EASTLAND, Homer Clarendon, born 13 Nov 1894 in Hickman, County, Tennessee. His parents were David Toles EASTLAND, b. 1872, d. 1941, buried at McGlamery Cemetery, Collinwood, Tennessee and Nancy DOWNING EASTLAND, b. 1876, d. 1959, also buried at McGlamery.
Homer married first to Elsie Lee WISDOM, who was born 6 Sep 1899 and died 21 Nov 1934, buried at McGlamery. After Elsie's death, Homer married Louella _____? in 1938. Home and Elsie had two children: James Clarendon EASTLAND, b. 26 Sep 1921; and Winona Faye EASTLAND, b. 6 Aug 1923. Homer and Louella had one son: Ray Daniel EASTLAND, b. 8 Nov 1940.
Homer registered for Selective Service on 5 June 1917 at Waynesboro. He was inducted on 25 Oct 1917. His serial number was 271.
Homer was an active member of the American Legion and before the war had drilled with a group of "Home Guards" at Lawrenceburg. During the war, he had received orders to ship out to France, but these orders were canceled when the Armistice was signed. In the Bible, Homer carried with him during the war was penned on the flyleaf, "Fred E. LOMAX was the first soldier from Lewis County [Tennessee] to die."
After the war, Homer was a school teacher. He and Elsie taught at Collinwood. He had farmed before the war. He served as Chief of Police in Collinwood after the war; Federal Prohibition Office, and was a Deputy Sheriff under Gus DAVIS in Wayne County, Tennessee. He served as postmaster in Collinwood. Later he moved to Waynesboro and was a rural mail carrier. He was living in Waynesboro when he died 21 Sep 1942. He was buried beside his first wife in McGlamery Cemetery.
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EDWARDS, Almos Clyde, was a native of Wayne County, Tennessee, born on his father's farm which was often called the "Dugger Farm", which included Natural Bridge.
Clyde was the first son, and the second of eight children, born to his parents, Isaac Calvin EDWARDS (12 July 1856 - 12 March 1940) and Ona Lova "Babe" MEREDITH EDWARDS (11 Feb 1866 - 5 Mar 1942). His paternal grandparents were David L. EDWARDS (4 Feb 1822 - 3 Feb 1904) and S. Amanda GOODWIN EDWARDS (4 Jun 1825 - 26 Dec 1900). Grandfather David was pastor of Salem Primitive Baptist Church near the intersection of Forty Eight Creek and Buffalo River for almost half a century.
His maternal grandparents were Lovick Rasberry MEREDITH (1827 - 1898) and Annabelle MATTHEWS MEREDITH (1832 - 1890).
Clyde's brothers and sisters were Anna Bell (1887 - 1978) who married Lannie COPELAND, Hershcel Lot (1892 - 1951) who married Pearl THOMPSON, Clarence Verne (1894 - 1981) who never married, Harvel Coleman born 1897, who married Roxie RASBURY; Lovick David (1899 - ), who married Naomi GALLAHER; and Grace Pauline (1904 - 1984) who married Briley QUEEN.
The Edwards family moved from the farm on Forty-eight Creek to the Bartley Farm down on Buffalo River. Clarence was born there.
Clyde and Anna Bell went to school on Buck Branch and to Little Hope. It was a few miles; their father carried them on a mule most of the time. Sometimes they would walk with neighbor children.
In 1894 the family moved to Sinking Creek in Perry County, where Harvel and Lovic were born. Clyde and Anna went to school there and one of his teachers was Clovis CHAPPELL of Flatwoods, who later became the famous preacher and writer. In 1899 the family moved back to Wayne County to Moccasin Creek to the "Old Meredith Home" where their mother had been born. The family's chidren attended Moccasin School where their uncle Lee MEREDITH taught.
In 1905, Calvin bought a farm at Topsy, now known as the Mathis Farm. Clyde, Anna, and brothers attended school at Topsy where Clude had some "top" teachers, Clyde thought. They included the McANALLY brothers; Miss Ida SPRINKLES and Miss Vera RAY.
After Clyde attended the Topsy School, he left for Centerville to attend high school. He lived with his cousin, Wilburn EDWARDS who had two sons: (Dr.) Will and Carl. After his high school days, Clyde went to Hillsboro, Texas to work with his uncle, Lon MEREDITH, on the farm for a few years. He then returned hom and soon left with his sister, who was in ill-health, her husband Lannie COPELAND and their children. They went to the Imperial Valley, California. He worked six months for Jim GALLAHER, a native of Tennessee. When World War I started, he came back to Wayne County to join the army.
This was at the time of general registration of all males between the ages of twenty-one and thirty; later between eighteen and forty-five. 24 million men were registered in the US.
Since Clyde was single, he volunteered for service, knowing he would be drafted. He left home on the 5th of July and took the train from Allens Creek to Nashville by way of Hohenwald and Dickson. His brother, Harvel, Barney C. and Huston "Fate" SKELTON, Rudolph SEALY of Lewis County formerly (who was living with the Harrison SKELTON family) and Marshall McCLAIN, volunteered at the some time.
These boys were given their enlistment papers at Nashville and sent on to Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia where the group was sworn in on 7 July 1917. They were not assigned to recruiting barracks. Carpenters finally finished the barracks and Clyde, with his Wayne County volunteers, was assigned to Company H, 56th US Infantry of the Seventh Division.
About the first of November, Clyde and Harvel were sent to the Supply Company of the regiment on special assignment to try out as mule drivers, as Clyde always loved to drive mules. Harvel didn't like it and went back to his company.
February 1st, the group began getting ready to go overseas, but Clyde found out his division was really preparing to go to a camp in Texas near Fort Worth. Clyde was promoted to Regimental Supply Seargent before leaving for Texas.
This 7th Dviision trained in Texas for several months and then went to France, arriving in September. They went through Canada from Texas, then to the East Coast to Hoboken, a city in New Jersy on the Hudson River across from New York City. His brother was now in the 3rd Division with Ammunition Train Company D.
The 3rd Division engaged in their first encounter "Aisne - Marne Defensive" . They then started the offensive and drove the Germans back across the Aisne to the Veste River. The next move was to the St. Mihiel sector, where the Germans were driven back, but didn't take the city.
Clyde's 7th Division relieved Harvel's 3rd Division in the St. Mihiel sector. The Germans had kept a large number of prisoners of war there doing some work. The 7th Div. went into line at St. Mihiel about the tenth of September and held the lines until the Armistice, 11 Nov 1918.
After the Armistice, all divisions (including Clyde's) went toward Germany, but Clude's 7th division stopped in the Alsace-Lorraine area and the edge of Luxembourg for a few weeks. The annexation of Alsace-Lorraine was one of the aims of the French in World War I.
As the troops in France left for home, the 7th Division moved back until their time came to sail for home, arriving in the United States about the 1st of June 1919. Clyde was told that because of his rank, he would have to stay in the Army until recruits could bring the regiment up to normal strength. He as told he could re-enlist for one year and then get out. He chose to re-enlist and was sent to Camp Function at Manhatten, Kansas. After Harvel was discharged, and on his way to California to get a job, he visited Clyde in Kansas. Clyde had said the weather was very changeable in Kansas and was considered a real northern army camp.
Clyde returned from the Army in 1920 to live with his parents and continue to farm with his father on Upper Green River. He married Pearl HELTON, daughter of Ada and Wayne HELTON in 1923. Soon they went to Miami, Florida for a year or two where they worked.
Upon returning to Wayne County, they settled again on Upper Green River. To them was born a daughter, Clyde Rebecca, who died in infancy. Then on 24 April 1934, a son, Billy Dan, was born at Centerville Hospital. Clyde sold the house he had built and bought his parent's home and farm as they were returning to Buffalo River. Clyde's health was not good and he was in and out of the Veteran's Hosptial in Nashville.
In the meantime he bought a house in Waynesboro and moved. His health worsened, and on 17 July 1965, he passed away at the Wayne County General Hospital, Waynesboro, Tennessee. Funeral services were held at Middle Tennessee Funeral Home with burial in Shields Cemetery, Wayne County, Tennessee.
Two World War 1 Letters From Clyde EDWARDS
Fifty Sixth U.S. Infantry, Campt McArtur, July 11, 1918
Dear Mother, Will write you a few lines today as I've not very busy. Ever[sic] is going nicely here now only its pretty warm here yet yesterday was the hottest day I ever saw this side of Cal.
I was over to see Clarence last night, his all right, we see each other most ever night be eithr comes here or I go over there as its only a short distance.
I hardley know what to try to write for we hear ...
I'm sendning my pictures to Pearl this time and a few to Sister have one of myself I'm sending to Pauline. Sent the Co. picture to you. guess though youve all ready got it.
You can give Pearl one of the big pictures iff you want to that is iff she wants one. She may not care for them,
Mother tell Father or Herschel that iff they could send Clarence and I about $10. or $12.00 wed be awfully glad to get it as I believe we are going to need it before we get another pay day.
We are on the eve of going now. Just a few days here.
Tell him iff he sends it to send it by return mail so will get it.
You know a fellow dont like to be out of money on a long trip like this. The call for lights to go out - so I'd better begin to close.
Say my Liberty Bonds will be paid out this month and will be sent to you. now they are the familys take them and have them cashed and use them for anything you want them for.
Will write you again in a few days and let you know how things are going. We are all wanting to go.
With love to all I remain as ever your son Clyde.
[page 3]Friday evening
Mother iff you send money send it to Clarence as he will be here longer than I will. a few days anyway. Clarence has just left here I'm not driving any more now, have been checking up on our wagon stuff to day and seeing to turning in stuff.
So you see we are ready Ever man has been working like good fellows to day and seems like they cant wait for the time to start. Tell Father not to put himself to any trouble about the money dont want to be any trouble to him we can make it someway.
Dear little Sister and family
Pauline received your letter a day or two a go and of course was glad to hear from you.
We, that is Clarence and myself, are at the Y.M.C.A. both writing home Clarence is writing to Herschel and me to you.
I had a letter from Herschel the day I got yours he said Aunt Mollie was dead. I'm so sorry but our time is all coming sooner or later and [page 2] we should be thankful that we've been permitted to live as long as we have.
Mother, Herschel said you wasn't doing much good, also said hed fix up a certificate and get Dr. Buchanan to sign if we could get a pass on it so we have been holding a conference and have decided this may be our loast chance to ever come. So we are going to try it a pop. I'm shure we can come iff we get a Dr's serttificate.
Haven't saw or heard from Uncle Lon's in [page 3] will have to quit for this time as its getting late.
Answer real soon and tell the news Lovic have the grass all out of your corn for I may get to see it sometime soon. Write soon with love to all your bro. Clyde.
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EDWARDS, Clarence Verne, was born 27 August 1894 to his parents, Isaac Calvin Edwards (1856-1940) and Ona Lova "Bade" MEREDITH EDWARDS (1866 - 1942) on the Bartley Farm on Buffalo River, Wayne County, Tennessee.
He was a brother to Almos Clyde EDWARDS whose biography appears above. Clarence's brothers, Clyde and Harvel, volunteered on 5 July 1917. On month later, Clarence decided to volunteer. He enlisted at Nashville, TN and was sent to Ft. Ogelthorpe, Georgia to be sworn in. He was assigned as Wagoner, HQ Co., 55th Reg. U.S. Inf, 7th Div.
Clarence kept gettting letters from the Draft Board and he thought since he was already in the Army, there was no use to answer the letters. Finally, a Federal Officer was sent down to see Clarence. It was almost Christmas before everything was settled.
The 55th Infantry went along with the rest of the 7th Division to Texas and stayed at a camp near Ft. Worth, TX until the Division was sent overseas. There they went straight to St. Mihiel after the Germans had been driven back. (Clyde was in Texas when Clarence arrived.)
General PERSHING, after carefully concealing his preparations for the Americans, ordered an attack on both sides of the deep Saint Miciel Salient near the base. This was the first all American action., which took place October 12, 1918. Americans suffered 7,000 casualities, but took 16,000 prisoners and 443 guns. This salient, existing since 1914, was destroyed.
Clarence and his division kept the Germans in a holding position until Armistice was signed 11 Nov. The German government realized all was lost and asked for an armistice. Pershing thought it should have been an unconditional surrender.
The Division went to the Alsace-Lorraine region and Luxemburg after the Armistice.
Though Belgian neutrality was guaranteed by the Treaty of 1839, Germany, at the outbreak of WWI, invaded the country in order to strike at France. Large areas were devasted, tribute levied and civilians executed and transported by the military authorities. The Armistice provided for reparations to be paid by Germany. Clarence and his division stayed here for some time.
In the early part of 1919, his division began to move back into France. Leaving Belgium and reaching the French border, an America Mikado type locomotive met them and transported them to Brent. The train was manned by an American crew.
Clarence sailed home in the summer of 1919. He was discharged 28 June 1919 at Atlanta, Georgia immediately after he arrived in the US.
After returning home he farmed with his father, and then for two years with his brother Herschel at Topsy. Later he went to Las Vegas, Nevada where he was employed by Southern Railroad Company for many years. He was a member of the noted Southern Pacific Baseball League.
After leaving Las Vegas for Wayne County, he engaged in farming until a few years before he died. During the Gordon BROWNING administration, Clarence served as Seargent-at-Arms in the Tennessee Legislature. He was a member of the Waynesboro Masonic Lodge No. 127.
Clarence EDWARDS died at the age of 86, 13 Feb 1981 at St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee. Funeral services were conducted 16 Feb from Middle Tennessee Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Herman BUCHANAN officiating. Burial was in Waynesboro Memorial Gardens, Waynesboro, Tennessee.
Clarence EDWARDS' Letters From The Front
On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Force
April 1, 1919 HQ Co. 55th inf.
Will drop you a few lines today and let you know I am getting along fine and hope this will find you the same. We are about ready to move from this place now and hope we will be moving in the direction of home It looks now that we may be going home before a great while by fall anyway.
saw Clyde a few days back [page 2] he is getting along fine but haven't heard from Harvel in several days got a letter from Rudolph S a few days ago he is expecting to sail for the States in a few days looks like every body is going back but the 7th division well guess Papa and Lovic have begun farming by now has Herschel brought my pony home yet said he was going to bring her home and put her on the pasture how many head of cattle has Papa [page 3] got this spring
say Mamma where is the Marshall girls at now I haven't heard from Kate since I left Texas I got to letters and never did ans. so I have lost trace of them may be she has got married by now guess several of the young folks on Buffalo has got married since I left haven't they? well as I can think of nothing to write will close from your son Clarence V. EDWARDS
On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Force
April 16, 1919 HQ Co. 55 Inf.
will write you a few lines today as it is raining and have nothing to do all it does here is rain it has been raining for a week and looks now it will rain for another week well Lovic we have got moved and we are in a devil of a town[?] looks now we are going to Germany to (sweet) and hope we do if we cant come hom for I dont like France we thought a while we would soon be leaving for the USA but things look different now [page 2] say Lovic did you ever hear anything from Flake KEATON I never heard anything from him after the war was over dont know what become of him Cecil is still near Harvel
Say Lovic when you write again send me a lot of pictures as news is scarce will close so ans: soon and tell all the news your Bro: Clarence Edwards HQ Co., 55th Inf. 7th Div. 13 Brigade, AEF France
Sep 25 1919
Some where in France
Will write you a few lines to let you know I am well and having a very good time though I am very busy.
Well I havent saw Clyde since we arrived I got a card from Harvel it was wrote in July dont know where he is well I guess most every body around home is in the army by now well I just recd; your letter yesterday that was wrote inJuly I was surprised to here that Addie was married that beats the band doesn't it
Tell Lovic and Pauline to write I haven't had but to letters since I have been in France.
Well tell Papa to keep that horse for I will be back some day ans: soon Clarence
"O.K. censored by Capt. H. G. Hawkins of N.E. 55th ind."
Address to HQ Co. 55 Inf America Expeditionary Force via NY
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EDWARDS, Harvel C., born 1 July 1897, Singing Creek, Perry County, Tennessee, son of Isaac Calvin Edwards and Ona Lova MEREDITH EDWARDS, brother to Clyde and Clarence EDWARDS whose biographies above above. Harvel married Roxy RASBURY on 23 Dec 1922 and they have three children: Havel C. EDWARDS, Jr., b. 13 Jan 1924; Colleen Jean EDWARDS, b. 19 May 1928; and Landon Leon EDWARDS, b. 22 Sep 1936.
Harvel C. EDWARDS Jr. married Joan L. McLEAN and they have two children: Harve; C. EDWARDS III married to Myra PERRY and has three children, Jonathan, Jennifer and Julie; and Jonathan M. EDWARDS married to Cindy BRUCE and has child Charles Richard.
Colleen Jane EDWARDS married Melvin J. KEITH, dec.d. She lives in Chattanooga and works at a local hospital.
Landon Leon EDWARDS married Sherri Lynn LOONEY. He works for WLX Radio in Lawrenceburg.
Mr. EDWARDS writes:
My family moved from Sinking Creek in 1899 to Moccasin Creek in Wayne County. We had sold the farm in Perry County to Lawrence GRAVES and had bought my mother's old home place on Moccasin.
Yet, I have remembrance of a few things that happened on Sinking Creek. My brother Clarence had his leg broken by cows that were fighting and backed over him; I also remember getting a little too close to the red painted bee-gum and got stung by the bees. They day we moved I remember Clarence pointing out to me the chalk banks on the upper end of our farm as we massed them. I remember going to school on Moccasin; one day the boys went swimming in the mill pond at hoon. My uncle Lee MEREDITH was the teacher and he kept all of us in at recess and gave us a lecture on this incident.
About 1905 we bought a farm at Topsy on the Buffalo River and sold the one on Moccasin to Uncle Watt MEREDITH.
I went to school at Topsy to various teachers until the last two years. Tolbert McANALLY taught one years and his brother taught the other. They were the most dedicated teachers I ever knew. Tolbert started us in Latin and German and his brother continued in the eighth grade. They were determined that none of us would fail. One of them kept our entire English class in a half an hour after closing time, at 4:00 P.M., for two weeks when Clarence was about the fail English. He improved to the point that he never again had trouble with English.
In about 1914 we purchased the Buchanan farm, below Waynesboro and moved to it. I was in high school in Waynesboro when war was declared in 1917. I did not complete high school but dropped out to finish the crop we had started. On July 5, I, along with seven or eight others, went off to the army.
Among those going to the army were Clyde, Barney and Fate SKELTON, Rudolph SEALY, Marsh McCLAIN, a GOODMAN boy from Hohenwald (who was turned down and later drafted). I believe the GOODMAN boy lost his life after going over. About a month later Clarence, Cecil and another KEETON came to join us.
Clyde, Rudolph, Marsh, Barney and Fate were all assigned to the 56th U.S. Infantry. Clyde, Marsh and I were assigned to the same (Co. H.) company. Clarence was assigned the HQ Company of the 55th Infantry, a supply company and used mule power, which suited Clarence. Clyde wanted to go to a mule powered outfit and wanted me to go along with him. We were both assigned to special duty with the HQ Supply Company of the 56th to try out as drivers.
I did not want to drive mules myself, so I told the driver this and he promised to help me out. After a few weeks of trial the 1st SGT came out one morning and asked me driver how I was coming along and said I had not learned to hitch the mules up yet! Needless to say, I was relieved of my training and could go back to my company. Clyde stayed on and within a few months was promoted to Regimental Supply Seargent and the 7th Division soon left for Texas.
About the 15th of December the Third Division Ammunition Train was organized at Fort Ogelthorpe by transferring men from the Cavalry, down on the border, and from the Coast Artillery and Infantry. Marsh and I asked to be transferred to that organization and we were assigned to Company D; 3rd Div. Ammunition Train, which was motorized! Cecil KEETON transferred to the horse drawn battalion.
The first of January we got our Nash Quad trucks and started loading them onto flatcars to be sent to Norfolk, Virginia where they would then be sent to France. We left by train in early February for Camp Merritt, New Jersey for a couple of weeks and then took the train for about twenty miles to Hoboken, where the ferry took us over to the New York side of the bay. We then loaded onto the English ship, Carpathia. This was the same ship that picked up the survivors of the Titanic in 1912 when it ran into an iceberg.
We were fourteen days going across the Atlantic, as we had a large convoy of ships, and we went up to Nova Scotia and picked up several ships loaded with wheat and horses. The Cruiser San Diego accompanied us for a few days and turned back. Then, in a couple of days, we awoke one morning and about a dozen sub-marine chasers were running circles around out convoy. That continued until we came in sight of the southern coast of Ireland, and then they left us. We arrived in Liverpool around noon and immediately loaded onto the train and started on the trip down south to Winchester. We passed through several large cities such as Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and arrived in Winchester late at night. The Rainbow (42nd) Division had just proceeded us a short time and they started a fight with the English soldiers one night in a pub. They really brought on a riot! For this very reason American soldiers passing through Winchester afterward were not allowed out of camp, with a commissioned officer accompanying them.
However, we were allowed to go to Easter services in the Winchester Cathedral. It was only a mile from our camp and we marched down in formation about forty strong. During the following week we took hikes every day and saw a lot of the country close by, including Winchester.
Within a few days we took the train to South Hampton and stayed in the train shed until about nine o'clock. That same night we boarded the St. George troop ship and crossed the channel to Le Harve, a dirty fishing town, and marched up the steep cliffs to a tent city, situated on the plain above. We stayed for two days and it rained all the time and the tents all leaked! We then took the train again for Camp Coetquidan just below Rennes. This was an artillery camp and remount station for supplying horses to the horse-drawn units of artillery, supply and ammunition units that supplied close-up. Our artillery practiced gunnery and we fed and watered horses coming in and going out most every day.
I spent a few days in charge of German war prisoners that dug graves for dead horses. There were three of us soldiers and we worked about 40 prisoners. They were no problem and worked pretty good.
During the month of May the Germans grove the French army blockade back along the front just north of Paris. Chateau-Thierry on the Marne River was only about 50 kilometers away. The first of June the French line of resistance broke completely and my division infantry and machine gun battalions were rushed in, along with our four companies of motorized units.
Our engineers of the 3rd division were also brought in and wired the bridges with explosives, so that when the Germany army started across the bridges, the bridges were blown up and the soldiers that got across the bridge were either killed or captured. This was our first encounter and was called the Aisne -Marne Defensive. In a few days we started across the Aisne to the Vesle River. We then moved to the St. Mihiel sector where we drove the Germans back, but did not take the city because the Germans had kept a large number of prisoners of war there doing some work. The lines were held, as we left them, until the war was almost over and then the Germans moved back to keep from being encircled.
We then moved to the Verdun sector where the French and Germans had been entrenched for four years. After our heavy artillery barrage we drove the Grmans out of the trenches and that was the last of the trench warfare! From then on the Germans were retreating each day until the armistice was signed. They made an attempt at gfighting back about 20 miles above Verdun one day, and the Allies brought in all the planes, totally about 350. Our bombs were small, but the effect was as intended. There was one locomotive put out of commission in the riad.
We did not have anough men in the company, but sometimes we had to diublepack after we had worked twenty four hours, but we were always told that we would get credit for it. We went over with about 100 men in the company and never replaced any that were lost.
On the night of November 10th, I was working as the assistant driver and we delivered a load of 3 inch shells for the 76th artillery regiment who were using the French 75s. We followed the regiment most of the day and about dark the Germans stopped for the night and set up their artillery and started firing on us. It did not take the Battery we were with very long to set up their guns, but they did lose three men while doing so.
We unloaded as soon as we could and each truck, as it was unloaded, would leave immediately. After we unloaded our truck we went immediately back to the ammunition dump which was about fifty miles, where we loaded our truck and went back toward the front where our company was headquartered for the night so that the next shift could take our load up the next morning. We got in after midnight and bunked down for the night. Next morning I went down to the tent used for our company office and on the bulletin board outside was posted a memo from General PERSHING. It read, "The Armistice was signed this morning at 2:00 A.M. with the Germans and will go into effect at 11:00 A.M. today. Until that time it is the duty of every American soldier to destroy all enemy property possible."
At 10:30 that morning all guns were turned loose along the whole front. Most of the guns were fired recklessly as everyone wanted to fire the big guns on the last day of the war. At 11:00 A.M. all firing ceased and for the first time since the first of June, I could not hear the sound of guns. We stayed in the little town about twenty miles above Verdun until the 14th of November, when we started on the march to the Rhine.
We were not allowed to enter Germany until December 1, according to the terms of the Armistice. We entered Alsace-Loraine and stayed a few days and then we went into Luxemburg passing through Esch, a town of about ten thousand and went a few miles to Bettemburg, where we stayed through Thanksgiving and until the morning of December 1, when we drove through Luxemburg City and crossed over the Moselle River into Germany at the city of Tier, which was occupied by the Romans in the days of Caesar.
Our next stop was a few miles down the river at Bernkastel, a real mountain town and a great wine growing country. Everyone seemed to have a wine cellar.
For a couple of weeks a soldier from Massachusetts named KELLEHER and I were on special assignment. We would take our truck, loaded with provisions to eat, along with other trucks, forward two days travel for the Army and establish a ration dump. The mess sargents would come to the dump to draw their rations. Then we would wait until the army was two days ahead of us and we would establish another dump, two days ahead again.
The Army had to move as slow as the infantry and other foot soldiers could travel.
After we crossed into Germany, General PERSHING made a forced march to the Rhine to establish a record for U.S. Troops. We started on the 14th of November and reached Coblenz on December 15th. The next day we moved to Mertlock about 15 kilometers, and two days later we moved my company 2 kilometers to a little town called Kolich, where we remained for several months with Company Headquarters.
However, I, again with KELLEHER, was assigned to special duty to Andernack on the Rhine. Andernach was a beautiful city with a mountain rising up directly behind the town and had a cable car running to the top. We hauled material for repairing the highway where it might be damaged. We had a gang of German civilians that did the work. We furnished the transportation for the men and the material. Later in the summer our company was transferred to a town 6 kilometers from Andernack and we went back to our company.
With the coming of spring, the Army organized baseball league teams. We had the northern and southern leagues and at the end of the season we World's series was played in Andernach. We hauled soldiers to the games and the YMCA would furnish supper after the games, and we still got back before dark.
We also had two passenger ships on the Rhine and they ran daily excursions. One ship would go up the river and the other would go down to Bonn. We hauled troops early in the morning and would take them back to the base after supper at the YMCA.
During the latter part of July the Army of Occupation started shipping out for home. We hauled the equipment and personnel to the rail head, beginning with the highest numbers duvisions, starting with National Army Divisions, National Guard Divisions, and then the Regular Army Divisions. After the 4th Division left, we hauled the 2nd Division and then our 3rd Division. General PERSHING wanted to hold the 1st DIVISION until the last as he was coming back with them and they would parade in New York when they arrived.
We lived in the homes of the Germans while there and it was real nice. They furnished beds and in the winter I always slept in a feather bed with a feather blanket on top of the cover!
We loaded onto the train in Andernach on the Rhine on August 10 for the one thousand mile trip to Brest, France, leaving at 3:49 P.M. The railroad followed the Rhine on the west bank down through Bonn. Leaving the valley at Cologne, we turned south as we passed very close to the famous Cathedral at Cologne. We soon entered Belgium, going thorugh Liege and Namur, where there was no sign of war. But, when we entered northern France the towns and cities were still about the same as the war had left them. Valeciens Arras, Laval were completely destroyed as were most of the small towns. Arras had a famous cathedral and it was destroyed.
When we reached the border of France, leaving Belgium, we were met by an American, Mikado type locomotive with an American crew. The railroad through northern France had been rebuilt just enough to get the trains through at about ten miles per hour. The American crew on the railroad were relatively young and they exceeded the speed limit most of the time.
At meal time we would stop the train and set the field kitchen out on the ground and build a fire to make coffee in a GI can.
We arrived in Brest on Wednesday. August 15th at 5:00 P.M. After spending a couple of days there we were issued new clothes. We would enter the bath house, undress and walk through the door into the showers, then out into a room where we were given new clothes.
We set sail for home on Friday, August 15th at 5:00 P.M. on the USS Canadagua, a former Morgan Steamship banana boat, that had been remodeled for a troop ship. We sailed along and reached New York on August 27, at about 3:00 A.M. The crew of the ship aroused everyone in time to see the lights of New York and the Statue of Liberty which was a welcome sight!
After landing we immediately look the ferry over to Hoboken and boarded the train for the short ride back to Camp Merritt. We spent a couple of days there, doing nothing except turning in all of our non-personnel equipment, including arms and ammunition. We just piled it up on the ground outside the buildings, and then we were divided into groups to be sent to discharge centers close to our places of enlistment.
I was sent to Atlanta, Georgia, arriving there on Sunday morning, August 31, 1919, just in time for breakfast. A Lieutenant Doctor from Vanderbilt Hospital was with me and he was told that they would given him his discharge that afternoon. But the rest of us including Cecil KEETON and I had to wait. The following day was Labor Day and we had to wait until Tuesday. But on Tuesday morning when we went into the office to get our discharge we were told that one of the men assigned to our barracks failed to sweep under his bed or to clean up around his bunk. We were then sent back to the barracks to wait until the day. The next morning that man had swept the entire room and cleaned up under every bunk. But for me the time was not lost because I went home with a man named SPROUSE from out near Marietta. He had been with me in the service all during the war. I enjoyed visiting with him. He lived at home with his parents and his unmarried sister.
I can only remember one man, Cecil KEETON, coming to Nashville with me on the train. We went to the Arcade and ordered out a tailor-made suit for each of us. A mild depression had set in on the east coast before we landed in New York and there were no jobs available.
After a few days at home and cutting some hay for my father, I visited Will EDWARDS at Linden, but was so home sick, I only stayed two days!
I then decided I would go to California and visit my sister and her family. I bought a ticket at the N.C. & St. L. Office in Ruppertown (Allen's Creek) to Manhattan, Kansas at Camp Funston where my brother Clyde was still in the army, as I wanted to visit with him.
He and I went to a football game on Saturday between Manhattan College and Missouri State and the weather was hot! That evening we went to a movie and when we came out the wind had come straight down out of the north! We had no heat and it was about four o'clock in the morning before the heat reached to the barracks. Clyde and the First Sergeant went to the supply room and got extra blankets for us.
The next day I left for California. I had to transfer from the U.P. Depot at San Bernadino to Colton which was about a mile to the S.P. for Imperial Valley. I remember one thing specifically; I got off the train at El Centro with $2.65 in my pocket. I knew that I could not go back.
The first thing my sister told me, after we got into the car and started for Seely, was that she had found a job for me! I asked when I could go to work and she said that same afternoon, if I wanted to. But, Lannie COPELAND, my brother-in-law, told me he wanted me to rest up for a few days and then consider the job. As it turned out I did not take that job but instead went to work for Imperial Hardware Company with Lannie.
Right after this the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. had representatives in the Valley in Arizona trying to get some farmers to sign up to grow long staple (pima) cotton the next year. Goodyear wanted the cotton for use in making tires. The staple was long and the boles were small. We signed up for this and about June the Goodyear Company went to Federal court and had the contracts voided. They said it would bankrupt the company to comply with all the contract and then could not go half around to everyone. The court ruled that Goodyear would furnish money during the growing season in the amount of twenty-five dollars per acre to pay water bills. Then they would loan enough money to pick out enough cotton to pay back the loan. The farmers were on their own. It took 1200 pounds of cotton to make a bale of 500 pounds and it cost twice as much to get it picked as regular cotton.
The trouble of it all was that DuPont had invented a cord called Rayon. This cord was stronger than cotton and the price of cotton in 1919 was $1.60 per pound; by mid-June 1920 the price had dropped to 25 cents per pound. We were guaranteed 60 cents per pound/ or the going price whichever was greater. We leased three farms and put a large acreage of it in cotton and some alfalfa.
My brother-in-law and I paid all our bills. I went to work on the Southern Pacific the first of 1921 and it took me a little more than a year to pay my part of the debts. But most of the farmers went broke and many of them last their farms.
Goodyear paid us for the cotton we had picked out, on the halves. But they paid 10% in cash, 90% in an I.O.U. and when it was taken up it had to be discounted.
After we had finished the crop I got a job with the U.S. Reclamation Service and the State of California, surveying the All American Canal sire for Imperial Valley and Coachilla Valley in Imperial and Riverside counties in California. The canal left the Colorado River and one of the canal sites went down close to the Mexican border, which is about 12 feet above sea level at Mexicali, to the west side of Imperial Valley. The other canal went north on the east side of Imperial Valley up past Salton Sea and up into Coachilla Valley almost to Palm Springs.
I was with the group on the west side and we surveyed to a point west of Idaho when the gravity line ran out.
When we finished the survey job we took the two Ford cars to Yuma, over the awful highway between Imperial Valley and Yuma. We had to take our entire crew along to push the cars out of the sand when we would stall. Several miles of the road were paved with Mesquite bushes laced together with wire and the road would go over sand hills. It took us all day to make the trip from El Centro to Yuma.
The Colorado River runs down a ridge from the Rocky Mountains and slopes downward from the river on both side into California and Arizona, Salton Sea being about 250 feet below sea level.
Soon after the first of the year I received a telegram from the S.P.R.R. at Indio to come up immediately if I was interested in a dispatcher's job. My cousin Ottie SPRINKLE had recommended me for the job. He was working for the company at Indio. I took the next train out and went to work for the R.R. as train crew dispatcher. I liked the work and the Round House foreman and I became very good friends.
In the summer of 1921, I made a trip back to Tennessee and spent a couple of weeks. It was during this visit that Roxy and I decided to get married, when I had a good job and could support a family. I always felt that I should be the breadwinner and not depend on my wife to help support the family.
About the middle of the summer of 1922, I decided that I would look for a better job. I resigned and went into Los Angeles to work for a wholesale shoe company. If was owned by the brother-in-law of one of the engineers that was a friend of mine. But when I got in and talked to a number of the company's employees, and the management, I decided that if was a little dull for me!
I then worked for a contractor building houses and next for a furniture factory. But, I still had the railroad fever. So, one evening about 8:30 P.M. I left he hotel on Spring Street and went over to the union Pacific Railroad Office, which was the parent company for the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. As it happened, the General Manager of the company was in his office, all the other offices were closed for the night. I explained my situation to him and he said he would be glad to give me a job, since I was a veteran of the late war. He gave me the choice of Las Vegas, Salt Lake City or Kansas City. I chose Las Vegas. The following morning I went back to his office and he had his secretary give me a pass to Las Vegas.
I was really thrilled to get back on the road again, this time as fireman at the power plant. I had learned that skill at Indio, as I built fires and moved engines there, under the supervision of the Round House Foreman.
We furnished electricity for the shops that employed a thousand men, the Round House, car shops and also the town of Las Vegas. At that time Las Vegas had a population of twenty-five hundred, while the state of Nevada had a population of seventy thousand.
I was promoted to engineer in about four months. Meanwhile Roxy and I decided to get married Christmas. I requested time off at Christmas to go back east and I also asked for transportation for the trip as well as for Roxy on the return trip to Las Vegas. I had made friends with the Power House engineer in charge of the U.P. system, who belonged to one of my favorite fraternities. So he brought my tickets to me in a few days and said if I did not return he would be in trouble. I never regretted going to Las Vegas; my dream had come true. I had a permanent job and could now assume the responsibilities of a husband in taking care of my family.
I left Las Vegas on the 16th of December and arrived at Ruppertown on December 21, 1922. Roxy and I were married on December 23 with my brother Herschel officiating. He was a magistrate at that time and performed the ceremony at his home. We spent a few days in Tennessee before leaving for Las Vegas on December 30. Again we caught the train at Ruppertown and went to Dickson that day. We spent the night in Dickson and left on the early morning train the next day, which was Sunday. We ate supper in Memphis and took the train out that night about nine o'clock and left St. Louis the next morning. We had New Year's dinner on the train and Roxy really enjoyed it, although everything was a little formal. We stopped in Denver for a few hours and went shopping and bought our silver. We had a real nice trip the rest of the way, as snow was everywhere and the mountains were beautiful.
We arrived in Las Vegas on January 3, and spent the first night with friends. The next day we moved into the house I had rented before I left.
Also before I left to go to Tennessee I had sent for my brother Clarence to come and work with me and we finally put him on the electric crane. He would use it to lift the locomotives that were brought in for repairs or overhaul.
We had a three bedroom house, so Clarence moved in with us.
Mt. Charleston was only thirty-eight miles from our house and we could see the snow all year. In the summer we went up, very often, to the camp site which was about nine thousand feet high.
We also used to picnic over on the Colorado River, which was about twenty-five miles from town. We used to drive down to the river just above where Boulder Dam is now. There were plenty of shade trees along the river bank where the water is now 700 feet deep.
One Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1923, Clarence , Roxy and I were walking out to the park to a ballgame and as we were passing the Buick Automobile dealer's place, Roxy remarked that it would be nice if we had one of those cars (the temperature that day was about 110 degrees) so we could get out of the heat. The owner, Jim CASHMAN, happened to be in his office so we went in, bought the car in the window and went on the ballgame! That was our first car. I went back the next day and got the title for the car.
Harvel C. EDWARDS Jr was born January 13, 1924. My sister came up from California and stayed with us a couple of weeks and then our next-door neighbor, Mrs. PAYNE took over and helped us out. She was a nurse and had her own ideas about taking care of a baby.
When the weather got hot, she took Roxy and Jr. to Ogden, Utah, as her sister had a summer home in the mountains and it would be nice and cool there. But a couple of days after they got there Roxy sent me a telegram saying they would be home the next day. That was the last time she ever had a vacation without me.
In May 1925 we went back to Tennessee to visit and Roxy's mother was sick so we stayed two months. Jr. was hardly and year-and-a-half old but he was very little trouble on the trip as he roamed the Pullman car and could not open the doors.
The heat in the Power House was rough on me and I had a bad spell of bronchitis and the doctors thought for several weeks that I had T.B. My boss, Harry COFFEY, the Chief Engineer from Los Angeles came to our house one evening and wanted me to get into the Post Office there as the examination for it called to two employees. I did not want to get into it really, as the two jobs were for carriers and I had bad feet. But, Roxy wanted me to take the examination and COFFEY insisted that I get outside for a while. The examination was Clerk-carrier and there were eight of us who took the examination and I did make the number one on the list. I first had the job and then the Postmaster decided to transfer his cousin from Long Beach, who was in the Railway Mail Postal Service. I went up to the office of Stevens & Henderson, two prominent lawyers in Las Vegas, and as I went in they asked how my job was coming along. I told them what the Postmaster had decided and Mr. HENDERSON got up, put his hat on and left the office. In about 10 minutes he came back in, smiled and said you just go on over to the Railroad Office and turn in your resignation effective the last day of December as you have the job. I went back down the street when I left their office and as I passed the Post Office, Bob GRIFFITH, the postmaster came out of the office and asked me to come in. So I went into his office and he told me that he had decided not to transfer his cousin. HENDERSON was chairman of the Republican party of the county and STEVENS was chairman of the Democratic party for Clark County.
HENDERSON had been a law partner of Senator ODDIE years before and STEVENS had been a law partner of Senator PITTMAN both were senators at that time, one democrat and the other republican. So I went to work in the Post Office on January 2, 1926. C. K. RYERSE was already a sub-clerk in the office and I the only one taken from the list.
After our return from Tennessee we bought a house one block down the street for twenty-four hundred dollars and moved. The former owner had cut down all the trees and there was no shade. I had a friend who was topping his trees and he gave me large limbs, about 12 feet long, most of them about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. I dug holes in the ground like putting in posts and turned the water on them. The second year there was a lot of shade from them. The trees were cottonwood. All the trees he gave were male trees and did not bloom. On the lot where our house stood now had a large bank building and a parking lot.
In the spring of 1927, one of the employees in the Lawrenceburg Post Officer wanted to transfer but got cold feet and backed out. Then Alva Sims, the Postmaster's son decided he would like to make a mutual transfer with me, so he took it up with the First Assistant Postmaster General and worked out the details. He was clerk in the Lawrenceburg, Tennessee Post Office and he was appointed carrier when he arrived in Las Vegas. Alva and his family arrived in Las Vegas on May 29, and I went with him on the route on May 31. I then went down to San Diego where Roxy and Jr. were visiting my sister. After a couple of days we left for Tennessee by train. We sold our house the next day after we decided to move for four thousand dollars.
I reported for work about the 10th of June and stayed at the English Inn for a couple of weeks before we found a house. Roxy and Jr. stayed in Wayne County, Tennessee with her parents. In late summer we bought a house on Dellar Street and moved into it the first of December. Colleen Jane was born on May 19, after we moved to Dellar Street.
In 1932 we bough a farm from Mr. BERRY, that we had wanted before but the price was too high. We traded our house in on the farm and moved the first of July 1932 and have remained there since that time. We remodeled the house in 1935, and Landon Leon EDWARDS was born there, September 22, 1936.
In January 1942, Jr. volunteered to go to the Coast Guard Radio School in Boston. So many of the boys were going to the Navy after they graduated from the school that they were transferred to the Navy Reserve and were sent to the Merchant Marines. Recently legislation was passed giving them credit for serving in the Navy.
When Leon finished high school he went to the Navy and served in San Diego and Hawaii. He next joined the Special Forces of the Army in Germany, and after that enlistment, he went back to the Navy and served in Vietnam.
Colleen Jane now lives in Chattanooga where she is employed at a local hospital.
I was promoted to Assistant Post Master during World War II and served until I retired in 1958.
Just before the war was over I worked out a contract with the Cities Service Oil Co. for Jr. to have when he returned from service. Later I became a third partner with him and T. B. FLIPPO, who married Jane RASBURY, my wife's sister. Later, Jr. bought FLIPPO's share in the company and later I turned loose from the company leaving Jr. the sole owner. He later went with Texaco and has branched out into the Quik Mart Stores (of which there are about 30).
At the time of my retirement I was elected to the school board and served as chairman for eight years. After Murray Ohio Manufacturing Co. came down we started a sub-division of our farm and sold all but a few lots that we retained for future use.
My wife, Roxy, joined the First Baptist Church in 1929. She had been converted in a Methodist Church when she was a teenager, but never joined any church. I joined the Baptist church in 1930. I had met my Lord in a personal way on the last night of the war, as I was driving back toward Verdun. Suddenly, I was aware of the fact that it was not "luck" that had brought me through the war, and that God was giving me another opportunity to live a Christian life. The church has meant very much to our family down through the years.
On the morning of December 28, 1987, Roxy suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed her right side and rendered her unconscious. She had recovered some use of her right side, but is still unable to talk. She had never recovered consciousness, and is a bed patient in a skilled nursing home.
The changes that have come recently have been made more easily accepted through the consistent encouragement and genuine Christ like compassion shown me by my Church family and friends. Whether through a card, a timely visit or a word of encouragement, they have been a gentle reminder to me that God does use every circumstance in our lives to mold us and polish us in preparation to meet Him. As I thank Him for Godly friends and blessings, I must also thank Him for that which I do not completely understand and continue to trust in His unfailing, loving hand to guide me as my journey in this life continues.
[Editor's Note: Mr. and Mrs. EDWARDS still living in Lawrenceburg, TN]
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FAGAN, Robert Dishough, was born December 1896 in Tennessee. He was possibly the son of Bruce Phillip FAGAN who was born 23 Nov 1857, Stewart Co., TN and who died 2 April 1909, Wayne Co., TN. Bruce Phillip FAGAN was the son of Union Civil War Veteran, Robert FAGAN who was born 9 March 1828, NY and died 15 April 1916, Wayne Co., TN. and Julia Ann FAGAN, 9 April 1830 - March 1890, all buried at the Hassell or Buchanan Cemetery, Wayne Co., TN.
Robert Dishough FAGAN married Ethel LAY on 11 May 1920 in Collinwood, TN. They had one son: Winley. Robert and Ethel later divorced and Ethel remarried to James SHELTON in 1923 and had one son, Roy L. SHELTON. Ethel later married J. Paul KIMBRELL of Lawrence Co., TN. Winley FAGAN was raised by his grandparents: Sampson and Sarah Alice DIXON LAY. Winley married Alice MARTIN and served in World War II. After the war he went to work for the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
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FOLGER, Paul Kent, serial no. 1326992, Private, Battery C, 115th Field Artillery enlisted from Allen Creek, TN on 20 July 1917. He served in England, France and Luxembourg. He was in the battle of Tool Sector from 28 Aug - 11 Sep 1918; St. Mihiel Offensive from 11 Sep - 13 Sep 1918 and the Argone Offensive from 13 Sep - 29 Sep 1918. He was discharged on 12 Aug 1919 at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
Paul FOLGER was one of 17 volunteers from Wayne County, Tennessee. After he said "good bye" to his family, he left by way of wagon and team for Hohenwald, Tennessee. It was such a slow pace, and fearful that he'd be late to catch the train that would take him to the army, he got out and walked on. He had already left the station by train when the wagon, team and driver arrived at the station.
Paul Kent FOLGER along with his twin sister Pauline was born 16 Feb 1899, Topeka, Kansas to William and Daisy KENT FOLGER. Later he moved to Chicago, Illinois. At about the age of 15 he moved to Tennessee with his grandparents, David and Emma JONES KENT in a covered wagon.
After he was discharged, he returned to Tennessee where he married Myrtle Ora GOWER. They had three children: Stanley FOLGER, Connie JASKE, and Morris FOLGER. He was killed in an automobile accident on 30 Nov 1959 and is buried at the Highland Methodist Church Cemetery.
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FRALEY, Clifford, born 22 Dec 1891, son of Charles and Caroline FRALEY. Service data not given. Soldier had the following siblings: Charles, b. April 1883, Willie, b. Dec 1884, Delphia, b. April 1887, Sallie, b. Feb 1893, Hattie, b. March 1895 and Thomas, b. Feb 1898. The family lived in the 3rd Civil District of Wayne Co., TN. Soldier was wounded in service. He married Annie L. BREWER on 5 June 1919, Wayne Co., TN. She was born 20 Sep 1898 and died 26 March 1947. Both soldier and wife are buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Wayne Co., TN.
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