Monday, April 6, 2015

Military Monday - Letter From Soldier Wounded in WWI

I've posted several times about the colorful military career of my great-grandfather's brother Edward Creeden. Edward enlisted in the US Army in 1904 from Salt Lake City, Utah. He listed his residence as Pueblo, CO and birthplace as Celina, OH.

Edward served in the Army until 1910 when he enlisted in the Marines at San Francisco, CA. His paperwork as a sharpshooter was transferred from the Army to the Marines. In October 1911, he mysteriously deserted his post in the Marines and reenlisted in the Army a few weeks later. He was honorably discharged from the Army in January 1915.

In August 1917, Edward joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. The Canadian records showed that he was wounded in France in April 1918 and lost his right leg due to a wound from a shell fragment in Arras, France.

An article in the Celina Democrat published on July 26, 1918 details a letter he wrote to his brother Joshua during his recovery. I found the article on the Chronicling America site

Edward Creeden, who has been in a war hospital in England as a result of a gunshot wound received April 20, while in service in France, has written an interesting letter to his brother Joshua, in care of his brother Charley in this city. He has been serving with the Canadian expeditionary forces, and is probably now on his way back to Canada minus his right leg. He has seen much army life, having served in the Phillippins, at Honolulu and along the Mexican border-- thirteen years in all. His letter shows he would like to be back in the war game. He has the proverbial American cheerfulness and fighting spirit, and takes his medicine that way. His friends, however, are sorry to hear of his misfortune.

I had wondered if Edward kept in touch with the family at all, so the article at least solves that mystery. It must've been quite a shock for them to get the news of his injury. I have a long list of places where Edward served, but I didn't know he served in Honolulu or the Mexican border.

I don't know if Edward got his wish to continue with his military service, but it seems unlikely. He was discharged from the Canadian forces as being medically unfit for duty in 1919. He listed his proposed next residence as St. Louis, MO, but I haven't found any records for him there so far.

A possible entry in the census places him in Sedgwick, KS in 1920 and from newspaper articles and his death certificate, I know he died in Newport, KY in 1937. I'm still trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Edward between 1919-1937.

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