"And they thought we wouldn
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"And they thought we wouldn't fight"

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Published 01 December 2010
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Project Gutenberg's "And they thought we wouldn't fight", by Floyd Gibbons This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: "And they thought we wouldn't fight" Author: Floyd Gibbons Release Date: January 26, 2010 [EBook #31086] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WOULDN'T FIGHT *** Produced by Christine Aldridge, Suzanne Shell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net Transcriber's Note: 1. Minor print errors corrected. Details at the end of this text. 2. All dialect spelling has been retained. "AND THEY THOUGHT WE WOULDN'T FIGHT" BY FLOYD GIBBONS OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENT OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, ACCREDITED TO THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY [iv] Copyright, 1918, By George H. Doran Company Printed in the United States of America [v] FLOYD GIBBONS TO GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING AND THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES I RESPECTFULLY DEDICATE THIS INADEQUATE RECORD IN REVERENT MEMORY OF OUR SACRED DEAD ON FIELDS IN FRANCE [vi] ACKNOWLEDGMENT The author expresses his hearty thanks to The Chicago Tribune for the opportunity he enjoyed as a correspondent of that paper, in the service of which he secured the material for these papers. [vii] Personal. AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF France, August 17, 1918. Mr. Floyd Gibbons, Care Chicago Tribune, 420 Sue Saint-Honore, Paris. Dear Mr. Gibbons: At this time, when you are returning to America, I wish to express to you my appreciation of the cordial cooperation and assistance you have always given us in your important work as correspondent of the Chicago Tribune in France. I also wish to congratulate you on the honor which the French government has done you in giving you the Croix de Guerre, which is but a just reward for the consistent devotion to your duty and personal bravery that you have exhibited. My personal regrets that you are leaving us at this time are lessened by the knowledge of the great opportunity you will have of giving to our people in America a true picture of the work of the American soldier in France and of impressing on them the necessity of carrying on this work to the end, which can be accomplished only by victory for the Allied arms. You have a great opportunity, and I am confident that you will grasp it, as you have grasped your past opportunities, with success. You have always played the game squarely and with courage, and I wish to thank you. Sincerely yours, John J. Pershing. [viii] G. Q. G. A. le July 28, 1918. COMMANDEMENT EN CHEF DES ARMÉES ALLIES LE GÉNÉRAL MONSIEUR, I understand that you are going to the United States to give lectures on what you have seen on the French front. No one is more qualified than you to do this, after your brilliant conduct in the Bois de Belleau. The American Army has proved itself to be magnificent in spirit, in gallantry and in vigor; it has contributed largely to our successes. If you can thus be the echo of my opinion I am sure you will serve a good purpose. Very sincerely yours, (Signed) F. FOCH. MONSIEUR FLOYD GIBBONS, War Correspondent of the Chicago Tribune. [ix] G.Q.G.A. Le 28 Juillet 1918. Commandement en Chef des Armies Allies Le Général Monsieur, Je sais que vous allez donner des conférences aux Etats-Unis pour raconter ce que vous avez vu sur le front français. Personne n'est plus qualifié que vous pour le faire, après votre brillante conduite au Bois BELLEAU. L'Armée Américaine se montre magnifique de sentiments, de valeur et d'entrain, elle a contribué pour une large part à nos succès. Si vous pouvez être l'écho de mon opinion, je n'y verrai qu'avantage. Croyez, Monsieur, à mes meilleurs sentiments. F. Foch Monsieur FLOYD GIBBONS Correspondant de Guerre du CHICAGO TRIBUNE. [x] GRAND QUARTIER GÉNÉRAL DES ARMÉES DU NORD ET DU NORD EST ETAT-MAJOR BUREAU DU PERSONNEL (Decorations) ORDER NO. 8809 D The General Commander-in-Chief Cites for the Croix de Guerre M. FLOYD GIBBONS, War Correspondent of the Chicago Tribune: "Has time after time given proof of his courage and bravery by going to the most exposed posts to gather information. On June 5, 1918, while accompanying a regiment of marines who were attacking a wood, he was severely wounded by three machine gun bullets in going to the rescue of an American officer wounded near him—demonstrating, by this action, the most noble devotion. When, a few hours later, he was lifted and transported to the dressing station, he begged not to be cared for until the wounded who had arrived before him had been attended to." General Headquarters, August 2, 1918 THE GENERAL COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF (Signed) PETAIN [xi] GRAND QUARTIER GENERAL DES ARMÉES DU NORD ET DU NORD-EST ETAT-MAJOR BUREAU DU PERSONNEL (Décorations) ORDRE No 8809 D Le Général Commandant en Chef Cite à l'Ordre de l'Armée: M. FLOYD GIBBONS, Correspondant de Guerre du Chicago Tribune: "A donné à maintes reprises des preuves de courage et de bravoure, en allant recueillir des informations aux postes les plus exposés. Le 5 Juin 1918, accompagnant un régiment de Fusiliers marins qui attaquait un bois, a été très grièvement atteint de trois balles de mitrailleuses en se portant au secours d'un officier américain blessé à ses côtés, faisant ainsi preuve, en cette circonstance, du plus beau dévouement. Relevé plusieurs heures après et transporté au poste de secours, a demandé à ne pas être soigné avant les blessés arrivés avant lui." Au Grand Quartier Général, le 2 Aout 1918. LE GÉNÉRAL COMMANDANT EN CHEF. Petain [xii] [xiii] FOREWORD Marshal Foch, the commander of eleven million bayonets, has written that no man is more qualified than Gibbons to tell the true story of the Western Front. General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces, has said that it was Gibbons' great opportunity to give the people in America a life-like picture of the work of the American soldier in France. The key to the book is the man. Back in the red days on the Rio Grande, word came from Pancho Villa that any "Gringos" found in Mexico would be killed on sight. The American people were interested in the Revolution at the border. Gibbons went into the Mexican hills alone and called Villa's bluff. He did more. He fitted out a box car, attached it to the revolutionary bandits' train and was in the thick of three of Villa's biggest battles. Gibbons brought out of Mexico the first authoritative information on the Mexican situation. The following year the War Department accredited him to General Pershing's punitive expedition and he rode with the flying column led