‘A doughboy home at last’

Some have called that battle [the Second Battle of the Marne] a turning point in the war, halting German advances toward Paris.”

In the fall of 2006 The New York Times reported on the remains of a man from World War I being recovered in France, 88 years after his death on July 21, 1918 during the Second Battle of the Marne. Seven days later, on July 28, Leslie Darling was cut down my machine gun fire in the same battle and then died from his wounds after a few days in a crude, rudimentary field hospital and, ironically, his remains have been lost too.

The subject of the article was Private Francis Lupo of Cincinnati. He was in Company E of the 18th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division.

His remains were found by a French archaeologist in 2003 and identified by the Pentagon’s Joint P.O.W.-M.I.A. Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. He is the first World War I casualty to be recovered and identified by the special command.”

Lupo was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was 23 when he was killed “in some of the most gruesome fighting of the war.”

An extract from the diary of an officer in his unit described the artillery and aerial attacks in stark terms. ”Oh, how maddening are these horrible bloody sights!” he wrote, according to an Army history of the war. ”Can it be possible to reap such wholesale destruction and butchery in these few hours of conflict?”

The First Infantry Division had 12,228 men at the outset of the Second Battle of the Marne. Only 3,923 remained unscathed by the end. Eight thousand, three hundred and five were killed, wounded, taken prisoner or missing in action.

(The news story, “A doughboy killed in action is home at last,” was published in the September 24, 2006 issue on page A29.)



Today – April 19 – is my parent’s wedding anniversary. They were married in 1969. Here’s what was happening on the music scene that year.

April 19 is an important date in American history. In 1775 the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. It’s Patriots’ Day, although celebrations are limited. It’s also the date of the Oklahoma City bombing and the end of the 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. And, on a more positive note, it’s Dutch-American Friendship Day.

Internationally it’s Primrose Day in the United Kingdom. In 1999 the German Bundestag returned to Berlin, the first time since the Reichstag was dissolved in 1945. The Christian calendar of saints lists it as the feast day for Ælfheah of Canterbury, Emma of Lesum, Expeditus and George of Antioch. In 2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. What’s odd is Bicycle Day and its assocation with LSD.

Tomorrow – April 20 – is my best friend’s wedding anniversary. He currently lives with his family in Zhengzhou, China, teaching English. I went with him on a sort of scouting trip to China with him in 2005.


More of What’s Out There

Here are some of the search engines and other tools I have been sorting through since looking through what was mentioned in Going Beyond Google. Unfortunately the authors left out some good resources, but I have, while writing this, been able to track down many sites I’ve used in the past and some I’ve just discovered.

Wolfram|Alpha is a “project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.” I think the name alone is cool. To get a sense of its capabilities check out the Wolfram|Alpha Blog and the ‘Examples by Topic ’ page. A search on life expectancy in the United States in 1933 yields all sorts of breakdown numbers and a few graphs.

There’s Search Engine Land, a “news and information site covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry.” A recent article on peculiar, but ‘cool’ search engines (‘8 Crazy-Cool Search Engines You Should Know’) was on Google’s Fast Flip.

The Historical Census Browser via the University of Virginia Library has data on each census from 1790 to 1960 and the capability of generating maps.

OAIster has a catalog of more than 23 million digital records. It’s accessible via WorldCat and even has a tutorial on genealogy.

Scirus is “the most comprehensive science-specific search engine” with more than “370 million scientific items indexed” allowing searches “for not only journal content but also scientists’ homepages, . . . patents . . . and website information.”

Science.gov is “a gateway to government science information and research results,” accessing more than 40 databases and more than 2000 websites. I am particularly interested in biology, specifically human genetics. The site has a ‘Genetics and Molecular Biology’ section.

IncyWincy searches both the visible and deep Web. It’s touted as ‘The Invisible Web Search Engine’.

CompletePlanet is “the Internet’s largest, most central and complete access point for all things relating to Internet searching.” There’s a list of the largest ‘deep Web’ sites, with about 750 terabytes of material. This is roughly 40 times the size of the known surface Web.

One engine, hakia, has semantics-based searches. A “single query brings a full set of results in all segments” including websites, news, blogs, video and images.

There are many more to come, which I’ll be posting later.


Search Engines & Databases

So “Google isn’t up to the task when it comes to serious research. . . .”? That’s what the authors of Going Beyond Google say. I don’t quite agree, especially with the so many features being added. Older classics such as Google Books and Scholar often provide worthwhile results.

However, the duo does provide a lot of good background on how to search for information, using both the Internet as most people understand and use it—the ‘visible Web’—and what’s called the ‘invisible Web’. The major factor is whether or not a particular site or page is stable, with a way to link to it. It’s static and reliable, unless someone moves the page or site, or deletes it completely. This is why I try to not change much of anything in existing links I have put out there. Google’s cache feature on searches helps to combat this, as does the Wayback Machine. If it’s not linkable, then the information has been queried and retrieved from a database. It’s dynamic, meaning the links change with each new search.

Most of these are subscription-based, requiring some money (or a library) to access. Yet, others, such as FamilySearch.org are completely free. Ancestry, on the other hand, is notorious for charging exorbitant fees to libraries and institutions (Ancestry Library Edition). There was even a plan a few years ago to stop offering the Ancestry databases for free at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, which created quite a controversy and bad publicity for Ancestry.

When Ancestry took on the task of hosting the volunteer-based RootsWeb community, there was a similar backlash from many participants. RootsWeb is mostly part of the ‘visible Web’ with permanent links to material, including WorldConnect. I use various mailing lists to document what I happen to be thinking about and anything I may have found to further my research. It’s a great way of archiving material for fellow researchers and future generations. Ancestry does have some linkable features, such as message boards, but is primarily database-based.

Footnote has a partnership with the National Archives. I discovered that one of my great-great-great –I forget how many greats—uncles, William Tidd, had a nearly 200-page Revolutionary War pension file.

There are several sites in the Beyond Google book. So many that I will probably have to break them up into a few different postings.


The ‘Center for the Study of Family History’

I’ve been dreaming about a library and museum for a long time now and it’s about time I actually started doing something to make it a reality. For the past few weeks, while attending a business startup class (MERIT), I have been doodling ideas for a name and logotype.

After mulling it over, I have decided to use the name Center for the Study of Family History. Whether or not to use the ‘the’ (as in The Center for the Study of Family History) I haven’t really determined, but as of today the word is not on the logo, so it is de facto not an official part of the name. We’ll see what the board of directors—or I should note the potential board members—have to say.

After looking for an online graphics editor, I ran into Aviary again, which I first learned about a few months ago. It seems to be the best, or among the best, of the free online editors where you don’t have to necessarily download anything, although Flash is needed. As I am at the library quite a bit, I can therefore do some work graphics there, but have to use Explorer rather than Firefox, because the version is so out-of-date.

I just created a fan page for ‘the center’ so please take a look and become a ‘fan’ on Facebook.


‘Library of Congress Archives Twitter History’

I’ve been using Twitter for quite awhile now, mostly as a sort of diary, just to somehow preserve what’s happening from day to day. So when I read this morning about how the Library of Congress has plans to archive every public tweet, I was both surprised and flattered.

When I run across news stories and find something curious during research I may post it on Twitter, depending on how convenient and relevant the item may be. It’s what I call my tidbits of history. Often I find reams of stuff, and this is one way I have decided to catalog it, that and blogging my notes.

In the past when visiting a library or similar institution, I used the slips of note paper often near the library catalog computers to jot down any relevant notes. But I never seemed to get around to typing these up or organizing them in any serious way. So I have scraps of these notes laying around, mixed in with who knows what. Every once in awhile I will come across one or two and try to remember when and where I wrote it.

Instead of this paper trail, I have gone as paperless as possible. It’s the new thing in office settings, too. Rather than print out a story or information, you simply print to a file or, in some other way, store it digitally. Of course, the PDF format is one of the most popular. And having redundant systems—backups—is critical.

I’ve been doing this for years with the wide variety of mailing lists I manage or have joined. Sure, occasionally I’ll grab some paper and take notes, but for the most part, I am busy typing, editing, storing, and eventually posting. The ‘Paperless Archives’ is an example. Microsoft’s Small Business Center has some tips for a ‘paperless’ office.

Wired has a good piece on the plans the Library of Congress has for Twitter and tweets, and something I didn’t know, Google’s search capability.


German Explorer Gustav Radde & the Two Heinzs

Searching for the surname Radde at Wikipedia I discovered a German naturalist and explorer named Gustav Radde (1831- 1903). I am a descendant of some of the Radde clan on my mother’s side. It is, or was, a relatively common name in the Stolp area of Pomerania (Pommern). It’s now known as Słupsk. I started a Radde family mailing list in 2006.

A man named Heinz Radde has worked to document the history of the region, including the expulsion of Germans from Gross Tuchen following World War II. He currently lives in Switzerland. His site is very useful for anyone researching Pomerania. I particularly like his ‘Milestones in Pomeranian History’ section. Heinz Chinnow, who recently passed away, discussed Heinz Radde in his book Pomerania 1945 Echoes of the Past.

Regarding Gustav Radde, an obituary was published in the May 1903 issue of The Geographical Journal, a publication of The Royal Geographical Society in the UK.

Although Gustav was born in Danzig (Gdańsk), he worked and lived in Caucasia for most of his life. In 1864 he settled in Tbilisi, the current capital of the Republic of Georgia, and explored the region around Mount Elbrus. While studying and documenting plants, he recorded the languages, ballads and customs of the local tribes. He established a ‘Caucasus Museum and Library’ in Tbilisi for his exhibits.

Prior to his time in Tbilisi, he spent two years in the Crimea with botanist Christian von Steven, collecting specimens. With Johann Friedrich von Brandt and Karl Ernst von Baer, Radde made trips to southern Russia and in 1855 was on the East Siberian Expedition, led by Ludwig Schwarz.

In 1895 he sailed to India and Japan with the Grand Duke Michael, and was official naturalist on a visit by members of the Russian Imperial Family to North Africa.

Animals named after him include birds such as Radde’s Warbler and Radde’s Accentor, and the Radde’s Toad, or Siberian (Sand) Toad (Bufo raddei).

Radde was an avid entomologist. His insect and other collections are divided: among various institutions: some in the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences and some in the Georgian National Museum Zoological Section.


The 42nd as Part of the French Fourth Army

On July 15, 1918, 23 German divisions of the First and Third armies, led by Bruno von Mudra and Karl von Einem, launched an attack on the French Fourth Army, beginning the Second Battle of the Marne. The 42nd Division was temporarily attached to the Fourth Army at the time.

Precisely where Leslie Darling was when the assault began is not known. However, as the 168th Infantry was in the 42nd Division, the Guardsmen from Iowa were arm-to-arm with the French soldiers under Gouraud. They were assigned to an area just to the east of Reims.

The next day, July 16, General Gouraud sent out the following to those under his command. It is from volume six (VI) of Source Records of the Great War, edited by Charles F. Horne.

To the French and American Soldiers of the Army:

We may be attacked from one moment to another.  You all feel that a defensive battle was never engaged in under more favourable conditions.

We are warned, and we are on our guard.  We have received strong reinforcements of infantry and artillery.  You will fight on ground which by your assiduous labour you have transformed into a formidable fortress, into a fortress which is invincible if the passages are well guarded.

The bombardment will be terrible.  You will endure it without weakness.  The attack in a cloud of dust and gas will be fierce, but your positions and your armament are formidable.

The strong and brave hearts of free men beat in your breasts.  None will look behind, none will give way.  Every man will have but one thought – “Kill them, kill them in abundance, until they have had enough.”

And therefore your General tells you it will be a glorious day.


The 42nd Division Arrives in France

I didn’t realize how precarious the situation was in November of 1917. The very existence of the 42nd Division, the Rainbow, was in question. There were so many competing interests, both within the American military establishment, as shown here, and among the Allies. Pershing and Wilson were under almost constant pressure to place American soldiers in foreign units, under foreign command.

On arriving in France, however, it was other American units that wanted the men of the 42nd Division to fill the ranks. Author Donald Smythe in Pershing: General of the Armies explains (pgs. 61-62):

By November the AEF had four divisions in France: the 1st, 2d, 26th, and 42d. The first three were short 20,000 men. Since it was imperative to bring them up to full strength, it seemed logical to take the recently arrived 42d Division and break it up as replacements. General Mann, its commander, was unfit and scheduled soon to retire. It had not yet begun its training as a division, its artillery had not yet been assigned its material, and it was the only division of the four with complete personnel ready to feed into needy units. Accordingly, Fox Conner, Acting Chief of Operations, supported by Harbord, recommended classifying the 42d as a replacement division.

The only trouble was, the 42d Division was Secretary Baker’s personal creation. The previous summer he had remarked to Douglas MacArthur, who was on the War Department General Staff, that he “wished we had a division in which there were components from every State so that each State could take pride in the fact that some of its own boys were among the first to go.” MacArthur suggested that many National Guard divisions had surplus units which might be joined together to form such a unit. … Thus was born the famous Rainbow Division. Maj. Gen. William A. Mann, Chief of the Militia Bureau, was enthusiastic about the project and became the division’s first commander. MacArthur became its Chief of Staff.

Arriving in France, however, the Rainbow found itself being cannibalized. Equipment, supplies, and clothing were taken from it to supply deficiencies in the 1st and 26th Divisions. Thirty-three of its finest officers, including the incomparable Summerall, destined to become a postwar Army Chief of Staff, were reassigned either to Chaumont or to other divisions. Mann and MacArthur protested vigorously, the latter going so far as to leak to newsman Herbert Corey as story which Chaumont subsequently killed.

While far from a vigorous general, Mann was a very active politician with many influential friends in Washington because of his years there as a Chief of the Militia Bureau. MacArthur had the respect of Secretary Baker and the ear of the press. The division itself, representing units from twenty-six different states and the District of Columbia, had received extensive publicity and acquired a widespread constituency concerned about its survival…

To Chaumont, however, the 42d Division was a test case. By all the rules of logic, it should be the replacement division. If it was not, it would establish the precedent of allowing National Guard units special consideration, a policy fraught with danger. If National Guard units could not be used for replacements, then National Army units (those formed by the draft) must be. Since these were not expected in Europe for some time (the first did not arrive until April), AEF divisions would continue to be understaffed and underequipped. Fox Conner told Harbord that if they allowed the Rainbow to get away with their political maneuverings, it would become increasingly difficult to control National Guard divisions. There would not be one U.S. Army in Europe, but two.

The Rainbow was indeed maneuvering. Mann, MacArthur, and others alerted influential friends back home, and before long the War Department received a barrage of letters and telegrams demanding that the division be saved. In Europe MacArthur collared Harbord, an old friend from Philippine days, and asked him personally to inspect the division and judge “whether such a splendid unit should be relegated to a replacement status.”

Harbord did and was impressed. He then drew up a list of reasons for Pershing, pro and con, about making the 42d a replacement unit. They were mostly con. Perhaps his most cogent reason was the last: “I much fear that if you used it for replacement without notice to the War Department that you will not be permitted on the other hand if you ask the War Department that you will not be permitted to do it.” That settled the matter. Pershing designated the next division to arrive, the 41st (also National Guard troops) as the replacement unit. The Rainbow Division was saved. It became one of the best divisions in the AEF.

Note that Chaumont, a community in France, was the site of the General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Force, in World War I. Unfortunately Smythe makes it sound as if Chaumont is a person, an actual general. The National Guard comprised 40 percent of the U.S. combat divisions in France during the war.


Psalm 78: ‘I Will Use Stories’

On the J. Raymond Ton Education Center at Peoples Church is written:

What we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

The building expansion was dedicated on January 1, 1984. A plaque adorns the north-facing exterior wall. Inscribed on it, which I quoted above, are the words from Psalm 78, verses three and four. This was the inspiration for me to search for Bible passages with the word generations. This led to my discovery of Deuteronomy 32:7.

Christ used Psalm 78 as part of the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven.

All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon.”

Listen, dear friends, bend your ears to what I tell you
Hear and heed the words
What we have heard and learned
I will open my mouth in a parable
I will utter dark sayings of old
I will speak of mysteries from the past
Things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world
And that which we have heard and known, things from of old—
Stories we have heard
that which our ancestors have told us
What we learned at our mother’s knee
Some our fathers have told us
Remember, do not keep these to yourself
Instead reveal these
So that your descendants might
make insightful observations about the past
Do not conceal them
But tell to the generations to come
So that the generations to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
Then they will rise up and tell their descendants about them

I will use stories.”