Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Happy Days! A Humorous Narrative in Drawings of the Progress of American Arms 1917–1919

At the St. Mihiel Salient

By Captain Alban B. Butler
Osprey Publishing, 1st Ed. 2011
Mike Hanlon, Reviewer

A Typical Day on the Way to France

With his pen and sketch pad, talented amateur cartoonist Alban Butler documented in droll fashion the experience of the First Division of the AEF. His outfit was the first to ship over there, the first to take casualties, and the first to fight and offensive operation at Cantigny. The division later helped close the St. Mihiel Salient and laid claim to being the first to reach the outskirts of Sedan at war's end. The veterans of the division were justifiably proud of their record and were deeply fond of Butler's cartoons.

Christmas 1917

Captain Butler had been chairman of the Yale Record before the war and served as aide-de-camp to Major General Charles Pelot Summerall in France. In 1928 the Society of the First Division published this collection, and now Osprey Books and the First Division Museum at Cantigny have collaborated to reissue Happy Days. The new volume includes a highly informative foreword by distinguished AEF historian E.M. (Mac) Coffman.

Mike Hanlon

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