55 – Gallagher Jarvis Cheney – WWI

Here are others of our great-grandfathers who served in World War I.

  • Thomas P Gallagher
  • Ralph H Jarvis
  • Ralph E Cheney

Thomas P Gallagher (1G)

Tom Gallagher

Tom Gallagher was a 1st Lieutenant in the 805th Pioneer Infantry (Colored). He served in France from August 27, 1918 to June 17, 1919.

805th Pioneer Infantry was an all-African American infantry regiment of the United States Army during World War I. The 805th contained black soldiers from the state of Mississippi. They trained at Camp Funston.

The regiment landed in France in July 1918 and served in Europe until July 1919; the division saw 39 days of action.

During World War I, the regiment was nicknamed “Bear Cats.” A commander, Colonel Chauncey Benton Humphrey boasted that his Bear Cats had “the best Jazz band in France, the best vaudeville show in the American Expeditionary Forces, and the best baseball team of any outfit in France.”

Ralph H Jarvis (1G)

Ralph Jarvis

Ralph Jarvis was a private first class in Headquarters Company of the 137th Infantry Regiment.

The 137th Infantry Regiment (First Kansas) traces its history back to the 1st Infantry Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Militia on 17 May 1879.

In October 1917 it was consolidated with the 2nd Infantry Regiment of the Kansas National Guard to become the 137th Infantry, 35th Division. It set sail for Europe, and entered the front line on 18 June 1918. The 137th was stationed in the Metz area, near where the 353rd of Ben Teply would soon be.

September saw the regiment moved into reserve for the Saint-Mihiel attack of 12–16 September. But the attack was so successful the regiment wasn’t used. It was soon headed for the greatest American battle of the war.

In the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in late September, the Kansas soldiers’ trial by fire began; an ordeal that was to last six days and six nights. The 137th Infantry took every objective assigned it, but in the taking suffered casualties of nearly 1,300 men out of the 2,800 combatants engaged – 46%. 

The regiment was relieved October 1, 1918, and after resting in the rear for 10 days, the regiment moved to Verdun and remained in the fighting until November 9.

The Armistice of November 11, 1918 finally stopped the fighting. The regiment returned to Kansas, where it demobilized at Camp Funston in May 1919.

Ralph E Cheney (1G)

Ralph Cheney

Ralph Cheney was a private in the medical corps reserve for four years.

He was in medical school at St. Louis University, so he didn’t have to go to France.

Draft registration – Ralph Cheney – 1917


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s