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Source: Rockingham Post-Dispatch (Rockingham, NC) 21, Nov. 1918, p.9
Edward Anderson Mills
Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC
September 19, 1917 – February 11, 1919
May 17, 1918 – January 21, 1919
Wounded: September 1, 1918
(Note that Wagoner Dorman Mercer appears on the list. However, they did not serve in the same division.)
Edward Mills was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. His Draft Registration shows he was single, living at home, and working on the family farm.
Edward was ordered to report for duty on September 19, 1917. He was initially assigned to the 322nd Infantry (81st Division). Many from the 81st Division were moved to supplement the 30th Division and this included Pvt Mills. In April 1918, he was transferred to the 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. In May, they left for France, as detailed in the previous post. See previous post for details of operations through mid-August.
Pvt Edward Mills was severely wounded on September 1, 1918. A previous profile for Cpl Mack Atkins of the 119th Infantry describes the activities of the 120th Infantry at the time. There was a gas attack performed by the 105th Engineers that resulted in some of the infantry being gassed. This is one possibility for Pvt Mills’ injuries. But there are also more details about the operations involving Mont Kemmel that went beyond the details in that post.
The 120th Infantry was originally to be relieved by the 117th Infantry after the gas attack, but there was increased activity on the front so it was canceled. When it appeared the Germans were withdrawing from Mont Kemmel (as described in the profile for Cpl Atkins), patrols were sent forward to confirm, and this resulted in some casualties. Then, an attack was ordered.
On the morning of September 1st an attack was made by the Second British Army. The 1st and 3rd Battalions, this Regiment, was ordered to push forward 100 to 1,000 yards, establishing a new line from Lock No. 8 on Canal, running north of Lankhof Farm to Zillebeke Lake. The principal objective was Lankhof Farm, a strongly fortified position surrounded by a moat. The fighting was very bitter, but, with the cooperation of the artillery, who maintained close liaison with the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, the new line was taken and consolidated, for the consolidation troops were sent up from the 2nd Battalion and from the engineers. The 119th Infantry made a successful advance on the right, taking Voormezeele.
Given the date he was wounded, September 1st, it is likely this was when Pvt Mills was wounded. His injuries were severe and he did not return to duty.
Between July 4th to September 5th, 1918, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
On January 2, 1919, he was taken aboard USS DeKalb from Base Hospital No. 29 in Liverpool, England, with other sick and wounded soldiers, headed for Camp Merritt for more treatment and recovery [Source: ancestry.com].
Base Hospital No. 29 was organized at City and County Hospital, Denver, Colo., on April 5, 1917, and was mobilized at Camp Cody, N. Mex., during March, 1918. The nurses (some 100) were all graduates of Colorado State University and were equipped by the Denver Red Cross Chapter.
The unit trained at Camp Cody and at Camp Crane, Allentown, Pa., until July 5, 1918, when it left for Hoboken, N. J., arriving there on July 6, 1918. It embarked on the Empress of Russia, and sailed the same date for Europe. The unit arrived in England on July 17, 1918, and was assigned to duty at North Eastern Fever Hospital, London, where it arrived on the night of July 19, 1918. It took over the hospital from the British on August 1, 1918. The hospital cared for 3,976 cases, of which 2,351 were surgical and 1,625 were medical.
Base Hospital No. 29 ceased operating on January 12, 1919; sailed for the United States on the Olympic, February 18, 1919; arrived in the United States on February 24, 1919, and was demobilized at Fort Logan, Colo., on March 13, 1919. [Source: The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Chapter 24, and Lost Hospitals of London]
After returning to the United States, it would be a few more weeks before Pvt Mills completed recovery. He was honorably discharged on February 11, 1919, with no reported disability.
Edward returned to the family farm, and married years later in 1930. The 1940 Census shows that he and his wife had three daughters. The final number of children is unknown.
Tragically, Edward was killed by a falling tree in 1953. He was laid to rest in Robbins Cemetery in Town Creek. Military honors are shown.
Information regarding the 120th Infantry was gathered from Official History of the 120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, From August 5, 1917, to April 17, 1919. Canal Sector Ypres-Lys Offensive Somme Offensive
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