“WWI Exhibit Photo Essay”

Carroll County Times article for 7 November 1993

By Jay A. Graybeal

Seventy-five years ago today, Carroll Countians celebrated the “False Armistice” in the mistaken belief that World War I had ended. The disappointed citizens had to wait a few more days until the war really did end “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

In observance of the 75th Anniversary of the first Armistice Day, the Historical Society of Carroll County will open a special exhibition, entitled “Carroll County and the Great War for Civilization, 1917-1919”, about this important era in county history. Nearly 250 artifacts drawn from the Society’s permanent collection and borrowed from other museums and individuals will be shown. Among the items on display will be photographs, posters, flags, uniforms, insignia, medals, weapons, war souvenirs, homefront items, and artifacts related to Prohibition and Women’s Suffrage.

“Carroll County and the Great War for Civilization, 1917-1919” was funded, in part, by a grant from the Maryland Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program. The exhibition will be held in the Society’s Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 E. Main Street, Westminster.

The Veterans Day observance will begin with a special ceremony to recognize several surviving local veterans. Members of the Historical Society are invited to attend a preview of the exhibition from 1:00 to 4:00 p. m. The Exhibit will be open to the general public from 4:00 to 8:00 p. m. The exhibit will also be open until March 31, 1994, Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a. m. to 4:00 p. m., and on Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 p. m. Admission is free, however, a donation is requested.

The Historical Society has also published an illustrated companion publication to the exhibition written by this writer. The book contains chapters on Co. H and the 1st Regiment Band on the Mexican Border in 1916, wartime homefront activities of local civic organizations, a memoir of wartime experiences by Hugh Latimer Elderdice, Jr., letters written to and from local servicemen and service records of nearly 1,800 local men and women who served in uniform during the war. The publication is available at the Historical Society’s office at 210 E. Main St. or by calling 848-6494.

Photo caption 1: A young American soldier bids his sweetheart goodbye in this patriotic poster, “Duty Calls” published by E. G. Renesch of Chicago, Ill., in 1917. This lithograph was originally owned by the family of Pvt. Garry C. Koontz, Co. D, 327th Infantry Regiment. Gift of Mrs. Marie Koontz, 1993.
Photo caption 2: The World War 1 Victory Medal was presented to all service personnel who served between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918. The obverse shows winged victory and the reverse is inscribed “The Great War for Civilization” and bears the names of the fourteen Allied nations. The Army and the Navy authorized clasps denoting the recipient’s type of service. This example, with “Meuse-Argonne” and “Defensive Sector” clasps, was awarded to Pvt. Harry C. Hunter Co. C, 311 Machine Gun Battalion. Gift of Mrs. Audrey Hunter Selby, 1991.
Photo caption 3: Pfc. Charles H. Cooper, 51st Co., 5th Marine Regiment, was one of only 25 local men who served in the Marine Corps. He wore this forest green winter service blouse, on which are his World War I and Good Conduct Medals, the French Fourragere, marksmanship badge, 2nd Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia, and overseas and wound chevrons. Pfc. Cooper was partially disabled by a machine gun bullet in the right chest on October 4, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Gift of Charles Elwood Cooper, 1993.
Photo caption 4: Soldiers who served overseas were issued the steel trench helmet adopted in 1917. Many soldiers, including Pvt. Edward L Brown, 49th Co., 5th Marine Regiment, who wore this helmet, painted their division’s insignia on the front of their helmet. Like most Marines who served in France, Pvt. Brown fought with the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division. A Marine Corps cap emblem was attached above the “Indianhead” insignia. Gift of Mrs. Jean Hall, 1993.
Photo caption 5: Well known American artist, Howard Chandler Christy featured a popular “Christy Girl” in his painting “Fight or Buy Bonds,” used as a poster in the 3rd Liberty Loan Drive. Christy combined a sexy image with a blunt slogan aimed at those not in service overseas. Gift of Harry G. Emigh.
Photo caption 6: The machine gun was one of several modern weapons first used during World War 1. The American M1917 Browning was used by local men who served in the 311 Machine Gun Battalion, one of the first unit’s to receive this type of machine gun. Other American machine gun units received this weapon after the Armistice. Loaned by Aberdeen Proving Ground Museum.
Photo caption 7: This small painted tin box was sold as a storage place for the various bonds sold by the Federal government to help finance the war. This example was originally owned by Mrs. Harry G. Emigh, Sr. while her husband served overseas with Co. C, 112th Machine Gun Battalion. Gift of Harry G. Emigh, Jr., 1993