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American Soldiers killed during the Hindenburg Line assault
Harry Langdon Pigott
Shallotte, Brunswick County, NC
September 18, 1917 – September 29, 1918
June 5, 1918 – September 29, 1918
KIA: September 29, 1918
Harry Langdon Pigott was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is in FamilySearch.
His 1917 Draft Registration Card shows he was married, farming, and living in Shallotte. He was married to Annie Eliza Milliken on December 15, 1916.
Harry was ordered to report to duty on September 18, 1917. [Source: ancestry.com] Records show his wife was pregnant at the time. Private Pigott was assigned to Company M, 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division, and eventually began training at Camp Sevier, SC, as reported in previous posts. In December, his daughter Rosalind Pigott was born.
Private Pigott, along with Private Jesse James Leonard, were scheduled to depart for France on May 17, 1918, but did not board the USS Miltiades with their Companies. Instead, both boarded Ascanius on June 5, with many other soldiers of the 30th Division who were detached from their units, for reasons unknown.
Soon after departing, Pvt Pigott’s small daughter passed away. She had survived only five months, dying on June 9, 1918, from whooping cough. [Source: ancestry.com] She was laid to rest where her father would eventually join her, at Gurganus Cemetery in Shallotte.
Multiple posts have included the horrific details of the Hindenburg Line and the many who were wounded or died during the assault. Private Pigott was KIA on September 29, 1918.
Pvt Harry Langdon Pigott gave his life for what has been called the turning point of the war. Pvt Pigott and the courageous men of the 120th Infantry were the first Allied troops to break the line. It was also the Great War’s deadliest day for NC.
Between September 29th and October 1st, 1918, the three days of the Hindenburg Assault, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
Pvt Pigott’s remains were returned to the United States on April 3, 1921. [Source: ancestry.com] He was laid to rest in Gurganus Cemetery with his daughter. His headstone shows that he was Killed in Action [Source: findagrave].
This concludes the Brunswick County soldiers who died or were wounded breaking the Hindenburg Line, the conflict that led to the end of the war.
These words were written in 1923: [Source: Library of Congress]
The 2nd American Corps, under Maj. Gen. Geo. W. Read, consisting of the 27th and 30th American Divisions, was not with the main American army at the Marne and St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne. It served throughout the war with the British armies. Consequently the work of the New Yorkers of the 27th and of the Carolinians and the Tennesseans of the 30th has been somewhat obscured in our histories.
The Canal Tunnel sector of the German line north of St. Quentin was tremendously fortified, with passageways running out from the main tunnel to hidden machine gun nests. Into these nests the German gunners returned after the American assaulting waves had passed, and poured a destructive fire into their rear. But through everything the men of the New York and the “Old Hickory” divisions forced their way, supported by the Australians, until the fortified zone was conquered in one of the most desperate single conflicts of the war.
“In fact, in analyzing the records of our state’s dead, we now know that the September 29, 1918, charge on the Hindenburg Line was North Carolina’s deadliest of the war.” – Source
If you would like to help us honor Harry Langdon Pigott or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:
Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
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