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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Irving Greenwald. Diary entries at the start of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 25–28, 1918. Veterans History Project, Library of Congress (149.00.00)
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Irving Greenwald. Diary entries at the start of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, September 25–28, 1918. Veterans History Project, Library of Congress (149.00.00)
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Irving Greenwald

Drafted into the Army in December 1917, Private First Class Irving Greenwald chronicled his experiences in training camp and then overseas in France in his small pocket diary. In handwriting that became increasingly tiny as the diary progressed, he recorded everything from what he ate for breakfast and supper each day, to descriptions of combat and gas attacks, to his longing for his wife and infant daughter. Greenwald's entries continued until October 1918, when his battalion was involved in brutal combat in the Argonne Forest, during which they spent nearly a week in siege-like conditions, trapped in a ravine and surrounded by the enemy. The unit was dubbed the "Lost Battalion." Greenwald survived, though he was wounded in the fighting.

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