Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Henry Carruthers

Meuse-Argonne Offensive MAP.jpg

CARRUTHERS-CROSS.jpgPrivate Henry Carruthers was killed in action in France on September 30th, 1918.  He was serving with the 363rd Infantry Regiment of the 91st Division.  Commencing in late September of 1918, this unit was engaged in Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which, according to Wikipedia, was “…was the largest in United States military history, involving 1.2 million American soldiers.”  The battle line stretched across the entire Western Front and fighting continued for the 47 days from September 26 to the Armistice on November 11, 1918.  (A detailed, day-by-day description of this unit’s participation in this great battle, from September 26th to October 4th — that is, over the period during which PVT Carruthers gave his life — is available in “CHAPTER III” at this online source.)

Carruthers is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery (Plot H, Row 29, Grave 26) at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.

91st Division Patch

91st Div. patch

News of his death did not reach his mother, Margaret Carruthers, in Wallace until November 6, 1918.  A brief item in The Wallace Miner, published on the following day, described Henry “Happy” Carruthers as a “well known and popular young man.”  He was a Wallace native, the article noted as well, age 25, and employed by the Otterson company.  Carruthers was survived by his mother and a brother, William Carruthers.  Henry Carruthers, the item ruefully relayed, was “the first one from this city to fall fighting for his country in France.”

Carruthers described himself in his draft registration card as single, tall, slender, with gray eyes and black hair.  Although he listed his home address as “Wallace, Idaho,” Carruthers indicated that he was employed as a farmer by one “J.W. Gates” at the Gates Ranch in Vacaville, California.  The card recorded his birthdate as September 18, 1894, implying that he was killed 12 days after his 24th birthday.

A 1910 Wallace city directory shows him living at 802 Residence St. and a student.

CARRUTHERS-ARTICLE

The Wallace Miner, November 7, 1918

 

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3 Responses to Shoshone County’s Fallen WWI Warriors – Henry Carruthers

  1. Steve Steers says:

    Hi Ron,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your research about the county’s fallen WW1 soldiers. I’m not a researcher or any great historian but it strikes me how much is written about WW2 and so much less about WW1.

    Growing up, my maternal grandfather, Herlwyn Ruggles Green, MD, lived with us. He came from Rhode Island, went to the University of Pennsylvania to medical school and became a surgeon. He served in WW1 in France. I can only imagine the horrors he saw there as a surgeon. He was a studious, formal, kind, quiet man who dressed in a 3 piece suit and necktie every day of his life. But after returning from France he gave up medicine. Mom told us he did some teaching at Stanford in anatomy, but for the rest of his life he studied botany. He bought a peach farm in Patterson, CA and studied hybrid peaches. I remember his flats of peach seeds on top of felt and small, water-filled glasses, each line of seeds coded some sort of hybrid. He also built electrical devices to measure the amount of water in the farm soil to help schedule his tree watering.

    I asked Mom why he left medicine and she said only that after the war he never wanted to see blood again. I should have pursured the questioning, but as a kid I just accepted that. He never cared to talk about the war and would gently evade any questions with humor or to change the subject, with another question of us.. He’d come in before dinner and sit in the living room in his suit. My brothers and I would usually be there chatting some nonsense when Mom would announce dinner was ready. He’d look at us and announce with a smile, “Diner est servie.” He was such an old-fashioned, formal man, and so much from the previous century than the current one. Why didn’t I ask him more questions?

    I have always wondered where he served in France, the years of his service and any bits of fact about his part in the war. If you ever come across anything in your research about him, I’d be most interested. The WW1 volumes you quote are pretty tough for me to navigate with my computer skills, which are sadly lacking.

    Hope you’re well, Ronnie. I’m going out to a Cub. Class of 61 luncheon on the 29th in Mountain View. I grew up with lots of Barron Park guys in that class and figure I’d better get out there and see them while we’re all standing.

    Every good wish, and thanks,

    Terry >

  2. ronroizen9 says:

    Hi Terry! Thanks for your comment. Peaches! How wonderful! I just took a real quick look at one source for your grandfather. A ship’s manifest shows that he left for the European theater on the U.S.S. Covington on October 18, 1917, departing from Hoboken, New Jersey. He served in the medical department of the 117th Engineer Regiment and held the rank of Captain. The web has a lot of good historical material on units serving in WWI; you may be able to find a history of the 117th’s service over there without much difficulty. The ship’s manifest showed CPT Green’s home address as 1121 Emerson St. in Palo Alto; his contact person was his wife, only identified as “Mrs. Herlwyn R. Green.” A second ship’s manifest, documenting his return voyage, shows that he left Brest, France on April 18th, 1919 — or more or less exactly 18 months after his arrival in Europe — on the U.S.S. Leviathan, destined for Hoboken once again. His unit designation was a little more informative on this manifest — now showing that he served in “FIELD HOSPITAL NO. 168, 117TH SANITARY TRAIN, 42ND DIVISION.” His wife is not described as “Mrs. Louise T. Green.” His rank, once again, was Captain. If I’m reading a stamped date’s meaning correctly, the ship arrived in Hoboken on April 25, which would have been a one-week-long voyage. The only Major on the list of (presumably) doctors, all captains, on the manifest was MAJ Charles L. Marston, who may have been your grandfather’s senior officer. These leads may lead to more if you get lucky! Good to hear from you and all the best from Idaho!

    Ron

  3. ronroizen9 says:

    Terry, There’s some good info about the 117th Sanitary Train in WWI on the web. Good hunting! Send me your email — mine is ronroizen@frontier.com — and I’ll send you a really nice photo I found.

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