PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY MILITARY LEGACY
Written And Compiled By Waukesha Lowe Sammons
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
PHILIPPINE – AMERICAN WAR (1899-1902)
PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, MARINES
REMEMBER AND NAME, A - Z
BRASHEAR, SAMPSON B. (1878-1918), PHILIPPINE – AMERICAN WAR, KILLED IN ACTION IN FRANCE IN WWI.
Hometown: VIPER, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.
Other Residence: Philippines.
Date of Birth: 25 February 1878 in Viper, Perry County, Kentucky.
Son of: Elizabeth Pratt (1852-1924) and James N. Brashear, Jr. (1835-1920).
Paternal Grandson of: Elizabeth “Bet” Young and James N. Brashear, Sr.
Brashear Progenitor: French Huguenot, Benjamin Brashear, who migrated to Virginia and moved on into Maryland.
Occupation: School Teacher in Kentucky, United States of America and the Philippine Islands.
Entered Service From: Kentucky.
PHILIPPINE – AMERICAN WAR, FIRST ENLISTMENT DATE: 25 March 1899 in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky.
FIRST DISCHARGE DATE: 24 March 1902 in Plattsburgh Barracks, New York.
Branch of Service: U. S. Army.
Combat Organization: Company M and Company B, 23rd Infantry Regiment, U. S. Army, during the Philippine Insurrection.
WORLD WAR I, SECOND ENLISTMENT DATE: 1918.
Rank: Second Lieutenant.
Branch of Service: U. S. Army, American Expeditionary Force, World War I.
WWI COMBAT ORGANIZATIONS: 336th Infantry, 168th Infantry Brigade, 84th Division, AEF. Traveled from Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky to Camp Sherman in Ohio and deployed to Great Britain. While in France, his last military service was in Company A, 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, U. S. Army, American Expeditionary Force. The division insignia was “T-O” (Texas – Oklahoma). In World War II, the “T-O” emblem patch earned the name of the “Tough Ombres” Division.
22 September 1918, WORLD WAR I LETTER:
Second Lieutenant Sampson B. Brashear wrote the following transcribed World War I letter to his brother-in-law, William M. Cornett (1888-1931), who was married to Sampson’s sister, Lucinda. William was the son of Polly Ann Wells and Joseph Earl Cornett.
Somewhere in England
Sunday, Sept 22, 1918
Mr. W. M. Cornett
Have been so busy enjoying the voyage and life in general, that I have not taken the time to write a single letter since I left America, although I am still enjoying as much as ever and find this one of the most pleasant days of the whole journey. I feel I should not be so selfish in my own pleasures as not to write and tell the folks at home at least something of our wonderful trip over the sea.
There are many things in connection with it that were of interest that I cannot write, as it would be violation of censorship, for I realize the purpose and importance of a strict censorship. Let me assure you that the censorship is not for the purpose of preventing the people from knowing what is happening or has been happening, but for the purpose of preventing talk or information to the enemy that would be of advantage to him. Many things were of such interest that will keep till the war is over and such time as there will no longer be military secrets. Then I hope to have the pleasure of telling them to you at my liberty and leisure.
In all my wanderings I have spent exactly 300 days on the seas, and on no previous voyage did I ever find ocean travel so interesting or pleasant as this trip has been, nor have I ever felt so safe in any previous long voyage as I did on this one. Before the voyage was ended I found myself hoping that we would encounter a submarine.
I have seen a bit of Ireland and Scotland and considerable of England, and I am wonderfully impressed with the beauty of these old countries, especially their verdure at this time of year. England seems just a continuous succession of gardens with birds and flowers on every hand. I think we are very fortunate in getting a few days rest in England.
I don’t know whether it is because of my wanderlust nature or not, but I have been happy from the time we left Camp Sherman to this very hour. I am looking into the future optimistic in the belief that this world catastrophe is going to end happily, not only for us Americans, but for the whole world (the Hapsburgs and the Hohenzollerns excepted) and that the condition of the world as a whole is going to be better after the war has ended than it was before the war began.
I will be too busy to write many letters, so if anyone is interested in hearing what I have to write from Europe, you may pass this letter on to them.
SAMPSON B. BRASHEAR
Censored by S. B. Brashear,
2nd Lt. U. S. A.
25 September 1918: Brashear left Liverpool, England and landed in Le Havre, France, which was confirmed by his letters.
3 October 1918: “... the 84th was skeletonized on October 3rd 1918 and on October 9th about 10,000 men were transferred to 1 Division Depot as replacements.” Source: A post on June 9, 2014 by 4thGordons on the website of The Great War Forum, Regiments in the U. S. 84th Division.
8 October 1918: In a letter Brashear mentioned, that he was in the 336th Infantry on October 8, and would be transferred the next day on October 9, 1918. 17 October 1918: Sampson B. Brashear wrote, “I have traveled over much of France; have served in three regiments and in two different companies of one regiment...”
The two following transcribed World War I letters were written by Second Lieutenant Sampson B. Brashear to Virginia Page Sampson (born July 1898), who was the daughter of Martha Shanks (1876-1956) and Logan Dewitt Sampson (1874-1953) and the sister of Elizabeth Sampson. The family lived at 344 Peterson Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. Was Elizabeth’s husband, James Ryan Bryant, the same Lt. Bryant mentioned in Brashear’s letters?
Oct. 8, 1918
Dear Miss Sampson:
Have just received your card and am flattered at your great expectations of the 336 Inf. Hope we will live up to your expectations for various reasons. First that the war may soon be over, and for the glory of our organization and last but not least for that home coming and picnic and parties ‘n’ everything.
But listen, we will have to get interested in some other organizations. I will leave the 336 Inf. tomorrow. Nearly all the men and a few officers are going. Two hundred from our company are going, and I am the only officer going with them. You see I am going with the majority and it looks as if I would get to the front before the 336th Inf does, for we are leaving the regt again practically without men. I don’t know just where I am going but I think I will go into an organization that has been in the thick of the fight and lost a lot of its men.
Have been in France two weeks and am enjoying the comforts of what they call “rest billets”. I know what a billet is by now but I have not known what rest is since I arrived. But I am enjoying life and enjoying my work so why should one want to rest in these strenuous times.
My trip across the water was so pleasant that I was so engrossed that I did not stop to write anyone about it and now since I have reached my “rest” billet I have been to busy to write. We had a wonderful trip from an Atlantic port to our billet in France. The things that interested me most I am not permitted to relate. Not to prevent the American people from knowing what is being done and how it is being done, (but) to outwit the craftiness of the enemy, but that the knowledge we have may not become the knowledge of the enemy and that no information may be disseminated that might come into the hands of the enemy and be of advantage to him.
Many things were of such interest that they can be easily remembered till after the war is over and then I hope to have the pleasure of relating them at my liberty and leisure. In all my traveling I have spent just three hundred days aboard ships and never before did I enjoy a long voyage as I enjoyed this one, (didn’t even get sea sick tho the sea was rough) nor ever do I expect to make another voyage so interesting. I felt safer than I have ever felt before on a voyage of this distance. Before the voyage had ended I found myself secretly wishing we would encounter a submarine.
I have seen a little of Ireland and Scotland and much of England and France and I find these old countries to be wonderfully beautiful. Everything is still fresh and green and the country presents the appearance of a continuous succession of well kept gardens.
We are “billeted” (that is quartered in barns and houses) along the country-side in southern France. Lt Reeves and Lt Bryant are not going with me, and perhaps only one or two former 336th officers will be with me in my new organization.
I have before (me) some of the pictures made at the picnic at Camp Sherman, and I am wondering how long it will be before we have that next one out at the falls in the park in Louisville.
As I have a big day before me tomorrow I must give attention to other matters. I don’t know what my new address will be so the old one holds good.
Have learned a few French words and they certainly are working overtime.
Looking forward to the end of the war and the homecoming.
Censored by S B Brashear I am sincerely your friend,
2nd Lieut USA S. B. Brashear
Oct 17, 1918
Dear Miss Sampson:
It is so nice to have a letter or a card occasionally from America and especially from---well somewhere on Peterson Avenue, that I am going to try to encourage more of them.
I think I told you in a previous letter that I was leaving the 336th. I am now with my new organization and I had a little experience in the last week. I have traveled over much of France; have served in three regiments and in two different companies of one regiment; have camped or billeted in five different places in six days time; have moved at night on short notice; have gone thru a world (of) mud; have not seen the sun for six days; have been in the rain much of four days; have not undressed more than to take off my shoes for five days.
I have been in hearing of the big guns for some time and expect to be in range of them soon.
There are only two officers on duty with our company and we are busy officers. Besides many little additions to an officers work over here, we find when we come in at night a hundred or more letters piled up for us to censor and by the time I have read fifty or more of the men’s letters I can hardly bear to see a letter much less write one. But I would be glad enough to see one if it was for me and from the States.
Give my regards to your sister. Suppose Lt. Bryant has told her of his accident on the way over.
Will be moving early tomorrow to some-other-where in France so must stop and begin preparations.
Sincerely your friend
Address S B Brashear
Co A 358 Inf
Army P O 770
Date of Death: 24 October 1918, WWI: Sampson B. Brashear was Killed-In-Action in France in the Battle of Meuse-Argonne in World War I. Before his death, he had served for approximately 16 days (9th to the 24th of October) in the 90th Infantry Division.
Place of Death: BATTLE OF MEUSE-ARGONNE, FRANCE, WWI.
Status: KILLED IN ACTION, WWI.
Disposition: Buried. Cemetery: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, Lorraine, France. He was buried in Plot A, Row 17, Grave 14. A photograph of his military headstone was placed on findagrave.com, memorial #55957225.
Monument: SAMPSON B. BRASHEAR carved within the WWI military section on PLACE OF THE PATRIOTS, a memorial located in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky.
One source for his death was in the book, Soldiers Of The Great War, Vol I, Kentucky Section, with a photograph on page 375 and index on page 403.
Although his name was misspelled, his death was detailed in the book, History of the 90th Infantry Division in World War I by Major George Wythe, Division Historian, copyright 1920, By The Ninetieth Division Association. On the casualty list page he was listed as Samson B. Brasher, KIA 24 October 1918, which agreed with the date of death on his military headstone. The chapter, 90th Division Enters Line October 21-22, Section 8, detailed his death on 25 October 1918. “REAR AREAS SHELLED. Not only the troops actually in the front line, but the rear areas as well, were subjected during this period to intermittent bombardment which took its daily toll. The Bois des Rappes and the area around Madeleine Farm were favorite targets. The 1st Battalion, 358th Infantry, in support of the 3d Battalion, suffered heavily from this fire. Lieutenant (later Captain) J. P. Woods and Lieutenant Haley G. Heavenhill were wounded by shrapnel; the woods continually reeked with ‘yellow and blue cross’ gas, and Lieutenant Ralph D. Walker, the sole remaining officer of Company D, was overcome and evacuated. On October 25, when the battalion was moving to the northern edge of the Bois des Rappes to support the 3d Battalion more closely, a shell dropped directly in front of Lieutenant Samson B. Brasher [Sampson B. Brashear], Company A, killing him and his orderly, Private James F. Matlock.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On November 11, 1918 in Compiegne, France, the Armistice Cease Fire Agreement was signed to start negotiations for the signing of a peace treaty to end World War I.
Unaware of Brashear’s death, the following two transcribed World War I letters were written by Virginia Page Sampson to 2nd Lt. Sampson B. Brashear. After arriving in France, the envelopes were marked DECEASED and returned to Virginia Page, who placed the unopened letters in a place of honor in memory of a friend lost in the Great War. Sixty-seven years passed before a collector obtained the letters, broke open the seals and read the words meant for another.
Nov. 13 - 1918
Do you think that I have fallen off the ends of the earth. Well – I haven’t. I might ask that about you. I wrote to you last, but maybe you didn’t get my letter.
You should have seen the excitement the peace news created over here. The peace bells certainly sent thrills through us.
We will have several things to be thankful for this year – namely – we’ve had fine weather for the crops, the flu ban has been lifted and peace has been declared.
Won’t it be a grand Christmas this year. I do hope you will have a nice one.
There is some talk about sending the boys in training here, over to relieve you all so that you may come home. Won’t it be good to set your foot on American soil once more.
Lets hope it won’t be long. Do write to me soon. Heres wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Sincerely your friend
Nov 21, 1918
Dear Friend –
I received your most welcome letter last week. I wanted to answer it right away, but I have been so busy. Now that the war is over we have more work than ever.
Won’t it be grand when you all get back? It will not be so very long before we can have our long looked forward to party will it? - and a grand home coming it will be too.
I wrote you a letter and sent it to your old address. I do hope you get it.
Saturday there is to be a big liberty parade in town. Everyone is going to be in it. I don’t believe there will be anyone to watch it except me. I am going to watch it. I’ll have to write and tell you all about it.
Just lots of the boys over here are being discharged from the army and those graduating from the O.J.S. are being put on the reserve. Everybody here in Louisville seems to think that we will have to clean up Mexico before we are through. I do hope we won’t.
The flu has started up here again but it is in its mildest form. I hardly think the health authorities will close things up again. We haven’t had any cold weather to amount to anything yet, perhaps that might stop the flu. But we might just as well live down by the equator – almost. I’m afraid we won’t have snow for Christmas. Won’t that be awful? I do hope you have a pleasant Christmas this year. The whole Sampson family will be thinking about you on that day and wishing you a very Merry one.
Elizabeth sends her regards.
In his article, “Searching For A Soldier,” Kenneth C. Wukasch wrote, “In 1985, my wife, Janice accompanied my mother to a fund raiser being sponsored by a local retirement home in Georgetown, Texas. On one of the tables Janice noticed a packet of World War I letters stuffed into a plastic ‘baggie’. She bought the letters since she knew that I collected memorabilia from World War I and World War II.”
Janice and Kenneth Wukasch were in possession of two WWI letters written by Second Lieutenant Sampson B. Brashear and two letters written by his friend, Virginia Page Sampson. Years passed before Mr. Wukasch identified the soldier of mystery, by finding 2nd Lt. Brashear’s name, hometown and photograph in the book, Soldiers Of The Great War.
In 2003 Mr. Wukasch placed a notice in the Hazard newspaper in Perry County, Kentucky, announcing his wish to share information concerning 2nd Lt. Brashear. After he received responses, he decided, who should be the next caretaker of a piece of our history. The precious World War I letters were returned to Frankie Lane Campbell Roberts, the daughter of Anna Brashear Campbell, who was the sister of Second Lieutenant Sampson B. Brashear.
Sources: ~ Frankie Lane Campbell Roberts.
~ Soldiers Of The Great War, Vol I, Kentucky Section, PHOTO page 375, index page 403.
~ History of the 90th Infantry Division in World War I, detailed his death: “a shell dropped directly in front of Lieutenant Samson B. Brasher [Sampson B. Brashear], Company A, killing him and his orderly, Private James F. Matlock.”
~ The Brashear Story A Family History.
~ World War I Letters.
Note: View my article on Sampson B. Brashear under Personal Submissions on the 90th Infantry Division Association website.
NOTE: I placed my first-cousin-3-times-removed, Sampson B. Brashear on my ~ Combs Collins Sumner Adams Holbrook Caudill Kelley Mullins; Brashear Young Campbell Cornett Woods Dorton Asher Bowling Sizemore ~ Maternal Family Tree, that I created on Ancestry.
PHILIPPINE - AMERICAN WAR (1899-1902) AND PHILIPPINE MORO WAR (1903-1913)
DUFF, JOSEPH C. (1875-1921), UNITED STATES ARMY SERVICE.
Hometown: HAZARD, Perry County, Kentucky, USA.
Other Residence: Columbus Barracks aka Fort Hayes, Franklin County, Ohio. Elkhorn, Leslie County, Kentucky.
Date of Birth: 20 May 1875, Perry County, Kentucky.
Son of: Serena Williams and Vardaman Duff.
Great-grandson of: Nancy Ann Allison and Rev. Daniel Duff.
Spouse: Lucy Pennington, first wife. Married second on 31 December 1905, Elizabeth Wooton.
Entered Service From: Kentucky.
First Enlistment Date: 28 January 1899 in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky. Discharged 24 February 1902.
Second Enlistment Date: 27 August 1902 in Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky. Discharged 26 August 1905 at Camp Voorhees, Sea Girt, New Jersey.
Pension Number: XC959169
Branch of Service: U. S. Army
Combat Organization: First Enlistment, Company G and F, 2nd Infantry. Second Enlistment, Company B, 23 Infantry.
Date of Death: 21 October 1921.
Place of Death: Kentucky.
Status: Survived Service.
Cemetery: Red Hill Cemetery, Perry County, Kentucky.