At Belleau Wood with Rifle and Sketchpad

Memoir of a United States Marine in World War I


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About the Book

Of all the American divisions in World War I, the 4th Brigade of Marines, Second Division (Regular Army), A.E.F., suffered the most casualties, captured the second most territory, captured the most enemy prisoners and equipment, and won the most decorations for valor. Louis Linn, a young Marine in this illustrious division, carried a sketchbook and pencil stub, drawing whenever he could to maintain his sanity in the madness of war. Several years after the Armistice, he used these sketches to write the stories of events that haunted him, that gave him nightmares, that kept him awake at night. Never before published, Linn’s memoir recalls his training in Norfolk and Quantico, life in the trenches at Verdun, fighting at the Battle of Belleau Wood, his wounding at Soissons and again at St. Mihiel, and his subsequent hospitalization. Throughout, his sketches and woodcuts portray the action, providing a vivid account of the war from the trenches.

About the Author(s)

Louis C. Linn attended the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art and the New York Art Students’ League after the war. His Eastern North America’s Wildflowers was published after his death in 1978.

Bibliographic Details

Louis C. Linn. Edited by Laura Jane Linn Wright and B.J. Omanson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: 70 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4904-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8799-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. In Training—Norfolk and Quantico      5

Reveille, The Review, Guard Duty, Off for France at Last

2. A Village in the Vosges—Germainvilliers      18

Boxcar Pullmans, In Billets, At Half-Past Three in the Morning, A Ghost Among the French

3. The Trenches—Verdun Front      33

A Ghost Among the Russians, In Billets Again, Movie Night at the “Y,” The Lilliputian Train, No Man’s Land, Horseradish, Devil Rum, The Cat

4. Toward an Unknown Front—Ancemont, Heippes, Hargeville, Venault-le-Châtel      65

That Girl, A Ghost Among the Tommies, An Assassination

5. Behind the Lines—Beaugrenier      76

Our Buglers, Dizzy Lizzy

6. The Attack—Belleau Wood      84

An Endless Line of Refugees, On the Grounds of a Great Chateau, The Watch, Holding Up the “Y”

7. The Line—Soissons      97

The Terrible Night March, Hurrah for the Frogs!, A French Band at an Old Chateau, Caught in a Crossfire

8. Hospital—Angers      120

The Nurse, Rudberg, A Conversation, An Idyllic Interlude on the Loire

9. With the Company Again—Camp Bois de l’Évêque      133

Back to Duty, The Bee-Hive, Marching in Strange Company<BR>
10. Going In Again—Saint-Mihiel      141

Wounded Again

11. Hospital Once More—Neufchâteau and Orléans      147

Operation, Jocko, Armistice

12. Bits of Life and Death      154

The Prisoner, Benjy’s Story, At Loggerheads with Moler, One Dead Soldier

13. In a Casual Company—Orléans      160

Paris at Last

Epilogue. Home—USS Tiger and Quantico      162

A Blow for the American Soldier Coda: As It Might Have Been      167

Notes      171

Bibliography      186

Index      189

Book Reviews & Awards

“Linn’s illustrated memoirs…provide fresh reminders of the horrors of total war and the imperishability of the human spirit”—United States Naval Institute.