Epinal

Sergeant Lloyd Adams

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A man with red crosses on his armbands leapt over a fallen tree and continued sprinting through the woods. His movements were like that of a gazelle being chased by a lion. He darted through rocks and around craters in the ground, jumping over them if he had to. The medic could hear cries of the men calling to him, but the dust and utter confusion prevented finding them. A monsterous blast less that fifty feet away blew him up off his feet and onto the ground. His fingernails grasped at the ground, and he pulled his way to the nearest shelter. With one last motion he dove headfirst into Adamsí foxhole and laid across the three men inside. The medic was motionless, and a sudden artillery burst caused the foxhole to light up in a brilliant scheme of flashing color. A look of horror appeared on the faces of the men as they saw the metal shrapnel lining the medicís back. Blood bubbled out from the wounds as the manís body lay limp. For the time being he would provide more cover, and Lloyd tried to block everthing that was going on from his brain.


What none of the 44th knew was that the Germanís, who had been in retreat, decided to turn around and make another push back into France. The enemyís only way to go was right through the Epinal gap, where the 324thís trap had been laid. As a first precaution and in attempt to clear out some of the forces, the Germanís had decided on this nighttime raid.


The bombardment ended. Fires buned in tree stumps and smoke rose up from the ground. Groggy soldiers stirred around, and after a clear signal Sgt. Adams crept outside from his hole and peered out. Several men had been killed and roughly a dozen were injured. The pristine white snow was now spackled with deep red. Adams retreated into the warm lair and dozed back off to sleep. There was not much that anyone could do at this point. Frostbite would appear on the body in less than five minutes, and the word from command to stay under cover was passed around the hillside. Thoughts of retaliation were not in these menís heads. It would have been wasteful to send any type of salvo back at the German encampment, and the 324th would need to be caring for the wounded. They were strong in this manner, and felt that patience would be key in protecting the Venango pass.


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© By Glenn John Adams