One hundred years ago today, December 11, 1918, Jay and the 301st Engineers marched into the town of Boppard, Germany situated along the Rhine River. This was the longest march of their entire journey to the town of Brohl, their final destination. Jay had been raised on a farm in Michigan so I’m sure he could handle a horse and as Mess Sergeant, I hope he might have been able to drive or ride on his mobile kitchen. The guy hated marching, I bet he did everything he could to avoid it.
The longest day’s march was on 11 December, from Simmern to Boppard – 36 kilometers – and this came on the last day of the five day’s continuous march from Olewig to Boppard – 131 kilometers.
– A Short History of the 301st Engineers
They set up camp in Boppard and remained there for several days:
“Boppard as a billeting place was a remarkably fine town, a watering-place, which in peace-time had been very popular among the Germans and tourists. It is built on the bank of the Rhine, and as he marched, every soldier carefully watched for the first glimpse of the famous river. Suddenly, on making a left-hand turn on a hillside, the blue-gray water became visible, a discovery which was immediately made known by shouts and cheers, aided by the band’s playing “It’s a Long Way to Berlin.”
– The Three Hundred and First Engineers – A History 1917-1919