Page 3723


As has already been said, the sector

was a very quiet one in which there had

been no fighting of consequence for a

long time. It was in a place in which

the Germans would not be likely to undertake a serious offensive. In fact, both

they and the French used the region as a

resting place for tired divisions or for

those which were not of first rate character.

Still there was no telling what the Germans

might attempt. They might, for example,

endeavor to strike a blow against the men

from beyond seas with the idea of terrorizing those at home.

On the second day, the Americans

took their first prisoner. He was a young

fellow who was somewhat defective physically and had, therefore, been attached

to the landsturm regiment which was

facing the Americans. He had lost his

way and being suddenly attacked at close

quarters was mortally wounded by a

bayonet thrust before he was taken.

Desultory artillery firing took place, and

there was some scouting in No Man's

Land, but, for some time, the only casualties were an officer and one private, who

were wounded by fragments of shell.

On November 3, a German war bulletin

laconically announced that "at the Rhine-Marne Canal, as a result of a reconnoitering

thrust, North American soldiers were

brought in as prisoners." The bulletin

aroused great interest in America and

proved to be true. Being anxious to

obtain information, the Germans had

planned a raid in force. They concentrated

the fire of a considerable number of guns

upon a section of trench. They penned

some of the Americans in their dugouts

with a box-barrage of bursting projectiles,

and then about 200 of the infantry dashed

into the position. In some places they

met hot resistance, and rifles, pistols,

hand grenades, knives, and bayonets were

freely used. When the Germans had