100 years ago: Rappahannock residents respond to World War I

Rappahannock County resident and historian Don Audette conducted 50 hours of research from five sources to compile a list of 249 men from Rappahannock County who fought in World War I. Specifically, Audette worked from a spreadsheet prepared by the Rappahannock County Historical Society; records from the Virginia War History Commission; the book “Rappahannock County, Virginia: A History;” the county’s response to Bulletin 549 of the Adjutant General of Virginia; and “Soldiers of the Great War” (Volume 3).

He did not include the names of those men rejected due to disabilities, deserters, or conscientious objectors. There were perhaps other men from Rappahannock who took up arms during the war, including those who lived in what today is Shenandoah National Park, but to identify them would require more extensive research at the National Archives, if indeed they should exist. Should readers have any additional or corrective information on the Rappahannock men who served in World War I, it would be welcomed by the Rappahannock Historical Society.

 

First of a series

Words and photographs cannot describe the brutality of World War I. When it ended, more than 17 million people were dead and 20 million wounded. The war destroyed a European culture based on royalty, colonial empires, and a privileged class. It introduced a new type of warfare: endless.

All 8 colorful World War 1 posters to choose from are non-copyright and in the public domain. I selected some, including #1 featuring UVA, to give it some local flavor of what was happening on our shores. Sources: U.S. Library of Congress and National Archives and Records Administration.

On the western battlefield, trenches ran from the Belgian coast across France to the Swiss border, with armies facing each other across a narrow “no man’s land,” Battles were fought with handguns, rifles, bayonets, grenades, machine guns, barbed wire, fragmentation shells, flamethrowers, tanks, poison gas (mustard gas, phosgene, chlorine gas), aerial bombardments, etc., resulting in the unrelenting destruction of men by the thousands each day.

For example, the 15-mile long front of the Battle of Somme saw more than 400,000 British soldiers killed from July to November 1916. Almost 20,000 British were killed on its first day. After four and a half months of warfare, they had advanced just six miles.

The United States, and thus Rappahannock County, became involved only toward the end of the war. It was only after Germany on Feb. 1, 1917 resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the revelation later of the “Zimmerman Telegram” of Jan. 19, 1917, showing Germany’s attempt to persuade Mexico to join an alliance against the United States, that on April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. This was granted on April 6, 1917. When the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans had been killed and 204,000-plus wounded.

On the 100th anniversary of U.S. participation in WWI, on April 6, 2017, a moving ceremony was held at the official World War I monument in Kansas City, MO. For most Americans, that ceremony passed unnoticed. Since men from Rappahannock County participated in WWI, they should at least be remembered. This series, then, tells in general terms, what the war was like for them. It should be noted that the expression “WWI” did not come into use until the fall of 1939, when a second world war was imminent. Before then, WWI was called the Great War or the World War.

In this summer 100 years ago, Rappahannock County began its participation in the Great War. On June 6, 1917, in answer to the call to arms made by President Woodrow Wilson, all males, 20 to 30 years old, not already in the military, were to register in person between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. at their local precinct. In the town Washington, 550 men from Rappahannock County registered. As best that can be determined 249 men — enlisted, inducted, or already in the military — went to war. Their names are as follows and their fate will be described in future articles in the Rappahannock News.

ANDES, Joe

ATKINS, Archie, Bruce

ATKINS, Charles, Clifford

ATKINS, Frank

ATKINS, Julius, Bradley

ATKINS, Silas

ATKINS, Ellis

AYLOR, Otwell

AYLOR, Squire, Reuben

AYLOR, Turner, Morgan

AYLOR, Willie, Wade

BAILEY, Reuben

BANKS, Jared

BANKS, Robert

BECKWITH, Gideon

BRENT, Geo., Washington

BRENT, Henry

BRENT, Richard, Alton

BRIDGET, James

BROOKS, John

BROWN, Ary, Clinton

BROWN, Ellis

BROWN, James, Rhodes

BROWN, Lacy, W.

BROWN, Maury, W.

BROWN, Thos., Jennings

BROWNING, Press

BRUCE, William, Bryan

BURTON, George, L.

BUTLER, Oscar, Collier

CALDWELL, Jackson, Stuart

CAMPBELL, Jesse

CAMPBELL, Pummy

CAMPBELL, Stancie, Washington

CAMPBELL, William, Curtis

CARTER, Conrad, Green

CARTER, Curry

CARTER, French, Pendleton

CARTER, William, Linwood

CARY, Charles

CARY, Edward, Bailey

CARY, John, Lynn

CARY, Jr., Robert

CLARK, Edward, Jackson

CLARK, Edley, Marvin

CLARK, Reuben, Wellington

CLATER, George, Roxey

CLATTERBUCK, John, Gilpin

CLOPTON, Edward

CLOUD, Charles, Hamilton

CLOUD, James, Moffett

CLOUD, William, A.

COATES, Fred, I.

DEARING, Carter, G.

DENNIS, Clifford

DENNIS, W., B., Rev.

DODSON, Carroll, Lee

DODSON, James, Luther

DODSON, John, Edward

DODSON, Kieffer

DODSON, Lloyd, Spillman

DODSON, Steven

DUDLEY, Luther, Harris

DUDLEY, William

DULANEY, Hurtha

DWYERS, John, Thomas

ESTES, Harry

FINCHAM, Benjamin, Silas

FINCHAM, Clarence

FINCHAM, Clarence, Amos

FINCHAM, Robert

FINCHAM, Ray

FINCHAM, Silas

FISHER, Robt., Grayson

FLURRY, Jacob

FOSTER, George

FOSTER, Henry, Peterson

FOSTER, Silas

FRAZIER, Chas., William

FRAZIER, Homer, Newton

FRAZIER, Silas, Walden

FRENCH, Frank

FRY, Forrest, H.

GIBSON, Nighton

GLASCO, Henry

GORE, Ashby

GORE, Edward

GORE, Harry

GRAY, John, Henry

GREEN, James, L.

GREEN, Raymond, Jackson

GREEN, Hamilton, Smith Fletcher

HACKLEY, Charlie, Garrison

HACKLEY, John

HAWKINS, Aubrey

HILL, Arthur

HILL, Aubrey, M.

HITT, Joseph, Shelton

HITT, Milton, Grimsley

HOLMES, Richard

HOUGHTON, Edgar

HUDSON, Edward, Taylor

HUDSON, Festus, Jr.

HUDSON, Herbert

HUGHES, Chas., Russell

HUME, Robert, Tutt

JACKSON, Charles

JACKSON, Edward

JACKSON, Haywood

JACKSON, Jafus

JACOBS, William, M.

JASPER, George

JEFFRIES, Hamilton

JENKINS, Barron, Lloyd

JENKINS, Elmer

JENKINS, Hugh, Mercer

JENKINS, Jas., Benjamin

JENKINS, Joseph

JENKINS, Robert, E.

JENKINS, William, Stephen

JOHNSON, Bryan

JOHNSON, Clyde, Bruce

JOHNSON, Frederick

JOHNSON, George, Wood

JOHNSON, Howard

JOHNSON, Jack

JOHNSON, Lewis

JONES, Chester

JONES, Howard

JONES, Robert, Edward

JORDON, Robert, B.

KEYSER, Charles, Wood

KEYSER, Edward, Hampton

KEYSER, Joseph, DeJarnette

KING, Charles, Willoughby

KUHN, Henry, Goodloe

LATHAM, Milton, Amiss

LAWRENCE, John, Ross

LEAKE, Charles, William

LEAKE, Ennis

LEE, William

LILLARD, Harry, Clifford

LILLARD, Henry, B.

LOGAN, Edward

LOGAN, Tom

LUTTRELL, Charles, N.

LUTTRELL, Homer, Browning

MANUEL, Herbert, Frank

MASSIE, Robert, Lee

MATTHEWS, John, Carroll

McFARLAND, Daniel

MILLER, Benjamin, Franklin

MILLER, Brooke, Menefee

MILLER, Davis, Darius

MILLER, Henry, L. (Pat)

MITCHELL Jr., Benj., Burruss

MOFFETT, Horatio, Gates

NICHOLSON, Acree

NICHOLSON, Charles, Luther

NICHOLSON, Hubert, Jackson

NICHOLSON, Odie, W.

ODEN, Clarence, Oneal

PARTLOW, Chas., James

PAYNE, Grafton

PAYNE, Milton, Davis

PENDLETON, Clyde

PENDLETON, Morris

PEYTON, John, Henry

PEYTON, Jordan, O.

PEYTON, Mark

PHILLIPS, Wm., Dudley

PINKET, Ollie, Haywood

POUND, Oliver, Jackson

PRIEST, Albert

PULLEN, Jesse, P.

PULLEN, John, Alfred

PUTNAM, Gillie, Bastable

RACER, James, Carroll, Sr.

REID, Jr., Joseph

RICHARDS, George

ROBERTS, Robert, Harrison

ROE, George

ROWLES, William, Finley

RUTHERFORD, Jesse, Lewis

SETTLE, Wade, Middleton

SHAFFER, Bergie, Lloyd

SISK, Andrew, Washington

SISK, James, M.

SISK, Weldon

SISK, Wood, Walker

SMITH, Cornelius

SMITH, Frank, Lewis

SMITH, Jesse, F.

SMITH, Linwood

SMITH, Stockton, Brown

SMOOT, William, Franklin

SOTHORON, Warren, Haddox

SPILMAN, Charles, William

STARKE, James,

STROTHER, Botts

STUART, Caldwell, Jackson

TAYLOR, George, Herndon

TAYLOR, Henry, Lewis

TAYLOR, Lee, George

TAYLOR, Romine, F.

THOMPSON, Robert, Haywood

THOMPSON, Wm., Job

THORNHILL, Byrd

THORNHILL, Cary

THORNHILL, Edward

THORNHILL, Ernest, Gabriel

THORNHILL, J., Wilton

THORNHILL, Roscoe, Franklin

THORNHILL, Wilton

TIDLER, George

TOBIN, Wilson, Hartwell

TOLIVER, Frank

TRESCOTT, Harry, A.

TYLER, Henry

UPDIKE, Gilbert, Lee

UTZ, Rolly, Ausbern

UTZ, Thos., Herbert

VARNER, S., Walton

WALLACE, Clarence

WALLACE, Silas

WALTER, Charles, Robert

WALTER, Henry, Rowzie

WALTER, Willie, Waugh

WAYLAND, Julian, Earl

WEAKLEY, Rollen

WEATHERS, Christopher, Franklin

WEATHERS, Douglas

WELCH, Jerry

WHARTON, Oscar

WHARTON, Robert, L.

WHARTON, Shelby, Clayton

WHARTON, Walter

WIGGINTON, George, Russell

WILLIAMS, Jos., L.

WILLIAMS, William, Wilson

WILLIS, George, Menefee

WINES, Bud, H.

WOOD, Allie

WOOD, Henry

WOODARD, James, Albert

YANCEY, Pomey

YATES, Jas., Edward

YOUNG, Jas., Webster

YOWELL, John, Daniel

Don Audette
About Don Audette 23 Articles

Don Audette has a place in Sperryville, is a longtime member of the Rappahannock Lions and writes about local history in his “Yesterdays” column for the Rappahannock News.

3 Comments

  1. Hi Don,
    While I am looking forward to the future articles about these men, there is one I am trying to get more information about as he may be the missing branch in my family tree. Do you know anything more about William Lee? A middle initial, birth or death date, anything would be helpful. There are so many William Lee’s that it is hard to narrow down my search. Many thanks!

  2. What a great idea, to look back a century to the start of the “endless war”. The numbers mentioned in this initial article astound me. I always imagined that the US got into the Great War rather late, and thus had limited casualties. But the 116,000 killed cited almost equals the 123,000 in WWII…a four-year involvement And the wounded…incredible.

    Thanks, Mr. Audette, for bringing this this story “home”. [I’m from an old Virginia family…retired now in AZ]

  3. Thank you so much for this article. A number of my great uncles and my maternal grandfather are listed here. Both my parents were born and raised in Rappahannock County. My understanding is that mother’s Uncle Frank Lewis Smith was the last soldier killed in WWI–and sadly his death occurred a day or so after the official end of the war but before the news reached their battlefield. Originally buried in France, his remains have since been buried in family cemetery near Forest Grove.

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