Company "C" - 351st Infantry, 88th Division, AEF
The pride that any organization commander takes in his command seems to justify the assumption that his individual command is the best one of that nature in existence and in this respect it affords me the most pleasant retrospection to review my experiences as company commander of Company “C," 351st Infantry, both in association with the officers and enlisted personnel of the company.
Briefly recalling the various events in connection with our progress we must first consider the strenuous days back at Camp Dodge when we were trying to organize and build the nucleus of a fighting machine, then our short journey to Camp Mills, N. V., the pleasant voyage across the sea, our arrival at Liverpool and brief stay in England, the last lap of our journey by water across the Channel and arrival in France, closely followed by the trying days at Flavigny and Coisevaux where we attempted to perfect our organization while laboring under the most adverse conditions.
The climax was finally attained when the company took over a sector of the front line at Haute-Alsace; and the period of maneuvering and “watchful waiting” at Houdelaincourt, after the signing of the armistice, can well be termed the anti-climax.
Through all these various stages in our company’s existence it was certainly a pleasure and a source of satisfaction and assurance to work with officers and men who showed the determination, the fortitude, the courage and loyalty manifested by the members of this company.
But as no great thing is achieved without a price, even so our attempt to win tor our country and mankind an enduring peace has witnessed the extraction of a toll by the Grim Reaper. On the rolls of the gallant procession of those who offered their all and had their gilt accepted, we had inscribed the names of eleven former members of this company.
It would be but selfish to entirely lose ourselves in the joy and happiness occasioned by our return to home and friends and hastily erase from our memory all recollection of those who sleep beneath the soil of France.
Undoubtedly you will all have returned to your normal pursuits long before this history is published, but regardless of that fact, I admonish you to set honor before ease, to be as conscientious in your work, to be as true to yourself and country as you were loyal to “C" Company, and I predict that the future will be very alluring for you.
That your every venture in civil life will be crowned with success and that lite metes out to each of you more than your proportionate share of happiness and contentment is the sincere wish of your company commander.
William C. Fisher,
Captain Infantry, United States Army.
Houdelaincourt, Meuse, France,
May 9, 1919