Book Details

Good War, Great Men. The 313th Machine Gun Battalion of World War I

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This is a compilation of the ranks of a World War I Machine Gun Battalion through first-hand accounts of more than a dozen soldiers who served together during the War. Their stories have been rediscovered by compiling unpublished letters and journals with historical insights to provide a compelling history of the men of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion. A young Private colorfully describes the antics of his fellow draftees from Erie, Pennsylvania while they trained at Camp Lee preparing for war. An idealistic officer provides vivid details of the simple pleasures and the aggravating moments as the battalion travels through the French countryside on their way to the front. The naïve desires of one officer, hoping he can get into a ‘real show' are later extinguished when the unit takes on multiple casualties from a gas attack. After escaping an incessant shelling, the honest prose of one officer reveals a mistake that was made, that cost the lives of men during a harrowing event in the Battle of the Meuse-Argonne. 

The miserable days of long marches, muddy trenches and soaking wet uniforms were common. Being able to laugh through the misery, sharing a bottle of French wine, finding a swimming hole for the men, or sleeping in late under the warmth of the sun occasionally made it a good war. This book was released to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of World War I and to honor the men of the 313th Machine Gun Battalion, 80th Division.

Author Details

Andrew Capets
Andrew J. Capets was raised in Trafford, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He attended Penn State University earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Insurance. He has been employed by State Farm Insurance Companies since 1990, and is currently a State Farm Agent in Monroeville, PA. He met his wife Mariann when they were students at Penn State. The couple has been married for over 25 years and they reside in North Huntingdon, PA with their two teenage boys. Andrew's passion for family and local history led him to founding the Trafford Historical Society and was co-author of the book "Images of America - Trafford" published in 2017 by Arcadia Publishing. In 2017, Andrew was successful in a grant challenge offered by the WWI Centennial Commission to save and restore WWI memorials. His grant application was chosen and the Trafford WWI Memorial is one of only 100 memorials across the United State to be an officially designated a "WWI Centennial Memorial."