"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." - 1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC, Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918
Lt. Cates is saying here that he only has 2 men left out of an original company that would have been about 100 to 120 men. Added to that another 20 men from another company also devastated by the fierce fighting. Further, "no one on my left" means no troops in support on his left flank - he is unprotected there - and only a few troops to hold the line on his right flank.
Despite such such adversity, Lt. Cates' message is "I will hold."
Lt. Cates did hold and for his herosim in the conflicts of WWI he earned the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
Colonel Cates would then serve in WWII as commander of the 1st Marine Regiment in the battles of Guadalcanal, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He would earn the Distinguished Service Medal... twice.
General Cates would then service as Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1948 to 1954.
General Cates died 4 June 1970 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary.