May 21, 2009

Uncle Louis..Thank a Soldier

I am going to write about a young man, Louis P Schultz, whom, when I was young, heard little about . Now ,as I have grown older, I have to ask myself about Louis and what was he like? I sure admire him for his bravery in War, and sacrifices made. The year prior to entering the armed services, he farmed with my grandfather outside of Sandwich, Illinois . Mom said they had a good childhood, often teasing and playing as kids do. They swam in a small stream nearby and walked 2 miles to Sandy Bluff School. When 26 yrs, Louis had entered the army and was stationed at Camp Grant..Later, he would die in France, ( World war I), "going over th hill", which was I believe meant coming out of a fox hole in advance of attacking the enemy.. He was my mom's older brother and his death at the young age of 26yrs, would forever bring a shadow over my mother's eyes as she spoke of the loss of her brother. Mom was 13 years old when her brother was killed in action . Imagine going through such a loss in a family. Some of you may already have and can understand how important I feel it is to honor my family's World War 1 hero, the uncle I never met.
I can say this about him and others that we honor this Memorial Day. We thank them for the ultimate sacrifice they made, in order to know and appreciate freedoms we have today. They fought so valiantly for us all. . . Our servicemen are a special breed of men. Contrary to popular belief, not all men can be Infantrymen as my uncle was. . True, they can do the tasks that are required of an Infantry man, but at their core being, it takes a special breed of man to be able to be an Infantryman, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Image Hosting by Uncle Louis ( very top left between my mom and aunt Leona )
This is my uncle's obituary, thanks to the Sandwich District Library with help of Ken Bastian

Lewis Paul Schultz 1918.11.01

On Sunday last, Sandwich paid its last tribute of honor and respect to another of its boys who paid with his life the supreme sacrifice that the democracy of the world might be perpetuated and the onrush of the militarists and hordes of the Huns checked. It was the first time Sandwich people had been called upon to stand at the bier of one of its boys with bowed heads and weeping eyes who fell at the front. It was over the coffin of Lewis Paul Schultz that this signal honor was paid.

Lewis P. Schultz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Schultz, was born near Sandwich November 2, 1892; here he attended school and grew to young manhood. When the late war broke out he enlisted at Camp Grant June 24, 1918, and was assigned to Company 31, 161st Depot Brigade. He was appointed “Corporal” July 26, 1916, and assigned to Co. 1, 343rd Infantry. He sailed for action overseas about the 21st of September 1918, where he was assigned to Company B, 111th Infantry, 28th Division. He was wounded in action on November 4, 1918, in the Metz sector on the edge of the hill in front of Xammes and died the same day in Mobile Hospital No. 39.The body reached Sandwich Thursday night and was taken to the home of his parents, where it was fully identified by the filling of gold in his teeth.

The funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon under the auspices of Sandwich Post 181, American Legion, who acted as escort from the home to the Methodist Church, where an eloquent sermon in keeping with the occasion was given to Rev. J. J. Hitchens.

The body was then taken to Oak Ridge Cemetery, where the beautiful and impressive funeral services were read by Past Commander R. G. Dakin and after the flag and flower covered coffin containing the remains of the young soldier was lowered to its last resting place a salute was fired by the firing squad and he was left alone with his Maker.
Besides his parents, he leaves three sisters, Ethel, Leona, Junietta and two brothers, Frank and Raymond, to mourn his death, besides a host of young friends.The funeral services were largely attended by friends and relatives of the family and boys from the Plano American Legion Post. The floral offerings were many and beautiful, expressing in a mute way, the loss sustained by the family and the community.
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Last week, several members of the Schultz family, my sister and brother included, attended a special memorial serice in Sandwich, Il. , where after his death, the VFW gave honor by naming their building after him.
Mom would have been so proud to have heard tribute given to him, as she always announced " this isthe VFW named after my brother Louis", when we drove by the VFW . Some how I think she and her sibblings, Frank, Lenona, Raymond and Ethel my dear grandparents were all there in spirit last Saturday..
Personally , I am say "thank you Uncle Louis ..You had a very short life but gave more than any of us could ever possibly know, and have made us all very proud.".
I wish I would have got to know him . I think he was probably much like my Uncle Raymond and Frank . As I look at all the pictures of all the Schultz kids together while growing up, I know in my heart he had a good life while here on earth, and is with the angels now.
We honor you Uncle Louis...Thank you!
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Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. Nothing could be further away from the truth.
Memorial Day formerly was observed on May 30. On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays (Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day) from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. That change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date - to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.
Memorial Day is about coming together to honor those who gave their lives in the service to theirs and OUR country.I hope all can observe a memorial service this year.
My sister sent this to me today to add to this infor about Louis.
This is the letter written by Lewis Paul Schultz to his sister Leona and her husband Roy. They lived in Joliet, Ill. at the time.The heading on the lined paper read:

Army and Navy
Young Men’s Christian Association
“With the Colors”
Camp Grant
Rockford, Ills

July 13th, 1918

(Some parts of the letter have deteriorated so I will have to guess at the words that are missing. Most of it is intact.)

Dear Leona and Roy,

I could not get a pass to go home to-day so I thought I would write. We have been camping out in the trenches three nights this week so could not do any writing. I am now transferred to the 343 infantry a part of the 86th division but I think I will not go across with them. I think I will be here till the latter part of August. This much harder drilling than I had in the 31st. We camp out on the rifle range next week. K have got every bit of my equipment now used in warfare except a half tent.
It is no joke sleeping out in the open nights on the hard ground with only two blankets. In the morning the blankets are wringing wet with dew and a person nearly freezes to death
We marched in a parade to-day. Governor Lowden and Major General Martin reviewed the troops. After the parade, we marched to the camp pavilion and heard the speech by the governor and two French generals.Our camp pavilion seats 20,000 people. Only the 86th division and the 343rd took part in the parade.

Part of the fellows that were drafted from the Sandwich with Clarence Houghtalen go to France in two weeks. I think I will stay till the latter part of August from what I heard Captain Barnat of our company telling one of the sergeants.
Otto Colkow is now in California. I got a letter from George the other day telling me.
I would of sent that watch either home or to you to be fixed but have nothing to send it in .
If you ever come out here the best way is to go to Aurora and take the Camp special. The Burlington runs right to our camp. If you come out Sunday telephone the night before to the barracks and I could meet you at the train Sunday. And you could also find out that way if I was in the Camp. Take the 6:20 p.m.

We have been drilling mostly in the trench warfare and French formation this week.

The trenches are quite a ways out of camp and you have to march there with a 75 pound pack on your back and a rifle. The rifle we use is the one we go across with. The U.S. 1917 model improved Enfield. It is not the old Enfield. It weighs twelve pounds.

I am now toughened into this kind of work. The feed we get at this barracks is better than at the 31st.The Yorkville bunch I came with are all split up now. Some of them sent different camps. Martin Otto was transferred to head-quarters Co. of the camp. I only seen him once this week.There are none of them with me.

I will close now hoping to hear from you again soon and possibly see you.

Your brother and brother-in-law
Private Lewis Paul Schultz
Co. I. 343 Infantry
Barracks 217 W
Camp Grant
Rockford, Ills.

(At the bottom of the paper is typed the sentence…To the writer: Save by Writing on BOTH sides of the PAPER to the folks at Home: Save Food. Buy Liberty BONDS and War Time Savings STAMPS

Lewis; Grandma Wellman’s brother, was 26 years old when signing up to go to the Army. He helped his father with the family farm prior to this. Aunt Leona and he must have been very close; I have a picture of him in Uniform that with some things of hers (along with this letter) and on the back of it she wrote…my brother and my protector. Grandma Wellman was 13 years old when he died….on her birthday, Nov. 4th, 1918. They were not notified until mid December. As I read this letter I felt like crying; his life sadly ended all too soon and so tragically. Another part of this story told by my mother, Junietta…. Before he was sent overseas, the neighbors had a party for him and presented him with a gold ring to wear. As he lay wounded on the battlefield; a fellow soldier from the Sandwich area found him and Lewis removed his ring and asked that he give it to his mother when the fellow returned home after the war. His last thoughts were of his mother; he knew how hard his death would be for her. It would be his last gift to her. After the war the young man did return the ring to Gussie; she wore it until she lost it. A fortune teller said it was somewhere among the flowers; and no doubt it might have been as she loved flowers and worked in her flower beds. It was never found.

This photo was recently discovered by my nephew , Jon Roth.  I am   not sure, but believed to be that of Uncle Louis .
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