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The journals of Samuel Miller



April 1917 Day 27

Today is the first day that we have had food for about six days. I do not know what all the other guys are thinking, but I myself am not going to take it for granted. Everyone was starting to go crazy because we have not had food for a while. My name is Samuel Miller and I enlisted in the army about 3 weeks after we declared war on Germany. I am part of the 28th division but is also known as the "Iron Division". We have fought our second battle in the war today and I was a lucky one who got out of there alive. I was waiting for it to be clear so I could escape the line of fire I was captured by the Germans. They asked me a lot of questions behind the line. After they were done with me the threw me into an old room in a barn. There is no light, water or food. I am hungry and thirsty and I am feeling very depressed. The Germans have taken everything that I had with me, I am surprised that they did not take the clothes off my back. At least I am not alone, there a few others with me and I feel there are more coming.



April 1917 Day 28

Today the Germans had waken us up at dusk, given us our daily portion of bread and made us work until dawn. We were all separated into little groups to preform a certain task. It was either working on the railroads, unloading supplies or we were sent to work on the roads. I did not sleep well last night. None of us were given blankets and there was no beds in the barn so we have to sleep on the hard floors of the barn. Yes there is running water but none of us has taken a shower. We have no clothes to change into, so there is no point. We are all covered in lice and the place smells horrible. I am getting home sick and I just want to go home and see my family. I am starting to think that I will never be able to get out of here. I think I will just sit here and have to do what the Germans tell me to do for the rest of my life, until I die or worse yet, they kill us. There is a lot of men in this small little place that it always smells. You get used to the smell after a while, I guess you become immune to it.


April 1917 Day 29

I have gotten a letter today from my wife Penny. She writes me letters almost every day. I am always looking forward to reading them, however it makes me more homesick every time to know that I am not there with her. Her letter today was not pleasant. She told me that mother was very ill and that she might not make it. I know it must have been hard for her to such a thing, but I know she had to tell me. I need to find a way out of this place so I can go home and see them. Mother is a strong person so I know she will make it through this. She has to. She also told me that our son Franklin has said his first word. I broke down in tears after reading it. It is so hard to be away from your family for this long. She knows how hard it is for me to be away from them. I have never been away from them for this long. I need to find a way out of here, I got to.


April 1917 Day 30

I have not gotten a letter from my Penny today. I am worried that something has happened. But today I befriended an old subject of the czar. I know Russian so it made it easier for me to talk to him. We heard that there might be an escape that is being planned so we might go for that and get back to where we need to go. I have not been in here for that long but I don’t think that I can handle it anymore. Some of the men have been in here for three or four years and I do not know how they stay sane. I would have gone mad if I have had been in here for that long. I think I am going to go and make a plan to get out of this mad house and be free again. I can not live like this anymore. In a little room with many other men, I just cant do it anymore. I need to see my family. I have a few ideas on how to get out of here, but I just have to wait until the right time to do it. There will be serious consequences if I get caught, so I have to be extra careful. I am off to bed to get a good nights rest for tomorrow, I think that is when I am going to break out of here.


April 1917 Day 31.

WE DID IT! We got away from the Germans! It was tough work though. We had to wait until the perfect time. We had to slide through the gates of the breakfast area and run! They did not even notice that we had left. I do not know why we did not think of this earlier. It was not that heard to get out, but some people had trouble. The gates open every day at the same time and they close at the same time. We have watched the gates for a long time now and we know what time about they open and how long it takes them to close. One man was on the heavier side and the gate was closing and he almost got stuck. I do not know what I would have done. We would have been caught! But good thing we timed it just right because we have been taking notes on this and now it has finally paid off! I was not going to do it because I had a feeling that they were going to let us go but then I thought about it and they would not have let us go, they needed us to work for them. I am glad that we made it out of there alive. Now I can see my family.

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