Captain Mike Hogg, 1918: US Army, 90th Division, 180th Brigade, 360th Infantry, 1st Battalion, Company D
Ima’s brother Mike fought in World War I and wrote to her when he could. Here is an excerpt form one of his letters:
I have not written very often, because it has been impossible to write at times. I have been on the front for almost four months and in places where it was not healthy to do any writing. However, I think you have missed getting some of my letters. I have written at least once every two weeks at all times.
Here is just an enumeration of things which I saw one day while we were on a hill in reserve, on the night we went up to relieve another outfit:
A marsh just below the hill, full of dead horses, torn-up wagons, and cannon. A road just beyond the marsh, winding up a hill in one direction to where a town once stood, but now nothing but white bricks mark the place . . . .All along the slope of the hill where I was, torn helmets of Americans and Germans. Fresh American and German graves, old French graves, pieces of rifles, shreds of uniforms, packs, shoes, grenades, small holes in the ground all over the side of the hill where men had dug in.
A railroad track, just this side of the marsh, all torn to pieces. Old pieces of machine guns and ammunition belts of Germans, where they had tried to make a stand.
The top of the hill all around me covered with what used to be brush, but which was now chewed up by machine gun bullets and looked as if rats had been eating it. Three large observation balloons, one of which was brought down by a Boche. The air alive with aeroplanes. Some were throwing propaganda, which looked like snow falling.
Shells falling and knocking up the earth every few minutes. Our boys sticking close to the ground; cook stoves camouflaged and in full blast. Every hill in sight full of American Infantry or Artillery soldiers; litter-bearers going after someone just hit by a piece of shell.
These are a few of the things I saw from that one spot. Imagine what could be seen when on the move.
Mike Hogg and his comrades had indeed been “on the move.” The 90th Division had been under fire from August 20 to November 11, Armistice Day, 1918.