Reorganization of Regiments
One hundred years ago in August of 1917, the citizens of Newburgh held and clam bake at Orange Lake to bid farewell to the soldiers of the 1st regiment who were being sent to training camps to prepare for service in Europe.
On August 19, 1917 soldiers of the 1st New York Regiment marched from the Armory to the Newburgh waterfront where they were then transported to Van Cortlandt Park to await other units. By late September they were moved to Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, SC where they would remain for the next 8 months.
While at the training camp, on October 17, 2017, the 1st New York Regiment was combined with the 7th New York Regiment (the "Silk Stocking" Regiment of New York City) to create the 107th New York Regiment. This was done simply by having Companies E and L of each regiment join together as one. According to Company L's historian Harry T. Mitchell, who witnessed the morning of the merge, "all the boys of Co. L, Seventh Regiment, gathered at the head of the company street to shout a welcome to about 100 men from Newburgh and it's environs who were being transferred from the First Regiment. As they watched their new bunkies from upstate tramp up the dusty road and swing in between the rows of tents awaiting them, they could not help but be impressed by the size of the newcomers. The first few squads were made up literally of young giants, men who bore striking witness to the benefits of outdoor life."
Ahead of them a cold winter in tents at Camp Wadsworth and then departure for France in the Spring. We'll continue tracking our local soldiers through the centennial of the war's end in November 2018.
A group of Newburgh boys, members of the old First Regiment while in training at Camp Wadsworth, SC in September or October of 1917. Standing (left to right) are Cyril Engelbride, Sterrit Keefe, Howard Rogers, Bernard Martin, Walter Allison. In the lower row are John T. Kenney, Edward Shay and Arthur Leghorn. All five of the men in uniform were killed in action in France.
"I wasn't made for the great light that devours; a dim lamp was all I had been given, and patience without end to shine it on the empty shadows."