Background: It is November of 1918 and more than one year since my grandfather, John Rodney Jamieson, who we later called ‘Poppa’, enlisted in the United States Army’s 20th Engineers. In November, 1917 he sailed to France aboard a troop transport ship. He was assigned to the headquarters unit of Company A based at a camp set up inside a bull ring in Dax, France. However, on November 7, 1918 he travelled to Langres France and enrolled in Army Candidate School (A.C.S.). Here are the journal entries he wrote one hundred years ago this week.
From the Journal of John Rodney Jamieson
Sunday November 10, 1918– Spent day taking walks over county. Beautiful hills and valleys.
Monday November 11– Germany signs armistice today. Tonight guns are booming and crowds yelling. (?) (?) and organized into companies today. Assigned to Co. B. Live in a crowded barracks, much mud, poor grub, but good fellows and I expect to like it.
Tuesday November 12 – (One Year today) First day of training. Busy all the time from 5:30 a.m. until taps at 10:30. Don’t think I will hear taps many nights.
Wednesday November 13– Work very interesting, lots of it not a minute to spare all day or night. Drill, eat study and sleep.
Thursday November 14– Weather cold but A.C.S. goes on just the same. Some say the war is over but for me it has just begun and just what Sherman said it was.
Friday November 15– No waste in this mess here. I am hungry all the time , much drill and cold weather gives the appetite.
Saturday November 16– Half day Drill and (?). Inspection right after dinner, went to Rolampont spent evening at Y. lunch room and on return home.
The War Ends!
The Great war ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Originally celebrated annually as armistice day, we now call November 11th veterans day.
But what does it mean for Poppa?
Although the end of the war is certainly a reason to celebrate, Poppa seems reserved in his response and less than enthusiastic about the training he is beginning.
The day after the armistice Poppa writes is his first day of training and marks one year since he left the United States.
Poppa is living in Langres which is about 8 miles from to the community of Rolampont where he “spent the evening” on Saturday November 16th.
In 1918 Rolampont was the headquarters of the AEF 42nd Division.
Next Week: Many Rumors About this School Closing
Book: Organization of the American Expeditionary Forces