This WWI poem is my way of expanding further on the Third Infantry, and of introducing my Grandfather, 1st Lt. Clarence Roy Green, one of the Glorious Dead of the 168th Infantry.
In April, 1917 President Wilson went before Congress and asked it to declare a state of war between the United States and the German Empire. National Guard units were immediately placed on a war footing. Among the organizations called into service were remnants of the old Third Iowa Infantry.
The Third had help quell the Philippine Insurrection in 1898-99, but was then reorganized as the 51st Iowa Volunteers, and later as the 55th Iowa Infantry.
In the summer of 1916 when war with Mexico seemed imminent, the Third was sent with other units to the Texas Border, where it remained on duty until February, 1917.
Early in August 1917 the War Department, as part of its preparation to deploy troops to Europe, announced the organization of a purely National Guard division that included the Third Iowa as one of its four infantry regiments. But not as the Third Iowa, for from now on it was to be known as the 168th U.S. Infantry.*
*The Story of the 168th Infantry Vol I, John H. Taber, The State Historical Society of Iowa: Iowa City, 1925, 1-3
First Lieutenant Clarence Green fought and died in the trenches near Baccarat, France. Lt. Green, of A Company, gave his life in his efforts to save his men in the early morning of 27 May 1918.
“Rushing through the dark with his gas mask on, he made his way about the trenches, warning all of the danger, but finding his progress slow, and that he could not make himself plainly heard, he removed his mask from time to time until everyone in the post was aroused. The gas he inhaled in this way caused his death shortly after reaching the hospital the next morning.” (ibid, pp 223-224)
Madison County War Record*
Madison County was represented in the regiment in Co. G, by scattering enlistments. The regiment was made up from every part of the State, and rendezvoused at Keokuk. It was mustered into the United States service June 10, 1861, and at once took the field for active service, making for itself one of the saddest and yet noblest records placed to the honor of Iowa soldiers.
It started under great disadvantages, owing to red tape and dissension in high quarters. Its colonel was left behind, and there was no commanding officer above the rank of captain. It was furnished with brilliant old Springfield muskets of ‘1848’, and bayonets, but not a cartridge or ration.
Its destination was northern Missouri, to guard the Hannibal & St. Joe railroad. It left camp on the morning of July 1, 1861, without rations or equipment, trusting in Providence. Its first night in the field was spent near Utica, where it slept, tired and hungry, without even putting out pickets. Early in the morning it first made the acquaintance of ‘Graybacks’ at Hagor’s Woods.
It was sent scouting about the country until the 7th of September, when it had a hard battle at Blue Mills Landing, on the Missouri, and was repulsed, though not defeated, for the enemy before morning retired from their position.
On the 18th of October it was ordered to Quincy, Ill.; thence after a few weeks was sent to Benton Barracks, St. Louis; thence to guard the North Missouri railroad where it remained until March, 1862, when it was ordered South.
On the 17th of March it disembarked at Pittsburg Landing, was immediately assigned to the First Brigade of the Fourth Army Division. It took part in the terrible slaughter at Shiloh, but it won military glory. It was next at the siege of Corinth, but had no engagements of note.
On the 2d of June the Fourth and Fifth Divisions, under General Sherman, started for Memphis, where they arrived July 21, the Third Iowa leading the van into the city.
September it was ordered back with the Fourth to Corinth; en route the Third took part in the battle of the Hatchie or Metamora [Davis Bridge].
For seven months following it was engaged in fatiguing marches with Gen. Grant through central Mississippi, returning to Memphis.
May 18, 1864, it left Memphis for Vicksburg, where it took part in the capture of the city; thence under Gen. Sherman against Johnson, and July 12th, took part in the memorable battle at Jackson with 241 officers and men, losing 114.
In the winter following the 3d returned to Vicksburg; accompanied Sherman on his march to Meridian. Soon after its term expired it re-enlisted as veterans, came North in the spring of 1864, and was soon after ordered to join Gen. Sherman in his ‘March to the Sea’, and July 22 was put into the thickest of the fight before Atlanta, losing heavily.
Sergt. Newlon & the 3d Iowa Infantry in Missouri
Lt Green's remains were returned to the U.S. in 1921. A full military re-internment took place, Sunday, 6 November 1921 at the Winterset, Iowa, cemetery.
Winterset Madisonian, 9 Nov. 1921
Remains of flowers placed on Lt. Green's grave in France on Decoration Day, 1919 by Captain Charles W. Aikins, 168th Infantry Regiment, Company A.*
* Newlon-Green Family Archives
In 1917 William Tyler Page (1868 – 1942) wrote the "American's Creed" as a submission to a nationwide patriotic contest. Inspired by a fervor at the beginning of the American entry into the First World War, the goal of which was to have a concise but complete statement of American political faith.
His submission was chosen in March 1918 above more than 3,000 other entries. On April 3, 1918 it was accepted by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and the U.S. Commissioner of Education (then part of the U.S. Department of the Interior) on behalf of the American people.
The "American's Creed":
"I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
"I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."
Clarence Roy Green 1885-1918
Sergt. Newlon & the 3d Iowa Infantry in Tennessee
To the Glorious Dead of the 168th Infantry
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
That men call age, and those who would have been,
Theirs sons, they gave, their immortality.
The American Creed
Its color sergeant fell pierced with many rebel bullets and his colors captured; subsequently a squad of the regiment who were captured and taken into Atlanta, saw their colors being borne through the streets by a squad of cavalry. They made a charge for it, recaptured it, and tore it into shreds.
In July, 1864, having become so decimated to 318 men and two officers, it was consolidated with the Second regiment, July 8, 1864, and mustered out at Louisville, Ky., July 12, 1865.
* History of Madison County, Iowa. Miller R. Tidrick et al, eds. Des Moines, Iowa: Union Historical Company, 1879, 482.
Causes of WW1?
Check out my reading list below for ideas.
Over There, The United States in the Great War,1917-1918, Byron Farwell
Victory 1918. Alan Palmer
The Doughboys:America and the First World War, Gary Mead
Gallipoli, Alan Morehead
The Story of the 168th Infantry Vol. I & II, John Taber
First World War, John Keegan
Yanks, John Eisenhower
Myths of the Great War, John Mosier
The Fall of the Dynasties, The Collapse of the Old Order, 1905-1922, Edmond Taylor
Somewhere Over There, The letters, Diary, and Artwork of a World War I Corporal. Frances H. Webster, Darrek D. Orwig, Ed.
The Somme, The Darkest Hour On The Western Front, Peter Hart
The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell
There are two windows in the Sanctuary of the First Methodist Church of Winterset, Iowa devoted to WWI.
One is called the "Soldiers and Sailors" window which has an Honor Roll. The second window is the one specifically donated in the memory of Clarence Green as indicated in the plaque at the bottom of the main window.
The American Legion Green Rogers Post #184 is named in honor of two fallen Winterset soldiers, 1st Lts. C.R. Green & Lewis P. Rogers.