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Poem by Sgt. Baldwin


THE LOST BATTALION
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Poem written by Sgt. Walter Baldwin, member of the "Lost Battalion"


.... I wonder....

I wonder, was it all worthwhile -
'Cause I sit here in hobo style.
Maybe it is my just reward
For withstanding the shells of the German Horde.

Back in the War of 1918,
When we answered the fearful Allied scream,
Off to camp with the rest of the boys,
Forsaking all of life's comforts and joys.

We doffed the mufti for a uniform,
And drilled 'til dark, from early dawn.
The bitter cold from all the streams,
But we drilled and hiked on Army beans.

The sound of the bugle, the roll of the drum,
We heard each day 'til the training was done.
Off to the transports, across the foam -
Leaving all we loved dearly back at home.

We land in England - the voyage is over,
Then on we moved to the cliffs of Dover.
Across the Channel.- we're on our way,
Then pitch our camp near old Calais.

We get our gas masks, and a new British rifle,
Then we're hurried to Arras, a drive to stifle.
But the Hun is tired, postpones the attack,
Then the British take all their equipment back.

Along bad French roads, drenched with rain,
We're off once more on our way to Lorraine.
We're off the road, on French duck boards,
Awaiting the Hun and its fighting hordes.

They're over like demons, mid bullet and gas,
And the line it holds, we fight to the last.
The smoke it clears, the battle is won----
But for many a boy, the war is done.....

Then on to the Vesle at Ville-Savoy,
Known as the "Hell Hole" to the soldier boy.
The blood runs deep, they attack again and again,
But we continue to drive them back to the Aisne.

The battle grows fierce, the casualties mount,
We continue the push, forget the count.
They say "Well done; you're driving them on!"
So they hustled us off to the deep Argonne.

There we gave the best we had,
In that hell of a forest, ( t'would drive one mad)
We pushed and drove the frightened Hun,
'Til he began to see that the war was done.

Let's not forget near Charlevaux Mill,
Where we spent six days on that shell-torn hill.
They said "Your covered with glory" to this gallant band,
When The Lost Battalion made its stand.

Come on home, nothing's too good!
When we came out of the Argonne Wood.
The bands played loud, the banners waved,
In old New York, for our parade.

They soon forget as the years roll by,
As we get older, you and 1.
We struggle on, try hard to smile,
While we wonder, "Was it all worth while? .........


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