The 88th Division in the World War of 1914-1918

Front Cover, The 88th Division in the World War of 1914-1918, © 1919.

Front Cover, The 88th Division in the World War of 1914-1918, © 1919. GGA Image ID # 18103228c4

Publishers’ Note

This, the official History of the 88th Division, is published by authority of the Commanding General of the Division, who, under date of 3 June 1918, made the following announcement:

88th Division
U. S. A.

The Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company has been authorized to publish the official History of the 88th Division, which will contain in picture and in text the achievements of the Division—its training, its service overseas, its return home and demobilization. A complete roster of all officers and men who served in the Division overseas will form a part of the History.

All members of the Division are assured that this History will, in every way, be a worthy volume, and all are urged to secure a copy of what will be the record of one of the most interesting chapters in their life’s history.

William Weigel,
Major-General, U. S. A.

The publishers undertook this work in view of the interest and enthusiasm evinced by the officers and men of the 88th Division, from the States of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, the Dakotas and neighboring States; and upon the assurances of co-operation and support from them and that there was a tremendous demand for a book giving in pictures and text the accomplishments of the 88th Division.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge, with appreciation, the co-operation of all those who have made its issuance possible, especially

  • William Weigel, Major-General, Commanding General.
  • Fay W. Brabson, Colonel, General Staff, Chief of Staff.
  • C. S. Buck, Major, Adjutant.
  • Tom D. Nelson, Captain, Assistant G-2.
  • Edgar J. Larson, Captain.
  • Jacob Hofto, Captain.
  • W. T. Burns, 1st Lieutenant.
  • William Darrow, 1st Lieutenant.
  • L. R. Fariall, 1st Lieutenant.

Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co.

15 July 1919.


  • Organization and Training at Camp Dodge
  • Biography of Major-General William Weigel, U. S. A.
  • Arrival in France—Training and Life in the Trenches
  • After the Armistice
  • Two Years of American Accomplishment Since War Was Declared
  • Roster


This short story of the Eighty-Eighth Division's participation in the world war was prepared mainly to give the men of the Division a few facts which would enable them in future years to recall the many pleasant recollections which they will surely have of their service in the United States and France.

No attempt has been made to give a detailed account of the many noble things accomplished by each organization or individual. The book is simply a story of what the Division as a whole accomplished ; accompanied by photographs and maps.

The Division passed through three big stages in its career, therefore, the book is divided into four main parts:

  1. Organization and training at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and the trip to France;
  2. Arrival in France, training, and life in the trenches;
  3. The period after the Armistice, which includes training, athletics, entertainment, the trip home and demobilization;
  4. Complete roster of all officers and men who served with the Division in France.

Brief History of the 88th Division

4 September 1917 to 24 July 1918

The 88th Division, a National Army Division, was organized September 4, 1917, at Camp Dodge, Iowa, from men drafted from the states of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Illinois.

Later, when these first drafts had been transferred in large measure to Camps Cody, Bowie, Doniphan, Pike, Travis, and Gordon, newly drafted men from these original states, together with men from Missouri and Nebraska, constituted the bulk of the Division.

The Division was officered largely by reserve officers from the First Training Camp at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and from the Second Training Camps at Forts Sheridan, Snelling, and Benjamin Harrison.

25 July 1918 to 4 September 1918

July 25, 1918, the Division began moving from Camp Dodge overseas and was assembled in the 21st Training Area with headquarters at Semur, Cote d'Or, France, less the 163d Artillery Brigade, which was sent to the artillery training school at Clermont Ferrand in the south of France and never rejoined the Division.

5 September 1918 to 13 September 1918

On September 5, 1918, Major-General William Weigel, who had just been promoted from Brigadier General in command of the 56th Infantry Brigade of the 28th Division, U. S. A., which had taken part in the Second Marne offensive, was assigned as Commander of the 88th Division. The Division was assigned to the VI American Corps, First Army, for training in open warfare.

14 September 1918 to 27 September 1918

September 14, 1918, the Division moved by rail to the Hericourt, Haute-Saone Training Area near Belfort, France. Its position in support enabled the 29th American Division to be withdrawn from the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace and sent to take a prominent part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, where, crossing the river Meuse at Samogueux, it advanced to the high ground east of Consenvoye and captured the enemy artillery observation points and massed artillery there.

This maneuver enabled the American divisions west of the Meuse River to advance without having their right flank held up by artillery fire from these heights. Thus, by releasing the 29th Division from the Haute-Alsace Sector, the 88th Division contributed, not indirectly, to winning the important Meuse-Argonne offensive.

On leaving the 21st Training Area at Semur, Cote d'Or, on September 14, 1918, the 88th Division was transferred to the VII American Army Corps (with headquarters at Remiremont) for administrative purposes.

23 September 1918 to 1 November 1918

On September 23, 1918, advanced elements of the 88th Division moved into the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace, which was being temporarily held by the 38th French Division that had relieved the 29th American Division.

These advanced elements, totaling eight officers and four hundred men, were augmented until on October 7, 1918, Division Headquarters of the 88th Division was moved to Montreaux Chateau, Haute-Alsace; and on October 15, 1918, the command of the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace passed from the 38th French Division to the 88th American Division, which formed part of the 40th. French Army Corps of the VII French Army, while remaining under the VII American Army Corps for administrative purposes.

To reach the sector, the infantry and engineers of the Division had been forced to make long marches—sometimes 25 kilometers a day—on congested roads, pulling with them their heavily loaded machine gun carts, combat and field wagons, in cases, the average weight pulled per man being 250 pounds.

Furthermore, the Division had been forced to go without essential supplies because all available transportation was being used to the Argonne drive maximum. On arrival in France, the Division had been required to turn in all its field ranges, overcoats, and all except one blanket per man; and means of cooking had to be improvised or secured by purchase from the French or by the utilization of small French stoves in billets, supplemented by the extensive use of camp kettles and water cans. 

Until October 6, 1918, there were only two ambulances in the Division—and they had to serve the French troops in the area also.

Meantime, on September 20, 1918, a wide-spread epidemic of influenza set in, and in eight days, there were 1,370 cases in one regiment alone. This epidemic increased until October 14, 1918, on which date there were eighty deaths. All told, there were 6,845 cases of influenza and 1,041 cases of pneumonia reported, from which 444 deaths resulted.

After arrival in the sector, much additional marching was made necessary by reason of the withdrawal of French divisions and the re-arrangement of their forces on the north and south of the Center Sector of Haute-Alsace.

On October 24, 1918, the Division took over the Fulleren subsector of the South Sector of Haute-Alsace, making a total of approximately nineteen kilometers of the front line held by the 88th Division.

While in this (Haute-Alsace) sector, energetic patrolling, often in force, in connection with the French Division in the sector and later when the 88th American Division alone occupied the sector, kept the enemy constantly on the alert, held in the south many German planes, considerable artillery, and several divisions which had remained in this sector of the German line for a long time. Consequently, all this force was held out of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and again the 88th Division contributed, less indirectly, to the success of that offensive.

In this (Haute-Alsace) sector, several night raids were carried out by the 88th Division, and a number of prisoners were captured, enabling the identification of the opposing divisions to be kept up-to-date. German "stormstruppen" troops, assigned to the duty of roving from one sector to another between the Voges and the Swiss Border, also made several raids on the lines of the 88th Division, both at night and in the daytime. These enemy raids were accompanied by gas projector attacks and by intense artillery bombardments, but at no time were the German raiding parties able to enter the Division's lines.

On November 2, 1918, the 88th Division began to withdraw from the Haute-Alsace sector. On November 4, 1918, it turned over command of the sector to the 154th French Division; 88th Division Headquarters was established temporarily on the outskirts of Belfort.

2 November 1918 to 11 November 1918

Meanwhile, on November 1, 1918, the 88th American Division was transferred to the Second American Army (with headquarters at Toil), and on November 6, 1918, began moving the advance brigade to the Lagney Area, north of Toul, where it was placed in the IV Army Corps (American) Reserve, which corps had headquarters at Wienville, preparatory to taking an active part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The Division's balance was placed in Second American Army Reserve, with 88th Division Headquarters at Lagney.

Again, the presence of the 88th Division, this time on the Meuse-Argonne front, made possible during the days immediately preceding the armistice the delivery up to the very hour of the armistice of even more powerful blows by other elements of American divisions released by the arrival of the 88th Division in Corps Reserve.

The plans of the Second Army for the contemplated attack east of the Mozelle River, effective November 14, 1918, and which was to strike the German line between METZ and SARREBRUCK, provided for the 88th Division an important part in what could have been a very important phase of the Metz coup. On November 11, 1918, the signing of the armistice stopped this new offensive and effectively put an end to the fighting.

The achievements of the 88th Division have been measured only by its opportunities.

Men Trained for Three Months or More in the 88th Division and Then Transferred to Other Divisions and Miscellaneous Organizations

Number of Men Transferred to Approximate Time

  • 1,500 30th Division March 28, 1918
  • 2,300 33d Division March 26, 1918
  • 3,000 34th Division October 22, 1917
  • 3,780 35th Division April 1-20, 1918
  • 8,300 82d Division April 1, 1918
  • 8,000 87th Division November 17, 1917
  • 7,500 90th Division May 16, 1918
  • 14,110 Miscellaneous Sept. 1917, to Aug. 1918
  • 48,490 Total of transferred men.

Organization and Training at Camp Dodge

Following the passage of the Selective Service Act and the registration June 5, 1917, of approximately 10,000,000 men, the problem of housing the new army had been solved only on paper. The plan adopted by the War Department called for sixteen National Army cantonments having a capacity of approximately 40,000 men each, and ground for drill, maneuvers, and target ranges adequate for the training needs of such a number.

On June 18, 1917, the War Department announced by General Order that an infantry (the 88th) Division would be organized at Camp Dodge, near Des Moines, Iowa. The site selected for Camp Dodge was ten miles northwest of Des Moines, the state capital of Iowa.

It had for many years been the camping ground of the Iowa National Guard. On June 29, 1917, when Major N. A. Butler, the constructing quartermaster, first rode over the cantonment site, there were no buildings except 12 company mess halls, which the National Guard organizations used during their annual encampments there.

There was also the arsenal of the Iowa National Guard, a concrete building of considerable size, located on the railway; and a small brick house, which was utilized as a Headquarters Building for several months.

Limited as they were by the lack of adequate railroad facilities, Camp Dodge's construction was no less remarkable than that of the other fifteen camps. A single-track electric railway between Des Moines and Perry, Iowa, in no way adapted to the heavy freight traffic and almost totally lacking in passenger cars for more than civilian patronage, made the transportation of materials extremely difficult.

By November 24, all buildings authorized to that date for the camp were completed with the exception of the theatre and two officers' quarters at the Base Hospital.

The 129 individual heating plants for officers' quarters and medical buildings, the sewer system with a total length of 131,052 feet, all water mains, having a total length of 170,355 feet, the pumping stations, wells, and million-gallon reservoir, the electric lighting system, the telephone system, and road work were all completed.

There were many changes and additions to the original plans, but these are incidental to the history of the Division.

An important feature of the cantonment that contributed largely to the welfare of the men was a part of the camp, centrally located and known as the Civic Center. Here a government-built and managed theatre seating 3,000 persons, a YWCA Hostess House, a YMCA Auditorium, a Lutheran Brotherhood Building, a Knights of Columbus Auditorium, and a library erected by the American Library Association, provided facilities for education, recreation, and amusement of all kinds.

History and Organization

The history of the 88th Division may be said to have commenced on August 25, 1917, at which time, in compliance with a War Department order, Major General Edward H. Plummer arrived at Camp Dodge and assumed command. He was directed to organize a division according to the following table:

  • Division Headquarters
  • Headquarters Troop
  • 337th Machine Gun Battalion
  • 175th Infantry Brigade
  • 349th Infantry
  • 350th Infantry
  • 338th Machine Gun Battalion
  • 176th Infantry Brigade
  • 351st Infantry
  • 352d Infantry
  • 339th Machine Gun Battalion
  • 163d Field Artillery Brigade
  • 337th Field Artillery
  • 338th Field Artillery
  • 339th Field Artillery
  • 313th Trench Mortar Battery
  • 313th Engineers
  • 313th Train Headquarters and Military Police
  • 313th Ammunition Train
  • 313th Supply Train
  • 313th Sanitary Train

In addition to the division organizations, the 163d Depot Brigade was established to which, later, all incoming drafted men were attached before being permanently assigned to the Division. The Depot Brigade also served to take care of men physically unfit for the service's combatant branches and hold specialists, such as psychologists, chemists, etc., pending their assignment to special services. At this time, the camp was only a row of partly completed wooden barracks, without water supply or lights.

HQ Officer Assignments

Headquarters were established in an old brick house near the southern end of camp, and the following assignments made for division staff:

  • Major Sam M. Parker, Division Adjutant
  • Major Cary I. Crockett, Division Inspector and Acting Chief of Staff
  • Lt. Col. Henry C. Bonnycastle, Division Quartermaster
  • Lt. Col. Jay R. Shook, Division Surgeon
  • Major Clarence G. Fronk, Division Sanitary Inspector
  • Major Clyde L. Eastman, Division Signal Officer
  • Major Wm. A. Graham, Division Judge Advocate
  • 1st Lt. George N. Northrop, Division Statistical Officer
  • 2d Lt. Michael M. Kinkead, Division Statistical Officer
  • 2d Lt. Nazard M. Coursolle, Division Statistical Officer

Field Officer Assignments

In addition to these, the following assignments were made among general and field officers who had reported:

  • Brig. Gen. Charles C. Ballou, 175th Infantry Brigade (never joined Brigade)
  • Brig. Gen. William D. Beach, 176th Infantry Brigade
  • Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Foote, 163d Field Artillery Brigade
  • Brig. Gen. Robert N. Getty, 163d Depot Brigade
  • Col. George E. Houle, 349th Infantry
  • Col. Clyde E. Hawkins, 352d Infantry
  • Col. George R. Greene, 337th Field Artillery
  • Col. Samuel C. Vestal, 339th Field Artillery
  • Col. Harrison J. Price (later Brigadier General) and Col. Girard Sturtevant, 163d Depot Brigade
  • Col. James P. Harbeson, Division Trains
  • Lt. Col. John J. Ryan, 349th Infantry
  • Lt. Col. Rush S. Wells, 350th Infantry
  • Lt. Col. James F. McKinley, 351st Infantry
  • Lt. Col. Francis W. Honeycutt, 338th Field Artillery
  • Lt. Col. Robert R. Wallach, 313th Ammunition Train
  • Lt. Col. Robert P. Howell, 313th Engineers
  • Major R. B. Ellis, 351st Infantry
  • Major Horace N. Munro, 350th Infantry
  • Major Henry A. Meyer, 352d Infantry
  • Major Arthur J. Lynch, 349th Infantry
  • Major Peter J. Hennessey, 349th Infantry
  • Major William J. O'Loughlin, 337th Machine Gun Battalion
  • Major George R. Somerville, 338th Machine Gun Battalion
  • Major Thomas H. Cunningham, 339th Machine Gun Battalion

The First Reserve Officers Training Camp, which closed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, August 15, 1917, supplied the Division with its first assignment of junior officers, who had all arrived at Camp Dodge by August 29.

A definite plan was adopted in assigning these officers to commands: the first and second companies from Fort Snelling were used to officer the 349th Infantry, the third and fourth companies the 350th Infantry, the fifth and sixth companies the 351st Infantry, the seventh and ninth companies the 352d Infantry and the eighth company the three machine gun battalions.
Likewise, the officers from the three batteries were assigned to the 163d Field Artillery Brigade, the 313th Ammunition Train, and the 313th Trench Mortar Battery. Thus officers who had been in the same company at the training camp were to a large extent kept together.

This distribution made, 200 of the remaining officers were relieved and ordered to the 33d (National Guard) Division at Houston, Texas, September 2, 1919, and fifty-two to the 42d (National "Rainbow" Guard) Division, at Mineola, Long Island, N. Y., September 1.

The officers' enthusiasm over their new work was the predominating note,_ together with an insistent desire to get "over there" as soon as possible. The prospects for Germany were not at that time as bright as they had been earlier and as they became later, and much of the anxiety to sail for France was due to a fear that the war might end soon. This fear was a factor in causing many to decide to choose to go to other divisions.

By September 5, 1917, the Division had been organized—almost complete in officers—but without enlisted personnel. On that date, the first draft men began to arrive from Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Central Illinois.

Coming from their comfortable homes, most of them without any conception of military life, they did not know what to expect, and the first impressions were not reassuring nor comforting.

September 8, 1917, Lt. Col. Charles S. Lincoln, General Staff, reported at Camp Dodge and was assigned to duty as Chief of Staff. With the exception of the period the following winter when he went to France with General Plummer, he held this position until October 1918, when he became a victim of Spanish Influenza during the Division's stay at Hericourt (Haute Saone), France.

He recovered sufficiently after several weeks to go to the Riviera, where he regained his health. He did not return to the Division, but became Deputy G-1 at General Headquarters, Chaumont, and finally, G-1 of the A. E. F. During Colonel Lincoln's absence in France, the winter of 1917-18, his duties were performed by Lt. Col. H. L. Cooper.

By September 9, practically all the five percent draft contingent had reported at Camp Dodge, but the quota amounted only to 2,350 men. About this time, there began to arrive in frequent detachments non-commissioned officers and privates from cavalry and infantry organizations of the Regular Army.

These regular army soldiers proved an important adjunct to the training staff, but however competent the instructors might have been, too much cannot be said of the splendid spirit displayed by the men who came with the draft. It was a matter of constant remark how they took hold of their work and how suddenly they emerged from untrained citizenry into alert, intelligent, well-set-up soldiers.

At first, the training was the same as for all American soldiers, with stress on the physical drill. School of the soldier and school of the squad without arms became the daily routine, but it was never allowed to become drudgery. The new men showed themselves apt and intelligent.

In a remarkably short time, the men had been whipped into shape, and these formed the foundation of a skeleton division of select non-commissioned officers and privates who could be ready, in turn, to train the men of the next draft.

On September 10, 1917, Major L. A. Toombs was assigned as Assistant Division Adjutant and April 8, 1918, became Division Adjutant. He succeeded Major Edward S. Hayes, who was appointed November 13, 1917. Colonel Toombs remained with the Division until February 1919, when he was sent to Rome as American Provost Marshal of Italy.

Camp Dodge was completed sufficiently to house troops as far as 7th Street when the first drafted men arrived. The camp was being built by a combination of contractors under Charles Weitz' Sons, and their performance was unquestionably a feat of swift construction. The company buildings were erected according to plans and specifications made early in the war and were designed to hold 150-men companies.

But in adapting the United States forces to be brigaded with French and British troops and to relieve corresponding units in trenches, certain changes were made, among them, the increase of company strength to 250. It, therefore, became necessary to use three buildings to house two companies.

Aeroplane View of Camp Dodge

In order to rush construction for the accommodation of other early arriving increments of drafted men, it had been necessary to impress every available man into the service of the builders, and it was a poor worker indeed who could not draw $7 to $10 per day at work in which he claimed to be proficient, but regarding which he knew almost nothing at the start.

The contractors' report for the week ending September 15 shows that 5,759 men were employed. In spite of many poor workmen, construction proceeded swiftly, and while heating apparatus was scarcely in by the first real cold weather, progress cannot be said to have been anything but marvelous and the work well done.

On September 19, the second increment of the first draft began to arrive at camp. By the end of September, the Division had 684 officers and 18,428 enlisted men regularly assigned and 259 officers and 228 enlisted men attached. The 1st Infantry, Iowa National Guard, which had been encamped adjoining the grounds and had performed good service guarding Government property, had departed.
Hardly had the latest recruit been put through the military drill's rudiments when there began a series of events that threatened to take all the enthusiasm out of the officers and non-commissioned staff in the succeeding months. On October 22, in compliance with War Department orders, 3,000 men were transferred from the Division to the 34th Division at Camp Cody, New Mexico.

On the 25th, 1,000 more were transferred to the 33d Division at Camp Logan, Houston, Texas. November 16 to 19th, 8,000 were sent to Camp Pike, Arkansas. By December 10, 13,500 had been transferred from the Division.

The loss of men was altogether disheartening to those who had come to look upon them as part of a permanent organization, but the rest of the division history at Camp Dodge is practically a repetition of this experience.

New draftmen would arrive, be in camp for a few weeks, and just as military progress was becoming marked, they were withdrawn and sent away to fill up other divisions destined for France's early departure.

The next increments were due February 15, 1918, but they were delayed on account of railroad congestion. About 15,000 Iowa and Minnesota men arrived late in February, but in March came another heavy drain on personnel, 4,082 men being sent to Camp Doniphan on the 15th, later 2,800 to Camp Gordon, Georgia, 1,500 to Camp Sevier, S. C. (30th Division), 1,047 to Camp Upton, L. I., and similar detachments to engineer regiments at American University, Washington, D. C., Camp Custer, Fort Leavenworth, Camp Meade, and other points, while almost every day small groups left camp for various schools in various instruction centers.

The Division trained and transferred approximately 40,000 men before it received the permanent personnel which came to France.

By this time, most of the officers with the Division had come to believe that the 88th was to be a replacement division, and as a consequence, interest in training flagged for the moment.

But in February, a War Department telegram regarding the disposition of the February draft directed that troops of the Depot Brigade ordered to other camps be transferred to the 88th Division instead, all men transferred to have had at least three months training.

Transfers continued fast through April, and on the 26th, 9,000 men of the second draft began to arrive, so that at the end of the month, the Division had 7,539 men.

During the months of December and January, General Plummer and Colonel Lincoln were in France for a course of instruction and study of the Western Front. In the absence of the Commanding General, Brigadier General Robert N. Getty was acting division commander. General Getty had been transferred from the Depot Brigade, September 19, relieving Brigadier General Ballou as commander of the 175th Infantry Brigade. General Ballou, after commanding the Training Camp for Negro Officers, joined the 163d Depot Brigade.

Shortly after General Plummer's return, he was relieved from assignment as Division Commander on account of physical unfitness for future service abroad and was ordered to Fort Sill to command the post there. General Getty remained in command until he was relieved by Brigadier General Beach of the 176th Brigade, and Brigadier General M. B. Stewart took command of the 175th Brigade.

An entire chapter could well be devoted to training and other activities that occupied the time of the men at Camp Dodge. Except for a short period in midwinter, when there was a pause in the influx of drafted men, and many of the former increment had been sent away, training was of an intensive order.

At first, the fire breaks and spaces between barracks were used for close order drill and exercise, but the dust storms of October and the increasing sizes of companies as each draft contingent arrived made it necessary to transfer activities to regimental drill areas in adjoining fields.

As soon as anything like permanent personnel had been organized, the instruction was begun in every branch of the forms of warfare developed by the European hostilities. Trench warfare, as practiced since 1914, had brought many new methods and instruments that were strange to American arms. Both officers and men had to acquire an intimate knowledge of these things in addition to the standard Infantry Drill Regulations, Field Service Regulations, and Firing Manuals.

Schools were therefore established in charge of officers who had attended special schools at certain instruction centers. Officers from the French and British Armies began to arrive at Camp Dodge in the fall of 1917, who acted in an advisory capacity to the training staff and conducted courses in the various schools.

November 5, 1917, schools were established in musketry (rifle and pistol) and heavy machine gun. Schools for grenade warfare, bayonet combat, automatic arms (automatic rifle and light machine gun), field fortifications, gas defense, sniping and camouflage, trench mortar, signal and liaison, 37 mm. gun, intelligence, followed, Aeroplane View of Camp Dodge, besides various other schools for packers, horseshoers, mess sergeants, company clerks, and cooks and bakers. All instruction was of the most practical sort.

Classes from the field fortifications school constructed elaborate systems of trenches; gas chambers were constructed where men attending the gas school were obliged to go through rooms filled with gas in order to gain confidence in their gas masks; bayonet courses for training in the new method of bayonet attack were built in regimental drill area, and this form of fighting was gone into with absolute thoroughness; the school of musketry and snipers conducted small problems were given special courses in camouflage. A model battalion was formed to demonstrate the new platoon formations with the 250-men companies.

While, as stated before, intensive instruction lagged somewhat in midwinter, there was no idleness. The men had not had range firing, and in spite of the cold weather, this was taken up. The day before Christmas, the Red Cross issued 16,000 sweaters, 13,000 pairs of socks, 8,000 wristlets, 4,500 mufflers, and 600 woolen helmets, which helped immeasurably those organizations which were having target practice during the zero weather in January.

Krage rifles had been received to the number of 10,220 between September 12 and November 1, while 20,300 of the new U. S. model 1917 Enfield rifle had been received up to January 16, 1918. The men received their first instruction in the handling of the new piece at this time.

The training was not, however, the only side of the soldiers' life at Camp Dodge. They had, at all times, proper and well-directed recreation. The drill was frequently interspersed with competitive games, and these lulls in the routine were compulsory as much as any feature of the drill itself. Various welfare societies had constructed huts throughout the camp where there were libraries, writing rooms, and musical instruments. Educational courses were offered, and many classes in French were conducted.

Toward the last of May, telegrams from the War Department ordering the transfer to the Depot Brigade of all surplus officers and establishing a school for intensive training of field and staff officers were interpreted as indicating an early departure of the Division overseas.


Finally, on July 22, a War Department telegram was received containing instructions for the movement of the Division to the Port of Embarkation with special instruction for the Advance Detachment and Billeting Party of 52 officers and men and the advance school detachment of 140 officers and 107 men to be sent at the earliest possible date.

The train carrying these two detachments left Camp Dodge the night of July 28. They were sent to Camp Upton, Long Island, New York, where equipment was checked and completed. On August 3, the Advance School Detachment sailed on the "Leviathan," formerly the "Vaterland," and arrived at Brest, August 11. From Brest, they proceeded to Chatillon-sur-Seine to the 3d Corps Schools.

The Advance Detachment and Billeting Party sailed on the Cunard Liner "Aquitania," August 6, arriving in Liverpool, August 12. Following four days spent in rest camps at Liverpool and Southampton, the detachment landed at Cherbourg, August 16, and, through a misunderstanding on the part of the R. T. 0. at that port, proceeded to Tonnerre, Cote d'Or, intended for the Headquarters of the 81st Division. After two days at Tonnerre, the party went on to Semur, Cote d'Or, the 21st Training Area, and established Headquarters there on August 20.

Other organizations followed in their turn, spending from four to seven days in Camp Upton or Camp Mills, being inspected and equipped, and units landing in England spent from one to five days in rest camps before proceeding to France. On August 9, the 349th Infantry sailed on the White Star Liner "Olympic," arriving at Southampton, August 16.

Parts of the regiment left that same day for Le Havre, the remaining units following the 17th and 18th. The next units to leave the United States were Regimental Headquarters, Headquarters Company, the 1st Battalion, Medical Detachment, Machine Gun Company and Supply Company of the 350th Infantry, which sailed on H. M.S. "Delta," August 11, arriving at Tilburyon-Thames, August 25, and at Cherbourg, August 29. On August 15, Regimental Headquarters, the 1st Battalion Headquarters, Company "M," Supply Co. and Medical Detachment of the 352d Infantry and the 337th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from New York on the "Ascanius" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving at Liverpool August 28 and at Cherbourg, September 1.

The same day, August 14, the 339th Machine Gun Battalion sailed from Philadelphia on the "Phens" of the Blue Funnel Line, arriving in Liverpool, August 27 and at Le Havre, August 30. The 3d Battalion and Company G of the 350th Infantry with the 338th Machine Gun Battalion sailed August 15 from Hoboken on H. M. S. "Kashmir."
The remainder of the 350th Infantry sailed the following day on the "Messanabie" and arrived at Liverpool with the H. M. S. "Kashmir," August 28. Troops aboard these ships debarked at Cherbourg, September 1.

View of Guard House at Camp Dodge

In the same convoy with the "Ascanius" was the U. S. S. "Ulysses," which sailed from Philadelphia, August 15, carrying the 2d Battalion and the 3d Battalion, less Company "M," of the 352d Infantry, landing at Liverpool, August 28 and at Le Havre two days later. Company "M" sailed from Philadelphia on the "City of Exeter," August 14, arriving at Manchester the 29th and at Le Havre the 31st.

The "Ulysses" also carried the 3d Battalion of the 351st Infantry, which debarked in Cherbourg from Southampton, September 6. The remainder of the 351st Infantry sailed August 16, on the ships "Saxon" and "Scotian," arriving at Liverpool, August 28. The French port for these troops was Cherbourg.

- August 18, the 313th Ammunition Train and 313th Sanitary Train sailed on the "Vedic," arriving at Liverpool, August 31 and at Le Havre, September 5. The 313th Field Signal Battalion sailed August 17 on H. M. S. "Bohemia," which arrived in Liverpool, August 31.

The French port for the signal battalion was Le Havre. Division Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, and Headquarters Troop embarked at Quebec, August 15 and sailed August 21 on H. M. S. "Demosthenes," from Sydney (Nova Scotia), arriving at Liverpool, August 31 and at Le Havre, September 4. The 313th Supply Train sailed August 24 on H. M. S. "Empress of Britain," arriving at Liverpool, September 24, and at Le Havre, September 7.

The sailing dates of the 163d Field Artillery Brigade and the 313th Trench Mortar Battery are not available at this time, but these units never joined the Division in France.

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • Main title: The 88th Division in the World War of 1914-1918.
  • Published/Created: New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company [c1919]
  • Description: 1 p. l, 5-236 p. incl. front. illus., ports., maps (part fold.) 27 1/2 cm.
  • LC classification: D570.3 88th .E5
  • LC Subjects: World War, 1914-1918--Regimental histories--United States--88th Division.
  • Notes: "Roster": p. 111-236.
  • Additional formats: Also available in digital form.
  • LCCN: 19013306
  • Other system no.: (OCoLC)3823948
  • Type of material: Book
Return to Top of Page

World War I
Book Collection
GG Archives

WWI Book Collection

World War 1 Collection

Primary Military Collections