Monday, March 28, 2011

Pay and Equipment, End of Chap 3

We now finish up Chap 3. We'll be getting into some action pretty soon here. I just want to set the stage by working my way thru the journals.

Pay and Equipment
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 1861
I feel quite unwell today, yet I drilled with the company. I ate no supper, thinking, perhaps, it would be better to abstain from eating for 2 or 3 meals. This is the first time I have felt unwell since I left home – (sweet home).
Keokuk City
Captain Ogg returned from Indianola & drilled us this forenoon.
I ate no breakfast this morning & now I feel a good deal better. I find it very inconvenient to be sick from home. And, I think, by good care of myself, I can preserve my health.
Keokuk City
This has been a very remarkable warm day. Notwithstanding this, we drilled as usual. I am perfectly willing to drill in warm weather, so I can stand the hot climate of the South, as we expect to be there soon.
I just remembered that this is my birthday. Oh, how quick the moments fly & how quick the years roll on. See page 129.
Keokuk June 20
Continued from page 59
This day I have reached the period of 24 years. It seems but a few months since I was but 15 years old. And, the years have passed so quick since I was 21 that I almost doubt whether it is so. Yet, it is undoubtedly the truth.
Many instances in my past life I have seen pleasure. Yet, far more numerous are the instances in my past life have I seen sorrow & trouble.
Would to God that I had to live my life over again knowing what I do know now. But, if I had to live it the same as I have done, I prefer letting it pass.
I should be more thankful to Divine Providence for that kind care which He has so long exercised over me, and, in return, for all His kindness. I have spent so many years in wickedness, yet, for the last 2 ½ years, I have tried to live the life of a Christian. And, oh, what poor success I have made. I, this day, ask the aid of Divine Providence that whether my future days may be many or few, that they may be spent in the service of God. This is the desire of my heart.
W.C. Newlon

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 1861
Keokuk City
I stood guard last night, & today I am on guard 2 hours & off 4 hours at a time.
Last night a disturbance arose between our company & company H. However, by the combined efforts of the city and military officers, the dispute was settled by forcing both companies to Quarters.
How remarkable dry and warm the weather continues.
Today the tents, guns & part of the uniform for the 3rd Reg. arrived. As soon as we are unified, I think we will be sent to Washington City, D.C. Yet, it is all supposition.
May the difficulty be brought to a speedy settlement that my future destiny may be determined.
May I not be hasty & prepare to meet death at any time or place.
Keokuk City
     I hail the glorious Sabbath morn, & it seems to me that I appreciate it more since in the service.
     I attended Sabbath school at the United Presbyterian Church – quite interesting.
     At I attended church at the same place. A well-delivered discourse by the Rev. Brown, long may I remember it.
     At 2 I went to Sabbath school, M.E. Church. May I be profited by these teachings.
MONDAY, JUNE 24, 1861
     I have been very unwell today, not eating anything.
     The Boys received their pay from the state for the time they were in the state service. The money was received like water to a thirsty man.
     This evening my health is improving. I find that health is a great blessing when far from home. W.C.N.
Today we received our guns. They are not the kind we expected, yet they’re new-improved muskets. Our regiment presents a different appearance. I feel a good deal more like a soldier.
My health is very much improved. I hope my friends enjoy the same blessing.  W.C. Newlon

Today we received our camp equipment & part of our uniform. At , we went into camp to strike the tents; Camp Kirkwood was the name adopted, in honor of the Governor.
At , we returned to town, all breaking ranks & running without orders through a very drenching rain.

This morning we took our baggage and went into camp. I feel happy to get out of town, thinking that I will have better health.
We are divided into squads of 3 in number. I feel thankful that I here have religious companions to mess with. We hold prayer in camp taking it by turns in making blessings of God.
Camp [Kirkwood]
Colonel Curtis arrived today; drilled us a short time, also giving orders for us to march in the morning to north Missouri. Cheering news, since it is my desire to go to the field of action.
I got my first letter from home today. How glad I am to hear from home.

Monday, March 14, 2011

WWI Heroes

By now you’ve all heard and read of the death of the last known American veteran of WWI, 110 year old Frank Buckles. I understand that he lay in state this past week-end, and will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery this week sometime. What a great honor to bestow upon this man. You may read an article about Buckles at the end of this Blog.

This news story made me think about my Grandfather, Lt. Clarence Roy Green, who was cut down early in his life near Baccarat, France, 1918. You may read a brief account of his death in The Story of the 168th Infantry, Vol. I, by John H. Taber, 1925. No doubt out of print by now, but surely the Iowa State Historical Society has a copy or it's on microfiche. Or, go to my website, for more info. We’re only a half-dozen years away from the centennial of that great war.

So, a couple of weeks ago I was browsing through some old newspaper articles I have about the family as I often do. I came upon one clipping (1921, or so) from the Winterset, Iowa newspaper, “The Madisonian”. The part of the article that intrigued me read: “… He was an active member of the Methodist church and one of the beautiful windows in the new church edifice is dedicated to his memory. …” Well, I called the Winterset church office and inquired about this window. For my modest donation the staff was kind enough to send me not only an image of the leaded window in memory of my Grandfather, but another beautiful window dedicated to the local fallen of WWI.

Frank Buckles

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – He didn't seek the spotlight, but when Frank Buckles outlived every other American who'd served in World War I, he became what his biographer called "the humble patriot" and final torchbearer for the memory of that fading conflict.

Buckles enlisted in World War I at 16 after lying about his age. He died Sunday on his farm in Charles Town, nearly a month after his 110th birthday. He had devoted the last years of his life to campaigning for greater recognition for his former comrades, prodding politicians to support a national memorial in Washington and working with friend and family spokesman David DeJonge on a biography.

"We were always asking ourselves: How can we represent this story to the world?" DeJonge said Monday. "How can we make sure World War I isn't forgotten."
Buckles asked his daughter, Susannah Flanagan, about progress toward a national memorial every week, sometimes daily.
"He was sad it's not completed," DeJonge said. "It's a simple straightforward thing to do, to honor Americans."
When asked in February 2008 how it felt to be the last survivor, Buckles said simply, "I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me."

Only two known veterans remain, according to the Order of the First World War, a Florida group whose members are descendants of WWI veterans and include Buckles' daughter. The survivors are Florence Green in Britain and Claude Choules in Australia, said Robert Carroon, the group's senior vice commander. Choules, who served in Britain's Royal Navy, was born in that country but now lives in Australia.
Green turned 110 on Feb. 19, and Choules turns 110 in March, he said.
Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States in April 1917 entered what was called "the war to end all wars." He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18.
More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18. By 2007, only three survived. Buckles went to Washington that year to serve as grand marshal of the national Memorial Day parade.

Unlike Buckles, the other two survivors were still in basic training in the United States when the war ended, and they did not make it overseas. When they died in late 2007 and 2008, Buckles became the last so-called doughboy — and a soft-spoken celebrity.
He got fan mail almost every day, DeJonge said, and had enough birthday cards to fill several bushel baskets.

DeJonge had visited Buckles late last week and was driving back to Michigan with about 5,000 letters to organize and answer when he got the call telling him his friend had died.
"The letters are so heartfelt," he said. "Each night, Susannah would go in and sit at Papa's bedside and read them to Frank. That kept him going."
Buckles had been battling colds and other minor ailments this winter, but he was not ill at the time of his death.

The day before he died was warm, DeJonge said, and he spent three hours sitting in the sunshine on the porch of his farmhouse, talking with his daughter.
She worked diligently to keep Buckles in his own home, even though it exhausted his life savings. DeJonge said home health nurses and other medical care cost about $120,000 a year.

Details for services and arrangements will be announced later this week, but the family is planning a burial in Arlington National Cemetery. In 2008, friends persuaded the federal government to make an exception to its rules for who can be interred there.
Buckles had already been eligible to have his cremated remains housed at the cemetery. Burial, however, normally requires meeting several criteria, including earning one of five medals, such as a Purple Heart.

Buckles never saw combat but once joked, "Didn't I make every effort?"
U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and the rest of West Virginia's congressional delegation were also working Monday on a plan to allow Buckles to lie in repose in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. According to the Architect of the Capitol's website, the last person to do so was President Gerald Ford.
The honor is reserved mostly for elected and military officials, but others have included civil rights activist Rosa Parks and unknown soldiers from both World Wars and the Korean War.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller called Buckles "a wonderfully plainspoken man and an icon for the World War I generation" and said he will continue fighting for the memorial Buckles wanted.
"He lived a long and rich life as a true American patriot," said Sen. Joe Manchin, "and I hope that his family's loss is lightened with the knowledge that he was loved and will be missed by so many."

The family asked that donations be made to the National World War One Legacy Project. The project is managed by the nonprofit Survivor Quest and will educate students about Buckles and WWI through a documentary and traveling educational exhibition.
"We have lost a living link to an important era in our nation's history," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. "But we have also lost a man of quiet dignity, who dedicated his final years to ensuring the sacrifices of his fellow 'Doughboys' are appropriately commemorated."

In spring 2007, Buckles told The Associated Press of the trouble he went through to get into the military.
"I went to the state fair up in Wichita, Kansas, and while there, went to the recruiting station for the Marine Corps," he said. "The nice Marine sergeant said I was too young when I gave my age as 18, said I had to be 21."
Buckles returned a week later.

"I went back to the recruiting sergeant, and this time I was 21," he said with a grin. "I passed the inspection ... but he told me I just wasn't heavy enough."
Then he tried the Navy, whose recruiter told Buckles he was flat-footed.
Buckles wouldn't quit. In Oklahoma City, an Army captain demanded a birth certificate.
"I told him birth certificates were not made in Missouri when I was born, that the record was in a family Bible. I said, 'You don't want me to bring the family Bible down, do you?'" Buckles said with a laugh. "He said, 'OK, we'll take you.'"
Buckles served in England and France, working mainly as a driver and a warehouse clerk. An eager student of culture and language, he used his off-duty hours to learn German, visit cathedrals, museums and tombs, and bicycle in the French countryside.
After Armistice Day, Buckles helped return prisoners of war to Germany. He returned to the United States in January 1920.

After the war, he returned to Oklahoma, then moved to Canada, where he worked a series of jobs before heading for New York City. There, he landed jobs in banking and advertising.
But it was the shipping industry that suited him best, and he worked around the world for the White Star Line Steamship Co. and W.R. Grace & Co.
In 1941, while on business in the Philippines, Buckles was captured by the Japanese. He spent more than three years in prison camps.
"I was never actually looking for adventure," he once said. "It just came to me."

By Vicki Smith, Associated Press – Mon Feb 28,