Kentucky Guard Railroad Related Fatalities 1917-18
The Kentucky National Guard had a dangerous relationship with railroads in 1917 and 1918. At least 19 died in railroad related incidents during an 18 month period.
What would come to be called the First World War began in Europe in 1914 but America wanted to remain neutral. American businesses sold arms and ammunition as a neutral power. Unfortunately that too was seen as taking a side in the war against Germany and it was not long before German agents began carrying out sabotage to cut off this supply of ammunition and armaments for their enemies.
Research has not revealed any mysterious explosions in Kentucky during the time period but there were plans and a payment made to destroy a southern Kentucky plant in October 1915. The evidence was revealed as the investigation of the saboteurs in New York and New Jersey. End Note i One of the saboteurs had scouted the plant in September 1915 but was arrested in a police sting trying to purchase 100 pounds of dynamite. End Note ii
Other parts of the nation reeled under significant catastrophes of mysterious origins. The Black Tom explosion on July 30, 1916, in Jersey City, New Jersey, was an act of sabotage by German agents to destroy American-made munitions that were to be supplied to the Allies in World War I. This incident, which happened prior to American entry into World War I, is also notable for causing damage to the Statue of Liberty. End Note iii
“ In January 1917, a mysterious fire at a shell-packing plant in Kingsland, New Jersey, just across the river from Manhattan, rocked the city and sent thousands fleeing from un-fused shells flung high in the air by the blasts. Three months later, another unexplained fire destroyed the Hercules Powder Company plant in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, killing over a hundred workers, most of them women and children. It has been estimated End Note iv that, between early 1915 and spring 1917, 43 American factories suffered explosions or fires of mysterious origin, in addition to the bombs set on some four dozen ships carrying war supplies to the Allies.” End Note v
On March 31, 1917, Adjutant General J. Tandy Ellis issued Special Order No. 36 detailing units to sentry duty to protect important infrastructure across the state, such as railroad tunnels, bridges and water supplies. The orders were believed to be issued in response to a federal call to protect the nation's infrastructure as America entered the war. It would prove to be a dangerous undertaking for the Kentucky Guard.
Renewed and unrestricted U-boat warfare on American ships along with the public release of an intercepted German government telegram promising Mexico its lost territory in Texas and the Southwest if it would declare war on America were the final straws. End Note vi
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a special joint session of the United States Congress for a declaration of war against the German Empire. Congress responded with the declaration on April 6.
On April 17, 1917 the Kentucky Guard begin mobilization. Kentucky Guard units were assigned to the 38th "Cyclone" Division, newly organized at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
The Kentucky Guard continued protecting key points of infrastructure across the state at least as late as August 1917. Beginning with the death of Thomas Higdon on April, 7 1917 in Ohio County and ending with the death of Carl Mercer on August 26th 1917 in Jefferson County – eight Kentucky Guard members died in carrying out this mission.
Possible Saboteur Shot BY KYNG on SAD 4 Apr 1917
On Wednesday, April 4, 1917, just a few days after being ordered to state active duty, Private Charles M. Lucas, serving with Company D, 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment, was standing sentry duty at a railroad bridge in Bullitt County. Even at the age of nineteen years old, Lucas was a seasoned soldier, having served with the Kentucky National Guard on federal active duty on the Mexican border during the punitive expedition in 1916 and early 1917.
At 4:10 P.M. an unknown person neared Lucas’s sentry post on the railroad bridge. Lucas order the man to halt. The man ignored the request and kept approaching the railroad bridge. Lucas fired his rifle and struck the man in the abdomen halting his advance.
An unknown doctor, possibly KYNG, was summoned to attend to the injured man. The wounded man was transported by train accompanied by a doctor to the City Hospital in Louisville. The unknown man died of his injuries at 12:40 a.m. on April 5, 1917 never having regained consciousness. The man's identity was a mystery and was believed to be a foreigner in the newspaper accounts. An examination of his clothes and personal effects did not reveal any identification papers. His “work-mans' clothes” did contain laundry marks bearing the names of J. Briner and C. Schaffer. A slip of paper with the name Jack Currier written on it was found in his pockets.
Newspaper reports about the incident suggested the Breckinridge County jailer might identify the man as having served a five month jail sentence under the name of C. Schafer for attempting to detain a woman at Hardinsburg. Before he was tried on that charge he was identified as a Pole by Dr Stanislaus Brzozowski of Louisville who was able to converse with him when many other languages had been unsuccessful by others.
A coroner's jury was held on April 6, 1917 and exonerated Lucas. The jury found “… the deceased, believed to be C. Shrader alias Jack Curier, residence unknown, came to his death from a gunshot wound at the hands of Private Charles M. Lucas, Company D, First Regiment of Infantry, Kentucky National Guard, in the service of the United States while said Private Lucas was in the proper performance of his duty, acting under orders of his superior officers and under circumstances which rendered the homicide justifiable.”
The newspaper accounts of the time suggest the unknown man was a spy or saboteur in the employ of the German secret service. There seems little evidence to support this other than the man's lack of significant communication in any language and the number of alias names associated with him.
According to the newspaper accounts the man was identified with the all of these aliases: C. Shrader, Jack Curier, Jack Currier, J. Briner, and C. Schaffer. All apparently variations based on laundry marks found in his clothing or the name on the piece of paper in his pockets.
It is possible that he was innocent and simply foreign national who did not speak the language and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, if that was the case one would think that Dr. Brzozowski would have learned the man's full name and more details about him when he was interviewed before his trial in Hardinsburg.
No further traces of the unknown man have been found after he is sent to a Louisville undertaker, L. D. Bax, and no subsequent investigation into the man's actions or identity are known to have occurred. No information as to the final disposition of his remains have been found.
What we can say is that this incident is the first and only known time a Kentucky National Guard soldier killed someone on state active duty in the performance of his duties.
Lucas continued to serve with the Kentucky Guard. He was promoted to Corporal, 1 May 1917 and went on federal active duty with his unit, Headquarters Company, 138th Field Artillery, on 2 May 1917. His unit was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for training. They left Camp Shelby on 18 September 1918 and set sail from New York on 6 October 1918. They arrived in Liverpool England on 18 October 1918 and in Cherbourg, France on 22 October 1918. He died on October 26, 1918, in a train crash with ten of his fellow soldiers while enroute from Cherbourg, France, to a training camp at Meucon, France.
The Courier Journal Louisville, Kentucky 5 April 1917 page 1
The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, Kentucky 5 April 1917 page 1
The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois 6 April 1917 page 3
The Courier Journal Louisville, Kentucky 6 April 1917 page 7
The Tennessean, Nashville, Tennessee 7 April 1917 page 2
The Courier Journal Louisville, Kentucky 7 April 1917 page 10
This was not the only incident apparently. According to The Big Sandy News on April 27, 1917 - “The guards at Kenova bridge shot at a prowler eight times Saturday night but missed him owing to the darkness.”
Unfortunately concern about saboteurs and spies was not unfounded. The President had just asked Congress to declare war on Germany and in his speech charged that the German Government has engaged in a sabotage campaign. There many deadly and suspicious fires and explosions on board ships, in docks and at munitions plants beginning in January 1915 and continuing but declining after congress passed the declaration of war on April 6, 1917. Foreign nationals had been arrested in connection with some of the incidents.
At the same time, newspapers reported another incident some 11 miles south of Elizabethtown. According to the reports: ”A supposed tramp of German descent was seen to hide a, .package near the, L. & N. bridge across Nolin River, and on investigation it was found to be five sticks' of dynamite. Local officers tried to apprehend him, but so far he has eluded them. It is not known what his intentions were.”
The Hartford Herald, Hartford, KY, April 11, 1917, Page 6,
Licking Valley Courier, West Liberty, KY, April 12, 1917, page 1
One newspaper account said he was shot at after he place the package. The Dispatch, Moline, Illinois 6 April 1917 page 3 Para 4
The location is believed to be the railroad bridge some 11 miles south of Elizabethtown 37.570731, -85.903577
Another incident that may be related to a sabotage attempt comes from a newspaper account in the Crittenden Record-Press. Marion, Ky., April 26, 1917, Page 1
Plot to blow up bridge
Boys at Blackford discover wires attached to dynamite caps under Railroad Bridge
Two boys, fishing on the bank of Tradewater river at Blackford (Webster County ) Monday morning made a discovery which looked very suspicious, to say the least of it.
The boys noticed a strand of wire protruding from the water near the northern pier of the railroad bridge and began pulling it out. When they drew it all out of the water a dynamite cap was found attached to the end of the wire. Proceeding with their investigation the boys discovered more wires and pulled out sixteen more all with dynamite caps attached to the end.
They reported the matter to the people in the town and soon a large crowd gathered around in an effort to solve the mystery, but when this was written no further evidence had been obtained.
Mr. W. W. Lee, the Illinois Central Railroad agent At Blackford who reported the matter to the Enterprise, stated that the caps had every appearance of having been attached to sticks of dynamite., but how they all came detached is not accounted for. He stated that a complete investigation of the matter would be made by his company. Up to this time the Blackford Bridge has not been guarded.
The ends of the wires found were embedded in the bank of the river under water, in close proximity to the pier of the bridge. The pieces of wire ranged from 15 to 20 feet in length.
It is believed that unless they have been washed away dynamite sticks will be found on the bottom of the river. Where the wire was found in the water is only about waist deep, but no search has as yet been made for the dynamite.
Two suspicious looking characters, one evidently a German, were in Blackford Friday. This man was sharpening razors.
It is worth noting that there was also significant labor unrest in the coal fields very nearby and the wire and blasting caps on the railroad bridge may have been connected to that rather than German efforts at sabotage.
It also must be said that there were other reasons for dynamite as well. Apparently a toll house was dynamited on the Sherburne Bridge over the licking river on what is now Route 11 between Mount Sterling and Flemingsburg connecting Fleming and Bath Counties in late March 1917. Apparently unknown persons made a further threat to destroy the bridge if the tolls were not removed. It took some months but Fleming and Bath County bought the bridge from the private corporation operating it and removed the tolls effective 1 August 1917. SEE The Public Ledger June 23, 1917 Page 2. No record has so far been found of anyone being charged in connection with the dynamiting or the threats to destroy the bridge.
Prewar Railroad Related Fatalities
Read Full Bio
Corporal Thomas Higdon, 22, of Kirk, Breckinridge County, was killed when he was struck by an Illinois Central train on 7 April 1917 near the Green River and Rockport in Ohio County. According to newspaper accounts he did not hear the fast approaching passenger train due to high winds at the time of the incident. Newspaper accounts say he was giving semaphore signals at the time of the accident. The first newspaper reports stated he was walking down the track.
Higdon’s father filed a $20,000 lawsuit for negligence against the railroad and W. B. Curley the engineer of the train. The Ohio County Circuit Court jury eventually awarded them estate $800 in December 1917. The railroad filed an appeal for a new trial but no record has been found indicating the final resolution of the case.
Wiley, Ray B.
Read Full Bio
Private Ray B. Wiley, was born 24 November 1893, in Henry County, Kentucky, son of J. G. and Lena Wiley. He enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard on 10 May 1915, at Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky. At the time of enlistment he stated his occupation was rail roading. He was inducted into federal service for Mexican Border duty, 1916-1917, serving with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment.
On 16 April 1917, while on duty at High Bridge in Jessamine County, Private Wiley was struck and killed by a train sometime before 2 a.m. when his body was discovered by the soldier to relieve him at his sentry post. According to newspaper accounts, the Coroner’s jury found he died by being struck in the head by a freight train and that he had not been drinking and no trace of liquor was found on his person.
Read Full Bio
Private Ashford Watts, age 22, of Leatherwood, Perry County, died on May 13, 1917 when he was struck by a train while on state active duty guarding a railroad tunnel. Watts was born 9 March 1898, in Breathitt County, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard at Jackson, on 9 April 1917, with Company F, 2nd Kentucky Infantry.
According to newspaper accounts Watts had built a fire near the track in the mouth of the tunnel he was guarding. He had turned his back on the tunnel and when the train came through at high speed. He was struck and crushed by the train and his body was mutilated and torn and wound up some ten feet from the tracks. Research has not yet established where the incident happened.
Harris, William S.
Read Full Bio
Private William "Willie" Sears Harris of Woodbine, Whitley County, died of injuries at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington on May 26, 1917 after being struck by a train on 23 May near Falmouth while on active duty. Harris served with Company A, 2nd Kentucky Infantry based in London. Harris had extensive injuries with severe damage to both legs. Newspaper accounts speak of his legs being crushed. Harris enlisted in Company A of the 2nd Kentucky on 17 Jun 1916.
Orr, Edward F.
Read Full Bio
Private Edward F. Orr, 26, of Butler, Pendleton County, died on 1 June 1917 when he was presumed struck by a Southern Railway train while on guard duty near Hemp Ridge Station in the vicinity of Waddy in Shelby County. His body was found near the railroad tracks with a crushed skull. Orr enlisted in Company I, of the 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 18 August 1916.
Williams, Albert B.
Read Full Bio
Private Albert Benoia Williams, 18, of Shelbyville, Shelby County, died of wounds he received when he struck by a passing train while on active duty at Elihu near Somerset, Pulaski County, on 25 July 1917 while serving with Company K, 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment of the Kentucky National Guard.
Williams was standing guard at a railroad bridge. The corporal of the guard who found Williams stretched out on the floor of the bridge unconscious with a fractured skull. It was believed he stepped from one set of tracks to let a train pass on the double tracks and stepped in front of another train traveling in the opposite direction on the other set of tracks. He perished from his injuries approximately an hour and a half later. He enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard on 4 June 1917. His brother, Charles Filmore Williams was also serving in Company K.
According to newspaper accounts his father, Lee Williams, later sued the Southern Railway Company for $20,000 damages for gross negligence. No information has been found as to the outcome of the lawsuit.
Mercer, Carl A.
Read Full Bio
Private Carl A. Mercer, 25, of Louisville, Jefferson County, joined Company G, 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment Kentucky Infantry. Mercer was struck and killed by a train on 26 August 1917, at Louisville, Kentucky. An undated newspaper clipping reports that Mercer’s “mangled body” was found on the L & N switch near Seventh and Oak streets in Louisville.
Read Full Bio
Private John Frasier, 29, of Ashland, Boyd County, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of April 24, 1917 while doing guard duty with the Kentucky National Guard on federal active duty at "Poor Tunnel" near Elkhorn City in Pike County. Frasier was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion of the 2nd Kentucky Infantry Regiment. Frasier enlisted in the KYNG on 9 April 1917.
Frasier was shot and killed by fellow guardsman Private Byron Hogg. Hogg had was standing guard duty with Frasier at the time of the incident and had previously served with his unit on the Mexican border in the Punitive Expedition. Hogg was sentenced to 12 years in the penitentiary. Research to date has not revealed any motive for the incident.
He is included here because of the railroad related fatality.
Emmet Stinnett, 45, of Meade County was killed on 12 July 1917 at Upton, in Hardin County when he was struck by a Louisville & Nashville train. Stinnett was on foot crossing the tracks ahead of the arrival of the train to board the train and return to his duty station in Louisville. He had, according to newspaper accounts, been visiting relatives in Hart County. Stinnett enlisted in Company F of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 30 April 1910 at the age of 35. He listed his civilian occupation at that time as blacksmith. By the time he reenlisted in 1913 he listed his occupation as farmer.
Stinnett is not listed on the Kentucky National Guard Memorial at this time. He is presumed to have been on federal active duty but in leave status. His death is not believed to have been in the line of duty. He is included here because of the railroad related fatality.
There were at least some soldiers injured while performing this security duty. Private Harry Libee of Co. Ky on duty at the Big Sandy bridge at Catlettsburg was accidentally shot in the foot by a revolver in the hand s of Corporal Ray Williams. According to the newspaper account the 38 caliber round went through Libee’s left foot. Fred Grant, a member of Company, K accidentaly shot himself through the left foot while doing guard duty at Kimball Tunnel, near Welch, The wound was reported as not serious. SEE The Big Sandy News on April 27, 1917 Page 8 and July 27, 1917 Page 5.
Train Tragedy in France
Unfortunately the Kentucky soldier's bad luck with railroads didn't end when they deployed overseas to France. On October 26, 1918 near Gael, France the Kentucky Guard was involved in the collision of two troop trains and it killed an additional eleven soldiers from across the Commonwealth just days after their arrival in France.
According to correspondence by Captain J. C. Hobson, Jr. of the 138th - At 8:50 P. M., October 26, 1918, while enroute from Cherbourg, France, to a training camp at Meucon, France, a train carrying the 113th Ammunition Train collided with the train carrying the 138th Field Artillery, which had just stopped at the station of Gael, France. The 138th train reportedly had had mechanical difficulties in the trip up to that point. Headquarters Company of the 138th occupied the last six cars of the train — three compartment and three box. All six cars were completely demolished. Other accounts report that 14 train cars were “telescoped” in the event. There are many conflicting accounts of the incident published in newspapers at various times with variation in the numbers of injured and dead and even the location of the wreck. The location had also been reported as St. Main / Mein and Mellistroit.
The incident occurred less than a week after the units arrived in France. They left Camp Shelby on 18 September 1918 and set sail from New York on 6 October 1918. They arrived in Liverpool England on 18 October 1918 and in Cherbourg, France on 22 October 1918.
The men who were killed in the wreck were buried October 28th, in the U. S. Government cemetery No. 18 at Camp Coetquidan, France. Many were returned home in the years following the war.
According to the Lexington Leader, 9 August 1919, p. 1, the citation, by command of General Connor, in general order No. 42, July 8, 1919 gives the following account of the rescue of Aubrey and the meritorious service of Major Short: “After a rear end collision of two troop trains occurred between the 113th Ammunition Train and the 138th Field Artillery and after the rescuing parties had worked for an hour, under the difficulties of darkness and rain, a soldier found pinned underneath an upturned truck wheel, upon which rested the greater part of three telescoped cars. In order to free the imprisoned soldier, it was necessary to raise the wreckage to a very dangerous angle. Major Short, Capt. Freehan, Capt. Cavanaugh (Kavanaugh) and Private Sheehan, without regard to the personal danger involved, crawled thru the wreckage and in a lying and sitting position, worked against odds for three hours and succeeded in rescuing the soldier alive.”
According to the Lexington Leader, 15 December 1918, p. 7 - In a letter home to his family in December 1918, Sergeant Jess C. Stewart, Company E, 113th Ammunition Train, described the great wreck and stated, that that they worked eighteen hours clearing away wreckage and caring for the dead and wounded.
Newspaper accounts say Short crawled under the wreckage in the darkness and rain to where Aubrey was pinned and he amputated one of Aubrey’s legs with a pen knife to remove him from the wreckage. It was some time before any help or trained medical personnel arrived on the scene. Reportedly wires on both sides of the station were downed in the wreck and a messenger was sent on foot to the next nearest communication point five miles away. Troops and ambulances arrived at the scene at 1 a.m. the following morning presumably with medical personnel from Camp Coetquidan some 20 miles away and all the injured and dead were removed from the scene by 3 a.m. presumably back to Camp Coetquidan. Short received a citation for his efforts in the wreck.
The Anderson News, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky printed the following:
Norman Tucker Dies In France
Camp Mills, N. Y.
Mrs. Margaret Edington,
R. F. D. No. 1, Alton Sta., Ky.
You have undoubtedly been informed of the death of your grandson, James Norman Tucker, by an accident in France, but I wish to take this opportunity of giving you further particulars. Regulations of A. E. F. prohibited this being done from France. The facts are as follows:
At 8:50 P. M., October 26, 1918, while enroute from Cherbourg, France, to our training camp at Meucon, France, a train carrying the 113th Ammunition Train collided with the 138th Field Artillery, which had just stopped at the station of Gael, France. Headquarters Company occupied the last six cars of the train - three compartment and three box. All six cars were completely demolished. Fourteen men of the company, including your grandson, died instantly, forty-two received various wounds, most of which were broken arms and legs.
The men who were killed, including your grandson, were buried October 28th, in the U. S. Government cemetery No. 18 at Camp Coetquidan, France, with full military honors. The ceremony was simple. It was attended by three Generals - two American and one French, with their staffs, as well as several hundred soldiers of the A. E. F.
Your grandson’s effects were turned over to the Effects Department, A. E. F., according to Army regulations, to be forwarded to his family, and will no doubt be received in due time.
Assuring you of the sympathy of the officers and men of Headquarters Company, I remain,
J. C. HOBSON, Jr.
Captain 138th Field Artillery.
From Tucker's Kentucky Council of Defense War Record, written by Mary D. Bond, Anderson County Historian.
The bullet evidently was not molded that was to claim Pvt. Tucker on the front lines in battle, but accident trailed him from the first encampment at Zachary Taylor, where his thumb was shot off, after this injury was healed he went to Camp Shelby, Miss. Thence to a port camp and overseas while enroute from Cherbourg Fr. To Meucon Fr. An ammunition train collided with the train on which the 138th Field Artillery was entrained at the station of Gael Fr. Headquarters Co., occupied the last six cars all of them being demolished, fourteen men, including Pvt. J. N. Tucker, were instantly killed and forty-two received injuries, Maj. Chas. N. Kavanaugh (Anderson County native) was one of the first surgeons to arrive at the scene of accident, Maj. Kavanaugh was a member of the 138th F. A. and his heroic services at the time merited for him a citation for bravery, Pvt. Tucker was killed Oct. 26th, 1918, on Oct 28th the fourteen End Note vii accident victims were given a burial with full military honors in the U. S. Government cemetery No. 18 at Coetquidan, France.
Railroad Wreck Fatalities
Aubrey, William E. “Billy”
Read Full Bio
Private William Edward “Billy” Aubrey, 21 of Owensboro, Daviess County, died in hospital at Camp Coetquidan, France on October 27 of injuries sustained in a train wreck. He was serving with the 113th Ammunition Train. He joined the Kentucky National Guard’s Company I, of the 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 28 June 1916. He entered federal active duty with his unit on April 25, 1917. On 15 October 1917, his company was re-designated as Headquarters Detachment, Horsed Section, 113th Ammunition Train, part of the 38th Infantry Division. His unit was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for training. On 10 March 1918, he was promoted to Cook. At the time of his death he was assigned to the Headquarters detachment, Horsed Section of the 113 Ammunition Train serving as a cook. Aubrey listed his civilian occupation as a motion picture operator when he enlisted.
Craig, Buford G
Read Full Bio
Sergeant Major Buford G. Craig, 23, of Lexington, Fayette County died in a train wreck on 26 October 1918. He was serving with the 113th Ammunition Train. He joined the Kentucky National Guard’s Company I, First Infantry Regiment on 21 April 1913, he had a short break in service re-joined the Lexington Company 24 June 1916 as a Corporal. He was mobilized at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, for federal service on the Mexican Border in June 1916 He was promoted to Sergeant in August 1916. He reentered federal active duty with his unit on April 25, 1917. On 15 October 1917, his company was re-designated as Headquarters Detachment, Horsed Section, 113th Ammunition Train, 38th Infantry. He was again promoted to Sergeant and on 1 May 1918 was promoted to Sergeant Major.
Henry, Norbert V.
Read Full Bio
Private Norbert Victor Henry, 20, of Louisville, Jefferson County, died in a train wreck on 26 October. He was serving with Battery E 138th Field Artillery at the time of his death. Henry joined the Kentucky Guard’s Company H of the 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment in April 1917 Henry was a graduate of St. Patrick's parochial school. According to newspaper accounts Henry was killed almost instantly in the accident and was also a member of Headquarters Company at some point.
Read Full Bio
Corporal Charles Lucas, 20, of Louisville, Jefferson County, died in a train wreck at Gael, France on 26 October 1918. Lucas joined Company D, 1st Kentucky Infantry, on 24 June 1916 and served with his unit on federal active duty on the Mexican border during the punitive expedition. He also served in Company A, 1st Kentucky Infantry (redesignated Battery A, 138th Field Artillery) as well as Headquarters Company, 138th Field Artillery, beginning 2 March 1918, until death 26 October 1918. He was promoted to Corporal, 1 May 1917. Henry was called to federal active duty with his unit on 2 May 1917.
Miley, Hugh L.
Read Full Bio
Sergeant Hugh L. Miley, 26, of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, died on 26 October 1918 in a railroad collision in France while serving with Headquarters Company, 138th Field Artillery. Miley enlisted in Company D of the 1st Kentucky Infantry in February of 1911 but left the unit in January 1912. He listed his occupation as clerk with the J. M. Robinson and Norton & Co. He returned to the unit in April 1912 listing his profession as scholar. He was discharged from the service in April 1915. He returned to the unit again in July 1915 rising to the rank of Sergeant. He was called to federal active duty with his unit and served on the Mexican border during the Punitive Expedition. In September 1917 he transferred to the Headquarters Company of the 1st Kentucky which later became Headquarters Company of the 138th Field Artillery Regiment, 38th Division where he started again as a private and rose to the rank of Sergeant in January 1918. Miley was born in Marion County. He is buried at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France.
Moss, Watkins A.
Read Full Bio
Sergeant Watkins A. Moss, 29, a native of Saxe, Charlotte County, Virginia was living in Louisville when he joined the Kentucky National Guard. Moss died in a train wreck at Gael, France on 26 October 1918 while serving as a Supply Sergeant with Headquarters Company of the 138th FA 38th Division. Moss originally joined Headquarters of Company D of the 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment. His unit was redesignated Headquarters Company of the 138th Field Artillery at Camp Shelby.
Neagle, Walter C.
Read Full Bio
Sergeant Walter Cleveland Neagle, 25, a native of Edmonson County, listed his home of record as Smiths Grove, Warren County. He was living in Lexington attending the University of Kentucky when he joined the Kentucky National Guard. Neagle joined Company I, 3rd Battalion, First Regiment, Lexington (Fayette County) on 7 April 1914. He served as First Sergeant with his unit on the Mexican Border on federal active duty during the Punitive Expedition. Neagle was promoted to Sergeant, 26 October 1917 and Regimental Supply Sergeant on 1 March 1918. He was reverted to a Private on 18 May 1918 and was again promoted to Regimental Supply Sergeant on 15 June 1918. In his military records his name was also found spelled Nagle.
Neagle died in a train wreck at Gael, France on 26 October 1918. Company I was redesignated Headquarters Horse Battalion, 113th Ammunition Train, 38th Division on 15 October 1917. At the time of his death he was assigned to Headquarters, of the 113 Ammunition Train.
Ogle, Roy V.
Read Full Bio
Corporal Roy V. Ogle, 22, a native of Bullitt County was living in Valley Station in Louisville when he joined the Kentucky National Guard’s Company G, 1st Kentucky Infantry on 26 June 1916. Accounts after the war also listed his home as West Point in Hardin County. He later served with Battery F of the 138th Field Artillery when on federal active duty. He was promoted to Corporal on 10 July 1917. Ogle listed his civilian occupation on his enlistment papers as a box maker. He was serving with Headquarters of the 138th when he perished in a train wreck in Gael France on 26 October 1918.
Read Full Bio
Private Ralph Rose, 23, of Owenton, Owen County, died in a rail road accident at Gael, France on 26 October 1918 while on federal active duty during World War I. Rose joined Company H of 1st Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 6 June 1917. He also served in Company F which was redesignated as Battery E of the 138th Field Artillery. He was serving with Headquarters Company of the 138th at the time of his death.
Tucker, James N.
Read Full Bio
Private James Norman Tucker, 21, of Alton Station, Anderson County died in a train wreck on 26 October 1918. He was serving on federal active duty with the 138th Field Artillery Regiment, 38th Division. He joined the Kentucky National Guard’s Company H of the First Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 16 June 1917. In September he transferred to Company E which transitioned to Battery D of the 138th Field Artillery. On 6 October 1918 he was transferred to Headquarters Company of the 138th.
Wells, Garland W.
Read Full Bio
Private Garland W. Wells, 25, of Auxier, Floyd County died in a train wreck on 26 October 1918. He was serving with Headquarters Company, 138th Field Artillery. Wells joined Company C of the 1st Kentucky Infantry regiment on 4 July 1917. The unit was redesignated Battery C, 138th Field Artillery when they were on federal active duty. He transferred to Headquarters Company of the 138th Field Artillery on 10 June 1918. He was promoted to Private First Class on 3 September 1917 and reduced to Private, 5 May 1918. There was no mention in his record of why he was reduced in rank.
End Note i The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of German Sabotage in America Hardcover – 1937 by Henry Landau https://archive.org/details/enemywithininsid00landrich Page 307 Appendix entries
ii The Secret War on the United States in 1915 by Heribert von Feilitzsch page 115
iii The Kaiser Sows Destruction: Protecting the Homeland the First Time Around https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol46no1/article02.html
iv While not specified in the article this is believed to be The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of German Sabotage in America Hardcover – 1937 by Henry Landau https://archive.org/details/enemywithininsid00landrich
vi SEE The Kaiser Sows Destruction: Protecting the Homeland the First Time Around https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol46no1/article02.html AND The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of German Sabotage in America Hardcover – 1937 by Henry Landau https://archive.org/details/enemywithininsid00landrich
vii Mary D. Bond’s entry above notes fourteen victims in the train wreck. Research to date has only identified the eleven KYNG members.