27th September 1918 Friday

A Large Convoy moves off, Battle Casualties and a Nice Cup of Tea

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“I was up early in the morning of the 27th Sept. and got all packed up ready to move ‘up the line’ with Headquarters: I left Little, the Yankee doctor behind in Seletskoe to look after the sick, and wounded as I sent them down to him, and also to arrange for their evacuation. I also telegraphed A.D.M.S. Archangel telling him that I expected casualties, and asking him to send up a hospital boat at once. We moved off about ten o’clock in the morning, the column consisting of the Marines, two platoons of Americans, our artillery, and transport consisting of well over one hundred carts. Luckily the weather was fine and dry, although the ground was bad, as it had rained all night. We travelled about twenty-five versts during the day, getting up to within three versts of the Emtsa River. The Americans who preceded us yesterday got into touch with the Bolos. about six this morning, and a small ‘battle’ ensued. The Bolos had established themselves in an excellent position on the Kadish (far) side of the Emtsa River, and played havoc with the Yanks as they attempted to cross the river. There was no bridge over the river, but only a raft. The Americans lost one officer and five men killed, and twenty-four wounded in this action. As I went up I met the wounded coming down in carts, and attended to them as well as I could under the circumstances. I gave morphia to most of them as they had a long and trying journey before them. Some of them were badly wounded, especially one poor man with a compound fracture of the femur, whom I had great difficulty in fixing up comfortably on a stretcher fixed to the cart. The more lightly wounded I ‘doped’ with a large tot of rum. I felt very much for them as I could do so little to make them comfortable.

We settled down for the night by the roadside in a very wild bit of country. The road ran through the heart of a huge forest. We soon had a fire going, and a cup of tea did me a lot of good as I had only had a little bully-beef, and a biscuit since breakfast. The Bolo guns fired a few shots as we were settling down, but we were too far back for them to harm us. Thank goodness! It was very cold at night, and I tried in vain to sleep by the fire. My feet were like blocks of ice.”

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