Entering the web addresses from AVMP’s bibliography can be tedious. With the publication of the Kindle edition, I have the bibliography in HTML format. For the print reader’s convenience, I copy it here with hyperlinks.
The following is a list of selected sources used in research for this book. I give notes on those I found most useful.
For the reader who would like more details about what life was like for B. F. Potts and about his movements with the 137th Regiment, I draw attention to the works of three authors: Haterius, Hoyt, and Kenamore, who were with the regiment or its parent division.
Where a source is available on the World Wide Web, I give a URL. All web addresses below were last accessed March 15, 2019.
American Battle Monuments Commission. 30th Division, Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1944.
To accompany this and similar volumes, including one for the Thirty-Fifth Division (below), the ABMC also produced maps showing each division’s position during the battles in which it participated. For high-resolution digital versions of the ABMC maps used in this book, see the web page:
American Battle Monuments Commission. 35th Division, Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1944.
American Battle Monuments Commission. American Armies and Battlefields in Europe: A History, Guide, and Reference Book. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1938.
Ambulance Company Number 139. History of Ambulance Company Number 139. Kansas City, KS: E. R. Callender, n.d.
Association of the Friends of Vauquois and its Region. “Mound of Vauquois.”
The website of the Association of the Friends of Vauquois and its Region has photos and information on visiting the site. The guided tour of the underground galleries, where the mine war took place, is enlightening, educational, and horrific.
Crosby, Alfred W. America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association (website). “Arl B. Kelly.”
Giangreco, D. M. “Captain Harry Truman and Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, in Action in the Argonne.” Journal of the Royal Artillery 130, no. 3 (Autumn 2003): 56-59.
Giangreco is the author of several books on military and sociopolitical topics, including two about Harry Truman: Dear Harry . . . : Truman’s Mailroom, 1945-1953 (Stackpole Books, 1999) and The Soldier from Independence: A Military Biography of Harry Truman (Zenith, 2009). The journal article is also found at Worldwar1.com’s Doughboy Center:
Haterius, Carl E. Reminiscences of the 137th U. S. Infantry. Topeka, KS: Crane, 1919.
Haterius was a band member in the 137th who kept a diary. Although events sometimes run together and the dates can be nebulous, what Haterius does well is give the ambiance—what it felt like at a place and time. He also reproduces the division and brigade orders for the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Hoyt, Charles B. Heroes of the Argonne: An Authentic History of the Thirty-Fifth Division. Compiled by C. B. Lyon, Jr. Kansas City, MO: Franklin Hudson, 1919.
A private first class in the 139th Field Hospital, Hoyt wrote this history from official records, orders, and interviews with officers and men of the division. While it lacks Haterius’s intimacy and Kenamore’s detail, the book corroborates dates and places, and accompanying the text are plentiful maps and photographs.
Hurley, Edward N. The Bridge to France. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott, 1927.
Kenamore, Clair. From Vauquois Hill to Exermont: A History of the Thirty-Fifth Division of the United States Army. St. Louis, MO: Guard, 1919.
Kenamore had previously reported on another of General John J. Pershing’s exploits, the Mexican Expedition, in 1916. When the officers and men of the Missouri and Kansas National Guard units shipped to Europe, Kenamore followed. A correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he reported back to the folks at home the activities of their sons on the front. After the war, he collected articles and notes to write this history of the Thirty-Fifth Division.
King, Benjamin, Richard C. Biggs, and Eric R. Criner. Spearhead of Logistics: A History of the United States Army Transportation Corps. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 2001.
Poor, Henry V. Poor’s Manual of Railroads: Fifty-Third Annual Number. New York: Poor’s, 1920.
Powell, Ted. King Edward VIII: An American Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.
Rinaldi, Richard A. The United States Army in World War I: Orders of Battle, Ground Units, 1917-1919. Takoma Park, MD: General Data, 2005.
Smith, Eugene W. Trans-Atlantic Passenger Ships Past and Present. Boston, MA: George H. Dean, 1947.
Stuart, Richard W., ed. American Military History Volume II: The United States Army in a Global Era, 1917-2008. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 2010.
The US Army’s Center for Military History produced this thorough but brief text, which covers the nation’s military history up to Afghanistan and Iraq in two volumes. Volume II, Chapter 1: “The U.S. Army in World War I, 1917–1918,” covers our target period in fifty pages, including maps, photos, and informative sidebars.
Sparks, Winnie, ed. Livingston County Illinois in the World War. N.p.: Board of Supervisors of Livingston County, n.d.
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A Very Muddy Place
An intimate account of a soldier’s experience in World War I, A Very Muddy Place takes us on a journey from a young man’s rural American hometown onto one of the great battlefields of France. We follow Private B. F. Potts with the 137th US Infantry Regiment through the first days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. We discover a personal story—touching, emotional, unforgettable.
In 1918, twenty-three-year-old Bennie Potts was drafted into the US Army to fight in the World War. He served with the American Expeditionary Force in France. At home after the war, he married and raised a family, and the war for his children and grandchildren became the anecdotes he told them.
A century later, a great grandson brings together his ancestor’s war stories and the historical record to follow Private Benjamin Franklin Potts from Tennessee to the Great War in France and back home again.
Available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book.
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