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Thursday, November 03, 2011
TFH 11/3: Captain Marcellus H. Chiles, USA
Unbeknownst to the soldiers fighting, the "Great War" only had eight days left to its horrors this day in 1918. One young American officer from Colorado, 23-year old Marcellus H. Chiles, led his battalion forward and placed the lives of his men above his own.
*CHILES, MARCELLUS H.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Le Champy Bas, France, 3 November 1918. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: Eureka Springs, Ark. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When his battalion, of which he had just taken command, was halted by machinegun fire from the front and left flank, he picked up the rifle of a dead soldier and, calling on his men to follow led the advance across a stream, waist deep, in the face of the machinegun fire. Upon reaching the opposite bank this gallant officer was seriously wounded in the abdomen by a sniper, but before permitting himself to be evacuated he made complete arrangements for turning over his command to the next senior officer, and under the inspiration of his fearless leadership his battalion reached its objective. Capt. Chiles died shortly after reaching the hospital.
Captain Chiles died on November 5. He rests today with 14,245 of his comrades - 486 of those unknown but to God - in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.