Diary of movements of Tillman Ash in WWI from 25 May 1918 until he was wounded in France 3 Nov 1918

The original of this typescript was legal size onion skin, and was a carbon copy. It is unknown who wrote it, Though it says that it is the record of Tillman Ash, it does not mention when he was shot, and continues as if he wasn’t. My speculation is that the company clerk made the diary for everyone in the company.

I’ve left out some punctuation marks (like US for U.S. and AM for A.M.) and used the word ditto instead of the ditto marks on the page, but did not change anything pertinent.

Record of Tillman Ash, U.S. Army, A.E.F. Co. D. 317th Inf. Eightieth Division.

May 25 1918 Left Camp Lee at 2:30 PM. Hiked 9 miles with heavy pack to City Point. Very hot. Arrived at City Point at 5PM. Sailed down the James River to Norfolk VA.
May 26 Arrived at Norfolk VA at 6AM. Boarded steamer Mongolia and left immediately for sea. Four other ships joined us about 4:00 PM.
May 27 at sea. [May 28 through Jun 6 are dittoed]
June 7 ditto - weather fine.
June 8 sighted land about 8 AM. Anchored at 11 AM. Landed at 2 PM at Brest France. Hiked to Camp at Brest.
June 9 In camp at Brest.
June 10 ditto
June 11 Up at 4 AM. Rolled packs left camp. Hiked 4 miles to railroad station. Boarded train for Calais France.
June 12 Aboard train on way to Calais. Saw many German prisoners working along road. Saw some fine country.
June 13 Arrived at Calais at 6 AM. Hiked 4 miles to camp - English Camp.
June 14 Turned in our Eddystone rifles - issued British Enfield rifles also Gas Masks and Helmets and 100 rounds of ammunition
June 15 At Calais.
June 16 Rolled packs gave up some of our clothes. Left Calais at 2 PM. Hiked 4 miles to a railroad station and boarded train for Samen and arrived at 8 PM. Supper at 9 PM - “Hard tacks and Bully Beef”.
June 17 In camp at Samer. Co. D. 317th Inf. Was left at Samer for detail work.
June 18 to 22 inclusive at Samer doing detail work.
June 23 Rolled packs. Left Calais at 2 PM. Hiked 4 miles to Doudville. Pitched tents in orchard.
June 24 to July 3 Inclusive at Doudville drilling.
July 4 At Dudville - No drilling. Rolled packs at 4:30 PM. Had midnight lunch.
July 5 Left camp at 2 AM. Hiked 4 miles to railroad station and boarded train for Doullens.
July 6 Arrived at Doullens at 3 AM. Went into billets.
July 7 to 23 Inclusive at Doullens. During this time we drilled every day except Sundays and rainy days - went to drill fields with heavy packs - some days to rifle range.
July 24 No drill. Got ready to go to trenches. Left Doullens at 1:30 PM. Hike 12 miles to Auther Woods Rest Camp. Arrived at Rest Camp at 5:45 PM. Stayed for the night. Rained all night.
July 25 Left Rest Camp for the trenches just in time to see German prisoners being taken out at “Jerry” came over the top and got the worst of it. This was on the Old Somne Front. Water and mud waist deep - “Jerry” shelling all the time.
July 26 Rained all day. “Jerry” shelling continually.
July 27 In trenches. Digging trenches on “No-Man’s land!” Machine gun bullets and shells were flying all around us.
July 28 In trenches. Mud and water knee deep. “Jerry” shelling every minute.
July 29 In trenches until 6 PM. Were relieved - went out of trenches and hiked to St Ledger. Boarded train and came back to Auther’s Woods Rest Camp at 12 PM. Stayed in camp until next morning.
July 30 Up at 8 AM. Left Rest Camp - Hiked to Doullens. COMPANY TOOK BATH [actually written in caps].
August 1 to 4 Inclusive at Doullens.
August 5 Rolled Packs. Left Doullens at 1:15 PM and hiked to Auther’s Woods. Stayed for the night.
August 6 Left Auther’s Woods at 9 AM. Hiked to trenches. This time on the Herberton Sector on the OLD SOMNE FRONT.
August 7 to 10 Inclusive in trenches.
August 11 In trenches. Were relieved at 4 PM. Hiked back to Auther’s Woods and stayed for the night.
August 12 Left Auther’s Woods and hiked back to Doullens arriving at 2 PM.
August 13 In Doullens. Whole company TOOK A BATH.
August 14 to 18 Inclusive in Doullens.
August 19 Rolled packs and left Doullens at3:30 Pm and hiked 14 miles to Domart arriving at 8 PM and went into billets.
August 20 At Domart. Turned in our British rifles and got back our Eddystone Rifles.
August 21 At Domart. Rolled packs - hiked to Prouville 8 miles away arriving at mid-night.
August 22 At Prouville. Boarded train and left at 2:30 AM. Went through Paris about 5 PM. Fine country.
August 23 On train - arriving at Latrecy at 2:30 PM. Left Latrecy at 9 PM. Hiked out through the country. Raining hard.
August 24 Arrived at some open fields - slept on the ground - up at 7 AM. Hiked to Arbot and went into billets.
August 25 to 30 Inclusive at Arbot.
August 31 Rolled Packs and left Arbot at 7 AM. Hiked to Coupray arriving at 4 PM.
September 1 Left Copupray at 8:15 PM. Hiked to Latrecy arriving at 9:45 PM. Hiked 4 miles got on train - box cars. Left at midnight.
September 2 On train - arrived at Tronville-Nancois at 11 AM and left at 11:30 AM. Hiked 8 miles to Montfromont Wood and pitched tents.
September 3 to 6 In woods.
September 7 Rolled packs - left woods at 8:20 PM. Raining hard.
September 8 Arrived at Loisy at 3 AM and went into billets. Had hiked 12 miles - raining hard.
September 9 to 14 Inclusive at Loisy.
September 15 Rolled packs. Left Loisy at 8 AM on trucks for Osches woods.
September 16 &17 At Osches woods. No drill - lots of rain.
September 18 Left Osches woods for Balicourt woods.
September 19 Arrived at Balicourt woods at 4 AM. Raining hard.
September 21 At Balicourt woods.
September 22 At Balicourt woods - no drill.
September 23 Rolled packs. Left Woods and went into reserve lines.
September 24 Got to reserve lines at 7 AM. Had hiked 21 miles.
September 25 Artillery put over barrage. 319th and 320th sent over the top. We went up to support. “Jerry” shelling heavy.
September 26 to 29 Inclusive we were in support “Jerry” shelling day and night.
September 30 Out of support. Back to reserve at Malancourt - “Jerry’s dugouts.
October 1 to 3 At Malancourt.
October 3 At Malancourt. Rolled packs. Left at 10 PM.
October 4 Reached our position at 2 AM. Dug in. Two Battalions were supposed to go over the top but got lost so the first Battalion had to take the Front Lines. Many were killed and wounded. The following men of Co. D. 317th Inf. Were killed: Arthur Yancy; Bryant Reylands; Simon Benjamin; Russel Heavner; William Roberts; Richard White; Roy Nicholis; George Chisen; Robert O. Steele; Walter Hess; William Davidson. Many were wounded. 1st Battalion was relieved from the Front Lines by the 2nd Battalion and went back to support.
October 5 & 6 In support “Jerry” shelling all the time. This was on the Argonne Front.
October 7 Up at 2:45. Rolled packs. Hiked back to Malancourts dugouts again; arrived there at 6:30 AM. Everybody all in.
October 8 Up at 7:30 AM. Rolled packs. Moved out of dugouts into woods on left of dugouts in reserve. Dug in.
October 9 In reserve.
October 10 Moved up to Hill 217 in support.
October 11 On Hill 217.
October 12 Were relieved by new division. We went out hiked 12 miles to Hess Forests - everybody all in.
October 13 In woods resting. Rained all day.
October 14 Up at 3:15 AM. Rolled packs. Left Hess Forests at 5 AM. Hiked 5 miles and boarded truckes for Courcelles. Arrived at 2 PM and went into billets.
October 15 At Courcelles.
October 16 At Courcelles. Hiked 2 miles in rain to take a bath.
October 17 At Courcelles.
October 24 Up at 4:45 AM. Rolled packs. Left Courcelles at 6:30 AM on trucks for Lisilettes Woods - arrived at 2:30 PM.
October 25 to 29 At Lisilettes Woods - arrived to 2:30 PM.
October 30 Up at 5 AM. Left Lisilettes Woods company was filled up with new men.
October 31 Up at 5 AM. Left Lisilettes Woods at 9:30 AM. Hiked 15 miles to support lines arriving at 8 PM.
November 1 to 4 In front lines - advancing all day.
   [hand written in margin: “place where I stopped” indicating the day that Tillman was shot.]
This diary continues through the company’s arrival at home, 12 Jun 1919. It mentions that they received news on November 11 that the Armistice was signed.

With the diary was a roster of the company.

Roster of Company D 317th Infantry 80th Division A. E. F. France
Published in Conjunction With Photograph No. 1202 May, 1919 by Ewing, Incorporated, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
[No, I don’t have a copy of the photo]

There is also something called “Special Orders No. 63" dated 4 Mar 1919. It’s very light and hard to read, but the pertinent part says “the following named enlisted men, now attached to St ____ Casual[?] Co. #1477, having been wounded in action on dates and places indicated below are each authorized to wear one Wound Chevron.

Tillman Ash 2468050 Rank Cpl. 317th Infantry 3 Nov 1918 Verdun

Tillman got a Purple Heart as a result.