JOHN CLIFFORD QUEMAN 1914 - 1920 ORIGINAL HISTORIC MANUSCRIPT DIARY AND JOURNAL OF AN AMERICAN SOLDIER WHO SERVES HIS COUNTRY FROM THE MEXICAN BORDER WAR TO THE BATTLEFIELDS OF FRANCE AND GERMANY IN WWI
COLUMBUS NEW MEXICO THEN FRANCE AND GERMANY 1914 Good+ Manuscript
On offer is a sensational, historical manuscript journal and diary handwritten by John C. Queman of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a US Army soldier who served first in the 13th Cavalry on the Mexican border in Columbus, New Mexico from Dec. 30, 1914 to Sept. 23, 1916, and later during World War I in France and Germany as a truck driver for Truck Co. #14 (Sept. 23, 1916- Oct. 8, 1917), Truck co. #7 (Oct. 8, 1917 - March 11, 1918), and AEF Truck Co. 2nd Division supply trains (Mar. 1, 1918 - Mar. 10, 1920.) This is a truly unique memorial to one man's service to his country in a number of important areas. Half of the 59 pages written in the massive folio journal retells his service during the Mexican Border War wherein Queman writes very detailed, riveting first hand account of Pancho Villa's raid on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, on March 9th 1916, where he was stationed and then he writes all about the pursuit of Pancho Villa into Mexico. We learn that he learns how to ride a horse and take care of it, though it dies later on. Here are some snippets: Dec. 30, 1914: enlists in US. Army at Ft. Slocum City, NY. Fitted in uniform and shoes three sizes too large. Jan. 13, 1915: leaves New York on ship "Amarillo" to New Orleans for border, 13th cavalry band. Jan. 18: on train to El Paso, then to Columbus, New Mexico. Jan. 22: sent to hospital, as sick with tonsillitis. Jan. 24: "cowboy raised hell in town shooting Sheriff, Halsey shot back and the cowboy got hurt left arm and leg (army hospital) enough taken." Feb. 3 back on duty. Feb. 4: learns to ride & care for horse and equipment. Complains of blisters. Describes country as hot-sunshine every day-sand blowing in his face. Doesn't get along with Chief Musician Mr. Luedthe, as he is grouch, and he can't play well enough to suit him. Oct. meets nice girl, Kate Powers, visiting her uncle here. Jan. 1, 1916: Happy New Year. Took Kate to costume dance and had a dandy time. Got arrested at 1 a.m., not guilty of shooting and released. Jan. 5: took Kate to dance at Benevolent Order of Bees Club. "Mexican girl thought I was Elmer & tried to stick a knife in me. No luck- Kate got the knife as a souvenir." Jan 25: mounted rehearsal in a.m. guard mount. Feb. 16: "Capt. Davis left for Greece diplomatic position band. Played farewell concert at Golden State Ltd. Dorothy Stayt on same train concert in camp." Feb. 22: "Sheriff killed during fight with cattle thieves, big funeral band played, spoiled cattleman's convention as the town loved the man and mourned him." Feb. 24: "...arrived in Columbus in time to play for Schaeffer's K Troop funeral, he was a German who killed himself in quarters. Had a good troop record and a good soldier. No reasons shown, unless Kaiser needed him and he couldn't leave." Feb. 28-29: "my horse got killed this p.m. Bob's (Robins) horse kicked him in the head and he died instantly. Vet called it concussion of the brain." Mar. 1: "Windy. Cremated my horse today, rehearsal, no concert." Mar. 8: "Villa scare seems to be a joke, everybody laughs but Red Cheener, and he thinks it is a fact and says it can happen." Mar. 9: "at 4:00 a.m. we got a call to rise, rather loud as it was a shot, followed by a general firing all around town and camp, shots and cries of Viva Villa, Viva Mexico and bullets rattling on our roof, dressing in the dark and trying to get on a gun and belt took a few minutes, and the dirty yellow bellies were all over camp and town. Then it was a case of keep your head and shut your mouth, shoot anybody who yelled Viva or spoke Mex. It was a regular hell for a while nearly a hand to hand fight. It did not take long to drive them out of camp, but they put up a fight in town and set fire to the grocery store and warehouse of Lemmon and Romney. Then the commercial hotel dragging out Mr. Richie the proprietor and killing him in front of his wife and also killed two guests of the hotel. Four men made their escape, also guests. Two men cooks in the restaurant made their escape by playing Mex. and sneaking away. Three other citizens were killed on the streets trying to find safety. The Mex. made it easier for the troopers by yelling and calling in the streets in the firelight and offered good targets. They were finally driven out of town and made a stand in a dry irrigation ditch on the west side of town. Major Tompkins came thru them with a 45 in his hand firing as he went and joined the troops. Finally the Mex retreated to a rocky rise of ground west of camp and made a short stand as daylight was breaking, retreating towards the line they passed the home of Mr. Moore as he came out to look he was stabbed and shot, his wife tried to make her escape was shot thru the hip and was in a serious condition when found as their home was about 2 mi. from camp. Capt Stedge had a detachment at the border three miles away but was unable to come in, but Benson and men under his command rode into them as they retreated and made every shot count. Lt. Benson received a wound in the arm, otherwise no casualties there. In camp eight men were killed, in town 8 civilians. There were 150 soldiers in camp, the balance were scattered along the border on patrol. There were about 150 Mex. men killed and eight wounded. Six died of wounds. Six healthy prisoners. All to be hanged for murder after they are tried by law. Sgt. John Nevergelt & Cpl. Paul Simon were two killed bandmen. Major Tompkins led a pursuit but was force to return as he had not enough men. Villa was wounded?" March 10: "Everybody tired but ready for more. Cleaning up oh what a job. Dead shicks all over town and camp. Dead horse and equipment everywhere. I am doing guard over the prisoners. One died while I was on." Mar. 11: "Everything quiet (1) more dead prisoner. We play a concert today. Colonel Slocum says the men need it (music both charms and soothes the savage beast)? not after what we have seen. Funeral of our fallen comrades light." Mar. 12: "Sgt. Dobbs body held for identification sent to his folks today. One Mex. wounded sent to Ft. Bliss hospital with gangrene. After no reinforcements, still burning bodies of dead Mex." Mar. 13: "Field art. arrived last night. Infantry this a.m. 8 oclock. Camp is a busy place." Mar. 14: "Cav. and Inf. reinforcement still arriving in looks like a chase for old Pancho." Mar. 15: "20th. Inf. 13th Cav. (and eliven damn cliff. I guess I missed something) 11th Cav., 5th Cav.. 4th F.A. Mountain Battery, 6th F.A. enter Mexico. I am on guard." Mar. 16: "Troops 32 mil. south of international line. Trail of raiders easy to follow as their horses and men are dropping by the way." Mar. 17: "packing and shipping Capt. Geo. Williams property" March 18: "Col. Slocum's property." Mar. 19: "Troops going good, 70 mi. south. 1st squadron arrives from Big Bend. Glad to be here sorry to be late. Col. Rivers said shame an awful shame too bad, gave them a likin good." Mar. 20: "troops 100 miles south. Busy storing 1st Squadron property. Troops at Colonia Dulban Mexico. Rumours of hardships." Mar. 21: "Radio apparatus arrived wireless messages can be sent to pacific fleet." Mar. 26: "report troops are gaining on raiders." Mar. 28: "Col. Dodd has engagement with Guerrero with Mexicans." Apr. 1: "rumors of close chase south." 2: "Major Tompkin's has engagement at Parrall losing two men and himself wounded. Report that Villa is dead of wounds." The continues with detailed reports of the troop's movements, the raids, the officers involved, men lost, etc., all with Queman's insightful and keen eyed observations. He describes the landscape, the weather, his aches and pains, he drives an army truck transporting anything and everything for the troops and then repairs his own truck when it breaks down. He is a super diarist! Jan. 28, 1917: "...roads are choked in places with Mexicans & Chinks, refugees who have found out the Americans are leaving the country and they won't stay there either. On burros, oxen & ponies. The greatest thing was a burro with a double hamper one on each side and a child in each basket." June 22, 1917, he writes about being arrested in Arizona for a shooting along the railroad. "Still under arrest as no one will squeal who done the shooting. Then released July 3rd. Queman left for overseas duty by way of San Antonio on Oct. 1, 1917 he writes about his inoculations and transfer to Co. #7, then train to Chicmaugua, Georgia. Drills, cold weather, hell. He writes: Dec. 2, 1917 "Sherman when he said, 'war is hell' told the truth, but this is worse." Dec. 22. 1917: "After more than two months of hell we are off 3:45 a.m. and as squad leader of #1..." Dec. 26: arrives in camp Merritt, NJ and makes trip to Kutztown to say goodbye to relatives. His account of his service as a truck driver in France and Germany during WWI travels with the service are no less interesting as his Mexican adventures and he also manages to inform the reader of many interesting facts in history he picks up along the way: He arrived in Manchester, England aboard the HMS Aurania. He drove a truck in France transporting officers, artillery, hay, wood, rations, liquor, you name it. Places he "made runs to" include Recourt, Vitry St. Francois, Souilly, Ducey, Montaigny, Chateau Thierry sector, Montreuil aux Lyons, Taule, Suisse, Luxemborg, Germany and more. He saw action everywhere and wrote specifics; all about the horror of the war, the battles, how many were wounded and killed, the Kaiser, the Germans, the Allies. On Aug. 10, 1917, he lands in the hospital with appendicitis, then is furloughed to the regular army reserve on March 10, 1920. He left for Kutztown, PA with an old buddy, Fred Hamilton of NC and on June 12, 1920 became a married person and is discharged from the army. Signed on the last page by "John Clifford Queman." After the war, he went on to work for Packard Motor Company, Schlenker Motor, Kutztown Foundry, and then farming. Adding even more depth to this fascinating narrative are a number of ephemeral pieces including: 25 vintage real photo postcards he collected and stored in his journal of Columbus, NM, France, his comrades, etc.; an April 7, 1917 issue of the San Antonio newspaper with the headline "United States at war with Germany - prepares forces for long struggle." Includes his pay record book, occupation: chauffeur, +++. Condition wise the journal is in very good clean condition. The pages are clean and tight to binding. Measures 8 3/4" x 14 1/8". Covers have spots of wear - peeled surface spots on back. Overall G+.