CHARLES HIGGINS' EXPERIENCE IN BATTLE AT CHATEAU THIERRY
Thought His Time Had Come, But Germans Had Numbers of His Companions
Carl Berger has just received the following letter from Charles Higgins, son
of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Higgins, which was written at Trier, Germany on January
Dear Cousin Carl:
Well, here I am in the poor house at last. There is some paper I secured at
the home for the destitute at Trier where we stayed for a few days. The
members of our company were billeted there. A few of us had rooms in a
private house. The people treated us fine. They invited us to supper
Christmas eve and dinner on Christmas day and coffee drinking, as they call
it, last night. There are four girls in the home ranging from 17 to 23 years
of age. They are fine cooks. They sang for us and they asked us to return
the compliment. As luck would have it, the other boys who are with me had
some talent in that line, so we got out pretty well.
We have not received any letters for about three months. We get our mail in
bunches. My Christmas package has not yet arrived but a letter from home
states that it was sent.
I see by a copy of the Ayrshire Chronicle dated November 7, which came a few
days ago, that they had a big celebration at home. The article said, in the
large head lines, that the armistice was signed at 3 o'clock that day.
companions kidded me about the item. Many of our company went down to death
after that date. We were bringing ammunition up to the batteries that
forenoon. I thought my time had come but the enemy had other soldiers'
numbers. One of the young men I came over with was killed on the truck ahead
of me and six others were wounded.
The second day I went to the front at Chateau Thierry we picked up a couple
of lads who had been hit by shells just in front of us. One had his leg shot
off above the knee. I took my belt and put it around the limb to keep him
from bleeding to death. When we reached the dressing station we carried him
in. As we were leaving, he requested us not to forget his helmet, but I
guess the poor fellow did not live to wear it again. We had to move dead
horses to get through the lines. That was my first day's experience on the
Chateau Thierry front.
Reports say that we shall soon be going home as the second army is coming up
to relieve us. We are about twenty miles from Coblenz. We stayed there three
days. It is a place of 85,000.