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Battery E & Battery F, 58th Artillery, CAC


Batteries E and F, comprising the Third Battalion, were the first units to complete their organization and to bear the regimental designation. The Fifth Company (Regulars), stationed at Fort Smallwood, Maryland, was ordered to Fort Howard, Coast Defense Headquarters, and became the foundation of Battery E. The Battery was completed by the assignment of troops from the other regular companies of the Command and of National Army men.
Battery E’s officers were:
Captain R. H. Boykin
Captain Willard M. Hall
Captain Theodore W. Janeway
1st Lt. Roscoe P. DeWitt
1st Lt. Wilton B. Persons
1st Lt. Frank E. O’Neill
1st Lt. Dana L. Barbour
1st Lt. Marcus W. Clayton
1st Lt. John E. Hurst
1st Lt. George F. Prescott
1st Lt. Francis P. Miller
1st Lt. Romie D. Judd
2d Lt. Frederick H. Hennighausen
2d Lt. James W. Foster
2d Lt. Winfield S. Jewell, Jr.
2d Lt. Herbert E. Strong
2d Lt. James T. Watson
2d Lt. Charles H. Poole

No member of Battery E was killed or wounded in Battle but Pvt. Monroe Hodge was killed in an accident when a 75mm gun burst accidentally at La Courtine, France.

The names of Battery E’s four guns were:
No. 1 Gun "Finish La Guerre"
No. 2 Gun "Old Reliable"
No. 3 Gun "Gimex"
No. 4 Gun "Comme ca"

On the left are three officers of the 58th Artillery, two of which are of Battery E

Left: Captain Willard M. Hall, C.A.C. pictured here as a 1st Lt. formerly of Battery A, 58th Artillery. He was promoted to Captain and was moved to Battery E, where he was Battery Commander. Willard Hall was born in Arizona. Captain Hall was in the Coast Artillery Corps before the 58th Artillery was formed.

Center: Captain George V. Litchfield, M.C. of the Medical Detachment. Captain Ltichfield was born in Virginia and entered the Army from North Carolina.

Right: Captain Theodore W. Janeway, C.A.C. Battery E, 58th Artillery. Captain Janeway was born in New York and entered the Army from New York.


The Regimental Muster of the 58th Artillery, C.A.C.

As I find and uncover history of men who served in the 58th Artillery during WWI I will list them here. Please if you have a family member who also served in the 58th Artillery contact me and I will add it to this list.


Pvt. John W. Arthur, 629405

John W. Arthur was born on July 11, 1896 to George F. and Hattie M. Arthur. John came from a large family and was the fourth eldest child born in a family that, in 1910 consisted of eight children.

The George F. Arthur family lived in Spring Creek Township in Phelps County, Missouri on a farm that he worked to support his family. George Arthur was born about 1862 in Missouri. About 1884 George married Hattie Turner, who was also born in Missouri about the year 1871.

In May of 1910, according to the 1910 Federal Census, George and Hattie had eight children living in the home. Albert, who was born in 1889, was in 1910 a 21-year old schoolteacher in a country schoolhouse in Spring Creek Township, Missouri. About 1893 a daughter named Nellie J. was born followed by another son named Walter J. about 1895. John W. came next in 1896 and sons Frank C., Jessie B., and George E. in 1899, 1903 and 1906 respectively. Mayme E., a daughter was born about 1908. By 1910 Hattie had given birth to 11 children, 10 of which were still living.

By the time John W. turned 21-years old he was living in Flat, Missouri, but it is not known if this was with the family or if he lived on his own. America was being pulled into the growing conflict in Europe, which would also draw John Arthur far from his birth place in Rolla, Missouri to the Continent of Europe to take part in one of the defining events of the 20th Century, that of America's part in WWI.

Twenty-one year old John W. Arthur was inducted into the United States Army at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, given his uniform, Service Number of 629405 and given the rank of Private. After a period of training he was assigned to the Coast Artillery branch of the Army.

Most of the men from Battery E, 58th Artillery, C.A.C., came from Regular Coast Artillery men stationed at Ft. Smallwood, Maryland. The balance of men needed to fill out the wartime needs of Battery E came from men in the National Army. These were men who enlisted into the Army and did not come from the Federal Draft. And this would have been how Pvt. John W. Arthur came to be assigned to Battery E of the 58th Artillery.

Pvt. Arthur served with Battery E the entire time he was in the Army and served overseas from May 22, 1918 until his return to the States on April 27, 1919. After his discharge from the Army John returned back to Spring Creek, Missouri to the family farm. In January of 1920 the family consisted of his father and mother, George and Hattie, 3 of his brothers, 25-year old James W., 14-year old George C., and 7-year old Clarence G., and his youngest sister 12-year old Mayme. Also living in the home was Hattie's mother, 79-year old Eliza N. Turner, who was widowed. James and his father worked the family farm but John worked for another farmer as a farm hand.

Sometime later in 1921 John married a 19-year old woman named Isabell Trzecki, who was born about 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. Isabell’s parents had emigrated from Poland and settled in the St. Louis area with 6 daughters and 1 son. About 1923 John and Isabell had a daughter named Thelma. She was born in Michigan and so by at least 1923 John and Isabelle had moved from Missouri to Michigan. The reason for the move to Michigan was that at least two of Isabell’s sisters and her brother had moved to Michigan, likely in search of better jobs during the years after World War One.

It is known that in May of 1930 John and Isabell were living in Dearborn, Michigan where John was working as a machinist in an automobile factory. The home in which John, Isabell and Thelma lived was at 6627 Chase Road in Dearborn, which was owned by John and valued at $2,800.

Family stories recounted from Thelma about her father and mother, tell us that John and Isabell may have had a candy store at some point during the time they lived in Michigan.

Thelma Arthur in 1947 was married to John Pogorzelski and has been married for over 60 years now and has lived in the St. Louis area all their lives.

At the age of 57, John W. Arthur passed away and his wife Isabell lived another 12 years passing away in 1965. Both are buried in the Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Photo of John and Isabell Arthur's grave stone taken by Judy Linnebach. Thelma (Arthur) Pogorzelski is Judy's Aunt.


Battery E and the Russian Connection

"In 1881, Czar Alexander II was assassinated, and the Russians blamed it on the Jews. Decades of pogroms against the Jewish population followed. This anti-Semitism and deplorable economic conditions drove millions of Jews from Eastern Europe; 2 million went to the United States. Most Jewish Americans are descended from these persons, and there is a wealth of genealogical information about them." Gary Mokotoff "The Source, A Guidebook of American Genealogy" (Revised edition, 1997), p. 617. Battery E had seven men who were born in Russia. There were other men from Russia in the 58th Artillery as well but Battery E had the most. Below is a list of these men.

Sgt. Ellis Tilles 629318 Entered the Army from Maryland.
Cpl. John Cohen 609928 Entered the Army from New York.
Cpl. Joseph Rakso 629386 Entered the Army from New Jersey.
Pvt. John Gertner 631876 Entered the Army from New York.
Pvt. Tom Jills 629459 Entered the Army from Missouri.
Pvt. Herman Levy 629463 Entered the Army from New Jersey.
Pvt. Alexander Suppa 629525 Entered the Army from Pennsylvania.


Cpl. John Cohen, 609928

John Cohen was born July 21, 1887 in Odessa Russia to Jewish parents. Various sources give the year of immigration to the United States as 1892, 1902, 1907, and 1908. Family legend says that John Cohen rode in the Punitive Expedition pursuing Pancho Villa. From March 1916 through February 1917 the 10,000 soldiers, under the command of General "Black Jack" Pershing, traveled through deserts and over mountains some 400 miles into Mexico. Pershing was soon to be the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in the Great War, World War One.

On August 27, 1917 at the age of 30 John Cohen [re-]enlists in the Regular Army from Buffalo, New York. Assigned to Fort Slocum, New York as a Private in the Army. Assigned to the Ordnance Department, Sandy Hook Proving Grounds, Sandy Hook New Jersey, 13 November 1917. Stationed at the Ordnance Department, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen Maryland, 14 November 1917 – 25 February 1918. Transferred to the Coast Defense of Baltimore, Maryland, Fort Howard Maryland, 26 February 1918 – 28 March 1918. Transferred to Battery E, 58th Artillery, C.A.C. 29 March 1918 to discharge.

John Cohen's 1922
passport application photo.

Anna Elizabeth Cohen (Herschbach)

[John Cohen would have been in the 5th Company, Coast Defenses of Baltimore, which made up the 1st Co. at Fort Smallwood. In December of 1917 this unit became Battery E, 58th Artillery at Fort Howard.]

Upon discharge from the 58th Artillery on May 7, 1919 Cpl. John Cohen re-enlisted in the Army as a Private in Company F, 5th Prov. Infantry Brigade. On October 18, 1919 he sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey for France on board the S.S. PRESIDENT GRANT. On October 30, 1919 the ship arrived in Brest, France.

According to the Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920 Population as Enumerated the 2nd day of April 1920 by 1st Lieut. Paul S. Beard. Sgt. John Cohen was listed as being in Company F, 5th Regiment, Infantry, Andernach Germany. Andernach is on the Rhein River, half way between Koblenz and Bonn, just North-East of Mayen, Germany. He meets and eventually marries Anna Elizabeth Herschbach from the nearby town of Ettringen-Eiffel. On a family vacation, Anna said she was married in Koblenz, Germany. According to the 1930 Census, Anna was married at age 19 (1921 - 1922).

20 April 1920. Sgt. John Cohen transferred to HQ Company from Company F. 5th Infantry, Andernach, Germany.

11 June 1920. Appointed Mess Sergeant. 5th Infantry, Andernach, Germany.

18 September 1921. John and Anna Cohen's first son, Edgar, born in Ettringen, Germany.

7 December 1921. Furlough 21 days in Belgium, France and England. Still a sergeant, HQ Co., 5th Infantry, Andernach, Germany.

11 March 1922. Embarked Antwerp, Belgium on the S.S. CANTIGNY.

21 March 1922. Arrived at Portland Maine. Still a sergeant, HQ Co., 5th Inf.

29 May 1922. Naturalized as a citizen of the United States before the District Court of United States at Boston, Mass. Permanent residence at Fort Williams, Maine.

1 August 1922. Applied for a passport for the purpose of traveling to Germany, Belgium and France with an intended departure from New York on 1 September 1922. The application also states that since his immigration he was a resident of Detroit, Michigan and the Army thereafter. Height 5'7", brown hair, grey eyes. Place of birth given as Odessa, Russia, and father's name given as Solomon Cohen.

September 1922. Stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts according to NARA. No supporting documentation.

25 November 1922, Arrived Ellis Island (listed with given name misspelled as Jahn) with wife Anna and son Edgar on The Reliance out of Hamburg, Germany. Manifest states they were married 11 October 1922, his passport number is 212086 (issued Washington, 14 August 1922), and he is stationed at Fort William, Maine.

24 June 1923. While stationed at Fort Devens his second son, John Ralph, is born. Birth certificate at Harvard, Massachusetts, Town Clerk.

12 September 1924. Third child, daughter Alice Elizabeth born. Birth certificate registered at Cape Elizabeth Maine.

April 1925. Stationed at Fort Williams, Maine according to NARA. No supporting documentation.

19??. Discharged from the Army with over 12 years of service?

30 May 1926. Death of first child, Edgar, in Detroit at age 4 years 8 months and 12 days. Buried 1 June, 1926, Grand Lawn Cemetery, 23501 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Section 13, Lot 26, Grave 13.

1926 – 1927 Detroit City Directory gives his business as Fruit Dealer.

24 October 1927. Wife Anna is naturalized by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, at Detroit.

1927 – 1928 Detroit City Directory gives his business as Produce.

4 December 1935. At age 48 John Cohen applies for a Social Security account Number. Residence is 11359 Woodmont, Detroit, Michigan and place of work is Ford Motor Company. He gives place of birth as Russia, but for Father's name gives Harry Cohen (name given to Army as brother on 18 October 1919). For Mother’s full maiden name uses his Mother-in-law, Barbara Hilger.

16 December 1961. Dies of Coronary Sclerosis with critical narrowing. Also Carcinoma of Prostate. Death certificate gives birth place as Russia, Father’s name as Charlie, Mother’s maiden name as Pearl. Occupation: Retired Plant Guard and veteran of WWI.

19 December 1961. Funeral at Lawrence J. Griffin Funeral home, and burial at Holy Sepulcher in Detroit, Michigan.

(The above information was contributed by John Carr, the grandson of John Cohen.)


Battery F

William Edward Thompson, Jr., Wagoner, Battery F

Wm. E. (Tom) Thompson IV shared the following "family stories" about his grand father's service in France.

My grandfather, William Edward Thompson Jr, of Centreville, Maryland sailed on the USS Covington as part of the 58th Artillery. I have the book, History of the 58th Artillery C.A.C. It has my grandfather listed on page 135 as a Wagoner for Battery "F".

As a family story goes, sometime after landing in France, the then Major Thomas A. Terry, (later a Lt. Colonel), asked if any man knew how to drive an automobile. My grandfather did and volunteered becoming Major Terry's Chauffeur. This perhap's kept my grandfather away from "the front" and surviving his tour of duty.

Another "story" has it that in a French town, perhaps Lemoges, where the 58th was serving, a Madame Lemoges, of Lemoges China, had invited officers to her home for a party one night. After driving Major Terry to the party my grandfather waited outside with the car. Madame Lemoges spotted him and asked him why he was not inside at the party. He responded that he was not an officer. To which she told him to go ahead in at her invitation. Once inside Major Terry saw my grandfather and asked him what he thought he was doing inside at the party. The story ends with him telling Major Terry, Madame Lemoges invited him in. Kind of hard to research this, but that is the story told to me.

William Edward Thompson Jr. circa 1980


This page was last updated on Sunday, March 9, 2014 ©2004-2014 Joe Hartwell

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