The United States Army Second Division Northwest of Chateau Thierry in WWI


In 1927, at the request of his superiors, John W. Thomason, Jr., set out to chronicle the history of the U.S. Army 2nd Division, particularly during the bloody action of 1918. A proven writer with a solid military background through his service in the Marine Corps and at thta time two successful books under his belt, Thomason was a natural choice to write this important document. The project ran into trouble, however, when Thomason made unflattering discoveries regarding command decisions of both Army and Marine officers. His subsequent removal from the project (at his own request) left the document permanently incomplete.

Here is Thomason's manuscript, faithfully reproduced. The work of editor George Clark is deliberately limited to matters of spelling and consistency, with Clark's comments (clearly set apart from Thomason's work) present only when necessary for clarification. Clark also includes a short biography of Thomason and a brief historical sketch of the 2nd Division to place the action within the framework of the war as a whole. Illustrations include Thomason's own maps and drawings originally intended to accompany the work.