Remembering the ‘forgotten’ war
According to Lee Tapp, Rappahannock Historical Society volunteer, the Rappahannock Historical Society hosted a terrific and informative Sunday presentation by Edmund D. “Rick” Potter, Ph.D., as part the nationwide remembrance of the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into WWI, April 1917, and its 75th entry into WWII, December 1941. Dr. Potter is an assistant professor of history at Mary Baldwin University with particular interest in and expertise about WWI. He has served as curator of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and is currently involved with the 116th Infantry Regiment Museum in Verona, Va.
Begun in 1914, WWI was truly a world war. It was called The World War or The Great War, not getting the “I” designation until it was obvious in late 1939 that another world war was imminent. And because of that second war just 20 years later, WWI is a somewhat “forgotten” war that is poorly understood despite the horrendous conditions in which it was fought; the huge losses experienced by all countries, the Central Powers (Germany, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire) and the Allied Powers (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Russia, and later the United States); and the worldwide changes in nations and identities.
Among the four million Americans mobilized for WWI were about 250 Rappahannock citizen soldiers. According to Dr. Potter, Rappahannock soldiers in WWI became members of the 116th Infantry Regiment. The 116th traces its origins to the Augusta County Regiment of the Virginia Militia organized in 1742, and units of the regiment have participated in nearly every U.S. war from the Revolutionary and Civil wars to the world ones and in various “actions” and “conflicts” since WWII.
In 1916, the 116th became part of the Virginia National Guard and in early 1917 saw service in Brownsville, Texas, during tensions between Mexico and America. Dr. Potter commented that this gave the troops training and preparation before the regiment went to war in Europe in 1918. In October that year, the 116th Infantry as part of the 29th Infantry Division was deployed to fight in what was known as the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
Other Allied Powers had wanted to integrate the American soldiers in with their troops which the American command refused. According to Potter, this was for the better. The American soldiers were fresh and ready, not worn down and demoralized. American doughboys, from all over our country including Rappahannock, made a difference. Instead of a stalemate, The Great War was ended in November 1918 with victory.
For those interested in Rappahannock involvement in The Great War, visit the society on Gay Street in Washington; open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 11- 5.
The Free Clinic’s “Rappahannock Rough Ride” brought well over 200 cyclists to county roads on Saturday, Sept. 16. The event raised about $20,000 for the health care needs of local families and made for a great community event. “Cycling is about fitness and we think it makes a lot of sense for us as a fundraiser” said Rob Marino, clinic director. “It’s also a great opportunity every year to remind people that we are here for them in Rappahannock County.” The Free Clinic is based in Warrenton but has a satellite clinic once a month in the Washington Health Department, utilizing local volunteers. Uninsured Rappahannock residents can go to either clinic location for assistance ranging from medical to dental to mental health care.
The Rough Ride volunteers are led by Sherry Pace of Boston and Heather Young in Amissville. Pace starts reaching out to the volunteers for the event about six weeks ahead of time and never has any trouble getting help. “Most of the work is in directing cyclists out on the roads at tricky intersections. Some of them are riding over 60 miles and those hills can really add up.”
The rides start and end at the Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue, which provided a hot breakfast and lunch for the returning cyclists. Kettle Run National Honor Society students even bake pies for the riders to enjoy. This year was the 21st annual Rough Ride.
On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, and Monday, Sept. 24, the children at the Child Care and Learning Center had a wonderful time at Lee’s Orchard for their annual apple picking and hay ride adventure. With three days of field trips, all the children from infant through school-age were able to participate.
After picking apples off the trees with Brittney Lee, CCLC teachers, and parents, the children loaded up on the hay wagon. Bryant Lee drove them down to see the cows, including a just born baby calf. The hayrides ended with the beautiful views from the top of hill, said Christina Loock, Children in Nature Director at CCLC.
The Washington Baptist Church Youth Drama Group will be performing “Murder Mayhem and Marshmallow Salad” — a murder mystery dinner theater on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Tickets are $15. Dinner includes: Spaghetti, meatballs, tossed salad, bread, cake and cookies — and of course a bit of green marshmallow salad. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to benefit the WBC Youth Drama Group. For tickets email email@example.com.
Also, note that the Church Anniversary Sunday/Annual Church Picnic that was originally planned for past Sunday, Sept. 24, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 15. Washington Baptist Church will be observing World Communion Sunday along with the rest of Christendom on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Come out for a roller coaster of fun and festivities on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 22, from noon to 4 p.m. for the annual Trinity Episcopal Church House Tour.
Cost of the tour is $30 for all three houses or $15 for one house. There are three fantastic Rappahannock houses on the tour: Windstone Ridge near Flint Hill, Willis House on Main Street in Sperryville, and Rock Run Farm near Woodville.
Refreshments will be served at Trinity’s Parish Hall on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.
In addition, there will be three draw down prizes for Rappahannock whiskey and wine; dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington; or a sample of Rappahannock products. Price is $20 for one ticket or $100 for six tickets, and winners need not to be present when the prize tickets are drawn at the Harvest Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 11.
Exquisite silk scarves from a painting, “All Things Rappahannock,” by Ruthie Windsor-Mann are selling for $85 before, during and after the House Tour.
The Harvest Festival Service will be on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. featuring renowned organist Ronald Stolk, a small choir of young professional singers, Rappahannock farmers, and our 4-H youngsters.
To follow the Harvest Festival Service, there will be a celebration reception in the Parish Hall.
The House Tour is a Rappahannock tradition, now in its 61st year.
Birthday & prayers
Birthday wishes go out to a friend, Jay Brown, who celebrates his birthday today (Thursday, Sept. 28). Happy Birthday, Jay!
Let’s remember Skippy Giles in our prayers each day, while he under the weather from a fall.
Have a wonderful week!