Memories of Camp Cody Weblog

October 25, 2008

WW1 Army Training Camp – Deming, New Mexico 1917 & 1918

Filed under: Announcement, Camp Cody Deming — Michael Kromeke @ 5:04 pm

The World War One U.S. Army training camp in Deming, New Mexico was named after the famous buffalo hunter, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill). The Camp was active from July 1916 until the end of December 1918. More then 30,000 soldier were stationed at Camp Cody.

This site is for anyone who wants to share the story of a friend or relative who served at Camp Cody. Leaving ‘Comments” will allow you to communicate with others who are interested this WW1 Army Training Camp.

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October 22, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 11 of 11

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming, Soldier's Story — Michael Kromeke @ 6:29 pm

1/23/19 Prantroy, France With the 82nd Division waiting to go home. “The 82nd Division show is rehearsing this afternoon. The fellow who wrote the song ‘Back Home in Indiana’ is the boss of it. I remember him. He was on the border in 1916, camped close to me.

1/31/18 St. Aignon, France. This is a tent camp much the same as Camp Cody, only without the sand. This place is about 100 kilometers south of Paris. Dad says he heard that this is one of the places the troops are sent home from.

2/6/19Mom’s letter to dad at Wire Company, 307th FS Bn, 82nd Div., American EF via New York returned to 541 W Jensen St., Fremont, NE

2/10/19 Dad wrote from St. Aignon, France that a Company of Class A Casual infantry men had been organized from the camp and sent to Paris to act as the Guard of Honor for the peace conference. “Some job that will be guarding all them big men from all over the world. If I had been a doughboy instead of a Signal Corps man I’d of tried to get in it too.”

3/6/19 Dad wrote that his friend Sgt. Lawrence Satchell was at Issoniaurt, France with C Company, 304 Field Signal Battalion, 79 Division.

3/30/19 Dad was back in the USA

3/31/19 Merritt Hall, Camp Merritt, New Jersey. “I left Breast, France on March 16 and landed here yesterday. It took us two weeks to make the trip. …. We will go to Camp Dodge in Iowa from here. Expect to leave in a very few days. I have no address here so don’t write. … The boat I came on was the Santa Olivia which was a freighter. I hope I never hear of the tub again, Had a four day storm and believe me we sure did roll and tumble on that ocean. I didn’t get seasick but come so close to it there was no fun in it.”

4/5/19 Merritt Hall. “I left camp at 3:00 PM yesterday and took a ferry across to 130th Street in New York City. It sure is a beautiful place. I went to visit Grant’s tomb. It sure is a pretty place; had a purple light inside. Then walked down 1110th Street; stopped and watched a boat race on the river. Got to talking with an old fellow who said he had a son in the army. Come to find out I knew the son who is in the 307th. Then the old fellow made me take dinner with him. I never pass dinner invitations and ate at a swell place. Had to struggle with my table manners to not embarrass myself. He had another engagement so told me the way to the Hippodrome theatre. I went and it was the most wonderful thing I ever saw. I stayed for only two acts of the show, for I wanted to get back before it got too late, It took me two hours to get back to the camp.” —  Written by Larry Beaver

October 18, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 10

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming, Soldier's Story — Michael Kromeke @ 2:21 pm

12/1/18  Letter “American Expeditionary Forces, Knights of Columbus, somewhere in France”. 307 FS Bn. Wire Company. The upcoming Christmas was to be his third away from home. He was about 100 KM away from the old front lines. (fighting had stopped), His 34th Division had been in
the thick of it including the capture of the Argonne Forest. He had been in training the entire time and had missed combat.  Larry’s notes that Dad had
told him that on the day the fighting ended he was marching his section to the front lines.

12/3/18 Dad wrote from Schamplitte, France. “…we came here Monday and our group was detailed with one of the brigades for maneuvers. We worked all day yesterday and today with wire and am tired. See in the papers my old division (34th) is going home soon. I am in the 82nd now.”

12/13/18 “The President is due to land here today. Will be a grand day for France for the people of France think a great deal of Wilson. ….Saw a comical sight this afternoon. A French man was coming down the street with a donkey hitched to a small wagon. All at once the donkey got scared and down the road he came scattering stuff on the way. A soldier caught him going around a corner. The soldiers that saw it were all laughing, and the Frenchman was mad at first but then he had to laugh too. That was the biggest excitement I have seen around her yet and would have been too good to have missed.”

12/17/18 “I see the U.S. Navy is all going back to the states. Wonder if Harry is in the bunch. Hope he is. We haven’t heard anything about this division leaving. They do not belong to the Army of Occupation so we ought not to be here as long as they. Lawrence’s division has gone to Germany or they will go. For the last hour I have been talking to another guy about horses. I sure miss my funny face. Wish I had him now.”

12/28/18 Schamplette, France “Went over to the battalion yesterday in the truck. It sure was a cold ride. It is cold enough to freeze good here. …I don’t think I told you what we had for Christmas dinner so I’ll tell you now. First we rode 25 KM in a truck back to the Company. We had dishes to eat from and sat down at tables. There were three French girls dishing out the grub. They were friends of some of the men in the outfit. First we had a small glass of wine, then soup, goose, dressing, mashed spuds and gravy. I had two pieces of pie, celery, rice pudding, cookies, apples, cigars, cigarettes, candy, jelly, coffee, and we even had hard-tack. Guess that last item was just a reminder that we were still in the Army. Had all we could eat of everything and everybody enjoyed themselves? Our captain made a short speech and then one by the lieutenant. We then took the truck back here again. If I eat many dinners like that I sure wouldn’t live long; for I ate too much.”

1/4/19 Dad writes from Schamplette, France with the 307th FS Bn. “Were out on a two day maneuver; just came in last night.

1/9/19 Dad gave dates for his final trip to France via England. See under dates posted.

1/14/19 He was at Schamplette, France. He had just spent a week in Montseuglin and the evenings in Prothary

—  Written by Larry Beaver

October 13, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 9

Filed under: Soldier's Story — Michael Kromeke @ 3:25 pm

10/3/18 Still at Camp Dix with delays likely caused by the flu epidemic.

10/7/18  Camp Dix. Sergeant Beaver, Wire Company, 109th Field Signal Battalion n. 34 Division He wrote “You no doubt have read about the big explosion in the state. The shock woke me up. It sure rocked the shack. We could not figure out what had happened at first. Then we thought about that plant (we knew of it). Sure enough it was the one. … Influenza is getting better here. Up to date only, 750 have died out of nearly 4000 cases. At that, that is a large number, but under the circumstances it is not so bad.”

10/11/18  Dad’s last letter from Camp Dix.  It had a Trenton, NJ postmark.

10/12/18 Dad sailed from New York City this date leaving harbor Sunday 10/13/18 aboard the Baltic, a passenger boat. He landed in Liverpool, England on 10/23/18, unloading on 10/24/1918. Got on train riding all day across England. Unloaded at a rest camp at Munsey. Loaded on train the next AM and went to South Hampton and waited until 9:00 PM and loaded on a tramp steamer crossing the Channel. Slept the whole time since could not go on deck. Landed at Scherberg, France on 10/26/18. Unloaded and marched an hour to a railroad station and loaded a train at 8:00 PM. Rode two nights and two days in box cars. Stopped South of Bordeoux at the little town of Botaran and stayed there five days. Then went to Chetney and was there until 11/15/19 and then left for his Battalion

11/18/18″The trip across was better than I expected though it took us longer than expected. We landed in Northern England. That country is nice to look at but would not care to live there. We travel a good deal in France in box cars. All we lacked to make our train an up to date one was a dinning car. Sleeping was first class. I slept on top of Satchell with my feet n somebody else’s face, but I slept and that is all I cared about. At present we are billeted in a small village and the battalion is scattered all over in different buildings. The house I am in is on the bank of a river and it sure is nice.

11/19/18 Somewhere in France “Our battalion has been broken up and very few men are left in it. The men went as replacements. Lawrence left the Co. 3 days before me; Andrew left us a day after we landed in France and have not heard from either one of them. It is hard to say which one of us will be home first, for we won’t be together any more. The Company I am with has been at the front a good deal and has seen active service. This is the best bunch of men I have ever been with. My address is Sgt. Henry H. Beaver, Wire Company, 307th Field Signal Battalion, American E.F. via New York City, N.Y.”

11/19/18 Dad and twelve men are roomed over a Belgium family residence on the main street of town.

11/28/18 “This was my third Thanksgiving in the Army, and in uniform. Hope it is the last. … It can’t be so awfully long till ever one will be back home. Only one place in France I would like to see now and that is Paris. Not much of a chance. Men on leave can’t even go. I possibly could go through there on a train some time. I have been across France twice and will have to cross it once more so that may be a chance.” —  Written by Larry Beaver

October 10, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 8

Filed under: Camp Cody Deming, Soldier's Story — Michael Kromeke @ 3:40 pm

9/1/18/18  On a train in Virginia

9/2/18  Dad is a sergeant at Fort Dix in New Jersey. He was writing from the upstairs in barracks. He had just visited the “host canteen” having three pieces of cake and glasses of orange aid.

9/10/18 The 34 Division is at Camp Dix for preparation for transport to France for war service.

9/9/18  Camp Dix. Dad and Lawrence Satchell are going to New York City for the day.

9/11/18 Camp Dix. The movie at the Liberty is “To Hell with the Kaiser”

9/15/18 Dad writes Mom “Dear I don’t like to brag but it is said in this country that this is the best division (34th) that ever came east. Best sharpshooters, best drilled, and healthiest men; believe me darling.”

9/23.18 Dad had gone to Trenton Sunday afternoon. He enjoyed watching the sun set on the Delaware River. “The whole camp is in quarantine, going into effect yesterday, an hour after I left the camp. I didn’t have to come back till I got ready. You have heard of the Spanish Influenza. That’s the cause of it. Abut 20 of our men are sick with it. I am still on deck, and hope to stay there.

9/26/18  Camp Dix. Regarding the Spanish influence epidemic Dad wrote: “Lawrence came back from the hospital this afternoon. He is feeling fine but pretty weak from the dope they gave him. Sure are a bunch of sick ones here. Over 1200 and most of them from the 34th. We have only about eight men from our company in the hospital. Orders are that we don’t do any kind of work. Only answer roll call twice a day, eat and sleep, and also keep warm. We were issued our helmets last night. They feel heavy on the head. Still they only weight a little over two pounds….I was over and fixed the bell system at camp headquarters yesterday. (They let me out that long). Sure was an awful job. It seems they always pick on me for them jobs. But I don’t mind. In that way I get to knowing all the big officers by sight. I saw old General Scott too. He can look a hole through a fellow if he wants to, but I am not going to give him any reason to do that to me.”

9/30/18 Again regarding the flu “As for me I am well enough. No I haven’t the influenza, just had a touch of it last week but did guard duty just the same. Yes dear, now that you ask me, the influenza is pretty bad here. Nearly 400 have died already and more on the way. Not so many are sick as there was. One more of our men came back today. Five of our men went down to help carry away the dead last night. I should not tell you this I guess, but you will no doubt hear of it in the papers anyway. As soon as the camp gets out of quarantine we will leave, and if we have any sick men by then we will leave them.” —  Written by Larry Beaver

October 7, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 7

Filed under: Main Post — Michael Kromeke @ 3:33 pm

8/7/18  Dad talked about the dust storms they had been having and told Mom that the 34 Division was called the “Sand Storm Division”. He said the emblem is the scull of a buffalo. All our horses have been turned in, We carry hackes (??) which are put on the back. Maybe these are hack sacks. Dad liked them. He had never carried one before this.

8/9/18  Dad about ten days from leaving Camp Cody for Camp Dix in New Jersey, “We were issued a complete shaving outfit yesterday. It sure is a good one. I am in a tent with other sergeants who are all now in bed. I could not get in with the old gang”

8/12/18  Camp Cody having four days of maneuvers. He has been laying telephone wires. Been lots of rain. He has been working n horseback. He was to receive from Canada his deceased brother Victor’s back pay and
Personal belongings. He wrote Mom that this would be Victor’s contribution to their upcoming marriage.

8/16/18 “They have sure kept me humming all week. Worked nights and days. We had over 35 miles of wire in the field for the big maneuver. The best of all was that the officers called it a successful maneuver. After all the work we done it ought to be.”

8/21/18  “I was putting a telephone in the railway station today. I was up in the attic letting down wires when I slipped and went through the ceiling, landing in the travel agents room. He had a bunch of silk shirts, they were certainly an awful looking sight, and me too, but all I could do was laugh and look at the hole I came down through.”

8/25/18 Departure date for what was to become Camp Dix in NJ is scheduled for Aug. 27.

8/2/18  Dad on a train in Texas going east.

8/29/18 On way to Camp Dix by train. “We stopped 2 ½ hours in Mempus, Tennessee. Had time to take a bath and sure feel a lot better. At present time we are in Jackson, Tennessee. 9:00 PM and we are somewhere in Arkansas. All troop trains are kept dark with the exception of a couple oil lamps and candles to each car. Lawrence and I fixed up  a light system out of our flash light and now have good light (under blankets) to write by. …The gang in the car are happy tonight for they are singing; In fact they are always happy.”

8/31/18 Letter written while in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I was up town looking around, but was not much to see. The city lies down in a valley with mountains all around. We have traveled through mountains all day. It certainly is beautiful. We passed through a tunnel a half mile long. I nearly choked to death before we got out, but enjoyed it just the same. I sure wish you could see these mountains. Tomorrow we will hit the Blue Ridge hills. They ought to be pretty.” —  Written by Larry Beaver

October 4, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 6

Filed under: Main Post — Michael Kromeke @ 3:33 pm

6/6/18 Camp Vail. Dad wrote about his future brother in law as follows: Glad to hear that Harry has landed safely. ….Good thing he was not on one of the ships that were sunk. Just off the coast east of here one of them was sunk only a few miles from here. …Have you heard about Sandy Hook which is only a few miles north of here? When they shoot their big guns it shakes the windows and sounds like real war. They sure did an awful lot of search light work the night of the U-Boat attack off the coast of NJ. One of the ships was only a few miles away. Search lights off the ships at sea can also be seen plain from here. I read some of the signals but it is all coded so I can’t make heads or tail of it. I was bathing in the ocean last Sunday. It was sure cold but lots of fun riding the waves.” Dad talks about practicing the Morse code building his reception to 25 words a minute. He wrote “Just heard that 80 thousand Germans and the Crown Prince had been captured. Hope that is true. That is the whole German corp..”

6/17/18 I saw a Navy dirigible Sunday. It was sailing along the coast and sure was a big one. …I was watching an airplane do the nose dive this afternoon. He came straight down looking like he wasn’t going to level out before he hit the ground but he made it and then right back up to repeat the same maneuver. I was listening to one of the aircraft talking to a man on the ground this morning by wireless. We are learning that too in school. It sounds better than ordinary telephone.”

7/1/18 Dad at Camp Vail and due to leave after 7/12. He asked Mom “Did you ever hear or read about the smallest man in the army? We have him here in the school. He just came in last week. He is only 4 ft. 10 inches. I look like a giant besides him. He sure is a good solder even if he does have a hard time keeping up with the rest of the gang. He is from Michigan State.”

7/7/18 “I went to New York City on the 4th. I sure enjoyed the trip. All I wanted to see was the scenery. I saw that nearly everything was closed being a holiday. There was a big parade that started at 8:30 AM and lasted till 8:30 PM. I watched it for an hour and a half seeing all I cared to see. I took a fine river boat ride from 129th St. to Coney Island. It was a two hour ride. Coney Island was no place for me. Only stayed a couple hours then took an electric train for New York. I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and then hit the station and came back home.”

8/1/18  Albuquerque, New Mexico at the American Red Cross Canteen. Henry Beaver is on his way back to Camp Cody from Camp Vail in New Jersey having stopped in Fremont, Nebraska to see Helen Olson and ask for her hand in marriage. She had agreed and he was a happy man indeed. He purchased a ring for her this morning.

8/3/18 Dad arrived at Camp Cody, Deming, NM from Camp Vail the day before.  Reading between the lines I believe Dad came via Fremont (taking the long way back from NJ, likely unofficially). Referring to his horse he said “I found out that old funny face had been turned in with the rest of the horses. Would liked to have taken one more ride on him.” Lawrence Satchell, Dad’s best friend and section leader, was doing work for the Telephone Co in Deming. That left Dad to run the section (14 men). “The first thing that the Captain said was “Beaver take the first section”  “I don’t mind it, for have a fine bunch of men”. Dad had sent Mom a ring (an engagement ring) he really liked and hoped that she did so also. —  Written by Larry Beaver

October 1, 2008

Sergeant Henry H. Beaver during World War I – Part 5

Filed under: Main Post — Michael Kromeke @ 3:39 pm

4/8/18  Dad wrote: ‘I am going to New Jersey soon to attend a wireless school for three months. Doesn’t that sound good? I am certainly glad to get the chance, being the only one in the company to go. I suppose you have my other letter by now; the one I wrote about Camp Cook. We sure had a job out there. We layed nearly 20 miles of wire. We have a line from a mountain; a ½ mile high to one six miles away 2 miles high. I went up to the highest one on Friday PM and again on Saturday. Believe me I was about all in too. While up Saturday the horses of the artillery all ran away, got scared of the first shoot. All I could see with my field glasses was a pile of caissons, limbers, horses and men. (Shells are carried in caissons, tools in limbers). About 30 men got hurt, 20 of them badly, 2 have died, one minus an arm, and another an eye. None of our men were in it, but they were all Nebraska men. On Sunday night a big fire was discovered on the large hill we had our wire on. 200 men were sent out to put it out. Satchell went also, to signal back to me in camp with large search lights. The fire was under control by 2:00 AM. I got to bed by 3:00 AM and Satchell by 5:00 AM. Got up the next morning ….with a dandy sand storm going on. You ought to see the carrier pigeons we have. Sure a bunch of them. Glad I don’t have to work with them.”

5/3/18 At Long Branch Army & Navy Club (Long Branch NJ) writing letter home. He was going to “School for Radio Mechanics” at Camp Alfred Vail, Little Silver, NJ.

5/10/18 Dad talks about his trip from New Mexico to New Jersey. “Not much to see but rocks a desert between El Paso and Houston. Stopped at Houston a few hours but did not look around much. The country from there to New Orleans was all timber and swamps. Stopped there three hours but at night. We crossed the Mississippi River on a ferry, train and all. Did not get to see the wharfs. New Orleans did not appeal to me; to dirty and so many blacks. From there on to Montgomery, Alabama which is the state capital. This is where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated President. The place where he stood was marked and I stood in the same place. Also saw a lot of civil war guns and junk. From there to Atlanta, Georgia where we also landed at night and did not see much of it. From Atlanta on to Washington, D.C. getting there in the A.M. Stayed there all day getting to see the sights including many of the government buildings. Went to the Washington Monument which is 555 feet high from which could see all over the city. Left there at 12 PM and got to Philadelphia the next AM staying only a short time. I would liked to have seen that city because I have always liked the name of it. It sounded good to me. From there to within 10 miles of New York City then back down 30 miles to little Silver, New Jersey where Camp Vail is located.” School for Radio Mechanics, 13th Service Company, Camp Vail, Little Silver, New Jersey.

5/17/18 Camp Vail. Dad wrote about local activities. “I saw a show at the YMCA last night. The best part was following the show was the ice cream and cake given by the people of Rumen. That is a small town near by where all the people must be millionaires, so you could see they could well give us such a feed. This country is covered with big summer homes and mansions. A great part of this place is that the old rail fences built many years ago that are still being used. Every morning we take a hike through Little Silver about 7:00 AM. An old lady who lives there is out every morning to see us go by and she waves at us. The bunch get so they look for her and if she didn’t happen to be there would wonder why. But when we come back she would be there waiting.” – Written by Larry Beaver

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