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Samuel Goodman Fulford
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
September 19, 1917 – April 8, 1919
May 11, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Wounded: October 17, 1918
Samuel was ordered to report to duty on September 19, 1917, and was accepted for service on October 4, 1917 [source: ancestry.com]. On October 16, 1917, he joined 30th “Old Hickory” Division, 119th Infantry, Company C. Previous posts describe training, transport to France, and battles, including the breaking of the Hindenburg Line, until the beginning weeks of October 1918.
The 119th Infantry’s final contact with the enemy occurred during October 17-19, 1918. It was during that time that Pvt Fulford was wounded, and Pvt Luther Benton and Cpl Calmer Clemmons were wounded a second time. Pvt Fulford and Pvt Benton recovered by the end of November and early December, returning to duty at that time. Cpl Clemmons’ injuries were severe and required additional hospitalization after returning to the United States. Recall that he was initially reported missing.
The operation that resulted in the three men being wounded began before daybreak on October 17, 1918. The 119th Infantry had just rested for 6 days following their earlier push immediately after the Hindenburg Line assault. Before daybreak on October 17, they lined up at the eastern outskirts of La Haie Mennerese and bore on Vaux Andigny, advancing under an artillery barrage. You can follow their progress on the map below, starting on the middle right and advancing toward the east (right side of map shown below). Companies A (which included Pvt Luther Benton), B, E, and H led the assault with the others in support. At one point, they experienced a very heavy counter barrage from the enemy. At around 11am, the infantry advanced to a railroad cut 2,000 yards west of the village of Ribeauville. The men dug in for the night. This position was very heavily shelled and there were many casualties. Pvt Benton and Pvt Samuel Fulford were wounded at some time during the day’s maneuver.
Source: NC Digital Archives
(To zoom in further, use the map from the Source.)
The 120th Infantry (also in the 30th Division) and a British Regiment on their flanks had fallen behind so little movement was made during the day of the 18th. At 8pm, they began to advance over rough country with only a compass and moonlight. After reaching the eastern edge of Ribeauville, the shelling became heavier and mustard gas shells were falling. They captured Ribeauville, liberating one French civilian, then advanced further, halting at 1:30am on October 19. Cpl Clemmons’ severe injuries were received during this maneuver.
There were no more injuries among the remaining Brunswick County men in the 119th Infantry at this time. Refer to Pvt Luther Benton’s WWI Profile or the World War I Army/Marine Division Rosters for the infantry roster. The infantry continued pushing forward on October 19, but made little progress due to open country and deadly machine gun fire by the Germans. During these three days, the infantry had pushed forward for a total of 5 miles. They then halted, were relieved, and saw no more battles for the remainder of the war.
Between October 16-20, the casualties reported by the 119th Infantry were the following:
Died of Wounds: 5
Severely Wounded: 47
Slightly Wounded: 145
Wounds undetermined: 7
Pvt Samuel Fulford returned to duty on November 26, 1918. The 119th Infantry was transported back to the United States in April 1919 and were mustered out at Camp Jackson, SC. Samuel resumed farming.
Samuel Goodman Fulford passed away on May 8, 1966, at age 71. He had never married. He was laid to rest in Sabbath Home Baptist Church Cemetery in Holden Beach, NC. A military flat marble marker is displayed.
Most of the information gathered was from History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919
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