Carroll’s Yesteryears

08 November 1992

Armistice Day: Wednesday marks 75th anniversary

By Jay A. Graybeal

On Wednesday the United States, Canada, and a number of European nations will observe the 75th Armistice Day.

Known in this country as Veterans Day since World War II, the original holiday marked the end of the Great War for Civilization. The framers of the peace had their place in history in mind when they determined that the fighting would stop at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice ended more than four years of unparalleled warfare which shook the very foundations of Western Civilization. After all who could claim the superiority of a civilization which had inflicted such a terrible war upon itself. The greatest tragedy of the war was that the peace failed to resolve the fundamental causes and the result was the Second World War. In fact, the conflict can be seen as one war divided by a twenty year intermission.

The war touched nearly every household in the country. Nearly 1,000 men and women served in uniform out of a population of 34,000. Countless others aided farms and in the canning factories, working for the Red Cross and other service organizations and by buying war bonds.

Most of the service personnel were white males, however, African-Americans and women did serve. Because of America’s late entry in the war, casualties were relatively light, about three percent of those in uniform. 10 soldiers were killed in action and died of wounds, 19 died of disease and two took their own lives.

This selection of photographs is representative of wartime portraiture. These images serve as reminders of sacrifices made by a thousand men and women three-quarters of a century ago.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption: First Group of Carroll County draftees pose in front of the County Court House prior to departing for induction into the U.S. Army, September, 1917. Despite the well publicized horrors of the war, there was little or no opposition avoidance of the draft (Historical Society of Carroll, gift of Marie K. Koontz, 1991.)

Photo caption: Pvt. Harry Clinton Hunter, Co. C, 311 Machine Gun Battalion 79th Division, of Westminster. Hunter served with other Carroll County draftees and saw action in the Avocourt Sector and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. This post-war photo shows the Lorraine Cross insignia chosen for the division’s shoulder sleeve insignia. (Historical Society of Carroll County, gift of Audrey H. Selby, 1991)

Photo caption: Fireman 3c Harvey Francis Hunter, USN of Westminster. When this photo was taken in May 1917, Hunter was serving on the U.S.S. Texas, a battleship with the grand Fleet. He later served as a printer 1c on the troop transport U.S.S. Madawaska carrying soldiers to the war zone. (Historical Society of Carroll County, gift of Audrey H. Selby, 1991.)

Photo caption: Lt. Lloyd Diehl Schaeffer, U.S. Army Air Service, of Westminster. Lt. Schaeffer served as an observer with the French and was severely wounded in aerial combat on 29 August 1918. He was twice decorated by the French for heroism. Schaeffer was selected to lead the veterans parade in Westminster on July 4, 1919. (Historical Society of Carroll County, gift of Betty Yingling, 1992.)

Photo caption: Nurse Laura Matilda Nygren (seated at left) U.S. Army Nurse Corps, of Westminster. Taken at Winters Dam, Miss Nygren and friends Ralph Williams, Anna Yingling and Claude Kimmey enjoy an outing in c.1915. Miss Nygren was one of only a dozen Carroll County women who served in uniform. She served overseas with the 90 Base Hospital and retired in May 1919.

Photo caption: Pvt. Frank Earl Butler Sr., Co. A., 371 Infantry of Union Bridge. Butler posed for his portrait at the time of his induction into the Army in June 1918. Butler was among the minority of African-Americans who saw combat overseas. The 371 Infantry participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and defended the Bonhomme Sector. (Courtesy of the Butler family.)