1636581 Pvt George William Wisehart (1893 – 1970)
George William Wisehart was born on 17 April 1893 in Kirwin, Kansas, the second of five children of Benjamin Wishart, a farmer from Indiana, and his wife, Edna Ann Sherwood. In 1910 the family were living in Bow Creek township where young George worked on his father’s farm, which was just south of the North Fork River.
On 5 June 1917, George registered for the draft. At the time he claimed exemption due to a ‘bad eye’, however, that does not appear to have been a good enough reason to avoid military service and his number was drawn at the end of July. George was called up for examination by the local board at the end of September and enlisted into the Army on 6 October, after which he made his way with 46 local lads to Camp Funston at Fort Riley for training.
George completed his military training at Camp Kearney and formed part of an automatic replacement draft of infantrymen who left Brooklyn on 28 June 1918 on the SS Nestor. On arrival in France, he was assigned to F Company of the 2nd Battalion, 103rd Infantry Regiment which formed part of the 26th American Infantry Division. It seems likely George was present at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in September and then the Meuse-Argonne Offensive which was the largest operation by the American Expeditionary Forces. During the latter, George was slightly wounded and wrote to his family at the end of December:
Dear Father, Mother, Sister and All,
I thought I would write a few lines to let you know I am well and hope this will find you the same.
Well, I got the box you sent me and was glad to hear from you. I got three letters from you so I thought I would write. I also got a letter from Minnie and one from Maeme and a card from Delia and I was sure glad to hear from you all.
Well, here it is New Year and I am all right and hope this will find you all the same on this nice day.
Oh, yes, I get the Kirwin paper each week and I am glad to get the news from home. I will try to write once a week if I can and want you to do the same.
Tell all my friends to write. The first four months I was here I did not hear from any one and I have not seen any one I know since I came over here.
Well, how is the weather over there? It is sure muddy here. It has rained every day since I came back from the hospital and it is sure muddy, but isn’t very cold.
Let all the rest read this as it will save me writing so much.
Well, I guess I will close for this time. Will try to write more the next time. Tell Buddie his letter was fine and dandy and tell Minnie’s little girls, I said, “Hello.” Maybe you can read this as I am in a hurry.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and good health till I return. With love to all, so bye-bye from Your son,
On 28 March 1919, George left from Brest onboard the USS America and disembarked in Boston on 5 April. Upon arrival, the Regiment made their way to Camp Devens from where George was discharged from duty on the 19th. Within a year he married the daughter of a local farmer named Edith May McDermont and seven children were born of the union. By 1937 the family had moved to Cozad, Nebraska, where George worked as a carpenter, and in 1942 they relocated to Lincoln where he was employed as a crate maker.
George died in Lincoln on 23 November 1970, he was 77 years old and is buried in Fairview Cemetery.
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