A Promising Young Man: The Life and Times of a Casualty in World War One

Published: 4 July 2022

By Thomas A. Summers
Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site 


In 1942 when I was eight years old, I accompanied my paternal grandmother, father, mother and brother in seeing the acclaimed and Academy Award movie Sergeant York in an Orangeburg, South Carolina theater. The film focused on one of the most decorated soldiers in World War One. This cinematic production, featuring Gary Cooper in the leading role, was now aiding the nation in having its morale strengthened for World War Two. Displayed on the screen were scenes of battle and heroism as played out from the earlier war.

Thomas Raysor Summers, 1917
Thomas Raysor Summers at Trinity College, 1917
The most directly affected persons in viewing the movie undoubtedly were my grandmother and my father. She had lost a son in WWI and he had given up a brother. Twenty-four years had now intervened between the death of young Thomas (Tom) Raysor Summers in a Belgian bombing near Europe’s Western Front. I remember seeing the soft tears in their eyes and the assumed courage in their hearts as the war story unfolded on the movie screen. Also I had an interest in the movie because I had been bequeathed at birth with my young uncle’s first name.

Added to their experiencing of that long-ago day in the theater certainly would have been the accompanying remembrance of Abram West Summers. He was my grandmother’s husband.

My grandfather died just three months after his son’s military death. Some in the family said that his demise was from not only the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic that swept through the nation but also the grief of a broken heart. (I inherited his first name of Abram as my middle name.)

As I have gotten older, a greater interest has grown in my knowing more about this young uncle whose name I carry. I had known that the American Legion Post in Orangeburg became his namesake in 1922. Also I had been aware that he was the first casualty from Orangeburg County in WWI. When I discovered several years ago that the WWI Commission in Washington had begun seeking stories about these fallen soldiers with their names attached to local AL posts, my interest in the unique journey of his shortened life deepened.

Hence, this following narrative about him is the product of my research with various family files, the internet, letters, books, a diary and many other materials. They have shed much light and information on the various eras of his life, especially those of his military encounter with WWI. Also an effort has been made to incorporate some descriptions of the historical contexts (e.g., stages of the war) and surrounding circumstances that played their part in shaping the story of his life. Tom would have known and been influenced by those historical contexts.

 Early Years

The Family

Thomas (Tom) Raysor Summers was born on January 24, 1897 at home in Orangeburg to Caroline Erwin Moss Summers and the aforementioned Abram West Summers. There were three other children in the family: an older brother West, a younger brother Carroll (my father) and a younger sister Caroline. Another brother William—West’s twin—died not long after birth.

The family lived in a two-story house (no longer there) at the intersection of Amelia Street and Summers Avenue in Orangeburg. Located near the lower part of the state, the town’s population was six thousand at the time of Tom’s birth.

Tom’s mother was active in church activities with the local Methodist Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Red Cross and the American Legion Auxillary. This quiet and assuming woman was very interested in art and painting. Her rendition of a peaceful scene of the Edisto River—that winds through the westward part of the town—currently hangs in my home in Columbia, South Carolina.

As a child, I always looked forward to my grandmother’s visits to my own family’s home in Orangeburg. When I was around three or four years of age, I could always count on her to tell me some stories in her soft voice as I would be drifting off to sleep at night.

Abram West, often called A.W., was a well-known lawyer. Tom’s father also served as a Democratic elector for the State of South Carolina in the nation’s presidential campaign of 1904. He shared his law practice with another lawyer, Thomas Raysor. Tom was named after his father’s cherished colleague. Both of the lawyers had hopes that one day Tom might join their law office.

Gifts of Nurture and Genealogy

Tom’s brother Carroll once offered these comments to his mother in a letter: “As I look back over the years of my life, I cannot remember one harsh word from you or father. Your acts have been filled with kindness and love . . . Another thing that makes home what it is, is that I know my friends are always welcome.”1

In addition to domestic nurture and support, there also was fostered in the home an interest in family connections and the background in family history.

For instance, the mother’s maternal early roots stretched back to the years of being raised on a fifty-two acre farm that was located on the outskirts of Orangeburg. As time went by, her sister Anna Moss remained in the family home and property until it eventually became transferred to her. Unmarried, she later was invited to live in Caroline’s and A.W.’s home on Amelia Street.

Anna became a very dear and beloved figure in the lives of the Summers children. In various letters from the family files, there are references to her as their children go off to college or elsewhere. Tom’s brother Carroll also includes these words in a letter already mentioned: “ . . . a love and gratitude for ‘Auntie’ that words cannot begin to express . . .a thousand acts of kindness has she shown for us.”2

This thread of family connectedness is further displayed in Anna Moss’s later deeding the Moss farm property to Tom’s brothers, West and Carroll, in the 1920s. The two worked together in developing the farm acreage into an ongoing residential area. It would become known as “Moss Heights.”

Tom’s paternal lineage stretched back to the 1760 arrival of three Summers brothers and their families to American shores. The family clan had traveled over ocean waters from Chester, England and arrived near Charleston, South Carolina. Their travel materials had them listed as “protestant immigrants.” That likely meant that their migration was due partly to religious divisiveness at that time in history in some parts of England. The Summers group went further into their new territory and made a journey near or up the Edisto River. After traveling almost sixty miles, they settled in the nearby lands of what is known now as Cattle Creek Campground and not far from the town of Branchville.3

An important aspect in this part of Tom’s ancestry was the account of the patriarchal figure—George Summers—killed in these environs. He had joined the military forces of General Francis Marion, the notable “Swamp Fox” leader. During a visit back home before the birth of a new son, George Summers was found and shot by Tory snipers. Family lore indicated that a tree was later cut down and hollowed out for his coffin.4

One can almost guess that, as a child, Tom would have heard with fascination this heroic but sad genealogical story within his family circle.

Boyhood and Youthful Times

Signs of a Bright Future

Some of the personal characteristics in the early period of Tom’s years can be discovered from various resources.

An enduring older friend wrote these words in a newspaper article after the announcement of Tom’s having been killed in military action: “I knew him practically all of his years. As a youngster, he gave promise of a brilliant future. He was not only an object of affection and admiration, the pride and hope of his immediate family, but of all his friends who knew him.”5

Undoubtedly having their roots in formative years, further hints of a developing disposition and personal traits can be seen in newspaper obituaries and materials. Such descriptive phrases about Tom abound in these materials: quiet modesty, strong in energy, and youthful in spirit.

A Fondness for Study and Other Interests

One such phrase learned in mind definitely can be gleaned from his high school era. This is apparent from a 1911 report card from his second year in Orangeburg High School. In that accounting, he achieved a score of 99 out of a 100 in his studies of history and algebra. Literature, rhetoric and Latin trailed slightly behind at a mark each of 98.

More than likely, the area of sports too may have been one of those early interests. Although I have not discovered any materials indicating his participation in organized high school sports, I have come to sense that he possessed a general fondness for athletics. This assumption is partly based on a diary that he maintained during his later military training. He noted in his writing that in an off-duty time he and some fellow soldiers went to watch a few football practices at nearby Furman college in Greenville, South Carolina. Tom also described an outdoor basketball game in which he played at the military base.

Another window into presumably these earlier growing-up years in Orangeburg has its focus on gardening with his father. In addition to a law practice, Tom’s father A.W. also owned a farm near Orangeburg. An ongoing agricultural link between the father and son can be seen in a letter that Tom wrote in 1918 while stationed in Belgium:

Hope you are quite well, and not worked down keeping your garden and farm going. Wish I could be there to help you now and I don’t think I would find it so hard getting up as early as farming requires. We are just beginning to see a few vegetables now, but of course they don’t look so good as the ones we raised.

As one can easily imagine, Tom may have felt blessed in his early youth by those times spent farming and gardening with his father. As well, he may have had a lad’s heart for the game of basketball.

College Days

Wofford and Trinity Colleges

In the fall of 1913, Tom entered the liberal arts school of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina for his freshman year. There is little known about his activities and experiences for the year that he spent at Wofford. However, in a letter to his mother he mentioned that he had made the grade of “1” (apparently an “A” in today’s academic scoring) in Latin for his first semester. In another letter, he mentioned that he was glad that a cousin happened to be in Spartanburg and the relative visited with him at the college.

Following the conclusion of this first year at Wofford, he transferred to Trinity College (now Duke University) in Durham, North Carolina. It is not known exactly why he made this decision, but he may have followed the same tendency of collegiate change as that done by some other family members.

His father A.W. had attended Wofford for two years before enrolling at South Carolina College where he graduated. Also his older brother West had attended Wofford before shifting to Trinity. When it came time for younger brother Carroll to enter college, he went directly to Trinity and finished there.

From all indications, Tom made quite a positive impression on faculty and students during his three years at Trinity. For instance, a dean in the office of Student Records wrote this 1917 summary related to his college days:

Mr. Summers is a young gentleman of excellent character. Few men have conducted themselves throughout their college course in a way to deserve a more unqualified endorsement than has Mr. Summers. He also is endowed with a fine intellect and made a first-class record in scholarship. We commend Mr. Summers without reserve and we have every reason to believe that he will render conscientious service to any interest with which he is connected.6

In his first year at Trinity in 1921 and three years after Tom’s death, the younger brother Carroll wrote to his mother these words: “Every where I go, people ask me if I am Tom Summers’s brother and they speak with a love of reverence. Everyone who knew him, loves him.

Debating for Women’s Right to Vote

In an effort to learn more about his specific interests while at Trinity, fortunately there remains a timeworn document of an undated speech in his own handwriting. Almost assuredly, he was a member of Trinity’s intercollegiate Debate Team that competed with such teams from Emory and Vanderbilt universities. In this particular speech, he was featured to speak from the affirmative and in response to this question: Should Women be Admitted to the Right of Suffrage (the right to vote)?

It should be historically noted that this heated suffrage issue had remained as an unresolved matter in the United States. Tom’s presentation was made during an era when groups of women and supporters across the nation were campaigning and marching for the constitutional ratification of the right for women to vote.7

There were twenty-nine persons as judges (with votes to be cast at the ending) for this particular debate event. Following are the comments that Tom offered to this particular group:

In the discussion of questions there is none that comes home so closely to us as the universal suffrage of our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. They form our home circle; on them we rely in times of trial, sickness, and tribulation. To them, we go for comfort and advice and yet we have never had the moral courage to make them our equals. We seem to be bound by that old barbarian’s idea which made woman an inferior being in many positions of life. There was an excuse for our forefathers keeping women in the background, for in their great cause for man was war. With him, it was the real business of his life, but not so now.

We claim that all men are created equal and that our pursuits are pursuits of peace; that our fair women are just as talented, just as keen in perception and just as capable of government as we ourselves. Why do we hesitate to say to our wives and daughters come with me to the places of election? Have we no faith in their honesty of purpose, their integrity of character, their capability of action? Is the polling place not fit for the society of ladies? No! we know woman is honest and capable; we know it from experience. She has been faithful from infancy to the grave.

We often hear that the polling booth is no place for a woman. It is the place where all classes of men congregate, and she might be insulted. Will a man insult a lady when she is in her place? Do we insult women in the hotels, in the depots, in the street cars, the public streets, at public demonstrations? Then why expect rude treatment in an election hall? Such ideas are nonsense.

Thus, the question is: Why women should be allowed the same political rights as men? Because she is capable. Because she is honest. Because she is intelligent. Because she dares to do the right. Because she would demand the annihilation of wrong. Because she would purify politics.

At the bottom of the paper containing his stirring speech is Tom’s handwritten notation of the vote made by the judges at this debate: Affirmative – 21; Negative – 8.

Tom’s clear and thought-provoking presentation made at this collegiate event most definitely brings a validity to the observations about him made earlier by the neighbor friend: He gave promise to a brilliant future. As a result of reading Tom’s remarks, it might also be surmised that perhaps there rested in Tom’s heart a yearning to promote social equality and justice in his future vocational life.

The Outbreak of War

However, one roadblock in a college student’s setting forth clear plans for the future began to appear for Tom after he had completed his first college year in 1914 at Wofford College. It was in June of that year when the sudden eruption of war broke out between Austria and Serbia in Europe. This singular conflict began to threaten a network of interlocking alliances and soon battling spread throughout most of Europe and other parts of the globe. Germany began taking a major role of aggression in its invasion of France. The United States attempted cautiously to remain neutral.8

A Patriotic Energy

Most definitely Tom would have been very aware of this emerging danger of war as related to any future plans.

No doubt, its fuller impact would arrive powerfully for him several years later on April 6, 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany and the other opposing Central Powers. It was then that the training of American troops began in earnest. Entrance into such an international conflict was being postured as a “war to end all wars.”9

During this uncertain spring of 1917 at Trinity College, he was slated to graduate in June of that year. But he felt a patriotic immediacy to enlist for military service. He had some close classmate friends who met the age-level requirement (twenty-one years) for entrance into the officers training program at the Pittsburgh Military Camp in upper-state New York. His missing that age standard sorely was expressed in an April 12th letter to his father when he wrote: “I’d give anything almost to be 6 months older.”

Seemingly in an earlier letter that A.W. had written to his son, he made a supportive attempt to encourage Tom to consider not entering military duty so hastily. In response to his father, Tom also includes these comments in his same April 12th letter:

I’m afraid you miscalculate the length of the war and our part in it. It seems to me that the war will last over a year and maybe into the winter of 1918-19. Germany is by no means defeated although badly crippled. Furthermore, I believe we will have a big army in active warfare on the French front by next summer. It will take a full year to train and equip a sufficiently large army to be of any material aid. I regret the war, of course, but feel it was a necessary sacrifice and will be much good along with the harm. My greatest sorrow is that I’m not a few months older. The college is trying to keep in touch with the war department;and advises all seniors to train before enlisting.

Departure Before Graduation

The Trinity faculty voted to allow those seniors making qualitative grades to join some branch of military service before graduation. Furthermore, they would still receive their degrees. Tom chose to be among such a group. He remained disappointed that he was not eligible, due to his age, to enter into the aforementioned officers training program in upper-state New York.

Still persistent to do his urgent part in his country’s military effort, he sought enlistment elsewhere. On his behalf, the president of Trinity wrote a positive  ecommendation in his application interest for training at Fort Oglethorpe. The military base was located in the northwest corner of Georgia.

Although no letters nor other information are available, indications seem to point that he did spend the next several months at that camp. Perhaps it was there when he became aligned with the National Guard and its Division of the Quartermasters Corps.

Summers and two friends have a picnicThomas Raysor Summers (right) on lunch break at Camp Sevier 1918

Camp Sevier

During the first week of August in 1917, Tom was transferred to Camp Sevier. The military training camp was located six miles from the town of Greenville, South Carolina in the northern part of the state. Its mission was to train troops of the 30th Infantry Division from the states of Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina on its 1,900 acres.

Functioning from 1917 through 1918, this quickly-developed military installation was named after a Revolutionary War hero John Sevier from Tennessee. He later would become governor of that state.10

War’s Effect on South Carolina

By the time that Tom had begun his military experience as a National Guardsman there at Camp Sevier, he would have inevitably known about some of the social, economic, and political effects that World War 1 was already having on his home state of South Carolina.

For instance, in 1914 rumors began to emerge after a German freighter had tried to block Charleston’s Navy Yard channel. The major cities of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Columbia had started lobbying for army training centers to be in their locales for both patriotic and economic reasons. Governor Richard Manning’s supportive energies became more apparent, while former Governor Coleman Blease publicly spoke against the war.

Eventually more than 65,000 persons from South Carolina would serve in the Armed Forces. On the “home front,” there was support for such activities as war bond drives and home gardens.11

A Diary and Its Story of Camp Life

During his stay of ten months at Camp Sevier, many of his activities and experiences are known mainly through a diary that he maintained from September through December, 1917. In the exploration of available materials for my writing, I now spend considerable time in presenting material from his diary since it is derived fortunately from his vital firsthand experience.

A tent became his place of residence presumably for his entire military time at Camp Sevier. He shared a tent with six or seven fellow soldiers in a specified unit related to the Quartermasters Corps. There initially was a morning roll call at 6:30 each morning. He was scheduled occasionally for keeping the inside of the tent clean and orderly. Once when flooring was installed to cover the dirt in the tent, he wrote: “It made our tent look like a palace.” When an October chill developed in the weather, a fire was built outside of the tent for the soldiers to receive some warmth.

In the early stages of his being at the camp, the bulk of his mornings, afternoons, and perhaps a few evenings were spent in the quartermasters section as related to the Division’s headquarters. Many of his activities were focused on the duties and supervision that he received concerning his emerging quartermaster’s role in the military. Much of that activity was devoted to the administrative supplying of food, clothing, and equipment for the troops. His diary notes such descriptions as “heavy loads of material to check,” “plenty of wire and lamp shades to consider,” and “payments to consider.” Part of his duty was that of “going into town” [probably nearby Greenville or Anderson] to receive equipment and materials.

There is an undercurrent of feeling in some of his diary that portrays a longing to have been in the infantry where there would be a regimen of intense physical fitness and the conducting of maneuvers in warfare. Also present in this infantry training were lectures from visiting British and French officer who were sent to the United States as advisers.12

His curiosity in other forms of military training is seen in a diary entry where he describes an attended orientation presented by the U.S. Intelligence Bureau. He discovered that this area was “wonderfully interesting but dangerous.” However, he shows some excitement in learning about the Bureau’s function of sending information—derived from map reading, semaphore, and modern languages—to a division’s headquarters and offices. There quartermasters are likely to be located and such data would be crucial to their administrative planning.

Tom shows an honesty about some of his inner feelings that he was experiencing thus far in his military training days with this diary entry:

When will it all end, and my buck privacy. No chance for promotion, no aid and encouragement, nothing from officers hardly except meanness; but time will change and when it is all over, my time will come for one to see how the under-dog gets on top; that is, if his better passions and ideals have not been completely browbeaten and crushed—it will take more than this bunch of sergeants and officers to moving me, though.

However, he seemed to have never lost the capacity to recognize and use some of the sustaining resources within himself and in his surroundings.

For instance, he occasionally mentions a YMCA unit nearby the tenting area. He often would go there and engage in letter-writing, relax, and bathe. And there are references that indicate his attendance at worship services in this facility.

In other off-duty moments, he seemed to enjoy playing outdoor basketball. (As mentioned earlier, this fondness with sports may have had its roots in his childhood days.) The diary describes a late afternoon game in which he and his quartermaster teammates competed against a group from “the machine gun company.” He writes: “I played guard and made 2 field goals and my assigned forward on the other team not scoring—mine were two lucky shots in the dark.

In viewing some of the existing photographs taken of Tom with his fellow soldiers and basketball enthusiasts, they offer a plausible guess that he had a lean frame and probably stood five feet and six inches. He often smiled and had dark hair. Records show that he wore glasses when reading due to nearsightedness.

His further enjoyment was sensed in several weekend moments when some military comrades invited him to spend some time in their homes. They had grown up in nearby towns, like Anderson or Easley. Tom enjoyed their families, home-cooking, and especially some prearranged dates with hometown girls.

Another theme discovered in his diary is that of his sense of humor. For example, sometimes letters were slow in arriving at the military base. In response to this lack of speed, he writes: “Broke a record and received 4 letters at one time. It was almost a thrill to hear from somebody, a bill would almost seem acceptable.”

On another occasion, he pens these words: “Life one fool thing after another, love: two fool things after each other.

A further enjoyment of his was that of engagement with off-duty reading. There are diary references particularly to two of his favorite authors in that particular era, namely Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) and the poet J. Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916). Occasionally Tom would share some of the quotes from these writers to his interested tent mates.

Hubbard was a noted publisher and freelance newspaperman. He was well-known during that day for writing pithy, everyday sayings and quotes. Perhaps Tom may have read this one: “Never explain—your friends do not need it and your enemies will never believe you anyway.”

Or maybe this saying was pondered by Tom: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is continuously fearing that you’ll make one.13

Summers and his dog
Thomas Raysor Summers a visit home January 1918
On the other hand, the author Riley observed the dialect of rural life in Indiana and used that material in his poetry. He became one of the best loved and most earthy poets in the United States. I can well imagine that Tom was picturing the Edisto River ambling through his hometown of Orangeburg upon possibly reading the first two lines from one of Riley’s poems: Oh! the old swimming hole! where the crick so still and deep; Looked like a baby-river that was lying half asleep.14

When November 2nd arrived, a transition time emerged for Tom’s stay inside Camp Sevier. He and some of his tent mates were now assigned to Camp #2. Now geographically away from the YMCA building and although closer to the mess hall, this move seemed to represent for him some sort of elevated change in his military preparation as a quartermaster. But at the same time, it brought a greater reality to him. That is, he no longer would have a chance to be on the front lines of war but rather behind those lines.

His diary notation at this time puts it this way: “ . . . now a real army guy; am ‘bullet dodger’ still but sometimes wish I was an army man . . . Now we are on the edge of the front, at the dropping off point; but it’s lonesome and boring.

In this new role, he certainly learned quickly what kind of responsibilities would come his way. He was assigned to handle a unique problem that had arisen at a warehouse. His responsibility was to oversee (as his diary describes): “ . . . a big onion pile and expected to select good from rotten onions . . . It was quite a figure I did messing over those rotten, foul and smelling things.”

Undoubtedly the most significant day for Tom at Camp Sevier was December 10th. On that day, he became promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He made the comment in his diary: “This army luck of mine—to be changed to hard work after just being promoted.” The very next day, he worked on his new financial duties until 8:40 PM at headquarters.

Near this same time, some other issues required his attention. For instance, a report arrived on his desk that over twelve hundred hams had been spoiled for food services. In addition, a three-weeks quarantine of the entire camp had continued in the effort to curtail measles and spinal meningitis.

The final words in his diary were written on January 2, 1918. They bring a curtain down on any further diary information that we have on his many and varied experiences while in military preparation at Camp Sevier. He writes simply and peacefully: “Snowed during night and day.” In three weeks, he would celebrate his twenty-first birthday.

The Journey from Sevier to France

A Train Trip

After being at the military encampment for ten months, Tom’s Quartermasters Corps of the Headquarters Detachment in the 30th Division left the gates of Camp Sevier on approximately May 7, 1918. They would begin traveling to the battlefields of Europe.

While on a troop train northward from Greenville toward his being processed for an overseas embarkation, he included these words in a letter to his mother:

We left camp about midday . . . just passed Charlotte going north. Don’t know our destination but we hardly leave this side for a week or two. We are well fixed on a tourist car with three men to a section . . . I didn’t have much notice of my transfer and departure. Only received a copy of orders about 6 o’clock yesterday . . . Received my pay this morning about 15 minutes before we fell in . . . Am glad that now I have a chance to go across. It will be hard but the dullness of Camp Sevier was about to get me.

Embarking from Hoboken

More than likely, the train’s route would have taken Tom and his Camp Sevier contingent eventually to the busy Hoboken Port of Embarkation in New Jersey. It was located on the banks of the Hudson River across from Manhattan in New York City. The primary purpose of the port was to send troops and supplies to Europe in the war effort. In the spring of 1918, the Hoboken Port reached an enormous rate of sending ten thousand troops per day to Europe.15

However, before leaving the United States from this particular Hoboken locale, there would have been the initial necessity that Tom and his Camp Sevier unit spend some variable time (perhaps a week) at a neaby 30th Division military camp. They would undergo processing and making preparation there for the voyage. Such a heavily used location for this purpose would have been Camp Merritt in Crosskill, New Jersey.

Following this encampment at Camp Merritt where orientation and processing took place, the divisional units then were transported back to the Hoboken Port. One example of such transportation is seen in the Engineering unit’s trip. That unit was moved directly by train from Camp Merritt to the port.16 Another form of how 30th Division troops were moved was that of their being marched from the camp to a nearby ferry on the Hudson River. They would then be carried to the Hoboken docks and onto a troop ship destined for Europe.17

With his stepping onto a troop ship, the presumed date for Tom’s leaving American soil would be May 15th.

Voyage Across the Atlantic

While aboard this ship, Tom began a letter to his mother and completed it after disembarking. Some of its themes and subjects are presented below.

I hope the letters written and the government card notice of safe arrival has reached home all right. [The issue that he raised about the card appears again later in this narrative about the Belgian tragedy.] . . . Our trip has been long and rather tiresome. We bought a good deal of eats and other articles from the last camp, and the canteen on the ship was in full force for several days . . . Wrote West about my trip to New York [Tom wrote his brother West about an apparent off-duty trip that he made to New York City while at Camp Merritt.] . . . I was in a state room with three fellows I knew before. Most of the boys were down and out for several days, and two of the boys in my place are still somewhat under the weather. I have been lucky in not getting seasick except for a few dizzy headaches . . . I am still glad that I had a chance to come over, not that I was anxious to go but wanted to if others had to. 

All indications point to Calais, France as being the final place of disembarking in Europe for Tom and the Headquarters unit of the 30th Division. This noted city rests on the the Strait of Dover and near the border of Belgium.18 The time of Tom’s arrival to this busy historical port in northern France was during the last week of May, 1918.

However, the troop ship more than likely had made an earlier layover of two days in Dover, England. The port at Dover is located directly on the English Channel in the southernmost part of England. Dover’s convenience to Calais was that of being only twenty-one miles in distance across the Channel. Many other troops were ferried from Dover to Calais as well as similar trips from downward ports along the Channel. These English ferries were requisitioned as troop transports. Many of them were painted in “dazzle camouflage” to confuse any lurking German U-boat crews.19

As they finally reached their destination and this particular era of WWI, Tom and his fellow soldiers would have found themselves amidst a crowded Calais port. As a French province, Calais and three other geographical provinces comprised the larger Pas-de-Calais Region. That region had known much earlier—especially in 1914—some of the costliest and most destructive battles in the war.20

A Critical Phase in World War I

As soon as the United States had declared war on Germany and the Central Powers in April of 1917, the U.S. troop numbers for daily arrivals at French ports began increasingly to grow. A year later now in 1918, many of these troops would be embracing a sense of hope as they entered France in late May. Although the war remained at a crucial point, the combat now had slowly turned more confidently for the Allies.

But the background for any high level of optimism at this particular period contained its share of much concern. As a member of the Allies in this war, Russia had decided to end its involvement due to the emergence of the Russian Revolution that had begun there in 1917. This crucial withdrawal of Russia from the Allies then allowed the German army to control much of eastern Europe. Subsequently Germany then began transferring significant numbers of its combat troops to the Western Front—a move that would highly affect France and Belgium.

At first, this so-called early 1918 Spring Offensive proved to be very successful for Germany as they employed a series of feints and advances.21 Many German leaders thought that victory was near for them. Not surprising, they had hoped to end the war before significant U.S. forces would arrive.

Tom was ushered into France during this hopeful—but critical—phase of the war. It was when the German forces had begun to lose its momentum but still remaining on the offense.

Preparation for Belgium

After days of rigorous marching, the 30th Division’s infantrymen were assigned to an area behind the British front-lines. There these soldiers would join with other divisions in being provided a total of ten weeks of further field training. Much of this specialized instruction took place in the safer Eperlecques training area that was situated in the large Pas-de-Calais region. The 30th Division also was housed and billeted in this area.22

During the second phase of this infantry training, the 30th Division was assigned to the British II Army Corps for further teaching in weaponry and maneuvering. A vital part of this experience was a month’s participation on the active British front-lines in Belgium.

In this particular segment, the 30th Division logistically was moved in early July to that same British location. Thus, that position was southwest of Ypres in Belgium.23 The ultimate assignment for the 30th was that of organizing and defending a geographical part of the Western Front in Belgium. This responsibility would be on a designated part of the East Poperinghe Line.24 Naturally, Tom’s Headquarters Detachment of the 30th Division would now be under the command of the aforementioned British Corps. The 30th Division would be the first American division to enter Belgium.

Since his primary connection was to the Headquarters unit, Tom probably was not engaged with the above description of the combat field training or maybe even a minimal orientation to it. His staff administrative duties in support of the Division’s troops at this time of a war crisis would have required his primary involvement with key quartermaster duties with his primary focus on finances. These responsibilities would include managing supplies, equipment, food, and a number of coordinating functions.

While in France and after his disembarking, the location of such preparation for him and the other quartermasters is not known. But probably they had left early from the Calais region and transitioned to Belgium for the developing of the division’s Headquarters there.

Behind the Front Lines, but Not Without Peril 

In its Belgian location behind the East Poperinghe Line (a strategic defense line behind the larger and pervasive Western Front), the 30th Division’s headquarters unit was placed inthe village of Watou.

Connections to Town of Poperinghe

The small community of Watou was in a district close to the town of Poperinghe. Four miles separated them. This whole geographical area was a part of the West Flanders province—the only coastal province in Belgium. Tom would now find himself situated forty-three miles from his prior disembarking at the port down in Calais, France.

The town of Poperinghe, often referred to as “Pop” by Allied troops, was eight miles east of the battle-scarred city of Ypres (often pronounced as Wipers by British troops). Ypres and its most immediate surroundings had endured five severe WWI engagements that had begun in 1914. This tragic era became known historically as The Battles of Ypres. It is estimated that the overall casualties may have totaled one million in these battles. When the 30th Division’s headquarters became placed at Watou in 1918, the fourth Battle of Ypres (April 9-29) had just concluded in the prior several months. There were 200,000 persons killed during that specific conflict.25  The city of Ypres was almost razed to the ground as a result of these brutal battles.

Located behind the battlefront of the designated East Poperinghe Line, Watou and Poperinghe offered promising setting for the installation of the various Allied military headquarters. Also Poperinghe possessed a railway station that made it possible for the many combat troops to take leave and retreats from the hellishness found in the sound and fury of warfare.26 A description of this overall location indicates: “Watou and its surroundings were a quiet resting behind the lines.27

Although Tom and the headquarters staff were stationed in Watou, they would have been heavily connected to the British and the collaborative resources found in nearby Poperinghe. This busy atmosphere is described in the following manner:

Poperinghe was used by the British Army as a gateway to the battlefields of the northern Ypres Salient. It was an important rail center behind the front lines and was used for the  distribution of supplies, for billeting troops, for casualty clearing stations and for troops at      rest for duty in the forward trench areas. Thousands of troops were to pass through this small town . . . There were five roads leading into Poperinghe. Therefore, the main square constantly bustled with military traffic, military personnel and those civilians who stayed in the town.28

Thus, it was in this busy geography—filled with its mixture of war dangers and periods of safety—that Tom would now carry out his military duties in Europe.

Demanding Duties

In handling the financial aspects of responding to the wartime needs of his division and its infantry troops, Tom must have felt the rigorous impact of these never ending financial necessities. Undoubtedly such matters as clothing, equipment, transportation, and food quickly made their way to his desk. A hundred years earlier, a prominent quartermaster leader said that such burdensome issues required the anticipation of “every thing, see every thing, and be prepared at all times as far as human foresight is capable for emergencies.”29

In the middle of such energies needed at the headquarters, it can well be imagined that Tom cherished any off-duty time that he may have had. His appreciation for rest and nature walks is certainly discovered in his Camp Sevier diary.

How special it may have been for him had there been any opportunities for visits to Poperinghe and its famed Tolbert House. This was a town house dedicated to the memory of an army chaplain who had been killed during WWI in 1915. The structure became a place where soldiers could come and find comfort and peace. There was a quiet room, a library, a theater and a place to get tea. In the loft was a chapel where a soldier might attend supportive religious services. In many ways, the Tolbert House could have offered him a respite and quietness similar to those known back at the YMCA in Camp Sevier. During WWI, thousands of soldiers knew Tolbert House.30

From the existing five letters that Tom wrote to family members while in Watou, there is little information gleaned as related specifically to the military danger or the raging war. Again, this was due to the military censorship of remarks that might refer to location or other significant military information. He stated in one letter: “There are a lot of things we see and hear, but there are very few things about which we can write.” Therefore, he tended to offer them a more positive view of his circumstances.

However, there are some described matters that offer a glimpse into some of his activities and reactions. For instance, he let his father A.W. know that initially he was sleeping on a borrowed cot in the headquarters office. He wrote: “It is exceedingly comfortable as compared to the ground. I was staying with a staff member on some straw in a stable until I moved into better quarters.” By early July, he mentioned in a letter to Aunt Mossie that he was now billeted in a private house with another staff member.

In a very early August letter to his mother, Tom vents anger about the overload that he was feeling. Also he possibly had some lingering feelings that were left over from his Camp Sevier days. He included these words:

. . . one is never satisfied in the army. If I had things to do over again, I would try the aviation corps or the artillery, or maybe the machine gun corps; but never again the Q.M. [Quartermaster Corps] If Carroll ever has to take up anything in the war line, which is highly improbable at present, but that age may be needed before this thing is over; don’t let him get mixed up with the Q.M. Corps.

Tom completed the letter the next day after receiving three letters from home. He continued: “I managed to slip in a good bath, and I feel much different tonight. Tomorrow afternoon I have off and will probably take a walk.”

In reading the letters that he wrote back home to family members, he seems to overly reassure them that there is much normality to be found in his current situation. Through his writing, my guess is that the family never knew exactly where he was located or about the dangerous implications in his environment. His hands were somewhat tied in not being able to share the terrible angst that war brings to any soldier.

Emerging Dangers

In his functioning with the headquarters staff, Tom and the other quartermasters would have been informed and oriented about some of the dangerous matters related to the major military battles currently being fought or planned by the Allies during the summer of 1918.

The Second Battle of Marne

One such critical engagement was that of The Second Battle of Marne. It began on July 15th and lasted for several weeks. Its combat took place in France’s Aisne sector near the Marne River and its tributaries. The scene was approximately 150 miles away from Watou, Belgium.

An important feature for this battle was that the German Army had conceived of this attack as an attempt to draw Allied troops southward from their strongholds on the Flanders provinces in Belgium. A victory for the German in the Marne area would have helped them significantly with any future attacks in Flanders. (Since Watou was in the Flanders area, Tom and his cohorts would have been anxiously interested in the outcome of this battle.)

But this plan failed for the Germans because they made only minor gains in the Marne area before being completely halted due to a tremendous counterattack by the Allies. Their efforts were supported by the use of several hundred tanks.31

No doubt, the result of what took place at this battle was celebrated in the Flanders region. However, the Allies’ victory at Marne did not impede Germany’s continued offensive in the war.

Artillery Shelling

A deepened apprehension could be felt by Tom at this time due to uncertainties caused by an increase in enemy artillery shelling. The threat potentially could be directed toward Poperinghe and its surrounding area. Because of its necessary importance to the Allied troops, this particular geographical area became more vulnerable to the long-range German artillery.

Another feature to this anxiety felt by the Allies was the awareness that only a year had passed since the nearby Third Battle of Ypre had so dreadfully raged in 1917. Hence, a year ago Poperinghe had experienced some of that bombing. This attack had damaged a Casualty Clearing Station in those regional surroundings.32

An Increased Offensive

The Allies at this time had now been gearing up too for a major offensive against the failing German Army and the Central Powers to push them back more eastward. The Germans would have been cautiously aware of this possibility. Hence, their artillery shelling would be an aid at this time.33

In my document’s section, entitled A Critical Phase in WWI, it was mentioned that in the spring of 1918 the armies of Germany and the Central Powers had begun to lose their momentum in the war but they still remained very much on the offensive. This overall dynamic was still apparent in the aggressive shelling that was now taking place that year in the summer of 1918.

With the arrival of August 7th, it had been exactly three months since Tom had left the gates of Camp Sevier and destined for a French port.

 A Tragic Day in Belgium

Watou Targeted

With their long-range artillery, the Germans had been shelling very near the Watou village for several days. They were sending over a few shells each day. Tom took a chance in a dated August 3rd letter to his mother. Apparently he wanted to try communicating an uncensored danger that he and other staff members were now facing. “Especially after dark,” he wrote, “do we move more quickly if even at all. Sometimes the night sky looks like a carnival on the 4th of July.” Ironically, his letter carried a Field Post Office date of August 7th. Possibly it did not arrive in Orangeburg until three weeks later.

With another staff member, he had been staying in a room or a splinter-proof hut with sandbags surrounding it on the property of a Watou family. This arrangement was located on a narrow street not far from the building of the 30th Division’s headquarters.

Due to the unpredictable artillery dangers, the headquarters commander had indicated to his staff that there likely would be an order to evacuate the building. Therefore, there was a verbal understanding that, should any shells start falling, the staff would assemble initially in the commander’s office. Upon leaving the Belgian family members on the Wednesday morning of August 7th, Tom told them that he probably would have to stay on duty and could not leave the office to return to the family’s home that day.

Admiration for His Leadership

The headquarters commander was a major. He had known Tom and his capable work over the past eight months. That span of time had begun when Tom had been elevated to the rank of sergeant nearly six months earlier at Camp Sevier. In preparing now to recommend him for another promotion, Major James Anderson once wrote in an official form : “I had the utmost confidence in him.

Lieutenant Oscar Strickland commented about Tom’s office leadership in the midst of artillery warnings. In a letter once written to the Orangeburg family, he wrote: “There were narrow escapes but our boys never lost their heads and carried on just the same as if they were back in the United States. And Tom was responsible for quite a bit of this as he had charge of a great deal of the work.”

Although they had served in different locations in Watou as quartermasters, Eugene Milford had known Tom as a peer since their many months of tenting together at Camp Sevier. Tom had also spent some weekend time at Milford’s family home in a nearby town during their encampment. Milford once shared these comments in a letter to Tom’s mother: “I had seen Tom during that past week. He seemed to be in the best of spirits and enjoying life. We discussed when we would be able to return home. I have never known a better guy . . . He was to me
like a brother.

A Horrible Explosion

On the early afternoon of August 7th, Tom was sitting at a desk in an office just to the left side of the building’s front entrance. He was busy operating a typewriter. Suddenly a thunderous explosion burst and ripped throughout the office. A shell—the last one of six that was sent over that day by German artillery—had crashed into the combined area of the building’s entrance and its nearby paved street. The contents of the blast and street fragments flew into the overwhelmed office.

Immediately Tom had been struck and fell to the floor.

Commander Anderson hurriedly arrived to the disarrayed office. It was in shambles. Altogether there were six soldiers wounded by this deadly outburst. Army ambulances quickly were summoned. Tom and injured Private John Strohecker were placed in one. Quickly the vehicle sped away toward Casualty Station #10. It was almost eighteen miles away.

Answered with a Smile

In a letter written several months later to Tom’s family, Private Strohecker told them what he had said to Tom while in the ambulance: “Stick to it, old boy; and he answered with a smile.” The letter continued: “I noticed a moment later, he had gone to sleep and I heard later that he was taken from the ambulance unconscious.

Five months later, the aforementioned Lieutenant Strickland sent a letter to Tom’s mother. Since he had been on the headquarters staff, he was among those wounded by the shelling. Later he had required extended hospitalization. His letter from that hospital contained these comments:

He never lost his nerve from the time he was hit, until I saw him last going on the operating table . . . He did not suffer much and though he knew he was going west, he went with a smile on his face and your name on his lips. This I heard from one of the Catholic Sisters, as I was in the operating room being operated on when he died. We all loved him and it cast gloom all over our division headquarters when the news came through that he had died.

Sergeant Thomas Raysor Summers drew his last breath and died at eleven o’clock that Wednesday night on August 7, 1918 at the age of twenty-one years.

In Flanders Field

Tom was buried the next day in the Haringhe (Bandaghem) Cemetery with military honors and a religious sevice. Haringhe was a village that was six miles from Poperinghe. Thus the burial grounds were not far from Watou. The Bandaghem term was a popular name given by WWI troops to groups of casualty clearing stations posted to this particular area in the huge West Flanders region.34

Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian physician who provided medical care to the soldiers, was touched sensitively by the sight of the red poppy flowers that would spring up from the war’s broken grounds. In addition to his medical role, he liked to write poetry. His famous poem “In Flanders Field” has endured over the years. The words from the first two stanzas provide a poignant reflection on Tom’s young life that was stolen away by this war:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
The lark, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders fields.35

Tom Summers obituary
Announcement of Thomas Raysor Summer’s death in August 28, 1918 Orangeburg Times and Democrat newspaper.
A Prolonged Grief

Following Tom’s death, it is now almost unimaginable to grasp the turmoil and pain that the Summers family back in South Carolina must have experienced. There was a series of confusing notifications that began to foster an agonizing ordeal of grief that surrounded his death.

Not knowing yet of his son’s demise, this chain of circumstances began with what was intended to be a quiet day on August 25th in the law office of his father A.W. Summers. He happened to be at his desk reading the New York Times newspaper. There he came upon the list of war casualties in Europe. The startling name and address related to Sergt. Thomas R. Summers—son of A.W. Summers of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.—must have leaped off of the page when he read it.

In that era of there being no existing services of long-distance telephone calls, the distraught father immediately wrote a letter to the name of the person and town in Tennessee. The envelope and letter ultimately was returned back with the written response “no such person living here” on the envelope.

The information waters became even more muddied for the shocked family when, on two days later (August 27th), it received a telegram from the Adjutant Generals office of the U.S. War Department. It presented further dizzying news: “Deeply regret to inform you that Srgt. Thomas E. Summers, Infantry, died August 7th of wounds in action.” The telegram’s listing of an E initial rather than the R for Tom’s middle name became another uncertain phase for the family to endure.

But probably by now and realizing that indeed the reality of Tom’s death was apparent regardless of the errors in the notifications, A.W. decided to write a letter to U.S. Senator E.D. Smith of South Carolina. He was serving in Congress. Described in this very straight-forward letter was a focus on the confusing and painful mistakes that were made in the announcements made about his son’s death. He requested the senator “to turn this letter over to the proper governmental department and, if possible, give me the full information.” Family files also contain the letters that he sent at this time to a South Carolina congressman and the state’s governor in requesting their assistance.

His letter-writing continued as seen in the September 10th communication sent to the U.S. Adjutant General of the War Department. A.W. expressed his disappointment that the “report of my son’s death was seen in the newspapers before I received notice to that effect. That puzzled me considerably.” Ten days later, the War Department sent him a form showing that corrections had been made for the incorrect address and also regrets for his son’s death.

A Late Card

Throughout these confusing and reeling days, the family received another unclear item related to Tom’s death. An official card in a Red Cross envelope (dated July 23rd) had been sent to A.W. in the mail. He received it five days later. The printed message on the card read: “The ship on which I sailed has arrived safely overseas.” It was signed in Tom’s handwriting.

Such a card had been available and handled through the auspices of the U.S. Red Cross. When the soldiers were preparing to embark from American shores at the Hoboken port, they signed these cards in mid-May as they left for France. The lateness of the card’s arrival to the Summers family was likely due to the thousands of troops who were leaving these ports. The sad irony for the Orangeburg family was that of being notified of a safe arrival of its loved one and then going through, at the same time, the agony of having lost him.

In just over a hundred days following Tom’s death, the grief-stricken family would be struck with another bewildering hardship. That particular sorrow will be described later.

Ending of War

Battle of Amiens and Offensive

In the meantime, the day (August 8th) after Tom’s death saw the Allied Forces launching a major attack against the German Army near the River Somme. The location of the battle was east of the city of Amiens, France. This area was near the Belgian border and only seventy-five miles from Ypres in Belgium. Tom and the other headquarters staff at Watou likely would have been involved with some of the preliminary planning much earlier for this engagement.

The Allies stunning achievement on the first day of the Battle of Amiens represented the beginning of the period called the “Hundred Days Offensive.” This overall thrust would strongly assist in the ending of WWI.36 For instance, it was during this powerful offensive that the 30th Division’s infantry joined with the British Fourth Army by helping to break an important segment of the Hindenburg Line—a critical part of the German defensive network on the Western Front.37

Other crucial battles took place victoriously within the driving force of the Hundred Days Offensive before WWI concluded. For example, there were Allied successes at the muddy corridor and crater-filled terrain between the Meuse River and the noted Argonne Forest; a twenty mile portion of the Hindenburg Line between Cambrai and St. Quentin; and the Fourth Battle of Ypres.


As the war moved further into the fall of 1918, the Allies Forces steadily broke through the remnants of the Hindenburg line on October 5th. And nine days later, the German Army abandoned all of its positions formerly held along the Belgian coast in addition to those earlier held in northern-most France.

On the morning of November 11th, the Germans signed an official Armistice in a railway car in Compeigne, France. World War One was now ended. Its conclusion was at 11:00 AM—and on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Some battles were still maintained here and there throughout Europe, but other armistices would soon bring them to a halt.38 The collapse of the opposing Central Powers had occurred swiftly as WWI began to be finished in that fall of 1918. Increasingly Germany had begun to see the war as hopeless. And by early November, Austria and Hungary sought armistices with the Allied Forces. Soon thereafter, the Ottoman Empire capitulated.

The Cost of War

This reputed “war to end all wars” was waged for five years with an unbelievable cost in so many ways. For instance, its international energies absorbed so much from Europe as well as many parts of Russia, the United States, and Turkey. Also caught up in the war were the Middle East, Africa and areas of Asia. The combined military strength of the Allies and the opposing Central Powers totaled nearly seventy million military personnel.

The loss of human life was enormous. An estimated total of nine million military casualties occurred for the total efforts of the Allies and their opposing Central Powers.39 Tom was among the 117,000 of those who lost their life from the United States.

The total financial cost of this war to the United States was approximately $32 billion, or 52% of the gross national product at that time.40

Sorrow Visits Again

Hardly had the ink dried with the WWI armistices when another grievous tragedy made its way into the life of the Summers family back in South Carolina. Barely three months had passed since its beloved Tom had lost his life in Belgium.

One of history’s most severe worldwide pandemics—the 1918 Spanish Flu—victimized A.W. Summers in mid-November. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines. Within a week, this family patriarch and prominent lawyer died on November 24th at the age of fifty-six.

By its conclusion, the virus had infected five-hundred million people, nearly one-third of the world’s population at that time. This pandemic had caused fifty million deaths worldwide.41

In my growing-up days in Orangeburg, I remember hearing a couple of times some friend or family member say something to the effect of: “A.W. died of both a broken heart and the flu.” The ancient Roman poet Ovid once spoke of such an inner storm that my grandfather must have known during those dimming days of still grieving his son’s death and his own illness with the flu: “Suppressed grief suffocates, it rages within the breast, and is forced to multiply its strength.42

Thomas Raysor Summers tombstoneComing Home

Tom’s body from Flanders Field arrived back home in Orangeburg late in the night of April 21, 1921. It had been been almost two and a half years since he was killed in Belgium. The body of fallen soldiers could not be returned to families until the war was over.

The next day, a funeral service was held in the family home on Amelia Street in Orangeburg. The family members and close relatives were transported a mile up Summers Avenue to the Sunnyside Cemetery. There Tom’s casket was lowered into a family site next to his father’s grave. (His mother would die twenty-four years later.) Members of the local American Legion Post attended as honorary pallbearers. Taps was bugled as the service concluded.

His tombstone would eventually contain this engraving: Duty Called—He Answered.

The Thomas Raysor Summers American Legion Post

A year later, the local American Legion Post renamed its organization in honor of Tom: The Thomas Raysor Summers American Legion Post. He had been the first Orangeburg County soldier to lose his life in WWI. In addition, he was considered to be a very beloved and popular young man with a promising future ahead of him.

This post is one of the oldest and continually active posts in the state. In the early 1930s, the veterans themselves helped to build a two-story American Legion Hut very near the flow of the beautiful Edisto River. Thirty years later, the legendary “Hut” was replaced with another building for the regular American Legion meetings.43

Ironically, Tom would have likely spent some of his boyhood days roaming around and in this very same Edisto River area in which the current American Legion Post building now rests. It is located less than a mile from the Moss farm that was owned by his favorite “Aunt Mossie.”

Concluding Comments

As the curtain drops on this review of my young uncle’s life, I cannot help but feel that he made the very best out of his abbreviated years.

A commitment to life seems to have been a major thread that ran through so many of his activities. He cherished gardening with his father, possessed a commitment to making excellent academic grades, knew an honesty about his inner feelings, debated the need for the voting rights of women, and offered staff leadership in Belgium during unbelievable trying times. As a reader, I hope you were able to discern some other key themes that further characterize his twenty-one years.

In many ways, my looking back at his life has been akin to reading a story. It had its beginning years and its ending moments. We all have this narrative or story quality about the various chapters in our own lives—filled with hopes and pain.

As I studied his life and its military days, I could not help but think also about other soldiers and citizens who lost their lives due to war’s combat. A war can almost inoculate us with such huge statistics. Sometimes we forget that behind each one of those numbers rests a specific and precious person whose journey in life was cut short.

For me, young Sergeant Thomas Raysor Summers has more profoundly become one of those persons. No wonder there were those misty eyes of grief seen in my father and grandmother during the showing of a World War One movie eighty years ago in an Orangeburg theater.


1Summers, Carroll. Letter to Caroline Erwin Moss Summers. 24 Jan. 1920.

2Letter. 24 Jan. 1920.

3Thomas A. Summers, Hunkering Down: My Story in Four Decades of Clinical Pastoral Education (Columbia, S.C.: Edisto Press, 2000), 


5J. Stokes Salley, “Thomas Raysor Summers,” Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, S.C.), 7 Sept. 1918. 

6Wannamaker, W.W. (Office of Student Records, Trinity College). Recommendation Letter. 3 May, 1917

7History.com Editors, “Women’s Suffrage,” History.com, 29 Oct 2009, https://www.history.com/topics/women-history/the-fight-for-women’ssuffrage/. 

8Edward M. Coffman, The War to End All Wars: The Military Experience in World War 1, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1988), 


10Samuel K. Fore, “Camp Sevier, July 10-April 8, 1919,” South Carolina Encyclopedia, 15 April 2016, https://history.com/sce/entries/camp-sevier/.

11Samuel K. Fore, “Camp Sevier, July 10-April 8, 1919.”

12Mitchell Yockelson, “Borrowed Soldiers: The American 27th and 30th Division on the Ypres Front, August-September 1918,” armyhistory.org, 2008, https://armyhistory.org/borrowed-soldiers-the-american-27th-and-30th divisions…/



15James A. Huston, The Sinews of War: Army Logistics 1775-1953. Army Historical Series. (Washington DC: Center of Military History, 346.


17Robert B. Roberts, Encyclopedia of Historical Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Training Posts of the United States, 10th Printing, (New York: Macmillan, 1988), 152.

18“30th Infantry Division (United States),” World War 1, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th-Infantry-Division.

19Nicholas J. Saunders and Paul Cornish (eds.), Contested Objects: Material Memories of the Great War (Routledge, 2014)

20“30th Infantry Division (United States), World War 1, Wikipedia, https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pas-de-Calais.

21Gary Sheffield, Forgotten Victory (Review, 2002), 251.

22Yockelson, “Borrowed Soldiers.”

23Heritage Foundation, Inc. and New River Notes, “Thirtieth Division,” htpps://newrivernotes.com/topical_history_WWI_oob_american_forces.htm


25Daniel G. Dancocks, Welcome to Flanders Fields: The First Canadian Battle of the Great War—Ypres, 1915 (Toronto: McCelland & Steward, 1918). Retrieved from htpps://en.wikipedia.org/index.php?title=Battle_of_Ypres&oldid.


27Emma Thompson, Flanders: Northern Belgium-Brussels, Burges and Beyond, (BradtTravel Guides), 48 Retrieved July1,2020.

28“A History of Ypres (Ieper): Origens,” https://greatwar.co.uk/ypres-salient-town-ieper-history.htm


30Paul Reed, “1914-1918,” Photos, Centenary Website: 1914-1918, htpps://greatwarphotos/tag/poperanghe/talbothouse.

31Kennedy Hickman, “World War1: Second Battle of the Marne,” ThoughtCo., updated 3 mar. 2020, https://thoughtco.com/second-battle-of-the-marne-236142.




35Pruitt, Sarah. “The WWI Origens of the Poppy as a Rembrance Symbol.” History.com., Updated 21 May 2020, https://history.com/news/world-war-i-poppy-remembrance-symbol-veterans-day.

36Bryn Hammond, “Amiens 1918: Victory on the Somme,” Imperial War Museums, htpps://iwm.org.uk/history/amiens/amiens-1918-victory/.

37“Old Hickory Division Breaks Hindenburg Line,” North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, htpps://ncdr.gov/blog/2016/09/29/old-hickory-division-breaks-hindenburg-line/.


39Spencer Tucker and Pricilla Mary Roberts, Encyclopedia of World War 1 (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2005), 115.

40Carlos Lozada,“The Economics of World War 1,” National Bureau of Economics, The Digest (No. 1, January 2005), htpps://nber.org/digest/jano5/economics-world-war-1.

41“The Flu Epidemic of 1918,” National Archives News (The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration), htpps://archives.gov/news/topics//flu-epidemic-1918.



Share this article

Related posts