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Some Interesting Items From the "Hour Glass9 Published in France.
1 1 THE DEMOCRAT is in receipt of a copy of the 'flour Glass," a newspaper published in France by members of the Sev enth Division, A. E. F. It is dated May 22, just after the arri val of that division at Le Alans. It consists of six 7-column pages, is well printed and ably edited. Four pages are devoted general news, army and camp life, and two to illustrations. Only two advertisements appear, one for the "Loyal Order of Moose," the other for the Gillette Safety Razor Company of Boston. The paper was sent to this office by J. A. Wimsatt. We reproduce on this page three articles clipped from the "Hour Glass" which we are sure our readers will find interesting a description of the division's trip to Le Mans, a comprehen sive description of the city of Le Mans, and an editorial. HOMEWARD BOUND On boys! Ain't it a grand and gloryus feeliu? With nearly all the division locat ed in their new billets in the Le Mans area, the first lap of the Sev enth's journey back to tbe United States is about completed. The date that the first units sail has not yet been announced, nor is the exact date of entraining for the port of embarkation known at this time, but it is believed that the Hour Glass will be able to publish full details in our next issue. Much work must be done before the division can leave the Le Mans area, and this is being speeded up as much as possible. All records must be completed and all paper work put in shape. All organizations will have to send their men through the delous iug plant. No cooties or pets of sim ilar nature can be taken home. It was great news that greeted tbe men of the Seventh,, when the move into Germany was called off and the move to Le Mau3 started for Le Mans is one of the way stations en route to the Statue of Liberty. The shift in orders, calling off the move into Germany and designat ing Le Mans, as the next "lighting place" of the Seventh, came as a complete surprise to everyone in the Division, for the advance parties of the sections has already estab lished offices in the Kyllburg area, and, as a Regular Army Division we could not expect anything else but being the last division selected to go home. The first rumor of the change in location came on May 7, when rumors began to fly thick and fast around Division Headquarters. No one could believe the home-going . talk. Then came the Commander in-Chief, who told us that we were booked for an early departure, and the fears that tbe rumor might prove groundless were dispelled. On May 10 the "going-home" dope was confirmed by a Warning Mes sage sent out by the office of G 3 It was ooe memorandum that car- lied joy to the hearts of the whole Division. This message stated that the 7th would move into tbe Le Mans area and the entraining would start about May 14. Drill would be dis coutinued. read the order, and the target .ranges would immediately be closed and properly policed, rail heads were designated and all sup rjlies would be turned in at the rail heads "toot-sweet." It was ah order , that will make G-3 popular Jorever. Immediately after the issue the Warning Message actual prep rations were begun to move the Division. Orders were issued recalliog tbe men on leave and requisitions for leaves were cancelled. Applications for discharges under the dependen cy clauses of G. H. Q. orders were returned to the men and officers slated to leave the division for early departure lo the States were retain ed in their organizations. Extra clothing was turned in over the Division and as much of the equipment as could possibly be spared was taken from the men so that the trip to Le Mans would be less difficult. Then came the administrative instruction) from G-l. Four sta tions were selected for the Divis ion's use in bidding good-bye to the Colombey-les-Belles area. Barizey la Cote, the division rail head, was selected as tbe entrain 1 ing paint for most of the units. The second largest number of "Hour Glassers" moved through Maxey sur Vaise. Then came Mauvages and Sorcey, the two stations where the artillerymen bade farewell to Northern France. Advance parties from every unit in the Division, including all tbe Sections of the General Staff, were sent into the new area, sufficiently ahead of the arrival of the first units to secure suitable billets and to make all necessary arrangements for the care of the Division, as the various units began to arrive The advance parties moved out upon receipt of orders from G-3. Eighteen trains were required to move tbe Division, and, in accord ance with G-l orders, every train was commanded by a Field Officer with his staff, consisting of Train Adjutant, Train Quartermaster, Train Mess Officer. Train Surgeon and various officers to be detailed as officers of the Guard. The billets were vacated and thoroughly policed in plenty of time to allow the unit to be at its en training point at least two hours before the departure of the train As fast as the troops vacated, in spections were made and in all cases the billets were found to be in excellent condition and the col urn ns began to file out toward their stations. Trucks, were allowed by G-l to haul the baggage of all the units and these trucks always arrived at the old stations in plenty of time to allow the loading details a bit of rest before their departure from the railhead. "Guard Mount" couldn't be escap ed, tor as soon as a unit arrived at its railhead guards were posted and strict orders were issued to main tain good order, which was not hard to do in the Seventh, especially with the United States looming up aueaa. Boxes for the reception of refuse were placed at all the stations, and these boxes kept down the work of the policing details. Tbe stations and grounds were never so clean before as they were upon the de parture of the Hour Glass Division, for every Commanding Officer was under strict orders to keep his area clean. Brooms, as well as rifles and packs, were carried to the entrain ing points, and every car to be used was thoroughly cleaned before tbe men were allowed toente. Two Mess Sergeants were placed on every tram and, under their di rection, each car carried its own special "Belly Robber." A big ration detail was selected for each train. with orders to properly distribute the rations in every car and, as far as possible in a troop move, no man was allowed to go hungry. Arrangements were made so that the R. R and C Office would have little to do. i The Commanding Officer of each train, accompanied by the French Official in charge, made a rigid in spection of the train and signed memorandums as to the condi tion of the trains before departure. A Sergeant was placed in charge of each car and given as assistants two other N. C. O's. No one was allowed to leave the cars, except on orders from the Commanding Offic ers. and the noncoms were placed therein to see that this was obeyed. Even the buglers were carried along and were used on the trip to make things more interesting When the C. 0. wanted to let tbe men out of the cars the bugler blew "First Call." and it was his duty to keep in touch with the French engine crew, and two min utes before the 'departure of the train be was to blow "Assembly." if he understood what the French train crew told him. The trains were made up with two coaches for the officers, twenty eight cars for the enlisted men, and two cars for baggage and rations, The good old American box cars, witb forty men to the car, handled tbe enlisted men in most cases, but where a shortage of American cars was encountered it . was found necessary to fall back on the old re liable "8 chevaux 40 hommes." The "Medico" were taken along in an especially prepared infirmary car. and tbe confirmed riders the sick book did not have to miss a single "C C" all the way down. of IE MANS Le Mans is to tbe shipment troops what Gievres is to the ship ment of supplies a sort of interme diate depot a half-way station be tween the ports of debarkation and the front wbere tbe troops are used Before tbe armistice tbe area was used as a place where divisions and smaller units were broken up and sent on to the front as replacements for divisions in the lines who had suffered casualties Since the armis tice, the area has been used as a collecting point for troop unite less than divisions and an equipment place for divisions bound for the seaboard. At present the area is known as tbe "American Embarkation Centre," principally because the area has all the functions of an embarkation point with the exception of the ac tual loading of men on the ships. Here the men are "made ready" for embarkation. They are deloused. eqiupped and inspected in the same manner as men at the ports of em barkation. Le Mans, like Gievres, is located half way between the seaboard and the old front lines. Prior to the conclusion of the war, most of the troops bound for the front were brought through this area. Here they were made ready either for further training or for actual front line duty. Several training areas were located in and about Le Mans. ere troops that lacked training were whipped into shape or grouped according to their experience and sent to other areas for training. At Le Mans also before the armis tice most of the personnel for work behind the lines was selected from the classification cards. Tbe Classi fication Camp, located in the western part of the city, did this work, hav ing employed a complicated though efficient system of classification of men fresh from the States. So great was the rush of troops through this area last fall that men worked night and day feeding, cloth iog and equipping them. The task was a mammoth one and compelled the fullest energies and co operation of all the personnel. Few soldiers who came to France as caBuat " de tachments missed the experience of being an inmate of Le Mans area. tbe same as few cars of food or battle equippment for the front missed being classified and sent over the "hump" at Gievres. At the present time there are eight principal sub-areas about tbe city of Le Mans namely. Chateau Gontier, Conlie, Ballon, La Ferte, Montfort, Ecommoy. La Suze and Sable. Functioning witb these areas are the Forwarding Camp. the Spur Camp, the Belgian Camp, the Classification Camp and head quarters, with . attending organiza tions located in tbe city of Le Mans. From the Spur Camp is obtained all tbe supplies for the area. Here are large quartermaster warehouses and storage plants, where all things needed to feed and cloth the sol dier are kept, awaiting orders of distribution. At the Forwarding Camp, divisions are loaded on trains for points of destination on the sea board. Here troops are received from advanced areas in France for billeting in Le Mans area At tbe present time there are a large num ber of miscellaneous detachments billeted at this camp awaiting travel ling order for ports on the Atlantic coast. Le Mans area, which has proved such a grand success, is the result of much work on the part of com manders who have been in charge of the work. At present the Amer ican embarkation centre is under the command of Major-General Har bord, commander of the S. 0. S. Soldiers in the area have been given permission to visit the city of Le Mans, which is one of the his toric cities of France. Tbe city at one time was a Roman fortress, and remains of Roman walls and, Ro roan baths are still to be seen. The Romans built a large circus ground in tbe city: This ground is now an American camp, but until a few months ago was an athletic field, the place making an ideal place for outdoor sports At present the Le Mans area of fers the divisions within its bound aries entertainment of many varie ties, troops working out of the cen tral entertainment bureau and visit ing all the places where troops are billeted. Within the next month soldiers will get an opportunity to see a bit agriculture fair and carnival, a street carnival staged by Americans, a circus by American circus soldiers. Nothing has been left undone to make the transient soldier content while here all the welfare organiza tions bending every effort toward making the days short with diver sions of high-class and clean charac ter. Regulations governing men while in the Le Mans area are no different than in other places where soldiers are billeted. Tbe city is well policed, but the soldier is given a wide range and his ability to keep out of trouble de pends solely upon whether or not he is a gentleman. Spending an afternoon or a day in the city can be made a real plea sure. The Y. M. C. A makes daily trips to places of historical interest and has a well-organized informa tion bureau for the edification of the visiting soldier. In tbe city- is located the largest Y. M C. A but in the A. E. F. and here something is always doing. NOW, GOODBYE From the - time when the 7th Division first went to the front to take its place fighting with tbe veteran divisions of tbe American Army it has been in the Department of Meurthe-et-Moselle. We fought on its hills and through us forests. Uiir chance for glory was found there. There we met our baptism of fire and steeled our nerves to endure. We surrendred not one inch of the ground given to us when we came into the sector, but instead wrested back for France a substantial area of very difficult, well organized terrain. Those whom we lost are buried there, near Thia court For us then it is tbe most glorious part of France. We know its every hill and valley, stream and wood, road and village We endured tbe rain and mud through the winter and have been rewarded in May witb the coming, of tbe sunshine and flowers. We have found ourselves unconcioualy paraphrasing a well known rhyme. "Come to France in lilac time, in lilac time, in lilac time." We now know its people and are able to sympathize with their suffer ing. Past their doors through the long months of the war have steam ed tbe endless chains of supplies to be swallowed up at tbe front. They have seen the gallant, eager young men going forward, and the sad streams of broken, crippled, wound ed, weary men returning. They have lived under the constant menace of a breakthrough and the aviator's bomb. Can we admire their bravery enough, can we marvel sufficiently that they have come tbrdugb with unbroken spirit, ready to rework their fields cheerfully? We have lived for more than a halfyear within sight of the flat top ped hills before Toul. We leave these guardians with some reluct ance as we turn toward home. We hope that tbev can , testify to the ages to come that we did our ut most and that our utmost was good. Missouri ' has been apportioned about 200 surplus army tractors to be used io road work, and it is said that those army tractors can pull a powerful big load. We can use 'em to good advantage.