WWI Panoramic Photo – The Most Decorated Company of the 29th Division: Company H, 115th Infantry Regiment


WARNING: LARGE FILE SIZE

WARNING: LARGE FILE SIZE

One of the most difficult aspects of WWI photography collecting is presenting it in a manner that allows for many people to view and appreciate the content. Each of my scanned panoramic photos takes at least an hour to scan in sections, and subsequently digitally splice together. This post is a particularly good example of a panoramic taken of  H Company of the 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division. Note the Native American soldier as well as two soldiers wearing the ribbon for the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Sorry about the large file size.

Click HERE for the H Company, 115th Roster

I actually was able to do some research on Company H of the 115th and found some info on a few members that I was able to identify in the photo.

 

2nd Lt. Patrick Regan

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Second Lieutenant (Infantry) Patrick J. Regan, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 8 October 1918, while serving with 115th Infantry, 29th Division, in action at Bois-de-Consenvoye, France. While leading his platoon against a strong enemy machinegun nest which had held up the advance of two companies, Second Lieutenant Regan divided his men into three groups, sending one group to either flank, and he himself attacking with an automatic rifle team from the front. Two of the team were killed outright, while Second Lieutenant Regan and the third man were seriously wounded, the latter unable to advance. Although severely wounded, Second Lieutenant Regan dashed with empty pistol into the machinegun nest, capturing 30 Austrian gunners and four machineguns. This gallant deed permitted the companies to advance, avoiding a terrific enemy fire. Despite his wounds, he continued to lead his platoon forward until ordered to the rear by his commanding officer.

Congressional Medal of Honor

Congressional Medal of Honor

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 50 (April 12, 1919)

Action Date: 8-Oct-18

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment: 115th Infantry

Division: 29th Division

 

 

2nd Lt. Patrick Regan

2nd Lt. Patrick Regan

 

I was recently (11/2014) contacted by a grandson of Lt. Regan alerting me to his presence in the photo.  I had no idea he was present in the photo based on my prior research and the visual evidence in the photo.  His double wound stripe stood out but wasn’t enough to make a 100% identification.  Upon contact with Lt. Regan’s grandson, I was able to confirm that this is a previously unknown and non-digitized version of the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.  I’m posting the publicly available photo here:

Lt. Regan

2nd Lt. Regan

 

 

BOLTON, ARTIE E.

Captain, U.S. Army
Company H, 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: October 16, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Artie E. Bolton, Captain, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action in the Bois- de-la Grande, Montagne, France, October 16, 1918. Having been ordered to take up his position on the final objective, Captain Bolton made a personal reconnaissance of his company front line, during which time he was subjected to the artillery fire of both friendly and enemy guns and machine guns directed on his position. He again went out on the same mission and captured 20 prisoners who were carrying a machine gun.

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross

General Orders No. 44, W.D., 1919
Home Town: Wingina, VA

 

Captain Artie E. Bolton

 

Robert S. Landstreet

Place of Birth: Maryland, Baltimore
Home of record: Baltimore Maryland

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Robert S. Landstreet, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F., near Bois-de-Consenvoye and Bois-de-la Grande Montague, France, October 8 – 16, 1918. On October 8 First Lieutenant Landstreet led his platoon through machine-gun and rifle fire in an advance which resulted in the capture of 300 prisoners and 12 machine-guns. On the morning of October 16 lie volunteered, with one sergeant, and straightened out the line of an adjacent unit. His movements were under constant machine-gun fire, and so close to the enemy that he, with his sergeant, captured two prisoners while accomplishing their mission.

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross

 

Landstreet

Lt. Landstreet

 

 Hugh P. McGainey

Place of Birth: Maryland, Baltimore
Home of record: Baltimore Maryland

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Sergeant Hugh P. McGainey (ASN: 1285511), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F., near Verdun, France, October 8 – 15, 1918. In the Bois-de-Consenvoye, east of the Meuse, Sergeant McGainey, in command of his platoon, led his men, under heavy machine-gun fire, and captured approximately 500 prisoners, three fieldpieces, and many machine-guns. On October 15 he voluntarily exposed himself to warn his men against gas, and was wounded by shrapnel. He refused to go to the hospital until ordered to do so by the medical officer.

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 3 (1919)

Action Date: October 8 – 15, 1918

 

Sgt. Hugh P. McGainey

Sgt. Hugh P. McGainey

 

Pietro De Bernardinis

Company H, 115th Infantry.  For extraordinary heroism in action near Verdun, France, October 17th, 1918. In the Bose de Consenvoye, east of the Meuse, Pvt. De Berdaninis, acting in the capacity of a runner, carried three successive messages through heavy barrage of both own own and the enemy’s artillery, traversing a patch where two men had previously been killed by the same barrage.

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross

Home address: Louis Brino, 3921 Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD.

Pietro De Berardinis

Private Pietro De Berardinis

 

FERGUSON, JOHN E.
Corporal, U.S. Army
Company H, 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F.
Date of Action: October 8 – 29, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John E. Ferguson, Corporal, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Samogneux, France, October 8 – 29, 1918. Throughout the offensive east of the Meuse, near Samogneux, Corporal Ferguson displayed exceptional bravery and endurance as a battalion runner, repeatedly carrying important messages through intense artillery and machine-gun fire after other runners had been killed in traversing the same routes. On numerous occasions he alone was responsible for the maintenance of both forward and rear liaison.

Distinguished Service Cross

Distinguished Service Cross


General Orders No. 37, W.D., 1919
Home Town: New York, NY

Cpl. John E. Ferguson

Cpl. John E. Ferguson

 

 

Paul Reed Gilbert

Name: Paul Reed Gilbert
Race: white
Address: 510 N. Pulaski St., Baltimore
Birth Place: Baltimore, Md.
Birth Date: 22 Feb 1898
Comment: NG pvt; pvt 1c 4/20/17; corp 5/25/17; sgt 10/27/18, Co L 5 Md. Inf; Co H 115 Inf 10/1/17, Hon disch 6/5/19, Overseas 6/15/18 to 5/24/19, Center Sector; Meuse-Argonne
Maryland in the World War 1917-1919; Military and Naval Service Records, Volumes I & II
Serbian
Order of St. Sava

Paul’s grandson alerted us to his presence in this photo.  Thanks!

Sgt. Paul R. Gilbert

Sgt. Paul R. Gilbert

 

Thomas F. Streb

Place of Birth: Maryland, Baltimore
Home of record: Baltimore Maryland

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Private Thomas F. Streb (ASN: 1285690), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company H, 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F., near Verdun, France, 17 October 1918. In the Bois-de-Consenvoye east of the Meuse, Private Streb operated his automatic rifle on a post enfiladed by direct machine-gun fire during a desperate counterattack by the enemy until the rifle was damaged by the enemy’s fire and he himself was wounded. He remained on post continuing to defend same with an ordinary rifle. He was later gassed and refused to go to the hospital until ordered by his company commander.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 27 (1919)

Action Date: 17-Oct-18

Rank: Private

streb
Thomas F. Streb

Thomas F. Streb

Crosspost: Valor is Timeless – Caleb Cushing and the Congressional Medal of Honor


Crosspost from http://www.militarytrader.com/jagfile/valor-is-timeless

 

“Our line of battle stretched along the ridge overlooking the valley between it and the southern armies…The thunder of artillery was like a continuous roar…Among the first to receive a serious wound that fateful afternoon was Cushing himself. Both thighs were torn open by a fragment of shell—under which ill fortune, said General Webb in his report, “He fought for an hour and half, cool, brave, competent.”

First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, Battery A, 4th US Artillery, challenged the admiration of all who saw him in action at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. In fact, his brigade commander, Colonel Hall, reported about Cushing on the final day of the battle, “Three of his limbers were blown up and changed with caisson limbers, under fire. Several wheels were shot off his guns and replaced, till at last, severely wounded himself, his officers all killed or wounded, and with but cannoneers enough to man a section, he pushed his gun to the fence in front an was killed while serving his last canister into the ranks of the advancing enemy.”

Others reported how he simply laughed when a bullet that hit him in the shoulder, calling to his division commander, “I’ll give them one more shot—Good-Bye!” As he served up that last round, another bullet struck him in the mouth, passing through the base of his brain. He fell forward, lifeless, into the arms of his orderly sergeant, Frederick Fuger.

 

Caleb Cushing Studio Portrait

Caleb Cushing Studio Portrait

A WISCONSIN NATIVE

Alonzo was the second youngest of five Cushing brothers. Born in 1841 in what is now the city of Delafield, Wisconsin, Cushing grew up in Fredonia, New York. In all, three of the brothers grew up and served the Union during the American Civil War. His younger brother, William, became a Union Navy officer. One of his older brothers, Howard, served in the 1st Illinois Artillery before taking a commission in his brother’s unit, the 4th Artillery in November 1863. After the war, Howard served in the 3rd U.S. Cavalry until he was killed in action fighting the Chiricahua of Arizona, in 1871.

Cushing entered the United States Military Academy in 1857 and graduated with the the class of June 1861, when he received commissions as second and first lieutenant on the same day. He was brevetted major following the Battle of Chancellorsville. The 22-year-old Cushing commanded Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery at Gettysburg.

Battery A was at the key point called “the angle” in a stone wall facing the brunt of the charge by Confederate troops under Maj. Gen. George Pickett on July 3, 1863. Historians have called this spot the “high-water mark of the Confederacy.” Commanding a section of guns only a hundred yards in front of the Confederates  converged at the wall, Cushing fell from a third, fatal wound. Contemporaries described his actions before he was killed as nothing less than heroic.

His body was returned to his family and then interred in the West Point Cemetery in Section 26, Row A, Grave 7. His headstone bears, at the behest of his mother, the inscription “Faithful unto Death.” Cushing was posthumously cited for gallantry with a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel.

History did not forget Alonzo, however. In fact, more than four decades later, Morris Schaff would remind the American public of the young man’s gallantry when he wrote in the Atlantic Monthly, “On the field of Gettysburg more than once I stood where the brave Cushing gave up his life, right at the peak of Pickett’s daring charge. Oh that day and that hour! History will not let that smiling, splendid boy die in vain; her dew will glisten forever over his record as the early morning dew glistens in the fields. Fame loves the gentleman and the true-hearted, but her sweetheart is gallant youth.”

 

Civil War Medal of Honor

Civil War Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

Federal law requires the Medal of Honor to be awarded within three years of the event unless Congress waives the requirement. Though the Civil War has generated more medals than any other American war, Cushing’s case was complicated by the fact that so few of them — 29 out of 1,522 — were awarded posthumously.

In the 150 years since, debates have raged inside the War Department (now the Department of Defense) about the propriety of posthumous medals. Cushing was nominated for a belated award of the Medal of Honor, beginning with a letter campaign in the late 1980s by constituents of Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin. The measure has been also been advocated by Congressman Ron Kind of Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district. In 2002, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin nominated Cushing for the Medal of Honor, and, following a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Army approved the nomination in February 2010.

It was announced on May 20, 2010, that Cushing would receive the Medal of Honor, 147 years after his death.  The provision granting Cushing the Medal of Honor was removed from a defense spending bill by Senator Jim Webb of Virginia in December of 2012, however.

Finally, in December of 2013, the Senate passed a defense bill that included a provision which granted Cushing the Medal of Honor. The nomination was sent for review by the Defense Department, before being approved by President Barack Obama.

Finally, on August 26, 2014, the White House announced Cushing would be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. In its announcement, the White House said Cushing “distinguished himself during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863… “Refusing to evacuate to the rear despite his severe wounds, he directed the operation of his lone field piece continuing to fire in the face of the enemy.” The White House said. “With the rebels within 100 yards of his position, Cushing was shot and killed during this heroic stand. His actions made it possible for the Union Army to successfully repulse the Confederate assault.”

Yet to be resolved is who will receive Cushing’s medal. The Army will accept the award on Cushing’s behalf, since he had no direct descendants. The city of Delafield — a town of about 6,000 people 30 miles west of Milwaukee — would like to display the medal at City Hall, said David Krueger, who serves as the mayor’s representative on the Cushing Medal of Honor Committee.  A date has not been set for the actual award of the medal, though it is likely to occur at a Medal of Honor at a ceremony scheduled for Sept. 15 at the White House. At that ceremony, President Obama with decorate Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, an Army Special Forces or his actions in Camp A Shau, Vietnam, over three days in 1966; and Spc. Donald P. Sloat, a machine gunner who distinguished himself during combat near Hawk Hill Fire Base, Vietnam, in 1970. Adkins will attend the ceremony. Sloat’s award, like Cushing’s, will be posthumous.

Valor is, indeed, timeless.

Preserve the memory,

John Adams-Graf
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine

– See more at: http://www.militarytrader.com/jagfile/valor-is-timeless#sthash.SKLCh7lS.dpuf