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November 8, 1918: A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

November 8, 1918

Another cloudy, damp day.

The morning papers say that the Americans have taken Sedan and cut the Germans main railroad.
Even more startling it says that “Foch received german Plenipotentiaries this morning.”

All sorts of rumors are current today - it is said that Pres. Wilson has been assassinated, that the armistice was concluded at two o’clock today. That the Kaiser has escaped from Germany etc.
One does not know what to believe or what to think.
The general opinion is hat the war is over and that everyone wants to go home. They are tired of work and tired of the Army.

Am very hoarse today and decide not to work.
Went back to the battery of guns that Perkins and I visited yesterday with Col. H- who is a patient in my wards.
He went to his headquarters and sent me along to the battery.

I had been there but a short time when the guns began. It was a revelation to see the ease and indifference with which these enlisted men and non-commissioned officers did their work.
The noise was deafening.
About 15 minutes after our guns began there was a reply from the Germans and shells began landing in the marsh land of the other side of the road and only a short distance away.
Near enough to cover us with mud every time a shell exploded.
German planes were over our heads.
After about half an hour, that seemed like a month, the firing ceased and we jumped into the car and started back for the Col. By the time we reached his dugout shelling had been resumed and we stayed under cover for another hour before returning to Toul.

Heavy firing in the north tonight. The heavens appear to be filled with heat lightning. The firing is getting farther and farther away. If the end is in sight it is evident that they are making the best of the last days.
We have definite news that the Germans are retreating all along the front as rapidly as possible. 

From MS-397, Box 1 Folder 14. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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