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The Passing of Company E

Company E, 6th Wisconsin Infantry National Guard was formed in Spooner with the intent of these local men serving their country in the war together.  The following is an article from The Spooner Advocate, dated 26 October 1917, which is an open letter written by John H. Holtz, Captain of the 2nd Provisional Regiment, 57th Depot Brigade, explaining a situation that occurred, along with a listing of the men from Washburn County who had served under him before the men left for France to face battle in World War I and what companies they were transferred to.

~~~

"Tonight, sitting in his tent soliloquizing, sits a Captain of Infantry trying to read the thoughts of mothers, sisters and sweethearts, in the peaceful security of their homes in Spooner, to whom were made promises without number by this Captain that never, as long as he bore life and this war was in progress, would he leave the boys intrusted into his care.

"Tonight, amid strange surroundings, strange bedfellows and perhaps strange thoughts are, perchance, also soliloquizing, one Lieutenant and the greater majority of the men who once made up the personnel of Company E.

"Since the arrival of this 6th Wisconsin Regiment of Infantry to Camp MacArthur, rumors have been current that the organization would be broken up, the units to be transferred to other regiments enlarging them to conform with similar organization in the allied armies.

"We did, for a time, have hopes that change would not be made, that we would go to France with the foundation upon which the regiment was organized, neighbor next to neighbor.  General Orlando Holway, Adjutant General of the State of Wisconsin, representing the Governor of our State, on a special journey to Washington, used every plea possible with the President of the United States and the War Department, to encourage them to change their plans and permit us to retain our original organization, but without avail.

"The evolution of war fare since the first shot was fired on Belgian soil in this great war has so changed the aspect of things military, has called for so many new innovations in the taking of human life, that the army of a few years ago has become obsolete.  When one speaks of gas masks, trench mortars, wire entanglements, airplane fleets, liaison and barrage fire, can you wonder the soldier of a decade ago, gives it up?

"Lieutenants and men of Company E that was, will all have new duties tomorrow.  Tomorrow Company E as a fighting unit will be no more.  Officers and men will be studying the duties component with machine gun, battalions, ammunition trains, engineering corps, artillery, supply trains and truck trains.  There will be left three cooks commanded by a Captain who does not yet know that which is in store for him.  Possibly it will be to train conscripts sent here from the northern mobilization camps possibly on a mission across the water.  That is left for a decision upon some tomorrow.

"The men of this company, since the time of their enlistment, have improved physically, enlarged their scope of learning and have experienced a broadening viewpoint of life in general.  Each and every man of this company though but a few months older and as young if not in the same number of years in ordinary life, in American contonments, nine months of training condenced to sixteen weeks, calls for the exercise and development of the soldiers every faculty.  The future of these men appears more favorable than ever in that they have been transferred to units as far as possible, selected by them, the duties to be taken up such as appealed to each individually or with which they were familiar in civil life and will be of such greater value to them when they return to their homes after the war is over.

"Carpenters have been busy the past week preparing the tented homes for the vigors of the coming winter, if southern winters can be classed as possessing such terrors.  Wooden floors and walls are being built in all tents, stoves will soon be provided assuring as homelike environs as is possible in such a camp.  There has been an abundance of wholesome food, the menu varied from day to day, sufficient to appease the most particular of tastes.

"The climate, as is natural to men possessing blood of the north in their veins, seemed altogether too warm at times, so much so that at times a full score or more from a single company were undergoing treatment at the regimental infirmary.  The heat alone cannot be charged as the cause, but the combination of hot weather and too healthy appetites of the men.  Today, the mercury has been continually on the decline, due to a strong wind blowing from the north.  Weather forecasts promise freezing, perhaps tonight or tomorrow.  It may tend to cause a feeling of nearness to Wisconsin.

"Waco is a city of beautiful homes possessing in the majority that southern atmosphere that was real to Great Lakes people only in story books, except of course the fortunate ones who spend their winters in the south.  It also is distinguished in having the tallest building in the middle south, a skyscraper of twenty two stories.  No other building in this city comes knee high.  Seen from the distance appears like a giant sentinel guarding the city, incongruous from a city beautiful standpoint but nevertheless beloved by Wacoens because of the distinction.

"I shall make one request to relatives and friends of the boys who once were members of Company "E", that, when they think of writing to the boys here, and it should be often, they follow the though with action.  The mail is the favorite call of the soldier even more so than the mess call.  They know they will always eat but expected letters do not always arrive.  If sometimes an answer is not forthcoming as early as expected, write another.  The mail may have bone astray, as is very possible, being handled by inexperienced men at times and the abundance of it that is received here.  You would be amply repaid if you will imagine the expression of pleasure that comes over the face of the fortunate soldier when his name is called and he sees a familiar envelope or handwriting.

"In addressing letters to the boys, always be sure to write the name in full, name of Company and the regiment.  Many letters are lost because of improper address.  I am giving below the names of all the men transferred and the organization to which transferred showing their new address.  Write to them today, our interest in them is going to help them make good, for advancement in the army is just as usual as in civil life.  Some day we are all coming back to Spooner and you will have the pleasure of welcoming back not only good American soldiers, but good American citizens."

Transfers

NAME RANK TRANSFERRED TO
ACKLEY, Cashus E Mechanic No 107th Regiment Engineers
ACKLEY, Paul E Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
ALLAR, James L Private 107th Regiment Engineers
ASKEY, Chester E Private 121st Field Artillery
AUSTIN, Claud Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
BARBER, Roy L Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
BAUSER, Carl P Private 107th Regiment Engineers
BAYLESS, Charles F Private 107th Regiment Engineers
BERGIN, Edward J Cook 2nd Provisional Regiment, 56th Depot Brigade
BERGIN, Francis M Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
BIRD, Herschel C Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
BOHN, John W Corporal No 107th Regiment Engineers
BOHN, Lloyd W Private 1st Class No 107th Regiment Engineers
BOWMAN, Ernest L Private 107th Regiment Engineers
BRISBIN, Charles F Buglar Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
BROKAW, George D Buglar 121st Field Artillery
BROWN, Arthur M Private 2nd Co Military Police
BROWN, Ira A Private 121st Field Artillery
BUSHEY, Edwin L Corporal 121st Field Artillery
CANFIELD, Elmer H Sergeant No 107th Regiment Engineers
CHERRY, Ira J Sergeant K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
CHRISTNER, Charles W Private 2nd Co Military Police
CHRISTNER, Joseph H Private 2nd Co Military Police
CLEMENT, Richard M Private 2nd Co Military Police
COFFMAN, Howard E Private 1st Class No 107th Regiment Engineers
COOK, George C Private 107th Regiment Engineers
DANIELS, Lee Private 107th Regiment Engineers
DAVIS, William H Private 107th Regiment Engineers
DEJUNG, Paul E Lieutenant K Co, 128th Infantry, 64th Brigade
DURAND, Adelard Private 107th Regiment Engineers
EDWARDS, Harry D Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
EDWARDS, Oran W Private 107th Regiment Engineers
FLETCHER, Edmund M Private 121st Field Artillery
FLETCHER, Leo J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
GILBERTSON, Oscar N Private 121st Field Artillery
GRIGSBY, Earl G Private 107th Regiment Engineers
GRIGSBY, Rale O Private 107th Regiment Engineers
HAYNES, Floyd C Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
HEWITT, Samuel A Private 107th Regiment Engineers
HOLMBERG, Alfred T Private 1st Class Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
HOLTZ, John H Captain 2nd Provisional Regiment, 57th Depot Brigade
HUGHES, Ralph F Private 107th Regiment Engineers
HUNT, Charles L Private 2nd Co Military Police
JARVIS, Howard Cook 2nd Provisional Regiment, 56th Depot Brigade
JOHNSON, Walter P Private 107th Regiment Engineers
KASPER, Charles Private 107th Regiment Engineers
KJELLENBERG, Carl A Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
KNIGHT, Earl W Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
KNISS, Oliver A Cook 2nd Provisional Regiment, 56th Depot Brigade
KOEPP, William F Private 107th Regiment Engineers
KREINER, William G Private 107th Regiment Engineers
LAMBACK, Casper J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
LOCKHART, Charles E Private 1st Class 121st Field Artillery
LORBIECKE, Emil Private 107th Regiment Engineers
LORD, Ira O Private 107th Regiment Engineers
LUNDQUIST, Leonard F Private 2nd Co Military Police
LYSKA, Walter Private 107th Regiment Engineers
MANSFIELD, Harry H Private 107th Regiment Engineers
MARINO, Frank W Sergeant No 107th Regiment Engineers
McCANN, Arthur J Private 1st Class No 107th Regiment Engineers
McCARTY, Harry A Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
McCURDY, Paul J Sergeant No 107th Regiment Engineers
McKIE, Albert L Private 107th Regiment Engineers
MERONK, Leon Private 107th Regiment Engineers
MITTS, L Private 107th Regiment Engineers
MOE, Engwald R Sergeant K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
MOEN, Martin W Private 1st Class No 107th Regiment Engineers
MOYER, Galen D Sergeant Headquarters 119th Machine Gun Company
NELSON, August W Private 107th Regiment Engineers
NELSON, Hilding N Private Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
NESS, Henry J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
NESTE, Anton L Sergeant 4th Truck Co, Ammunition Train No 107
NIEMANN, Paul F Private K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
NOLAN, Ernest C Corporal No 107th Regiment Engineers
O'CONNELL, Charles K Private 107th Regiment Engineers
OKONEK, Victor A Sergeant No 107th Regiment Engineers
OLSON, Henry M Private 107th Regiment Engineers
OMERNIK, Edward E Sergeant K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
PAULSON, Guy W Corporal Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
PETERSON, Andrew A Private 1st Class No 107th Regiment Engineers
PETERSON, Frank G Private 1st Class Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
PINNEY, George E Private 107th Regiment Engineers
POLLOCK, Charles H Private 107th Regiment Engineers
RAUCHSTADT, Emil W Private 1st Class Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
RHOADES, Lon Private 1st Class Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
RICE, James R Corporal No 107th Regiment Engineers
RICE, Platt C Corporal No 107th Regiment Engineers
RICHMOND, Elmer N Private 107th Regiment Engineers
ROBERTS, Charles N
Headquarters 119th Machine Gun Battalion
ROBERTS, Thomas J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
RYDBERG, Alden Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SAGE, Benjamin G Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SAWYER, Lee E Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SCALZO, Nick Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SCHAAF, Emmett C Private 1st Class 121st Field Artillery
SCHRICKER, John J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SCHROEDER, William G Private 121st Field Artillery
SCHULLO, Jospeph Corporal 121st Field Artillery
SHAFFER, Henry W Private 1st Class Truck Co, No 5, 107th Supply Train
SLAGSTAD, Olaf Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SLOAN, Simon E Sergeant 2nd Co Military Police
SMITH, Lewis A Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SMITH, Lloyd Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SPEXET, Oscar Private 107th Regiment Engineers
STEINBACK, George A Private 107th Regiment Engineers
STEINBACK, John Private 107th Regiment Engineers
STOUT, Clarence O Lieutenant Headquarters 119th Machine Gun Battalion
STUMPH, Girard M Private 107th Regiment Engineers
SWEATLAND, George Private 107th Regiment Engineers
TAYLOR, Frederick J Private 107th Regiment Engineers
TAYLOR, Otis Private 107th Regiment Engineers
TEMPLETON, Edward Private 107th Regiment Engineers
THATCHER, Paul A Corporal K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
TULLY, Zino Corporal No 107th Regiment Engineers
VOYER, Peter Private 107th Regiment Engineers
WILCOX, Guy Private 107th Regiment Engineers
WILLIAMS, Burt J Sergeant K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
WILLIAMS, Harold B Corporal K Co, 128th Regiment, 64th Brigade
WOOD, Adry C Private 107th Regiment Engineers




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