The Legacy of

Judson W. Dennis

"Old Glory, the Red, White, and Blue...I will stand by her and die by her." Judson W. Dennis in a letter home to his mother, 1918.

Sergeant, Company L, 119th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces

March 18, 1892 ~ October 17, 1918

"Here lies in honored glory an American Soldier known but to God." Somme American Cemetery; Bony, France. Could Jud's body lie in one of these unmarked graves? (photo c1998; Kermit Mercer)

Judson W. Dennis was a resident of Tip Top, Tennessee. He lost his life at the age of 26 in France during W.W. I. He left little in regard to material possessions, and his body was never returned to his homeland, yet Judson left a lasting legacy to the people of Stewart County through the records that remain of his life and his service in the war. He never received the chance to marry, or to have children, and thus descendents, yet he left a legacy that is invaluable if we choose to learn from its lessons. Jud's Legacy serves as insight to a time period and a manner of loyalty that is very different from what we know today, and is preserved in a story that began in 1917 and has extended even to the present day. The story is an ongoing one and a haunting one, as much more about this young man's experience comes to light on a consistent basis. Descendents of Jud's army friends have come forth, and a researcher from New York became interested in Jud's story after reading about it in the American portion of a Canadian war site. His quest to learn more of "Jud's Legacy" took him to the battlefields of France, and that experience is shared with you here. This site is dedicated to all of the young men of Stewart County who either lost their lives in this war.

The Story Begins: Pride Won, Patriot Lost Jud's Letters Home
The Photo Album

Photos of the Monument bearing Jud's name in France

Kermit Mercer's Quest for Closure: A story for all Stewart County Veterans of W. W. 1
Elbert Goodin's Story (related by his great-niece Terri Koelker) *note: Elbert was wounded in the same battle in which Jud was killed. Jack Lemaster's Story (related by his granddaughter Terri Koelker) Still Searching: Jud's comrade Walter Miles was also with him in the photo. H.P. Andrews was the soldier from Stewart County who wrote the letter home to Tom detailing Jud's death. We would like to add their stories to the site as well.

Return to Stewart County Homepage.