Back from Hell - PDF book by Samuel Benney Benson

Back from Hell 

Back from Hell

When the old Chicago cut loose from her moorings in an Atlantic port it was a red-letter day for me. She was a good-sized craft, of the French Line, and was to carry a lot of other Americans, besides me, from the United States to France. 

We were all in a spirit of expectancy, mingled perhaps with sadness, for we were going over to see and have a hand in the most stupendous event of history, the Great War. Although many different motives actuated us, our destination was the same, and all of us would soon be within striking distance of the scene of action. Some of those on board were going primarily from a sense of duty and gratitude to the great European Republic, whose men had come over here in '76 to help America kick off the chains which George in had welded on her ankles, and secondarily because they wanted to kill a few of the Germans whom they right well hated.

Others were going and made no bones about saying so because they were natural-born soldiers of fortune and were inclined to go anywhere that action and excitement were likely to be found. A few were to be mere onlookers who were crossing the sea as students of a great world movement, who, from an economic or social point of view, would tabulate in a cold and matter-of-course way, the facts which they observed and the conclusions to which they came.

 I belonged to neither of these classes. I was an innocent idealist, though soon, alas, to be dis- illusioned. I had resigned a comfortable pastorate in order to go over and, as I conceived of it, relieve the pain and soothe the fevered brow of those who were in suffering, irrespective of whether they were Allies or Germans, and thus help usher in a world Utopia.

I had always taken myself rather too seriously at home and thought I was a broad-visioned per- son whose universality of mind elevated me to a position where I could see beyond provincial boundary lines, and overlook such things as race and creed and national ideals, thinking of all men as made in the image of God, and all destined for one great goal which was the Brotherhood A Former Pacifist of Man, where all would be happy, and each would deal justly and kindly with his neighbour.

Some contents:

I A Former Pacifist i
II Red Tape in Traveling 9
III How I Got into the Service .... 15
IV A Unit in Its Infancy 20
V The Northwest Front — Mud ! ... 25
VI A Weird Night 30
VII The Red Cross 36
VIII When France Was First "Gassed" . . 42
IX When Jacques "Went West" . ... 47
X "Trench Nightmare" 51
XI Calm Before a Storm 56
XII If an Ambulance Could Speak .... 60
XIII A Ticklish Attack 64
XIV The Death of a Comrade 67
XV On an Old Battle Ground 74
XVI The Verdun Attack — Life and Death. 79
XVII Barrage, or Curtain Fire 93
XVIII The Ragpicker 106
XIX Camouflage ii2
XX The Heroism of the Wounded . . .116
XXI The Treacherous "German Souvenir" . 123
XXII The Nigger's Nose 128
XXIII Getting By the Consuls ...... 132

the book details :
  • Author: Samuel Benney Benson
  • Publication date: 1918
  • Company: Chicago, A.C. McClurg & co.

  • Download 8 MB - Autobiography Novel of American solider came from World War I

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