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Charles White Whittlesey (1884-1921)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Charles White Whittlesey (1884-1921)

Description: U.S. soldier and Medal of Honor recipient for his participation in World War I, Major Charles White Whittlesey (January 20, 1884-November 26, 1921). A Harvard law graduate and practicing attorney, Whittlesey served as a major commanding a battalion in the U.S. Army’s 77th Division (“Metropolitan Division” mostly recruited from the tenements of New York City’s Lower East Side). On October 2, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (September 26, 1918-November 11, 1918), Whittlesey advanced his men so far into the German lines that his battalion became surrounded and was cut off for five days without supplies, food and water, while German troops attacked in waves against what came to be called “The Lost Battalion”, including grenade and flame-throwing assaults, but the Doughboys held on, fought back and survived until relief forces arrived on October 7, 1918. Out of the 554 men in the battalion, 107 had been killed, 190 wounded, and sixty-three were missing. Only 194 men, including Whittlesey, were able to walk to the U.S. lines. The commander of the German troops surrounding the “Lost Battalion” repeatedly demanded that Whittlesey surrender, but he stubbornly refused, energetically organizing his defenses and boosting the morale of his men. He was, for this heroic action, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Following the war, Whittlesey returned to his New York law practice. On November 21, 1921, he was one of the pallbearers that carried the Unknown Soldier of WWI to his grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Five days later, on November 26, 1921, Whittlesey sailed on a ship from New York to Havana, Cuba. After dining with the captain of the ship, he stepped onto the deck and was never seen again (presumed dead that night, either falling or jumping overboard to a watery grave).

Category: World War I

Keywords: WWI, World War I, First World War, Great War, U.S. soldiers, U.S. army, American soldiers, Medal of Honor recipients, American lawyers, American attorneys, Harvard Law School alumni, Harvard law school graduates, U.S. Army officers, military leaders, heroes, Doughboys, missing persons, vanishments

Orientation: Landscape

Dimensions: 1200 x 1157 (1.39 MPixels) (1.04)

Print Size: 10.2 x 9.8 cm; 4.0 x 3.9 inches

File Size: 4.00 MB (4,194,224 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000048885

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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