Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Friday Oct. 19th

Colder.  Same sort of weather.  Sighted a ship this P.M. which proved to be a freighter.

 


(France)

Tuesday Feb. 19th

Fussed with Flivers all day.  Nothing much doing for us.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, February 19, 2018 at 7:01 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Thursday Oct 18

Cold this A.M.  Hail storm in morning. Cloudy all day.  Nothing doing.

 


(France)

Monday Feb. 18th

Worked on cars all day. Fooled around.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 5:37 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Wednesday Oct. 17

Foggy this A.M.  Clear this P.M.  Concert by fellows this evening.

 


(France)

Sunday Feb. 17th

Fine day.  Took an all day walk + went nearly to 3rd lines.  Saw a German plane brought down this A.M.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 7:16 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Tuesday, Oct. 16th

Very foggy.  Boats going straight ahead today.  No excitement.

 


(France)

Saturday Feb. 16th

Cold. Off guard at 4:30 this P.M.  Appointed a driver again.  The Company went to trenches tonight.  Bob Skinner drove my car up.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 5:56 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Monday Oct. 15th

Fine day.  On guard this A.M.  No excitement.

 


(France)

Friday Feb. 15th

Gas drill + gun drill this A.M. Went on guard at 4:30 P.M. Cold tonight

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7:50 am | Edit
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Have a blessed Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day.  The Rev. Jay Sidebotham has appropriate greeting cards; take your pick.

alt

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:43 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(At sea)

Sunday Oct. 14th

Fine day.  Set sail this P.M. at 3:30.  Nine ships with us.  All going together.

 


(France)

Wednesday Feb. 14th

Gas drill + short hike this A.M. Drill with guns


this P.M.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 7:32 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(Canada, at sea)

Saturday Oct 13th

Felt fine this A.M.  Pulled into Halifax about 9:30 A.M.  Other transports besides ours loaded with American troops.  Took on some Canadians.  Loaded on provisions this P.M.  Nothing doing this evening.

 


(France)

(No entry for February 13)

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 6:13 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(Canada, at sea)

Friday Oct 12th

Rough & rocking.

Everybody sea sick.  Stayed up on deck nearly all day & tried to sleep when not sick.  Didn’t eat all day.

 


(France)

Tuesday Feb. 12th

Fine day. Drill this A.M. Moved into different barracks this P.M.  Saw a Boch airplane bring down an observation balloon.

 


Previous posts: IntroductionPart 1Part 2, Part 3

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 7:28 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(In Canada, on the St. Lawrence River)

Oct. 11th Thursday

Still going up river.


No excitement.  Have to wear life belts at all times now.  Felt as though had wash board around neck.  Lots of snow on hills.  Cold, getting rough to-night.

 


(In France)

Monday Feb. 11th

Fine Day.  Went around town exploring trenches + dugouts.

 


Previous posts: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 7:12 am | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription continued

The following is the next installment of the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918. Again there is one from the beginning of the book and one from 100 years ago today.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.

 


(Left Connecticut for Canada)

Oct. 10th Wednesday

Arrived at Montreal about 6 A.M. at docks.  Boarded boat by 7:00 A.M.  got 3rd class quarters – Rotten -.  Set sail about 10 o’clock.  Up St. Lawrence R.  Pretty scenery.  Poor grub.  Arrived in Quebec about 8 P.M.  Took on some Servians. (Servian is an archaic word for Serbian.)  Saw rats around bunks when went to bed.

 


(Still in France)

Sunday Feb. 10th

Detrained at about 4 A.M. at Braisne. Unloaded our Fords etc.  Had breakfast + started out in Flivers. Ate dinner at a town all shot to pieces. Continued in afternoon thru wrecked towns + landed at CheVregny. Town completely wrecked – not a house left.  I Live in barracks – some in dugouts. Got a better sleep.

 


Previous posts: Introduction, Part 1

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 8:15 am | Edit
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This is the first of the actual entries from Hezekiah's diary.  As a reminder, I (Porter) am posting two days of transcription each day, one for 100 years ago and one starting from October 9th (the beginning of the diary) and moving forward.

Hezekiah Scovil Porter WW I Diary Transcription

The following is the transcription of Hezekiah Scovil Porter’s diary of his time in the army until his death at Chateau Thierry on July 22, 1918.

Original is in black, annotations in red, horizonal lines indicate page breaks.


(Beginning pages)

H. S. Porter

101st Machine G. Bat.  (Gun Battalion)

U.S.A.

(Places he went)

Niantic Conn.

Montreal, Canada

Halifax           "

Liverpool, England

Borden          "

Southampton "

Le Havre, France

Mont les Neufchateaux  "

Lifol le Grand  "

Vrigny  "

Pinon   "

Soissons  "

Brienne le Chateau

Bar sur Aube


Fontaine   Fr.  (This seems out of place as it is in southwest France, near Grenoble; could it be Hontaine?)

Colomby  "

Vignory  "

St. Blin  "

Menil la Tour  "

St. Agnan  "

Liouville   "  (It exists on Google, after you scroll down some from the famous person of the same name.)

Jouy  "  (Jouy is a commune in the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France)

Menil la Tour  "

Bois de Hazelle

near Fleury  (During the Battle of Verdun in 1916 Fleury was captured and recaptured by the Germans and French sixteen times. Since then, it has been unoccupied.  During the war, the town was completely destroyed and the land was made uninhabitable to such an extent that a decision was made not to rebuild it. The area around the municipality was contaminated by corpses, explosives and poisonous gas, so no farmers could take up their work. The site of the commune is maintained as a testimony to war and is officially designated as a "village that died for France." It is managed by a municipal council of three members appointed by the prefect of the Meuse department.)

Foug   "

Void  "

Vitrey le François  "  (Vitry-le-François is a commune in the Marne department.)

Coulommes  "

La Ferte   "  (La Ferté-sous-Jouarre is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne département in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located at a crossing point over the River Marne between Meaux and Château-Thierry.)

Montreul ?  (Could not find in Google)

Bejou ?

Belleau Woods  (Actually spelled Belleau Wood)


(First entry)

(In Connecticut)

Oct. 9th 1917

Left camp at Niantic at about 8 A.M.  Train late at station.  Started about 10 A.M.  Went north via Saybrook Junction.  Through Hig. (Higganum, Connecticut) Lyndonville Vt. last town went through while awake.  Good reception there.


(Skipping to 100 years ago t0day)

(In France)

Saturday Feb. 9th

Up at 3:30 A.M.  Marched to station with junk & loaded it on cars.  Were off after breakfast at 6:30 A.M.  On box cars – 37 in ours.  Some crowd.  Rode all day. Slept but little

 


Previous posts: Introduction

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Edit
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Hezekiah Scovil Porter was the youngest of Wallace and Florence Gesner (Wells) Porter's seven children, born into the tiny town of Higganum, Connecticut on June 4, 1896. He attended The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut.  It is now known as the school that "has educated generations of the upper-class New England establishment and the American political elite," but at the time it was only as old as Hezekiah himself. Twenty years later, John F. Kennedy would graduate from Choate, having been chosen by his class as the person "most likely to succeed." About Hezekiah, the Headmaster wrote:

Hezzie was always a man of deeds rather than of words.  And his influence either on the field, or in the classroom, or about School in general, was of the kind that very definitely made us a better School for his being part of it. In his Sixth Form year Hezzie was President of his class, and in the vote which was taken toward the close of the year, he was almost unanimously chosen as the member of his Form who had "done most for Choate." He was also voted—and there were no near competitors— the "most popular," as well as the man in his class "most to be admired."

But Hez never had his chance to become President.  As with many of his generation, his service ended on the battlefields of France. After graduating from Choate, Hezekiah attended Yale University. But he left during the fall of his sophomore year to join the Army. After four months he was at the front, and five months later he was killed in action near Chatêau-Thierry.

The following quote, and the one above, are taken from Yale in the World War, by George Henry Nettleton (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1925).  You can read a somewhat fuzzy but still legible copy of the article on Hezekiah Scovil Porter by clicking on the images in the middle of my Memorial Day, 2009 post.

On the morning of July 22, 1918, in the course of an American attack on Epieds, north of Château-Thierry, Hezekiah Scovil Porter, Private in the 101st Machine Gun Battalion, was killed in action. His diary closes abruptly with an entry recorded the night before while his company was awaiting the dawn which was to bring the expected advance. Next morning in the midst of the attack he met instant death in the open field as he was hurrying forward with ammunition for a machine gun.

Hezekiah Scovil Porter is my husband's granduncle, and namesake.  That diary the article mentions?  Porter has it.  That is the reason for this post and the ones that will follow.  I will now step aside and let Porter take over.

One of my "95 by 65" goals is to transcribe Hezekiah's WW I diary.  I knew he had died on July 22, 1918 - but I didn't remember when he had started the diary.  Then I couldn't find the diary.  I had moved it to a "safe place" after I had last looked at it.  Finally, today, I found it again.  It turns out he started the diary October 9th, 1917 - so I am four months late starting a "100 years ago today" transcription.  Since that is the case I plan to have Linda put up two days of transcription each day, one for 100 years ago and one starting from October 9th and moving forward.  I think this will work out such that the missed entries will be finished before July 22 comes.  I hope this is of interest to all of you, and especially to my grandson Noah, who has Hezekiah's name as his middle name and also owns Hezekiah's schoolboy desk.

Thanks to Linda for "volunteering" to put this up on her blog.

Porter (Dad-o) Wightman, February 9, 2018.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Edit
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alt

A National Public Radio story reports that the 2020 U. S. Census will ask more detailed questions about race and ethnicity, as shown to the left on one of the possible new forms. (Click image to enlarge.)

I can appreciate not being labelled simply as "white" as if some races have further identities but white is simply white. However, it sure complicates filling out the form, and I have my doubts about how much useful information it will generate. I know more about my ancestry than most Americans, and I can't answer this question.

There simply is no room in those boxes to enter "English-German-Welsh-Irish-Scottish-French-Dutch." And if I manage to confirm the (currently quite speculative) Swiss branch, is that really Swiss, given that the family came to Switzerland from Germany? Is my French really French, given that it is actually Norman French, and the Normans were largely invading Vikings from Scandinavia? There's a good chance much of my English is also orignally Scandinavian—DNA testing suggests this as well—and my Scottish may have been originally Irish and vice versa.

Given that my most recent immigrant ancestors came to this country in the 1700's, I think I'll fill in the blank with "American" and let the chips fall where they may. But I've only learned this information recently, after years of research.  That kind of research is even more difficult for African-Americans, thanks to slavery and the "1870's wall," but at least the census offers "African American" as a choice—which just happens to fit exactly into the boxes allowed. I suppose I could try "European American"—but that won't fit.

How many Americans know their ancestry further back than their grandparents, anyway?

There's going to be a lot of guesswork going on.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:51 am | Edit
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TODAY, Februay 7, you can get the first two Green Ember books in Kindle format for FREE.   Enjoy!

alt  alt

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Edit
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