POCKET DIARY. 1 January 1919 - 5 August 1919.

1919. ~ 190 pp [last 15 or so leaves blank], 2 printed days per page, of which through August 5 have mss entries. ~ 1500 lines, ~ 6000 words. Commercial German 'Agenda' book, brown cloth spine over black flexible leather covers, with silver stamped 'Agenda' to front cover. Red edgestain. Pencil loop to rear cover fore-edge. General wear to binding with chip to front cover top right corner. 1 cm hole in cloth in middle of spine. Text block dampstained in rear top quadrant, extending to the 15 interior rear leaves. About Very Good. Item #44101

Daily journal of one Ralph Rhea, a musician in the 13th Field Artillery, American Expeditionary Forces, 4th Division of the Army of the Occupation, documenting his tour in Germany at the tail end of WWI. Along with the soldier’s daily routine of physical checkups, weather and kind of food served (e.g., hot chocolate and donuts), there is mention of football [Feb 6th. "Foot-ball game 4th verses 42nd Div. we won. 7-0."] and baseball games [June 1st. "All morning off, went to play for ball game in P.M. but team didn't come, played for guard mount. [?] and orchestra played at Y.M.C.A. in evening."].

While Rhea is diligent about daily entries, admittedly most mirror the life of the military man, that is, are of the mundane... for example, on February 3rd there is but a brief, "Rehersal and guard mount in morning pay day. the rest of the day off."

Acknowledging this understandable paucity of detail, being a musician, Rhea does document the many concerts or practices given, one, if not two, almost daily it seems, as well as the occassional luminary for whom the men played – e.g., General Pershing on March 18th [albeit apparently not Rhea]. Included is a week-long bout with the flu [March 1st "Went to hospital at 1:30 PM with the 'Flu'. assigned to room 129. Field Hospital #28"], 4 day trip to Paris, swimming in the Rhine, several hikes, movies attended; also included is his daily account of the ship ride across the Atlantic on his way home – he plays jazz onboard. The journal concludes in the mid-West, eating at the Moline IL Red Cross, then crossing the Mississippi river, presumably with Rhea nearing home.

Price: $225.00

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