10 Years Ago
Week of November 8, 2012
The Pendleton Past
by Harold Garber
This week I want to blend some isolated facts gleaned from wide reading to honor one of the veterans of Pendleton County.
It might be well to first point out the significance of Veteran’s Day. Most of us have been told in some early US history class that Nov. 11, 1918, was the date that the Armistice was signed ending World War I. The signing had extra significance because the signing of the Armistice took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918. The first Armistice Day was observed one year later, proclaimed by President Wilson. He said on the occasion: “To us in America the reflection of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
As for Veterans Day itself, President Eisenhower established the bill through Congress in 1954, and the same year Congress amended the law replacing the word “Armistice” with “Veterans” Day. In 1971, it became one of those movable “Monday” holidays, but because of the significance of the date, it now is always observed on Nov. 11.
Always in our minds and hearts when we think of valor among those who have served from Pendleton County is Medal of Honor Winner Clinton M. Hedrick. I am well aware that many tributes have been given, many through “The Pendleton Times,” but I’d like to share a little more of his story by sharing some information about his unit and what they had been embroiled in prior to his death on March 28, 1945.
First, I had forgotten that Tech Sgt. Hedrick had been a member of the 194th Glider Infantry. I was amazed at the peril these units endured as they were pulled by tow planes to areas often behind enemy lines in Europe. Many were shot down, others wrecked on attempted landings. If you have any interest in this subject, a book worth reading is “Hell’s Highway,” about the campaign in Holland.
Just what unit Sgt. Hedrick began his service with when he joined in September 1940, I’m not sure. His enlistment preceded the formation of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment by more than two years. The 194th was constituted on 16 December 1942. It was activated April 1943 at Camp Mackall, NC, under the command of Colonel James R. Pierce who graduated West Point in 1922 along with General Maxwell Taylor, the commander of the 101st Airborne Division. The 194th GIR was immediately assigned to the 17th Airborne Division. Moved to the Tennessee Maneuver Area 7 February 1944 then transferred to Camp Forrest, TN, March 1944. Staged at Camp Myles Standish, MA, 14 August 1944. Departed the Boston Port of Embarkation 20 August 1944 and arrived in England on 28 August 1944.
When the 194th GIR arrived in England, the regiment immediately shuttled to Camp Chisledon, the 17th Airborne Division staging area, on August 28, 1944. Flight and tactical training continued and night maneuvers were added to the training schedule. When Operation Market Garden was initiated, the 17th Airborne Division was still in training and was held in strategic reserve.
Suddenly, on December 16, 1944, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which caught the Allies completely by surprise. The 17th was still in England. But the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were in Sissones, France and were rushed by truck to contain the bulge in the Allied lines. Between December 17 and 23, the Germans were halted near St. Vith by the 82nd Airborne and Gastogne by a roadblock, defended by the US 7th Armored Division and the 101st Airborne Division. To help reinforce the siege at Bastogne the entire 17th Airborne Division was finally committed to combat in the European Theater of Operations.
From 23 to 25 December, elements of the Division were flown to the Reims area in France in spectacular night flights, then hastily trucked into Belgium. Meanwhile, Patton’s Third US Army had finally broke the siege at Bastogne with a marathon thrust from the south. Upon arriving the 513PIR and the other elements of the 17th Airborne Division were attached to Patton’s Third U.S. Army and ordered to immediately close in at Mourmelon. After taking over the defense of the Meuse River sector from Givet to Verdun on 25 December, the 17th moved to Neufchateau, Belgium, then marched through the snow to Morhet, relieveing the 28th Infantry Division on 3 January 1945 and establishing a Division Command Post.
40 Years Ago
Week of November 11, 1982
Fence for Controlling Deer Being Tested in WV
The results of a four-year study of practical control measures against deer herds feeding on agricultural crops in Pennsylvania are being tested in West Virginia.
The Mountaineers for Rural Progress Wildlife Committee has constructed a demonstration fence at the Elk River public hunting area near the Braxton County Airport.
The fence is the Penn State 5-Wire Electric Deer Fence. MRP seeded two acres of buckwheat and built a PS 5-Wire fence around one acre. As of late September the deer had not penetrated the fenced area but had grazed heavily on the buckwheat outside the enclosed area.
In the Pennsylvania State University research six experimental deer fence designs and 14 deer repellants were tested. The researchers say the major benefit of the project was the development and evaluation of the Penn State 5-Wire Electric Deer fence. They conclude it is a low-cost, effective method of deer control on alfalfa, small grains, corn, vegetables, orchards and Christmas trees.
Historically, deer-proof fences were constructed with woven wire at least eight feet high. Alternative low-cost fencing designs developed by the PSU project show promise in preventing excessive damage to farm crops. High-tensil wire and special energizers offer new fencing methods at less than one-fourth the price of materials of eight-foot fences.Construction costs also are considerably lower.
The PSU wildlife specialists designed the fence based on deer behavior. Knowing that deer usually try to go under or through a fence rather than over it, the specialists spaced the wire to make the fence 58 inches high. The bottom wire is kept approximately 10 inches off the ground and the other four wires are spaced at 12-inch intervals.
The PS 5-Wire’s high voltage shocks the deer sufficiently to modify their behavior. After an encounter they avoid the fence by as much as three to four feet. This distance does not lend itself to jumping because the deer usually come within inches of a barrier before leaping.
50 Years Ago
Week of November 2, 1972
Muzzle Loader Shoot
At Treasure Mountain Festival Draws
One might have thought he was in the middle of the Revolutionary War with the loud reports from rifles, the stench of black powder and buckskin attired riflemen on every side.
What was actually taking place, however, was the muzzle loading rifle shooting contest on September 16 on Route 33, four miles east of Franklin. It was one of the features of the Treasure Mountain Festival.
A total of 41 marksmen participated in the contest and it attracted a large audiene throughout the day.
One of the most interesting features of the contest was a primitive match entitled,”Seneca Run.”
This contest tested not only the competitor’s marksmanship with the old muzzle loader, but also his endurance and his ability to use flint, tomahawks and knives.
37 High School Students In Hanover Work
The Vocational Educational Department of West Virginia in 1970 granted permission to the Hanover Shoe Company in conjunction with the Pendleton Couunty Board of Education to undertake a new approach to introduce high school students to the world of work.
Franklin High School is cooperating with Hanover Shoe Company in this work experience for junior and senior high school students. Kenneth Harper, principal, announced today that a total of 36 persons are working from 3 to 5 hours per day. One student is also attending from Circleville High School.
60 Years Ago
Week of November 8, 1962
100 YEARS AGO
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
Elections Hurt Lincoln; McClellan Loses Job
A lot of Union congressmen and Gen. George B. McClellan lost their jobs 100 years ago this week.
The congressmen could blame the voters and the November 4 elections for their loss. McClellan could blame President Lincoln who removed him from command. Lincoln could blame the people for his loss, because the elections had hurt him badly.
Lincoln had suffered a defeat. When the final results were in from the fall elections, the important states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and even Lincoln’s own state of Illinois had given victories to the Democrats and had repudiated Lincoln’s Republican party. The number of Democratic Congressmen had jumped from 44 to 75, and Lincoln admitted in a letter: “We have lost the elections.” Two years earlier, he had scored a victory in many of those same states.
Newspapers of the day attributed the Republicans election losses to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the slow progress of the war, and to arbitrary arrests resulting from the suspension of Habeas Corpus. Lincoln blamed it on a bad press and on the fact that many Republicans were in uniform at the battle fronts—and hence did not vote.
Almost simultaneous with the election—and having no connection with it—Lincoln fired his top field general, McClellan. The President’s patience had finally worn out.
McClellan’s slowness had become proverbial. He had been too slow on the peninsula outside Richmond the preceding spring; he had been too slow at Antietam in Maryland in September and had allowed Robert E. Lee’s army to slip away intact. Now, he was showing his old habits of delay in marching from Maryland toward Richmond.
There was still more cause for Lincoln’s impatience with McClellan. For McClellan represented the conservatives of the Federal army, and it was no secret that McClellan did not relish the principles involved in the Emancipation Proclamation. By that proclamation, the war had become one to restore the Union and to free the slave. McClellan was fighting for only one of those causes—the Union. His time had come to an end.
McClellan was in his tent near Warrenton, Va., on the cold and snowy night of November 7 when the word came. An envoy from Washington came to his tent at midnight with Gen. Ambrose Burnside.
The three talked pleasantly a moment and then got down to business. The orders were given McClellan: “You will immediately turn over your command to Maj. Gen. Burnside and repair to Trenton, N. J., (McClellan’s home town) for further orders…”
Burnside had similar orders placing him in command.
Three days later, McClellan bid his troops goodbye in an emotional review in which the soldiers cheered lustily as their favorite general rode down among their ranks on his black horse. Then he rode off from his men, never to return to them.
Next week: Great Britian Stays Neutral.
New Post Office
Residents of Franklin have been struggling with a new problem for the past several days—learning to open their new post office boxes. And from the comments overheard in the post office lobby, some progress is being made but much of the mystery of the new combinations persists.
The new post office was officially opened on Monday of last week, marking the second time in the past 21 years that the Franklin Post Office has outgrown its quarters and had to be moved to a larger building.
A total of 426 post office boxes are available for patrons, an increase of 174 over the number in the former office. A shortage of boxes had existed for the past three years.