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Above the Battle

violence. The Germans, on retiring after their defeat on the Marne, methodically made a clean sweep in the towns and villages of Picardy and Flanders of all persons capable of bearing arms—500 men at Douai, at Amiens 1,800 summoned before the citadel on some apparently harmless pretext, and carried off without even the possibility of returning for a change of clothes.

In many cases the captures had not even the excuse of military utility. In the village of Sompuis (Marne) on September 10th, the Saxons seized a helpless village priest of seventy-three, scarcely able to walk, and five old men of ages from sixty to seventy, one of whom was lame, and took them away on foot. Elsewhere women and children are taken, happy if they can remain together. Here a husband, mad with grief, searches for his wife and son aged three, who have disappeared since the Germans passed through Quièvrechain (Nord). There it is a mother and her children taken by the French near Guebwiller; the children were sent back, but not the mother. A French captain, wounded by the bursting of a shell, saw his wife also wounded by German bullets at Nomêny (Meurthe-et-Moselle); since when