What is enclosed between these covers was written as a series of first hand impressions during the fall and early winter of 1914 while the writer was on staff service for The Saturday Evening Post in the western theatre of the European War. I tried to write of war as I saw it at the time that I saw it, or immediately afterward, when the memory of what I had seen was fresh and vivid in my mind.
In this volume, as here presented, no attempt has been made to follow either logically or chronologically the progress of events in the campaigning operations of which I was a witness. The chapters are interrelated insofar as they purport to be a sequence of pictures describing some of my experiences and setting forth a few of my observations in Belgium, in Germany, in France and in England during the first three months of hostilities.
At the outset I had no intention of undertaking to write a book on the war. If in the kindly judgment of the reader what I have written constitutes a book I shall be gratified.
Cobb is remembered best for his humorous stories of Kentucky and is part of the American literary regionalism school. These stories were collected first in the book Old Judge Priest (1915), whose title character was based on a prominent West Kentucky judge named William Pitman Bishop. Writer Joel Harris wrote of these tales, "Cobb created a South peopled with honorable citizens, charming eccentrics, and loyal, subservient blacks, but at their best the Judge Priest stories are dramatic and compelling, using a wealth of precisely rendered detail to evoke a powerful mood."Among his other books are the humorous Speaking of Operations (1916), and anti-prohibition ode to bourbon, Red Likker (1929).