Chapter 11. The Armistice


Gilbert H. Crawford
Thomas H. Ellett
John J. Hyland



N THE evening of the 10th runners were sent out by Regimental Headquarters, announcing that the Armistice had been signed, effective -at 11 A. M. on the 11th, and that dangerous work would s top forthwith. This message reached Co. "B" and Co. "D" about midnight of the 10th, and the working parties out in front of the lines were immediately sent for and brought back to the comparative safety of the cellars of Autrecourt. This humane order is mentioned to distinguish it from the orders received by the division on our right. Though it was known that the Armistice had been signed, these troops made an attack during the night of the 10th, incurring heavy casualties gaining the heights north of the Meuse, which they would have had anyway by the terms of the already signed Armistice.

To the troops the news of the cessation of hostilities came with stunning force. There was none of the jubilation, which might have been expected. It did not seem possible that all was over, that never again would be heard the song of the shell or the twang of the bullet. As stoically as they had faced danger and hardship, they now accepted the peace. -

Division Headquarters were located at this time at Rau-court. At 11 A. M., on the 11th, the Engineer Band, which had resurrected its long-forgotten instruments from the baggage train, struck up the Marseillaise, and then our own grand Star-Spangled Banner. None present will ever forget the sights and sounds of that ceremony. The civilians but recently freed from the Boche, the soldiers of the French and American armies, all joined in the celebration. To the Americans it meant victory and peace;-who can describe what it meant to the French!
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