt Kenslov-party
Sat Mart 22.-I Co. mustered at Rgt. Hq.
?-Mar 26-Mail from
Gladys, Miss Sickles &
Thur Mar 27-Ordered to leave Smolny left 4.30 arr Prestm? 630
Fri Mar 28 Arr Oberzerskaya. Left 10 AM arr 18.5 Verst 2.30 PM. 1st Plat on front line.
Sat Mar 29-Shelling from our guns. 2 airplane flights
Sun Mar 30-Shelling from our guns also on RR.
[The next three days marked the last major campaign for M Company. It took place between the village of Obozerskaya and Bolshie Ozerki 18 miles to the East. (MAP PAGE ??). The situation is described by one source (LIST ?) as follows: Bolshie Ozerki was on the critical overland route linking Onega and Obozerskaya, along which all personnel, mail and supplies were transported to and from Murmansk during the months that the Dvina River at Archangel was frozen over. The Bolos advanced on Bolshie Ozerki from the south through the frozen swamps and on March 17th they attacked and wiped out the small French garrison in the village. The Onega and Railroad Fronts were now effectively cut off from each other. On March 23-24th, elements of the 339th Infantry attacked the Bolshevik forces in the village from both the east and west, but failed to dislodge them. Relief troops and Engineers were brought in to prepare for another assault on Bolshie Ozerki from the east. Before they were ready, the Bolshevik forces broke out of Bolshie Ozerki on March 31st and headed towards them with the objective of taking Obozerskaya on the railroad and cutting off the Allied forces who were still at Verst 445. (MAP) Four miles east of Bolshie Ozerki, they engaged Company M of the 339th Infantry, who were sufficiently dug in to stop their advance and buy some time until reinforcements could arrive. Those reinforcements came on April 2nd in the form of Company H of the Onega Front who had linked up with the British 6th Yorkshire Regiment, which was newly-arrived from Murmansk and on their way to Archangel via Onega and Obozerskaya. They were able to attack the Bolos from the rear while Company M continued to block their path to Obozerskaya. Under severe pressure from the Allied forces and faced with rapidly warming temperatures, the Bolos retreated southward on April 5th. The diary accounts for those three days follow.]
Mon Mar 31 1st Plat. Bolo Artillery opened up about 9 AM. Line of communication out in rear. Attack on rear repulsed 9 Bo killed. Corp Pratt wounded. Dial killed-Lutzele Laursen & Hogan missing. 1st Plat attacked at front in PM L.O.C. clear-relieved in PM-4th?
Tue Apr 1 Shelling in both sides. Heavy attack on front-Left Flank Blockhouse-5 prisoners about 30 killed. Sap & Crook killed.
Wed Apr 2-Heavy Shelling on both sides all AM. L.S.S. no casualties. Attack on front line-Weiczorek
Thur Apr 3- L flank O.P. opened MG at 2.30 AM-false alarm. Primm on front.
Fri Apr 4 1st Pl on front-wire laying party (?) Relieved at 7 PM left at 10 PM arr Oboz-3 AM.
Sat Apr 5 Rested all day-Capts party in evening [SHOT AT OBOZER PIX]
[From this point until departure from Archangel in June, the slowly declining activity for M Company involved moving back and forth among the outposts along the Railroad between versts 470 and 444the latter being the southern most advance along that line toward Emtsa.]
Sun Apr 6-Quiet-mail
Mon Apr 7 Rested-answered mail.
Tue Apr 8 Ordered to 466
Wed-Left at 10 AM for 466-Co arr 2.30 PM Primm & I on outpost. Bob to 55-Colonel with us for breakfast.
Thur Apr 10 First Rain. New cars furnished-Quiet.
Fri Apr 11-20 letters & papers
Sat Apr 12-Answered mail-Heil relieved.
Sun Apr 13-Quiet. Roleau & I left for Archangel 8 PM.
Mon-Aug 14-Arr Barkaritza 4 AM. 466-11 AM-to 55 at 3 PM-second cholera inoculation. Received cable.
Thur Apr-17 Quiet-Chaplain Laudowski stayed all night with us.
Fri 18-Wrote letters in AM
Sat Apr 19-Received mail Mother Minn Florence Millie N. Atchinson, ?? & Marcia. Bad accident-Corp Russell-killed Corp Picard, Corp Romanski & 1st Cl. Pvt Norman Miller injured.
Apr 20-Primm & I left 466 at 2 PM reached 48 at 5 PM. Relieved 2 P of E Co.
Thur Apr 24-Had lip lanced. Primm moved to 446. Arck ? Regt 1 Plat at 48
Fri Apr 25. Parley 5 shots-wrote Minn
Sat Aug 26-Quiet
Sun Russ Plat relieved
Mon. Apr 28-Artillery on both sides in PM.
Tue Apr 29-Capt Moore & Lt Wright to front.
Wed Apr 30-Ranged guns. Inspected by Major Graves received Russ Ribbon.
Thur May 1-Hardke to Archangel. ?? occupied new rear B 19 ?
Fri May 2-Art fire on both sides
Sat May 3-Heavy art fire on both sides four hours. Light inf action on front-no casualties.
Sun May 4 Pvt. Manders to 455 for treatment-Pvt Ordisk ? reported-Pvt Hardy returned to platoon.
Mon. May 5-West to 455 to receive French medal. About 10 rnds art fire on both sides. B Plane over at 5 A.M.
Tue May 6-2 B planes over at 5 AM. Bolos registered ??? gun on front positions-answered firing all day
Thur May 8-Quiet all day relieved at 8.30 PM.
Fri May 9 Reached Obozerskaya at 2 AM-Big praznick ?
Sat May 10-Rested
Sun May 11-Walked over to Forestry Village-Entertainment by Carp ?
Mon May 12-On fatigue in A.M. Received mail & pictures
Tue May 13-Cold-answered mail.
Fri May 16 Quiet-Inspection ? Prazick [Party in Russian?]
Sat May 17-Inspection-Received date of our departure from Obozerskaya and name of ship we are to sail on.
Sun May 18-Bob, Sgts Hebner & Walker & I went fishing with rifles-caught 6.
Mon May 19-Fatigue-Received orders to proceed to Archangel Tue PM.-Lunch at Hq. at Forestry Village
Tue May 20-Left Obozerskaya at 8.30 PM-Praznick-Left Bakaritza at 11.30 AM-Wed-21-Arr Econonia ? at 1.30 PM-looked for quarters. Seems too good to be true.
Thur May 22-Men deloused. Bathed.
Fri May 23-Drilled in AM inspected by Col. In PM.
Sat May 24-Co inspection. Bob, Wright and I went to Archangel. Had dinner at Military Mission.
Sun May 25 Returned to Economia
Mon Tue Wed Thur Friday-16-27-28-29-Equipped men-physical exams & parties.
Fri May 30-Co to Archangel to parade-received Russ Decoration in afternoon. Tea with officairs (French) of Vologda Force. Big Prazmick at night-stayed aboard Generals boat.
Sat May 31-Left Archangel at 10 AM.
Sun June-Went to Archangel. Prestore ? for supplies for Co.
Mon June 2-Boarded Czar about 3 PM. Fine ship. In AM-reviewed by Genl. Richardson, Genls Ironsides and Gov. Genl Miller of NorthernRegions.
Tue June 3-Awakened by Regimental band at 6.30 A.M. Last line cast off at 7.40 AM. Ran aground, but was soon pulled off-a wonderful day and one we have been looking forward to for a long time-Le Guerre finish. After entering The White Sea we passed U.S.S. DeMoines who gave us a farewell send off. Going northward it began to get colder. 4 PM we began to pass through ice fields, which lasted until about 9 AM. Wed.
Wed Jan 4-Awakened at4.20 AM. by ship bumping into ice-at 8.15 had breakfast went on deck to watch ice and seals. Passed through the neck of White Sea into Arctic Ocean about 9 AM. leaving ice fields behind. Our ice crusher left us about 10 A.M. Encountered a dead roll and many are sick. Have lost the Stephens, Kalyan ? is way to the North of us. Keep running into snow storms. 3.30 PM-Still off the Kola Peninsula. Very barren.
Thur May 5th. Off coast of Norway. Fine scenery-mountains are covered with snow. Weather is fine. Sun out most all day-Passed many fishing craft. Stayed up to see midnight sun but clouds covered the sun about 11 PM. Sailing about I.W.Por? changed-1 hr
Fri May 6-Up at 7 A.M. Cold-no sea, out of sight of land. 1 hr 5 min changes. Ran into fog-nothing exciting
Sat May 7-Misty and foggy. Warmer. Changed 35 min. Began to get rough and rained.
Sun May 8-Entered harbor of Leswick Shetland Isls. At 6 AM and left at 4 PM-Very pretty and a good harbor. First signs of civilization since last August. Attended services on board. Picked up Orkney Islands about 7 PM. Ran into heavy seas.
Mon May 9-Picked up Hebrides Islands and took inside channel to keep out of sea. Squally all day. Left H Islands about 8 PM-striking a heavy roll from west.
Tues May 10-Entered Irish Sea very calm-Saw coast of Ireland & Scotland-Passed Isle of Man about 8 A.M. Wales in P.M. Praznicks in #46
Wed May 11-Fine day off coast of France. Reached Brest at 2 P.M. Disembarked-and marched to Camp (blank). Tents-condition of camp good. Future possibilities unknown. To bed early.
NO ENTRIES UNTIL
Thur June 12-Spent the day in Brest. Saw young ?eal.
Fri June 13-Examinations and drawing equipment.
Sun June15-Charge of fatigue detail.
Mon June 16-Had final (?) inspection. Into Brest for identification cards.
Tue-June 17 Received mail from Maude & Mother. On fatigue detail.
Wed June 18-Tried to go to Brest
Thur June 19. Wright & I took a cross country walk to (?)
Fri June 20-Last examination at Pontanezere ? Left at 6 PM with baggage detail, finished loading trucks about 10 PM-Stayed at Red Cross Tent? Unit?
Sat June 21-Loaded baggage on U.S.S. Von Stueben at Noon troops came aboard at 3 PM.
Sun June 22-Fine day. Left Brest for U.S.A. at 10 A.M. Fine weather.
Mon June 23-Cloudy and cool-reading & bunk fatigue.
Tues June 24-Fine day-calm. Passed battleship about 9.30 AM.-Went on guard at 2.30 PM-C. of G. Movies at night.
Wed June25-Calm & cloudy
Sun June 29-First rough weather-Inspection-Expect to anchor to-night.
June 30-Arrived Hoboken 10 AM-Camp Merritt NJ. 2 PM.
July 2nd-Left Camp Merritt 11 PM.
July 3-Arrived Detroit 7 PM.
July 4-Arrived Home 2 AM.
July 5-Left for Camp Custer
BACK to PART 1
Created: 13 April 2009