Rare 1921 Photo Shows Burial of War Hero James Bethel Gresham At Evansville IN For Sale
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Rare 1921 Photo Shows Burial of War Hero James Bethel Gresham At Evansville IN:
For sale is an original vintage photograph that relates to James Bethel Gresham. He was one of the first three, if not THE first, American soldier killed in France during World War I. The photo, taken in 1921, shows Gresham's grave site at Locust Hill Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana, Gresham's hometown. The grave is covered with flowers and surrounded by soldiers. Note that Gresham's name is misspelled "Greshem." The photographer's name, Rech, is stamped in the lower right corner. Some background: Gresham was a factory worker in Evansville when on April 23, 1914 he enlisted in the United States Army. In June of 1917, as part of Co F of the 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, he was part of the first group of American troops sent to France for World War I. A few months later, he became one of the first three American soldiers killed in the war. In the pre-dawn hours of November 3, 1917, German soldiers attacked the Americans in their trenches near Artois, France. The Americans were vastly outnumbered, and engaged in hand-to-hand battle with the enemy. At the end of the encounter, three American soldiers were dead, five wounded and 12 taken prisoner. Corporal James Gresham, along with Private Thomas Enright and Private Merle D. Hay, were buried on the battlefield where they fell. Corporal Gresham was later reburied in the American Cemetery in Bathlemon, France, and finally in 1921 was returned to Evansville and buried in Locust Hill Cemetery. This photo measures 7 3/4 by 9 3/4 inches. It is on a mat that measures 11 5/8 by 13 3/4. Both are very good condition. Several names are written on the back, including C.H. Schmitt, Hartley, Hoyt Decker of Vincennes, Wm. Betz of Vincennes, Mr. Norris of Washington, Mr. Halbrage of Rockport and Sgt. Hastings of New Jersey. This piece is extremely rare, and perhaps one-of-a-kind. It would make a wonder addition to any collection of Evansville or military memorabila. See my listings for other vintage items, including another picture of Gresham. I gladly combine shipping fees for multiple purchases when they can be packaged together, and I do ship internationally.
Please e-mail me with any questions, and thanks or looking!
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