Le 13 juin 1914, Lyman B. Kendall quitte
New-York avec sa femme, à destination de l’Europe, pour un
voyage en automobile de trois mois. La guerre est déclarée le 3
août, et arrivés à Carlsbad, ils sont autorisés à aller à
Nuremberg, où les autorités allemandes réquisitionnent leur
automobile. Ils prennent le train pour Strasbourg, puis partis
de Srasbourg pour Paris, ils sont arrêtés à Avricourt le 5 août
1914: dirigés vers la gare française, ils franchissent la
frontière à pied, y louent une automobile puis une charrette à
foin, et parviennent sur la grand place de Blâmont où ils
passent la nuit avec leurs bagages. Au matin, Le baron Adrien de
Turckheim, qui connaissait le couple depuis une course
automobile Vanderbilt Cup, les y trouve, et les invite au clos
Saint-Pierre, où ils vont séjourner plusieurs jours.
Le 6 août, ils sont témoins des premiers combats. Le 8 août,
juste avant l’entrée de l’armée allemande dans Blâmont, le baron
de Turckheim part en vélo vers Lunéville, tandis que
l’état-major allemand investit le clos Saint-Pierre.
Selon le témoignage des touristes américains, après avoir été
rendre quelques services dans un hôpital militaire à Repaix,
leur service est signalé au prince de Wurtemberg qui leur
obtient un laissez-passer pour Strasbourg dans un train rempli
de blessés, puis d’y prendre une ligne directe jusqu’à
Rotterdam. Un officier allemand, Philip Heimann de Cologne leur
aurait prêté l’équivalent de 75 $.
La presse rapporte ensuite que le 7 septembre, le couple
d’américains serait arrivé à Rotterdam et aurait pu s’embarquer
Il reste cependant une incohérence de dates : car Blâmont est
libéré par une attaque française dans la nuit du 14 au 15 août,
et les otages de Blâmont (dont le maire), emmenés dans l’église
de Gogney, sont libérés au matin du 15. Les touristes américains
ne sont donc pas restés dix jours à Blâmont, mais ont été
évacués par les Allemands au plus tard le 14 août, de sorte
qu’ils n’ont pu bénéficier immédiatement de la libération par
l’offensive française. Mais pourquoi leur aurait-il fallu trois
semaines de transit entre Blâmont-Avricourt-Strasbourg-Rotterdam
8 septembre 1914
WITH WIFE SAW BATTLE.
Caught In Chateau Almost Between Firing Lines.
Mr and Mrs. Lyman B. Kendall of 520 Park avenue, who arrlved on
the Rotterdam yesterday, told a graphic story of the battle
between the German and French armies at Blamont. They took
refuge In a chateau almost between the firing lines and finally
escaped on a train carrying wounded.
Mr. and .Mrs, Kendall, their automobile confiscated, took a
train from Strasburg for Paris. The train was stopped at
Avrlcourt on the French border. From there they hired an
automobile and then a hay wagon and got as far as Blamont, where
they spent the night in the public square in a drizzling rain.
"At this crisis." said Mr. Kendall, “Baron de Turckheim saw us
and Invited us to his chateau just outside of Blamont, where our
host, the Baroness, my wife and myself and one aged servant
were marooned for ten days while the battle raged about us.”
The battle commenced on the day after Mr. Kendall and his wife
went to the chateau. From their retreat they could see the smoke
and hear the booming of the cannon. This was on August 6. The
battle kept coming nearer and they were finally obliged to take
refuge in the cellar.
The German attack became so strong that the Baron made his
escape on a bicycle and left Mr. Kendall in charge. On the night
of August 10 there was a sound if breaking glass on the second
and Mr. and Mrs. Kendall found the lance of a uhlan sticking
through the window. They opened the door and admitted fifty
uhlans, who searched them and the chateau.-
The fighting was now so close that they could see troopers, who
has been hit by bullet, falling from their horses. This
continued for four days and they lived most of the time In the
cellar, eating crusts of bread and rice.
"As soon as the Germans took Blamont the General commanding the
first Bavarian army corps made his headquarters at the chateau."
said Mr. Kendall. "We were treated courteously, but we were not
allowed to leave the grounds. One officer told us there were
2,000 German dead and 8.000 wounded In the few day of fighting.
“French aeroplanes would appear just after daybreak ans scout
about over our heads. German sharpshooters hit one aviator in
the shoulder and he fell and was killed. There was a German
wireless station near the chateau and we learned that the French
were planning a strong counter attack.”
Philip Heinmann of Cologne, a Lleutenant in the Fifteenth
Uhlans, lent Mr. and Mrs. Kendall $75 and finally got a passport
for them. They got out on a military train filled with wounded
On retrouve le même article dans :
The Fairport Herald 18 septembre 1914
The Palatka news and advertiser. [volume], 16 octobre 1914
The Brattleboro daily reformer., 24 septembre 1914
Iowa County democrat. [volume], 24 septembre 1914
Bridgeton pioneer., 17 septembre 1914
The Laramie Republican., 17 septembre 1914
The Birmingham age-herald. [volume], 10 septembre 1914
The Shepherdstown register
17 septembre 1914
They Were In a Battle
Caught between the lines of the French and
German armies in Alsace, forced to take refuge in a cellar from
the rain of shrapnel as battle was joined, and finally escaping
to Holland through the German lines by the personal intercession
of the German commander, Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Kendall, of 520 Park
avenue, who arrived yesterday morning on the Holland-America
liner Rotterdam, brought the most
thrilling story of any Americans from Europe.
"We were motoring through Germany," said Mrs. Kendall, "and had
reached Carlsbad when news came that the Kaiser had ordered all
troops to the colors. We were allowed to go to Nuremberg, where
our machine was commandeered. By advice of police officials we
took train for Paris August 1. The advice was bad. At the little
frontier town of Avricourt we were ordered to disembark.
the town was filled with German soldiers we were permitted to
start across the frontier on foot, carrying our trunks by short
stages. On the French side we got a wheelbarrow for our trunks
pushed on to Blamont. Eight other Americans were there, but they
all set out to walk to Luneville, 30 miles away. We never heard
"Blamont was in panic and no one would take us indoors, although
it rained. We spent the night shivering on our trunks. In the
morning the mayor of the village rescued us. He was Baron de
Turckheim, and we had met him at a Vanderbilt cup race some
years ago. He took us to his chateau and tried to find some way
to get us to a railway station, but all horses had been
for the army.
"On the morning of August 4 we saw moving things like gray-green
caterpillars creeping out of the woods to the north. Presently
they melted into long, thin lines and began to move forward.
Then, on the opposite side of the chateau, we saw similar lines,
taking interval in the same way, only these were blue and much
more conspicuous. Then, from the woods behind, came white puffs
of smoke, and a second later the reports of cannon from the
German lines. We had been so fascinated that we hadn't realized
our own position, but we realized these reports came from German
fire and the white balls of smoke were shrapnel bursts. As the
French guns replied we began to lose interest in the spectacle.
We went down cellar.
"We remained in the cellar most of four days, for although the
French fell back so we weren't in the direct line, we could hear
the boom of guns and the rattle of rifle fire in the distance.
There were only the five of us, for the servants had run away.
The Baroness persuaded her husband to flee, as he had got the
personal enmity of several German officers. He rode away in the
night on a bicycle. That same evening three women and one man of
our party were at the dining table when a crash of glass came
and we saw the head of a Uhlan's lance, which he had thrust
through the window by way of a doorbell. We opened the door, and
in trooped several cavalrymen, followed by officers. They were
very courteous, and after we had cooked them a dinner, we ate
together in the most friendly way.
"I volunteered as a nurse in the field hospital. Our friends
gave us a pass to Rupais and an escort. But we found ourselves
once more between the firing lines. That was a dreadful journey.
I don't think I'll ever forget the whine of the shrapnel and
the'whit-whit' of bullets overhead, or the shell-torn bodies
that lay here and there beside the road.
After we arrived at Rupais I went into the hospital. It was
terrible to see the fine young fellows brought in, dirty,
exhausted and wounded. I did what I could to help them; it was
but my services were brought to the attention of the Prince ot
Wurtemburg, who commanded the German army in the neighborhood.
"The Prince wrote us, with his own hand, a pass through the
lines and gave us an escort to Strassburg. From there we had no
trouble going to Rotterdam. In every difficulty that pass was a
perfect spell in securing us anything we might desire." - New
Mr. Lyman B. Kendall, who is referred to in the above
interesting sketch, is a nephew of Mrs. A. S. Reynolds, formerly
The Christian Herald
23 septembre 1914
HOW EUROPE'S PEASANTS SUFFERED BY THE WAR
The little village of Blamont. near Avricourt,
France, lay bathed in the calm hot sunlight of August a few
weeks ago. The grain was almost ripe for harvesting ; the
millers were busy grinding flour for the bread, and the bakers
baking it. Then came the call to mobilization, and the men of
Blamont went away down the road, while the women did their part
to fill the gaps left in their midst, happy in the thought that
they bad given their loved ones to their country. Little knew
they what wag before them !
One morning early came the soldiers, riding over the hills.
Blamont and the surrounding town-were in the track of the
invasion ! Soldiers came thicker and thicker, melting into the
landscape, yet covering all. They settled down on the village
like a swarm of bees, demanding food, wine, fodder. Among the
houses which had to answer their demand for food was the Castle,
and in the castle was an American couple who were imprisoned
there, who, having lost all they had and being unable to find
even a horse to convey them away, were obliged to remain. The
words of the woman, Mrs. L. B. Kendall, a New Yorker, used to
luxury, but bearing bravely her discomforts, best describe her
"In a few days," she said, "not only the adult men, but the boys
and old men had disappeared from Blamont and the surrounding
villages. Blamont became a place of women and there was no
harvest to reap. Everything in the track of the invading army
was trodden to bits, and what bad been garnered and stored was
eaten by the troopers' horses in a few days: but in the fields
you could see women about to become mothers, and old women,
staggering under burdens that would have been heavy for a horse,
as they went about collecting odds and ends and scraps to carry
home. The carrots and turnips were dug up and eaten, the wine-cellars
drained dry : for you know it is the rule of war to live on the
enemy's country till it is exhausted, and not till then to begin
to use the stores brought from home. My husband and I often said
to each other : “When the soldiers are gone, what then?' for
there was scarcely a morsel of food left in the place. The maire
of the village was in captivity, and his wife, who was our
hostess at the castle, assume his duty, doing her best to aid
the distressed. She doled out the contents of a few bags of rice
which she had - a handful at a time - while it lasted. I can see
now those poor peasant women who came in their wooden sabots and
aprons to take it home in their bowls ! These people can make a
little go a long way. But famine was not the only thing to be
dreaded ; the stench that came from the hundreds of unburied
bodies lying everywhere grew to be unbearable even before we
left. Poor Blamont. What future is before her !
"The last few days of our stay we saw all about us the smoke of
burning villages, and thousands of women and children from seven
towns came to us, homeless as well as destitute. Still there is
always so much that is good to look for ! The women whose babies
came in this time of confusion and trouble were sheltered and
The foregoing description applies to great areas of Europe today.
Villages burned, thousands left homeless, fields trampled,
storehouses looted - this is war!
Do not think that the sufferings of war are confined to one
country and that the invaded one. Germany, too, is a land of
tears and mourning today. An American lady, Mrs. Ligschilder,
wife of an Episcopal rector, staying with her husband in Munich,
tells of what she saw there.
"It was very little," she said, "because I had my own three
children to care for. But Munich was a manless city. In all the
churches the women and children gathered twice a day to sing
hymns ; one could hear the bells calling them at all times. The
conscription in Germany was more severe than anywhere else, and
the suffering which is endured by families whose breadwinners
are taken from them is unspeakable.
"Near my home was a family consisting, before the war, of the
husband, who was a carpenter, and three small children, aged
three, five and seven. They seemed very happy in their little
stucco house, surrounded with flowers and arbors. The youngest
fell ill with scarlet fever. At the crisis, when the mother was
already taxed to the uttermost, came the call to arms. Fritz
must drop everything and go. The few marks he earned daily
stopped. Moreover, he must have warm blankets and socks to take
to the war. With the little money at their command these were
bought and Fritz left. Then the baby grew worse, and there was
no money to send for the doctor. Alas! the little one died, and
the stores in the house were all used up before kind German
neighbors discovered their plight.
"Don't think the suffering people are left uncared for by their
own neighbors. On the contrary, all the women better provided
with funds are banding together in towns and villages to do what
they can. They knit socks, make clothing, and send baskets of
eggs and butter to the destitute. I saw the most beautiful
spirit all over Germany. There are no rich or poor any more -
all help each other."
The writer knows of a family living in a German village,
composed, before the war of an aged mother, two married sons and
their wives, and a baby in each family. They were not living
together, but were united by the close tie which binds a German
household. Now, the sons are gone ; the aged mother has been
taken care of by relatives and the two young mothers are
absolutely destitute. They have relatives in America who may
help them later. How many German eyes are turned towards America
for aid ! With all that the government can do and all the
kindnesses that neighbors can render, even to the limit of their
own resources, there will still be countless cases of
destitution like those cited above. Thousands of families will
be rendered penniless as the "casualty lists" increase.
Edith A. Talbot