Through War Torn Europe: An official trip after WWI told in the words of James Gordon Steese
Number Twenty-Four
Central Hotel, Nantes,
Thursday, September 11th, 1919.
I leave for Paris via Tours and Gievres in the morning. Yesterday, I did St. Sulpice, Bassens, and Bordeaux, the port development of the Garonne.

I got a cadillac and an engineer guide and saw everything. The magnitude of the American port works is amazing. It becomes more and more a tragedy that the War did not last another year so that these facilities might have been used to their full capacity.

It grows tiresome after awhile to be continually explaining that only about one fourth of America's enormous expenditures contributed directly to the winning of the War and that the other three fourths went into preparations for the Campaign of 1919 which proved unnecessary. It is hard to make the average citizen realize that it was the very magnitude of those preparations and the inevitable result of it all that forced the Hun to capitulate a year before he was beaten on the battlefield.

After breakfast yesterday, I borrowed an overseas cap from the hotel clerk and went shopping. The cap had blue piping and a first lieutenant's bar on it, but it answered very well. I could not get anything at the stores but an oversea's cap and had quite a time getting the black and gold braid. Then I caught a truck for St. Sulpice, where I checked in and was then well provided for.

I left Bordeaux at 6:30 last evening under the impression that there was a diner on the train. Actually, I sat up all night in a first class compartment and had nothing at all to eat. I changed cars at Nantes at 4:40 this morning and had breakfast in St. Nazaire. I found Colonel ***** there with whom I lived a year in Washington. With him and his trusty cadillac I have today done Ste Nazaire, Montoir, Nantes, and the port developments on the Loire, another immense American project ****** has just left on his return to St. Nazaire and I am about to turn in.

End Notes and Bibliography