They Called Them Soldier Boys
A Texas Infantry Regiment in World War I
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Series: War and the Southwest Series
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Tables
I would like to thank the Donley County Historical Society and the Burton Memorial Library, Clarendon, Texas; the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, Lubbock; the Texas State Library and Archives, Austin, Texas; The Abilene Public Library, Abilene, Texas; the Foard County Library, Crowell, Texas; ...
In a small Texas town, thousands of miles and nearly a century removed from the battlefields of France, the influence of World War I on the Lone Star State can still be observed. Two worn statues stand on each side of a World War I-era German artillery piece in the courthouse square of Crowell, the county seat of Foard County, Texas, in the northwestern part of the state. ...
Chapter 1 - Recruiting the 7th Texas Infantry
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a joint session of the United States Congress where he responded to a number of events, including the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany and the disclosure of the infamous Zimmerman Telegram. He then asked Congress for a declaration of war. ...
Chapter 2 - A Portrait of the 7th Texas Infantry
An examination of the make-up of the 7th Texas Infantry from a socio-economic standpoint offers a useful composite portrait of its soldiers. This serves not only to broaden historical knowledge of those individuals, but also offers a starting point for comparing them soldiers with others in the state and other sections of the country. ...
Chapter 3 - Camp Bowie and France
Although local communities treated the soldiers of the 7th Texas as heroes before the regiment had even left North and Northwest Texas, their arrival at Camp Bowie in the first week of September underscored their lack of training and unfamiliarity with Army ways. The companies from Potter, Donley, and Childress counties arrived first, ...
Chapter 4 - “Fit to Get Down to Serious Business”
The 142d Infantry Regiment, still containing a large core of men from the old 7th Texas Infantry and the former 1st Oklahoma Infantry regiments, arrived in France at a critical moment in the war. The German Army had launched a massive series of offensives beginning in March of 1918, which German leaders hoped would end the war ...
Chapter 5 - The Western Front, October 6–13, 1918
As the 142d Infantry marched north out of the French village of Somme-Py, they passed a group of Marines walking south, away from the front. One of those Marines recalled passing “full strong companies of National Guardsmen. They went up one side of the road; and in ragged columns of two’s, unsightly even in the dim and fitful light, the Marines plodded down the other side.” ...
Chapter 6 - The Western Front, October 13–30, 1918
As the 142d Infantry filtered into the lines on the night of October 13, 1918, they were certainly not aware that in several weeks they would have to attack such a strongly fortified position as Forest Farm. Lieutenant Sayles’ weapons platoon dug in on the side of a hill and managed to bring up straw from Vaux to line their holes. Several soldiers also found doors to use as roofs over their fox holes, ...
Chapter 7 - “Bad Enough at the Best”
As they left the line near the end of October 1918 and marched to Valmy, James McCan of Quanah recalled that his comrades were “the worst looking bunch of men you ever saw,” and about “half a dozen could barely talk above a whisper as our lungs were full of gas.” From Valmy, the division marched southeast toward the American First Army, to which they had been assigned. ...
Chapter 8 - Coming Home and the War’s Legacy
While the soldiers of the old 7th Texas and their comrades in the 142d Infantry and the 36th Division reflected on their experiences and tried to put into words what they had seen and felt, the press and other observers quickly picked up on the division’s exploits. For example, Gen. Stanislas Naulin, commander of the French XXI Corps, ...