Washington Gardner.

History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

. (page 74 of 74)
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army life in a serai-tropical country. The sanitary conditions of most
of the camps was extremely bad, and at first there was a searcit.y of
medical supplies and hospital equipment. This latter condition was im-
proved later, but throughout the entire compaign the effect of the un-



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY (503

favorable sanitary eoiulitions was apparent in the unusually lavf^e iiunilier
of men who were confined to the hospitals or sick in their quarters. The
experience of this war showed clearly the almost total unpreparedness
of the United States for an encounter with a Nation of any considerable
military strength — a condition that was nothing less tlian criminal and
that cost the lives of hundreds of our brave boys.

Starting for Home

On September 3d, the 32d broke camp at Fernandino, and entrained
for Huntsville, Alabama, where it arrived at noon on the 5th. In the
evening of that day, the regiment marched in a iieavy downpour of
rain to a camp just vacated by the Fifth Maryland Infantry at the foot
of Monte Sano and occupied the tents they had left standing. The ex-
posure incident to this march resulted in much additional sickness and
the field hospitals were soon filled to overflowing. Some of the sick had
been transferred from the field hospitals at Tampa and Fernandino
to the general hospitals at Atlanta, Ft. Thomas, and other points, antl
on September 14th, a hospital train sent out by Governor Pingree ar-
rived at Huntsville and took all of the Michigan men, who were seri-
ously ill, among them Captain Hatch of Company D.

On September 17th, camp was again broken and the regiment en-
trained, this time the objective point being Island Lake, Michigan, where
it arrived on September 18th. Here the transfer ami accounting for
Federal property and eqiiipment was accomplished, and on September
23d, Company "D" returned to Battle Creek, where it was given a
hearty welcome by the home folks. Many of the boys were in extremely
bad physical condition and a large number were cared for in Nichols
Hospital at the expense of the city. The company had lost none of its
members while in the south, in spite of the large percentage disaliled by
sickness, but congratulations on this score were of short duration, for
on October 1st, Private Don Stevens died at Nichols Hospital and on
October 16th, Private Ro.y B. North died at his home, both deaths re-
sulting from typhoid fever contracted in the service of their counti\y.

A furlough was granted all the members of the company and the
month of October was occupied in preparations for muster out, whicli
occurred on November 3, 1898.

Although by far the majority of those who served in the Spanish-
American war from Calhoun county were members of Company "D,"
there were a considerable number who joined the Regular Army and
saw service in either Cuba or the Philippines, prominent among these
was Captain D. Edwin Lyle, who was graduated from West Point in
the spring of 1898, and assigned to the 19th Infantry with the rank of
second lieutenant. His regiment was ordered to tiie Philipjiincs and par-
ticipated in many engagements there under Generals Otis and Merritt.
Captain Lyle died from disabilities contracted in the Philippine Cam-
paign.

There were also some few Calhoun coiintj' boys enlisted in other
regiments in the Volunteer Service, notable among them being Captain
Richard Lockton, of Mai-shall, who was captain of Company K, 35th



604 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

Michigan Volunteer Infantry. Captain Lockton was stricken with fever
and died at his home in Marshall.



Welcome Home

Although Company "D" failed to get to Cuba and engage in active
hostilities, its members and the people of their home county and cities
have every reason to be proud of their record. It has been customary
to belittle the services rendered by the soldiers of the Spanish-American
war and they are often referred to as "feather bed soldiers." Nothing
could be more unjust than this. They answered their country's call and
by enlisting in the United States service showed their willingrness to t>o
wherever they were ordered and perform any service required of them,
and this they did with cheerful and resolute spirit that won for them
the praise and commendation of their superior officers. The lot of a
soldier is at the best a hard one and in the fever camps of the south
drilling and working in the boiling sun and drenching tropical rains,
it was far from being the pleasant pastime that some appear to regard it.
The boys of Company "D" did tlieir full duty and that is the most that
any man can do. Many of them contracted disabilities from which they
will suffer as long as they live and, in fact, the lives of many will be
materially shortened on account of their brief, but arduous service in
the Spanish-Amej'ican War.

On Sunday, November 13, 1898, a special service was held for the
members of Company "D" at the Independent Congregational Church,
Battle Creek, Michigan. Reverend Samuel J. Stewart, who had taken
a keen interest in the local company, delivered a most eloquent address,
using for his subject: "A Welcome Home and a Call to Higher Duty
and Privilege." This sermon was afterwards published in pamphlet
form by the members of the Company.

Roster op Company D

William M. Hatch, captain ; ]\Iiles W. Ward, first lieutenant ; Paul
W. Geddes, second lieutenant ; Charles G. Peters, first sergeant ; Syra
E. Lewis, Q. M. sergeant ; D. P. Beach, second sergeant ; Eugene R. Cole,
third sergeant ; Harry A. Hamilton, fourth sergeant ; Melburn E. Truitt,
fifth sergeant ; Ralph R. Stewart, George N. Bliss, Ernest E. Wilbur,
Clarence L. Cole, Orton G. Culver and Jay R. Suedeker, corporals;
Clarence S. Bartlett. nnisician ; Thomas C. Beanblossom, artificer ; Charles
T. Crawford, wagoner ; Harry S. Bidwell, musician.

Privates: George F. Ames, Albert Amy, Roy Adams, Walter M.
Buechner, Charles F. Bacon, Frank 0. Barton, William E. Bryant, Otis
J. Cessna, Lewis R. Cope, Benjamin F. Chambers, Geo. F. Condon, Earl
Cox, Wallace Carr, Henry C. Chase, David E. Calkins, Frank J. Carns,
Benjamin Chapman, Geo. David, Frank J. Darrow, Walter W. Evans,
Gilbert Erard, Edward H. Ellis, Frank L. Finch, Josiah N. Freeman,
Fred H. Ferguson, Roseoe C. Free, Norman N. Geddes. William T.
Grenier, Joseph F. Gregory, Orvie H. Gould, Albert M. Gilbert, John



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY (ior.

Grotlevaut, Fred H. Hamiltou, Chas. A. Hamiltou, Alexander H. Hynd-
inau, William H. Halladay, Jesse J. Holes, Guy Jimerson, Claude C.
Jones. John E. Jones, Harry P. Knibloe, William N. Kenzie, Nelson A.
Kellogg, Lewis A. Kress, Loriug Lane, Floyd Long, J. Roy Lewis,
George Leth, Allen Marsh, Fred J. Martin, Eugene Munn, John M.
MeClellan. Lewis R. McLeod, Elton L. Miller, Grant J. Miller, Thomas
C. Morgan, Francis J. Murphv, Irwin I. i\Ieek, Edwin Macomber, Edwin
C. .McPeake, Charles Maekinder, Roy B. North, Wilfred N. Nelson,
William Nevans, Jliehael R. 'Malley, Fred B. Payne, Percy Pendleton,
Lester Quigley, Stephen J. Rathbun, Allan C. Reed, Martin Sloan, Wil-
liam Schmidt, Joseph G. Stewart, Fred H. Skinner, Fred T. Shaver,
Reynolds Smith, Alexander L. Smith, Don Stevens, George S. Seoville,
James Soules, Sylvenus A. Soules, Frank Sweet, Alfred M. Smith,
Charles F. Scheifer, Sanuy B. Vessey, Lewis F. Werstein, Gh-iui II.
Wilder, John M. Wilder, Jesse F. AValdron, Alva W. Walton. Law-
rence Warner. Charles J. Wooley, Harry W. Yager.

Captain D. E. W. Lyle

Captain D. Edwin W. Lyle was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Novem-
ber 28th, 1872. When eight years of age he came to Battle Creek, Michi-
gan, gi-aduating from our high school, the youngest member of his class,
only a few months following his seventeenth birthday.

Before attaining his eighteenth year he was accorded the important
position of superintendent of mail carriers in our post office department,
which office he efficiently held for nearly four years, or until he was sum-
moned to West Point. N. Y., to take examination for admission to the
military academy at that place. Successfully passing he telegraphed his
resignation to Postmaster W. H. Mason.

He remained four years at West Point, graduating therefrom on April
26th, 1898, .just in time to engage in the Spanish-American AVar. Just
three weeks following his graduation he was assigned to official duty
in the 18th United States Regular Infantry, with which regiment he
immediately sailed for the Philippine Islands. Under General Merritt
he took active part in the seige and capture of Manila, being also present
during the bombardment of Iloilo, the .second largest city of the archi-
pelago, being also upon the firing line, doing loyal dut.y for his country
during the series of battles of February, 1899, in and around Manila.

In less than a year he was promoted from second to first lieutenant,
less than fourteen months he received a captain's commission, being as-
signed to the 37th regiment United States Volunteer Infantry, with
which command he made an enviable record until the said regiment was
mustered out of the service, its time having expired, when Captain L.yle
returned to his own regiment, the 18th Regulars.

After a service of three years and three months in the Orient he
returned to this country and was stationed at Fort Douglas, Utah, from
which lie was furloughed home to enjoy a much needed and well-earned
respite from his arduous service.

During his stay here he was transferred to the 14th regiment, sta-
tioned at Fort Wayne, Detroit, where in March, 1902, he was, for dis-



606 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

tiuguished gallantry, recommended for promotion to the office of brevet
major. Prom Port Wayne he accompanied his regiment to Port Brady,
S.iult Ste Marie.

As a further recognition of his soldierly qualities, he was, in Decem-
ber, 1902, promoted to captain in the regular service. In April, 1903,
he sailed for the second time for the Philippine Islands upon the official
staff of the 27th Regulars, with which command he remained for eight
months in and around Manila, from whence, owing to continual dis-
ability he was in November invalided home. Arriving in this country
he remained a few weeks in California. His health not improving he
proceeded to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he was under treatment in
the United States Hospital for about three months, after which he
returned to his boyhood home. After remaining here about thi'ee months
he left to join his own company and regiment, the 27th Regulars then
stationed at Port Thomas, Kentucky. His health not improving, on the
contrary becoming more and more precarious, he proceeded to AVashing-
ton, D. C, where under treatment in the government hospital he seemed
at first to improve, but where, alas, death came suddenly from heart
trouble, that organ for years having been the M'cakest physical point.

He was buried at West Point, 'neath the shadow of his Alma Mater,
on historic ground, he too, having been actively engaged in making
our country 's glorious history.



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Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 74 of 74)