Bergen Evening Record

November 25, 1918


Corporal Harry Stagg's Graphic Description of “Old G's” Part in World War----Extent of Capt. Doremus's Wounds Not Known ---- Captain Tells Wife of Gallant Deaths of Donald Russell, Walter Brown, John Sinninger and Sergeant Baker ---- “Bobby” Rinker Writes of Wounded Captain.

According to letters received in Hackensack from France yesterday Company C, 114 th Infantry, of which Captain Harry B. Doremus, was in command, 28 members of the company were killed in action during the Argonne Forest battle, and 66 wounded. Captain Doremus himself was wounded, but was able to write to his wife.

The letter of Captain Doremus tells of the deaths of Donald Russell, Walter Brown,
Fred Grapentine
, John Sinninger, of Maywood , and Sergt. Geo. Baker. The latter has not been checked up yet as a local boy.

Following is the letter of Captain Doremus to his wife:

Oct. 19, ‘18

“Really, I must talk to you. To make it more realistic, I am jotting my conversation on paper. If the opportunity comes the pages will be torn out and mailed. These days are war days. While I write, your letters of 19 and 21 Sept. are handed me. Oh, what a delight. We are shelled night and day. Gas is common in occurrence. It is detestable. So much rain makes so much mud. I am caked with it. Am without clothes exepting what is on my body. Yet I am still alive.

“Your prayers are needed. That presence of yours I take with me day and night, but I hide its eyes and it must walk behind me.

“We are in a sector that is violently active. So it is that only God allows the breath of life to stay here, to stop there. As the book says, ‘the one shall be taken, the other left.' Dear old
Walter Brown
is gone. He was buried with young Sinniger, of Maywood , and Toby Jannicelli, of Ramsey. Sergeant George Baker was killed recently. For a day he crouched, dead, with his eye toward that enemy which he helped to defeat. Senide and Giger are wounded.

“Your regards to Bolton are given. He fixed up a bumped leg for me yesterday. Recently within an hour I got a blow in the knee and had my helmet torn off my head.

“Masale is on a distant detail. We furnish many. Mead is yet unable to command. Head strain. Some day we may, you and I, visit France, but we will not come here. I have read of bleak moors of Scotland . They are gardens to these surroundings.

“Tell Mr. Brush that Donald Russell, who was in the Peoples Bank, died a brave man and not so long ago.

“Our back areas are shelled frequently, so it was that one of our cooks, Grapentine, met his end. Dear old Tiedy missed him by a yard. Fred is a brave, faithful friend. If matters shape themselves he will be my mess sergeant. Poole is well, but I calculate to send him to Officers School . Like Masters and Fehring, this act will take him from the outfit.

“They go, but we raise others. Cool, daring, faithful sergeants. Two of the latter recently commanded platoons in action.

“You have sacrificed so much. There should be a service flag of wives and mothers.

“Am positively O.K. in health.”

Mrs. Doremus also received a letter today from Corp. ”Bobby” Rinker, written two days later than the one of Capt. Doremus. He says the extent of the Captain's wounds are unknown to him, “but we are all praying for his recovery.”

Arthur A. Stagg is in receipt of a letter from his brother, Harry, a corporal in Co. C, 114 th Inf. Which gives graphic description of the way our gallant boys faced death in there advance:

Nov. 4, 1918

“ Dear Art: ---- Just received your most welcome letter and was very glad to hear from you and know that you are not in the war area yet. Art war is hell, believe me, I will try and tell you something about what happens to us. We left our quiet front on the 24 th of September and had a fine train ride for a day and a half, but after that it was hike every night until the 10 th of October, and we made between 8 and 12 miles every night with full packs. Well, on the 10 th I was sent to Brig. Headquarters as liaison runner with four privates. It looked like a fine job at first.

“The boys went over the top on the mourning of the 12 th . We will all remember that day, and they had to fight every foot of the way, over two hills, a distance of two kilometers, and they took it in 18 minutes, just like they were on a parade field.

“The Huns laid down some barrage, but the boys got there and stayed there, too. Some of my best friends are now land owners in France . Hill 360 was the hardest.

“There isn't very much left of our company now---- 28 killed, 66 wounded and 22 sick.

“It rained for two weeks and it was very hard going. All of our officers are gone.

“H.B.D. was wounded. That is all we know at present.

We have a new captain and he is a fine fellow, about the same age as I am. I know what war is now and I don't care to see any more of it.

“Our next front will be a quiet front. My job was very important. I had to take all the important messages with a man 50 yards in back of me; it was all hills and woods and Fritz sure did shell it all the time. My hardest day was a week ago Sunday, when I had to go through four barrages, just like you read about and see in the movies, going from shell hole to another. I guess the nearest one was about 10 feet and I was some lucky boy. I had to get there, ‘so lets go,' that was all I could say and, believe me, it is hell at night running through the gas and seeing men and horses going up in the air, and they came over as big as Fords.

“It is all over now and we are back in rest billets, drilling every day; we started today. Expect to stay here two or three weeks and then for a quiet front.

“I am feeling fine and just got back from the best meal I have had since I have been here. Just think, rabbit and it was fine. It cost nine franc, about $1.80---- it was worth it. Glad to hear you are all well.

“Give my love to all.

“Your brother,


“P.S. ---- Writing this by candle light”

NOTE- When he writes “HBD was wounded.” He is speaking of Harry B. Doremus.