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Forgotten Fights of the A. E. F.

by Irving Edwin Pugh and William F. Thayer

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The preparation of any historical work is fraught with many and great difficulties, at best, and this work has proved itself exceptionally so. The greatest difficulty was, of necessity, encountered in the bringing together of the material from official sources which could be relied upon for the making of the work absolutely authentic and trust-worthy, and so it was that the majority of the material and information which is embodied in this work was gathered personally by the authors, while in active service with the American forces in France and Germany. The outstanding points of the battles mentioned are absolutely accurate and a matter of official record, and have been woven into the fabric of the story by the interspersion of personal details and impressions as to make the whole readable as well as authentic.

In the preparation of this work, we have of necessity, called in several others, who have rendered us highly valuable services both in the writing and preparation of the work for the press, and it is to those persons that we extend, herewith, our sincere thanks for their part in the making of the series a success thus far.

We find ourselves indebted to several former soldiers who rendered valuable aid in the gathering of the details; to official sources for operation reports of the divisions mentioned; to ” The Stars and Stripes” for poems quoted; and more especially, to Miss Elizabeth Mary Ellingham, who has given untiringly of her time and experience in the technical preparation and the corrections of the structure of the original manuscripts, and to whom we feet especially indebted, as this work was both tedious and arduous.



Throughout the preparation of this work, I have felt myself under the constant influence of one who has never failed to give me the unstinted aid and encouragement without which it would have been well nigh the impossible to attempt setting forth the story of our operations overseas. The writing of any historical work is very tedious and exacting to say the least, much more so, that of history so recent as that of 1918, and it was only by the constant careful attention and tender solicitude that the work has reached its consummation in the present volume.

This one has ever been present at my side in the re-reading and corrections of the text; the tedious and boresome duties of getting the touch of the soldier into the tale of the historian; the tramping again through the forest wastes of Villers-Cotterets or the storming of the Bellicourt tunnel; ever assisting, just at the opportune moment with some little touch of realism or pathos or the description of some bit of French country-side, which had lost its individuality in the maze of history notes, for she has likewise been to La Patrie and has lent the artist touch to the bare tale of the soldier-historian. She it is who has been the inspiration and guide through the otherwise boresome tangle of official details and piles of communiques and maps. She is sitting at my side as I write these words, and to my wife I dedicate the story which she has helped me prepare.