Above is pictured Battery C, 60th Artillery, CAC. In the foreground is a Holt Tractor pulling one of the Regiments Trucks that has been stuck in the soft ground with a chain. Both the tractor and truck are clearly marked with the Regiments logo, a red diamond on a white rectangle. On the left side is one of the guns of Battery C, awaiting orders to fire. Shells stand at the ready and powder boxes can be seen next to the shells. The gun has it's camouflage net set up. Several men can be seen setting on the hillside reading papers and just relaxing.
Battle Participation of the 60th Artillery:
Just before Christmas of 1917 the War Department, on December 23, 1917, officially issued orders detailing for the formation of the 60th Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps, for service in France. This order stated that Major Elmer J. Wallace was to form the Regiment at Camp Stuart, Virginia. It was on December 23, 1917 that the 8th (I) Company, Coast Defenses of Chesapeake Bay, who were then stationed at Fisherman's Island, Virginia was formed into the Headquarters Company 60th Artillery under the command of Major Wallace.
The following existing units were formed into the 60th Artillery:
Headquarters Company: Came from the 8th Company, Coast Defenses of Chesapeake Bay
Supply Company:Was organized from the 2nd Company, District of Columbia National Guard.
Battery A: Came from re-designating the 4th Co. Coast Defenses of the Delaware at Fort Dupont.
Battery B: Was organized from the 5th Company, Virginia National Guard at Richmond, VA.
Battery C: Came from re-designating the 4th Co. Coast Defenses of the Potomac.
Battery D: Was organized from the 1st Company, District of Columbia National Guard.
Battery E: Came from re-designating the 6th Co. Coast Defenses of the Chesapeake Bay.
Battery F: Was organized from the 9th Company, Virginia National Guard of Richmond, VA.
From January onwards, these units began to gather at Camp Stuart, Virginia. But Supply Company and Batteries C and D remained in the Coast Defenses of the Potomac until March 23, 1918, when they finally arrived at Camp Stuart. It was on January 12, 1918, that Major Elmer J. Wallace was advanced to the rank of Colonel. Once the 60th Artillery was finally assembled they had sailing orders and were to be aboard the USS Siboney on April 22 at Newport News, Virginia. That day the entire 60th Artillery consisting of 71 officers and 1,649 enlisted men went aboard the ship. Once the ship was loaded with the other troops and equipment throughout the day, that evening they remained at the dock for the night. On board the USS Siboney with the 60th Artillery were the following units: 1st Division Motor Supply Train of 16 Officers and 469 enlisted men; Balloon Detachments 1-8 of 8 Officers and 654 enlisted men; Casuals consisting of 1 Officer and 25 enlisted men and 66 enlisted men for Quarter Master, Stevedores and Replacements.
The 60th Artillery staff officers, under the command of Colonel Elmer Jay Wallace, CAC, consisted of the following officers when they sailed for France:
Lt. Col. James Menzo Wheeler
It was not until the morning of April 23 that the Siboney got under way from Port of Embarkation Newport News and steamed at the three-mile limit just off the coast northward up the coast until on the second day at sea, they met up with their convoy and was then escorted by the armored cruiser USS North Carolina. The other ships in the convoy with the Siboney were the USS Tenadores, USS Mercury and the USS Henry R. Mallory.
On the third day at sea life preservers were issued to the men, and standing orders were to wear them around the neck at all times. Abandon ship drills were held at unexpected hours during the voyage. Lookouts were on duty constantly and the men were assembled on deck at dusk and dawn every day while at sea, so as to be ready to abandon ship should the need arise. Also, on the evening of the third night as sea two of the ships in the convoy collided with each other and had to turn back to the coast and head for Halifax, Nova Scotia.
On the night before reaching Brest, France a submarine was sighted, and the Navy promptly chased it away by dropping depth charges. The next morning while still at sea nine Sub Chaser of the U. S. Navy came out from Brest and surrounded the convoy then under the watchful eyes of the USS North Carolina. It was at this point that the little Sub Chasers took over the convoy and the North Carolina reversed course and headed back west bound for America to escort her next convoy of ships.
Just before noon on May 6, the Siboney reached Brest, France, with smiles on each face aboard the Siboney as they had made the crossing and were still alive to tell about it. As soon as the ship could be docked the unloading process began and the men of the 60th Artillery were off onto French soil for the first time.
Their first activity was a march a short distance to Camp Pontanezen. Here they stayed for the next two days before they were again on the march for a train station. But during the two day stay various details were formed from the 60th Artillery to assist in handling baggage from the ship, and building roads around Brest, along with other small projects.
Once this work had been completed they were boarded onto a train and they headed in a southerly direction and on May 10th they had arrived at Libourne, France. Here was the American Army’s O&T Center Number 1 (Operations and Training), and it would be here that they would begin their training. While in Libourne the 60th Artillery was divided into battalions and were dispersed to the outlying towns around Libourne where the men were billeted. First Battalion and the Headquarters Company drew the town of Saint-Emilion and the billets consisted of stables, shops and houses. As a general rule these places were filthy and needed cleaning before they were inhabitable. It was here that the men of the 60th Artillery learned what CAC really meant, it did not mean Coast Artillery Corps because they found it to mean “Clean All Cities.”
First Battalion’s billets in Saint-Emilion was found to contain the factory of one of the most celebrated Champagne’s in all of France. Their field kitchen and mess were sent up under tent next to the old city cathedral. At first the local French town folks were a bit cold to the new Americans of the 60th Artillery but soon enough they came to like the American boys.
The 60th Artillery was one of three regiments that made up the 33rd Artillery Brigade, CAC. The other two regiments were the 61st and 62nd Regiments, but only the 60th saw any action at the front. The 60th Artillery was issued the French 155mm GPF Gun. The firing range for O&T Center No. 1 was at Camp de Souge, which was just a short distance from the town of Libourne.
For the next two-months the men of the 60th Artillery underwent training of all sorts at Libourne and others schools in the area. There were firing range tables for the French 155mm GPF guns to learn, officers and enlisted men went to tractor schools to learn how to operate, fix and drive the Holt tractors, there were gas warfare schools, communication schools, and many other things of the craft of modern trench warfare that the men had to learn. By the beginning of September, they were ready to head off to the front lines and show the Germans what they could do with the French Guns they had been given.
As the Fourth of July came around each battalion held celebrations of America’s Independence in their respective billeting areas. At Saint-Emilion the 60th Artillery combined and held a picnic and a band concert along with some sporting events. Colonel Wallace then addressed the 60th Artillery with a few remarks and the French Mayor of Saint-Emilion, Mr. Thibscourd, responded in kind. The American celebration was also attended by the local French which made for great feelings between the peoples of both countries.
It was about this same time that Battery B learned that the 35-men of that Battery who were left behind in the States who were under quarantined from Scarlet Fever had now arrived in France. Efforts were made to see that they could be once again assigned to the battery, but this was shattered as they had been reassigned to the 54th Artillery CAC, which was then a Replacement Artillery Regiment. In place of getting the former men from Battery B, the 54th Replacement Artillery Regiment sent over 74-men as replacements to the 60th Artillery.
It was nearly time for the men of the 60th to take live fire practice with the guns, and on July 17, orders were received detailing that the 60th should take the firing range at Camp De Souge, just a short distance away. The men of the 60th set up pup tents for the duration of the time they were on the range at Saint Jean Duloc some two-miles from the target range. While on the firing line each battery learned the art of firing with ground observations, celestial observations as well as firing with observations from balloon and airplanes. Instructions from French Artillery Instructors were also given.
Along with the training the men had to paint and camouflage the guns. The Regimental mark of the 60th Artillery, CAC was a Red Diamond which was painted on the sides of all trucks and tractors. Later when the 60th was in action in the Argonne area, w an American pilot and observer looked down while flying overhead the 60th Artillery positions and noticed the activity of the regiment. The red diamonds stood out and so the pilot and observer wrote a note and swooped down and tossed the note to the boys below. It was taken to the Battalion Headquarters and was read: “For God’s sake get under cover, you look like a circus!” From that time onwards the 60th went by the nickname of “Wallace’s Red Diamond Circus.”
The town of Bath where the Medical Detachment of the 60th Artillery had set up shop were a mixture of French and Spanish peoples, who as it turned out were inclined to be somewhat pro-German. Nevertheless, the town was put into ship-shape condition, so much so that the Medical Detachment had set up such a model operation that it caught the eye of many other medical units in France and soon became a show place and many visiting units came to look and gain new ideas for their own units’ workings.
On the morning of September 7, 1918, the 60th Artillery was on the move to the train station where they were off for the city of Toul, France and the upcoming St. Mihiel drive that was being planned. But on September 2, Colonel Wallace had been given the order of battle for the St. Mihiel operations and among the orders it stated what was expected of the Army Artillery.
They read in part:
The artillery of the divisions, corps and army will be echeloned in depth under cover of this position, in such manner as to be able to deliver effective fire in front of the position, including counter-preparation and barrage fire in front of the outpost position.
(b) Artillery: All the artillery of the army, corps and divisions, including trench mortars, will be echeloned in rear of the position of resistance in such a manner that: Field Artillery and heavy howitzers can execute counter-preparation fire 1500 to 2000 meters in front of the outpost position. Heavy guns and heavy howitzers can effectively deliver counterbattery fire. High power heavy artillery can execute fire of interdiction on the enemy's communications and important centers. In order to fulfill missions, which cannot be executed from emplacements in rear of the positions of resistance some guns may be placed in front of this position, but every precaution must be taken to affect the rapid withdrawal or the destruction of these guns in case the enemy launches a general attack. The fire to be directed on portions of the interior of our positions (between strong points, in front of the position of resistance, etc.) and the fire to be employed in connection with previously prepared counter-attacks will be minutely regulated. Antitank guns will be disposed in depth so as to furnish the maximum protection for the position of resistance. The crews must be provided with adequate infantry protection.
It would be here in the grounds of the St. Mihiel Salient that the officers and men of the 60th Artillery, CAC would be baptized in combat, young fresh-faced men would grow into season men in a 48-hour period. This is where they saw first-hand what men can do to men in battle and it would change many of them for life. This baptismal would prepare them for what was to come in the next battle they would participate in, for the 48-hours they spent at St. Mihiel was a walk in the park as what lay before them. The 60th Artillery had seen their first taste of battle and had proven themselves able and were ready for their next assignment.
The first elements of the 60th Artillery reached Toul, France at 3 o’clock in the morning on September 10 and had met up with Headquarters Company that had been there the day before and had set up operations in Jaillon, which was four-miles just outside of Toul. Once the Batteries arrived in the area they were ordered to wait until dark before the heavy columns with the guns went into positions at Pont-au-Mousson, France. Battery F reached the area on the morning of September 12th.
During this time rain was falling in heavy bands making it very muddy and hard for the 15-ton guns to be hauled into positions. Along the way to Pont-au-Mousson there came a narrow bridge that needed to be crossed by the heavy column with the guns of the 60th Artillery. Coming the opposite direction was a battalion of infantry troops also heading to their positions in the area. They apparently had rights to cross the bridge and would not let the guns of the 60th Artillery pass until morning. This was totally unacceptable to the officers of the 60th Artillery and Captain Milton of Battery B, investigated the bridge and found that if the guns were kept to the extreme edge of the bridge both they and the infantry troops could pass at the same time. Captain Milton communicated this to the MP officer of the Infantry troops and the MP officer told Captain Milton that under no man’s orders he would let the artillery take precedence over the infantry troops and that he had orders from General Pershing himself. Captain Milton pressed the MP officer to produce said orders from General Pershing in writing and when he did not Captain Milton had the MP officer put aside and the 60th Artillery rolled on across. Captain Milton never heard any more from the MP officer or General Pershing about this event.
After the crossing of the bridge the 60th Artillery reached their gun positions about 4 o’clock in the morning of September 11. These gun positions were so filled with traffic from men, trucks and animals all trying to get into positions for the start of the big show that it was nearly impossible to move. But by some luck, and much hard work by 7 o’clock they were in gun positions. So exhausted were the men that most fell asleep at their gun positions during a driving rain. After a four-hour rest the guns of the 60th were ready to commence firing for the first time.
Over at Battery B’s position ammunition and shell still had not arrived at the guns. So, Captain Milton along with Lt. Coffin the Orientur Officer and Lt. Hayden the Gas Officer went back to Jaillon in a staff car with a driver to see why Ammunition and shells were not up to the guns yet. Once they discovered that both were on the way they returned back to the positions of Battery B. But the roads near St. Jean by then were so impassible from all the troops trying to make their way into positions they could not move. Captain Milton ordered the driver to detour to the town of Mamie. By midnight they had made the outskirts of that town, which was then under heavy shell fire from the Germans. So, the group of officers and the driver took to a nearby shell hole for protection. After a bit the firing let up enough for the three officers and driver to enter the town of Mamie and sought shelter in a concrete stable for several hours. Once the shelling had let up they again were on the move and reach their gun positions at 4:30 in the morning of September 12. Lt. Gooch of Battery B who was left in command reported to Captain Milton that he had just fired his first salvo, after having been ordered to open fire at 4:30 local time.
Battery B had the guns emplaced in a wooded area and well camouflaged. No personnel of the battery were allowed to be out in the open, and all tracks of any truck or tractor were well covered so as to prevent the Germans from detecting that a gun battery occupied the wooded area. But the Germans must have been wise to the fact that an artillery unit was in the woods and began to shell the area of Battery B that morning.
The guns of Battery B being still new, and the gun crews were also relatively new and the fact that this was their first time firing and being fired back on, were not in tip top firing cadence. Soon enough two of the four guns of Battery B were out of commission. The objectives at the time for Battery B were a German ammunition dump and the railroad center at Verny, where the Germans were bringing in supplies and ammunition. Observations of this area was very poor but the dump was managed to be hit and burst into a conflagration. Battery B also managed to drop some shells into Verny and onto the railyards there.
Actions continued for the 60th throughout the 12-14th of September. During this time several German Gas attacks were made and the men did not get much rest during this time as gas masks were worn most of the time. But supplies of powder and shells were kept coming at regular times, thanks to the hard work of the Ordnance Detachments. A nearby French Artillery unit that had been in the war for the last three-years, had remarked that the guns of the 60th Artillery were doing fine work for an outfit that was in their first combat.
On a side note as to some of the unexpected things the men of the 60th ran into during their first time in combat, Battery B being in a position in a wooded area discovered that the trees in front of the guns were in the line of fire. This was not discovered until it was nearly time to open fire and so, the men of Battery B through superhuman efforts cut down trees like little beavers and at the opening of the drive they were ready to fire their first volley at the Germans.
On the morning of September 13, a French balloon observer saw that just to the left of where Battery B was located, that the Germans were bringing up convoys along a road several miles away. He figured that the guns of Battery B would have a good set up on this position so, he got word that if he could get a telephone line ran up to the balloon and back to Battery B he could direct some nice shots into the German Convoys. Quickly the telephone detachment of the 60th Artillery got busy and soon had lines ran up to the French observer. Along about mid-afternoon everything was in place and the French observer was giving good targets to Battery B. The order to let go some hot steel into the cross roads was given and the French observer reported good work as the Germans were enjoying themselves quite a bit. It was about this same time that the German airplanes figured out the French balloon observer was the eyes of the operation and so, they came swooping in to even up the score. Just as quickly, the French balloon observer descended and that ended the party for the day.
The St. Mihiel drive for the 60th Artillery lasted only a short duration of about two-days hard firing. But the 60th had new orders and were off the line headed in a new direction. This time they and several other of the Coast Artillery regiments were headed into the Meuse-Argonne region. This was setting up to be the biggest drive of the war so far for the American Army.
For the retirement of the guns in the Toul area each battery of the 60th was to pull out two guns and leave two firing so, as to cover this movement. Battery B started this movement about 8 o’clock in the evening when orders were received. Two guns were to move back off the line to the area of Jaillon and at 2 o’clock in the morning they began to break down the two guns. Later after the first two guns of Battery B had moved out, somehow the telephone lines that were left to the two guns covering the retirement became unhooked and so, no message for them to cease fire and move back off the line was received. They just kept on firing like they had been. Finally, a courier had to be sent back up to the firing line and order them to stop and move back off the line. At 7 o’clock in the morning on September 16 the two guns under the command of Lt. Gooch ceased fire and began to move back off the line.
Battery B then was assembled in a wooded area just outside of Jaillon where they rested and made field repairs to equipment. The men also took advantage of the rest and were able to get a bath, the first they had had since September 6, which was over 10-days ago. By the morning of September 17, the guns of the 60th Artillery began to make the move to the Argonne area.
All time tables were set for a September 26 opening of the Meuse-Argonne drive. Ammunition needed to be hauled to new locations, new firing locations needed to be scouted out. Guns needed to be broken down and put into road positions and then hauled to the new locations, men and material needed to be moved. And all under the cover of darkness for secrecy was the most important thing. To tip off the Germans as to what they were doing would have grave consequences.
Coming out of the Toul area the 60th would pass through Ligny-en-Barrois; Bar-le-Duc; Erize-La-Petite; Clermont-en-Argonne, and reached Les Islettes on September 19. In two days, the men had traveled 105-miles from Toul to the Argonne area. With most of the columns of the 60th Artillery on the roads near Les Islettes they stopped and set up field kitchens and breakfast was had by all. By two-hours later orders were issued for officers to scout out gun positions. Once positions were selected the orientur’s were busy laying out map positions for the aiming of the guns. The telephone crews were busy laying wires to the guns and back to each command post. Gun pits were being dug and finally the heavy guns were pulled into their positions. Battery F guns were laid in positions near Neuvilly, on September 21. Once they had been set camouflage nets were set up and concealment was the game of the hour. On the 24th of September Ammunition was brought up to the guns and now the men knew the order to open fire was close at hand.
During the afternoon of September 25, 1918, orders are sent out to the Battery commanders of the 60th Artillery that precisely at 5:30 in the morning of September 26 would be the start of the big show. At that moment thousands of tons of steel would be let loose all heading into the German lines. One captured German later was heard to say of that opening day, that the “Americans did not pull off a barrage, but simply threw over an ammunition dump.” One can hardly understand what it must be like to be on the receiving end of so many heavy guns being fired all at once.
But on the opening moment of the Meuse-Argonne drive the 60th was on the line and doing their part. The guns of the 60th Artillery began firing at 5:30 on the morning of September 26 and did not stop until 8 o’clock on the morning of September 27. It was then that the 60th had orders to move up to near Neuvilly. They had orders to be at the next gun positions in order to open fire at 4 o’clock on the morning of September 29 with no exceptions, was the order from Brigadier General Altman. Battery F remained in the area of Neuvilly and then moved out during the cover of darkness and under a continuous harassment by German airplanes and they arrived in Varennes on October 6.
When Battery F got to Varennes they went into position behind a hill and began to fire as soon as the guns were set up. Battery B went into positions near Varennes and the guns were laid in a pouring rain, which made conditions terrible. And through all-night work and very little rest they were ready to go right on time. Varennes while in German hands was a railhead, and as they retreated they left quite a lot of valuable railroad equipment behind that the Americans took advantage of. Battery F would be in the position at Varennes until October 11 when they received orders to move forward to Exermont.
The next day real food had arrived as they had been on rations for the last two days at least. Battery B was in a position behind the bridge in Varennes in a triangle facing the main road leading to Romange-sous-Montfaucon. About 2-miles away from this position was Hill No. 240, which was a stronghold position of the Germans. The Germans had been in this stronghold for a long time, long enough to build concrete lined caves and were well protected.
Hill No. 240 was fired upon by the Americans by day and by night. High explosive shells by the hundreds were sent into the Germans and Gas shells were also sent into the Germans. But when the wind changed directions then the gas came back into the 60th Artillery positions, which was just part of the game that was being played out. All the while the rain was still pouring down, causing an eerie mist to rise over the entire area, making for no or poor visibility. Targets were assigned from airplane observation as that was the only way to actually see what was going on. This in turn created a second battle over the same ground, with the American airplanes being attacked by the German airplanes and then the French airplanes joined in. Hell had been unleashed over the area known as Hill No. 240.
October 4, 1918 the American Artillery Regiments in that area began a line of fire all alone this front in order to dislodge the Germans. The targets for Battery B were the towns of St. Juvin, Marcq, and Bantheville, alone with several key cross-roads. It was also on October 4, that the 60th took their first death in combat. PFC Arden Lester Chapman of Battery C was wounded by a German shell burst near Montblainville, France. Chapman was a tall 27-year old man with dark-blue eyes and dark-brown hair, who was married and listed on his draft card that his mother was depended on his care, gave his life that day.
At the time Battery C was likely in the edge of the woods known as Foret Domaniale du Point de l’Aune which is about a half-mile west of the town of Montblainville. They would have been firing in a north by north-westerly direction into the German positions emplaced in the Meuse-Argonne forest area. The several towns near Montblainville which included Baulny, Charpentry, Very and Cheppy, which encompassed an area of about 10-miles was packed full of the other American Coast Artillery regiments. During the night it looked as though it was daylight from so many muzzle flashes of American heavy artillery guns being fired. One can only imagine what that sounded like.
But back in the area where Battery C was firing from, the Germans had this position under heavy shell fire, and a German shell came in and exploded and caught PFC Chapman, wounding him. Almost instantly two other men of Battery C, Pvt. Albert L. O’Connell and Sgt. Lawrence Wininger saw what had happened to PFC Chapman. O’Connell and Wininger found a litter, ran out to where PFC Chapman was laying, exposed and wounded, and without any regards to their own safety, scooped Chapman up, put him on the litter and together began to return to safety with Chapman on the litter. It was then that another German shell, likely fired at the time the two were rushing out to render aid to a fellow soldier, hit the ground nearly underneath the litter. The explosion killed PFC Chapman outright and severely wounded both O’Connell and Wininger. Both O’Connell and Wininger survived their wounds and both were given the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action.
This was not the only death in combat for the 60th Artillery, it was only the first installment of the price they would have to pay. Nine days later on October 13th Cpl. Vincent G. Cooley of Battery D was Killed in Action and the very next day on October 14th, PFC Clarence V. Madary of the Medical Detachment was Killed in Action; on October 21, PFC Earl McKenzie of Battery C, died of disease; and PFC Lily G. Carver of Battery A was Killed in Action; and on November 1, Corporal William Bartoli of Battery C was also Killed in Action. Death on the battlefield took no regard of rank because the price was even paid by the commanding officer of the 60th Artillery, Colonel Wallace.
It was on October 28 when Colonel Wallace writes a letter to his wife. Excerpts from that letter tell the seriousness of the day to day life at the front lines. He writes
“…I think that a few more days of hard fighting may bring it. It is possible that I may not write to you again with the sound of guns all about, and the most continuous whistle, whine and crack of shell. I hope this may be the case. I do not like them, and I do not like the results I see from them, but not for years of life would I have missed being here and seeing this stupendous world effort, and being an active part of it. We just had a gas alarm and I wrote a few lines while wearing it. I would not write this if I did not feel quite sure that when you get this the suspense would be over.”
Two days after writing this letter to his wife, Colonel Wallace was severely wounded. He was quickly rushed to the field hospital but he remained unconscious for seven days and died on November 5, 1918. Back home on November 10, Mrs. Wallace received the last letter he had written on October 28. Two weeks after she received the letter she received a brief telegram from the War Department stating “… Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Colonel Elmer Jay Wallace, Coast Artillery Corps, died November 5 from wounds received in action.”
Colonel L. R. Burgess, Coast Artillery Corps wrote a personal letter to Mrs. Wallace. It reads: “Your husband was assigned to duty with my regiment and was placed in charge of the operative section. We moved forward to a valley surrounded by hills, and beautifully wooded, where we lived in two shacks built of tarred paper and birch poles. All went well until one night about 11:15 a hostile shell struck the corner of his shack and exploded, wounding him severely. We hurried him to the hospital where he remained unconscious for seven days. He died on November 5 and was buried at Souilly, which is south of and near Verdun, on November 6.”
Colonel Elmer J. Wallace, CAC.
Wallace was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Artillery on July 9, 1898. Advanced to 1st Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps on February 2, 1901. Made Captain on May 2, 1903 and Major on July 1, 1916. Advanced to Lt. Colonel (Temp) and Full Colonel at the beginning of WWI. Died of wounds received in the line of duty on November 5, 1918.
After the death of Colonel Wallace, Colonel Francis H. Lincoln was placed in command of the 60th Artillery. Lt. Colonel Henry F. Ayres was second in command. The 60th Artillery pushed on after the death of their commanding officer. They had a job to do and they did that job right up to the eleventh hour on November 11, 1918.
In fact, on the night of October 6, the Germans sent over a squadron of airplanes over the positions of the 60th Artillery. No casualties were taken by the 60th Artillery during this German raid but several German bombs fell close by several of the guns. The 60th was in continuous action between October 15 through November 11, and during this time preparations were being made for the next move up on the line. Gun positions were being reconnoitered and positions between two hills east of Fleville were selected as the next location to fire from. All the while during these last days of the war the men of the batteries kept firing into the German positions and at the same time telephone lines were being laid and gun pits were being dug. These new positions were about 12-miles ahead. And on October 15, while guns were being moved and just as some of the guns of the 60th Artillery began to fire from the new positions the Germans set over a heavy bombardment of 155’s with high explosive rounds, wounding two men and killing one.
When the Third Battalion moved up to the area of Exermont after October 11, the Third Battalion Headquarters was set up in Chateau Chehery. While the Germans had occupied this place, they had been there long enough to plant some gardens and also had built one of the strangest things an occupying army could build, which was a merry-go-round, which was presumably for the children in the area if there still were any left there. Battery E and F of the Third Battalion were now in positions to the right of the Argonne Woods. The Germans had a very robust force of machine guns in the Argonne and were then attacking in force all alone this front, which every man of the Third Battalion was called up to the line to repel this massed attack. Between October 27 and November 1, the Third Battalion did not fire too much as most of the time was spent on rushing ammunition up to the troops on the line because they were expending it so fast due to the German push.
About the same time the heavy bombardment was letting up, the Germans sent into the 60th Artillery positions an unusually heavy gas attack. First Battalion Headquarters of the 60th Artillery was compelled to move to dugouts they had dug into a hill side and wait out the gas attack. Overhead the Germans had command of the air space above the ground, which was nearly impossible to keep the gun crews at the guns. Balloon observation was out of the question as three balloons had been shot down in one day.
On October 18, it was decided to locate terrestrial observation points close to the German lines. Three positions were picked out on hill tops overlooking the towns of Thenorgues and Mort Homme. By October 19, telephone lines had been set up and good targets were located. Open fire was given and the town of Thenorgues went up in an instant along with several German convoys. The 60th Artillery took some casualties but no one was killed.
It was again time for the batteries of the 60th Artillery to move up the line again and new locations were scouted for in the area of Fleville, Sommerance and St. Juvin, but nothing could be found. On October 24, there was a lull in the action and on the 25th of October Battery B adjusted their meridian line of fire which passed through the town of Thenorgues. Firing continued into the 26th at which time good targets were found and much destruction of the Germans was had by the men of the 60th Artillery.
On October 29, a change in how the Germans were acting was observed, which seemed like they may have been withdrawing, as the roads behind the German lines were very busy with much activity and convoys heading in retreat. Battery B again changed the meridian line of fire which now passed through the town of Fosse.
The men of Battery B began to learn that at 3:30 in the morning of November 1, would be the next big push. They had been assigned as their targets the German machine gun stronghold in the woods of Hagois. On October 31st a very accurate scouting of these positions was undertaken and Battery B had been given this information and so, they knew exactly where to aim. The Hagois Woods was about 50-acres and when the order came to open up the four guns of Battery B, each had their assigned spots to take our so the infantry could swiftly rush in and clear out the woods. For the opening of the November 1st drive it was said that there were about 10,000 guns massed on a ten-mile front, making for a terrible noise and flame that shot out when the order to open up was given and it seemed as if Hell its self-had been let loose. Under the American guns it was thought that no human could have withstood such an artillery barrage. The firing began at 3:30 in the morning and did not let up until 1 o’clock that afternoon. At that time orders were received at the post command of Battery B to move the guns up to Imecourt and then wait for additional orders. By 7:30 that evening the Battery was on the move during a pouring rain. Reaching Landres St. Georges they halted for the night with the rain still coming down.
As a result of the artillery fire that the Germans were getting they began to retreat and the retreat was in such speed that the American Infantry units started to commandeer trucks just to keep up with the German retreat.
Positions to park the Battery were scouted in Imecourt and the light column arrived by mid-day after having passed through roads that had been mined. Towards mid-night the guns were brought up and parked. On November 3 Battery B received orders to head to Buzancy. By 7 o’clock on the evening of November 4 Battery B reached Buzancy. Firing positions were then located along the road leading west and south of Buzancy. By now Battery B had become separated from the rest of the 60th Artillery. And being that the headquarters of the 80th Division was then located in Buzancy, General Cronkhite sort of adopted Battery B and were given targets by General Cronkhite, which were the towns of Beaumont and Stonne. By the morning of November 6 communications with regimental Headquarters of the 60th Artillery was once again restored, and orders were transmitted that Battery B was to move on to Sommauthe and park alongside the road until the receipt of new orders.
|Above is a current view of the section of the road leading west of Buzancy, known as Rue des Prés. This is likely the gereral area where two of Battery B's guns were located. They would have been firing to the left side of this view.||This is a general view of the road leading south out of Buzancy known as Rue de La Mairie. In this view the guns may have been parked along the left side of the road and would have been firing across the road to the right.|
Also, on November 6 Battery F arrived in the area of Buzancy and because of the congested roads in that area had to park along the roadside and wait it out. As it turned out this was the final position of Battery F as they were still there on November 11. When the war ended for Battery F they were in an area where not a building was left intact and they really did not celebrate War’s end because there was nothing there except rubble. All they could do was to watch the local French citizens run around yelling over and over “La guerre est finie…”
The 1st Battalion of the 60th Artillery waited by the roadside near Sommauthe and about 1 o’clock in the afternoon of November 7th Battery A was ordered to move to Beaumont and Battery B was to move to Flaba. By 2 o’clock that afternoon both Batteries were on the move to their new positions.
Battery B was traveling on the road north of Sommauthe but it proved to be impassable as the retreating Germans had made a mess of it. Within a short distance they came upon a section of the road that was completely shut down by ammunition trucks, ambulances and other vehicles that were stuck in the mud of so many shell holes and were unable to get out. There were nearly 50 ambulances all filled with wounded men that had been stuck there for at least 12-hours and the wounded men were in a bad state. After an assessment of the situation the officers of Battery B concluded there was nothing to do but pull them out of the road. So, the tractors hauling the guns were unhooked and the men began to pull out ambulances and trucks from the mud of the road for the next 6-hours. Now that the road had been cleared the tractors were hooked up and they were on their way, but as they came upon bridges they had to also become engineers and rebuilt them to get across.
At La Besace halt was made on November 8th and the field kitchens were broken out and the men had a good breakfast. This was the first cooked food they had eaten since November 1st after having only had field rations during that time, and rest was just as rare during the last week. By 11 o’clock that morning they were once again on the move passing through La Besace to the northwest and on to Flaba. Once they arrived in Flaba a headquarters was set up in an old farm house that had previously been a German ammunition station, and the guns were put into firing position in the orchard there. Then the men were able to get some rest. But the communication lines had been cut so, there was no firing as no one knew where the infantry was at the time.
By November 10 telephone lines back to regimental headquarters was restored and Battery B was temporally attached to the 77th Division. Late in the day on November 10th word came down that the guns would stop precisely at 11:00 am on the morning of November 11, 1918. And the orders also were that Battery B was to move back to Buzancy.
On the early morning of November 11th Battery B began to move out of the orchard in La Besace, and as they did the Germans shelled them violently all the while they were moving out. This was the last effort the Germans made and then the guns went silent. Buzancy was reached on the afternoon of November 11 and there they parked. The view was one of bon fires burning for as far as they could see. Even electric light was seen on, which was the first they had seen in months. When Battery B was in the orchard at La Besace, this was said to have been the furthest forward of any of the American Coast Artillery batteries during the war.
|Current view of Flaba, France. It is believed that the old orchard the guns of of Battery B were located was just behind these buildings. This view is looking back to the northwesterly direction.|
Under the terms of the Armistice, the Germans were to evacuate captured territory and retreat towards Germany at so many miles per day followed by the American Army at a distance of 500-yards. Battery B was ordered to leave Buzancy on November 12 and head to Dun-sur-Meuse and then wait for additional orders. They reached Brieulles-sur-Meuse that afternoon. This town had been a German railyard and had been so heavily shelled by the American heavy guns that it was difficult to find any standing buildings in which to use as quarters. But a shed was located and was used as the command post of Battery B until November 17. Here in the ruins of the rail yards new clothing was issued and the men had a chance to spruce up a bit and make repairs to equipment. On November 17th orders came to move to Lissey where they would wait again. This time they were to wait for the 148th Field Artillery who also use the 155mm GPF guns, to arrive and they would follow the Germans into the homelands. At Lissey which was a town far in the German rear lines before the war ended that it had not been bombed and many of the building swere still intact and habitable. But the Germans had left it in a filthy state and once again the men of the Coast Artillery Corps began to Clean All Cities. This job took almost an entire week to accomplish.
On November 25, 1918, orders were issued that the First Battalion of the 60th Artillery, CAC was to move back to the 18th Training Area and begin the process of returning to the States. At 9 o’clock on the morning of November 26 the 1st Battalion headed out passing through the following French towns: Dun; Charpentry; Varennes; Neuvilly; Clermont; Bar-le-duc; Montplanne; Pancey and Joinville. They reached the 18th Training area on the morning of November 28.
Back where the Third Battalion was located near Buzancy on November 11, orders came for them to take up a new gun position near the Bertramé Farm. This was reached after an all-night drive to Peuvilliers and then to Bertramé Farm. Third Battalion remained at this location until November 26 when they were ordered to retreat to the 18th Artillery Area taking the same general route the First Battalion took. After a nearly 30-hour continuous drive the Third Battalion reach their destination, which was the town of Anglus. Along the way the men of Third Battalion had very little to eat and little sleep. Along the way as gasoline was in such short supply many of the trucks of the Battalion ran out of gas and were left behind. Third Battalion found billets in some stables and homes in Anglus and they remained there until December 27.
On the left is a map showing the location of the Bertramé Farm that the Third Battalion was located at from November 11 through the 26th. This is located along the road leading northwards out of Aubréville and between Avacourt, just at the bend in the road at the southern end of the Foret de Hesse. Above is a view of the bend in the Aubréville-Avacourt Road, which was marked as the Bertramé Farm on the map at the left.
Once the entire 60th Artillery was reassembled in the 18th Artillery Area, the Battalions were billeted in the towns around with Battery B drawing the town of Rosieres. During this time guns and ammunition was turned in and everything was made ship shape once again. Christmas of 1918 was spent in Rosieres, France for Battery B, and on December 26th, the 60th Artillery was finished turning in equipment and had new uniforms issued. That day they marched to the train station in Wassey and each Battalion boarded a separate train for Brest, France.
December 30th Brest was in sight and in typical French weather, a pouring rain, the men marched to Camp Pontanezen where tents were pitched alongside of the road where they stayed for the next four-days and then were able to be moved into barracks buildings. At the time there were 50,000 American troops in Camp Pontanezen, which was so overcrowded that the men of the 60th Artillery, CAC, between December 30 and January 25, 1919, suffered through worse conditions than they had while on the front lines in battle.
During this time men of the regiment were worked as stevedores loading supplies and coal aboard the various ships in Brest Harbor. It was also here that the flu began to spread and John P. Inscor of Battery B died of pneumonia while in Camp Pontanezen. He was buried with full military honors, with the entire complement of Battery B Standing in honor during his funeral.
The 60th Artillery would be among the first units to return back home. On January 26, 1919, the regiment boarded the White Star liner RMS Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic. By 8 o’clock that morning the Cedric was under way for the States. On February 4, 1919, the Cedric reached New York Harbor and the 60th touch good old United States soil again and went to Camp Merritt, New Jersey for two-days. And then on February 9 they moved to Fort Howard, Maryland.
The First Battalion of the 60th Artillery was then sent to Ft. Howard, Maryland; the Second Battalion went to Ft. Washington; HQ Company and the Third Battalion were sent to Ft. Monroe, Virginia. During this time the National Guard and National Army volunteers were given Honorable Discharges from Active Duty and Regular Army personnel were re-assigned to new duty stations. By February 21, 1919, the 60th Artillery was fully demobilized and ceased to exist. Thus, ended the World War One service of the 60th Artillery, CAC.
|Signal Corps photo # 23524. It shows two Holt 75 hp Caterpillar Tractors of the 60th Artillery pulling a gun from a ditch. This near St. Jacques taken on September 13, 1918.||Signal Corps photo # 23520 taken on September 13 near St. Jacques, France, showing the 60th Regiment on the move. On the extreme left can be seen a barrel of one of the guns. Looks as if they are passing a infantry unit leaving the front. On the radiator of the tractor pulling the gun can be seen the letters "HOLT". These tractors were 75 hp models made by the Caterpillar Company.|
|Signal Corps photo # 23522 shows a good close up of one of the Holt tractors. Clearly on the side can be seen the logo of the 60th Arty. A red diamond on a white rectangle background. This photo was taken on the road near St. Jacques, France on September 13, 1918. Standing in front of the tracks is Sgt. Norwood Partridge Cassidy, Service No. 611376, Seated on the left is Pvt. Fred Bachler, and seated on the right is Pvt. Charles Washington Beach, Service No. 633576.||Signal Corps photo # 23523 shows a driver putting on Mud Lugs on the tracks of the tractor. St. Jacques France. Sept. 13, 1918. "St. Jacques" is most likely the town of Ville-Saint-Jacques, France. This would have been after the withdrawl from the St.Mihiel area and on the way to the positions in the Meuse-Argonne.|
Signal Corps photo # 28329 shows Pvt. R. E. Williams of Battery E, is speaking on the telephone, taking the range to the target from the forward observer and relaying that to the gun sighter. This is most likely somewhere on the road between the towns of Chatel-Chéhéry and Fléville, France on October 24, 1918. Pvt. Williams is Robert E. Williams, Service No. 581328 and he joined the 60th Artillery after they arrived in France. He is the son of Mark E. Williams of Henrysville, PA.
|Signal Corps photo # 28327 shows Pvt. Kirkpatrick, Stevens and Jones cleaning a gun of Battery E, on October 24th, 1918 in the Ardennes. Pvt. Kirkpatirck is Charles D. Kirkpatrick Service No. 633851. Pvt. Stevens is unknown what his first name was. And for Pvt. Jones, there were three men named Jones in Battery E, Pvt. Howard W. Jones, 633929; Pvt. Jesse Jones, 633927; and Pvt. Chester A. Jones 633922, so, this man could be any one of the three men.|
|Signal Corps photo # 28324 shows a charge for a 18 Kilo shot. This is Battery E, along the road between the towns of Chatel-Chéhéry and Fléville, France on October 24, 1918.||Signal Corps photo # 28326 shows Pvt. F. H. Stevenson firing Battery E in the Ardennes on Oct. 24, 1918. Stevenson is Pvt. Frank H. Stevenson, 633977 and was the son of Matt P. Stevenson of Delrose, Tennessee.|
|Signal Corps photo # 28328 shows Pvt. Summers and Adams loading a shell in Battery E of the 60th Artillery. Pvt. Summers is actually Pvt. Willie H. Summer, 633981 whose father was Levi C. Summer of Catoosa, Tennessee. As for Pvt. Adams there were three men named Adams in Battery E. Pvt. Laviga Adams, 633896; Pvt. John C. Adams, 633867; and Cpl. Ben E. Adams, 633834.||Signal Corps photo # 31986 shows Pvt. Harlow Wheeler the "Gentleman Soldier"of the 60th Artillery, First Army, making a speech on October 29, 1918. Harlow Wheeler is likely Pvt. Lyman Wheeler 612426 of Battery E, who joined the 60th Artillery after they arrived in France.|
Signal Corps photo #31399.
|This is how Buzancy looks today. This is the same general view as the above period photo of Buzancy in 1918. The view is along Rue Du Chateau looking gennerally northwards towards the Eglise Saint-Germain de Buzancy, the Catholic Church's steeple can be seen in the far center of the photo.|
|This photo shows the 2nd Battalion Staff Headquarters hut of the 60th Artillery, located at Neuvilly-en-Argonne, France on the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The officer shown is 1st Lt. Glenn Harmon Klemme of the HQ Company.||Above is a photo showing three officers of the 60th Artillery, CAC, the center officer is 1st Lt. Charles Hammond of Battery C. The other two officers are not identified.|
As I find history and information on men who served in the 60th Artillery I will add them here in this section. If your relative served in the 60th Artillery please email me and I will add them to this list.
Arthur Van Henry was born on June 2, 1892 in Columbus, Ohio to Matilda Jacobs (1860-1959) and Robert Daniel Henry (1858-1926). Arthur was a medium built stout man of blue eyes and brown hair.
Arthur Van Henry after high school went to college at The Ohio State University and attended the Engineering school there. He would have graduated with either the class of 1914 or 1915. While there he was also in the ROTC class and served in Company A as a cadet.
|This is ROTC Company A at Ohio State taken in 1912 where Cadet Arthur V. Henry was serving in. Unfortunately, he is not identified in the photograph.|
Prior to World War One Arthur was working for the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratories as an engineer. The Pittsburgh Testing Laboratories had inspected the original cables on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1881, and specialized in non-destructive industrial testing for the railroad and construction industries. In 1917 Arthur Henry was working at the Canton, Ohio branch of the Pittsburg Testing Laboratories.
During the first call-up for the draft in WWI, Arthur on June 5, 1917 registered as he was required to do. At the time he was single and 25-years old. His home of record was 506 High Ave., in Canton, Ohio. It would not be until August of 1917 that he would be called to Active Duty. On August 27 at the Columbus Barracks Arthur Henry entered the Army. Because the Army needed suitable men to become officers and that Arthur was an engineer and he had been in the ROTC at Ohio State, he was selected to become an officer and was sent to Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Upon completion of OCS at Ft. Benjamin Harrison Arthur Henry graduated and was given his commission with the rank of Captain. Within two-weeks of his graduation Captain Henry had little time to see his family and say his last good-byes. Captain Henry was under orders to report to Fort Monroe, Virginia. Once at Ft. Monroe he received his orders to sail to France where he would get his assignment there. On December 13, 1917, Captain Henry who was serving as an unassigned officer in the Coast Artillery Corps went aboard the USS President Lincoln, a former German passenger liner, and received his cabin assignment.
There were 29 casual officers in his group aboard the Lincoln, under the command of Major Edgar W. Miller, Medical Corps. Captain Henry was the second ranking officer in the group of casual unassigned officers. Once aboard Captain Henry had to list a person to contact in case of an emergency and he listed his father Robert of Jackson, Ohio.
About 14-days later Captain Henry would have arrived in France. But back in America in August of 1917 the 8th (I) Company, Coast Defenses of Chesapeake Bay who were stationed at Fisherman's Island, VA. Received orders and were formed into the Headquarters Company 60th Artillery, CAC. Throughout the winter of 1917-18 the 60th Artillery was formed and by April of 1918 they were ready to sail for France. On April 23, 1918, 71-officers and 1,649-enlisted men sailed aboard the USS Siboney for France.
The 60th Artillery once they reached France went to O&T Center Number 1 (Operations and Training) at Libourne, France, where they arrived in mid-May 1918. Captain Arthur Henry, who had been in France since January of 1918 received orders to report to Libourne before Colonel Elmer Jay Wallace, the commanding officer of the 60th Artillery, for duty.
Captain Henry would be assigned to duty with the Headquarters Company and would serve throughout the war in this assignment. He would have participated with the regiment in all the battles they were engaged in during the war, which was at the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives.
After the war ended the 60th Artillery would be one of the early units to be returned back to the States. By the last week in January of 1919 Captain Henry and the 60th Artillery is waiting in Brest, France for a ship to take them back home. On January 26, 1919, the 60th Artillery was aboard the White Star Liner SS Cedric steaming out of Brest harbor for home. But Captain Henry had been relieved of duty with the 60th Artillery on January 14, 1919, as per orders from Base Section No. 5, and he did not sail home with the regiment.
The reason he was transferred out of the 60th Artillery may have been an illness. When Captain Henry did return home, he did so on June 28, 1919, leaving Brest, France aboard the USS Leviathan, another former German passenger liner. He was listed in a group of officers listed as “Tubercular Cases, Class A.” So, clearly Captain Henry had contracted Tuberculosis and had been under treatment.
The Leviathan reached New York on July 5, 1919, and Captain Henry remained on Active Duty. He was not discharged from Active Duty until May 26, 1920. While still in the Army Captain Henry was living in Columbus, Ohio and likely on duty at the Columbus Barracks. During this time, he was living at his parents’ home. By 1930 Arthur henry was still single but had moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he had taken a position as a college teacher.
Arthur Van Henry never married during his life and at the age of 49-years on May 22, 1939 Arthur V. Henry passed away. He was buried in the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.
|Arthur Van Henry
June 2, 1892
May 22, 1939
John Izard was born about 1888 in the state of Virginia and graduated from the Roanoke high school in Roanoke, VA with the class of 1906. It is not known what his fathers name was and the first record of John comes from the 1910 Federal Census and shows his family lived in Roanoke, Virginia. His father must have passed away before 1910 as his mother Roberta was listed as the head of the household. Roberta was listed as being widowed and she was 51 years old so she would have been born about 1859 and she was a native Virginian. Roberta Izard gave birth to 5 children and 4 were living in 1910. Roberta and her husband were married for 10 years before she was widowed. Roberta owned free of mortgage the home the family lived in at 1103 Commerce Street in Roanoke. Roberta Izard must have been somewhat well to do as she did not work and employed a 23-year old female cook by the name of Helen Mitchell who lived in the home with the family. When the Census was taken in April 1910 at the Izard household the family consisted of the mother Roberta and eldest son John age 23 years, daughter Alice D. age 22 years, May F. age 17 and youngest son James J. age 15 all of whom were born in Virginia and likely the house they presently lived in.
By 1920 Roberta Izard had moved from the house on Commerce Street in Roanoke to another home at 201 Hillsboro Ave. in Roanoke. Roberta was 62 by this time and lived alone in the home, which she also owned.
Eldest son John Izard went to college at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and on June 12, 1907 University President George Denny presented John Izard with an Endowed Scholarship known as the Young Scholarship. This was one of 8 Endowed Scholarships given to a class of 66 who graduated and so John Izard must have been a very bright young lawyer. Three years later on June 15th John Izard graduated with the 120th session of Washington and Lee University with 113 graduates receiving their degrees. In the Lee Memorial Chapel under the shadow of the great marble statue of General Robert E. Lee, John Izard received his Bachelor of Law degree from George Denny who had given him 3 years previous his Endowed Scholarship. Following an address by former Virginia Governor Swanson a ball was held and John Izard and his date Gladys Heald of Lynchburg opened the ball with 24 other couples.
After John graduated in the spring and as the summer of 1910 began he was among the society elite in the Richmond and Lexington areas. According to the Richmond Society column of the Washington Post from July 31st 1910 a camping party was being held on the North River on the Armentrout Farm near Cedar Grove, Virginia. The party was chaperoned by Mrs. Robert S. Spillman and among the 32 campers were John Izard and Gladys Heald who was John’s date at the graduation ball one month previous.
As John Izard approached his later twenties he may have felt the call to serve his Country in the military. In the book Virginia Military Organizations in the World War, John Izard is named as the Regimental Adjutant of the 60th Artillery, C.A.C. In July of 1917 the War Department issued orders forming the 60th Artillery from Coast Artillery Corps units from the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia forts. The 60th Artillery was to be commanded by Colonel Elmer J. Wallace and Captain John Izard was to be the Regimental Adjutant. This was a position John was well suited for as he was a lawyer in civilian life. Being that John Izard would have been a well-known and respected Richmond area lawyer it is assumed from his appointment by the Governor of Virginia to the rank of Captain in the Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard that Izard was not in the military before the war, but was recruited and appointed to this position to fill the need of an Adjutant for the 60th Artillery. Or he many have already been in the Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard and was with the 8th Company from Fort Monroe, Virginia as the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery mostly came from that Company. These men in the 8th Company would have been Regular Army Coast Artillery Men and this Company was originally formed in 1907 at Ft. Monroe.
At an unknown date Captain Izard was advanced to Major while in France. After the war ended the 60th Artillery returned to the States reaching New York Harbor aboard the HMS Cedric on February 4th 1919 and on February 24, 1919 the regiment was demobilized at Ft. Washington, Maryland. Major Izard likely was also demobilized at that time, as he was a Virginia National Guard Officer and not a Regular Army officer.
John Izard returned to his former life as a Lawyer and according to the 1920 Federal Census, taken on January 5th, was a Lawyer in General Practice living with his future wife. Izard was listed as a boarder in the home of Lula Andrews of 177 Park Place in Saranac Lake, New York in Essex County in the picturesque Adirondack Mountains. Lula Andrews was a 61-year old widow and her daughter Elizabeth A. was a single 25-year old woman. Elizabeth and John Izard may have met after his return from France or they may have known each other before the war but one thing is for sure they fell in love and married that same year. Also living in the Andrews home was a 45-year old single female named Mary who was a servant employed by Mrs. Lula Andrews as a cook.
Lula D. Andrews was born in Texas about 1856 and her husbands name was Adolphus Andrews who was born in Georgia about 1838. On the 1900 Federal Census Adolphus and Lula were living in Oak Cliff, Texas in Dallas County. Adolphus occupation was listed as a Capitalist and may have been quite well to do. They employed 2 servants in the home and the family consisted of 3 daughters and 2 sons.
John and Elizabeth moved to several locations on the East Coast and lived in the State of Connecticut in 1962 when Elizabeth was issued her Social Security number. It is not known when John Izard died but Elizabeth at the time of her death in August of 1984 at the age of 90 years was living in Asheville, North Carolina.
According to the 1930 Federal Census John and Elizabeth were living in Biltmore Forest, North Carolina in a home that they owned, which was valued at $35,000. John was working as an Insurance Agent and apparently was doing quite well as $35,000 home in 1930 was quite a lot. John employed 3 servants in the home, 2 maids and one butler. Also living in the home at that time was Elizabeth’s mother Lula Andrews. John and Elizabeth had 2 sons by then, John, jr. age 7 and Robert A. age 5; both boys were born in Connecticut.
When the 60th Artillery, CAC Sailed for France aboard the USS Siboney on April 23, 1918, the Chaplain of the 60th was 1st Lt. Stanley Claudius Harrell. When the 60th Artillery went into battle for the first time Chaplain Harrell did so with his faith and a Bible. There would be things that the men of the 60th Artillery would see, smell and experience that they had never been exposed to, and if needed in their last moments on this earth the soldiers of the 60th Artillery had the faith that Lt. Harrell carried with him to comfort them in their hour of peril. Who the man was with the title of Chaplain of the 60th Artillery, should be remembered and this is his story.
Stanley Claudius Harrell was born on June 1, 1890, in Savage Crossing, Virginia to Florence Peele and Abram Thomas Harrell of Nansemond, County, Virginia. Savage Crossing is basically a location in Virginia and about the only famous thing that took place in this location happened on June 29 of 1862. Known as the Battle of Savage Station between Union forces under Major General Edwin V. Sumner and the Confederate forces under Brigadier General John B. Magruder.
By the turn of the century the Abram Harrell family was living on a farm near the area known as Liberty Spring in Nansemond County, which is now known as Suffolk County, Virginia. Abram was farming to support his wife Florence and daughter Vivian, and three sons Jasper T., Percy S. and Stanley Claudius. On the farm next to Abram Harrell lived James and Margaret Peele, who is thought to be Florence’s mother and father. And about a half dozen farms down the road lived the David Harrell family, who were likely related to Abram Harrell.
Ten years later both the Harrell and Peele families were both still living next to each other. At the time, in 1910, Stanley Claudius Harrell who was then 20-years old was a local school teacher. Sometime between when he was teaching school and 1917, Stanley had the calling to serve God and became a minister. When Stanley registered for the Draft in June of 1917 he was a single man of 27-years and listed his occupation as a minister. He was an average height man with Brown eyes and black hair.
It was on December 1, 1917, that Stanley entered the United States Army as a Chaplain with the rank of First Lieutenant. On January 15, 1918 Lt. Harrell was accepted as a Chaplain in the Army. Likely at that time he was assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC. On April 23, 1918, Lt. Harrell when aboard the USS Siboney as the Regimental Chaplain of the 60th Artillery, CAC. As Chaplain he was part of Colonel Elmer Wallace’s staff. Once aboard he filled out his emergency contact who he listed his brother Jasper T. Harrell of 207 Thirty-Ninth Street in Norfolk, Virginia.
Once in France Chaplain Harrell was likely kept busy speaking with the boys of the 60th Artillery, many of whom likely had never been out of the county of their birth let alone set foot in a country half a world away from home. And on the eve of their first battle Chaplain Harrell likely spent most of the night praying for the boys of the 60th. We will never know but Chaplain Harrell may have helped care for each of the five enlisted men who would die during the war and likely attended to Colonel Wallace in his last hours.
After the war ended and the 60th Artillery was making ready to return back home, Chaplain Harrell was transferred out of the Regiment and re-assigned to Base Hospital No. 208 where he served as a Chaplain there.
Base Hospital No. 208 came into existence on November 1, 1918, when Camp Hospital No. 47, located at Autun, Soane et Loire, France, was officially designated Base Hospital No. 208. The hospital was located in a large three-story stone building, which before the war had been a school, and during the war, prior to its occupation by the United States, had been used by the French as a temporary hospital. The building was first taken over by the United States in June of 1918, but did not function as a hospital until the first week in August, when Base Hospital No. 45 arrived and took possession. This unit remained only a short time and was then transferred elsewhere. On September 24 a medical officer and 50 enlisted men arrived and began functioning as Camp Hospital No. 47. On November 1, 1918, Camp Hospital No. 47 became Base Hospital No. 208, functioning as such until the middle of December, 1918, when all patients were evacuated, the property was returned to the medical supply depot, and on December 31, 1918, the entire personnel left Autun for Bordeaux to take over Base Hospital No. 6.
The organization arrived at Bordeaux on January 2, 1919, and on January 15 took over all patients, property, and records of Base Hospital No. 6. It is likely that during this move to Bordeaux, was when Chaplain Harrell arrived at Base Hospital No. 208.
During its existence, Base Hospital No. 208 evacuated a total of 6,575 cases, of which 4,950 were ambulatory, without dressing. Base Hospital No. 208 ceased to function on June 1, 1919, and its personnel sailed on the SS Alphonso for the United States on June 13; arrived in New York Harbor on June 24, 1919; and were demobilized on June 27, 1919.
Chaplain Stanley C. Harrell was among that group that sailed aboard the SS Alphonso on June 13, 1919. He again as on the previous sailing to France listed his brother Jasper as his person to contact in case of an emergency. During Chaplain Harrell’s time in the army while serving in France we can never know how many lives he had touched, but each one was the better for knowing him.
Once back on American soil again Chaplain Harrell likely received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in early July of 1919. Stanley Harrell may have returned back to his family in Virginia for a short while, but by 1923 he is living in the Durham, North Carolina area.
Sometime between when Stanley Harrell arrived in Durham, NC and the beginning of 1923, Harrell had met and fell in love with Alberta Boone (1897-1986). She was then a 26-year old native of Durham and the daughter of Elizabeth and W. H. Boone. On Friday February 23, 1923, Alberta and Stanley were married in Durham. Of the three witnesses of the marriage was Stanley’s brother Jasper.
About 1932 Alberta gave birth to a daughter named Mary Ann (1932-2013), born in Durham, NC. Five years later in 1937, the family was living at 1010 W. Markham Avenue, in a two-story home with a front porch and a large two-story garage out back. The Harrell’s were the second owner of the house at 1010 Markham Avenue. Reverend Stanley C. Harrell and his wife Alberta Boone Harrell had purchased this property about 1937. That year Harrell was a pastor at Main Street Christian Church located at 813 W. Main Street in Durham. In 1939 Stanley purchased the vacant lot next door at 1008 Markham.
The Harrell’s made major improvements to this house in 1949. They added a second full bath upstairs, and added the back-utility room and significantly remodeled the kitchen at that time as well. In 1955 the Harrell’s sold the eastern half (25 ft) of the 1008 lot to the Carpenters next door, and sold their home, with 75-foot frontage, to Fred H. and Gracetta Hills. The Hills family would live at 1010 Markham for the next 29 years.
Stanley would be a lifelong minister, and in fact, Stanley had a Doctors of Divinity degree and served as the minister of the Durham Congregational Christian Church for over 35-years. Stanley also served as the editor for the publication “A Christian Statesman” or possibly it was called “Christian Sun.”
The Harrell’s after selling the Markham Ave. home in 1955 moved into their new home located at 1507 Oakland Avenue in Durham. This home was on the south-east corner of Oakland and Sprunt Avenue. The home set up on a little rise which was covered in ground ivy and had five stone steps leading up from the street to the walkway to the front door.
On July 11, 1956, Stanley took ill with heart problems and was at the time visiting some friends and staying at the small one-story brick house located at 238 Sir Oliver Road in Norfolk, Virginia. About 5:00 in the morning of July 12, Stanley suffered a heart attack and passed away 30-minutes later at 5:30 in the morning.
Stanley Claudius Harrell was then buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina. Well done good and faithful servant.
Above left is the Boone / Harrell Family Stone in the Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, NC. Above right is a bronze plate with the inscription:
On the left is a photo of the Harrell home at 1010 Markham Ave. Home in Durham, NC.
William Augustus Siler was born on August 17, 1893 and was the first-born son of Jennie C. Blanchard (b. 1874) and John T. Siler (b. 1871). William was born in or near to the hamlet of Coeymans, New York. Coeymans is a very small hamlet located along N. Y. Route 144 and along the western bank of the Hudson River, in Albany County. In 1910 the Siler family was living at No. 40 Pulver Ave. in Coeymans. John, T. worked as a conductor for the railroad to support his family, which at the time consisted of five sons; William A.; Harold W.; Ivor J.; Ivor Raymond; Melvin A.; and Walter L.
In the spring of 1917 when America declared War on Germany, William Siler was living on his own and had moved to Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, which is just east of downtown Pittsburgh, where he was living at 817 South, Avenue. He had taken a job working as a draftsman for the Westinghouse Electric Company in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. William was then 23-years old and single, and was a tall, slender man with brown eyes and brown hair. It was on June 2, 1917 in Wilkinsburg that William A. Siler registered his name for the first call-up of the draft.
On August 22, 1917 William entered the recruiting office in Pittsburgh and enlisted into the Regular Army. Skilled men were then sought after by the army and being Siler was a draftsman working for the Westinghouse Company, he was someone who the army could use in specialized positions. The army assigned him to the Coast Artillery Corps and five days later Pvt. Siler was reporting for Duty at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Fort Monroe was a large Coast Artillery Corps installation and it would be here that Pvt. Siler received his training. He would remain at Fort Monroe until December 15, 1917. At that time, he was transferred for duty at Fort Washington, Maryland.
Fort Washington is a Coast Artillery fortification and sits just to the south of downtown Washington, DC, and is a stone structure completed in 1809 and has a good field of range for cannon fire at an enemy who might try to advance on the Potomac River and into the capitol. Pvt. Siler was likely serving in the 8th Company, Coast Defenses of Chesapeake Bay as that Company when reorganized formed the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC when they were assembled in April of 1918.
While there, Pvt. Siler rose quickly through the ranks and his attention to details led him to become a Master Gunner. The Master Gunner held the equivalent rank of a Sergeant and the duties of Master Gunners were to assist the gun commander and basically was the commanders right hand man. The man who held the rating of Master Gunner was a highly skilled and detail-oriented man. Being Siler was a draftsman and was acquainted with working with details this fit his skills set and the army took notice.
It was in the early months of 1918 that the old 8th Company, C. D. of the Chesapeake Bay was formed into the Headquarters Company of the newly forming 60th Artillery, CAC. The 60th was formed to go to France. By mid-April the 60th was ready to go and on April 22, 1918, they boarded the USS Siboney, which would be the ship that would take them to France. Once aboard on April 22, the men of the 60th Artillery had to spend their first night aboard ship still tied to the dock at Newport News, Virginia, but the next morning on April 23, they were off on their way. But each man aboard had to fill out a name and address of someone who the army could contact in case of an emergency. Sgt. Siler listed his father John Siler with an address of PO Box 311 Havana, New York, NY. Also, the men of the 60th were given some new equipment, which was an identification tag with the soldier’s name and service number stamped on a round aluminum disk. Sgt. Siler’s number was 632397.
Sgt. Siler was with the HQ Co. throughout the war and participated in battle with the 60th Artillery during the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Siler survived the war without a scratch and when the 60th Artillery returned to the States he was aboard the SS Cedric when they sailed from Brest, France on January 26, 1919. The Cedric reached New York Harbor on February 4, 1919, and HQ Co. was sent to Fort Washington, Maryland where Sgt. Siler was given an Honorable Discharge on February 21, 1919.
Once back in civilian life Willian Siler returned to Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania where sometime in late 1919 he had married Emma Louise Miller (1890-1967). In January of 1920 Emma and William Siler were living in an apartment at 226 Green Street in Wilkinsburg. William had taken his previous job as a draftsman at the Westinghouse Company.
Soon thereafter Emma and William moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where they lived on Carver Street. On August 17, 1920, William applied for his WWI Victory Medal at the Army Recruiting Station at 17 Hampden Street in Springfield. When his medal arrived, it had three battle clasps on it; St. Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne, and the Defensive Sector. During 1922, while living in Springfield, Massachusetts, Emma gave birth to the couple’s first child a daughter they named Louise D.
Between 1922 and 1925 Louise, Emma and William Siler had moved from Massachusetts to Anderson, Indiana. This move was because of work. It is known that in the spring of 1930 William was working as a draftsman for a factory in Anderson. The factory was likely automotive related as Anderson at the time was a bustling city with several automobile manufacturing companies. The company William was working for may have been the Remy Brothers (later Delco-Remy) as at the time Remy was one of the largest employers in Anderson.
While living in Anderson Emma gives birth to a son in 1925 that they named William A. Siler, Jr. and two daughters, Ruth in 1926 and Marjorie A. in 1928. According to the 1930 census it stated that the Siler home was located at 715 West 8th Street, which Emma and William owned and was at the time valued at $6,000. The Siler family must have been able to afford one of the few luxuries of the day, as they did have a radio set in the home.
Emma and William would live at the West 8th Street home for many years. In the spring of 1942, William registered for the draft during WWII and stated that he was then working for the Delco-Remy Corporation as a Mechanical Engineer.
Sometime after WWII Emma and William had moved to Knightstown, Indiana, which is just south-south-west of Anderson. About the summer of 1955 William had begun to suffer from heart conditions and on January 9, 1957, William Siler passed away in the hospital in Edgewood, Indiana of heart related issues. His son William A. Siler Jr. then made the funeral arrangements for his father and his body was cremated. The ashes of William Augustus Siler, Master Gunner of the Headquarters Company, 60th Artillery, CAC, husband and father were then placed into a Mausoleum at the Elm Ridge Memorial Park in Muncie, Indiana. His wife Emma was then placed into the mausoleum with William when she passed away ten years later in 1967.
Lyle Edwin, Zumwinkle, Taken while attending the Law School at the university of Minnesota circa 1917
Among the many thousands of grave stones in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota there is one located at site 1248 of Section A-7 with the inscription; “Lyle E. Zumwinkle Cpl HQ Co 60th Arty CAC World War I October 6, 1893 December 14, 1940” and on the reverse side is this inscription “ His Wife Minnette C. October 30, 1896 June 5, 1967” What can the words of the inscription on this stone tell us about Lyle Zumwinkle and his wife Minnette?
Lyle Edwin Zumwinkle was born to George E., and Edith (Elliott) Zumwinkle on October 6, 1893 in Morton, Minnesota. Lyle’s father George supported his family of two children, Lyle and his sister Gladys who was born on May 21, 1895, by working as a clerk at the King Brothers dry goods store in Redwood Falls and also a clerk at a grocery store in Minneapolis. The family lived in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul area during the turn of the century and George had purchased an 80-Acre tract of his father’s farm and the family lived there. The Zumwinkle’s attended the Methodist Episcopal Church in Morton.
As young Lyle grew to be a young man he wanted to make practicing law his profession, and as such in 1912 enrolled into the law school at the University of Minnesota. As Lyle’s 4-years at college progressed there were other events in the world that would merge with his life’s path. In the spring of 1917 as he was about to graduate from law school the world had exploded into a war and America was not immune. The United States Army was in need of educated men to fill its swelling ranks to fight in this war. On June 20, 1917 Lyle E. Zumwinkle, a short statured man with blue eyes and brown hair registered for the Federal Draft as he was required to do. At the time he was 23-years old and he listed his address as 716 Thirteenth Ave. S. E. in Minneapolis. He was still attending Law School and he listed Attorney E. S. Green as his employer. Lyle was single and did not claim any exemption to the draft.
Lyle Zumwinkle likely enlisted into the army in late 1917 likely at Fort Snelling. He was assigned to the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, C. A. C. as a Private. He would have sailed with the 60th to France on April 22, 1918 and served in France with the 60th during their combat on the front lines. Private Zumwinkle during his service while in France was advanced to the rank of Corporal and would have participated in battle with the 60th during the Offensive actions at St. Mihiel and during the Meuse-Argonne battle. Corporal Zumwinkle would return from France on January 22, 1919 with the 60th Artillery and likely was Honorably Discharged from the Army in May of 1919.
Once again a private citizen Zumwinkle returned to Minnesota and his family. By 1920 Lyle Zumwinkle was living in Pelican Township in Ottertail County, Minnesota, which is located in west central Minnesota. There he was practicing law and may have had his own private practice, which was likely in the small village of Pelican Rapids. It was here that he met Minnette A. Cummings and by late 1920 or early 1921 they were married.
By 1922 Lyle and Minnette had their first child, a son named Robert. This was followed a year later by a daughter named June and second son named Richard about 1924. Then about December 1929 another daughter named Barbara was born. Lyle was an active American Legion member and about 1929 was elected State Commander of the Minnesota American Legion. About this same time the family had moved a bit farther north to a small town named Thief River Falls, Minnesota, which was 25-30 miles north east of Grand Forks, North Dakota. But the growing Zumwinkle family did not remain in Minnesota and by April of 1930 Lyle had taken a job as a lawyer for the Veterans Department and had moved to Bethesda, Maryland.
The Zumwinkle family was now living in a rented home located on the Old Georgetown Pike in Bethesda, which was Maryland Highway 187. The home was located on the busy concrete highway of an east coast city, likely a very big change from life in the small north woods and lakes of Minnesota. The government job was not long term and by the beginning of 1935 the Zumwinkle family was back in the lakes and woods of Minnesota.
Lyle and Minnette and the 4 children were living in a 3-story brick-housing unit on a quiet tree lined street in Minneapolis. The home was located at 905 West 25th Street at the corner of South Bryant Ave.
Within 5-years of the family moving back to Minnesota from Maryland another change would take place in the family. In late 1940 Lyle would fall into ill health and on December 14, 1940 while he was a patient in the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis, would pass away leaving his wife Minnette to carry on and look after the 4 children. Lyle was then buried in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, his white marble grave stone with the inscription of “Lyle E. Zumwinkle Cpl HQ Co 60th Arty CAC World War I October 6, 1893 December 14, 1940.” There he would quietly and peacefully rest and wait for his beloved wife Minnette when she passed away on June 5 and was buried on June 8, 1967 next to Lyle and her inscription was added to his grave stone.
But the story of Lyle Zumwinkle does not end there in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Seventy-five years after Lyle was laid to rest his grandson, Scott Mathewson who is the son of Lyle and Minnette’s youngest daughter Barbara, is looking at the small box of wartime relics of his grandfather Lyle. In this box Scott has are Lyle’s dog tags, his mess kit and a wartime souvenir, which is a leather German Army belt with the metal buckle with the German Army crest and the words “Gott Mit Uns” which translated means God is with us. This was a common German army phrase for many years.
Scott related how unfortunately his mother Barbara knows very little about her father Lyle’s service in WWI. Scott stated, “It was something that she and her mother Minnette never talked about, and my Aunt Jean hated war and wanted nothing to do with these remnants.” Scott tells that his Uncle Richard was a conscientious objector in WWII and served time in prison and his Uncle Robert, who was Lyle and Minnette’s eldest son was a Submarine captain in WWII.
Scott continued in telling about how as a young boy there was among Lyle’s mementos a gas mask from WWI, and Scott remembers playing with it as a little kid in the early 60's. His mother Barbara threw it away many years ago as it was falling apart and she didn't like it! Scott commented “Now that I have possession of these few pieces (I have some flags, medals and other souvenirs he collected) I'm very interested to get more info on my grandfather.
And from the inscription on the white marble gravestone and some research, this was the story of Corporal Lyle Edwin Zumwinkle, Service number 632246, Headquarters Company, 60th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps.
The white marble gravestone of Corporal Lyle E. Zumwinkle in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery
Reverse side of the stone with the inscription for his wife Minnette
Lyle’s dog tag, note this was stamped with his rank of Private
Reverse side of his dog tag showing Company, Regiment and Service Number
Cpl. Zumwinkle’s mess kit and utensils
Zumwinkle mess kit with the lid closed
This was a German Army belt taken by Lyle as a wartime souvenir. It shows the German Army Crest and the words “Gott Mit Uns” which was a very common phrase on German military items during that time frame. Translated means God is with us.
Janzen was born of Russian parents on November 4, 1888 in Durham, Kansas. Previous to his enlistment into the army Janzen worked as a carpenter. Henry Janzen enlisted into the army at Fort Slocum, New York on November 25, 1915, where he served in the 168th Company, Coast Artillery Corps, at Fort Monroe, Virginia. On June 23, 1916 Janzen was advanced in Grade to Mechanic
He was still serving in the 168th Company when on December 23, 1917, he was transferred into the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC. Janzen sailed to France with the 60th Artillery, CAC and while in France with the 60th Artillery, CAC he was on the front lines during the St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Once the 60th Artillery, CAC had returned home from France, Janzen remained on Active Duty. He served at Fort Monroe, Virginia, with the 8th Company, CAC through February 27, 1919. And then he was transferred into the 7th Company, CAC at Fort Monroe until July 31, 1919 when he was again transferred into the 6th Company at Fort Monroe. He would serve with the 6th Co. until he was discharged from Active Duty on December 18, 1919.
Ulness was born in Glover, North Dakota on January 3, 1895 to Norwegian immigrants. At the time he enlisted into the Army before the war, Ulness was farming. On November 13, 1916 Ulness enlisted into the Army. He was assigned to duty in the Coast Artillery corps after training at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Once the 60th Artillery, CAC was forming Ulness was assigned to the HQ Company of the 60th Artillery. Ulness on February 1, 1918 before sailing to France had the grade of Corporal. And during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives, Cpl. Ulness was on the front lines with HQ Company. After the 60th Artillery, CAC returned back home on February 4, 1919, Cpl. Ulness was kept on Active Duty.
Once the 60th Artillery was demobilized Cpl. Ulness was assigned to duty with the 10th Company at Fort Story, Virginia. While there on May 5, 1919 Ulness was advanced to Gunner First Class. On July 12 he was re-assigned to the 2nd Company at Fort Story where he remained until Honorably Discharged on December 11, 1919.
Wilcox was born in Eagle Grove, Iowa on January 22, 1895. When Wilcox registered in the first call-up he was farming in North Dakota. He registered in Ranson County, North Dakota and was inducted into the army on March 1, 1918 at Lisbon, North Dakota.
Recruit Wilcox was sent to Fort Logan, Colorado for training, and served as a Private First Class at Fort Caswell, North Carolina in a Coast Artillery company there. While at Fort Caswell on July 27, 1918 he was advanced to Corporal.
In September of 1918, Cpl. Wilcox was selected as part of the Fort Caswell’s Automatic Draft of men to send to France. On September 25, 1918, Cpl. Wilcox sailed aboard the SS Teucer, a Blue Funnel Line Cargo ship out of New York Harbor bound for France. Once in France as a replacement soldier Cpl. Wilcox on December 4, 1918, after the war ended was sent to serve in the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC, then in the process of turning in their guns and ammunition. When the 60th Artillery, CAC was ready to return home, Cpl. Wilcox returned to the States with them aboard the SS Cedric. On February 26, 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa, Cpl. Wilcox was given an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty.
Corporal William Bartoli of Headquarters Company was Killed in Action on November 1, 1918. The place of his death is not known but he is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfacon, France. His grave is located at Plot B, Row 19, Grave 19.
Bartoli was born in Naples, Italy about 1898, and little is known of his early years. In fact, the first known piece of the picture of his life comes on December 12, 1916. On that day Bartoli enlisted into the Regular Army and was serving in the Coast Artillery Corps at Ft. Slocum, NY. He had been living in New York City at the time he enlisted into the United States Army. During the time of his enlistment in 1916 and the summer of 1917, Bartoli had served with the 1st Company, CAC at Fort Hunt, and the 2nd Company, Coast Defenses of the Potomac.
When Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery began to form in late December, 1917, Bartoli was transferred to duty in the HQ Company, and he would remain in the HQ Company until his death on November 1, 1918. When the 60th Artillery sailed to France PFC Bartoli was listed in the passenger listings of the of the USS Siboney in the HQ Company. He listed his father Robert Bartoli of 501 East 16th Street, New York, NY as the person to contact in case of an emergency. It was sometime after the 60th Artillery sailed to France in April of 1918, that Bartoli, while with the HQ Company, was advanced in grade to Corporal.
The last moments of Corporal William Bartoli’s life may never be known. Back in New York when his father was notified of his son’s death, we can never really know what Robert Bartoli felt at that moment. He had just lost a son who was born in Europe, moved to America for a better life with his family, and now he had given his life just for the opportunity for the family to have a piece of the American dream. We do not know if he had gained his citizenship by the time of his death. On that day on November 1, 1918, the high cost of living Freely in America came due, and it was paid for by the life of one Corporal William Bartoli. Today, Corporal William Bartoli remains on eternal guard duty in the hollowed cemetery grounds in France, Rest in Peace Corporal Bartoli.
|Charlie Smith, Pvt. Supply Co. 60th Artillery CAC||Reverse side with his service number 632522|
Charlie Smith sailed to France with Supply Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC aboard the USS Siboney. He would have served in combat with the 60th while they were on the front lines at the St. Mihiel Offensive and also during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Pvt. Smith returned from France after the war ended with the 60th Artillery aboard the SS Cedric. On the passenger list Pvt. Smith listed his father Dan T. Smith of Fount, Kentucky as the person to contact in case of an emergency. Once the Cedric reached New York on February 4, 1919, the 60th Artillery was sent to Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Pvt. Smith was Honorably Discharged shortly after.
Spencer was born in March of 1884 in Pekin, Illinois. He enlisted into the army at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, on May 2, 1917. Pvt. Spencer served in the Supply Company, of the 60th Artillery, CAC, until his discharge. On November 15, 1917 his grade was Mechanic and on July 18, 1918 while in France he was advanced to Private First Class. While in France with the 60th Artillery, CAC, PFC Spencer was on the front lines during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. PFC Spencer returned back to the States with the 60th Artillery and was given an Honorable Discharge on February 27, 1919.
Private first-Class Clarence Verle Madary, 433973, Medical Detachment, 60th Artillery, CAC was one of the five combat deaths suffered by the 60th Artillery during World War One. It was on October 14, 1918 that PFC Madary was Killed in Action.
A picture of PFC Madary’s death come from a newspaper clipping from the Fulton County Obituaries, dated April 5, 1919.
|“Mrs. Gertrude MADARY is in receipt of a letter from C. S. LATHBURY, of Havana, Ill., in which he tells in detail how her son, Clarence Verle MADARY, met his death while with the medical corps in France, about five kilometers from the German lines.
Lathbury states that Madary, together with another orderly in the dental unit in which they were serving, had just completed caring for a wounded soldier when a high explosive shell burst in the trees very close to where they were located. Fragments of the shell passed thru the walls of the building, one of them striking Madary just over the heart. As he dropped to the floor, his companion caught him and summoned a medical officer at once, but death had been instantaneous, an artery having been severed.”
C. S. Lathbury was 1st Sgt. Clarence S. Lathbury, 633938, of the Medical Detachment, 60th Artillery, CAC. Sgt. Lathbury and PFC Madary, had served together in the 60th Artillery during the war. In fact, on the passenger manifest of the sailing of the 60th Artillery aboard the USS Siboney on April 22, 1918, Lathbury, who at the time was then a Private is listed three names away from Madary, who was also a Private at the time. By wars end Lathbury had been promoted to 1st Sgt., and on the return home aboard the SS Cedric, in January of 1919, Lathbury was the top-ranking enlisted man of the Medical Detachment.
When the 60th Artillery sailed aboard the Siboney in April of 1918 the Medical Detachment officers were as follows:
|Captain Leonard H. English, Medical Corps
1st Lt. Leon Cicero Ellis, Medical Corps
1st Lt. Louis M. Pastor, Medical Corps
1st Lt. Earl Elmo Griggs, Medical Corps
1st Lt. Joseph F. Sheridan, Dental Corps
1st Lt. Louis N. Nelson, Dental Corps
And then on May 28, 1919, Clarence Madary’s mother, Gertrude, received a letter from a Dr. E. M. Colie, Jr. of New York. Dr. Colie was during the war Major Edward M. Colie, Jr., Medical Corps, and at the time of PFC Madary’s death, Major Colie was in command of the Medical Detachment of the 60th Artillery, CAC. His letter to Gertrude Madary stated:
“I do not want to let Decoration Day go by without sending you a word both from me and from Mrs. Colie, for we both feel equally for you in your genuine and honest pride in Clarence's work and in your sense of loss.
“In my mind's eye, I can now see the grave in the flower bed at Pleinchamps Farm, near Chebery. Then it was torn by shell fire and by the newly turned earth of the half dozen graves that are in that little plot, now it is all green at the borders and I doubt not that there are flowers there, for I knew something of the Farm and of the family that live there. They were attached to the place from having lived there for several generations.
“Sergeant Chartbonneau, the present owner, was in the French Army as a medical department soldier and not very long after Clarence's death he visited us there. He had a short leave and took that chance to see for the first time since the outbreak of the war the place where he had spent his childhood. He was a very pleasant and serious-minded man and spoke English very well. I have had one or two letters from him and I feel that Clarence's grave is situated with friends. We both, Mrs. Colie and I, send you kindest regards to all.”
Dr. Coile mentions the French town he spells “Chebery” this is most likely the town of Chatel-Chéhéry located just southeast of Exermont, France. During the time the 60th was on the front lines during the Meuse-Argonne drive they were stationed all along the many small towns from Neuvilly-en-Argonne, Cheppy, Very, Montblainville, Charpentry, Appermont, Chatel-Chéhéry, Exermont, Fléville, Sommerance, and Saint-Juvin. Chatel-Chéhéry is also the general location that Sergeant Alvin York earned his Medal of Honor on the actions of October 8, 1918. York's battalion aimed to capture German positions near Hill 223 along the Decauville rail-line north of Chatel-Chéhéry.
Clarence Verle Madary was born in Liberty Township of Fulton County, Indiana on February 11, 1896. He was the son of Gertrude M. Green (1873-1929) and William Madary (1870-1908).
At the turn of the century the William Madary family then consisting of William and Gertrude and son Clarence and daughter Inez, were living on Kenwood Street in East Peru, Miami County, Indiana. William worked day labor jobs to support his wife and two children. Also, about 1903 Gertrude gave birth to a son named Leroy.
By about 1908 they had moved north a few miles into Fulton County and were then living near the small town of Fulton in the southern part of Fulton County, Indiana. It was on September 9, 1908 that William Madary passed away leaving Gertrude to raise the children on her own. Clarence was about 12-years old at the time.
According to the 1910 Federal Census form, it tells the story that Gertrude had moved the family into Rochester, which was the county seat of Fulton County. The house was located at 1439 Madison Street in Rochester. Living in the home with Gertrude and the three children was her father Benjamin Green, who was then a 65-year old widower and was then a farmer.
Clarence worked as a farm hand for Harry Sennett who owned a farm near Rochester and then in the years before World War One Clarence had taken a job with the Western Union Telegraph Company.
During the First call-up of the draft on May 28, 1917, Clarence Verle Madary a medium built 21-year old man with brown eyes and light brown hair went to the courthouse in Rochester and registered for the draft. Clarence then returned to work to await a letter from the army for him to report for duty. Throughout the winter of 1917-18 Clarence waited and that letter came in March of 1918.
On March 6, 1918 he reported for duty at the town square in Rochester and left for the war. We will never know what feelings Gertrude had at the last moment she saw her son leaving, but it would be the last time she would ever see her son again.
Assigned to the Medical Detachment of the 60th Artillery, CAC Pvt. Clarence V. Madary boarded the USS Siboney and found his bunk for the trip across the Atlantic. As the Siboney steamed out of Newport News, Virginia, Pvt. Madary likely did not have feelings that he would never again see the soil of his birth and never get to hold his mother in his arms ever again. Fate had selected Pvt. Madary for a date yet to come.
Once in France, Pvt. Madary was advanced in Grade to Private First-Class. As a member of the Medical Detachment on September 2, 1918, PFC Madary experienced combat for the first time on the front lines at the St. Mihiel Offensive. And then as the 60th Artillery was moved up to the Meuse-Argonne region for the next big push, PFC Madary may have saw first-hand the first death that the 60th Artillery experienced.
It was on October 4, 1918 near Montblainville, France, that PFC Arden L. Chapman of Battery C was Killed in Action, and PFC Madary may also have helped care for Pvt. O’Connel and Sgt. Wininger, the two men who were wounded trying to rescue PFC Chapman.
Fate would play its cruel hand ten-days later when a German shell fragment hit the chest of PFC Madary killing him nearly instantly. Death came swiftly for PFC Madary, but back home it would be weeks before PFC Madary’s mother would receive notice of his death.
It was in the December 17, 1918, edition of the Fort Wayne News and Sentinel newspaper of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on page 7 that a casualty listing of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan soldier was listed. In the Indiana section under Killed in Action, PFC Clarance V. Madary is listed. So, we can assume that Gertrude had known of her son’s death before this printing in the Ft. Wayne newspaper.
And then in the February 4, 1920 edition of the Logansport, Indiana, newspaper The Daily Tribune on page 11, is listed the “First Official list of men who died during the war.” The list encompassed the Indiana Counties of Fulton, Pulaski, Miami and Cass Counties. There were 43 names on the list of men from these Counties. Among the list were two Madary’s. Clarence Madary and Otto Madary.
Otto Madary was Clarence’s First Cousin, as Otto was the son of Albert Madary, who was William Madary’s older brother. Otto was a Corporal serving with Company L of the 148th Infantry, 37th Division, and was Killed in Action on November 2, 1918 in the Argonne Drive.
Back in France both Madary’s lay temporarily buried in the French soil, and then were moved into new cemeteries. PFC Clarence Madary was re-buried in Plot D, Row 14, Grave 4, in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romange-sous-Montfaucon, France and Cpl. Otto Madary was re-buried in the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium.
Photo and white marble cross of the grave of PFC Clarence V. Madary,
Dewey Henry Bickel served as a Private in Battery A of the 60th Artillery, CAC, and little would be known today about Dewey’s experiences while serving with the 60th Artillery if it would not have been for his daughter’s preservation of his experiences in the form of an oral interviews she took with her father. Donna Minick had undertaken several oral interviews with her father and on June 18, 1976 she sat down with her father Dewey Bickel and they had a conversation about his experiences in the war with the 60th Artillery.
Oral interview with my father, Dewey Henry Bickel by Donna Minick, taken June 18, 1976 (portion relating to military service).
Donna: What made you decide to go into the service? You went in kind of young, didn’t you? What were you, seventeen?
Donna: I thought you were even younger than that?
Dewey: No, John (John was Dewey’s younger brother) was sixteen, and I was seventeen.
Donna: Why did you decide to go in?
Dewey: I enlisted. I didn’t know any better. (Laughter) I thought it was the right thing to do, then.
Donna: Is that why you did itfor patriotic reasons, or to make money? Was it a good job at that timedid they pay you well?
Dewey: They paid fifteen dollars a month.
Donna: Where did you enlist into the Army?
Dewey: I enlisted at South Bend, Indiana.
Donna: Where did you go after you enlisted? Where did you train?
Dewey: We were shipped to Fort DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. Fort DuPont was one of the forts there.
Donna: What was it like while you were at Fort DuPont?
Dewey: Oh, it was on a river, the Delaware River. I suppose it was right close to that, level land, built-up country. That’s where we did our training, around there.
Donna: Did you stay with Uncle John all the time?
Dewey: No he didn’t go in with me.
Donna: Oh, you didn’t go in together?
Dewey: No, nobody did, we weren’t with any of our brothers.
Donna: What was it like then?
Dewey: We did army training for about five or six months and then they called for volunteers to go across to France, and like a dumb bunny, I volunteered to do that. (Laughter)
Donna: Cause you liked riding on ships so much? (Dad was always seasick on boats)
Dewey: I thought I might as well get over and end it and get back home.
Donna: What happened once you got over there?
Dewey: Oh, we did a little more training for about a month or maybe more than that, and then we was up on the front lines for quite a while.
Donna: How long were you over there in France?
Dewey: I was over there for nine months in France.
Donna: What part of France other than the front lines did you visit?
Dewey: Bordeaux, that was a big city.
Donna: Didn’t fighting also take place in a big woods?
Dewey: Yes they called it the Argonne Forest, and we was up in there, and that was where a lot of fighting took place.
Donna: What was that area like?
Dewey: The Argonne Forest was a lot of woods.
Donna: Was it like woods here with a lot of undergrowth.
Dewey: No, beech and maple, same kind of trees just about. We was up there about two monthsall the time, and we didn’t come back until after the Armistice was signed in November.
Donna: What did you live in? Did you have little tents or did you have to sleep on the ground?
Dewey: Tents mostly. Little tents, pup tents, a couple to a tent. We was in the heavy artillery.
Donna: What does that “heavy artillery” mean, big guns?
Dewey: Yeah, we wasn’t marching like the infantry.
Donna: How did you get from place to place? Did they have trucks that you could ride on?
Dewey: Yeah, big trucks. That’s why we were more or less camped permanently for several days and then we’d move in trucks. The little 3-inch guns traveled with horsesat that time. They wouldn’t anymore. And that was terrible. But our big 6-inch guns we hauled with the trucks and tractors.
Donna: Terrible on what, the horses?
Dewey: Why sure. They’d shoot into them and maybe kill one horse and that’d scare the others and they’d try to run and drag the horse. There was two or three hitched to a gun. That was terrible.
Donna: Did you drive them at all?
Dewey: No, I wasn’t in that. That was light field artillery. We had heavy guns that shot a 6-inch shell. We didn’t have horses.
Donna: Well, were you back behind where the guns were, or did they have heavy artillery shooting at your heavy artillery?
Dewey: Yeah the Germans had heavy artillery trying to shoot back at us. They had heavy artillery trying to shoot bridges or when they put over boards, like ahead of the infantry. That’s what we were supposed to do, to shoot out the Germans bridges and Artillery guns.
Donna: What was the food like?
Dewey: It was good. We had tops. We had a good mess sergeant and he fed us good right up on the front. Lot of them can’t believe that, but we was fed good.
Donna: Where did he get the foodfrom the farmers?
Dewey: No from the trucks, best beef, hindquarters, just right along, so we was fed good all the way through.
Donna: Were you there when the Armistice was signed?
Dewey: We were up on the front.
Donna: What was that like?
Dewey: We couldn’t hardly believe it. One day it was all noisy and a lot of shooting and the next day nothing. Just couldn’t believe we were hardly hearing right. We didn’t know it for a day or two.
Donna: You didn’t know why, but you stopped shooting?
Dewey: Yeah. I suppose they got orders from the top to stop shooting, but the day it was signed, we didn’t know it for a few days afterward. We didn’t leave therelet’s see that was the Eleventhwe didn’t leave there till Thanksgiving then we started marching back.
Donna: Did you go through Paris?
Dewey: No never got there.
Donna: Did you have celebrations?
Dewey: No, on Thanksgiving Day, we ate hardtack for dinner.
Donna: You didn’t have a turkey?
Dewey: No way.
Donna: Did you meet any of the French people at all?
Dewey: Yeah, where we was training, we’d see a lot of them around the buildings and stuffthey was all around us. Go in a bar, they’d drink their “vin rough.”
Donna: Were they friendly:
Dewey: Yeah, they was. We had us a French woman cook us a meal one night. They cooked over a fireplace. They didn’t have stoves.
Dewey: What did you come back on?
Dewey: On an English ship. We went over on an American and came back on an English ship.
Donna: What did you do when you came back?
Dewey: Oh, hung around North Liberty, Indiana for a while and met a fellow and he said he was going to Montana, and ask me if I wanted to go along with him, and so I went out there then for thirteen years.
Dewey Henry Bickel was born on September 4, 1899 to Mary Ellen (Wharton), (b. 1869 d. 1954) and Henry L. Bickel (1865-1903). Henry and his wife Mary lived on a farm in Liberty Township near the town of North Liberty, Indiana in St. Joseph County. As stated on the 1910 Federal Census Mary had given birth to 9 children but at the time of the taking of the census on April 15, 1910 there were 7 children living. They were eldest daughter Dulica born about 1892; Clarence A. born about 1893; Carson S. born about 1896; Gertrude born about 1897; Blanche born about 1898; Dewey H. born on Sept. 4, 1899; and John G. born about 1901.
Dewey’s father Henry passed away in 1903 and this left Mary alone to raise the 7 children on the farm. By 1910 Mary and the 7 children were still all together with the three eldest children working jobs to support the family.
In his interview Dewey tells how he enlisted at South Bend, Indiana, but it is more likely that he may have went to South Bend, which was only about 15 miles from North Liberty and took a train south to Cincinnati, Ohio where he stated he enlisted into the Regular Army at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He was only 17 and a half at the time and he may have went to Fort Thomas because he was so young.
Once in the Army he was placed into the Coast Artillery Corps at Fort DuPont in Delaware. He would have been assigned to the First Company, Coast Defenses of the Delaware stationed at Fort DuPont. In January of 1918 another unit stationed at Fort DuPont, the Fourth Company, was formed into Battery A, of the 60th Artillery, CAC. There were calls form the other units then at Fort DuPont for volunteers for service in France and Private Bickel stated in his interview with his daughter that he did volunteer for service in France, and so that was how he came into Battery A. Private Bickel was assigned to Battery A of the 60th Artillery, and just before they sailed to France he was issued his new round aluminum dog tags, with his service number of 632664 stamped on it. He served overseas from April 23, 1918 to February 4, 1919 when they returned back to the States again. Private Bickel was honorably discharged from the Army on March 4, 1919.
After the war Dewey returned to the farm in North Liberty, Indiana, where he stated that after awhile in North Liberty he met a friend and together they left and went out west to Montana and he remained there for 13-years before returning back to the North Liberty, Indiana area again.
Dewey Bickel worked on a grain farm in Valley County, Montana, which is located in the northeastern part of Montana along the Canadian Border across from Saskatchewan. It was here that Dewey met his wife Valborg, she was born in the State of Washington on July 29, 1903 and her parents had come to this country from Denmark. Dewey and Valborg were married likely about 1925, and had a daughter named Katherine who was born about 1926 in Valley County, Montana.
About 1932 Dewey, Valborg and Katherine left Montana and returned to North Liberty, Indiana, for unknown reasons. Once back home in Indiana Dewey again went to work as a farmer. About 1935 a second daughter named Rae Ellen was born and a third daughter named Donna was born in 1938.
Dewey Bickel likely farmed for the rest of his life until he passed away on January 30, 1985. Both Dewey and his wife Valborg are buried in the Hamilton Church Cemetery, located at the crossroads of Chicago Trail and Walnut Road in Olive Township of St. Joseph County, Indiana just south of the Indiana-Michigan State Line.
Dewey and Valborg Bickel gravestone located in the Hamilton Church Cemetery, Olive Township, St. Joseph County, Indiana
George Stewart joined the 60th Artillery, CAC from Fort Dupont and served throughout the war with the Battery A. He sailed to France on the USS Siboney and returned with the 60th aboard the Cedric. PFC Stewart's mother was Jennie Stewart of 917 Clayton St. in Wilmington, DE.
On October 21, 1918 PFC Lily Gilford Carver was Killed in Action. He was a member of Battery A and sailed to France with the 60th Artillery aboard the USS Siboney. On the passenger list PFC Carver listed his sister Lois Hood of Lennenburg, Virginia as the person to contact in case of an emergency. Today PFC Carver rests in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France in Plot B, Row 5, Grave 31.
Little is known of the circumstances of his death, but the date of his death may be a clue to his story. On October 21, 1918 the date of Carver’s death the First Battalion, Batteries A and B were then engaging the Germans during the bombardment of the French towns of Thenorgues and Mort Homme, which were infested with German troops. On October 19, both Batteries opened up on the town of Thenorgues, which they obliterated it off the map when they had finished shelling the town. But it seemed that the Germans did not think highly of the greeting the American boys had sent over to the Germans and they sent some hot steel back into the positions of Battery A and B. It was likely then that PFC Lily Gilford Carver of Battery A was mortally wounded likely from a German Shell burst and died on October 21.
|White Marble Cross in the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery of PFC Lily Gilford Carver, 632676, Battery A KIA October 21, 1918. Plot B, Row 5, Grave 31|
Rex R. Dolph served in combat with Battery A, 60th Artillery, CAC during at least October through November of 1918.
He was born on December 1, 1895 in Alexandria, Douglas County, Minnesota. His parents were Julia Estelle Marshall (1869-1945) and Allen Bell Dolph (1862-1937). Both Julia and Allen had been born in Michigan but at the time they started their family had been living in Douglas County, Minnesota. Julia had given birth to seven children, six of whom were still living. All the children were born in Minnesota.
But by the turn of the century in 1900 the Dolph family had moved back to Michigan and were then living in Galien Township in Berrien County, Michigan, which is in the southwest part of Michigan. Allen and Julia added to the family with two more girls being born in 1901 and 1906.
By the age of 14 in 1910, Rex and his family had moved again, this time to central Michigan. At that time, they were living in Kalamazoo, Michigan at 617 Mill Street. Rex’s father and four eldest brothers, Delbert, Cleve, Percy and Otis all worked at the Bryant paper mill in Kalamazoo. But Rex was 14-years old and still in school.
As the war years began for America at least two of the Dolph boys served in the military. Percy Dolph served in Battery D of the 73rd Artillery, CAC and Rex served in Battery A, 60th Artillery, CAC. Both Percy and Rex would serve in France but only Rex saw combat on the front lines.
There are World War One draft cards for Delbert, Cleve, and Otis Dolph and no draft cards can be found for Percy or Rex Dolph so, this seems to suggest that both Percy and Rex may have enlisted into the Army before the first call up of the draft on June 5, 1917. Being that both brothers had been serving in the Coast Artillery corps of the Army this also suggests that they may have joined together. In fact, according to Rex Dolph’s headstone application form he had enlisted into the Army on April 24, 1917, just 18-days after America had declared war on April 6.
Rex had been serving in one of the several Coast Artillery Corps Companies in the Maine area as when he sailed to France he was then serving in Battery C of the 54th Artillery, CAC. The men who made up Battery C of the 54th came primarily from the 12th and 16th Companies of the Coast Defenses of Portland, Maine. So, it is very likely Rex Dolph served in one of these two companies before joining the 54th Artillery.
Battery C, 54th Artillery sailed aboard the SS Canada from Portland, Maine on March 22, 1918, with PFC Rex Dolph aboard. Dolph listed his mother Julia of 824 Myres Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan as his person to contact in case of an emergency. So, it appears that back in Kalamazoo the Dolph family had moved from the home on Mill Street.
The 54th Artillery when it arrived in France found that they had been designated to become the Replacement regiment for the units up on the line. At the time the Army had a brilliant idea that the 54th would become a fully trained and functional unit and then when any of the Coast Artillery units on the line had a casualty and needed a replacement man, that man would be pulled from the 54th Artillery. The man pulled from the 54th would be ready to take his place and know his job as soon as he arrived to fill in the vacated spot for the unit then on the line, thereby causing no loss of efficiency to that unit.
The 60th Artillery, CAC was one of the several American Coast Artillery corps regiments than on the line and saw much heavy fighting during the war. They also suffered several deaths and many wounded. This was how PFC Dolph joined the 60th Artillery, as a replacement soldier.
This could have been at the time Battery A sustained their first man killed in action on or about October 21, 1918. At the time Battery A was setting up new gun positions to fire into the towns of Thenorgues and Mort Homme, which were infested with German troops. On October 19 the First Battalion (Batteries A and B) of the 60th Artillery opened up on the town of Thenorgues and the entire town was obliterated. The Germans did not take this pounding without throwing back some hot steel of their own and PFC Lily Gilford Carver of Battery A was mortally wounded and died on October 21. As such this may have been the time when PFC Rex Dolph was called up from Battery C of the 54th to replace men lost during the attack on Thenorgues.
PFC Dolph would serve through the end of the war with Battery A continuing the fight into The Hagois Woods on November 1 and finally on the last day of the war in positions somewhere near the little French town of Flaba.
By the end of January, 1919, the 60th Artillery was ordered to return back home and were then in Brest, France awaiting ship transportation. On January 26, 1919, the entire 60th Artillery boarded the White Star liner SS Cedric and steamed for home. PFC Rex R. Dolph was aboard and watched the coast of France disappear from view as they steamed ever westward across the Atlantic for home.
Once the SS Cedric reached New York on February 4, the 60th Artillery went to Camp Merritt, New Jersey and then to Fort Howard, Maryland. The enlistees of which PFC Dolph was among this group, were then broken up into Casual units according to what part of the country they were from. Dolph, being from Michigan likely was formed into a group going to Camp Custer in Battle Creek, Michigan. Kalamazoo and Battle Creek are cities very close to each other in central Michigan. It was likely there at Camp Custer that PFC Dolph received his Honorable Discharge on February 25, 1919.
Rex Dolph went home to his family then living on Myers Street in Kalamazoo and received a big kiss from his mother Julia. This would not however be his only kiss he received when he went home. About two-weeks of returning home, on March 8, 1919 Rex Dolph married Edna M. Wheaton in Detroit, Michigan.
According to the 1919 Kalamazoo City Directory, there are hints as to how patriotic the Dolph family was. Both Rex and his brother Percy had served with the Coast Artillery Corps in France during the war, but the two eldest were also serving. Otis was currently serving in the U. S. Army and the eldest brother Delbert, was serving in the Canadian Army.
After Rex and Edna were married it is not known for sure where they were living. According to the 1920 Census they were not living with Rex’s parents in Kalamazoo, nor does it seem that they were living in Detroit the city they were married in. It is possible they may have been living in Jackson, Michigan as according to a 1920 Jackson City Directory there was an Edna Dolph living at 302 W. Franklin Street, but this can’t be confirmed to be the correct “Edna.” On June 5, 1920 Rex’s brother Percy died in Kalamazoo, Michigan of unknown cause.
But by 1930 Rex and Edna were living in her parents’ Waldo and Myrtle Wheaton, home on King Avenue in Avon Township, Oakland County, Michigan. This was in the Detroit area and so it is assumed that they had been living in this area since their marriage in 1919. At the time in 1930 Rex was working for the Fisher Body Corporation in Pontiac, Michigan. Rex and Edna did not have any children at that time, and in fact they would never have any children.
On April 27, 1942 during WWII Rex R. Dolph registered for the draft. He did so at Local Board No. 9 located at 410 Peoples State Building in Pontiac, Michigan. At the time Rex was 46-years old and stood 5-feet 8 ½-inches tall and had blue eyes and brown hair. He was at the time living with Edna at 207 Pine Street in Rochester, Michigan and was then employed by the United States Post Office working at the Rochester, Michigan Post Office.
Rex and Edna would live the rest of their lives in Rochester, Michigan. Rex would pass away on February 16, 1960, and be buried in the Mt. Avon Cemetery in Rochester, Michigan. Ten days after his death his widow Edna signed the papers to have a flat Bronze Military grave marker placed upon her husbands’ grave. On April 4, 1960, that marker was placed on his grave marking the spot where an American Combat Veteran of WWI lays resting in peace.
PFC Rex R. Dolph, Service No. 581811
Booth was born in Grundy county, Iowa, on August 3, 1894, and befor the war he was a city engineer. Booth enrolled in the Second Officers Training Camp, at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, on August 24, 1917. Upon graduation Booth was commissioned and called into active service as a 1st Lieutenant on December 15, 1917, and assigned to duty at the Officers Training Camp, Fort Monroe, Virginia.
On February 18, 1918, 1st Lt. Booth received orders to report to the commanding officer of the 60th Artillery, CAC, for duty in France. He was then detailed to serve as a Battery Officer in Battery B, which at the time was under the command of Captain Marshall M. Milton. Booth was promoted to Captain on November 9, 1918 and took over command of Battery B from Captain Milton. Booth sailed to France with the 60th Artillery aboard the USS Siboney on April 22, 1918, and returned home aboard the SS Cedric on February 4, 1919. Captain Booth was in combat with the 60th Artillery, CAC at the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Captain Booth received his Honorable Discharged at Fort Howard, Maryland on May 8, 1919.
Jimmy Patton had contacted me in November of 2019, asking about his grandfather, William Fleming Buckner, who served with Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC in combat during WWI. This is William Fleming Buckner’s story.
Buckner was born on April 4, 1895, in Pelham, Caswell County, North Carolina. His mother was Jennie Buckner born about 1856 and his father was J. T. Buckner born during the Civil War in 1864.
When William was 5-years old he was not living with his parents. Nothing is known of the reason why but at the time in the spring of 1900 he was living with his uncle Samuel who was the younger brother to William’s father J. T.
Samuel and his wife Bird lived on a farm in Dan River Township of Caswell County, North Carolina. The Dan River runs through Caswell County and meanders back and forth into Virginia and North Carolina. It was in Caswell County that the Slade family had discovered the bright-leaf tobacco curing process that revolutionized the tobacco industry and brought great wealth to the region. And so, it was likely that Samuel Buckner was a tobacco farmer. Samuel and Bird Buckner did not have any children of their own. Information gleaned from the 1900 census shows that also living in the Samuel Buckner home was an older sister-in-law of Samuel named Jennie, which was William’s mother. Whatever happened to William’s father, J. T. Buckner is not known, but clearly, he was not alive or had left the family. On the census form Jennie is listed as “Single” and was working as a laundress.
At the age of 22-years old William F. Buckner in the spring of 1917, was farming for E. R Walter in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The county of Pittsylvania, Virginia’s economy was tobacco-dominated and likely the E. R. Walter farm was a tobacco farm. At the time William was living likely on the Walter Farm near Danville, Virginia. Danville is only about 15-miles from the Samuel Buckner farm where William had been raised.
But that spring America had went to war and on June 5, 1917, William Fleming Buckner registered his name for the draft in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. William was a medium built man with blue eyes and brown hair. One of the questions on the registration form asked if the registrant claimed any exemption from the draft. William simply wrote the word “Mother.” But to the Army this did not stop them from drafting William, as on July 5, 1917, he was enlisted into the Army.
William would serve with the 6th Company, Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard, when he entered the Army. And then as the 60th Artillery, CAC was formed for duty overseas Battery B was formed from men of the Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard, and that was how Buckner became to serve in Battery B, 60th Artillery, CAC. Buckner joined Battery B on January 5, 1918. Buckner was advanced to private First-Class on April 14, 1918, just before the 60th Artillery would sail for France.
Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC would see much combat during the war. No doubt this experience had a great effect on the simple tobacco farmer from the Dan River country of North Carolina. When William, who was by now a Private First-Class, went aboard the USS Siboney on April 22, 1918, he had to list a family member to notify in case of an emergency for the passenger manifest of the sailing of the Siboney. PFC Buckner wrote Jennie Buckner of Danville, Virginia, and as to the relationship of this person PFC Buckner wrote “Mother.”
Once in France the 60th Artillery went into combat and saw heavy fighting throughout their time in France. Even in combat up until the last hour of the war. On the early morning of November 11th Battery B began to move out of the orchard in La Besace that they had been located at for new positions in Buzancy, and as they did the Germans shelled them violently all the while they were moving out. This was the last effort the Germans made and then the guns went silent. Buzancy was reached on the afternoon of November 11 and there they parked. The view was one of bon fires burning for as far as they could see. Even electric light was seen on, which was the first they had seen in months. When Battery B was in the orchard at La Besace, this was said to have been the furthest forward of any of the American Coast Artillery batteries during the war.
PFC William F. Buckner had survived the war, something that on several occasions he may have had thoughts that he may not survive this hell. But survive he did, and soon enough the 60th Artillery was on the move back away from the front lines.
On January 26, 1919, the 60th Artillery boarded the White Star liner SS Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic, but the name of PFC William F. Buckner Service No. 633040 does not appear on the passenger list of the Cedric. It is not known why Buckner missed this sailing. There may be several reasons why he did not sail aboard the Cedric. He may have been ill at the time or he may have volunteered for some other duty, but whatever the reason it would be four months longer PFC Buckner would remain in France.
On April 30, 1919, PFC Buckner was standing on the docks in the port of Marseilles, France. He was waiting in line with 1,809 other casual enlisted Army men and they were boarding the Italian Liner SS Giusepe Verdi. Aboard the Giusepe Verdi, which had been contracted to transport U. S. Army passengers back to New York at a cost of $163,237.00, consisted of the following:
|73 Casual Army officers traveling in First Class cabins
1 Civilian Embalmer under contract to the U. S. Army
3 YMCA Personnel
48 Non-commissioned officers traveling in 2nd Class cabins
1,761 enlisted men traveling Third Class
All these men were unassigned army personnel and were being transported back home at government expenses. PFC William F. Buckner Service No. 633040 name appears on the passenger list for this sailing. On May 3, 1919 the Giusepe Verdi arrived at the port of Gibraltar, likely to receive coal. The Giusepe Verdi reached New York Harbor on May 14, 1919. Shortly after his arrival back in the States PFC Buckner was given his Honorable Discharge from the Army.
William F. Buckner returned back home to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to the home of his uncle Samuel. In March of 1920 living on the farm was Samuel, Jennie Buckner (William’s mother), and William. William and Samuel were then farming.
On December 23, 1922, William F. Buckner married Carolyn Elizabeth Hayden in Danville, Virginia. William and Carolyn who went by her middle name Elizabeth throughout most of her life, lived at 317 Plum Street in Danville, which was a very small 3-Room house. In 1924 Elizabeth gave birth to the couple’s first child a son they named Samuel Burnell. By 1930 William was working as a painter to support his family that had now grown to include a daughter named Virginia Anne born about 1929.
Sometime between 1930 and 1934 the Buckner family had moved out of Danville, Virginia and went to Norfolk, Virginia. This was no doubt because of work as William was working as a painter at the Norfolk Navy Yard previously to the war and during the war years. The family grew again in Norfolk with Jean Elizabeth born in 1934 and Marilyn Gail born in 1939.
In 1942 for the second time in his life William Buckner had to register for the draft. But because Buckner was already working in the war effort as a painter at the Norfolk Naval Operating Base he did not serve in the military during the Second World War. The Buckner home at the time was at 1601 DeBree Avenue in Norfolk. During his life William was known by his nickname of “Willie” to close friends and family. The example of service to one’s Country was passed on to William’s eldest son Samuel Burnell. On March 9, 1944, Samuel Buckner enlisted into the United States Army serving during the Second World War.
By 1957, William and Elizabeth were living at 1337 Bayview Blvd. in Norfolk, Virginia. They would live in this home until the time of William’s death. In the last 10-months of his life William was suffering from respiratory failure, and on April 20, 1975, passed away. William’s wife Elizabeth would pass away in 1987.
William Fleming Buckner was then buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia. His grave is located in Block 8, Lot 4, Space S.
|William and Elizabeth Buckner taken about 1973|
Odie E. Hailey served in combat with Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC during the entire time they were in France in 1918-19. Odie was the eldest son being born on January 1, 1899, to Nannie Susan Singleton (1879-1952) and John Henry “Jack” or “Jackson” Hailey (1859-). Both Nannie and John Henry had been born in rural Halifax County, Virginia, and it was in that county that they began to raise a family. Nannie and John Henry settled down near the small community of Clarkton, Virginia located along the western side of the Roanoke River at the bend in the river where it come close to the community of Clarkton.
By 1910 the Hailey family was living on a farm near Clarkton and “Jack” was then farming the ground. Eldest son Odie Edward who was just 11-years old at the time was not in school but helped his father on the farm. The next eldest son Mitchell Ewell who was 10-years old also worked on the home farm. The other children at home at the time were Lacy Thomas born in 1907; Bessie Williams also born in 1907 and Rossie born in 1909. Living next to the “Jack” Hailey farm was the family of Mollie Hailey, who was “Jack” Hailey’s younger sister. The family of Nannie and “Jack” Hailey grew to include three more children by 1918, with Jessie Daniel in 1911; Willie Henry in 1914 and Maggie May in 1918.
Jumping ahead to the spring of 1917, America had on April 6 joined the war in France against Germany. It is assumed that Odie Hailey enlisted into the United States Army before the first call up of the Draft in June of that year. The reasons why are not known, but Odie’s grandfather Alexander Robert Hailey (1836-1863) had served in the Civil War. This was possibly with the 12th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry, of the Confederate States. And being the extended Hailey family lived in close proximity to each other, Odie likely had heard the family stories of his grandfather’s death during the Civil War on February 11, 1863, in Richmond, VA. But whatever the reason was Odie Hailey was serving in the Army’s Coast Artillery Corps and likely in the 5th Company, Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard based out of Richmond, Virginia during the summer of 1917.
When the 60th Artillery CAC was formed in January of 1918, its Battery B was formed from men currently serving in the 5th Company Virginia Coast Artillery National Guard, of which Private Odie E. Hailey was a member of. When his National Guard Company was Federalized they were sent to Camp Stuart, Virginia where they joined the 60th Artillery then forming there.
By the time the 60th Artillery was ready to sail for duty in France they on April 22, 1918, were boarding the USS Siboney at Newport News, Virginia. As Pvt. Odie Hailey walked up the gangway with his pack on his back, he had two new army issued items. That being a steel helmet as this would be the first combat the American Army would go to battle with a steel helmet on, and the second item was a round aluminum identification tag commonly known as the “dog tag.” Pvt. Hailey was assigned his army service number of 633061 and was handed his two tags to wear around his neck. Now likely every man had thoughts of how serious this “adventure over there” was going to be. It must be serious if they needed a tag to identify a soldier’s body should he be killed. Also, as Pvt. Hailey walked up the gangway he had to list a name of someone to contact in case of an emergency. Pvt. Hailey listed his father “J. H.” Hailey of Clarkton, Virginia.
Once the 60th Artillery reached France they were rushed to their training stations and soon enough were headed into battle for the first time. Pvt. Hailey who likely had never been out of the county of his birth was about to have an eye-opening experience. Back home in the hills of Virginia, Hailey likely had killed rabbits and deer with a rifle, but what he and his fellow soldiers were about to witness they could not comprehend. Within the span of 3-days, which was the duration of their first battle each man would become a seasoned soldier having seen and experienced something that unless you have experienced it yourself, is indescribable. But at the end of that first time on the firing line Pvt. Hailey had survived and soon enough they were pulled off the line and headed for a new push. This would be in the Argonne Forrest areas and although it may have resembled the hills and woods of Virginia that Pvt. Hailey was used to, it would turn out to be literally a human meat grinder. What lay ahead for the men of Battery B would make what they had just come out of look like a picnic.
Battery B along with the entire 60th Artillery, would play a major role in the sustained battle in the Argonne Forrest areas all the way to the last hour of the war. During the experiences in the Argonne, that the men in Battery B would share, it would create a close bond between the men and one soldier in Battery B, PFC James Buckner, would keep a notebook with names of the men he served with in combat. Among the 72-names of the men from Battery B, the name of Pvt. Odie Hailey is written. After the war was over it was time for the 60th to return back home. It was on January 26, 1919, just 25-days after Pvt. Odie Hailey had turned 20-years old, that he boarded the SS Cedric and sailed for home. On February 4, 1919 the Cedric reached New York and the men were off loaded.
The First Battalion of the 60th Artillery was then sent to Ft. Howard, Maryland where the volunteers and National Guard men were given Honorable Discharges. By February 21, the discharged men had left for home and the Regular Army men had new assignments and the good old 60th Artillery CAC faded into the pages of history.
Odie Hailey would return back home to Clarkton, Virginia and his family. Many hugs and tears were likely shed by his mother when she greeted him once again. We will never know but in the evenings when things were quiet Odie may have shared his experiences with his family as best he could describe the events.
During 1922, Odie had met and fell in love with Bernice Minnie Adams who at the time was just 14 or 15 years old. On December 26, 1922, she and Odie were married in Halifax County. Odie and Bernice would settle in Pittsylvania County, which is the county directly west of Halifax County. There in Pittsylvania County, Odie Hailey would be close to at least one of his fellow soldiers from Battery B. Also living in the county was William Fleming Buckner who served as a Private First-Class with Odie during the war.
By 1930 Odie and Bernice were living along State Road 643 near the community of Sycamore just south of Altavista, Virginia. Odie had been working for the Lane Manufacturing company in Altavista. He would work for the Lane Company for many years. Lane was the makers of furniture and the famous Lane Cedar chests. It was the lane family in 1907 that founded the town of Altavista when they opened up the factory there. The Hailey home was only about 10-12-miles south of Altavista and the Lane factory along the Roanoke River. It was in 1924 that Bernice gave birth to the couples first child a daughter named Mildred Irene. Robert Carlton was born in 1925, Raymond Aubrey in 1928, Lettie May in 1930, daughter Marion in 1937 and lastly Virginia Glyvelle in 1938.
On February 16, 1942, Odie Hailey had to register his name for the Draft during WWII. Odie did not serve in the military during WWII but kept on working for the Lane Company. Business was good during the WWII years. Lane advertisements had reached a high point during World War II, persuading thousands of GIs leaving for overseas to purchase a Lane Hope Chest for the sweethearts they were leaving behind. Ads combined romantic images of men in uniform and their fiancées with patriotic slogans and the well-known face of Lanes national spokeswoman, and symbol of all things American, Shirley Temple.
Odie and Bernice would raise the six children at their home just south of the Lane complex on the Roanoke River in Altavista. Odie would have several jobs at the Lane plant and was at the time of his retirement a foreman at the plant. In the late 1950’s Odie and Bernice and the family moved closer to Altavista purchasing a home in the community of Hurt, which was about 1-2-miles south of the Roanoke River directly south of the Lane complex.
On or about March 26, 1965, Odie Hailey became ill while at home. The next day on March 27, 1965, Odie Hailey passed away in his home from what was likely a heart attack. Odie was then buried in the New Prospect Baptist Church located in the community of Hurt. Less than a month after the death of Odie, Bernice on April 16, 1965, would pass away. Today both Odie and Bernice lay next to each other resting in peace. But sometime after their deaths one of the children, which was likely son Robert, had a bronze military grave marker placed upon his father’s grave. There by marking the spot where an American Soldier lays resting in peace.
|Odie Hailey's bronze military grave marker in the New Prospect Baptist Church at Hurt, Virginia.|
Sigurd Oen was a first Generation American born of Norwegian immigrants on August 12, 1896 in Park River, North Dakota. Before he joined the army, Sigurd was working as a farmer. Sigurd Oen enlisted into the army at Grand Forks, North Dakota, on December 15, 1917, and was sent to the Jefferson Barracks, in Missouri. As the 60th Artillery, CAC was forming Pvt. Oen was placed into the Headquarters Company, and sailed to France with that company. But on July 9, 1918 he was transferred out of the HQ Company into Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC. He would serve at the front lines with Battery B during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. He returned back to the States with Battery B and was given an Honorable Discharge at Camp Dodge, Iowa on February 26, 1919.
|Bronze Service Grave Marker of Private Ruffin Vance McCollum of North Carolina. Pvt. McCollum served in Battery B and was born on September 1, 1893 and passed away on April 26 1963. Photo submitted by his Granson Doug McCollum.|
Monrad E. Mikkelson was born of American-Norwegian parents in Story City, Iowa on January 20, 1896. Before the war Mikkelson was attending college when he enlisted into the Army at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, December 15, 1917. Once in the Army he was sent to the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. When the 60th Artillery was formed Pvt. Mikkelson was transferred into Battery B, 60th Artillery, CAC. Pvt. Mikkelson sailed to France with the 60th Artillery, CAC and participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. While in France with the 60th Artillery Mikkelson was advanced to Private first Class. Once PFC Mikkelson returned from France after the war with the 60th Artillery, CAC aboard the SS Cedric he was sent to the Casual Detachment Company No. 77 with the 163rd Depot Brigade at Camp Dodge, Iowa on February 17, and was Honorably Discharged there on February 26, 1919.
Rosley was born in Norway on June 24, 1896, and had come to America and settled in North Dakota where he was farming to make a living. At the time America went to War in 1917, Rosley was not a United States Citizen, but on December 13, 1917, he enlisted into the United States Army at Fargo, North Dakota.
Rosley was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri where he served until the 60th Artillery, CAC was forming. Pvt. Rosley was assigned duty with the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC and sailed to France with the HQ Company. While in France on June 5, 1918, Pvt. Roosley was transferred into Battery B where he would serve until his discharge. While with Battery B, Pvt. Roosley would be on the front lines during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. After the war Pvt. Rosley sailed back home with the 60th Artillery, CAC and was given an Honorable Discharge at Camp Dodge, Iowa on February 26, 1919.
Private First-Class Dale Cummins, Service No. 581181, entered into Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC as a replacement soldier. The story of PFC Cummins begins in a little Michigan town known as Paw Paw. There in Paw Paw, Michigan on May 27, 1899, Dale was born to Minnie May Lawrence (1869-1958) and Philo Delos Cummins (1857-1934).
By the time Dale was ten-years old the family was living on Race Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Delos or more commonly known as Dell worked bricklayer to support his family, which at the time consisted of two children, Gertrude Hilda who was born in 1889 and Dale. There was 21-years between Gertrude and Dale. According to the 1910 census form it tells the story that Minnie had given birth to four children but that only two, Gertrude and Dale were still living.
Dale Cummins grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and by the time America had entered the war in April of 1917, Dale may have already had thought of enlisting into the Army. In June of 1917 the United States began the first call-up for the draft and due to Dale’s age, he would not have had to register his name in the draft until the third round of the draft which would not take place until September of 1918.
It is fact that 23-days after America declared war on April 6, 1917, Dale Cummins enlisted into the National Army on April 29, 1917. At the time in America there was the standing Regular Army, commonly known as “Regulars,” and then men who volunteered were entered in service in the National Army, which was men who volunteered such as Dale Cummins.
As a new recruit serving in the National Army, Cummins was placed into the Army’s Coast Artillery Corps. Out on the East coast up in the State of Maine the 54th Artillery Regiment was being formed from Coast Artillery Companies from the State of Maine. As this new regiment was being filled out to wartime strength some new men from the National Army were placed into this new regiment in order to bring it up to the man level they required.
The 54th Artillery, CAC sailed to France in two movements and Pvt. Dale Cummins who was then assigned to Battery A of the 54th Artillery, CAC sailed Aboard the first movement. By March 7, 1918 the 54th Artillery Regiment was ready to go to war and had orders to move to France as soon as ship transportation could be arranged from Hoboken, New Jersey. Once ships arrived for the 54th to sail to Europe they moved to the docks at Hoboken. On March 16, 1918, the HQ Co., Supply Co., Medical Detachment and the 1st Battalion consisting of Battery A and B boarded the SS Baltic in Hoboken, New Jersey. Nineteen officers and 566 enlisted men of the 54th Artillery were sailing leaving the 2nd and 3rd Battalions to wait for another ship. The Baltic sailed direct to Liverpool, England where they reached the safety of the crowded harbor on March 29, 1918. HQ Co., Supply Co., Medical Detachment and the 1st Battalion consisting of Battery A and B made the crossing of the English Channel and arrived in Le Havre, France on the evening of April 6, 1918.
Aboard the Baltic, Pvt. Cummins had to list a name of someone who the Army could contact in case of an emergency. Pvt. Cummins listed his father Dell of 1123 Race Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
When the 54th Artillery arrived in France they found that their intended use would be changed. They had sailed without any artillery guns at all as the American Army had no heavy mobile artillery to take to France. Instead they would rely on the French and British to loan them weapons when they arrived in France. Orders came down that the 54th Artillery would become the training and replacement Regiment for the American heavy Coast Artillery regiments that would see combat on the front lines. The plan was that the 54th would become a fully functioning Regiment with fully trained men, then when a Coast Artillery Regiment that was on the line in combat needed replacement men they would be pulled from the 54th Regiment and the unit on the line would receive new men fully trained ready to do his job the moment he arrived as a replacement. Quite a good plan as time lost in trying to train a green replacement while being shot at was not the best teaching environment.
The exact date at which Pvt. Cummins was selected to be sent to the 60th Artillery, CAC as a replacement is not known. But by wars end he had been promoted to Private First-Class and was serving in Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC. During the war Battery B was in heavy action, and it is likely that PFC Cummins saw some of this action.
With war’s end and when it came time for the 60th Artillery to return home, PFC Dale Cummins boarded the SS Cedric on January 26, 1919, with the rest of the 60th Artillery and steamed for home. The Regular Army personal were then re-assigned to new duty but PFC Cummins being a member of the National Army was then given an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty on February 25, 1919.
Now back in civilian life Dale Cummins came home to the family home on Race Street in Kalamazoo. Dale took a job as a printer working for the Bryant Paper Company in Kalamazoo. About 1921, the Bryant Paper Mill sold and was renamed Allied Paper Corp.
But on April 17, 1920, Dale Cummins married Ruth Marshall who was also from Kalamazoo. Ruth was at the time of the marriage, just 18-years old. About two-years later Ruth gave birth to their first child a son named Robert. Two more years later about 1924 a daughter named Shirley was born and their last child a son named Phillip Dale was born on May 24, 1927. Dale and Ruth and the children lived at 214 E. Walnut Street in Kalamazoo. The home on Walnut street is now gone and is part of the Bronson Hospital Complex.
Sometime after the birth of Phillip Dale in 1927 the marriage between Dale and Ruth was not good and Dale left them and moved back to his parents’ home at 1123 Race Street in Kalamazoo. By the summer of 1935 the marriage between Dale and Ruth had come to a point where Ruth filed for and on July 29, 1935 was granted an uncontested divorce citing “extreme and repeated cruelty.” Ruth and the three children continued to live in the home on Walnut Street.
Dale continued on working at the Allied Paper Mill in Kalamazoo and by early 1941 was seeing Bessie Marie (Tolsma) Sparks. Both Dale and Bessie had been married before, and Bessie was then working as a cook in a restaurant. On July 18, 1941, in Battle Creek, Michigan Dale and Bessie were married. Dale was then 42-years old and Bessie was 43-years old. They moved into the home at 1123 Race Street to live.
During 1942 American again had went to war and Dale registered for the draft. At the time he was still working as a printer but now he was employed by the Kalamazoo County Board of Education. Bessie worked as an assembler for the Lacey-Webber Company in Kalamazoo who made automobile anti-freeze testing equipment. Dale did not serve in the military during WWII.
By 1956 Dale and Bessie had moved from Kalamazoo to Scotts, Michigan. Scotts is a small rural community southeast of Kalamazoo half way between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. At the time Dale was working for the Independent Printing Company.
On February 14, 1976 at the age of 76-years, Dale Cummins passed away. He was buried in the Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bessie would pass away in 1990.
James Thomas Buckner was a Private First-Class and served with Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC during the entire time they were in combat in France during 1918.
Buckner was born on June 2, 1895, in Franklin County, Virginia, to Nancy Adeline Young (November 11, 1868-October 13, 1952) and William Henry Buckner (August 13, 1858-July 8, 1944), and was the sixth of ten children born in his family. Franklin County Virginia is located in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia, and in the 1920’s during Prohibition Franklin County was known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World,” as the production of moonshine and bootlegging drove the economy of that area.
Franklin County was also the home of the Bondurant Brothers; Howard, Forrest and Jack, who were bootlegging brothers during the Prohibition Era. Their stories were high-lighted in Matt Bondurant’s historical novel, “The Wettest County in the World” (2008), and in the 2012 film “Lawless.” Other historical figures from Franklin County are Booker T. Washington, a former slave and freedman, who became a leading educator and one of the prominent civil rights activists of his day. And Jubal Anderson Early, the Confederate General during the Civil War.
By 1910 the Buckner family was living on a farm in the Brown Hill Magisterial District of Franklin County. The Brown Hill Magisterial District today does not exist but then was generally described as the southern parts of Franklin County that borders with Henry County. William Henry Buckner his wife and nine children at the time were all living in Ferrum likely along or very near to the Norfolk and Western Railroad that ran through the town. William Henry ran a store in Ferrum that sold home items and supplies. John, the eldest son was working for the U. S. Post Office in Ferrum as a mail carrier. Lucy the 4th eldest child was working in a department store as a saleslady, and George and James the 5th and 6th eldest were both working on the family farm. James Thomas at the time would have been 14-years old and was not attending school.
By the time James Thomas Buckner was 22-years old he was still working the farm but part time he delivered mail for the Ferrum Post Office. During the spring of 1917 America had entered the war in Europe and on June 5, 1917 at Young’s store in Ferrum, James T. Buckner a single, tall, medium built man with blue eyes and brown hair registered his name for the first call-up of the Draft during the war.
During the summer of 1917, James Buckner enlisted into the Virginia National Guard and was serving with the 5th Company, Virginia Coast Artillery. When it came time for the Virginia National Guard to be Federalized for service during the war, the 5th Company was formed into Battery B of the 60th Artillery, CAC, and Private James Thomas Buckner was now serving in that Battery.
On April 22, 1918, the entire 60th Artillery was then assembled on the docks in Newport News, Virginia and walking up the gangway onto the USS Siboney, which would be the ship that would take them to France. Pvt. Buckner listed his father, William of Ferrum, Virginia as his person to contact in case of an emergency when he boarded the Siboney. Pvt. Buckner was assigned his Army Service number of 633032, which was stamped onto two round aluminum tags, which were something new the men of the army had just been issued. These tags were to identify the soldier’s body in case he was killed in battle, likely a chilling thought for these men, some of whom who had never been out of the county of their birth, such as Pvt. James T. Buckner.
Pvt. Buckner would have served with Battery B through the entire time the 60th Artillery was in combat on the front lines in France. Pvt. Buckner would have seen death close at hand, which was another eye opener for these young men who possibly had never seen anything more than a deer being killed and gutted. Now they saw, touched and smelled the horror of what men could do to other men on a wholesale process, up close. For simple backwoods country boys, this was a life changing event. They would never be the same ever again. But at wars end Buckner had been advanced in grade to Private First-Class and he counted himself lucky to have experienced a thing like this and lived to tell about it.
By the time the 60th Artillery was ready to come home they on January 26, 1919, boarded the White Star liner RMS Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic. They reached New York Harbor on February 4, 1919, and PFC Buckner stood on United States Soil once again. Shortly thereafter he would have been given an Honorable Discharge from the Army and headed home to Ferrum, Virginia.
He did not stay long with his family as within the year James Buckner had taken a job with the Goodyear Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. In January of 1920 he was living in a small home on Brittain Road in Akron. At the time James Buckner had two other men living as boarders in the home, Posey Ross and James’ younger brother, 19-year old Charlie Buckner. All three men were working for the Goodyear Tire Company.
Twenty years later, in 1940, James Thomas Buckner still had not married. He was still working as a tire builder for Goodyear in Akron. He had moved from Brittain Road about two blocks west to a rented room near the intersection of Goodyear Blvd. and Pioneer Street. The home, which was at 235 Pioneer Street, was owned by Betsy McMillen who was divorced and she had her two sons and a daughter living in the home. The two lodgers were James Buckner and his youngest brother Elmer Buckner, who also worked for Goodyear. Just down the street from the McMillen home at 235 Pioneer St., lived the Parker Wilkinson family at 255 Pioneer Street. Parker and his wife had a 38-year old daughter named Mary who was the wife of Charlie Buckner, James’ younger brother. Charlie also was still working for the Goodyear Tire Company. Parker Wilkinson also worked for Goodyear.
In early 1942, America was again at war and James Buckner had to register for the Draft for the second time in his life on April 27, 1942. It is assumed that James Buckner worked throughout the war years making tires at the Goodyear plant in Akron. By the mid-1960’s he had returned back home to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. On January 10, 1965 in Rocky Mount, Franklin County, Virginia, James Thomas Buckner passed away at the age of 69-years, never having been married. He was buried in the Buckner family cemetery in Ferrum, Virginia with at least his mother and father who are both buried there.
Among the several serving personal items of Mr. Buckner’s he had kept from his time in the army were a Bible, which was said that he always carried it in his uniform pocket while serving at the front lines, and a small notebook he recorded facts, events and had soldier names written in it. The following are the gleanings from this notebook and the list of names. Each of the soldier and two women’s names were written or signed by that soldier and are in many different handwriting styles. Usually that soldier write the just the letter of his first name and an address or town where he was from. I have taken this list and compared it to the sailing passenger list of the SS Cedric when they sailed on January 26, 1919, and have matched it up with that list, which shows the soldiers rank, service number full name and a contact name to notify in case of an emergency. In this way it more accurately identified the handwritten names in Buckner’s note book. These are the gleanings and list of names:
In the small notebook, PFC Buckner writes some facts about the 155mm GPF gun, which was the name of the French Artillery gun that the 60th Artillery used during WWI. Transcribed here with comments written in brackets, about the facts he has written are as follows: Gun No. 2 [Each Battery would have had four guns or artillery pieces, each numbered 1 through 4. Before going up to the front it was a tradition that each gun crew to christen their gun with a name. This is an artilleryman’s tradition, complete with a formal christening ceremony where the name of the gun was bestowed upon the piece. But PFC Buckner does not mention the christened name of the gun.]
|Front cover of Buckner’s notebook.||An example of the many names inside the notebook.|
· [Gun No. 2 of Battery B] shots fired: 1,979
· Kilometers hauled: 865km
· Pounds of steel thrown: 189,984#
· Cost to fire the gun: $98.00 [1918 Dollars]
· The No. 2 Gun [of Battery B] fired the first and last shot in the Regiment.
· First shot fired at St. Mihiel, September 12, 1918, at 5:25 AM.
· Last shot fired at Buzancy, November 4, 1918, at 11:45 PM
· Last Position was at a Chateau near Récicourt
· Total shots fired by Battery B about 6,000
· Pounds of steel thrown by Battery B about 682,000#
· Time at the Front 45-days
· Time under fire 60-days
· Extreme range of the gun: 15-miles
· Bore of Gun:155mm (6.2-inches)
· Length of the barrel: 19’ 5”
· Tread: 9’ 5”
· Width overall in towing position: 8’ 10”
· Length: 28’ 6”
· Wheel base: 14’ 9”
· Turning radius: 52’ 6”
· Weight of gun: 28,930-pounds
· Time of flight of the projectile for a 15-mile shot: 13-seconds
· Longest days run with the gun on the road, 75km, 16-hours
· At the St. Mihiel Offensive Battery B had set up at two different positions and were on the line for four days.
· During the Meuse-Argonne operations the positions were:
· Bertrame Farm near Aubréville, for 6-days
· Varennes, for 14-days
· Fléville for 21-days
· Buzancy for 3-days
· The Chateau near Récicourt, 4-days
Aboard the Cedric:
January 26, 1919
January 27 made 213-nautical miles
January 28 made 360-nautical miles
January 29 made 376-nautical miles
January 30 made 336-nautical miles
January 31 made 349-nautical miles
February 1 made 329-nautical miles
February 2 made 336-nautical miles
February 3 made 322-nautical miles
February 4 made 370-nautical miles
Total Steamed: 2,991 • A knot equals 1 1/8-miles
The Names From His Notebook
There is a total of 78-names in the notebook. 72 names are men from Battery B, 60th Artillery; two are from the Medical Detachment of the 60th Artillery; one in a soldier from the 9th Infantry Regiment; one soldier is not identified as to what unit he came from although it is assumed he was from Battery B; and finally, two female names who are assumed to be Army nurses or Red Cross workers. The names are in order as they appeared in Buckner’s notebook.
· PFC Claude A. Prilliman, Ser. No. 2967771, Co. B, 9th Infantry, APO 710. He sailed home on July 23, 1919 aboard the USS Princess Matokia. Delia Prilliman, Mother, Calloway, VA
· Pvt. Christian C. Larsen, Ser. No. 633089, Bty B, Henry Larsen, Box 143 Kenwood Park, IA
· Pvt. Dallas S. McGuire, Ser. No. 633092, Bty B, Bruce F. McGuire, Brother, Altavista, VA
· Pvt. William R. Wagner, Ser. No. 633140, Bty B, Alvodore E. Wagner, Father, Paden City, WV
· Pvt. William M. Hubbard, Ser. No. 633078, Bty B, Lowry W. Hubbard, Brother, Crewe, VA
· PFC John L. Thomason, Ser. No. 633136, Bty B, Richard S. Thomason, Father, Milton, NC
· Wag. Ernest S. Swenson, Ser. No. 633009, Bty B, John Swenson, Father, Hallock, MN
· Wag. Charles A. Smith, Ser. No. 633123, Bty B, Alfred N. Smith, Father, RFD No. 8, Topeka, KS
· Wag. Grahm A. Ollsen, Ser. No. 581595, Bty B, Katherine M. Ollsen, Mother, 227 York Street, Portland, ME
· Pvt. Harland D. Morehouse, Ser. No. 632960, Bty B, Oron L. Morehouse, Great Valley, NY
· Cpl. Robert S. Watkins, Ser. No. 632929, Bty B, Antoinette E. Watkins, Mother, 510 Cathedral, Baltimore, MD
· PFC Robert L. Holland, Ser. No. 633077, Bty B, John T. Holland, Father, Ridgeway, Virginia
· Cpl. John H. Vernon, Ser No. 633011, Bty B, Nellie Vernon, Wife, Marion, VA
· Pvt. Charles C. Umstot, Ser. No. 632529, Bty B, Simon P. Umstot, Father, RFD #7 Box 62, Keyser, WV
· Pvt. John Smith Stone, Ser. No. 633130, Bty B, John J. Stone, Father, Axton, VA
· Pvt. Oscar A. Collins, Ser. No. 633044, Bty B, Mary A. Collins, Mother, 26 Harris St., Leaksville, NC
· Cpl. Russell E. Mase, Ser. No. 633095, Bty B, Eva B. Mase, Mother, Bolivar, OH
· Pvt. Robert M. Bollinger, Ser. No. 633027, Bty B, Carrie Bollinger, Mother Marysville, OH
· Pvt. Harold S. Childres, Ser. No. 633038, Bty B, Mabel S. Childres, 1704 S. Nebraska St. Marion, IN
· Wag. Thomas H. Jones, Ser. No. 436022, Bty B, Catherine K. Jones, Mother, Leaksville, NC
· Pvt. Earl George McDougal, Ser. No. 582756, Bty B, Lillian McDougal, Mother, RFD 2, Caribou, ME
· PFC William P. Hicks, Ser. No. 633071, Bty B, Maud Hicks, Sister, Sutherlin, VA
· Pvt. Ruffin V. McCollum, Ser. No. 632944, Bty B, Gillie McCollum, Mother, Spray, NC
· PFC Willburn E. Pardew, Ser. No. 633107, Bty B, Judith Pardew, Mother, Thomas, NC
· Pvt. Herbert L. Salisbury, Ser. No. 582795, Bty B, Hanna D. Salisbury, Mother, Bar Harbor, ME
· Wag. Arthur R. Burnham, Ser. No. 581651, Bty B, Arthur W. Burnham, Father, Biddeford, ME
· Wag. Harold A. Burnham, Ser. No. 581490, Bty B, Carrie S. Small, Mother, Old Orchard, ME
· Pvt. Ignatz Wisniewski, Ser. No. 633145, Bty B, Thomas Wisniewski, Father, Phillips, North Union Township, PA
· Pvt. Odie E. Haley, Ser. No. 633061, Bty B, James H. Haley, Father, Clarkton, VA
· Cpl. Clifford F. Davidson, Ser. No. 632976, Bty B, Albert M. Davidson, Father, Gate City, VA
· Pvt James B. Hall, Ser. No. 633063, Bty B, Joe C. Hall, Brother, Lynch’s Station, VA
· Pvt. Herbert Leron Peterson, Ser. No. 582777, Bty B, Elizabeth Peterson, Wife, Watertown, ME
· Pvt. Elmer J. Shultz, Ser. No. 633120, Bty B, Mary Schultz, Mother, Warren, IN
· PFC George K. Byrd, Ser. No. 633033, Bty B, Eliza Byrd, Mother, Schoolfield, VA
· PFC Rorer James Adkins, Ser. No. 633017, Bty B, William Adkins, Father, Draper, NC
· PFC William L. Sayers, Ser. No. 633005, Bty B, Thomas B. Sayers, Father, Delton, VA
· Pvt. Leslie L. Lovell, Ser. No. 633090, Bty B, Floris L. Lovell, Brother, Monika, WV
· Pvt. Oscar E. Holm, Ser. No. 633076, Bty B, Miss Ola Nygaard, Friend, 928 Longdale, Chicago IL
· PFC Arthur J. Cotter, Ser. No. 633047, Bty B, Margaret M. Cotter, Sister, 107 Federal St. Lynchburg, VA
· Sgt. Harry Lowe, Ser. No. 632965, Bty B, Minnie F. Stone, Friend, Roanoke, VA
· Sgt. Harvey S. Stone, Ser. No. 633008, Bty B, James R. Stone, Father, Henry, VA
· Pvt. Harold C. Barrington, Ser. No. 363189, Bty B, Loyal L. Hoyt, Uncle, FRD 1, Winthrop, NY
· PFC Elva Musick, Jr., Ser. No. 632995, Bty B, Elva Musick, Sr., Father Artrip, Russell County, VA
· Pvt. Frank Dixon, Ser. No. 633052, Bty B, Coalport, PA, Ida Dixon, Mother, Rosebud, VA
· PFC Jessie J. Martin, Ser. No. 632991, Bty B, Elizabeth L. Martin, Mother, Stone Mountain, VA
· Pvt. Mont. M. Massey, Ser. No. 633096, Bty B. Ellie Massey, Mother, Manatus, Raleigh County, WV
· Pvt. Luther V. Reece, Ser. No. 633003, Bty B, James R. Reece, Father, Draper, NC
· Pvt. Walter K. Grocott, Ser. No. 581533, Bty B, Annie I Grocott, Mother, Melrose, MA
· Pvt. Dewey J. Geiser, Ser. No. 632270, Bty B, Emil Geiser, Father Marshfield, WI
· Cpl. Walter C. Cook, Ser. No. 632985, Bty B, Annie C. Cushwa, Sister, Blackstone, VA
· Pvt Hugh L. Friddle, Ser. No. 633042, Bty B, Jay Murle Friddle, Brother, 266 W. Water St. Harrisburg, VA
· John Williams, Cedar River, Michigan was the signature and address in Buckner’s notebook. John Williams was most likely John Henry Williams, Jr. born on April 20, 1900, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In May of 1910 he was living with family in Cedarville Township of Menominee County, Michigan. Williams served both during WWI and WWI. He died on June 1, 1949 and has a flat Marble military gravestone and is buried in the Iron Mountain Cemetery, Iron Mountain, Michigan. But I cannot find a record of his name on the passenger lists of the 60th Artillery. He may not have sailed to or returned from France with the 60th Artillery, CAC.
· Pvt. Anton W. Stromquist, Ser. No. 2697647, Bty B, Wilma Stromquist. Mother, Minneapolis, MN
· Pvt. John A. Yoder, Ser. No. 633014, Bty B, David F. Yoder, Gunn City, MO
· Pvt. Guy Boyd, Ser. No. 581161, Bty B, Frank W. Boyd, Brother, Wilkinsburg, PA
· Pvt. Ladislaus “Walter” Rogaczewski, Ser. No. 632284, Bty B, Jack Rogaczewski, Father, 1408, 2nd Ave. Milwaukee, WI
· Pvt Lee Thompson, Ser. No. 633137, Bty B, Porthenia Thompson, Mother, Colcord, Raleigh County, WV
· Sgt. Thomas P. Nelson, Ser. No. 632920, Bty B, Thomas C. Nelson, Father Rustburg, VA
· Sgt. Wilbur N. Massie, Ser. No. 632918, Bty B., Mamie N. Massie, Mother, Pulaski, VA
· Pvt. Guy E. Berger, Ser. No. 633023, Bty B, Susie C. Berger, Burlington, KS
· PFC Gordon A. Nicholas, Ser. No. 632998, Bty B, Marietta Nicholas, Mother, 380 W. Water St. Harrisonburg, VA
· Pvt. Russell Barber, Ser. No. 633020, Bty B, Wiley A. Barber, Father, 405 Floyd St. Danville, VA
· Sgt. Hugh McNeal, Ser. No. 632910, Bty B, John C. McNeal, Father, 3024 E. Marshall St. Richmond, VA
· Pvt James E. Dowdy, Ser. No. 632945, Bty B, Mary L. Dowdy, Mother Lynchburg, VA
· PFC Ernest J. Hon, Ser. No. 633075, Bty B, Ernestine Hon, Mother, 6345 Morgan St. Chicago, IL
· PFC Monrad E. Mikkelson, Ser. No. 633072, Bty B, Thomas B. Mikkelson, Father, Bismark, ND
· Pvt. Jake Futcher, Ser. No. 633056, Bty B, Jacob Futcher, Father, Rillton, PA
· Cpl. Harlie P. Spangler, Ser. No. 632966, Bty B, Daniel W. Spangler, Father, Christiansburg, VA
· PFC Arthur M. Osborne, Ser. No. 633106, Bty B, William Osborne, South Boston, Virginia
· Pvt. Arthur N. Parrish, Ser. No. 633000, Med Det, 60th Arty, CAC, Walter Parrish, Father Summerfield, NC
· Pvt. James W. Layne, Ser. No. 633085, Med Det, 60th Arty, CAC, Maggie Layne, RFD 3 Danville, VA
· Pvt. Carl F. Petering, Ser. No. 632341, Bty B, Minnie Petering, sister, Cottage Grove, MN
· PFC Roy M. Perkins, Ser. No. 633108, Bty B, Anna Perkins, Mother, Macon, MO
· CPL. Elmer R. Saterstrom, Ser. No. 633136, Bty B, Axel J. Saterstrom, Father, Lengby, MN
· PFC William W. Fulton, Ser. No. 633065, Bty B. Major T. Fulton, Father, Danville, VA
· Pvt. Raymond Z. Newton, Ser. No. 633105, Bty B, Mary A. Newton, Mother Midland City, AL
· Miss Elizabeth Kefrer, Jersey Ave. Nothing is known of her.
· Miss Hazel Maison, 613 Jersey Ave. Nothing is known of her.
|Above is the cover of the Bible PFC Buckner carried with him at all times.||The inside flyleaf of the Bible showing his name; “Mr. James T. Buckner, Battery B, 60th Artillery CAC. Fortress Monroe, VA” Lower down on the page he has written the word “Raven” twice. Nothing is known about this notation.|
|PFC Buckner’s rifle cleaning kit with canvass bag.||Both dog tags of PFC Buckner showing his army service number of 633032 stamped on the reverse side. Both dog tags have the original cloth stringer.|
|Above is PFC Buckner’s mess kit, stamped in the center with “60 C. A. C. VA”||Buckner’s steel helmet, dog tags and gas mask bag.|
|Back side of PFC Buckner’s gas mask bag. This was one of the few personal items allowed to be carried home with the soldier when he was discharged. Buckner has decorated the back side of his bag with pictures and words, which was commonly done by soldiers and is usually referred to as “Trench Art”||Above is the lower left of the back side of the gas mask bag. Buckner has written the following: “42-Hours Shell Gas Gunner” This may be a reference to his first time in combat as they would have spent about 42-hours under fire at the St. Mihiel Offensive. Below that he has written the following phrase: “I need thee Every Hour.” Which is both a name of a church hymn; “I Need The Every Hour” written by Annie Sherwood Hawks in 1872; and a reference to needing his gas mask every hour.|
|Above is a close up of the lower right side of the gas mask bag. It shows the name “Battery B, 60th Artillery” and an illustration of a Coast Artillery Corps patriotic image and an AEF or American Expeditionary Force drawing. Below that is an illustration of the French 155-mm G. P. F. gun, which was the weapon the 60th Artillery fired while at the front.||This is the upper portion of Buckner’s gas mask bag, showing the words “St. Mihiel” and dates of September 10-16. This would have been the first battle the 60th was in and then the words: “Argonne-Meuse” with the dates of September 21-November 11. Below that at the left side is “J. T. Buckner” Many soldiers would decorate some item of their personal belongings after the war ended as a memento or personal trophy to show that they had been “Over There.”|
|On the left is a view of PFC Buckner’s uniform collar devises. The button on the left showing “US” is the button collar of the Regular Army and was worn on the soldier’s right collar. The button shown in the right side of the photo is of two crossed cannons and signified Artillery. This was worn on the soldiers left uniform collar. Both are blackened bronze with screw pin attachments.|
|Lewis A. Coffin, Jr.|
Lewis Augustus Coffin, Jr. was born on July 21, 1892, and was the son of noted Otolaryngology surgeon, Dr Lewis Augustus Coffin, Sr. In addition to graduating from The Choate School in 1908, he went on to attend Columbia University to acquire his Certificate in Architecture in 1914. In 1910 the Coffin family consisted of Lewis Sr. and his wife Grace who had been married for 30-years, and thee children; eldest daughter also named Grace after her mother; second eldest was Lewis Jr. named for his father and youngest son George. In the home, which was located at 156 West 58th Street in Manhattan lived a Dr. Frank J. Parker who was 37-years old. Dr. Parker may have been working for or with Dr. Lewis Coffin Sr. The Coffin family was quite well to do as in the home they employed 5 servants, one maid and one chauffeur, all of whom were living in the Coffin home. Additionally there was the sister to Grace, Gertrude E. Geer living in the home. Her noted occupation was listed as laundress.
By the early spring of 1917 Lewis Jr. was now living at 329 West 70th Street in New York. He was now working for himself as an architect where his office was located at 15 East 40th Street in New York. He began his career in architecture and then after he was discharged from the army joined Henry Polhemus as partner, to form Polhemus & Coffin in 1919. As America was pulled into the First World War Lewis Jr. on June 5, 1917 registered for the Federal Draft, as he was required to. Lewis was a tall slender man with bluish gray eyes and dark brown hair. And being that he was an educated man the army saw him as officer material. After all they were in need of educated men to fill the ranks of the soon to be swelling officer corps that would be need to command the ranks of new enlisted men that would soon begin to rapidly expand the army.
Once selected by the Army Lewis Coffin Jr. was likely commissioned at the rank of Captain due to his education and was assigned to the army’s Coast Artillery branch. On Armistice Day on November 11, 1918 he was serving as a Captain in the 60th Artillery, C.A.C. and would have been with the 60th during their time on the firing line in the last months of the war. While in France being a trained architect Lewis was destroying French buildings with artillery shells and it is likely here while in combat that he had the beginnings of his love for the French architecture take root.
After the war Lewis returned home to live with his parents. Still at home were his elder sister Grace and younger brother George. Gertrude Geer was also still with the family.
On July 21, 1920 Lewis Coffin married Grace Sands Montgomery but this would be a short-lived marriage as by April of 1922 the couple were divorced. It was on one of his French trips to Paris that the divorce took place.
Lewis A. Coffin's affinity and passion for French country structures and style became quite evident as his firm designed many notable single dwelling homes throughout the New Jersey, New York and Connecticut areas. Lewis Coffin would travel to France numerous times for research and to survey examples for the book his firm published. He also designed a few homes in the once artistic community of (one-time summer residence of Mark Twain), Onteora Park Historic District just outside of Tannersville, Greene County, upstate New York, as this had been a long-time family summer retreat for decades. Onteora Park was added to the National Historical Register in 2003, which included at least one of Coffin's designs, however the remaining designs must wait until the time qualification is reached.
The second marriage of Lewis Coffin occurred on October 6, 1925 to Lois “Lolly” Grace Smith. This marriage would produce two children, daughter Joan M. born in 1927, who is still living (2014); and a son aptly named Lewis A. Coffin III born in 1928. He like his grandfather would pursue the medical field and became a doctor, passing away in 2002.
By 1930 the Lewis and “Lolly” lived on East 85th Street in New York with their two children. The Coffin’s employed three servants who lived in the home with them. All three servants were born in Ireland.
Lewis A. Coffin, Jr. died in 1963 in New York City.
When the 60th Artillery, CAC reached France, Battery C was under the command of Captain Albion N. Van Vleck. His second in command was 1st Lt. Charles S. Hammond. The other officers of Battery C were:
1st Lt. Sam H. Coile
1st Lt. Harry F. Lee
1st Lt. Lewis A. Coffin, Jr.
1st Lt. Arthur N. Harder
2nd Lt. George Slavens
2nd Lt, Maurice B. Bradley
Charles Sydney Hammond is an example of one of the Army’s newest Lieutenants who came out of college and into the ROTC program. For the army college men were sought after because the army was in such great need to find qualified men to become officers and lead the swiftly growing ranks of the United States Army.
Hammond was born on July 22, 1891 in Atlanta, Georgia and was the son of Cornelia Moreland Hammond and Charles P. Hammond, who was a former railroad executive. When Charles Hammond was 18-years old in 1910 the family lived on Spring Street in Atlanta. Today Spring Street marks the North-west corner of the city down town area. Charles P. and his wife Cornelia lived in the home with their three sons William B., who was the eldest, Charles S. and Edward C., and at the time Charles P. was an engineer for the railroad.
Charles Sydney Hammond’s formative years were spent at school in Savannah and Americus, Georgia. Charles then entered college at Georgia Tech where he studied and received his degree in electrical engineering, graduating with the class of 1913. Also, Charles graduated from the Woodrow Wilson College of Law and received his LL.B. degree. Upon his graduation in November of 1913 Charles Hammond took a position with the Georgia Power Company in the engineering department.
Hammond would work in this position until February of 1915 when he resigned his position in order to enter the first Officers Training camp held at Fort McPherson. Just shy of two-months after America had entered the war in Europe in 1917, Charles Hammond registered for the draft in the first call-up on June 1, 1917. He did so at Fort McPherson, Georgia. At the time he was a single 25-year old slender man with brown eyes and black hair. His occupation was listed as “Candidate for Officers Reserve Corps, 7th Provisional Training Camp.”
Upon graduation on August 15, 1917, Hammond received his commission as a 2nd Lt. serving in the Coast Artillery Corps, and on October 26, 1917 he was promoted to First Lieutenant.
Likely in late December 1917, he was issued orders to report for duty to the commanding officer, 60th Artillery, CAC. The 60th was then in the process of forming for duty in France. Once he reported to duty with the 60th Artillery he was placed as second in command of Battery C under Captain Van Vleck.
When the USS Siboney sailed for France with the 60th Artillery 1st Lt. Hammond was aboard with Battery C. Lt. Hammond would serve with the 60th Artillery throughout the war, and serve in combat with Battery C during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives.
Eight-days before the start of the St. Mihiel Offensive, which would be the 60th Artillery’s first time in combat, Lt. Hammond takes a moment of time to write a letter. Spare time for the men of the 60th Artillery in the days before the St. Mihiel battle was to begin, was far and few between and in Lt. Hammond’s words “…they leave seldom enough nowadays.” The letter is in his handwriting and is on five pages each with the letterhead of “Battery C, 60th Regiment, C.A.” and the Coast Artillery Corps insignia at the top of each page. He addresses the woman who he writes to as “Dearest Girl,” and does not address her by name. It is thought that this was Bessie Kingsbury Biles of Louisville, Kentucky, his future wife. The letter reads:
September 4, 1918
Am over at Battery C with “Ichy” for a little while and cannot let the opportunity of sending you a message slip by, for they leave seldom enough nowadays. I really cannot complain at all though for things are going to be better for me from now on, I think. Am sure they will for a while anyhow, as some new officers have come to the Battalion and I have been relieved of one of my side lives that I really didn’t have the time to care for properly. I will still have plenty to do, but my work will be more unified, I think, and probably much more interesting.
Today is an ideal one. I am writing out in the open and the air is fresh and crisp with a gentle breeze blowing. It isn’t the [unreadable], but there seems to be a little touch of fall in the air and the change is very pleasant.
I am wondering if I gave you any help at all towards making your decision in my letter of Sunday. Am afraid I didn’t, but somehow, I was afraid I might influence you to do something against your will, and I didn’t want you to do this. I hope, however, that you were able to read between the lines enough to know what my decision would have been had I been called on to make it for you.
“Ichy” has invited me to stay for dinner with them and I rather think I will, for their mess is much better than the Battalion mess, I think.
Your numbers (on your letters I mean) are running up so much faster than mine. I feel real ashamed, and now that I have a little more time, I shall try to do better. I never know though what time I can call my own and in future this will be more and more the cause. You can rest assured always that you are constantly and forever in my thoughts and that you will have a letter at every opportunity. I love you, my darling, more than I can ever make you understand and oh! how the longing in my heart for you grows. Nothing seems to matter anymore without you but with your beautiful inspiration all things are worthwhile. I am always looking forward to and longing for the coming of our “someday” and I trust it may not be far off. In the meantime remember that you are my very all, and that you lie right in the very center of the heart of Charlie.
Censored by Charles Hammond
Likely by the time this letter arrived at Bessie’s home, her “Charlie” had already been through his first combat and was working on his second round. Also, at the top of his letter is the number 12 that has been underlined. From the notation he made in his letter to Bessie about the number of her letters this is thought to be his 12th letter he had written to her.
After the war ended the 60th Artillery was in the process of moving off the front lines and turning in their artillery weapons throughout the remainder of November and December 1918. By mid-January of 1919, Lt. Hammond was transferred out of the 60th Artillery for new duty in France. He remained on Active Duty with the Coast Artillery Corps from January through May of 1919 and then in late May he had orders to return home to the States.
About May 9th in Brest, France 1st Lt. Hammond who was then an unassigned Coast Artillery Officer boarded the SS Imperator, for transportation to the States. He was under orders to report to Fort Monroe, Virginia for his next duties. On May 22, 1919 the Imperator reached Hoboken, New Jersey and Lt. Hammond reported for duty at Ft. Monroe.
On July 12, 1919, 1st Lt. Hammond was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty at Fort Washington, Maryland. His discharge from Active Duty certificate states he had participated in battle at St. Mihiel from September 12-16, 1918; and at the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, First, Second, and Third Phases from September 26 through November 11, 1918. He was not wounded and received the Victory Medal with four battle clasps with two gold stars.
At least prior to January of 1920, Charles and Bessie were married, and when the 1920 Census was taken he and Bessie were living with Charles’ mother, who was by then a widow, at No. 61 East Third Street in Atlanta. Also, in the house was William and Edward, Charles’ two brothers. Charles aside from being a Reserve Officer had a civilian job at his old employer the Georgia Power Company.
He remained in service with the Coast Artillery Corps as a Reserve Officer and on September 14, 1920 was advanced to the temporary rank of Captain. As a civilian he once again took a job with the Georgia Power Company in September of 1919, as a power sales engineer. He would remain serving in the Reserve Officers Corps for several more years.
Sometime during 1921 Bessie became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy they named Charles Hammond. But little Charles passed away within the year or was stillborn at birth. About 1923 Bessie would give birth to a baby girl named Betty.
On March 17, 1921 his captaincy was made permanent, and the following year on March 28, 1922 he was transferred into the Army’s Corps of Engineers. Captain Hammond remained serving with the Reserves in the Corps of Engineers for several more years. It was on August 17, 1937, that Captain Hammond was promoted to the rank of Major in the Corps of Engineers.
On July 1, 1926, the Georgia Power Company advanced Hammond to the assistant to the Sales Manager, where he held this position until December of 1947, when he was again promoted to the position of assistant to the President of the Georgia Power Company. Both of Charles’ brothers also worked for the Georgia Power Company; his elder brother, William was the Vice-President and Senior engineer, while his younger brother Edward was the sales supervisor at the Athens Division.
Among his many other civilian duties Hammond served as a senior warden at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and had served as the treasurer of the Diocese for several years. Hammond was also a member of the Exchange Club, the American Legion Post 134, and the Atlanta Bar Association. He was also a former staff officer of the Georgia State Defense Corps.
By at least 1935, Charles, Bessie and Betty had purchased a home at 30 Golf Circle NE, on the grounds of Ansley Golf club in the Ansley Park section of Atlanta. It would be in May of 1950 that Charles and Bessie were traveling to Florida on a business trip for the power company. On May 16 in Columbus, Georgia, Charles addressed a meeting of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. And then he and Bessie traveled on to Daytona Beach, Florida where he was attending a convention of the Cotton Manufacturers Association of Georgia. On Friday evening May 19 Charles and Bessie returned to the hotel without any ill feelings, but later that night was stricken with a heart attack where he passed away a few hours later that evening.
His funeral was held at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta and he was buried in the Oak Grove (Magnolia) Cemetery in Americus, Georgia.
|Above left is a photo of 1st Lt. Charles S. Hammond likely taken in 1918 and used for his officers identity card. The photo above on the right is the grave stone of Charles Hammond. And the photo on the left is the letter Lt. Hammond wrote to “Dearest Girl” thought to be Bessie his future wife. At the top of his letter is the number 12 that has been underlined. From the notation he made in his letter to Bessie about the number of her letters this is thought to be his 12th letter he had written to her.|
|This is a Signal Corps Photo No. 24890 which shows the 60th Artillery on the target range with the guns under the camouflage nets before going to the St. Mihiel Offensive.|
2nd Battalion, 60th Artillery, CAC at Ft. Washington, Maryland, March 18, 1918.
Date of Action: October 4, 1918
Distinguished Service Cross Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Albert L. O'Connell, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Montblainville, France, October 4, 1918. In an effort to rescue a comrade who had been severely wounded, Private O'Connell ran with a litter into an area under heavy shell fire. He succeeded in getting the wounded soldier on the litter, but before he could carry him out of danger, another shell burst directly under the litter, killing the wounded soldier and severely wounding Private O'Connell. General Orders No. 15, W.D., 1919. Home Town: Battle Creek, MI
Date of Action: October 4, 1918
Distinguished Service Cross Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Lawrence Wininger, Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Montblainville, France, October 4, 1918. Sergeant Winninger ran with a litter into an area under heavy shell fire, in effort to save a wounded comrade. He succeeded in getting the soldier on the litter, but before he was able to carry him to place of safety, a shell struck almost directly beneath the litter, killing the wounded man and wounding Sergeant Wininger severely. General Orders No. 13, W.D., 1919. Home Town: French Lick, IN
Robert B. Harry was the son of Robert R. Harry of Bluefield, West Virginia. Pvt. Harry served through out the war with Battery C.
Gust Frederick Tuerkisch was born on March 4, 1893 in Maplewood, Missouri to German immigrants. By the time Gust had to register for the draft in 1917 he was farming. During the first call-up of the draft Gust registered in Burke County, North Dakota, and then enlisted into the army at Sioux City, Iowa on October 27, 1917.
Recruit Tuerkisch was sent to Fort Logan, Colorado and then when the 60th Artillery, CAC formed for duty overseas Tuerkisch was assigned to Battery C in the 60th Artillery, CAC. Pvt. Tuerkisch sailed to France aboard the USS Siboney with the 60th Artillery and while in France on May 1, 1918 he was advanced in grade to Private First Class. PFC Tuerkisch served with Battery C during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives during the war. When the 60th Artillery, CAC returned back to the States aboard the Cedric, PFC Tuerkisch was advanced to Corporal on February 1, 1919, just three days before they reached New York Harbor. Corporal Tuerkisch was then given an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty at Camp Funston, Kansas, on February 19, 1919.
On October 4, 1918, Private First-Class Arden L. Chapman, Service No. 633319, gave the fullest measure in defending Liberty for Free People on the battlefield just outside of the sleepy little French town of Montblainville, France. Today PFC Chapman lies buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France, which is about 6-miles in a northerly direction from the place PFC Chapman met his death near Montblainville. He was the first soldier of the 60th Artillery, CAC to be Killed In Action and although it has been more than 100-years since his death his story of who he was and how he was killed should not be forgotten. This is Arden’s story.
Arden Lester Chapman was born on May 7, 1890 near the unincorporated community of Tocsin, Indiana. This is a small community that, until 1966 had a post office, and is located south of Ft. Wayne, Indiana along U. S. Highway 224. Arden’s parents were Sarah Catherine Schoch (1851-1937) and Wesley M. Chapman (1847-1929). Wesley most of his life was a farmer, and by 1900 the Wesley Chapman family had moved from the Tocsin area to the village of North Baltimore, Ohio. This is south of Toledo, Ohio. There at 315 East Broadway Street, on the south-west corner of East Broadway and North Taylor Streets was the home where the six Chapman’s lived. Wesley and his wife Sarah, and children John A.; Lorenzo; Lizie; and Arden who was the youngest.
In those days work was hard to find and it was also what drove the family to move. By 1910 the Wesley Chapman family had moved from Ohio out west to Little River County, Arkansas. This County is in the extreme southwest corner of Arkansas along the borders with Oklahoma and Texas and lies between the Red River and the Little River.
According to the 1910 Census the Chapman family, which at the time consisted of Wesley and Sarah, and sons John who was 28-years old, and Arden who was then 19-years old, were living in Red River Township along the meandering Red River. The middle son, Lorenzo had also come out to Arkansas with the family but was then married, and he worked as an engineer. Lizie the only daughter had passed away in 1905.
At the time Wesley was working as a logging team driver for a lumber mill that had a contract making railroad ties. John and Arden both were working at the same lumber mill cutting railroad ties. This was the W. C. Williams Sawmill located in White Cliffs, Arkansas, just on the northern banks of the Little River at the place the Little River empties out into Millwood Lake. Arden would work for the W. C. Williams sawmill until the time he went into the army in 1917.
Closer to the beginning of World War One the Chapman family, Wesley, Sarah, John, Lorenzo and his wife and Arden had all moved from Arkansas back to Ohio and settled in Findlay in the western side of Ohio. Wesley, Sarah, John and Arden all lived at 621 Crystal Avenue in Findlay. Sometime about the time the family moved back to Ohio, Arden married Pearl Morris (1893-1924), and they lived in Findlay. It is assumed they lived at the 621 Crystal Avenue home.
It seems that during this time Arden was splitting his time between White cliffs, Arkansas and Findlay, Ohio, because on Arden’s WWI Draft card that he filled out on June 5, 1917, he stated his home was in Findlay, Ohio but the place he registered was in White Cliffs, Arkansas. He also made note that he was working for the W. C. Williams Sawmill in White Cliffs. Arden was a tall medium built man, with dark blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was married at the time, and on section 12 of the draft card the question asks if an exemption from the draft is being claimed. Arden Chapman wrote: “Yes Dependency of Mother.”
By December of 1917, Arden was making plans to enlist into the army and saying his goodbyes to the family and to his wife Pearl, who was at the time 4-months pregnant. The evening of December 11, 1917, would be the last evening Pearl would have with her husband Arden, because on December 12 at the Columbus Barracks in Columbus, Ohio, Arden enlisted into the Regular Army. Arden would never again see his wife or get to hold his yet to be born child.
By December 20, 1917, Recruit Chapman was serving with the First Recruit company at Fort Washington, Maryland. On January 8, 1918, Pvt. Chapman was transferred into Battery C of the newly forming 60th Artillery, CAC for duty in France. April 23, 1918 the entire 60th Artillery including PFC Arden Chapman sailed for France aboard the USS Siboney.
On June 1, 1918, Chapman was advance in grade to Private First-Class, and on July 17, 1918, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Arden’s wife Pearl, gave birth to a baby girl named Sybil Mae Chapman (1918-1997). It is not known how long it took Arden to learn of the birth of his new daughter Sybil or if he ever was mailed a photo of her.
It would be here in the grounds of the St. Mihiel Salient in France that the officers and men of the 60th Artillery, CAC would be baptized in combat, young fresh-faced men would grow into season men in a 48-hour period. This is where they saw first-hand what men can do to men in battle and it would change many of them for life. This baptismal would prepare them for what was to come in the next battle they would participate in, for the 48-hours they spent at St. Mihiel was a walk in the park as what lay before them. The 60th Artillery had seen their first taste of battle and had proven themselves able and were ready for their next assignment.
The St. Mihiel drive for the 60th Artillery lasted only a short duration of about two-days hard firing. But the 60th had new orders and were off the line headed in a new direction. This time they and several other of the Coast Artillery regiments were headed into the Meuse-Argonne region. This was setting up to be the biggest drive of the war so far for the American Army.
On September 26 the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne drive the 60th was on the line and doing their part. They would be on the firing line from September 26 through the last day of the war on November 11. It was on October 4, 1918, that the 60th took their first death in combat. PFC Arden Lester Chapman of Battery C was wounded by a German shell burst near Montblainville, France.
At the time Battery C was likely in the edge of the woods known as Foret Domaniale du Point de l’Aune which is about a half-mile west of the town of Montblainville. They would have been firing in a north by north-westerly direction into the German positions emplaced in the Meuse-Argonne forest area. The several towns near Montblainville which included Baulny, Charpentry, Very and Cheppy, which encompassed an area of about 10-miles was packed full of the other American Coast Artillery regiments. During the night it looked as though it was daylight from so many muzzle flashes of American heavy artillery guns being fired. One can only imagine what that sounded like.
But back in the area where Battery C was firing from, the Germans had this position under heavy shell fire, and a German shell came in and exploded and caught PFC Chapman, wounding him. Almost instantly two other men of Battery C, Pvt. Albert L. O’Connell and Sgt. Lawrence Wininger saw what had happened to PFC Chapman. O’Connell and Wininger found a litter, ran out to where PFC Chapman was laying, exposed and wounded, and without any regards to their own safety, scooped Chapman up, put him on the litter and together began to return to safety with Chapman on the litter. It was then that another German shell, likely fired at the time the two were rushing out to render aid to a fellow soldier, hit the ground nearly underneath the litter. The explosion killed PFC Chapman outright and severely wounded both O’Connell and Wininger. Both O’Connell and Wininger survived their wounds and both were given the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in action.
Back in Ohio the Chapman family and Arden’s wife Pearl receive notice of Arden’s death. In the November 1, 1918 edition of the Findlay Morning Republican newspaper on page 10, Arden Chapman is listed as being Killed In Action, and Pearl is left to raise Sybil Mae on her own.
The body of PFC Chapman would have been temporarily buried in a grave near Montblainville and then at a later date after the war ended he would have been moved to his final burial in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon about 6-miles away. His grave stone is located in Plot B, Row 11, Grave No. 20.
Today the grass around PFC Chapman’s grave is well kept by the local French citizens who understand what the cost of their Freedom means to them. There in that grave lies an American Soldier, husband and father, who gave his life for that days down payment on the cost of Freedom and Liberty. It is only fitting that here in America his story now lives on with these words. Well Done PFC Arden Lester Chapman, 633319, Battery C, 60th Artillery, CAC.
The white marble Cross grave marker of
On October 21, 1918, PFC Earl McKenzie died of disease, which was most likely from the effects of the Spanish Flu. McKenzie was from Three Rivers, Michigan and sailed aboard the USS Siboney with the 60th Artillery to France. On the passenger list he listed his mother Ela Ferre of Three Rivers, Michigan as the person to contact in case of an emergency. Throughout his time in France with the 60th Artillery, CAC he served with Battery C. Today PFC Earl McKenzie lies buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetry in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon. Plot E, Row 24, Grave No. 22.
Norwood Partridge Cassidy served in combat with the 60th Artillery, CAC during WWI and then served a career in Civil Service work with the United States Department of Defense, U. S. Navy Department under the administrations of Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower.
Norwood P. Cassidy was born on January 21, 1898, in Washington, D. C. His parents were Mary D. (b. abt. 1865) and Charles Partridge Cassidy (b. abt. 1854). When Norwood was 2-years old the Cassidy family lived at 517 Massachusetts Ave, NW in Washington, D. C., which was likely an apartment building at the time. Little is known of what Charles Cassidy did for a living, but he and Mary had been married about 1892 and Mary had given birth to three children by 1900. Lucy was the first child born in June of 1894, this was followed by Norwood in January of 1898 and then lastly Charles E. born in March of 1899. At the time living as a lodger with the family was 86-year old Isabel Murphy. She was Irish by birth and had come to America in 1850. It is not known what the relationship was between the Cassidy family and Isabel Murphy.
Ten years later in the spring of 1910 the Cassidy family was still in the same home and the family had not changed. Isabel Murphy had passed away by then and according to the 1910 Census it stated that Charles worked in a Cigar store.
Growing up on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D. C. Norwood Cassidy would have been able to see and visit many of the monuments and government buildings in the capitol city, and this may have instilled with in him a sense of patriotism and duty. When the United States declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917, Norwood Cassidy, within 6-days’ time, would enlist into the Washington, D. C. National Guard. On April 11, 1917, he would sign his name to the roster of the 1st Company Coast Artillery, District of Columbia National Guard. He would become an exemplary soldier and would serve with the 1st Company until he was advanced to the rank of Corporal and was transferred to the 2nd Company in July of 1918.
Now serving with the 2nd company at Fort Washington, just south of the city along the Potomac River, Cassidy received his Marksman rating, made First-Class Gunner and earn the rating of Gun-Pointer. Also, he had received his third stripe and was now a Sergeant and even was advanced to First-Sergeant all by the end of 1917.
It was Christmas Eve of 1917, that the War Department issued orders for the creation of the 60th Artillery Regiment, CAC and would be sent to France. Men from Fort Washington were picked from and would form Battery D of the 60th Artillery, CAC for duty in France. In the early days of January 1918 men were picked and assigned to duty with the newly forming 60th Artillery, which 1st Sgt. Cassidy was among the men picked. On March 23,1918, Cassidy and the men in Battery D left Fort Washington and went to Camp Stuart, Virginia where the entire 60th Artillery was formed in one place for the first time. Cassidy was then serving with Battery D at the rank of Sergeant.
At Camp Stuart material such as packs, clothing, boots and the like were handed out. Also, two completely new pieces of equipment were handed out for the first time in the American Army, these were the steel helmet and the “dog tag.” For the first time when the American Army went into battle during the First World War, they would do so with a steel helmet. And they would also have identification tags, or what would later become known as the “dog tag” assigned to each soldier. Sgt. Cassidy was assigned his Army service number of 611376 and his tags were stamped and given to him.
Once they had sailing orders Colonel Wallace gave orders they were to be aboard the USS Siboney on April 22 at Newport News, Virginia. That day the entire 60th Artillery consisting of 71 officers and 1,649 enlisted men went aboard the ship. Loading of troops and equipment continued throughout the day, and that evening they remained at the dock for the night. Aboard the Siboney, Sgt. Cassidy had to list a family member on the passenger list to notify in case of an emergency. He listed Mrs. Charles Partridge Cassidy his mother of Fairfax, Virginia. Also, each soldier was given a blank pre-printed Red-Cross post card to fill out. Due to war time secrecy nothing was permitted to be written on this card other than the blanks provide to be filled out. On one side was the address to who the soldier was sending this card and on the other side was the phrase “The ship I have sailed on has reached its destination safely.” And the name of the soldier. These post cards once filled out were collected taken off the ship and kept safe until the ship reached France. Then it was mailed out and the family members who received them would learn that their loved one had reached France alive. Not much news for the family back home but at least they knew they were alive.
Sgt. Cassidy would serve with the 60th Artillery in combat in all the engagements the 60th participated in during the war. This would be a time like no other in his life and it would be a life changing experience. Sgt. Cassidy would see men being killed first hand as Battery D suffered several casualties. The men under his direct command would have looked to him for leadership in tough times and Cassidy was a leader of men and stood tall in his boots during each time he was tested in battle.
On September 13, 1918, as Battery D was then engaged in their first battle, the St. Mihiel Offensive, Sgt. Cassidy was photographed. A Signal Corps photographer took photo #23522, which shows a good close up of one of the Holt tractors used the haul the guns and clearly on the side can be seen the logo of the 60th Artillery, which was a red diamond on a white rectangle background. This photo was taken on the road near St. Jacques, France on September 13, 1918. Standing in front of the tracks is Sgt. Norwood Partridge Cassidy, Service No. 611376, Seated on the left is Pvt. Fred Bachler, and seated on the right is Pvt. Charles Washington Beach, Service No. 633576.
|Signal Corps Photo 23522 Showing Sgt. Cassidy standing in front.|
Clearly you can see Sgt. Cassidy, helmet on, with his gas mask bag over his shoulder at the ready, with a long overcoat on. He is also smoking a cigarette in his left hand which gives the feeling that while giving instructions to his men, who were then moving the guns into a new position closer to the German lines, he was also at the same time cool and collected in his job. One can almost imagine, by the look on Sgt. Cassidy’s face, that he is about to say to the photographer something like “Hey don’t bother us with your fancy camera we have a serious job to do here, now beat it…”
St. Mihiel would only be the start of the hell that the men of the 60th Artillery would endure on the battle fields of France. There would be days ahead of them that they would be up with little sleep and little to eat, go for weeks without a bath and sleep in mud as if it were a soft feather bed. All the while taking incoming fire from the Germans that could at any moment take their lives.
But at the 11th hour on November 11, 1918, Sgt. Cassidy had found that he had survived this thing called war. It had changed him in ways he could not understand, but he was a man who had been tested and found to be true.
In the days after the guns fell quiet the men of the 60th Artillery were not required for Occupation Duty and so they had a ticket to go back home. But first they had to travel back across France to the west coast city of Brest, the place they had first set foot on French soil.
January 26, 1919, the regiment boarded the White Star liner Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic. By 8 o’clock that morning the Cedric was under way for the States, where they reached New York Harbor on February 4, 1919. The men of the 60th Artillery unloaded from the ship and went to Camp Merritt, New Jersey for two-days, and then on February 9 they moved to Fort Howard, Maryland. After arrival and Fort Howard the First Battalion remained there but the Second Battalion, of which Sgt. Cassidy was a member of, went to Ft. Washington; HQ Company and the Third Battalion were sent to Ft. Monroe, Virginia. During this time the National Guard and National Army volunteers were given Honorable Discharges from Active Duty and Regular Army personnel were re-assigned to new duty stations. By February 21, 1919, the 60th Artillery was fully demobilized and ceased to exist.
Sgt. Norwood Cassidy on February 14, 1919, had been given his Honorable Discharge from the Army and likely headed home to see his family. It is not known how long he may have stayed at home. But what is known is that in January of 1920, Norwood Cassidy had a new job and a new career path.
Someone, likely an officer with the 60th Artillery, saw within Norwood someone who was a rising star and likely made contacts for him within the United States Government. Norwood was offered a Civil Service job within the Department of Defense working for the Navy Department. He was working as a Civil Service employee as early as January of 1920 as according to the 1920 Census it stated he was living as a lodger in a hotel on 9th Street in Washington, D. C. and was working as a clerk for the U. S. Government. He also may have been living at home on the weekends with his family in Fairfax, Virginia. This is known from the 1920 Census that was taken there on February 24, 1920, which listed Norwood’s name with his family. His listed occupation was a clerk with the United States Navy Department.
By 1926 Norwood purchased and was living in a two-story brick row house at 907 Farragut NW in Washington, D. C. and he was still working as a clerk at the Navy Department. It was in 1922 that he would have carried his bride across the threshold of this home on Farragut Street. During 1922 Norwood married Mary Veronica Coates who was a year older than Norwood and also was a local District of Columbia girl.
|This is a view of the 907 Farragut Street home.|
Mary Coates was the daughter of Ward and Elizabeth Coates and in 1920 Mary was then a clerk for the District of Columbia city government. Also, Mary’s younger brother Arthur was an apprentice at the Washington Navy Yard, and so, it is likely that Mary and Norwood met because of their jobs.
In 1924, Mary and Norwood would bring their first child into the world. A daughter they named Mary Elizabeth was brought home to the Farragut Street home, and then in 1929 a second daughter they named Elizabeth A. was born. It was in these years that Norwood began to study to become a lawyer and by 1930 he was listed as being a lawyer for the U. S. Government.
In Norwood’s job working for the Navy Department, he had to travel. In early 1931 he had travelled to the Panama Canal Zone and on February 20, 1931, took passage aboard the SS California from Balboa, in the Canal Zone to San Diego, California where the California arrived on February 27.
At least by 1937 Norwood Cassidy had been advanced to the Chief of the Audit Division and Cost Division, working under the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts at the Navy Department. In this position as a Civil Service employee he was making a $5,600 salary.
As America entered the Second World War, Norwood had to register for the draft but due to his essential job at the Navy Department he did not have to serve again in the military. All throughout the war he worked for the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.
Just prior to America’s direct involvement in WWII the Navy Department had several ships under construction and at one facility, The Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company of Kearney, New Jersey, was building two light cruisers, USS Atlanta and the USS Juneau both were nearing completion. There was a labor strike going on at the facility and the Navy Department stepped in a seized the plant to break the strike, as the completion of the Atlanta and Juneau was of the utmost importance. The Atlanta and Juneau would become famous for their heroic efforts during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November of 1942. But in August 25, 1941, a team of officials from the Navy Department, which included Norwood Cassidy seized the Federal Shipbuilding Yards in order to break the strike. The Navy would take control from August 25, 1941 through January 6, 1942, and the USS Atlanta and USS Juneau would both be launched, just in time for duty in the Pacific after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
During the time that the Navy Department had control of the Federal Shipbuilding facility, Norwood Cassidy made many changes to the fiscal structure of the Federal Shipbuilding Company, many of which the Company stuck with after the government turned back control of the company in 1942. Cassidy had a great part in making a success of the turnaround of the Federal Yards.
|U.S. Coast Guard personnel of the Great Lakes region with Cleveland Mayor Frank Lausche and Ohio Congressman Michael Feighan in 1943. (Left to right) W.W. McMillen, who was a cousin of Admiral McMillen; Norwood P. Cassidy; Special Assist. Adam Young; Earl D. Chesney who was an aide to Adam Young; Everett Morsell, the district supply officer Great Lakes; Congressman Michael A. Feighan; Mayor Frank Lausche, Rear Adm Fred E. McMillen, Rear Adm William B. Young.|
At wars end Cassidy had been moved up to the position of Civilian Assistant and Chief Clerk, with a salary of $8,250. In 1945 Rear Admiral William J. Carter, Supply Corps, USN was the Chief of Bureau. By 1946 Cassidy had been moved to the position of Special Assistant to Chief of Bureau and Deputy Fiscal Director under RADM Carter, Chief of Bureau. Cassidy’s new salary was now $9,012 per year.
Again, in this position Cassidy had to travel to various Naval installations to carry out audits and inspections. In the late summer of 1947 Cassidy had to travel out to Pearl Harbor on official business and on September 19, 1947, had arrived in California at the Alameda Naval Station to catch a U. S. Naval flight out to Pearl Harbor arriving on September 20. Cassidy again in the winter of 1949 made this same trip to Pearl Harbor.
By then the Cassidy home in Washington, D. C. was now located at 3292 Chestnut Street in Washington, D. C. This is in the Chevy Chase area of Washington, D. C. and the homes on that street were brick two-story homes mostly occupied by government employees.
By 1949 Cassidy was now the Fiscal Director under the office of the Secretary of the Navy under both Secretary John L. Sullivan and Francis P. Matthews, at the Navy Department in Washington, D. C., and as Director his salary was now $10,330. At least by 1951 Cassidy was the Assistant Comptroller and head of the Office of the Assistant Comptroller, Accounting, Audit and Finance Section. This was a position serving in the Executive Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Francis P. Matthews. In this position as head of his group Cassidy had 25-men working in his section; two of which were United States Naval officers and the rest were Civil Service employees. Cassidy was now making $11,200 in this position.
Cassidy would hold the position of Assistant Comptroller, Accounting, Audit and Finance Section past 1957, and as such he had to travel several times each year, either by airplane or by ship. By 1957, Cassidy’s salary was $14,630.
Likely in the early 1960’s Norwood Cassidy retired from his Civil Service job at the Navy Department and came home to his wife Mary. In these years Norwood and Mary had moved out of the Washington, D. C. area for a quieter community to retire in. Just northeast of Washington was the rural community of Jessup in Howard County Maryland. There in the quiet trees of rural Howard county Norwood and Mary lived. But on October 15, 1966, Mary passed away. Norwood buried his wife in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland. Norwood Cassidy would live on for the next 12-years alone in Jessup.
It would be July 17 of 1978 that Norwood Partridge Cassidy would pass away in Jessup and would now be re-united with his beloved wife Mary. He was then buried next to her in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Rest in Peace O Humble Servant.
|The bronze grave marker of Norwood P. Cassidy and Mary V. Cassidy in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery.|
Royal Musgrove (McLiveen) Tinker, Service No. 633511, served as a Sergeant in Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC in combat during WWI. Royal was born on November 28 of 1894 and was born in the District of Columbia.
Royal’s mother was Mabel Jane who was born in England about 1875 and had come to America about 1888. She had given birth to three children but only Royal survived into adulthood. Royal’s father was named Samuel McLiveen and nothing is known about him other than his name. It is also unclear if when Royal was born that his mother Mabel was married to Samuel McLiveen, nor is it known if Royal ever was known by the last name of McLiveen.
The first clear picture of Royal’s early life comes from the 1910 Census form. Royal’s mother Mable was then married to Jackson Tinker who was born about 1867 in New York State, and worked as a newspaper correspondent. Mable is listed as “Mable J. Tinker” on the census form, and Royal used the last name of Tinker and was listed as being the step-son to Jackson Tinker. And so, it seems clear that if Royal when he was born used the name of “McLiveen” that at least by 1910 he had been adopted or at the very least was using the last name of Tinker. Additionally, on the Census form it states the nativity of the father and mother. Royal’s Father and mother are both listed as being English. And so, it can be assumed that Samuel Mcliveen was English, had come to America at some point and had at least one and possibly three children with Mable Jane, and then had divorced, left Mable or died at some point prior to 1908. There is also a question on the Census form that asks how many years has the marriage been. Both Jackson and Mable had been married for two-years according to the form.
Royal Tinker on February 1, 1911, had his name printed in the Washington Post newspaper. It was on Page 11 of the Wednesday February 1, edition under the article entitled “Pupils Get Diplomas.” Western High School in Washington, DC had held their Midyear Commencement and Royal Musgrove Tinker was listed in the Third Division of students receiving a Diploma as graduating the Eighth-Grade at Western School.
In the January 3, 1913 edition of the Washington Post Newspaper on Page 7 there was an article printed in which Royal’s parents, Jackson and Mable Tinker, were celebrating their “Wooden” or sixth wedding anniversary. Royal who would have been 18-years old at the time is listed as being in a singing group. The article is as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Tinker received informally on New Year’s night, at the Royalton, in celebration of their “Wooden Wedding” anniversary. Fifty guests extended congratulations and there were wooden presents of every description. The souvenirs were gilded wooden spoons. Mr. J. Walter Humphrey, Mr. Ogden, and Mr. Tabor gave vocal selections.
Mr. Fred Welmer, Mr. George Barthelme, and others presided at the piano, and there was a young men’s chorus consisting of Messrs. Herbert Smith, Francis Crow, Charles Willis, Phil Campbell, Robert Douglas, Frank Roberts and Royal Tinker.
Mr. John Kennedy gave recitations. Many congratulatory messages were received from New York, Albany, London, and other places.
But the marriage between Jackson and Mable would end within a year and a half as Jackson had passed away in late 1913 or very early in 1914. This was known from a 1914 Washington, DC city directory listing Mable and Royal living at 919 L Avenue NW. Mable was listed as being the widow of Jackson Tinker and she worked as a milliner. Royal Tinker at the time had a job working for the United States Senate as a Messenger Boy. This is also backed up by the 1913 United States Civil Service Directory where it stated that Royal M. Tinker was listed as being a Messenger for Service to Press Correspondents, and had a salary of $900 per year. Being that Jackson Tinker before his death worked as a newspaper correspondent this may have been how Royal Tinker got the job working for the U. S. Senate.
Royal would have this job working for the Office of the Sergeant of Arms and Doorkeeper of the U. S. Senate for several years and had this job when he enlisted into the army in 1917. Royal Tinker was an avid singer and his name appeared again in the Tuesday, December 21, 1915, edition of the Washington Post newspaper. The National Press Club had held a Dixie Minstrel Show at the Poli Theater, and among the several acts was a double quartet listed in that evening’s billings. In the article the writer states; “Of course there was a double quartet-an excellent one.” Royal M. Tinker was listed as being a member of the double quartet.
By 1916 Royal had moved away from the L Avenue home and was living on his own at 1330 Massachusetts Ave, NW. As 1916 gave way to 1917, America was about to change. On April 6, 1917, that change in America took place and she went to war with Germany and the Central Powers. The United States held the first call up for the draft on June 5, 1917, and Royal Musgrove Tinker in Precinct No. 2 in Washington, DC registered his name.
Royal who was a medium built man with light blue eyes and red hair filled out his draft registration, stating he was living at 1330 Massachusetts Ave, NW and was employed by the U. S. Senate working in the Press Gallery.
That summer Royal would have enlisted into the 1st or 2nd Company District of Columbia Coast Artillery National Guard. Royal Tinker was stationed at Fort Washington, just south of the city, and while there was able to showcase some of his artistic talents. Royal Tinker had sketched another fellow soldier, Robert A. Milburn in a pen and ink drawing. The sketch shows Milburn from the left side in uniform reading a newspaper.
|Above is a hand drawn pencil sketch of Robert A. Milburn while in the army drawn by Royal Tinker. This was drawn by Tinker while the pair were stationed at Fort Washington before leaving for France.Sgt. Tinker was an accomplished artist and an excellent singer well known in the Washington, DC area.|
Men from the 1st and 2nd Companies were picked from to form Battery D of the 60th Artillery, CAC, which was a new Coast Artillery regiment that was being formed for duty in France. Royal Tinker was among the men picked and by January of 1918, was transferred into Battery D of the 60th Artillery. On April 22, 1918, when the 60th Artillery went aboard the USS Siboney, Royal is listed with the men of Battery D, serving at the rank of Sergeant. His service number of 633511 is also listed. Sgt. Tinker listed his mother as his person to contact in case of an emergency. Her name appears as Mrs. Malcolm Hufty of 1440 Rhode Island Ave. Washington, DC. So, it appears that Mable his mother may have remarried after the death of Jackson Tinker.
When the 60th Artillery arrived in France they were soon up on the front lines in combat. The men of the 60th entered combat at St. Mihiel, as fresh faced and innocent young men, but within a 4-day period had been baptized in the ways of modern mass-produced warfare. Each man left that battlefield changed in ways they could not understand. For Royal Tinker who being a talented singer and also a talented artist, likely had a sensitive side to him. What he saw, smelled, touched and experienced on the battlefields in France would have an effect on his life that would not be discovered until years after he left the battlefields of France behind him. Today this would likely be described as PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but in those days, it was totally unknown or simply known as shell shock.
After St. Mihiel the men of the 60th Artillery were thrust into a new battlefield, without any rest. The Meuse-Argonne Forrest would be for the men of the 60th Artillery, a living hell. The Argonne area would claim the lives of several of the men in the 60th Artillery, and in fact rank had no privilege, as even the 60th Artillery’s Colonel Wallace had to pay the cost of war with his life.
But at wars end Sgt. Tinker had found he had made it through to the end in one piece. After the fighting had ended the 60th Artillery was not required for Occupation Duty and so they headed back across France to the place they had first set foot on French soil in Brest, France. There they waited until the SS Cedric would be available and they would board the ship and leave the coast line of France in their wake as they steamed westward for American soil.
The Cedric would arrive in New York Harbor on February 4, 1919 but out at sea three days previous on February 1, Sgt. Tinker is transferred into the Cedric’s sick bay under the care of the ship’s surgeon. On the passenger list of the sailing of the Cedric, Sgt. Tinker’s name is listed as the third Sergeant on the page where his name appears. The name previous to Sgt. Tinker is that of Sgt. Norwood P. Cassidy, another local Washington, DC boy, and it is likely that they knew each other before the war. But in red ink Sgt. Tinkers name is crossed out and the following notation is written: “Transferred to Transport Surgeon SS Cedric Feb. 1, 1919, per G. O. 19 Hoboken, NJ.” And then Sgt. Tinker’s name was added to the roster of the “Sick and Wounded” list aboard the Cedric as they arrived in Hoboken on February 4.
It is unknown what the reason for Sgt. Tinker being sent to the sick bay aboard the Cedric. It may have been simply the flu or it may have been something related to the stress he had been under, no one can say for sure. But likely with in a month after returning back to the States Sgt. Royal M. Tinker had been given his Honorable Discharge from active duty and returned back home.
By January of 1920 Royal was living with his mother Mable and Malcom Hufty in a rented apartment located at 1440 Rhode Island Ave, NW in Washington, DC. Malcom Hufty worked as a lawyer and Royal Tinker had taken his old job back working for the United States Senate. An interesting note on the 1920 Census form is that the listed nativity of Royal’s father, who is assumed to have been Samuel McLiveen was listed as being of Irish nativity, whereas on the 1910 Census form it simply stated English.
During the summer of 1922 the local Washington, DC production company known as the People’s National Opera Society were about to begin the seasons production of “M’lle Modiste” at the Belasco Theatre. The Belasco, originally known as the Lafayette Square Opera House, was a six-story building and overlooked Lafayette Square with the main entrance on Madison Place. The Belasco was the main venue for opera, plays, and ballet at the turn of the 20th century in Washington, DC. Among those to perform on its stage included Enrico Caruso, Sarah Bernhardt, Maude Adams, and Ethel Barrymore. The present seasons production of “M’lle Modiste” featured Collette Danseuse of the Follies Bergere from Paris, France. Among the principals of the “M’lle Modiste” opera was none other that Royal M. Tinker. The “M’lle Modiste” was a successful comic opera of two acts.
On Sunday February 3, 1924, Royal Tinker was one of three headliners to put on a community concert at the Central High School in Washington, DC. At 8:15 that evening the Washington Community Orchestra under the direction of Charles V. Banner opened the evenings concert. The three headliners were Katherine Melson, Gretchen Hood and Royal Tinker. Tinker sang baritone and was accompanied by Ethel Hunt on the piano singing the following songs; “My Message” by D’Hardelot, and “Nothing Matters” by Zucca. All throughout the 1920’s Royal Tinker’s voice was heard in many Opera’s in the various stages in Washington, DC.
By at least 1923 Royal Tinker had moved to live at 2811 Fourteenth Street NW in Washington, DC and had now moved on from his job with the U. S. Senate. He was now working as a clerk for the Veterans Hospital, which may have been the Old Soldiers Home located on a 272-acre site that borders the eastern edge of the Petworth neighborhood and sits just to the north of the Washington Hospital Center. This is also the location of the “Lincoln Cottage” which served as President Lincoln’s family summer home during the Civil War.
Towards the later parts of 1930, Royal Tinker had met and fell in love with Josephine C. Kalhoun, who was the 25-year old daughter of Catherine and Louis Kalhoun. The Kalhoun’s were German Immigrants but Josephine had been born in Washington, DC. Josephine had been working as a stenographer at the Soldiers Home where her father, Louis was a police officer at the home. Being that Royal Tinker worked as a clerk at the Soldiers Home this was likely how he and Josephine met. It would be January 12, of 1931 that Royal and Josephine were married in Washington, DC.
Royal and Josephine purchased a home located at 644 Keefer Place NW, in Washington, DC. This home is located in a neighborhood just a short distance west of the Soldiers Home grounds and in 1940 was valued at $6000. In 1935 Josephine gave birth to the couples one and only son, Louis Kalhoun Tinker.
When the 1940 Census was taken at 644 Keefer Place, Josephine and Louis Tinker were the only two Tinkers listed at that address. But what had happened to Royal Tinker? The answer to this question is that on June 21, 1939, Royal Tinker was admitted to the Perry Point Maryland Mental Institution. It seems that Royal had some sort of mental issues and needed to be treated in the hospital. This could have been unresolved issues from his experiences on the battlefield in France years before. But whatever the reasons, it silenced the once talented voice of Royal M. Tinker. Little is known of what happened to Royal after he went into the Perry Point hospital. Royal’s son Louis Kalhoun would graduate from the McKinley Technical High School in Washington, DC about 1953, and Royal’s wife, Josephine would pass away on December 4, 1955. Royal would live on until his death on April 2, 1965. Today he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Section 33, site 5081. After Royal’s burial, his wife Josephine was re-buried in Arlington next to Royal’s grave site.
|Present day view of the Tinker home at 644 Keefer in Washington, DC||A general view of the nearly 10,000 graves in Section 33 of Arlington National Cemetery, where Sgt. Royal M. Tinker lies resting in this hallowed ground.|
Private First-Class Green Burns Stidhams, Service No. 633566, of Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC, served in combat on the front lines during WWI. He is an excellent example of a man who gave of himself and served his Country during wartime and spent the rest of his life working in Civil Service.
It was said of Green B. Stidhams that he was very proud of his service in the Army during WWI and because of his attitude of serving others, first in the military, and secondly in Civil Service, a seed was planted into his family that he would later raise, which would take root and grow with his children and grandchildren.
The example of service given by Green Burns Stidhams cannot be fully understood without studying who he was and where his roots came from, for he is a true American Hero deserving to be remembered and hopefully those who will read this can learn from the example of the life put forth by Green Burns Stidhams… a humble Civil Servant.
Green Burns Stidhams was born on May 15, 1896, in Oneida, Kentucky to Kentucky native parents. His parents were Rachel Burns (1868-1911) and Abner B. Stidhams (1871-1933). At the turn of the Century in 1900 the Abner Stidhams family were living on a farm in Clay County, Kentucky, which is located in the south-eastern part of Kentucky. Clay County is a rural Appalachian Mountain county with the city of Manchester as the County Seat. The Abner Burns farm in 1900 was located near the town of Oneida, somewhere near Bullskin Creek, which meets the South Fork Kentucky River at the edge of Oneida.
The Historic Salt Works in Manchester was established due to the presence of many salt springs. Daniel Boone offered a plan to reroute the Wildnerness Road to pass by the headwaters of Goose Creek. The production of salt led to Manchester becoming a major trade center. During the Civil War and thereafter, the salt works became a point of contention and led to long-term feuds and skirmishes. The Baker-White feud started in the 1820s and continued until 1932. The feud claimed roughly 150 lives; the deadliest such struggle east of the Mississippi.
As young Green Burns Stidhams was born and grew up in this rough and tumble area of the Appalachians a possible clue to the seed of service to his fellow countrymen, that was planted within him may have come from some of his relatives in the area. Green took his middle name of Burns, from his mother’s maiden name. One of Clay Counties famous citizens was Professor James Anderson Burns, who was most likely a first or second cousin to Rachel Burns, Green’s mother. The Oneida Baptist Institute was founded in 1899 by Professor James Anderson Burns as a way to help stop the feuding at the end of the 19th Century. Burns hoped that by educating the children of the feuders they would find better uses for their time. In 1899, Burns, a former feuder himself, gathered some of the feuding residents of the area and convinced them to support a school. The little boarding school on the knoll overlooking its namesake town has played a large part in the history of Clay County and has attracted students from around the world. We may never know who planted this seed of service into Green but it very likely could have been from the example of Professor James Anderson Burns.
Green Stidhams was raised in a family of at least 7 children. The first child born to Rachel and Abner was a daughter named Alabama born in 1894; Hugh born in 1895; Green Burns in 1896; James B. born in 1899; Polly born in 1902; Shafter born about 1903 and Laura born in 1904. All the children having been born on the farm near Oneida, Kentucky.
By 1910 the Abner Burns family had moved a few miles away from Oneida farther up the Bullskin Creek, which was in the same general area that Professor James Anderson Burns was then living. According to the 1910 Census there was six Burns families living very near to the Stidhams farm along Bullskin Creek. Further information gleaned from the 1910 Census states that Abner and Rachel had been married for 17-years, which would make the year of marriage about 1892. And there is a notation that Rachel had given birth to 11-children, with 10-children still living, so, it is assumed that there must have been 3 older children who had moved away from the family.
It was on July 21, 1911, that Green’s mother Rachel had passed away while living along Bullskin Creek. Sometime after the death of his mother, Green’s father had remarried as there were two half-sisters and two half-brothers added to the family between the years 1914-1917. The new blended family lived along Bullskin Creek near Oneida.
As the year of 1916 began, so too did changes in the life of Green Burns Stidhams. For reasons not fully understood, Green Stidhams in early June of 1916, planned to change his life’s path and this decision may have been on his mind for several days or even a few months prior. But the fact of the matter was, that he had left Bullskin Creek, Kentucky and traveled to Columbus, Ohio, a journey of about 285-miles north from his home. That day on June 5, Green Burns Stidhams signed his name and enlisted into the United States Regular Army at the Columbus Barracks Recruiting Station. This decision would change the course of his life in ways he likely could not imagine at the time.
Family stories told about Green during this time may shed some light into the reason why he made the decision to join the Army. It was said that Green used to tell that he had received his first real pair of proper shoes when he had joined the Army in 1916. Times were likely tough back in Bullskin Creek, with little material things Green had to his name. Being his mother had passed away and it seems that his father had a new wife with four more children added to the family, he may have felt it was his time to strike out in the world and see if he could improve himself from the meager life he may have had in Bullskin Creek. Even today from the latest census figures, Clay County, Kentucky ranks among the poorest counties in the United States. And likely in 1916 it was the same way, likely making the decision to join the army one of a better life for Green Stidhams.
Stidhams was placed into the Coast Artillery Corps of the Army and assigned to the 1st Company, CAC at Fort Washington, Maryland. Fort Washington had been built in 1808 and was located along the Potomac River at the point where the Piscataway Creek enters the Potomac, 17-miles south of Washington DC, for the protection of the capitol city from forces using the river to access the capitol.
At the time Fort Washington had been downgraded to harbor defense and several of the large mortars were in the process of being removed. Pvt. Stidhams would serve at the fort throughout most of 1917, with the 1st Company, CAC. In April of 1917, America had joined the war then raging on the European Continent, and this would bring even more changes to the life of Pvt. Stidhams.
In late December, 1917, Orders were issued for the formation of the 60th Artillery, CAC for duty overseas in France. The bulk of the men who would form Battery D of the 60th Artillery were pulled from the 1st Company at Fort Washington. Pvt. Stidhams was among the men selected from the 1st Company and he was transferred into Battery D of the 60th Artillery, CAC. The 60th Artillery, was forming at Camp Stuart, Virginia, in January of 1918, but the newly formed Supply Co. and Battery C and D remained at Fort Washington, Maryland until March 23, 1918, when they finally arrived at Camp Stuart. Now the entire 60th Artillery, CAC was together for the first time.
On April 22, 1918, Stidhams, who now had been advanced to Private First-Class, walked up the gangway of the USS Siboney, the ship that would take the 60th Artillery, CAC to France. PFC Stidhams would have filled out a small pre-printed Red Cross post card, with the statement, “The ship I sailed to Europe on has arrived safely” on the back side. And on the front side each soldier had to write the address of someone, which was usually a family member. No other information was allowed to be written. These post cards were then collected for safe keeping by the army and when that ship safely arrived at its intended destination the cards were them mailed and the recipients were then notified that at least they had made the trip across the Atlantic alive. And then as he boarded the ship he would have to list someone to contact in case of an emergency, which was recorded on the passenger manifest. PFC Stidhams listed his father Abner Stidhams of Oneida, Kentucky.
As the Siboney steamed ever eastward across the Atlantic, each man aboard had thoughts of what would lay before them in the coming months and years. Would they ever see home and loved ones again, what would combat be like, will I be killed or maimed for life, were likely some of the thoughts running through each mans subconscious thoughts.
On May 6, 1918, The Siboney reached safety and unloaded her troops in Brest, France, and PFC Stidhams set foot on foreign soil for the first time in his life. Nine days later he would turn 23-years old, likely still but just a youth in his heart but only months away from becoming a changed man during his first combat in war.
That change would take place along the St. Mihiel Front just outside of Toul, France. It was on September 12, 1918, at around 4:30 in the morning that the young men of Battery D began to turn into season and tested men. They would never be the same ever again. It will never be known what experiences or thoughts that PFC Stidhams had that morning, for back home in Clay County, Kentucky he likely had seen men being killed in the local feuds but this was on an entirely different level, nothing in his life could have prepared him for what was to lie before him and his fellow soldiers.
Battery D on October 13, experience their first death in combat. Battery D was that day in the general area east of the Aire River, in the farm lands between Fleville to the north; Chatel-Cherhery to the west; Exermont to the east; and Apremont to the south. It was in these farm fields that Corporal Cooley of Battery D was killed as the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 60th Artillery, CAC were moving their positions up towards Fleville. It is likely that PFC Stidhams and Cpl. Cooley knew each other, and may have even been in the same general area together that day. At the time Battery D was taking incoming German counter-battery fire into the positions of Battery D, and Cpl. Cooley most likely died of shrapnel wounds from the German shells, PFC Stidhams considered himself lucky to have survived that day.
Stidhams would have that luck the rest of the war, and on November 11, 1918, at 11:00 am as the guns fell silent, Stidhams found that he had somehow survived that horrible nightmare of what men can do to men in modern armed combat.
As the war was now over and the 60th Artillery was not required for Occupation Duty, they were ordered to return back to the States. On January 26, 1919, the regiment boarded the White Star liner RMS Cedric at Brest, France to begin its trip across the Atlantic. By 8 o’clock that morning the Cedric was under way for the States. On February 4, 1919, the Cedric reached New York Harbor, and PFC Stidhams was once again standing on United States soil.
Battery C and D were ordered to Fort Washington and PFC Stidhams once again was quartered in the familiar walls of good old Fort Washington. The volunteers and National Guardsmen were then given their discharges but PFC Stidhams being a Regular Army soldier received new duty orders.
The orders Stidhams had in hand sent him to Fort Strong, located in the harbor defenses of Boston, Massachusetts. Fort Strong occupied the northern third of Long Island in Boston Harbor. At Fort Strong he served with the 10th Company Coast Defenses of Boston. While serving at Fort Strong, Stidhams had met a local Boston girl. Her name was Helena Anna Spindler who was born in Boston on December 8, 1900. Helena was a first-generation American with her parents being Bavarian-German. Helena’s father, Frederick Spindler worked as a baker in Cambridge, MA at the time Green and Helena met. A courtship ensued and resulted in a marriage in 1921.
Living in the Boston area Green and his wife Helena would raise three children. Bertha was the couple’s first child, born in 1922. This would be followed in 1923 with a son named Frederick J. and another son Francis who was born in 1930. By now Stidhams had been advanced to Corporal and later in the mid-1920’s had transferred out of the Coast Artillery Corps and reassigned to the Quartermaster Corps.
As Green and Helena began to raise their family, Green Stidhams had begun to prepare fertile ground in his family for a seed of service to ones Country to sprout and grow. This seed first came to life with Green Stidhams’ eldest son Frederick J. Stidhams who enlisted into the Army during WWII and served with the 86th Division, the famed “Blackhawk Division” in both the European and the Pacific Theaters of Operation. Frederick J. Stidhams’ wife Alice served as a US Navy WAVE during WWII, and their son Francis Stidhams enlisted into the US Air Force retiring as a Master Sergeant. Even Green’s daughter Bertha, gave life to her father’s example by marrying a US Navy officer who retired as a Captain. Green’s example of service even extended to his grandson, Timothy J. Stidhams who also served in the Air Force retiring as a Master Sergeant and like his grandfather also was a Civil Service employee and is currently serving in the Department of Defense.
By 1929 the US Army had been for several years, undergoing a Reduction in Force, as outlined in the National Defense Act of 1920. At that time the Regular Army numbered about 200,000 about two-thirds the maximum strength authorized in the act. In January 1921 Congress directed a reduction in enlisted strength to 175,000, and in June 1921 to 150,000, as soon as possible. A year later Congress limited the active Army to 12,000 commissioned officers and 125,000 enlisted men, not including the 7,000 or so in the Philippine Scouts, and Regular Army strength was stabilized at about this level until 1936. Appropriations for the military expenses of the War Department also became stabilized during this same period, amounting to about $300-million a year. This was about half of what a full implementation of the National Defense Act had been estimated to cost. The United States during these years spent rather less on its Army than on its Navy, in line with the national policy of depending on the Navy as the first line of defense. War Department officials, especially in the early 1920's, repeatedly expressed alarm over the failure of Congress to appropriate enough money to carry out the terms of the National Defense Act. They believed that it was essential for minimum defense needs to have a Regular Army with an enlisted strength of 150,000 or (after the Air Corps Act of 1926) of 165,000.
And so, because of the neglect of the Army during this time, Corporal Stidhams was given an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty in 1929. But as soon as his discharge came he had been hired by the United States Government as a Civil Service employee. This job was working as a blacksmith at Fort Adams, which was another Coast Artillery fortification and was the Headquarters for the Coast Defenses of Narragansett Bay located at Newport, Rhode Island. The Army post having been established on July 4, 1799, with the present fortifications being erected between 1824 and 1857.
Green Stidhams and his family then moved up to Newport and moved into the home of 67-year old Julia Carey at No. 53 Tilden Ave. Green and Helena rented from Julia and the rent was $25 per month. Julia Carey was a single woman and she owned the house which in 1930 was valued at $2,500. Julia was from Ireland and had come to America about 1882. On the 1930 Census form there is a question if the family had a radio set in the home and the Stidhams family did have a radio, so, they were able to afford one of the few luxuries of that time.
Within a few years the Stidhams family had moved out of Julia Carey’s home and had a place on East Main Road in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. This was still in the Newport area as both Newport and Portsmouth are located both on Aquidneck Island, with Newport on the southern end and Portsmouth on the northern end of the island.
By 1935, Green and his family and moved again this time to a home at 7 Brooks Ave. in Newport. This was a large two-family duplex and they would live there from at least 1935. Green Stidhams was an active member of the Newport Rifle Club and he enjoyed target shooting and marksmanship. On April 24, 1942, during the Second World War, Green who was then 45-years old and stood 5’ 8” tall and had blue eyes and by then gray hair, registered his name for the Draft. He did not serve in the Military during WWII. Green Stidhams would work as a Civil Service blacksmith at Fort Adams for at least 23-years, and worked there until Fort Adams was closed by the Government in 1953.
On March 14, 1956, there was a short news item printed in the Newport Daily News, which read:
|Oil Burner Overflows
An overflowing oil burner at the home of Green B. Stidhams, 7 Brooks Ave., led to a still alarm of fire at 1:17 pm yesterday. No damage was reported. Engine No. 5 and Deputy Chief Andrew M. Campbell responded.
In the 1960s, Green and Helena purchased some land off of Avery Brook Road off of Route No. 2 (Mohawk Trail) between Charlemont and Shelburne Falls, MA. Green would build a small house on the property and it was there Green and Helena enjoyed retirement and the summers with their grandchildren. In addition, Green Stidhams was an active blacksmith making shoes for horses and mules in the Newport/Middletown/Portsmouth, RI and Massachusetts Mohawk Trail area.
It was in these years that Green spoke proudly of his service in the Army, sharing his stories with his grandchildren about his WWI experiences. He talked about the “short” US Springfield Model 1903 rifle vs. the German rifle used during trench warfare. He talked about airplane dogfights over the trenches, and was saddened when he saw the dead and injured horses in France during WWI. He didn’t like mutton when his wife Helena prepared lamb because it reminded him of the war. He loved horses and enjoyed being a blacksmith and whenever his grandchildren visited, Green took them with him when he “shoed” horses, and of course the grandchildren got to ride the horses. In 1978, Green’s pride in America was experienced first-hand by his grandson, Timothy Stidhams. In one of the last times he saw his grandson, Green had spoken to Timothy about his life and experiences and Timothy today still recalls how his grandfather spoke vividly about how “America is the Best Country in the world!”
On April 13, 1979, Green’s wife Helena passed away, and she was buried in her family plot at Forest Hills Cemetery at 95 Forest Hills Ave., in Boston, MA. Eight-years and two days later on April 15, 1987, Green Stidhams died.
The Stidhams home was known in the family as “The Camp” and on April 15, 1987, a fire broke out at “The Camp” and Green grabbed a fire extinguisher to try and combat the fire. But the fire got out of control and took the life of Green Burns Stidhams. He was found with the fire extinguisher still clutched in his hands. When he died he was true to his character of service to others in trying to protect what he loved, his home and his family.
Green Burns Stidhams was buried next to his beloved wife Helena in the Spindler family plot at Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston. And so, ends the story of an American Hero, a life well lived and a life we should all learn from. Green Burns Stidhams… a humble servant.
|PFC Green Burns Stidhams, shown in the center of this photo. The original photo was a yard-long photo of Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC upon their return from France in 1919. Stidhams is shown with the 1st Army shoulder patch on his left shoulder. This was a red letter “A” and a white patch between the legs of the “A.” In this photo PFC Stidhams is 24-years old and no longer a poor Appalachian youth but is now a changed man wise beyond his years. In the gaze of his eyes, which were blue, you can see that he now stands proud in his uniform showing the world that he is an American Hero.|
Halden Lewis Hatfield was born November 18, 1895 in Ossian, Jefferson Township, Wells County, Indiana, the second of seven children of Robert Lowry and Mary Sarah (Milliken) Hatfield and the second of two sons. He grew up in Ossian graduating in 1915 from the Ossian High School. At the turn of the century in April of 1900 the Hatfield family lived on a farm that Robert farmed. Robert Hatfield had been born in January of 1868 and his wife Mary was born in June of 1875 also in Indiana. Mary and Robert had 3 children the eldest was a son named James N. born in May of 1894 followed by Halden Lewis born on November 18 of 1895 and lastly a daughter named Margaret R. born in October of 1898.
By April of 1910 the Robert Hatfield family had moved from the farm to live with Robert’s mother, who lived in the town of Ossian, Indiana. Ann Hatfield was a widow and had been born in Pennsylvania about 1833. By then Robert and Mary had two more children, daughters Florence S. and Dorothy S. The father, Robert was then working as a Carpenter to support the family.
Halden enlisted into the Army in response to America's call for volunteers on 2 May 1917 at Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was initially trained at Fort Thomas, Kentucky then assigned with the 1st Company, CAC at Fort Hunt, Virginia on 1 June 1917. He was qualified as First Class Gunnery on 27 Oct 1917.
Eventually, Halden was assigned to Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 60th Regiment, CAC on the 8th of January 1918 and sent overseas to France. He was a member operating Canon de 155 Grand Puissance Filloux (GPF) heavy artillery pieces of which Battery D possessed four.
The 60th Regiment left the United States in 23 April 1918 arriving at Brest, France on May 6th, 1918 and proceeded three days later to the vicinity of Libourne (Gironde) for training from 10 May to 22 July 1918. Gradually, it moved to St. Jean d'Illac (Gironde) from 22 July to 8 September. On 11 September, it was then ordered to be attached with the American First Army area (Jaillon, Meurthe et Moselle) where it participated in the St. Mihiel Offensive (12-16 September 1918).
The so-called "Salient at St. Mihiel" had existed since 1914 when the Germans launched a series of offensives between 19-25 September. Following a four-hour bombardment by 2,971 guns, the Allied assault was launched between 12-13 September 1918 by thirteen American divisions (totaling 216,000 men) of the Liggett's U.S. I Corps and Dickman's IV Corps of the American First Army under Major General "Blackjack" Pershing from the south and the U.S. V Corps under Cameron attached to the French Fourth Army from the north. Eight divisions of the French II Colonial Corps (totaling 48,000 men) under Marshall Blondlat attacked from the west. The assault fell on the "Salient" which contained approximately 75,000 combined German and Austro-Hungarian troops. The largest array of aircraft yet assembled (over 1,500) supported the attack.
The overwhelmed Axis forces crumbled under the onslaught escaping northeast toward Field Marshall Fuchs German Detachment 'C'. While the total combined Allied casualties numbered approximately 8,000, the Germans suffered horrific numbers in dead and wounded, with 13,250 prisoners and nearly 460 guns falling to the Allies in less than thirty hours. Total Axis losses could have been much higher but German intelligence had ascertained an Allied attack was imminent allowing German commanders some warning to begin plans for saving a portion of their forces.
The 60th CAC left the area on the 17th of September moving to Neuvilly, Meuse still assigned as a unit of the American First Army. The 60th arrived on September 21st staying until the 29th when it moved to new location at Montblainville, Meuse (29 Sep-13 Oct). Subsequently, it was moved several more times to positions near Fleville (13-23 Oct), Cornay (23 Oct-1 Nov), Sommerance (2-4 Nov), St. Juvin (4-5 Nov), Busancy (6 Nov), and Sommauthe (7-11 Nov). It was credited for battle participation during the Meuse-Argonne Operation from 26 Sep-11 Nov 1918.
During this campaign, Pershing's American First Army was flanked on the west by the XXXVIII Corps and the east by XVII Corps of the French Fourth Army. Directly facing them were elements of the German Fifth Army (the German Gen KDO 58 & the German XXI Corps). The American objective was to clear the Argonne Forests, which they managed to do in savage fighting, sometimes hand-to-hand.
After the fighting tapered off, the 60th was moved back to Brieulles from 11-16 Nov then Lissey, both near Meuse, from 16-26 Nov 1918. Soon the War in Europe ended with the Axis surrender and the unit was returned to America on February 4th, 1919. They were temporarily billeted at Fort Washington, just south of Washington, D.C. before being shipped to Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio on 11 February as part of the 10th Company, 3rd Training Battalion, 158 D.B. for exchange.
Private Halden Lewis Hatfield was formally discharged on the 20th day of February 1919 being paid $37.93. He returned to Ossian via train. Halden lived in his father and mothers home, which was located on Wells Street in Ossian. In the home with his mother and father were his grandmother Ann who was now 87-years old and his sisters Florence and Dorothy and also two more sisters named Elizabeth and Martha. Robert was still working as a carpenter and Halden was working as a furniture salesman.
Halden married Miss Lena R. Holmes, daughter of Ora Orren and Edith Alma (Swartzwalter) Holmes on July 6, 1920 in Ossian, Indiana. They remained in Ossian briefing owning and operating a restaurant and working for Ossian Lumber, eventually rising to Manager. He was also a member of the Ossian Masonic Lodge (for 67 years at the time that he died).
Halden and Lena had two children, Jean Patricia Hatfield and Rex Wendell Hatfield. Lena passed away on April 15, 1965 at Wall Lake in Lagrange County, Indiana. Halden passed away October 6, 1986 in Meridian, Mississippi according to the Social Security Death Index. Both he and Lena are buried in the Oak Lawn Cemetery in Ossian.
At the National World War One Memorial, there is a brick inscribed with Halden's name and unit placed there in his honor.
One final note, Halden's youngest sister, Martha Pauline "Polly" (Hatfield) Brubaker who just passed away on October 14th, 2010 in Manchester Indiana used to tell a story about Halden. It seemed that when Halden came home from the war, someone said to her, "Polly, guess who's here?" Halden came in wearing his gas mask from the army. Polly, who was only around 5-years old at the time, had said she burst into tears because it scared her. "Here was some guy with a bug's head!!"
When the USS Siboney sailed from Newport News, Virginia on April 23, 1918, Private Robert A. Milburn, Service No. 633667, of Battery D, was aboard the ship and likely down in his bunk. He was at the time only 18-years old, which made him one of the youngest men in Battery D. He had only just turned 18-years within the previous two-months, and likely this was as far away from home that he had ever been in his life, and within the next five-months Private Milburn would be in combat in France and he no longer would be an innocent 18-year old boy, for he would become a man by the time his battery had stopped firing their guns on the morning of November 11, 1918.
Robert Andrew Milburn was born in Berwyn, Maryland near Washington, DC, on March 1, 1900. According to his granddaughter Mary A. Milburn Hunt, she related how the name of Robert’s mother and father were unknown. As a baby, Robert was placed as an orphan into the St. Joseph’s School for Boys located in Washington, DC, which was an orphanage ran by the Catholic Diocese of Washington, DC. When Mary Milburn Hunt was searching for information into the background of her grandfather she inquired with the orphanage to look into their records. Mary related that “my grandfather initially was placed at the St. Ann’s Infant Asylum and Summer Home in Berwyn Heights, MD, as a child under the age of eight, the Sisters of Charity indicated on a handwritten note on my grandfather’s file that they believed his name was “Harry” before they changed it to Robert and they indicated the reason for his placement was because his mother was deceased. At the age of eight the male orphans were sent to St. Joseph’s School for Boys where they attended classes until the age of 14, at which time, my grandfather was sent back to St. Ann’s Orphan and Infant Asylum in the summers to work the farm fields owned by the Sisters of Charity who ran the Orphanage.”
On April 6, 1918 the day America officially entered the First World War, Robert A. Milburn would have just turned 17-years old. The United States government instituted the first call-up for the draft on June 5, 1917, for men aged twenty-one to thirty-one, which was men born between June 6, 1886, and June 5, 1896. So, being just seventeen, Robert would not have had to register for the draft, in fact he would not have had to register until the third call-up which took place on September 12, 1918.
It is a known fact that Robert would enlist into the United States Army on August 14, 1917, at the age of 17-years and 6-months old. Robert was close with several of the nuns at the orphanage and Mary Milburn Hunt stated that “my grandfather had indicated that he had the nuns sign a permission slip stating he was 18-years old, which allowed him enlist in the army during WWI.” So, with his permission papers he went down to a local Washington, DC recruiting office and was able to enlist into the army under the age of 18 on August 14, 1917.
Now in the Army the 17-year old lad was assigned to the Coast Artillery Corps and likely was assigned to the First Company, District of Columbia National Guard, as this was the unit that the bulk of the men who would make up Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC would come from.
Once in France and after the 60th Artillery, CAC reached their training camp at Libourne, France, Pvt. Robert Milburn was selected to become a tractor and truck driver. In the army at that time driving a motorized vehicle was not a skill that every man had been exposed to during his life. So, those who showed they had driving skills were selected for this job. The title or rank for this position was known as a Wagoner, which was a hold over name from the Cavalry days of the army. The men who were Wagoner’s where usually Privates or Private First Class.
Wagoner Milburn would have likely been sent to tractor drivers’ school during the summer of 1918 and then returned back to Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC to put his skills to use. By the early days of September, Wagoner Milburn would have been hauling the artillery guns driving a Holt caterpillar tractor and or hauling the equipment of the Battery in White or FWD trucks. He would not have been hauling ammunition as that job fell to the men in the Ordnance Detachment of the 60th Artillery.
In the days before September 12, 1918, which was to be the opening day of the St. Mihiel Offensive, Wagoner Milburn would have been busy hauling guns and equipment into the St. Mihiel Salient near the town of Toul, France. At just 18-years and 6-months old, on the morning of September 12, 1918, Wagoner Milburn grew up in a hurry and once the guns opened up on the Germans by the end of that first day, Milburn had become a man in the blink of an eye. Battery D had at least one man killed when they were in the Argonne area on October 13, and Wagoner Milburn would experience death close at hand as he would most likely have known Corporal Cooley the man who was killed in action from Battery D.
Battery D was on the line during the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne drive and would be in constant action nearly the entire time through the end of the war on November 11, 1918. At war’s end Wagoner Milburn was kept busy hauling the guns and equipment of the Battery back off the front lines. And when the SS Cedric sailed from Brest, France on January 26, 1919, Milburn was ready to see home again. On February 14, 1919, Wagoner Robert A. Milburn was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty with the Army and returned home, with new skills and experiences.
Robert Milburn would return back to the Washington, DC area. As Robert had no family other than the nuns at the orphanage, he somehow had to figure out how to make a living for himself. The skills he had learned in the army was what he fell back on and driving busses and automobiles was what provided him a living. Because Robert had experience driving in the Army it was said that he had one of the earliest drivers’ licenses in the Washington DC area, and he was driving as a chauffeur for the War Department when he first got out of the army in 1919.
It was on June 24, 1924, that Robert married Anna Jeanette Schmidtman in Washington, DC. Sometime after the marriage, Robert and Anna purchased a brick two-story row house located at 1326 Levis Street NE in Washington, DC. The home was valued at $8,150 and by then Robert had a job as a bus driver for a local DC sightseeing bus tour company. In the home with Robert and Anna lived her parents, Jeannette and William F. Schmidtman, and Anna’s 27-year old brother William H. Schmidtman. Anna’s father worked as a wallpaper hanger and her brother worked as a clerk for the U. S. Government.
On June 2 of 1927, Anna gave birth to their first child a son they named Robert William Milburn. By April of 1930 the Levis Street home was filled with three Milburn’s and three Schmidtman’s. Robert and Anna would live in this home for many years to come. About 1934 the family grew with the addition of a second son named Richard A, and grew again in 1936 with a third son William F. and finally in 1938 a fourth son Donald P.
By 1940 there were now six Milburn’s living in the home and Jeannette and William F. Schmidtman were still living there as well. William Schmidtman who was then 63-years old was still hanging wall paper. Robert A. Milburn was now driving bus for the Washington, DC Transit Company. During the war Anna gave birth to the couples first daughter who they named Mary.
Now in 1942 as America was now at war again Robert registered for the draft during WWII. He was driving for the Capital Transit Company, and was a tall medium built man with blue eyes and brown hair. Of Robert’s four sons, three would follow in their fathers’ footsteps by serving their Country.
Mary Milburn Hunt related the following about the four sons. “My father was the eldest son Robert William Milburn. He enlisted into the Army Air corps during the last months of the war, and while in training, the war ended and my father was serving out his enlistment when asked by his commanding officer if he would like to take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity. As WWII had depleted the officer corps in the Army they were allowing enlisted soldiers who demonstrated they were officer material to take an entrance exam to see if they could go to West Point, the first time in history, my father passed the tests and then enrolled in West Point and graduated with the class of 1951. He became an artillery officer and upon graduation was sent immediately to the Korean War as a forward observer and was awarded the Bronze Star with V for Valor. An interesting fact, in my father’s plebe year at West Point, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, was one of his roommates. My father went on to serve for over 35-years and was also sent to Vietnam during the war in 1970 - 1971. My father was sent home from Vietnam to see his dying mother, Anna Jeanette, who was suffering from colon cancer and died on November 22, 1971. My father retired in 1977 and was recalled to active duty by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 to be one of three combat officers to hear amnesty pleas by men who had dodged the draft and fled to Canada. He served in that position for a year flying around the country with six other officers (3 combat line officers of which he was one and 3 desk officers) The second son, Richard Allan Milburn, joined the U.S. Air Force and flew jets and became a military attaché and retired as a Colonel then went to work in the private sector as VP of International Sales for Northrup Grumman until his second retirement with them. Today, (2019) all four brothers, Robert, Richard, William and Donald Milburn all are alive and feisty!”
But the Milburn tradition of serving our Country continued with one of Robert A. Milburn grandsons. Robert L. Milburn would retired as a Lt. Colonel in the Army, serving in the Signal Corps and also was a Special Forces Ranger.
In the years after the war Anna and Robert Milburn would retire at 8218 Chancery Court in Alexandria, Virginia. In his later years Robert suffered from congestive heart failure and on July 8, 1985, Robert Milburn passed away in the Mount Vernon Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, of heart related issues. Robert was then buried in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland.
Above is a photo of Robert A. Milburn’s grave stone in the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Cheltenham, Maryland, and on the right is the Milburn home at 1326 Levis Street NE in Washington, DC.
|Above is a hand drawn pencil sketch of Robert A. Milburn while in the army drawn by another soldier named Royal Tinker. This was drawn by Tinker while the pair were stationed at Fort Washington before leaving for France. Royal Tinker was a Sergeant in Battery D of the 60th Artillery, CAC and served in France with Milburn. Sgt. Tinker was an accomplished artist and an excellent singer well known in the Washington, DC area.||Above is a clipping of Wagoner Robert A. Milburn from the book The District of Columbia Coast Artillery, National Guard, 1915-1919|
On February 19, 1919, J. Ralph Park who was the director of the Trenton, New Jersey Soldiers and Sailor’s Club sent a typed letter on official War Camp Community Service letter head, to Mr. Ribble “Lenkous” of Trenton. In the letter Mr. Park, at the request of the Mayor of Trenton, to invite Ribble “Lenkous” and his fellow soldiers of the 60th Artillery, CAC to be the guests of honor at a reception and dance given by the Trenton Soldiers and Sailor’s Club, on Saturday evening February 22.
Ribble “Lenkous” is in fact Ribble Linkous who was a Private First-Class serving in Battery D of the 60th Artillery, CAC. The 60th Artillery had only arrived back in the States 15-days before on February 4, when PFC Linkous received the invitation to the dance. The men of the 60th Artillery were combat veterans of the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives during the war and likely had much to tell the local Trenton, New Jersey citizens. And too the Trenton citizens also wanted to give them a hearty welcome home celebration.
Ribble’s full name seems to have been Boye Ribble Linkous, but the use of “Boye” is rarely used or seen, or sometimes his name appeared as B. Ribble Linkous.
Ribble was born on February 5, 1894 in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. His parents were Belle Zora Robinson (1860-1946) and John Henry Linkous (1855-1934). Ribble seems to have been the first-born child of Belle and John who had at least five children. The children were Ribble born in 1894; Gladys Ilene (1896-1980); Earl Wendell (1900-1977); Ralph Vincent (1903-1903); and Paul Jackson (1906-1971). All five children were born in Montgomery County, Virginia.
When Ribble was in his 23rd year he was living in Trenton, New Jersey and was a tall medium built man with grey eyes and brown hair, and was single. The spring of 1917, America had gone to war and during the first call up of men for the draft, Ribble on June 5, 1917, registered his name in the First precinct in Trenton as he was required to do. The draft form tells the story that Ribble was at the time, living at 25 Fair Street in Trenton, and that he was born in Blacksburg, Virginia on February 5, 1894, and he was employed as a showman by the Cook Brothers of Trenton. He signed the draft form “B. R. Linkous”
For the rest of the summer of 1917, Ribble kept on working for the Cook Brothers until he enlisted into the United States National Army on December 26, 1917. The Selective Service Act established the broad outlines of the Army's pre-WWI structure. There were to be three increments:
Ribble Linkous served in the National Army so we know that on the day after Christmas of 1917, he voluntarily enlisted into the Army.
By then the 60th Artillery, CAC was just beginning to form for duty overseas and Recruit Linkous was placed into the Coast Artillery Corps of the Army. When Pvt. Linkous joined the 60th Artillery, CAC, he served in Battery D. When the 60th was formed the men of Battery D came mainly from the men who were then serving in the First Company, District of Columbia Coast Artillery, National Guard. Pvt. Linkous was likely serving in one of the three forts within the Coast Defenses of the Potomac; Ft. Hunt, Virginia; Ft. Washington, Maryland; Ft. Wool, Virginia.
After the 60th Artillery, CAC had begun to form in January of 1918, the batteries and companies began to assemble at Camp Stuart, Virginia. But Battery C and D remained in the Coast Defenses of the Potomac until March 23, 1918, when they finally arrived at Camp Stuart, finally making the 60th Artillery assembled in one place for the first time.
On April 22, 1918, Pvt. Linkous along with Battery D, and the entire 60th Artillery went aboard the USS Siboney, then at Newport News, Virginia. They did not sail that evening but did so the next day on April 23. Aboard ship every passenger had to fill out a form with the name of a person to contact in case of an emergency. Which every man aboard likely knew this really meant ‘who to contact in case the ship was torpedoed and sunk.’ Pvt. Linkous listed his father John H. Linkous of Blacksburg, Virginia.
Something new that the army had recently begun was the issuing of Army Service Numbers to the soldiers. It was in February of 1918 that the army had started issuing service numbers and Pvt. Linkous was issued his number which was 633654. The block of numbers 595001 through 715000 was reserved for soldiers who were then serving in the Eastern Department of the army and not assigned to an infantry division. Service number 633654 fell within this block as did most all the men who made up the 60th Artillery as they all had come from units within the Eastern Department of the army.
These service numbers were then hand stamped into a round aluminum tag that became to be known as the “dog tag” and for the first time the American Army went to battle wearing identity tags or “dog tags.”
Once in France, Pvt. Linkous would remain with the 60th Artillery, CAC throughout the duration of the time they were in France. He would have been on the front lines at both the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne operations, having survived the war without any injuries to his physical body. The experiences he witnessed on the battlefields and the sights he saw during the time he was on the front lines surely had to make a lasting lifelong impression that changed him and every member of the 60th Artillery, forever.
Also, at some point while in France Pvt. Linkous was advanced to the rank of Private First-Class. Once the war ended and it became time for the 60th Artillery to return home they made their way across France to the port city of Brest. The White Star liner SS Cedric was going to be the ship that took them home and on January 26, 1919, PFC Linkous again boarded a ship and steamed for home. On the return trip PFC Linkous listed his father again as his person to contact in case of an emergency.
The 60th Artillery reached Hoboken, New Jersey on February 4 and then were separated by Battalions, going to three different locations for the demobilization process. Second Battalion of which Battery D was a part of was sent to Fort Washington, Maryland. PFC Linkous would have arrived at Fort Washington about February 9 and then 10-days later on February 19, he received the letter of invitation to the reception and dance put on by the Trenton, NJ Soldier’s and Sailor’s Club.
PFC Linkous remained serving in Battery D until March 14, 1919, when he was given an Honorable Discharge from Active Duty. He then returned to his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Sometime within the first year back home from the army, Ribble Linkous took a job at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, located in Blacksburg, Virginia. This institute was commonly known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and later as Virginia Tech. Ribble had taken a position as a dairyman at the college’s dairy farm.
In the 1927 “Bugle” which was the college year book, there is a listing for the Dairy Club members. That year there was 49 classmates in the Dairy Club and seven honorary members of professors and instructors listed, with the name of B. Ribble Linkous listed among the honorary members.
The above photo shows the members of the 1927 Dairy Club at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the names are listed but not in the order of the photo. At Virginia Polytechnic Institute, there was a policy of compulsory participation in the Corps of Cadets, and so that is why in the photo most of the men have on a military uniform. Being that Ribble was not attending the college but was an employee he would not have on a uniform, and so, it is assumed that he may be one of the men in the photo that does not have a uniform on.
By 1930 Ribble Linkous was still working for the college and was now the manager of the schools Dairy Farm. Ribble was 36-years old and was single. He was living at home with both of his parents who were in their seventies, and his brothers.
Ribble’s father, John Henry passed away on May 22, 1934, and Ribble became the head of the family. Ribble was still single and was still living at home with his now widowed mother. In 1940 the family home consisted of Ribble, his mother Belle, His brother Paul and his wife Helena and there two children Betty and Samuel; and Ribble’s youngest brothers Ray and Earl. Ribble, according to the 1940 census form still had the position of the Dairy Farm Manager for Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
America had once again gone to war and in early 1942 Ribble Linkous for the second time in his life had to register for the draft, he was at the time 48-years old and still single, and he was still the manager of the VPI Dairy Farm.
Ribble Linkous was a man who served his Country during the First World War and had volunteered to do so, and now 26-years later his Country once again needed him. On January 28, 1943, Ribble enlisted into the United States Naval Reserve Force, as a Shipfitter Second-Class, serving with the 93rd Naval Construction Battalion. In May of 1943 this Battalion was formed at Camp Perry, in Williamsburg, Virginia. They were then moved to California where in October of 1943 the 93rd Construction Battalion was assigned to duty in the Pacific Theater of Operations and was stationed in the Russell Islands, on Green Island and the Philippine Islands. Building airstrips and other naval facilities on these islands was the essential job of the 93rd. For the second time in his life Ribble Linkous was in combat and in the service of his Country.
Seaman Ribble Linkous was given an Honorable Discharge from the Navy on August 27 1945, and for the second time in his life he came home from war. Ribble’s mother Belle Zora passed away on July 24, 1946.
Fifteen years after the war ended in 1945, another change took place in Ribble Linkous’ life. On July 9, 1958, Ribble married Dorothy Mae West (1897-1996). Ribble at the time was 64-years old and Dorothy was 61-years old, both had never been married before. At the time Ribble was then working as a clerk-bookkeeper for the Virginia State Highway, and Dorothy was a homemaker. On July 9 in Chesterfield, Virginia, Ribble and Dorothy were married by a Baptist minister named Alfred L. Pollock.
For the past year Ribble had been having heart trouble and about August 3, 1958, Ribble began to seek a doctor. On August 8, 1958, Ribble passed away in the Radford Community Hospital. Ribble and Dorothy had not even been married a month when he passed away.
Ribble was then buried in the family cemetery in Blacksburg, Virginia. But the story of Ribble Linkous did not end there in the family cemetery in Blacksburg. Nearly three-years after Ribble’s death, his brother Paul J. Linkous on June 5, 1961, felt that the grave of his brother who had served in uniform in two wars deserved to be remembered as an American hero and have a military grave stone. On that day Paul signed the papers to have a white flat Marble headstone placed upon his brothers grave. On August 21, 1961 a white marble headstone from the Vermont Marble Company arrived at the home of Paul J. Linkous in Blacksburg and he had it placed upon his brothers grave, where today it marks the spot where an American Hero rests quietly awaiting his next duty.
The above is the letter of invitation sent to PFC Ribble Linkous from J. Ralph Park of the Trenton Soldier’s and Sailor’s Club. As you can see it has been folded so as to fit into a small envelope. On the back side are written in what is assumed Ribble’s handwriting, two notations.
The first seems to be the United States Congressman that represented Ribble’s home district back in Virginia. It simply states “Blacksburg, Virginia, Montgomery County. 6th Congressional District, Mr. Woods.” This would have been James P. Woods (1868-1948) who held that seat from February 25, 1919, through March 3, 1923, and was also the former mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, 1898-1900. It is possible that Mr. Woods was at the reception and dance on February 22, 1919, in Trenton, and Ribble met him and wanted to make note of it to remember.
And the second note is the name of a soldier’s wife, a Mrs. Jackson Dudley, whose husband was serving with the 3rd Company Coast Artillery at “Fort Barraucas, Florida.” And then there is the maiden name of Ribble’s mother Zora Robinson. “Fort Barraucas” is actually Fort Barrancas located in Panscaola, Florida. And the 3rd Company Coast Artillery was active at the fort from August of 1917, through November of 1919.
The husband of “Mrs. Jackson Dudley” was Jackson Dudley who during the war had served overseas in France with Battery C of the 64th Artillery, CAC. Sgt. Jackson Dudley, Service No., 723404 was born on November 15, 1889, and passed away on January 22, 1952, and he is buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. Dudley served several years in the Army and then when he was separated he worked as a cook in several military hospitals for the remainder of his life. It is assumed that Ribble Linkous and Mrs. Jackson Dudley may have met each other at the February 22, 1919, reception and dance in Trenton and he made a note of this on the back of the invitation he likely had folded in his pocket. Or that he had met Sgt. Dudley at the reception and that Sgt. Dudley was giving his wife’s address so they could keep in touch.
These two notations will forever more remain a secret as to what the real meanings for the notations actually meant to PFC Ribble Linkous.
Corporal Vincent G. Cooley was killed in action on October 13, 1918, while serving with Battery D in the general area east of the Aire River, in the farm lands between Fleville to the north; Chatel-Cherhery to the west; Exermont to the east; and Apremont to the south. It was in these farm fields that Corporal Cooley was killed as the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 60th Artillery, CAC were moving their positions up towards Fleville.
The exact cause and circumstances of Cpl. Cooley’s death are lost to time, but a general picture of the events of his death can be re-drawn. It was likely that Cpl. Cooley died of shrapnel wounds from German counter-battery fire into the positions of Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC. Cpl. Cooley, weather wounded or killed outright, would have been taken to the 60th Artillery’s field aid station. There a Medical Detachment soldier would have cared for him or seen that his body was looked after. A soldier like PFC Clarence V. Madary of the 60th Artillery Medical Detachment, may have cared for Cpl. Cooley. It was on the very next day on October 14, that PFC Madary himself was killed in action from German shrapnel wounds. Death came in waves during those days and no one knew when death would come to claim its next prey.
After the death of Cpl. Cooley his body would have been cataloged and identified then buried in a quickly dug grave near the aid station, and he may have even been buried alongside PFC Madary. There the bodies of the fallen in battle would rest throughout the fall and winter of 1918-19. Once the war had ended the French nation made provisions for cemeteries for the fallen American soldiers and many of the scattered temporary wartime graves were exhumed and the bodies were relocated. The nearest one to where Cooley was buried was at Romange-sous-Montfaucon, now known as the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, which was only about five or six-miles to the northeast of where Cpl. Cooley was killed in action. It is known that Cpl. Cooley’s grave was removed from the first burial to the cemetery at Romange and re-buried in Group 123, Plot 3, section 2, Grave No. 1232.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery is the largest American cemetery in Europe, World War I and World War II combined, in terms of headstones. A temporary cemetery was established there in 1918, during the fight and it was thought that the first burials there took place on October 14, 1918, the day after Cpl. Cooley died. This ground where the cemetery was begun was ground gained from the Germans by the American 32nd Division. The land was later granted in perpetuity to the United States by the French government. The permanent improvements of the cemetery were completed in 1932 and dedicated in 1937.
Corporal Cooley lay buried at the new cemetery at Romange-sous-Montfaucon, for the next two-years. Then in the late spring of 1921, the grave of Cpl. Cooley was exhumed and his body was removed for transportation back to the United States at the request of his wife Ella Barbara Cooley.
The casket of Cpl. Cooley, who was still in the uniform he was wearing the day he was killed was then transported to a warehouse in Antwerp, Belgium to await ship transportation back the United States soil. In the third week of June 1921, the USAT Somme arrived in the port of Antwerp, Belgium and began to load the flag covered caskets of fallen American soldiers. Among the returning soldiers from Occupation Duty in Germany, the Somme loaded in her holds 1,440 caskets of fallen soldiers bound for the United States. Casket number 262 was the casket of Corporal Vincent G. Cooley, but who was this soldier who had given his life on the battlefields on October 13, 1918, for his life deserves to be remembered and not forgotten into the dust of history gone by.
The answer to that question of who was Cpl. Cooley begins in Elmira, Chemung County, New York on October 29, 1891, as that was the date that Vincent Genger Cooley was born to Anna G. (1870-1942) and Ira G. Cooley (1870-1948). By 1905 the Ira Cooley family was living in Seneca Falls, New York, where the following year Anna gave birth to a second son named Paul. Five more years found the Cooley family living in Washington, DC where Ira was employed as a machinist at the Washington, DC Navy Yard. In the spring of 1910 the Cooley family lived on Potomac Avenue in Washington, DC and Vincent who was then 18-years old was working for the United States Patent Office as a messenger. Later that year Vincent had ventured out from the family home and was living at 727 15th Street, SE in Washington, DC, which was only about six-blocks west and two-blocks north from the Patent Office where he was working. The Patent Office then was located in the block between 9th and 7th Streets NW and G and F Streets NW. Vincent Cooley would work for the Patent Office from 1910 through the time he entered the army in 1917.
By the summer of 1915 Vincent Cooley had met and fell in love with Ella Augusta Barbara Heitmuller, and on November 3, 1915, in Washington, DC Vincent and Ella were married. By then Vincent still worked for the Patent Office but now was a copyist. It was believed that Vincent and Ella were at the time then living in or near Mt. Rainier, Maryland just a few miles out of Washington, DC.
For the next two-years Vincent and Ella lived in the Washington, DC area and then in the spring of 1917, America went to war. This was to be an event that would soon take Vincent away from his wife Ella for all time.
During the first call-up of the draft on June 5, 1917, Vincent Cooley registered his name as he was required to do. That day on June 5, Vincent registered in the 9th Precinct in Washington, DC. He was then 25-years old and a medium built man with gray eyes and dark brown hair. Vincent for the rest of the summer of 1917, would continue working at the Patent Office and would come home to his wife each night. This would be the last summer he would ever spend going home to his wife, but neither Vincent or Ella knew what lie ahead of them in the next year.
Just before Christmas of 1917, the War Department had issued orders detailing for the formation of the 60th Artillery Regiment, Coast Artillery Corps, for service in France. And it was likely about this same time that Vincent Cooley had joined the Washington, DC National Guard. Vincent would have been serving in the Washington, DC Coast Artillery National Guard Company as that was the unit that made up the basis of Battery D, 60th Artillery, CAC.
As the 60th Artillery formed Vincent was seen as a leader of men and by the time of the sailing of the 60th Artillery in April of 1918 Vincent Cooley was serving at the rank of Corporal. It is not known the last time that Vincent and Ella had seen each other before parting. For sure as they gave that last parting kiss they could not know that this parting would be forever as Vincent would not return from the battlefields in France, as the payment in blood on the field of battle would fall squarely upon Cpl. Vincent Cooley to pay.
It was on April 22, 1918, that the 60th Artillery walked up the gangplank onto the USS Siboney then tied to the dock at Newport News, Virginia. It would not be until the next day that the Siboney got away from the dock leaving the United States for Europe. Down deep within the hull of the Siboney, Cpl Cooley had to fill out a name of someone to contact in case of an emergency. He wrote the name of his wife Ella Heitmuller Cooley, C/O S. A. Miller, Route No. 7 Sargent Road, Brookland, District of Columbia.
Once in France, the 60th Artillery began their training and were issued the French 155mm GPF guns. But before Cpl. Cooley heads off to the battlefront, he at least once made a trip to Paris to see the sights. On May 27, 1918 he writes a letter to his sister-in-law back home as he has purchased her a souvenir from Paris. His letter written on YMCA letterhead marked “On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Force” reads in part:
May 27, 1918
My Dear Sister-in-Law,
Just a little remembrance from a soldier in France. I was in Paris the other day and bought this little thing as it took my eye.
Tell Steve I wish he could have been with me on some of my trips through the farming country over here. They have quite a few vineyards but there is lots of farming done besides. The farms look fine but the implements they use are about 50-years behind times.
Paris is a beautiful place with its many large parks, squares and wide boulevards.
|This is the souvenir that Cpl. Cooley purchased in Paris, France for his Sister-in-law. It is a postcard with fine embroidery work of the flags of the Allied Powers.|
By September 12, 1918, Cpl. Cooley was being baptized in combat in the St. Mihiel Salient. Within a 3-day period each man of the 60th Artillery, CAC underwent the first taste of combat and were changed for the rest of their lives, gone were the innocent youngsters that they were just a few days before. Now they were replaced with hardened souls of combat tested men. Cpl. Cooley counted himself lucky to have lived through the experience, for what would lay ahead of them in the next month would make the experience they had just come through look like a picnic.
Now on the Meuse-Argonne battle front the 60th Artillery began a monumental struggle against the German Army that started on September 26 and would go on to the last hour of the war. This monumental struggle would on October 13 ask for the payment of Cpl. Cooley’s life.
And now the story of Cpl. Vincent Cooley jumps ahead from October of 1918 to Thursday, June 23, 1921. This was the day that the dock crane in Antwerp, Belgium loaded casket No. 262, containing the body of Corporal Vincent G. Cooley, Service No. 633543, into the hold of the USAT Somme. Once the Somme had finished loading the 1,440 caskets and other passengers she set sail for New York, and on July 7, 1921, arrived at the wharf in Hoboken, New Jersey. The Somme began to unload the caskets from her hold and they were taken to an Army Quartermaster depot warehouse to await the final disposition of each casket.
Ella Cooley, had requested that the body of her husband be brought back home to American soil for burial and agents on her behalf claimed casket No. 262 and transported it to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC for final burial. In August of 1921 casket No. 262 containing the body of Cpl. Vincent Cooley was buried in Section 18, Grave Site No. 2016 in Arlington National Cemetery and a white marble gravestone was placed upon his grave, marking the spot of an American hero who paid the fullest measure in the eternal struggle of the price of Freedom.
But the story of Cpl. Cooley does not rest within the grave he is now buried in. Ella Cooley had to continue on with her life without her beloved husband. Back when Cpl. Cooley had to fill out a contact name when he was aboard the USS Siboney, he had written the name of “S. A. Miller.” This was Ella’s sister’s husband, Stephen A. Miller. In the years after the war Ella went to live with her sister and her husband in Prince George’s, County Maryland. Stephen Miller had a truck farm and Ella had taken a job as a stenographer for the local Prince George’s Police Department.
But sometime after the beginning of 1920 Ella needed a change in her life and that change came by moving to Hawaii. Ella Cooley and a friend named Lelia B. Hardell, who was a school teacher, both made plans to travel out to Hawaii and live, where Lelia would take a teaching job and Ella would work in an office as a stenographer. By late summer of 1920 both had their affairs in order and had traveled out to San Francisco, California where on September 1, 1920, both booked passage aboard the SS Wilhelmina out of San Francisco bound for Honolulu. The Wilhelmina arrived in Honolulu on September 8 and Ella and Lelia began their new lives in the tropical Hawaiian Islands.
Ella was in Hawaii when the body of her husband Cpl. Cooley was buried in Arlington in August of 1921. On August 15, 1921, Ella Cooley writes a letter from Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii to Bertha, back home in Washington, DC. Bertha Louise Heitmuller was born in 1899 and was Ella’s younger sister, the letter reads:
Honolulu, T. H.
You must have had a very pleasant visit to Cleveland after all. The Lutheran minister here has often mentioned Rev. Morhart. He is away on his vacation during the month of August. Last Saturday Mr. Catton (my boss) and his wife took us girls here in the office to lunch and then out to the Honolulu Plantation and through the sugar mill. Goodness but it is great. We saw the whole process from unloading the cane from the cars to bagging the sugar and piling it in the warehouse. It certainly was nice of him wasn’t it. I want to go through a pineapple cannery now.
So, you expect to step off in October. Wish I was going to be there, but we cannot have everything. I learned that rather early in life. You must write me all about it. Take things slow and easy. Am sorry mama has been sick again.
Guess the kitchen was too hot for her. How is Bernie getting along this year? Were his crops good and did they sell for good prices? Have been wondering if mama and Bernie will be able to take a little vacation this year. They ought to before you go away but I suppose I am wasting my breath to mention it.
If you like the Kimona, I am sure glad. I pondered over it a very great deal. I, myself just love it and am wondering if I’ll take a fling and invest in one for yours truly. Doesn’t it feel good?
Did I tell you little Bennie Ellin is on his way home? How are all the other neighbors? So, Mrs. Volland visits you. I expect a letter from Mamie this week. Mail comes in tomorrow – also goes out.
I am going to get lots of rest this week. Slept all day nearly, yesterday and went to bed immediately after supper last night. You keep forgetting to send me Mrs. Ryberg’s address in Los Angeles. Also Mrs. Johnson’s – or can’t you find out what they are. I’d like to go there when I return to the coast.
The girls are here in Honolulu now from Kauai. Had lunch with them today. Business here continues to be very dull and conditions of the banks worry me. I may send some of my money home and then send it for when I need it to come home. I want to make a few inquiries here first however. Am still going to the doctor so you see where my money goes. We are going to move in a new building next month and our board will be raised. One has to be a pretty good manager – or as Bernie would say “tight” out here. Write often and give my best to all.
Aloha nui oe,
Life in Hawaii for Ella Cooley was going peaceful and somewhat uneventful but by the late summer of 1922 both Ellla and Lelia felt it was time to leave Hawaii and return home to the States. But first the pair would take a year and travel the world by visiting Japan, Hong Kong, China, Italy, France, England and finally home to the east coast of the United States.
On August 4, 1922, in Honolulu, Hawaii Ella and Lelia had boarded the SS Taiyo Maru bound for Japan. On Ella Cooley’s passport application, she stated she was going to visit the country of France, and it was likely that she may have visited the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery to see where her husband Vincent had been buried before his body was taken back to the States. On her last leg of her around the world travels she would have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the port of Hamilton, Bermuda. About May 22 or 23, 1924, in Hamilton Ella Cooley boarded the SS Fort Victoria and steamed for New York City where the Fort Victoria made New York Harbor on May 26, 1924. Also, traveling aboard the Fort Victoria with Ella was her younger sister Bertha Louise Heitmuller. This was the sister whom Ella had written the letter to from Hawaii where she spoke about the burial of her husband the late Corporal Vincent Cooley being buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Later in her life Ella Cooley would re-marry. On June 29, 1929, Ella Cooley had married Martin “Marty” Steele, who was then serving in the United States Marine Corps. By 1930, Ella and Martin were living in Washington, DC where Martin was on duty with the Marines at Quantico, Virginia and Ella worked for a Government office as a secretary. For at least the next 10-years or more they lived in Washington, DC. According to the 1940 Census form it states that Martin Steele was a Staff Sergeant with the Marine Corps, and that Ella and Martin lived in an apartment at 250 Farragut Street NW in Washington, DC. Martin Steele had enlisted into the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1916 and served in the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916, Served in the Naval Reserve during WWI, and after the war in 1919 served in the Army from 1919 through 1920, and then enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in October of 1928, serving through at least March of 1946.
Ella and Martin would later in May of 1949 travel to Bermuda where they took a month vacation in the spring of 1949. It was on September 2, 1960 that Martin Steele passed away at the age of 64-years. Martin Steele was then buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Section 28 Site 827. Now Ella had two husbands buried in Arlington. The completion of the Story of Ella’s life ends back in Arlington National Cemetery as when she passed away on February 8, 1965, she was buried in Section 28, Site 828, next to Martin her second husband. Section 28 is on the northern end of the cemetery bordered by Ord & Wentzel Drive and Lincoln and Mitchell Drives. Section 18 sits along the southwestern part of Arlington.
Now both Corporal Vincent Cooley and Ella were resting in peace in Arlington, but even today the story of Corporal Vincent Cooley who was Killed in Action on October 13, 1918, continues. In Bladensburg, Maryland there is a monument to the 49 men from Prince George’s County, Maryland who were Killed in Action during WWI, and Cpl. Vincent G. Cooley is one of the 49 men whose names appear on the bronze plaque on the memorial.
This memorial is the Bladensburg World War I Memorial, more commonly referred to as the Peace Cross, and is located in the three-way junction of Bladensburg Road, Baltimore Avenue, and Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Maryland. It is a large cross of 40 feet in height, made of tan concrete with exposed pink granite aggregate. The arms of the cross are supported by unadorned concrete arches. The base of the cross displays the words "valor," "endurance," "courage," and "devotion." It also includes a bronze tablet listing the names of 49 men from Prince George's County who died during the war, along with a quote from Woodrow Wilson: "The right is more precious than peace. We shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts. To such a task we dedicate our lives."
The American Legion had commissioned the cross to commemorate the 49 servicemen that died overseas during World War I. The monument was designed by Washington, D.C. architect and artist John Joseph Earley, and was erected between 1919 and 1925. The Latin cross design was selected as it mirrored the cross structures used on the gravesites of soldiers buried after the war in Europe and other locations. United States Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels spoke at the monument's groundbreaking ceremony in September 1919, with a formal dedication ceremony in July 1925.
The cross was originally built on private lands, but the lands were turned over to the state's Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1961. This Commission has since overseen maintenance of the memorial. The land has been heavily developed over the years, with a divided highway passing by it and the memorial on its median. The Commission installed nighttime illumination to avoid this becoming a safety hazard. Additionally, more war memorial structures have been erected in the same general area, creating the Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.
As recently as 2017 a legal challenge against the Peace Cross was brought by a group called the American Humanist Association. In October 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the case of The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, that publicly funded maintenance of the cross was unconstitutional because it "excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the core symbol of Christianity and breaches the wall separating church and state." The court remanded the issue of what will happen to the cross to the district court.
On November 2, 2018, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, hearing oral arguments on February 27, 2019. On June 20, 2019, the Supreme Court, in the case of The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, ruled in favor of keeping the Peace Cross on public land, by the reason that it does not violate The Establishment Clause of the US Constitution.
Now finally the memory of the 49 men who are named on the Peace Cross can rest in peace, and this is where the final paragraph of the story of Corporal Vincent G. Cooley, Service No. 633543, can be written, an American hero who gave his life for the Freedom we are using now today can finally end in peace.
|This is a printed image of Cpl. Cooley that was printed in the three-volume edition of “Soldiers of the Great War,” compiled by W. M. Haulses, F. G. Howe and A. C. Doyle. Washington, D.C. and printed in 1920.||This is a pre-war era photo of Vincent G. Cooley.|
|The above photo is Cpl. Cooley taken in “Grandmother Heiders” front yard. This would have been late summer of 1917.||Above is a photo of Ella and Vincent likely taken during the fall of 1917, and may have been one of the last times Ella and Vincent were together.|
|An undated earlier photo of Vincent G. Cooley. Likely this was taken at the farm of his brother-in-law Stephen A. Miller who had the truck farm.||The white marble gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery of Vincent G. Cooley, District of Columbia, CPL, Bty D 60th CAC, October 13, 1918.|
|Above is the United States Passport photo of Ella Heitmuller Cooley from 1922.||Above is a post card from France that Cpl. Cooley sent back home to Ella. It depicts a French Soldier embracing the woman whom he loves, and is remembering her as he goes off to war. In the lower left corner, Cpl. Cooley has written “My heart beats for you” to Ella his wife.|
On the left is a 1918 calendar that Ella Cooley had. The illustration shows an American Soldier holding the woman who he loves dearly and has to go off to war. The caption under the illustration says “The girl I leave behind me.” This is such a poignant piece as Ella likely used it to mark the days until the return of her husband, but sadly for Ella, that day would never come.
PFC Jesse Weathers, 633995, Battery E, 60th CAC
Jesse Weathers was born in Florida on August 9, 1889 and was the son of Jesse H. Weathers of Barnett, Georgia, where he lived most of his life and called Georgia his home state. He served in combat with Battery E of the 60th Artillery during the time they were engaged at the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Jesse Weathers passed away on July 24, 1958 and was burried in the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia, Section C, Site 2303-B
|Mechanic Daniel Tagliere, 632253, Battery E|
When Mechanic Daniel Tegliere sailed to France on April 22, 1918 aboard the USS Siboney he was serving in the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery. Upon his return after the war aboard the Cedric, Mechanic Tagliere was serving in Battery E of the 60th Artillery, CAC. On both the trip across and back home Daniel listed his mother Filamena Pizzo of 5672 Grover Street in Chicago as the person to contact in case of an emergency. Daniel Tagliere was was born in Italy in 1895 (as Donato Taglieri) and immigrated to the U.S. around 1900 and lived most of his life in Chicago.
Everett Maxwell Barton was born November 13, 1891 in Jackson, Ohio to Ross Allison Barton and Myrtle Booth. He was the first of eight children.
Immediately after his graduation from Jackson High School in 1911, he followed his family to Hampton, VA where he worked painting farm buildings on a large plantation nearaby. In the fall of 1913 he entered the Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg, VA. Although the United States entry into the 1st World War was eminent, he was able to complete his college course.
Marriage and WW1
He then went immediately from graduation at V.P.I. to the first Officers' Training Camp at Ft. Meyer and Ft. Monroe, Va. After the training camp he was given two weeks leave before reporting for duty at Ft. Monroe. During this time he married ELMA EDITH MCMILLIN August 20, 1917 in Arlington, Nebraska.
September 1917 He attended training with a coast artillery company at Ft. Monroe.
February 1918 - The 60th Artillery was organized at Fort Monroe, VA.
April 1918 - The 60th CAC was moved to Camp Stuart, VA in for preparation before sailing to France. He was assigned to a heavy artillery regiment then being formed at nearby Camp Stewart, Va.
April 23, 1918 - The entire regiment of 71 Officers and 1,649 enlisted men sailed aboard the transport USS Siboney from Port of Embarkation Newport News, VA.
May 9, 1918 - They landed at Brest, France. He sent a postcard upon arrival: "On land 4/9 1918 My spirits are fine and I am feeling well. I have found this country exceedingly interesting. Every place is a garden of green springtime. The quaint peasant houses are of stone and said to have been built in the time before Napoleon. I got my first view of a convent. The women and children wear wooden shoes. The boys sometimes have black apron like garment to keep their trousers clean. I don't think it has any effect on their faces. Letter will follow as soon as possible. With love, Everett M. Barton"
May 1918- He was then sent to the LeMans forwarding camp.
From there he was sent to St. Emilion near Bourdeaux for further training.
July 1918 - He is photographed in St Laurent. There he met Mme Ichon who made the dress for his daughter Shirley, born while he was in France. I have a letter she wrote him dated October 30 1918.
August 1918 - He is phototgraphed in Marseille. He was sent to Marseilles in on the Mediterranean to pick up 113 Nash and F.W.D ammunition body trucks which they drove back overland to the regiment.
August 1918 - Then he says he was sent to the French Tractor Artillery School in Vincennes near Paris for " three months of further training. The 60th Regiment of Coast Artillery had target practice with our new motorized 60mm French " G.P.F." rifles."
September 1918 - He was sent to the St. Mihiel front. St Mihiel is a village of northeast France on the Meuse River east of Paris.
He was then sent to the Meuse-Argonne offensive where they were when the Nov. 11 Armistice "made it all quiet - so quiet!"
November 11, 1918 - Armistice
November 24, 1918 - He was in Romagne.
November 27-December 27 1918 - He was at Thilleux.
December 18-24, 1918 - He travelled from Thilleux to Tours. He saw his brother Merrill at Tours.
January 17, 1919 - He writes a postcard descibing the picture on the reverse side from Gondrecourt, France to Elma: "Jan 17, 1919 Gondrecourt, France. Here is what is to be seen for two or three miles in Paris from Place de Concorde to D'Arc de Triomph. The French soldier leading the little child is typical of the soldiers in France. The others are looking at the "77". There are some Austrian "88s" at the right andsome captured "auto.." in the wall. [Signed] E.M Barton Captain"
January 18, 1919 - Woodrow Wilson address the Peace Conference in Paris. Everett has a photograph of the President's parade.
March 8, 1919 - He was in Saveny taking a picture of Market Day.
April 1919 - He was at the Cathedral at Rheims. He writes that he returned to the States ( I don't know when) before the regiment and had an appendix operation at Ft. McHenry Baltimore, MD. He was then assigned to duty at Ft. H.G. Wright of the coast defenses of Long Island Sound. Tired of army life, he resigned my commission as Captain C.A.C. and returned to civilian life on a large farm in Nebraska with his father-in-law, George McMillin.
In 1921 an opportunity to resume his chosen work in electrical engineering led him to Westinghouse Company at East Pittsburgh, Pa. Two years later the Ga. Power Company in Atlanta offered him employment in their Test Department. There he inspected newly constructed substations and supervised young engineers in the field testing of electrical equipment. He retired in 1956 after 33 years of service.
He died January 02, 1962 in Hickory, NC and is buried in Crest Lawn Cemetery, Atlanta, GA
Corporal Green was a member of Battery E, 60th Artillery and saw combat with that regiment in the St. Mihiel Offensive from September 12-16, and the Meuse Argonne Offensive September 26- November 11, 1918. He was awarded the WWI Victory medal with two battle claps and one defensive sector clasp.
Previous to Green joining the army he worked as a machinist in Shelby, North Carolina. He enlisted into the United States Army on January 28, 1915 at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and was placed into the Army's Coast Artillery branch on February 4, 1915. His duty station was in the 6th Company, Coast Defenses of the Chesapeake Bay.
In January of 1918 the 60th Artillery, CAC was forming for service in France, and that same month Pvt. Green was reassigned to Battery E in the 60th Artillery. He was advanced to rank of Corporal on February 1, 1918 before the regiment sailed to France. The 60th Artillery sailed aboard the USS Siboney on April 23, 1918 for France.
He was with Battery E through out the duration of the war, and once the armistice was signed the 60th Artillery on January 26, 1919 boarded the HMS Cedric bound for the States. They reached New York on February 4, 1919. The 60th Artillery was then in the process of discharging men and reassigning those who would be returned to their former units. Corporal Green on February 27 was then reassigned back to he former unit the 6th Company, Coast Defenses of the Chesapeake Bay then under the command of Captain Rolla V. Ladd, CAC.
In the Beech Grove Cemetery located in Muncie, Indiana there is a simple white Military gravestone that has blackened over the years, with several chips along the edges. There is an evergreen bush partially overtaking the stone that is embossed with a Christian Cross above the name, which seems to set quietly not calling much attention. But this stone deserves to be remembered for whom the man was that rests in this grave, and he has a story of devotion to his Country and fellow citizens and his family that needs to be told and remembered. For this man gave his life protecting these things he held dear.
The markings on the stone says: Toney C. Hellis, INDIANA, PVT. 60th Coast Artillery Corps, September 30, 1923
Toney C. Hellis, or Anthoney Charles Hellis was born about 1899 in Muncie, Indiana. The Hellis family was German and Anthoney’s parents both came from Germany, making Anthoney and his siblings’ first generation Americans. The devotion to Country by the Hellis family did not rest solely with Anthoney, as there were several family members who would also carry this same torch of devotion.
The first recorded notations of his life come from a 1917 edition of the Muncie City Directory, in which Anthoney Hellis is listed as living at 2804 South Elm Street, and worked at the Hinde-Dauch Paper Company in Muncie. From the 1917 Muncie City Directory there are clues as to who Anthoney’s parents were. At the same address listed in the 1917 Directory, at 2804 South Elm Street, there is a John J. and Josephine M. Hellis listed who were his parents. Additionally, there is Frank, Lena M. Sallie and Stanley J. Hellis also listed at that address. Frank, Lena, Sallie and Stanley were his siblings. In 1917 Anthony along with John, Frank, Sallie, and Stanley all worked for the Hinde-Dauch Paper Company in Muncie.
In 1917 as America was preparing to go to war Anthoney or “Toney” as he was known, joined or was drafted into the army. He would be the first in his family to carry the torch of devotion to Country. Toney Hellis served in the army’s Coast Artillery Corps branch and was serving with the 60th Artillery. Private Hellis sailed to France with the 60th and participated in combat at the St. Mihiel operations and also during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. Once the war was over Pvt. Hellis was returned to the States with the 60th Artillery, and was discharged from the army likely in late February 1919.
After the war Toney in 1919 fell in love with Rhea Margaret Stump. Toney and Rhea were married in Muncie on November 26, 1919 and made their home at 918 West 13th Street in Muncie, which was the home of Rhea’s parents, Isaac and Nora Stump. Also living at the 13th Street home was Rhea’s two younger brothers, Emory and Lewis. Emory and Rhea along with Toney all worked at the Hinde-Dauch Paper Mill. Rhea’s father Isaac worked as a truck driver hauling freight.
Toney and Rhea had their first child, a son named Charles Anthoney Hellis, on August 28, 1920, and a second son named Albert H. Hellis, who was born on July 21, 1922. Soon enough the Stump’s home was not big enough for the growing Hellis family and Toney and Rhea and the two boys had moved away from her parent’s home on 13th Street to a home of their own at 1009 West 12th Street in Muncie.
About 1921 Toney had quit his job at the paper mill and taken a job with the Muncie Police Department working as a patrolman, again serving is fellow citizen in a higher cause.
Life for the Hellis family in Muncie for the most part was quiet and easygoing as any other mid-western city of its size. But on Sunday September 30, 1923 that all changed for the Hellis family in a split second. While on duty Patrolman Toney Hellis responded to a police call, and once on the scene Patrolman Hellis found it was a domestic disturbance call where a husband was beating his wife. When Hellis and the other officers arrived the suspect fled the scene on foot and Hellis gave chase on foot. Unknown to Patrolman Hellis the man was armed and at a point in the foot chase the suspect suddenly stopped, turned and fatally shot Patrolman Hellis. The suspect then fled again and remained on the run for two more days until finally he returned to his home where he committed suicide. Patrolman Toney C. Hellis would become the first Muncie Policeman to be killed while on duty. When a police officer is killed in the line of duty not only does his family mourn, but also the entire city mourned.
Now Rhea was left to raise the two boys, Charles and Albert, alone. After Toney’s death Rhea and the boys were living at 1223 West 10th Street in Muncie. After three years she remarried on July 3, 1926 to Claude C. Burris. This marriage did not last very long and by April of 1930 Rhea had divorced Claude Burris, and she and the two boys were again living back at her parent’s home on 13th Street. Rhea was then working as a box maker back at the Hinde-Dauch Paper Company in Muncie.
But by the fall of 1931 Rhea again remarried, and on October 24, 1931 she had married William A. McKinley. This marriage would last the rest of her life with Rhea and William living on in Muncie.
The example of service to fellow countryman and citizen that Toney Hellis showed with his life was passed on to others in his family. Toney’s brother, Stanley J. Hellis followed his brothers example of servanthood, serving in the Army with the Motor Transport Corps during WWI, and as a civilian as a fireman for the Muncie Fire Department for many years. And Toney’s two sons Charles and Albert also carried the torch of servanthood that their father had impressed onto them. Charles the eldest son, served as a rifleman with Company B, 407th Infantry, of the 102nd Infantry Division in combat in Europe during WWII, and Toney’s youngest son Albert also served as a Sergeant in the Army during WWII.
Charles Hellis the eldest son of Toney and Rhea would live for several years in Muncie before moving to Terre Haute, Indiana where he passed away on August 12, 2010. Albert the youngest son lived all his life in Muncie and he passed away on July 15, 1998 and is buried in the Beech Grove Cemetery, which is the same cemetery his father Toney is buried at.
Toney’s wife Rhea would pass away in 1978 and is buried at the Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Muncie with her third husband William A. McKinley. But at the Beech Grove Cemetery there is a simple Military white gravestone that sets unattended marking the grave of Toney C. Hellis, which today stands silently alone marking the spot where the man, who carried that torch of devotion to his fellow citizen, lays resting in peace.
In the Beech Grove Cemetery the simple Military white gravestone that sets unattended marking the grave of Anthony Hellis stands silently alone marking the spot where the man who carried that torch of devotion to his fellow citizen lays resting in peace.
Patrolman Anthony C. Hellis, Muncie, Indiana Police Department.
Clayton was born in Cassopolis, Michigan on January 31, 1892. Before the war he was a banker. Clayton enlisted into the Army at Fargo, North Dakota on December 15, 1917. He was sent to the Jefferson Barracks, in Missouri and first served in Battery F, 60th Artillery, CAC to July 13, 1918, when he was transferred to the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery, CAC, where he served throughout the rest of the war. He sailed to France with the 60th Artillery from April 23, 1918, to February 4, 1919 when they were returned to the States. Pvt. Akin served in combat at the Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel Offensives. Pvt. Akin was Honorably Discharged at Camp Dodge, Iowa, on February 26, 1919, as a Private.
Hupe was born on April 16, 1894 in Marshfield, Wisconsin, of German-American parents. Prior to serving in the army Hupe was a farmer and he registered for the Draft in Sioux County, North Dakota. Edward Hupe enlisted into the Army at Aberdeen, South Dakota on December 15, 1917, and was sent to the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. When the 60th Artillery, CAC was formed PFC Hupe was placed into Battery F, of the 60th Artillery, CAC, where he served until he was discharged. On July 1, 1918 Hupe was advance in grade to Wagoner, which was equivalent to a Private First Class. Hupe sailed with the 60th Artillery, CAC aboard the Siboney and the Cedric and served in combat at the the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Wagoner Hupe was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty at Camp Dodge, Iowa, on February 26, 1919.
Clifford Moody was born Hillbarrons, Wisconsin on February 13, 1896, and before the war worked as a farmer. He enlisted into the army at Rhame, North Dakota on December 15, 1917 and was sent to the Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. When the 60th Artillery, CAC, was first formed Moody was placed into the Headquarters Company of the 60th Artillery CAC. He sailed aboard the USS Siboney with the HQ Company, but while in France on May 6, 1918, he was transferred from the HQ Company into Battery F.
Pvt. Moody served with Battery F at the St. Mihiel Offensive and then the 60th Artillery, CAC was moved to the Meuse-Argonne area. It was on September 26, 1918, the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, that Pvt. Moody was wounded slightly. He would have been taken off the front lines to an aid station and then a Field Hospital where he recovered from his wounds.
Pvt. Moody was then taken to St. Nazaire, France and awaited ship transportation back home. On January 10, 1919, Pvt. Moody went aboard the USS Manchuria with a casual company of sick and wounded men and steamed for home. The Manchuria reached Hoboken, New Jersey on January 22, 1919, and Pvt. Moody was sent to Camp Grant, Illinois where he was Honorably Discharged on May 9, 1919.
Lawrence Henry Uebersetzig was born in Hadley, Minnesota on August 19, 1895. During the first call-up of the draft in early 1917, Uebersetzig registered in Morton County North Dakota and then enlisted into the army at Bismarck, North Dakota on December 15, 1917. Recruit Uebersetzig was sent to the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri for training. By the time the 60th Artillery CAC was forming for duty in France, Pvt. Uebersetzig was assigned to duty with Battery F. Pvt. Uebersetzig sailed with the 60th Artillery to France and served on the front lines during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. On October 8, 1918 during action on the front Lines Uebersetzig was advanced in grade to Wagoner. He would survive the war and return to the States on February 4, 1919 with the 60th Artillery, CAC. Wagoner Uebersetzig was given an Honorable Discharge at Camp Dodge, Iowa on February 26, 1919.
Eugene E. Young was born in Graymont, Illinois on August 4, 1893. He worked as a general laborer before joining the army. Young registered for the draft in Griggs County, North Dakota and then enlisted into the army at the Jefferson Barracks in Missouri on December 15, 1917. As the 60th Artillery, CAC was forming for duty in France, Pvt. Young was assigned to duty with Battery F. On June 14, 1918 while serving with Battery F in France, Pvt. Young was advanced in grade to Private First Class and then four days later on June 18 he was advanced to Sergeant.
Sgt. Young with Battery F was on the front lines in combat during the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Offensives. Sgt. Young returned to the States with the 60th Artillery aboard the SS Cedric and was given an honorable Discharge from Active Duty on March 12, 1919.
Constituted 23 December, 1917 in the Regular Army as the 60th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps and organized at Fort Monroe, Virginia, comprising Regular Army companies and National Guard companies from Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Demobilized 24 February, 1919 at Ft. Washington, Maryland (National Guard companies concurrently reverted to control of Virginia and the District of Columbia)
Reconstituted 26 October 1922 in the Regular Army as the 60th Artillery Battalion, Antiaircraft and organized at Ft. Crockett, Texas.
Expanded, reorganized and redesignated 1 July 1924 as the 60th Coast Artillery.
Surrendered 6 May, 1942 to the Japanese forces on Corregidor Island, Philippine Islands.
Inactivated 2 April, 1946 at Ft. Mills, Philippine Islands.
Redesignated 1 August, 1946 as the 60th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion and activated at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
Redesignated 7 December, 1949 as the 60th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion Automatic Weapons Battalion, Mobile.
Redesignated 27 July, 1950 as the 60th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion.
Inactivated 17 June, 1957 at Southampton, England.
Reorganized and redesignated 31 July, 1959 as the 60th Artillery, a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System.
Redesignated 1 September, 1971 as the 60th Air Defense Artillery.
Campagin Participation of the 60th Air Defense Artillery
World War I
World War II
Counteroffensive, Phase II
Counteroffensive, Phase III
Counteroffensive, Phase IV
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Counteroffensive, Phase VI
Tet 1969 Counteroffensive
Counteroffensive, Phase VII
Presidential Unit Citation Army, Streamer embroidered BATAAN
Presidential Unit Citation Army, Streamer embroidered MANILA AND SUNIC BAYS
Presidential Unit Citation Army, Streamer embroidered DEFENSE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Meritorious Unit Commendation, Streamer embroidered Vietnam 1967-1968
Meritorious Unit Commendation, Streamer embroidered Vietnam 1968-1969
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered 7 December 1941 to 10 May 1942
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