WILLIAM GROSVENOR CONGDON
(Providence, 15 aprile 1912 - Milano, 15 aprile 1998)
In St. Pietro on the Sangro River the Germans blew up every building, but under the sandle on the church altar left a note: "Here are your Winter Quarters". In Faenza a year later our engineers were pulling down houses still intact to fill rubble into the roads collapsing under our heavy traffic. Troops were on one end of a cable, women, children and old men desperately hanging on to the other, which alone stood between them and cold and hopeless wandering. Some English Engineers in Ravenna, ordered to do the same, came to the Military Governor and begged him to have the order countermanded. You would see truck after truck, hundreds of them, riding empty. And patrol was used not only for washing clothes but also for cooling wine. We left the Province of Molise from the deep-bowled valley of Agnone, guarded by the rocks of Pietrabbondante to the South and over the Northern ridge above the Sangro storm clouds trailed down from Capracotta, while along the central spine Agnone spread its long and single rank of houses.
W. G. Congdon, In the Death of One, in «Italian Poetry Review», VI:2011, Società Ed. Fiorentina, Firenze 2013, p. 227.