Page 3720

3720 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

the simple desire of defending the cause of

right and liberty, have come to take their

places in the ranks beside us.

"Others are preparing to follow them.

They will soon be on our soil. The

United States mean to put at our disposition, without reckoning, their soldiers,

their factories, their vessels, and their

entire country. They want to pay a

hundred fold the debt of gratitude which

they owe to Lafayette and his companions.

"From all the points of the front a

single shout on this July 4 will be heard:

'Honor to the great sister. Long live the

United States!' "

The Fourth of July was, in fact, celebrated throughout France with great

enthusiasm. The chief feature of the

celebration was the marching through

Paris of a battalion of American troops.

Everywhere the Stars and Stripes were

flying from public buildings, hotels, and

restaurants, and from automobiles, cabs,

and carts; horses' bridles and the lapels

of pedestrians bore them. Crowds began

to gather very early in the morning along

the line of march. General Pershing,

President Poincare, Marshal Joffre, and

other French high dignitaries viewed the

Americans. Endless cheering greeted the

men from overseas as they marched

through the streets, and the sound did not

diminish until the last man in the line had

disappeared from view.

The American troops were soon transferred to training bases in Lorraine,

though the location was not published

to the world. Much yet remained to be

done even with the men who were already

in France. The First Division was composed, in a sense, of regulars, but the

regiments had been greatly expanded,

and the great majority of the men had

been in the service only a few months

or even a few weeks. Compared with

the veteran French and British soldiers,

they unquestionably looked raw and poorly

trained. Yet a veteran American war

correspondent who had watched the war

from the beginning confessed that when

he saw them and attempted to articulate

his emotions, something tightened in his

throat and left him silent with a million

little needles running a riot of prickles

through his veins. For these were the

soldiers of his own country coming "to

hazard their courage in this greatest of

wars." He said, however, that when he

saw an American battalion marching

through the streets and recollected "the

columns of British regulars, every man

molded by long training, which had

marched out of Boulogne in August, 1914,

I almost wished that Staffs were less

particular about all-round programs

and that we had sent over a crack division

of regulars as an example of the kind of

trained soldiers that we could produce."

But the raw material was there, the

spirit was there, and, a year later, these

men were to prove themselves worthy of

fighting alongside the finest troops in the

world.

It was settled, almost as a matter of

necessity, that the American Front should

be in Lorraine. This was partly due to

the fact that the northern French ports

and railroads were used to supply the

British and French lines. It would be

necessary, therefore, not only to build up

an army but to establish railway lines

communicating with some of the southern

ports such as Bordeaux, La Rochelle,

St. Nazaire, and Brest, with the front we

intended to take over. Old French railroads were made a basis for the lines,

but some new roads were constructed,

and many of the old lines were double tracked. The town of Chaumont became

American headquarters, and the region

of St. Dizier and Neufchateau became

our main advance base. At a very early

date, it was decided that our first great

attack would be made on the St. Mihiel

salient.

At this time, it was General Pershing's

intention to create a purely American

force. He planned to train divisions until

he had enough ready for an army corps,

and then to occupy a separate sector

with that. As new divisions arrived and

received training, they would be formed

into new corps and these corps would

take over more of the line.