By the middle of October, the Allies were still pushing the Germans back, although there was still little reported on the main U.S. offensive in the Meuse-Argonne area.

Oct. 12, the Daily Banner issued another Extra addition highlighting the latest German attempt to obtain an armistice under terms President Wilson had outlined earlier in the year, before the German defenses started crumbling under the blows of the massive offensive launched in August.

In hindsight, it is clear the Germans were trying to salvage something short of a complete surrender.

In his reply to the German offer, Wilson, through Secretary of State Robert Lansing, said the process of evacuation and the terms of an armistice were to be left to the judgment of the military advisers of the Allied governments, and “no arrangements could be accepted which did not provide absolutely satisfactory safeguards and guarantees of the maintenance of the present military supremacy of the United States and the allies in the field.”

Also, the reply said, none of the allies “will consent to consider an armistice so long as the armed forces of Germany continue the illegal and inhumane practices which they still persist in,” citing specifically submarine attacks on passenger ships and the destruction and looting of occupied cities and villages.

The military situation in France was aptly described in an AP report Oct. 11: “The grip of the Germans on northern France has been loosened and the process of herding them back to their border is proceeding at an increasingly rapid pace under the Allied lash.”

Meanwhile, a casualty report from Oct. 14 gave a hint of the price being paid by American troops. The report, described as “unusually large,” had 1,445 names, including 372 killed in action, 79 missing in action, 554 wounded severely, 146 died from wounds, 13 dead from accident or other causes, 151 died of disease, one dead of an airplane accident, eight wounded slightly and 121 wounded but degree undetermined.

On the home front, the number of deaths at Camp Sherman from the Spanish flu had reached 964 by Oct. 15.

At Kenyon College, the west wing had been placed under quarantine by order of Dr. N.R. Easton of Mount Vernon as 26 cases of the flu were reported.

Statewide, the Banner reported Oct. 12, the number of reported cases had reached nearly 50,000 and state health officials were considering calling on other states for physicians and nurses.

Oct. 11, the Banner printed part of a letter from D.C. Stone, who had been wounded Sept. 5. “Well, I am in a hospital where will stay until my bones set. This is a large one and has the best of doctors and nurses obtainable, eight of us have a nurse for both day and night. Excuse my writing for it is awkward with one foot up in the air.

“I’m not in nearly the pain during the last three days that I was — can sleep all I want to and we have plenty to eat.

“The French people are very nice and sometime we will get a chance to see the big city. From the way some of the rest got it, I am a lucky boy. It gets my goat to live on my back.

“Tell Dad not to worry about me for I am doing fine. One place where they took a piece of shell out will be healed in about two weeks.

“One nice thing about it is that I have had no pain to notice from the wound itself — just the blamed bones.

“The Germans are getting all they want now. I wish I had been in the drive yesterday and today.”
There is no indication of when the letter was written.

 

Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or cmartin@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

 

Rules: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other commenters personally and keep your language decent. If a comment violates our comments standards, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member.