The Yankee Division Chaplains in World War I
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Missouri Press
Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece, Epigraph
List of Illustrations
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Living in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts, my family was no stranger to priests. They were guests at our dinner table. We saw them in formal and informal settings, and they engendered our respect. Rev. Michael J. O’Connor (“Father Mike”) was my parents’ pastor at St. Bridget’s...
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For some time now, as I researched my other books on the Yankee Division, I frequently came across references to the exploits of certain regimental chaplains. Since then, I have wanted to write about these brave men. Each time, however, I have had to put it off for one reason or another...
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1. “Sky Pilots”
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Ever since 1775, when General Artemas Ward took command of the aggregation of militias surrounding Boston, chaplains have been a part of what would become the United States Army. In fact, the Provincial Congress “was practically flooded with offers from patriotic preachers who wanted...
2. Early Days
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Upon its arrival in France, the Yankee Division was divided into two parts. The bulk of the division was taken by train to the Fourth Training Area, centered on Neufchâteau in Lorraine, in the northeastern part of France. The men soon had to contend with a harsh winter, many without proper...
3. Toul Sector
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For six months, the Yankee Division had been under the tutelage of the French, from whom the doughboys learned the elements of trench warfare, with an emphasis on raids and patrols. It was, by and large, defensive warfare— that is, static—except for an occasional large-scale attack that generally...
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While the initial German spring offensive showed promise, each separate thrust ground to a halt as French or British resistance stiffened. However, that all changed on May 27, 1918, in the Champagne-Marne region, when a massive German push rolled back French and British defenders on a wide...
5. St. Mihiel and Troyon
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The Battle of St. Mihiel, which began on September 12, 1918, was the debut of the newly formed American First Army. The focus of the American attack was a roughly triangular pocket, approximately two hundred square miles in area, with its apex at the town of the same name. It was well fortified by the...
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It was early October, and the Yankee Division, now relieved by elements of the 79th Division and the 2nd Dismounted Cavalry (French) Division, gathered itself together and made its way slowly, wearily to a new sector. The experience of the 102nd Machine Gun Battalion was typical. On October 4, after...
7. Going Home
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From the moment that the Armistice was signed, there was talk that the Yankee Division would be part of the Army of Occupation. That notion was soon put to rest. The division was pretty well used up during its long and arduous tour of duty. Within days, the division began to collect itself...
8. “Recalled to Life”
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As a young man, the mythical Irish hero Cuchulain chose fame and a short life over immortality. Many chaplains chose service and duty, and in the process achieved a measure of fame during and after their shortened lives, at least as long as the memories of those with whom they...
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It could be truly said that the modern U.S. Army Chaplain Corps emerged from the American experience of the First World War—trained by Major Pruden and led by Bishop Brent and the GHQ Staff Chaplains Office. In fact, General Pershing’s appointment of Bishop Brent to be the senior...
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Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 36 illustrations
Publication Year: 2014