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Thank you for following along with us as we journeyed through the diaries of Dr. Harry Goodall, a medical officer in WWI and Dartmouth Class of 1898. We hope that the diaries helped provide a new perspective on the events and experiences of the War. If you want to come in person to see any of the materials from the posts - as well as entries, photographs, and documents that did not make it into the blog - then visit Rauner Library and ask for MS-398. The collection also contains the various iterations of Goodall's memoir of his war years, as he edits successive drafts based on his diary entries. The unfinished memoir and associated notes provide a sense of Goodall's reflection back on his experiences with time and distance.

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January 7, 1919

Fair and cold.

The morning papers announce the death of ex-Pres. Roosevelt.
What a loss to the country!
The entire center is sad.

I feel that I have neglected this diary since I have been on duty at Hdqrs. The papers have been filled with items of importance that I should have noted for future reference.
Col. Thornburgs [sic.] illness has placed me in command of over 20.000 men and I have had no previous training for the job. I feel the responsibility.
I am obliged to visit the various hospitals every day, discipline is so lax that it is necessary to keep after each unit.
It was a very unpleasant duty.

I find practically no relaxation, When I get to quarters I am obliged to live the whole day over again with Thornburgh.
In addition to this his peculiarities are most irritating. I dislike seeing him. Barklay, Yocum and Papen share this feeling with me so it cannot be my peculiarity. We are all nervous wrecks. I am unable to sleep, I cannot eat much. I am losing weight.

Have asked for an assistant but that has been denied. Just why Thornburgh should refuse when he called for one is difficult to explain. 

Col. Fisher calls again this afternoon and asks me very pointed questions about Tucker. Someone has told him about his drunken debauch with the enlisted men at the time of the Christmas celebration. 

The most interesting thing at the moment is the attitude of the enlisted men that are patients in the hospitals.
They are extremely disgruntled. I have talked with numbers of them. 

They are not ill. They have recovered from their illness.
They want to go back to their organization, they want to go home.
They dislike the restriction of hospital life.
Being separated from their organization they are not getting their pay, they are not getting their mail. They are simply out of luck.

They recall the promises made at home before they left. They even mention the posters and the moving pictures telling of the wonderful things the Red Cross were doing for the boys on the “other side”.
Recently these same boys bought cigarettes of the Red Cross in Toul and when they opened them they found a slip in each package which said “presented by the New York Times”. 

One might attribute these remarks to the hysteria of the times were it not for the fact that all their statements were true. My own experience with the Red Cross is sufficient to make me feel that the organization should be investigated. It was inefficient at every point that I came in contact with.

When we left camp to embark for Europe we left in the early morning hours. Reaching Long Island City we were lined up in front of a Red Cross station for some time. We were forbidden to leave the lines — yet no one came out with coffee or food of any kind. 

When re reached the dock to embark it was too late for lunch on the ship. The Red Cross gave us one glass of milk and one bun. We did not see them again until we reached Cherbourg, and then at the rest camp. Here they gave us one sheet of paper and one envelope.
We did not see them again until we reached Chaumont, and after we had waited there an hour without food for over eight hours they suddenly discovered that we were there and they gave us a glass of cocoa.
Again we saw them at Toul, when we had been without food for twelve hours and Tucker said they were to give us a supper. They gave us one half slice of black bread, smeared with jam and a cup of coffee that tasted like mud.
There was not a man in the unit that had not contributed a far greater amount of money to the Red Cross before leaving home than the entire expense of the things we received were worth. It was not, however a question of values. it was a question of taking care of a lot of persons in a foreign country that were so restricted in their movements that we could not leave the train to go into the station where there was plenty of food to be had. If it was necessary to remain on the train then the Red Cross should have seen that we were fed.
Even this statement, that may seem unfair, is made in view of the fact that had already been noted, that Carter Harrison came to my office just before Thanksgiving day and said spend all the money you can as they are starting another drive in America and we must use up the money.

I cannot recall a single instance when an officer in the entire group ever said a single good word for the Red Cross.
If this was the attitude of the officer the enlisted man has even greater reason for complaint. 

The majority of these men had gone over the top, they had been injured or taken sick. On their way back to the hospitals all their belongings had been taken from them, they were cut off from their friends, they had failed to get their mail, they were living under hospital discipline and there is every reason why they should be discontented. More than that many of [them] told me that their friends at home were working for very high wages, far more than their pay would amount to if they were getting it.
They had every reason in the world to complain and yet none of us could be of help unless we gave them money.

I wonder what their attitude will be when they get back home.
They say America lied to the. I am certain they will be dissatisfied but I doubt if they will say very much. All the men I have talked with have a personal feeling that they have done their part and that it is a satisfaction to them. At the same time they say to hell with the people that do not appreciate what has been done. 

From MS-397, Box 1 Folder 17. 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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December 14, 1918

Rain in the morning clearing in the late afternoon. 

Pres. Wilson arrives in France today. 

For the past week there have been a large number of French troop going through Toul, probably on their way to Germany.
Yesterday the town was closed to vehicles owing to this movement of men. 

We have had nearly two weeks of damp wet weather. It has not been cold but it had been disagreeable. The room is damp, the clothes are damp. It is quite like a cold fog on the N.E. coast.
There is mud everywhere. 

Col. Tucker tells his enlisted men that the unit will soon go on to Metz. No such order has come through Hdqrs. The man must be insane.
Homer Smith has been ill in the wards with Grippe for four days.
He was to have taken command of the Contagious Hospital. 

From MS-397, Box 1 Folder 16. 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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November 11, 1918 ARMISTICE DAY

Beautiful clear day.
At breakfast everyone believed this to be the last day of the war. 

An ambulance was talking patients to Neufchateau and I decide to go.
We left at 10 a.m.

At noon news reached Neufchateau that the Armistice had been signed.
Bells were ringing all over the city, the French people were laughing and crying and were practically hysterical.
A town crier appeared very promptly and reading some official communication, that I could not understand, to the group of people that assembled passed along to the next street corner, rang his bell and read it again to the new crowd that assembled.
Within a short time there was a noticeable absence of French soldiers but within a half an hour they reappeared, dressed in new, clean uniforms. When they reappeared they were with their wives, sisters, mothers, on their way to church. By this time the general excitement had settled down and the church bells were ringing. The French were still laughing and crying. 

During this hour flags were displayed all over the city. People were carrying flags, the American Red Cross was giving flags to practically everyone. 

On the way back to Toul the small villages were holding their celebrations and the same state of semi-hysteria existed.
We were back in Toul at 4.30 p.m. and I learned that the same sort of thing had taken place in Toul.
Naturally no one was at work, everyone was so excited.
Supper was hilarious.

After supper I went to Toul with the crowd. All the wine shops and restaurants were filled and everyone was drinking.
It was impossible to stop in these places and not drink. There was always someone that brought you a glass of champagne, if there was not one in front of you. If it was not taken the individual was offended.
I watched the performance for an hour then came home.
Before I left the majority were drunk.
To my surprise the French were practically all intoxicated.
I went to bed early but it was impossible to sleep. The streets were filled with intoxicated, boisterous individuals. 

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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November 10, 1918

Fog in the morning, clearing at 10 a.m. Fog tonight
Cold better and do some work in my office, keeping away from the wards.

The morning paper says - “Abdication of the Kaiser”
“Kronprinz waives right to the Throne” “Ebert Chancellor” “Maubeurge falls” “German Envoys listened to terms in Marshal Foch’s train at the Rethondes early this morning.”

Everyone certain this morning that the war is over. No one wants to work, everyone wants to talk. Excitement almost hysterical. 

As we were coming out from lunch at 1.20 p.m. we heard a German plane and stopped to look. Very promptly the anti aircraft guns began firing and the puffs of smoke seemed very close to the plane. Suddenly the plane began to wobble and then suddenly plunge towards the earth. As it started on its downward course a parachute unfolded and slowly came down. 

Later we learned that the plane came down about 8 kilometers north east of Toul, the pilot was killed but the observer escaped and was captured.
This, I have been told, is the only instance in which a parachute was used during the war. 

Rumor and conversation have a sudden turn this afternoon.
It is no longer “How soon will we get home” Now the talk is that all of us will have to go to Germany and stay indefinitely.

The front is very active tonight. The heavens are filled with incessant flashes of light but the firing is too far away for us to get anything but an occasional report.
Such a contrast to the early days in Toul when the buildings shook and the rumors were that the Germans were advancing.
We wonder why there is so much action when the war is practically over.

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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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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November 6, 1918

Laryngitis worse.
Decide to keep out of the wards again today.

Being restless I accepted the invitation of Capt. Price of the Red Cross in Toul to go to the front. (The chief occupation of the Red Cross in Toul seems to be excursions to the Front.)

We left at 9.30 and drove to Flirey, Essey, Benney and Xammes.
Here another Red Cross man met us and we started for the front in a truck. We were about three miles from the front line trenches. We drove about half the way then got out and walked. For the last mile we practically crawled. During this time an occasional shell went over our heads, whether German or American I do not know. The sound certainly was not stimulating.

By the time we reached the front line my back felt better when I was stooping over than it did when I was standing upright - and fortunately so.

We were taken to a lookout, given glasses and told where the German front line was. I looked but all was quiet and they may have been telling the truth or trying to fool us as a deathly silence prevailed. In way of demonstration however one of the men put his helmet on his bayonet and raised it above the trench. Instantly there was the report of a gun. We were satisfied and went aback doubled over even more than we were when we entered.

We had gone about 500 yards when a shell landed about that distance in front of us. However we kept on and get back to Xammes in safety. 

From here we started for Jaulny and all along this road there was an occasional shell over our heads. None exploded near us. Just before reaching Jaulney [sic.] they dropped some gas shells near enough to give us the odor but not near enough to make it necessary to put on our masks. 

From here we went to Pont-a-Mousson and back to Toul.
We were back in time for dinner.

The evening papers say “Allies sweep Foe back on the whole front” “Americans cross the Meuse” “The Germans must come to Marshal Foch with a white flag” “The Allies have indicated to Germany that their terms will be unconditional surrender.”

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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November 4, 1918

Rain in the morning clearing by noon.
Pierce Leavitt joins the unit this morning. 

The French liaison officer at Hdqrs. makes it possible for me to go over the German lines in a plane today. This was my first experience in the air. I was warned that it must be done with the utmost secrecy. 

We left the hospital at two in the afternoon and drove to the field on the Nancy road, a short distance from Toul.
I was given a one piece, fur lined suit that was a bit small for me and climbed into the machine.
To my surprise I found myself sitting on a small stool that was not even fastened to the machine. There was plenty of room to move about and there were two machine guns, one on either side that were useless as far as I was concerned. 

We started at 2.45 p.m. The little stool did not move but I clutched the frame work of the plane and held on for dear life. I doubt if I ever let go as my hands and wrists were sore for some days later.
Within a few minutes I was conscious of being very warm from my neck down and during most of the trip I was bathed in perspiration. My face however felt very uncomfortable from the force of the wind and from time to time I was obliged to duck down into the pit as my eyes were so filled with tears that I could not see. 

First we went to Flirey and then over Montsec and from there to St. Mihiel. There were numbers of planes in the air. From St. Mihiel we followed the Meuse to Verdun going higher and higher all the time. We could see a few shells exploding in Verdun. The pilot circled the town three times and then started over the German lines.

We were just north of Fresnes when I was conscious of an explosion just beneath me, the plane dropped some distance, wobbled about, then righted itself and went on. The first thought was that we had been hit but the pilot turned around and smiled and I realized we were out of range of the guns. 

He continued for a minute and then seeing some planes, probably German, in the distance he started back behind our lines. Once losing sight of them he turned back and the next place I recognized was Thiacourt. Soon after passing the town we were again fired upon and planes were seen in the distance.
Once more he turned back and circled about Pont-a-Mousson.
During all this time there was an occasional shell exploding on both sides of the line. 

Frankly I was scared to death and I wished I was back in Toul.
I certainly did not have any use for the fur lined suit.
However the pilot turned about and smiled now and then and that was very reassuring.  

Now we leave Pont-a-Mousson and start for Metz.
We are going at a steadily increasing elevation and things on the earth are not very distinct. We get in sight of the city, having been fired upon four times, and see four planes in the distance. The pilot turns about and we land at 4 p.m.
I was weak in the knees and covered with perspiration.
It was an experience worth while but I swore I would never go in the air again. 

I was back at the hospital at 4.45 and had recovered sufficiently to eat my supper and read a paper before the Medical Society at 8 p.m.

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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November 1, 1918

Very pleasant day but heavy fog at night. 

The morning papers say “Turkey Capitulates”.  “Austrian Commander begs Diaz to grant armistice”. “Republic declared in Budapest by National Council”.

The general opinion is that the war is nearly over. Everyone is talking peace and speculating as to when they will get home. It would be difficult for anyone that was not actually present to understand the excitement of the next ten days, that is to the signing of the armistice.
For a week there had been nothing but talk of peace. The men were uneasy, unwilling to work, they spent much time in Toul and in the wine shops. There was a marked increase in the number of intoxicated men.
This feeling must have been general. Col. Tucker had read the order from Hdqrs. on Oct. 28 requesting officers to stop talking about peace and to keep on fighting.
In spite of all this he made the remark at supper that the war would be over in ten days - and it was but that was the general opinion and Tucker deserved no credit as a prophet. He only demonstrated his unfitness to command. 

The morning paper also told us of the heavy fighting on the part of the Americans on the Verdun front, yesterday.
They capture Bois Des Loges for the sixth time, occupied the Belle-Joyense farm and drove the Germans from the village of Brieulles.

There could be no question but what there were very active operations at the front as we could hear the heavy guns all day yesterday and today. 

The reports of peace in the papers, the evident action at the front, the failure of starting the drive on Metz that had been talked abut for some days left the men in a very unsettled state of mind. No one knew what was going to happen and evidently no one cared. Toul once more assumed the activity that was evident just before the St. Mihiel drive. 

Added to this unrest was the renewed discontent among the officers of *51. Rumors today are to the effect that Tucker is to be detached.

My own work with the unit is completed.
The pneumonia epidemic has been stopped. The wards are filled with cases but no new cases are being contracted in the hospital from carelessness.
Building A, the medical building is in perfect shape.
The bed capacity has been reduced from 500 to 400. We have nothing but American Hospital beds. There is plenty of room to work. Every bed is separated from the adjoining bed by sheets.
The wards are absolutely clean. No one could possibly object to occupying one of the beds. 

There was drinking water or every floor, and means of heating water.
There were wash rooms and a special room for smoking on every floor.
Every patient had sputum cups and they were properly cared for.
There were decent toilet facilities. 

Everything was harmonious, thanks to the loyalty of the nurses, the convalescent patients and the appreciation of the patients themselves.
Yet the rest of the hospital was discontented, the officers do not appreciate their rest room, the enlisted men do about as they please. The unit is almost at a breaking point.
Col. Maddux calls me to Hdqrs. again and asks me to straighten things out. I explain the situation and tell him there is nothing more I can do. 

It is only fair to say that the nurses are quite happy.
They have a very nice rest room and enjoy it. After much trouble I have given them new mattresses, sterilized baskets, and ample toilet facilities. In addition to this they have an opportunity to do washing if they choose to do it.

The enlisted men are practically without discipline. There are just enough of the energetic type to keep things going. 

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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October 30, 1918

Very pleasant day. A very quiet day with but little work.

Met Carter Harrison, ex-mayor of Chicago this afternoon.
He is here to take charge of the Red Cross in Toul.
Must be a man of 60 years. 

At 4.45 p.m. the Boche came over and dropped two bombs in the outskirt of the town. As yet do not know what they hit. 

Bill Stickney visited me this morning and told me Bob Thonbourg was in command at headquarters. 

Went to Toul with Capt. Whitcomb at 5 p.m. to have supper at the Red Cross mess.
Met James G. Blane, the 3rd. at dinner. He was with the Red Cross. A very arrogant, opinionated man, very free with his criticisms of the President and the Government.

On the way down to dinner the big guns were very active at the front.
It was just midway between daylight and darkness and we could see the smoke of the bursting shells and a little later hear the report.
At 6 p.m. the bombardment shook the building and seemed very near.
One Red Cross man came in late and said the Germans were shelling Nancy. Later we found that this was a false report.
At the time however we felt that things were getting exciting at the front. 

At 8 p.m. we started out to the street and as we reached the sidewalk the sirens began and we heard the German plane just over our heads. The street was filled with people and the French inhabitants made a mad rush for the nearest Abri - paying no attention to anyone in the street.
We were obliged to look sharp, in the darkness to keep from being run over.
The search lights were flashing and the shells of the anti-air guns were exploding over our heads.
It was such a beautiful sight that many gave no thought of the danger and stood watching.
This continued for a half an hour. After this we continued our way to the hospital.
As we walked along we watched the flashes of light, the signals, and the exploding shells in the North.

We were back at the hospital at 9 p.m. and stood watching the North from the Hospital yard for about a half an hour then went to bed. 

We had no knowledge as to what was going on but the rumor was that the Germans were advancing. 

When I went to sleep the firing was still going on.

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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