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Madison County During World War I

 

Wounded In Action

 

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Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 27, 1918

The arrival of ships into the New York Harbor is being watched with interest by Altonians, and nearly every vessel coming is bringing some wounded Altonian. Relatives and friends are scanning the papers closely to see what divisions are being sent over at the earliest date. The worst wounded are being sent to America first, and are sent to the nearest stations to their hometown. Alton's wounded boys are being sent to Jefferson Barracks.

 

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ALDOUS, JOSEPH

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 31, 1918

Word came today to Mr. and Mrs. James Aldous that Lieut. Joseph Aldous was in a hospital in England suffering from a machine gun bullet wound in his left leg. The letter telling of the injury of Lieut. Aldous came from the young man himself. He said he was in an emergency hospital in the home of a London banker, and there were ten other patients there with him. The letter was full of good cheer, and contained some jokes - one of which was where he told of his arrival in England with no clothes on. He said he was carried in, wearing his pajamas. It was known he had been on active service, and nothing had been heard from him for some time. He was wounded September 29. The bullet which struck him went clear through his left leg just above the knee. His parents were much relieved to know he had come through the experience and was able to send them word of his comparative safety. Lieut. Aldous was employed for a long time in the Alton Savings bank, and later took up his work with the Mississippi Sand Co. He was a student at the first Ft. Sheridan officers' training camp, and was commissioned there.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 20, 1919

Lieut. Joseph Aldous returned to Alton Wednesday evening, feeling very fine. Today he was kept very busy meeting friends who were glad to welcome him home after many months of absence doing service overseas. Lieut. Aldous left Alton for overseas service, in company with Lieut. William Levis and Lieut. R. B. Goff, but was the last of the three to return to this country. He has recovered from his wounds which he received in France. The young officer is a son of Mr. and Mrs. James Aldous, and is connected with the Mississippi Sand Company. Lieut. Aldous was badly wounded while in service in France, and was transferred to a hospital in England where he recovered from the wound, and was sent back to France to resume his duties there. His presence at Alton has been urgently needed by the Mississippi Sand Co., of which he is an officer, and with which he was connected before leaving Alton. He will resume his connection with the company in a short time. Lieut. Aldous was one of the graduates of the first officers' training camp at Ft. Sheridan.

 

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ASH, HARRY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 22, 1918

Miss Margaret Harris today applied to the Red Cross headquarters to have that organization secure additional information regarding her brother, Berry Harris, who has been reported wounded. The information came in a letter from Harry Ash, also of Alton. Ash, who is in a hospital at Winchester, England, himself suffering from injuries received in action, wrote that he had recovered sufficiently to take a position as a truck driver. He also stated that he had heard Berry Harris was coming to the Winchester hospital, stating the report was that Harris had been wounded in the leg.

 

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BAKER, CHARLES

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded.

 

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BAKER, GENE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded. Gene was gassed and never fully recovered his health. After being back for several months, he underwent an operation from which he never recovered.

 

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B_NGERT, GUS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded.

 

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BETZ, ADOLPH

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 17, 1918

Two Alton boys fighting in different sectors of the great battle in France have been wounded, according to word that arrived in Alton today. Stanley Lynch of the medical corps, and Adolph Betts of the infantry, were the Alton boys. The names of neither of the lads have appeared on the casualty list. The information concerning their wounds came through the mails....Adolph Betz, son of Mrs. Teresa Betz of North Alton, a young man who was cited for bravery several weeks ago when he and three companions went over the top and captured 21 Germans and several guns in a later engagement with the Huns, was wounded, and is now in a base hospital in Paris, France. This information was received by Mrs. Fred Plumb, his sister, this morning in a letter written in the hospital, and which is as follows:  "My Dear Mrs. Plumb: While visiting the base hospital yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting your brother, Corporal Adolph Betz. Your brother was very anxious to send a message to you. He wishes you to know that while he is slightly wounded, there is nothing serious the matter with him. He would write this message himself, but is unable to use his right arm and hand just now. He wants you to feel that he is being taken care of the best way possible, and expects to be soon well enough to get back in the lines. He sends his love, and as soon as he is able will write. I am very glad to be able to forward this message to you, and I congratulate you on having such a brave brother. I am, with best regards, Your sincerely, H. G. Enelow, Rabbi, Overseas Commission, Jewish Welfare Board."

 

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 26, 1918

Mrs. Fred Plumb of 2616 State street, Tuesday morning received a letter from her brother, Corporal Adolph Betz, who has been in a Red Cross hospital in France for several weeks recovering from injuries received in battle. Adolph wrote the letter with his left hand, his right hand and arm being out of commission, and he made it short for the reason that writing with his left hand "is hard work." He appreciates the fact that his injured arm is massaged each day by a "pretty nurse, and its sure helps my arm a whole lot." He received nine letters from home that day, and that was the first he had heard from Alton for a long time. The letters had been following him around the battlefields, it is supposed, and finally overtook him in the hospital. "I had a bad abscess on my arm a few days ago," he says, "but they cut it and my arm is feeling much better now, although it is still awful stiff." The letter was written October 20, and he had nothing to say about coming home. Since then the armistice has been signed and the information given that the wounded will be brought back home. Corporal Betz's relatives and friends hope he is now on the way, or that he will soon be back in this country, for which he so valiantly fought. He sends regards and best wishes to all friends.

 

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BLAKE, EUGENE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 29, 1919                     Young Veteran of Many Battles Dies At St. Joseph's Hospital    [After the war's end]
Eugene Blake, recently returned from France, where he had the distinction of going over the top five times, died last night at St. Joseph's Hospital during an operation for relief from appendicitis. He was 24 years old. Blake made his home in Wood River before leaving with a contingent of drafted men, and has lived there since his discharge from the service. In France he was attached to the 30th division, 119th Infantry, to which were attached Sydney Gaskins and Albert Rupert of Alton. Gaskins is home, having been wounded and discharged, while Rupert died in action. Rupert was talking to Blake just before the time he was killed. He was a collector of buttons from the uniforms of German officers, and on the day he was killed said to Blake: "I guess I'll have to go out and get some more buttons." It was shortly after that he was killed. Blake was in many battles in the region of the Argonne forest, where American soldiers participated in some of the most sanguinary battles of the war. He escaped serious injury in many of the fierce battles. After "going over" five times his arm was shattered with shrapnel. He lay for two months in an English hospital, and for some time it was thought his arm would have to be amputated. For a time fears were felt for his life. The hero of many battles who had withstood the supreme test of facing death and refused to give up when it seemed impossible to save his arm, worked until three o'clock Tuesday afternoon at the Standard Oil Co. refining plant at Wood River, where he was employed. On Tuesday he was taken to the hospital and last night he died. Blake was a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Blake, formerly of Alton. The father is at present residing in Arcadia, Fla. He leaves two sisters at Jacksonville, and two sisters and a brother at Arcadia in Florida. He was a nephew of Mrs. E. J. Morrissey of this city. The funeral probably will be held in Alton, but no arrangements have been made.

 

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DANILUK, STANLEY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 20, 1918

Stanley Daniluk of Wood River is reported as having been slightly wounded. His next of kin is given as Walter Patsein of Wood River.

 

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DAVIDSON, LEE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 16, 1918

Mrs. Grace Arnold of 1303 Alby street today received word that her nephew, Lee R. Davidson, had been wounded in the recent American drive in France, and was in Base Hospital No. 22. Davidson was a bugler in Co. B, 138th Infantry. The information did not state the extent of the young soldier's injury.

 

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 19, 1918

Mrs. Grace Arnold of 1803 Alby street has received a letter from her nephew, Lee R. Davidson, telling of his wounds received in action. The letter was written from Base Hospital No. 22, under date of October 14, from "Somewhere in France." Davidson is a bugler in Co. B, 138th Infantry. In her letter Davidson writes:  "I will now try and write you a few lines to let you know I am getting alone fine. I guess you know by now I have been wounded. Well, don't worry a bit for I am certainly getting good care. I am in the base hospital, and it is sure a nice, sanitary place. I expect to be home in a short while, so don't be surprised if you see me coming in. I have done my bit, and have done it good. But I am through with the war now. This is a very short letter, but I will write more the next time. Now, don't worry, for I am getting alone fine and will write soon.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 14, 1918

Mrs. William Fones of 16 Alby street has received a letter from her nephew, Lee R. Davidson, who was wounded and who has landed in New York. The letter was written from Debarkation Hospital No. 2 on Staten Island. In his letter Davidson says:  "I have landed in God's country again. I was seasick all the way over. I expect to be here but a short time. I will likely be sent to a hospital nearest home, so I guess I will be sent to St. Louis. I can't get around very good yet, as I have to go on crutches. Fritz sure does shoot you up good when he does get you. Tell Cricket he has heard these old boys of '76 talk, but he hasn't heard anything. I am going to tell him something new and up to date. Fritz has got about all the fight out of me now. But I gave him hell while I did last. I was over the top three times before he got me. but I got wounded in six places on the last drive. But don't think I am anywhere near dead, for I am still in the ring and it won't ever be noticed very much. But I have got enough, and am willing to own up to it. The ones that were not wounded are still lying over there on the battlefield. I got mine in the Verdun battle. But I think your son, Oscar, is safe also. In fact, I know so. I had too much front line. I was on the line all the time I was over there."

 

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FOWNES, HENRY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 17, 1918

Altonians had their first glimpse of a wounded man returned from the war when Henry Fownes visited the city. Lieutenant Fownes was with the 18th United States Infantry. For eight months he was in the front trenches fighting shoulder to shoulder with the French. He cannot tell enough stories of the bravery of the French and the United States soldiers. "The soldiers of the United States are the best in the world," he says. Fownes was gassed and wounded in the thigh in fighting at Cantigny about two months ago. He is much improved now, and outside of a dry cough as the result of being gassed, seemed little the worse for the experience. For the present he will be instructor in the bombing school at Waco, Texas. He said that he hoped to return to the front at the end of three months. Fownes is well known here, having made his home in Alton for three months while the Alton Steel Co. was being transferred to the Laclede. He is the son of W. C. Fownes, former head of the Alton Steel Company.

 

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GIFT, LYLE (CAPTAIN)

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 20, 1918

Captain Lyle Gift, a graduate and a former officer at Western Military Academy, is in an American base hospital in France, suffering from the loss of his right leg above the knee. A shell struck the leg, cutting it off. The young officer is improving at the base hospital, and when the letter was written no base result was anticipated. The news of the wound was received by friends in Alton through letters written by Gift while he was in the hospital. The many friends of the young officer knew that he was in the midst of the fighting at the front, but were shocked to learn that he had lost a leg. While at Western Military Academy, Gift made a record for himself as a student, and later was a member of the faculty, being a tactical officer. He was commissioned at Camp Sherman, and shortly after was sent overseas. He has been in France about a year. His home is in Peoria, Ill. A letter published in a Peoria paper, written by Capt. Gift, tells that he was wounded at 6:30 a.m. on July 19. The bullet went through the calf of his left leg, then entered his right leg below the knee. He reached a hospital at 4 o'clock the next morning. Efforts to re-establish circulation in the right leg failed, and the surgeons had to amputate the leg, but Capt. Gift cheerfully says he can get another leg, and a good one, and he will be all right. He had been in France since June 20, 1917. He was a graduate of Western, and was engaged there as senior captain and instructor when he went to the officers' training camp.

 

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GOODPASTURE, ELMER L.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 20, 1918

The name of Elmer L. Goodpasture appeared in the casualty list this morning as wounded. The wounding of young Goodpasture, who resides on East Third street, was reported in the Telegraph several weeks ago.....

 

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GOUDIE, HARRY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 2, 1918

Harry Goudie has written his father Charles Goudie, that he was struck in the jaw some time ago by a piece of shrapnel. The jaw was broken, and since the accident Goudie has been at a base hospital. When he wrote, Goudie was expecting to be back in the front line at an early date. Goudie went out of Alton with an early contingent, going down to Camp Taylor, where he remained for several months. He has been across for some time, and has seen much active service. When the letter was written Goudie expected to get back in about two weeks.

 

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GRAVELY, THEODORE (DOCTOR)  "DOC"

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 15, 1918
If you care to see a penny battered almost out of recognition by a bullet from a German rifle, you can do so by running across Jack Hackett, salesman for the Alton Gas and Electric Company. He received it recently from a friend in France after it had been extracted from that friend's side by hospital surgeons, and after the victim had practically recovered from the wounds of battle. The penny is a French penny, and is about as large as a silver quarter. It was the property of a former Alton boy, Theodore Gravely, who is now fighting with Pershing's army across seas. He was employed at the Western Military Academy for a long time, and is well and favorably known in Alton. The penny was in a pocket of a garment he wore - a top pocket - which placed it above the heart. The German bullet struck the penny and drove it through his clothing and into the flesh deep enough to require a surgeon to remove. But for the penny, he would have been killed, or as he put in language used "over there" in speaking of death, he "would have gotten his 5-point nine." The bullet mark is to be seen plainly on the penny, and Mr. Hackett is showing it to his friends as he meets them. It is an interesting relic, and one strong pro-ally who was shown it this morning remarked: "It is a good thing for Gravely that was a French coin. If it had been a German one the brass and copper and poison in it would have killed him through blood poison, seeing that he was fighting the Kaiser." Mr. Gravely is recovering steadily and will be allowed to come home and convalesce thoroughly as soon as he is able to make the trip, Mr. Hackett says, he has been informed.
 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 25, 1918                       Soldier Blown to Pieces by Shell In Battle    [see story dated 4-16-1919]
Miss E. Hartman of the Dolly Madison Hotel has received a letter from her cousin, Jack O'Reilly, who is with the 54th Canadian regiment, with the British Expeditionary Forces in France, in which he states that "Doc" Gravley of Alton was killed at the Battle of Amiens. Graveley was a member of the same Canadian regiment as O'Reilly, who formerly lived at Curlew, Wash., but joined the Canadian forces. Graveley's father is an undertaker and lives in Chicago. The letter, telling of the Alton man's death, was written "in the field," and dated October 24. In it O'Reilly writes: "Letters and papers received. It is impossible for me to express my appreciation for your thoughtfulness and trouble. We sure do look forward to those American papers. Quite a number of the boys send their thanks. Did I tell you I was hit at Anas? Had a nice rest for a couple of weeks. 'Doc' Graveley, the Alton man, was killed at the Battle of Amiens. He was blown to a thousand pieces by a 5.9 shell. Gravley's last words the day before we went into battle were to thank you for those Alton papers, for he certainly looked forward to them. These are great days for us. We are gradually driving the enemy back to the frontier. Another year or two should finish it. Gee! I'm tired of it all, as you know this is my third year in France." O'Reilly sends a tribute of respect to the memory of Graveley on behalf of the company. The tribute is as follows: "To the friends and relatives who survive this young man: Our whole company wishes to extend our deepest sympathy as he fought harder and bravely, knowing the enemy was retreating. His place is our company cannot be filled. He was ever ready to cheer any homesick comrade, for which he died nobly."

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 16, 1919

Dr. Theodore Gravely, once reported killed in action, and one of the victims of the first gas attack launched by the Germans, is back in Alton after 22 months service overseas as a sergeant in the Canadian army. While here, he is the guest of Jack Hackett, 2322 North Washington avenue. Before entering the service, Gravely was a nurse in the hospital of the Western Military Academy here. Gravely had been at the local school a few months when he enlisted with the Canadian forces. He was with what is sometimes termed the "mopping up bunch," a detachment which sees that aid is given men on the battlefield, and whose chief weapon is the hand grenade. In the 22 months of fighting, Gravely was in many battles. He fought in several sectors and with several groups of soldiers, and declares that the American soldiers were the best equipped in France, and the finest fighters there. Gravely was a member of the Canadian detachment which was the first victim of German gas. At this time, when gas had been unheard of as a weapon of war in that form, the Canadians thought it was merely smoke. There were no gas masks, and the Canadians saw their comrades falling around them without knowing the reason, and saw them suffering the slow agonies of death from the effects of mustard gas. Gravely was gassed at this time, but later recovered and returned to the fighting. He fought in the battles of the Argonne and St. Mihiel. Gravely was wounded in the hip with a machine gun bullet. At the time he was wounded, he carried a copper coin in his watch pocket, and the ball first struck this, and then glanced and struck his hip. Had the coin not been there, the ball would probably have penetrated his body and caused his death. Gravely recovered from the wound, and was again able to re-enter the fighting. Gravely was reported killed in a letter to an Alton person from a soldier in France, who stated that he was killed when an ammunition train exploded. Gravely was near the train when it was struck by a German shell and exploded, and was "scratched up" but easily recovered. Gravely, who was somewhat of an athlete before entering the Canadian service, is again in good condition and feeling well. He will probably not be able to take up athletic work until his lungs have recovered from the effects of the gas. Gravely, before coming to Alton, lived in Chicago.
 

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GREEN, ALLEN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 29, 1918

Miss Edith Green of 2017 Alby street has received a letter from her brother, Corporal Allen Green of Co. A, 18th Infantry, from "Somewhere in France," under date of October 26. Corporal Green writes:  "This is the first time I have been able to write. I started a letter some time ago but had to quit. I was a little too weak. The Huns got a little too rough with me the fourth of October, and put five pieces of shrapnel in my person from my hips down. But I am pulling out of it in fine shape. I am getting tired of laying on my back. This is 23 days for me, and darned long ones too. But I am going to be back at them in a few weeks, and I'll give them the worst I've got, and that is going to be pretty bad. You can bet on that, Sis. If I feel strong enough in the morning I am going to write to sister, Nora, and Dad. But if they don't get a letter from me by the time you do, please try and tell them some way that I am getting along all right. I will close with love."

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 7, 1918

Miss Ida Ruckman of 2071 Alby street has received an interesting letter from Allen Green from "somewhere in France." He is stationed in Camp A, 18th Infantry. Green writes: "Life is so busy over here, that we seldom have time to write letters, but we are always thinking of the ones back home just the same. I don't know whether you know it or not, but I am in a hospital. I have been here since October 4, with both legs shot up considerably. But I am doing fine now. I am still a little weak, but hope to be back with my company in a few weeks for one more crack at the Huns. That is what's worrying me more than anything else. Having to stay in bed. I can't write much, but I could tell you a lot if I was only back home. I am very proud of you and the rest of the girls at the Western Cartridge Works for in looking over one of our papers called the 'Stars and Stripes,' I saw where the girls there pledged themselves to work steady 'till this little battle is won. They are going to transfer me to another hospital. I wish you and all my friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

 

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GRIMES, MANLEY                               Wounded at Argonne and Picked Up By Enemy

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 15, 1919

Manley Grimes, a well known young soldier who worked for some time in Alton at the Noll factory, returned from France last evening and spent the day visiting friends and relatives. This evening he will go to Whitehall, where his parents live, and will spend several weeks there. He was wounded in the Argonne fighting and was captured by the Germans, who found him helpless on the battlefield before the doughboys were able to get around picking up the wounded. A machine gun bullet went through his right leg below the knee; another bullet went through the cloth of the khaki uniform of the other leg and barely grazed the skin. Another machine bullet passed between his arm and body and tore holes in his uniform and shirts, but did not hit the flesh. He was in a German prison three months, he says, much of the time being in the hospital part of the prison recovering from his wounds. When asked how he was treated while a prisoner of war, he replied that he had no complaint to make. The Germans treated the wounded prisoners very well, he said, the principal cause of complaint being an insufficiency of food. However, he said the Germans themselves did not have enough food, so that really they deprived the prisoners of nothing. The Red Cross got food into those prison camps for Allied prisoners and the Germans because of this fact, did not fare as well sometimes as the prisoners did. Grimes brought with him a helmet, knapsack and some other articles belonging to Fred Graner, who was detained in Chicago and who has a job lot of sourvenirs to bring with him. Fred will be in Alton tomorrow, Grimes says. Grimes is one of the two Alton soldiers known to have been confined to German prisons, the other, Charles "Dad" Hetsinger, having returned to Alton recently.

 

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HARRIS, BERRY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 22, 1918

Miss Margaret Harris today applied to the Red Cross headquarters to have that organization secure additional information regarding her brother, Berry Harris, who has been reported wounded. The information came in a letter from Harry Ash, also of Alton. Ash, who is in a hospital at Winchester, England, himself suffering from injuries received in action, wrote that he had recovered sufficiently to take a position as a truck driver. He also stated that he had heard Berry Harris was coming to the Winchester hospital, stating the report was that Harris had been wounded in the leg.

 

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HENKHAUS, HENRY E.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 12, 1918

John Sickmier, of 1530 Shields street, has been wounded in France. The name of the Alton boys appeared on the casualty list this morning as one of the Marines injured in action. On the list also is the name of Henry E. Henkhaus of Bethalto. Henkhaus, 22, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Henkhaus. He enlisted in the infantry in St. Louis about six months ago. Recently his parents received word from him that he had been wounded in the side. The injury reported by the government this morning is supposed to be the same one. Leo J. Schmidt of Edwardsville, Ill. is also listed as wounded.

 

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KIRSCH, ALFRED M.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 24, 1918

George F. Kirsch, who formerly resided in Alton, has received a letter from his son, Alfred M. Kirsch, after a long period without any tidings from him. The young man had been twice wounded, one on June 6 and a second time on July 19. The letter was written from a hospital at Bordeaux, and another one written by him from a hospital at Blois was received by the father. In the letter, he told little of his injuries except to say that his arm was very sore, and that hitherto he had been unable to write. It is feared by his family he was maimed badly, but that he is trying to conceal that fact. A wounded marine, who was with the young man in the battle of Belleau Woods on June 6, and who was sent back home, told the father in St. Louis that Alfred Kirsch had been slightly wounded on June 6, and that all the officers were killed in the encounter. Kirsch is a nephew of Mrs. L. M. Williams and Mrs. A. H. Wuerker.

 

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KRANZ, PAUL C.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 13, 1918

Mrs. Jacob Kranz has received a letter from her son, Paul c. Kranz, dated on the 7th of September, in which the writer tells of being wounded and of being in a hospital. This is the only word received by the parents of the injury, and they are anxiously awaiting more information as to the seriousness of the wounds. The letter reached Alton two months and one week after it was written. Kranz did not tell his mother how badly he was injured and how he sustained his injuries. He wrote that he was receiving the best of care, had excellent nurses and good doctors, and told his mother not to worry. He is an old time soldier, having seen much service before taking part in the world's greatest war. He has been a soldier for many years, having served in the Philippines. Since being in France he has made a record for himself, and was one to volunteer his services for firing a machine gun. He is a member of the 13th infantry. In speaking of her son this afternoon, Mrs. Kranz said that when the armistice was signed she thought she could say that her son came through the fight unscathed. They day following she received the letter telling of Paul's injury.

 

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KUHN, CHARLES

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 1, 1918

Mrs. Henry Mitchell received word today that Charles Kuhn has been wounded in action in France and that he was now in a base hospital. The nature of his injuries are not known. The letter stated that the Red Cross was doing its part, and that he was getting along nicely. Kuhn left Alton April __, 1918, for Camp Dix, N. J. He was soon afterward sent overseas.

 

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LANGE, GEORGE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded.

 

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LYNCH, STANLEY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 17, 1918

Two Alton boys fighting in different sectors of the great battle in France have been wounded, according to word that arrived in Alton today. Stanley Lynch of the medical corps, and Adolph Betts [Betz] of the infantry, were the Alton boys. The names of neither of the lads have appeared on the casualty list. The information concerning their wounds came through the mails. Stanley Lynch, son of Patrolman James Lynch, was wounded in action a month ago, according to word received from him today. The information came in a letter he wrote to his sister, Helen. He was near at the front when he was struck with a shell. The letter was written a week after he was wounded, he says, and that his condition is greatly improved. He did not consider the injury serious and expressed the belief that he would be back at the front again very shortly. Lynch was one of the first young men to leave Alton. He has been in France for a long time. Officer Lynch has three sons in the service.

 

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MAGUIRE, CHARLES

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 18, 1918

The family of Charles Maguire were given cause for much anxiety Saturday night when they learned of a letter written by George Smith of East Alton, telling that a young man named Maguire had been wounded in France. He did not mention the first name, but referred to him as "young Maguire I was with so long," and the way the identification was arrived at was recollecting that Charles Maguire and Smith had been in the same company and had been good friends. Police Magistrate and Mrs. Maguire and children were inclined to wait for more information before accepting as true that the Maguire mentioned is Charles Maguire of Alton. Nothing has been heard from Charles for some time. The letter written by Smith was dated October 22, which is later than the date of Maguire's last letter. The young man writing to his folks assumed that they had already heard of the wounding of Maguire, and gave no details.

 

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McCANN, ELZIE LEE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 20, 1918

Casualty list: Elzie Lee McCann was listed as slightly injured.

 

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McFADDIN, JOE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 7, 1918

Joe McFaddin, a former Telegraph carrier boy, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. E. McFaddin, is in the naval hospital at Chelsea, Mass., recovering from injuries received when he and his mates attacked and overcome a lot of German spies and took possession of a submarine base and all that was on the island. He has been in the hospital more than a month, and wrote the letter while in bed, but says he is getting along fine and expects to be "out and away" in a short time. When he gets out he expects to be assigned to duty on a submarine or submarine chaser, as he says he asked to be placed "on active duty overseas." Getting shot up by pirates and spies was not active enough for him, apparently. The incident he tells of has not been published in any paper heretofore, and the capture of the submarine base and the men and supplies on the island was of the greatest importance. The war being over, it can be told with safety, and it is probably only one of many hundreds of important things done by our navy, which were suppressed at the time for the good of the cause. Joe enlisted when he was 17, and he is about 18 years of age now, and from the tone of his letter it is probable that he intends remaining in the navy. He tells all about his training in California, at Hampton Roads, Va., and other camps, and of how kind the people of every city were to the boys, taking them auto rides, giving them dinners, entertainments of one kind or another, and of being anxious in every way to make it easier for the lads just from their homes. Afterward he was assigned to duty on the battleship Rhode Island, and he says: "There are 1,500 men on that ship, so we did not get lonesome. We had drills and the regular routine on a ship, such as keeping it clean and ready for action. Everything about the ship was kept as clean as the rooms of a well-kept house. The duty of our ship was to patrol the coast and test torpedoes; also to train the crew in the use of arms, and we had to watch for submarines, and escort ships to the half-way zone. Also, if anything suspicious was reported we were sent to investigate. The crew of a small fishing boat reported they had seen an airplane land on some certain islands several times, and we were sent. In the landing party on the island, I was lucky enough to be a member, as I am a gunner of the second class. I was hurt in the battle that followed, and am in a hospital from the effects, but we sure had some fun. There was a bunch of German spies living on the island, and they put up a fight. They had to surrender, however, as we would have torn the island to pieces with our big guns. On the island we found oil enough to light up all of Boston and this place too, 900 barrels of oil; also many guns and ammunition enough to blow up the island. It was a submarine base, and we destroyed that. On the island also were two airplanes, American types, and we took them. The spies and keepers of the base were taken to Portsmouth, N. H. and imprisoned. A few weeks before we were out and fired at a submarine and she sank. Soon after great patches of oil came to the surface of the water, so we were sure we got her. We saw no more of her, at least. Our ship's machinery was overhauled then at Charleston, Mass., for repairs and then went to New York City for more and bigger guns. I have been in the hospital here about a month, and had several operations performed on me. I am still in bed, but hope soon to be up and away. There are many boys here who were wounded in France, and there also are many Jackies. During the flu spell about fifteen deaths occurred in the hospital daily. Now there are only three or four, and the disease has been about wiped out. I hear that very many of the boys wounded in France will be sent to this hospital, and I sure hope to be ready for duty very soon. I expect to get a furlough to go home and see my parents. When I leave the hospital I expect to see foreign duty, as I have asked for it and feel pretty certain my request will be granted. I had a little time on my hands and I thought I would write and let you know I had not forgotten the force, and to tell you that I will never forget the many years that I carried The Telegraph daily."  He sends regards to all friends and says when he gets his furlough he will try and spend a few days of it in Alton.

 

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OLLER, JOHN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 20, 1918

John Oller, son of Mrs. Marie Oller, 1001 West Brown street, was reported as wounded, degree undetermined.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 5, 1919

Mrs. Maria Oller has returned from Ft. Shelling, Minn., where she went to visit her son, Private John Oller, who is in a hospital there recovering from the effects of his experiences in the army. With one leg off, the young soldier is getting along nicely. John Oller was employed as a motorman at the Federal Lead plant before entering the service. He was drafted February 25, 1918, and was sent to Camp Taylor. After being there three weeks, he was transferred to North Carolina, and after being there three weeks, he was sent overseas. He arrived overseas May 21, 1918, was in rest camp two weeks, and was sent to Northern Belgium. For fifty-two days he was in the trenches with the hardest of fighting, and was in the St. Quentin drive. On the fifth day of the drive, he was wounded in both legs, lying on the battlefield for two days before being found and taken to the hospital. The surgeons thought for a time both legs would have to be amputated, but it was necessary to take off but one, and that above the knee in the second operation. He expects to be home before long. He is recovering in the Red Cross hospital at Ft. Snelling. He is a member of the True Blue Social club, and they are planning a big time for him when he returns home, as they are proud of what he has done.

 

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PARKER, RICHARD P.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph December 20, 1918

Casualty list:  Richard P. Parker was listed as severely injured.

 

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POOLE, ROSCOE C.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 10, 1918

An official announcement was made today by the War Department that Roscoe C. Poole of Alton had been severely wounded in action. Poole is the son of Larkin Thomas Poole of 903 East Fifth street. The name of the battle in which Poole was injured was not given. Mrs. L. T. Poole, mother of the wounded boy, said today that she had received an official communication from the government a week or so ago stating that her son was severely wounded. The mother is not unduly worried, as she has had four letters written in October and on November 6th, in which Roscoe wrote that he had been badly gassed on the 12th of October, but that he was getting along all right. Mrs. Poole also received letters from her son, Coburn, who wrote recently that he was fine and dandy. Both sons are with the A. E. F. in France.

 

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REILLY, JEAN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded.

 

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RICE, LEON S.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 22, 1919

Edward Rice of Bluff street received a telegram this morning from Columbus, Ohio from his grandson, Leon S. Rice, who just arrived from Europe where he had been in the fighting front for a year and a half. The young man is not yet 20 years old, but he has lived 50 years in experiences. He was wounded twice, gassed severely twice, and shell shocked so often that his nerves have gone "daffy." But with all that he gained 35 pounds in weight since entering the army. His grandfather says when Leon enlisted weighed in at 115 pounds. He now weighs 150, and expects to fully recover from shell shocks and gassing experiences in a short time. He will come to Alton to visit his grandparents and other relatives soon.

 

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ROSE, BEN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 25, 1919

Mrs. Mary Rose, 415 East Broadway, who had not heard from her son, Ben, in four months, and who had become very uneasy about him, was relieved yesterday to receive a letter from the boy. He says he has fully recovered from his wounds, is feeling fine, and that when she received the letter he would be on the sea bound for America. Ben was wounded severely while going "over the top" in one of the fierce drives of the late summer, and his many friends will be pleased to hear of his complete recovery. He said in his letter that he expects his discharge shortly after he arrives in this country.

 

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ROSE, HOMER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1919

Shell-shocked, gassed, wounded severely, lame, and more or less knocked out, Homer Rose, son of Mrs. Mary Rose of 415 east Broadway, arrived home this morning from Europe where he has been attending Hun soirées for more than a year. He has received his honorable discharge papers, they being given at Camp Grant four or five weeks after he arrived in this country from France, where he had been under treatment in a hospital for five months. He is wearing service stripes, wound stripes, and other evidences of his work in making the world safe for democracy, and he will wear on his body visible evidences of the same struggle all of his life. It will be months before he will be able to do much, but he can get around rather freely and is happy. Alton is the finest looking city in the world to him, and he has seen much of the world, having seen service in England, France and Belgium. There is a scar now well healed on the back and palm of his right hand, a rough jagged looking scar. He got that in a hand-to-hand struggle with a big Hun. The latter lunged at Homer's throat with his bayonet and Homer saved his throat by throwing up his right hand in front of it. The bayonet went through the hand and remained there for awhile, but the Hun went somewhere else, a bullet from Homer's automatic speeding him on the way. He had the bayonet that damaged him, but events were happening too rapidly just then to try to salvage it. Huns were all around and our boys were falling all around too, but unless completely knocked out, kept going towards the enemy and their machine gun nests, and the fight was won before the Yanks let up. It was the battle of St. Quentin on September 26th, a battle about whose fierceness all America read soon after it happened. Homer was picked up after the battle, completely knocked out. In addition to the bayonet wound, he was gassed, shell shocked and struck in the right arm and right leg by pieces of shrapnel shell. He was given emergency treatment with other soldiers, then sent to a hospital where the best of care and attention was given him. He says he would not take any amount of money for his experiences and for what he saw, but he wants no more of it. He has had what he calls "an elegant sufficiency," and that is enough for anyone, he declares. Mrs. Rose, who is the widow of the late Justice Rose, is happier today than she has been in years because of the return of her boy, and her happiness would be complete if the other soldier boy, Ben Rose, were home. He was wounded during the summer also, but was all right when the armistice was signed. She says she hasn't heard from him for more than a month, and fears he may be sick. Anything in the shape of sickness or accident could happen, even if the war is over, is her opinion. Neighbors, friends and relatives have been calling at the Rose home all day, congratulating the young man on his return, and cheering him with the expressed conviction that he will recover completely in a short time.

 

[Homer Rose was the son of former Police Magistrate Ben Rose (who died in 1916), and was born in Alton, March 9, 1888. He enlisted in 1918, and was attached to Company H, 119th Illinois Infantry. He saw service in the battles of St. Quentin and Cambridge Hill. He was discharged on February 20, 1919. Before the war he had served with the Alton Fire Department. After the war he worked for the Alton Boxboard and Paper Company, although his health remained frail from his war injuries. He married, and had two sons. In January 1935, he died at the age of 46. He was buried in the Alton City Cemetery.]

 

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SCHMIDT, LEO J.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 12, 1918

The name of the Alton boys appeared on the casualty list this morning as one of the Marines injured in action. Leo J. Schmidt of Edwardsville, Ill. is also listed as wounded.

 

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SHAVER, RUSSELL

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 14, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. Leon S. Shaver of 1113 Milnor avenue have received a letter from their son, Sergeant Russell Shaver, telling of injuries received by him some time previous to the day on which he wrote. Shaver was in the hospital at the time of writing, but said he expected to be back in the front lines before the letter reached Alton. Sergeant Shaver, with other members of his machine battalion, were loading a wagon when one of Fritzs' shells dropped among the crowd, scattering pieces of various sizes among the men. Five, including Shaver, were wounded, the writer receiving a piece as large as a hickory nut in the shoulder. He writes for his parents not to worry, as he was getting alone fine, having nothing to do but rest and sleep, having the best of care.

 

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SICKMIER, JOHN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 12, 1918

John Sickmier, of 1530 Shields street, has been wounded in France. The name of the Alton boys appeared on the casualty list this morning as one of the Marines injured in action.

 

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SKARDOS, G. G.

The casualty list for today was corrected in the case of G. G. Skardos of Alton, previously reported missing in action, now reported as severely wounded.

 

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SOUTHARD, CHARLES AND EDWARD (brothers)

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 6, 1918

Mrs. Albert Muray of 730 East Sixth street today received word that her brother, Charles Southard, had been wounded in action in France, and that another brother, Edward Southard, was wounded and in a hospital in London. The news of the condition of the double casualty came in a letter from Charles Southard, dated Oct. 13, who is a member of Co. M, 132 Infantry, and was written from a base hospital in France and postmarked Bordeaux. Southard tells that he was wounded in a fight, evidently single-handed, with 10 Germans, and that before he received his wounds there were not that many live Germans left. Just the number that Southard killed is not given, probably under censorship restrictions, but there can be no doubt but that the Alton soldier, who is a 6-footer, gave a heroic account of his Americanism in the hand to hand fight. Southard was the sixteenth man drawn at Washington and left for Camp Taylor in the first contingent. Southard was employed at the Temple Theatre for some time before leaving for the front. In his letter received by his sister, Southard says, "I thought I would write you a few lines to see how everybody is at home. I guess I will be able by the time you receive this letter. I got wounded in the left shoulder, not very bad. I will be out by the time you get this letter, so don't worry about me. I feel all right today. I can get up and walk all over, only my left arm is a little sore. I got hit Saturday morning, October 12. I met some Germans. When I met them there were 10 of them, but there was not 10 left of them, so you can guess what happened. Ha, ha. I met a boy yesterday out of the 127th Regiment and he knew Ed. I gave him a note to give Ed. I was close to Ed's outfit last week, but as I was in the line I could not get to see him."  The remarkable escape with his life in the fight with the Germans recalls another fortunate escape from death Southard had in Alton several years ago. With a party of friends he was in a yacht on the Mississippi River and the power gave out. The yacht drifted in front of a big barge, and as it struck the boat Southard jumped and was rescued by the men on the barge. His companions drowned. Edward Southard, a brother of Charles, is in a base hospital in London. He was wounded in the Soissons campaign. He was hit in the left arm by shrapnel. He enlisted in the Rainbow Division from Portland, Oregon. He has not been in Alton for several years, but is well remembered by his friends, as well as those with whom he worked at the Illinois Glass Company.

 

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STEINBRUECK, ELMER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 23, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. Gottlieb Steinbrueck of Royal street received a message telling them that their son, Elmer, had been seriously wounded in action. Elmer Steinbrueck left Alton in one of the earliest contingents leaving the city. He was trained at Camp Taylor. The message to the mother told her that her son had been wounded August 3, but the date is believed to be an error. A letter Steinbrueck wrote from France to his friend, Elmer Zimmerman, was postmarked August 28, and it said nothing of being hurt. One comment he made was that he had no time to be courting pretty French girls as he was too busy trying to get his arms around some male Hun. It is believed that he must have been wounded shortly after that, and possible the date was September 3.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 2, 1918

The family of Gottlieb Steinbrueck today were rejoiced over hearing from all three boys in the service. Elmer, the War Department informed the parents, was shot in the left forearm, a foot and his left hip. He is getting along all right. Carl Steinbrueck is in England getting well. Bernhard wrote he had been made a Sergeant at Camp Taylor.

 

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STRUIF, LEO

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1918

A week ago the Telegraph carried an account of the wounding of Leo Struif, son of Frank Struif, in fighting in France. The young man, a member of the U. S. Marine Corps, wrote home under date of June 7 that he had been wounded, and that he was in a hospital in France with a slight injury to his hip. The wound he referred to in his letter must have been received over a month ago, as the young man may not have written at once when he was wounded. If the casualty list report today refers to that wound, it is indicated that there is considerable delay in making report of the casualties sustained by men in the service. A letter the young man wrote beat the official announcement a full week. Friends of Leo Struif do not believe that he has been wounded a second time. The casualty list issued officially today classifies him as among the "severely wounded." The parents received a message from the War Department Friday night telling them that their son had been severely wounded. Prior to that a letter had come from Leo to the parents telling them he was slightly wounded with a bullet in his hip. He cautioned his mother not to worry, that he was not badly hurt and would be all right. Another letter was received by J. B. Crivello from the young man telling of his being injured. Owing to the fact that he was able to write letters, it is not believed that he is in a serious condition. Leo Struif is the first Alton boy to be published as a "casualty" since Alton sent her sons to fight in France.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 5, 1919

Leo Struif, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Struif, was in Lyons, France on the 20th of March when he wrote to August Crivello, and he was enjoying every minute of the fourteen days "liberty" given him from Rhineland by his commander. He is one of the Alton Marines who was shot by snipers and by shrapnel, gassed, knocked down and dragged out, but who always got up righting mad, and he is all right now. "I am feeling fine," he writes, "and am having the best time I have had since leaving Alton. Lyons is a very pretty city and is the second largest in France. The city is pretty hospitable too, to American soldiers, and while Liberty papers give me the right to visit Brest and Bordeaux, I think I will cut them out and stay here. Am having too good a time to leave Lyons until I have to do so. Am staying with some French people, and they are certainly fine. There are four in the family, father, mother, one boy 17 years old, and a girl 23. The girl is the first real, good French girl I have met. She is a school teacher, talks fair English, and is almost like an American. I said almost; get that, for not a one I have seen measures up to the girls back home completely. I guess I will get homesick when I get back to camp in Germany, for it is just like home here. The mother says I am her son, and she treats me like a son." He says from all he can learn they will not leave Europe for America until July or August. Gen. Pershing was right when he said, "the worst is yet to come." "This waiting game is h-ll. Before the war was over it wasn't so bad, for there was always some excitement, and lots of foot races with the boches. Now everybody wants to get home," he says.  He sends best wishes to all Altonians, and wants to know if many returned soldiers are "signing up for life with their favorite girls."

 

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THOMPSON, DICK

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1919

Listed in newspaper as Wood River soldier wounded.

 

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TRABUE, ARCHIE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 2, 1918

Former Assistant Supervisor Charles Trabue of Alton has received a letter from his son, Archie E. Trabue, written from Base Hospital No. 28 in France, where he is recuperating from his wounds received in the late drive. The letter, dated September 29, tells of the wonderful American drive against the Huns. "By the time you get this letter, you will have heard of our big drive and my regiment was about the most important of the outfit. On the night of Thursday, September 25, at 11:30 o'clock, the heaviest barrage known started up, and we all went up ready to go over the top. Next morning at 5:30 the barrage sounded as if it was doubled, and over we went. The fog was so heavy we could not see over 40 feet, and believe me we had some time of it when we met those Huns. We fought for about two hours, but could not advance until the fog lifted so we could see. Then we went in for about 6 or 7 miles. The first day was something awful, but we took about _00 prisoners. We dug in to escape the artillery fire and stayed over night. The large tanks ran ahead of us and climbed right over the machine gun nests and trenches, and we came up ____ position. On the night of the 27th we were heavily fired on by 6 inch shells from German artillery. I got a big hunk in my right leg below the knee. The bone is just barely grazed, and the gash it made will soon heal. I don't think I will be here for more than three weeks. I had to walk about two miles from where I was hurt to the first aid station, as it was ____nd to send litter carriers for those who were hurt a lot worse than me. Well, I heard this morning that they were still going on, and it is my opinion that this is the last drive, although it is mighty hard and will be a long one. We all feel that we have seen the front lines for the last time. Don't worry about me, as I am only slightly hurt."  In two other letters received with the first, Trabue tells of being removed to two other hospitals, and that the treatment was the finest that could be imagined. All the nurses were Americans, and they were as pleasant and agreeable as anyone could ask. He is also loud in his praise of the food given the patients. He says that they are going to keep him for five or six weeks more possibly, before they will permit him to rejoin his company, the 138th.

 

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VAN SCHOELANDT, FRED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 9, 1918

The War Department wired relatives of Fred Van Schoelandt last evening, that the young soldier had been wounded in the foot while on the battlefield of France, on the 27th of September. Van Schoelandt is a brother of Mrs. Ben Rexford. Schoelandt is a member of Company B, of the 138th, enlisting while the soldiers were stationed in Alton.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 15, 1918

Mrs. B. Rexford has received a letter from her brother, Fred Van Schoelandt, of the First Battalion Scouts, 138th Infantry, under date of October 2, from "Somewhere in France." In the letter Van Schoelandt tells of being wounded from shrapnel and being in a hospital. In his letter, Van Schoelandt says:  "I am in a hospital now from a slight wound in my heel from a shrapnel. It is not serious, and I expect to be back with my company before long. We sure had hell on that drive, but we sure made those 'Dutch' run. They left everything behind, including all their guns. To tell the truth, we did not give them time to take anything with them. I stayed with it for five nights and six days before I got mine. I am anxious to get back to my company to see how the boys come out of it. I know one of the boys that got hurt. He was in the scouts with me. You know him too, Leo Willis. His legs are shot. He will pull through all right. Tell everybody hello for me."

 

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WEBB, HARRISON

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 2, 1918

Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Webb of Summitt street received a letter Thursday from their son, Harrison, in which the writer tells of being wounded about five weeks ago in France. He suffered a compound fracture of his right leg, caused by an explosion of a German shell. Webb is in the tank service, and has been in France for the past six months. He did not tell of the date of the accident, but said it happened about a week before the letter was written.

 

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WILLIS, LEO

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 5, 1918

Mrs. George Madsen and Miss Marie Willis received a cable this afternoon containing the following message, and signed by their son and brother, Leo Willis:  "Not seriously wounded. Don't worry.  Love LEO."  No other word as to the wounding of the well known, young Alton soldier was received by relatives. It is thought that the young man was wounded, and fearing that exaggerated reports would be sent to Alton, headed them off by sending the cable, telling that his condition was not serious. Willis joined the army while Company B was stationed at Alton, entering as a volunteer before the draft was started. He is well known and has many friends in Alton who will await good word as to his condition.

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 15, 1918

.....In his letter, Fred Van Schoelandt says:  "I am in a hospital now from a slight wound in my heel from a shrapnel. It is not serious, and I expect to be back with my company before long. We sure had hell on that drive, but we sure made those 'Dutch' run. They left everything behind, including all their guns. To tell the truth, we did not give them time to take anything with them. I stayed with it for five nights and six days before I got mine. I am anxious to get back to my company to see how the boys come out of it. I know one of the boys that got hurt. He was in the scouts with me. You know him too, Leo Willis. His legs are shot. He will pull through all right. Tell everybody hello for me."

 

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 18, 1918

The family of Leo Willis in Alton were much relieved today when they received word, through a letter written by Sergeant Chester Conklin, who is in the same company with Willis, saying that instead of the soldier having lost both legs as reported, he sustained fractures of both legs. One leg was only slightly fractured, and the other seriously. It is probably that Willis does not know what anxiety has been caused to his folks by his failure to describe the extent of his injuries. In his last letter he said that his legs had been hurt, he did not mention that either one had been taken off, but he did say it would take a long time for them to get well.

 

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WOOD, WILLIAM

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 5, 1916

Mr. and Mrs. William Wood, who live at 2711 Salu street, Upper Alton, were surprised Friday night when their son, David Wood, aged 22, walked into their home. They did not know he was in the United States. The young man has an arm that was wounded at the battle of Loos during the great offensive the Enienten Allies carried on last September. Members of the family said that David Wood had been reading in papers that came from his old home in Scotland that his friends had enlisted in the war, and so December 14, 1914 he left Alton to go back to Scotland to enlist in the army. He joined a Scottish regiment, which was preparing for service, and he was finally sent over to France where he saw active service, and was in one of the worst battles of the whole war on the western front. During this fight he was shot in the arm. Careful surgical attention has resulted in the arm being saved, but he was sent back to England and was kept there since shortly after he was wounded. He decided to return to his old home in Alton, and see his parents, before deciding on attempting to get back into the war. The parents were not looking for a visit from their son. They had been very anxious about him during the days after they knew he had gone to the front to fight in the war, but they were also proud of him. They had said nothing of his departure from Alton, for reasons which may be understood. Now that he is back home, they are very joyful over his return. The young man has had experiences such as no one can have, short of the battle line in the European war, and his parents and his friends are glad that he came back with nothing worse than a temporary disability in one of his arms. The battle around Loos was the one which the British and French regard as their greatest effort to break through the German line. It was fought after days of preparation in the way of heavy artillery bombardment, followed by an assault which yielded the British and French much ground. It was in this fight that young Wood was wounded and rendered unable for further service.

 

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WRIGHT, VIRGIL

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 7, 1919

Corporal Virgil Wright of Alton, a Marine who is on sick leave, has as his guest, Corporal Raymond Hill, also a Marine, of Seattle, Wash., who carried him from the battlefield in the Argonne Forest when Wright was wounded by a machine gun bullet. Hill is also on sick leave. Wright and Hill each were platoon leaders in their battalion, and after roll call each day were in the habit of looking for each other. They had formed a fast friendship while in America. One day Wright was not to be found, and Hill crawled into No Man's Land and found his "buddie" as he calls him, unconscious. He succeeded in carrying him back. Hill wears the Croix de Guerre with one palm for distinguished service. He stated today that he won the French decoration for capturing 14 German soldiers and two officers, taking possession of their dugout. Hill was also wounded in the leg. Hill is an architect by profession and will settle down in St. Louis when discharged from the service. He is a graduate of Oregon University, and for several years worked as a reporter on the Portland Oregonian. He is a half-brother of City Editor Reese of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Hill is a guest at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wright at their home, 301 Prospect. The two young soldiers, reunited after facing death on the battlefields of France, will ask extensions of the leaves. On the expiration of their leaves both will report at Portsmouth, Va.

 

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YOUNGBLOOD, JOSEPH

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1918

Adolph Youngblood will leave this evening for New York City to rejoin his ship, after being called here on account of the death of his wife, Mrs. Laura Pillsbury Youngblood, who died some time ago. Youngblood is leaving his children in the care of their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Pillsbury. Youngblood this morning stated that two months ago he heard from his brother, Joseph Youngblood, stating that he was in a hospital, having suffered injuries, and since that time no more word has been received from the young soldier. The family is uneasy as to the outcome of the young man's injuries. At the time that he wrote, Youngblood was in a hospital where there were no other Americans, and only one Frenchman who could speak English. The hospital attendants placed the two men close together so that they could converse. Youngblood was a former well-known Alton plasterer, and quit his work at the time the soldiers were stationed in Alton and enlisted in the 138th. He has been in the thick of the fight for months, and word from him would be welcomed by relatives and friends of the family.

 

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ZEIGENBEIN, McKINLEY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 26, 1918

Miss Ethel Zeigenbein has received a letter from her brother, Corporal McKinley Zeigenbein, dated October 28, in which he tells of being in a hospital as the result of being gassed by the Germans in France, and he said that he hoped to be able to get out by the time his sister would receive his letter. He speaks of not being very badly injured, but said that he was hurt in the eyes and lungs. He was in Co. M, 132nd infantry.

 

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ZUMWALT, CECIL

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 30, 1919

Readers will remember how early last fall the world was electrified when the cables flashed the tidings that the "lost battalion," composed of Illinoisians mostly, had been found and were again fighting the Huns at the front. The world was further electrified by the information given out by a captured German, and afterwards admitted and confirmed by the commander of the "lost battalion," that this commander, Col, Whittlesley of Illinois, when asked to surrender by the Germans, who told him that the death of all of them was certain if they continued to resist, yelled back his verdict: "You go back and tell that gang to go to hell." Every American in the battalion applauded the verdict. They were surrounded in a dense woods, every inch of which the Germans knew and not an inch of which the Americans were acquainted with. They held off a German army 48 hours, and were then found by their companions and released and fed. They were half starved, and their ammunition was about exhausted, but all were defiant and determined. All of this is preliminary to the fact now related that a member of that famous battalion is now in Alton on a furlough. He is an Alton boy named Cecil Zumwalt, and his parents live in East Sixth street. He is a member of the clerical force of the F. W. Schneider store in Broadway, and is well known in Alton. He was gassed some time after the Col. Whittlesley incident, and was in a hospital in France for several weeks, then was sent back to the United States. He is a patient in the military hospital at Des Moines, Iowa, and will return there when his furlough expires. He will not be discharged until he has completely recovered. He will talk very little about his battle experiences, but his looks show that he has been close to the edge of hell, if not actually over the edge. He praises his commander highly, but he does not forget to praise all American soldiers, except himself.

 

 

 

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