An excerpt from a 1921 memoir by Horace Pippin that provides a 1918 journal entry from his time fighting in France.
Just before this entry, Pippin was involved in the military offensive campaign of September 26, 1918. Pippin was shot in the right shoulder and arm. He was immobilized, hungry, and thirsty, lying in or near No Man’s Land. Pippin later lost mobility in his right arm but went on to become a painter of national renown.
...hot. The machine guns were in trees as well as in bushes and in Houses and any thing they could get a machine gun in they had it there. wimen [[object Object]] as well as men using a machine gun we were faceing [[object Object]] another hill. The snipers were thick all so, I seen a machine gun next I got him. My Budy [[object Object]] and I were after another one. Both of us were in the same shall hole. I were lookeing [[object Object]] for another hole that would put me in view of him. after I seen one, I said to my comrad, you go one way and I’ll go the other, and one of us can get him. for we could not see him, from where we were at, for he were back of a rock. Now it were to get him in sight and to do that we hat [[object Object]] to take a chance of one to get it. Both of us left the shell hole, at the same
time. I got near the shell hole that I had picked out when he let me have it. I went Down in the shell hole. He cliped [[object Object]] my neck and got me throu [[object Object]] my shoulder and right arm. yet I had nothing to eait [[object Object]] yet and I only had a little water in my canteen. I Began to plug up my wounds when my Budy [[object Object]] came to me and did what he could for me. then he tole [[object Object]] me that he got the German and the gun. I were laying on my Back. I thought I could get up But I could not do so. I shook hands with him and I never seen him [[object Object]]. Now the shells were comeing [[object Object]] close to me. Piceses [[object Object]] of shell would come in near me some times. Then the German sniper kepted after me all the Day. his Bullets would clip the shell hole that hell [[object Object]] me this were 8 o’clock in the morning. some time that after noon
Some French swipers came By. they look for Germen that is left back so he seen me layeing [[object Object]] there. When he did so, he stopped to say somthing to me. But he never got it out, for just then a bullet past throu his head and he sank on me. I seen him comeing on But I could not move. I were just that weeke. So I hat [[object Object]] to take him. I were glad to get his water and all so [[object Object]] bread. I took my left hand and I got some coffee. after some hird time geteing [[object Object]] it from him. After that I felt good and I trided to get up a gan [[object Object]]. But I were to week [[object Object]] to do so. Night were coming on. And it began to Rain. then I tried to get the Blanked [[object Object]] from my dead comrad [[object Object]]. That I could not do. And I could not get him of off [[object Object]] me. The rain came more and more ontell [[object Object]] I were in water
Yet I were growing weeker and weeker all the time and I went to sleep. I cant say how long I slep [[object Object]] but two boys came and I woke up. They took the French man of off me and then took me out of the shell hole for some Distens [[object Object]] where there were more wounded ones. I were left there the rest of the night. Every time I would get in a sleep I would be woken up by the French troops goeing to the line. On tell next morning for French took me in to a Dugout and then to another on tell they found a [[object Object]] then he did something. I do not no [[object Object]] any more that night. When I woke up, it were Day. then I were caryed [[object Object]] out of the Dugout I seen then that it were full of shot up men like my self some wirst [[object Object]] then I. I layed out there for some time in the rain waiting for my tirn [[object Object]] to be taken Down