Lorton W. Register ~ Killed in Action, WWI

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia.  KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia. KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register, of Ray City, GA entered World War I military service as a private in 1917.

Lorton W. Register was born in Hahira, GA about 1892, a son of John R. Register.  His early childhood was spent in Hahira.  Some time before 1917, the Register family moved about thirteen miles to the northeast to Ray City, GA.  During WWI, Lorton went to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky where he was enlisted in the Army.   The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and on April 15, 1917 Lorton was inducted.  He was 25 years old at the time of enlistment.

Fort Thomas was  designated as a recruit depot. Recruits arrived as civilians and were processed into uniformed soldiers  with assignments to official training locations.

Service records show Lorton W. Register was attached to the following companies:

Company F, 7th Infantry  to June 10, 1917;
Company F, 61st Infantry  to Aug. 10, 1917;
Company M, 18th Infantry  to Nov. 23, 1917;
Company I, 18th Infantry  to death.

1917 photo postcard showing newly-inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

1917 photo postcard showing newly inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

Private Register served in France in the early part of the war. In March, 1918 he saw action while on duty at a listening post at the front lines at St. Mihiel, France.  After the engagement, he was reported “Missing in Action.”

More than a year later it was determined that he had been killed by a shell fragment during action on March 1, 1918.  His father, John R. Register, received the official notification of his son’s death at his home in Ray City.  The report of Georgia casualties appeared in the Atlanta Constitution.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA.  The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA. The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

Atlanta Constitution
May 29, 1919

ON OUR NATION’S ROLL OF HONOR

The names of twelve Georgia boys appear in today’s official casualty list, which contains the names of 527 more American heroes who were victims on the fields of France.
    The Georgians are, killed in action previously reported missing: Privates Albert L. Carter, Ellaville: Lorton W. Register, Ray City.
    Returned to duty, previously reported missing in action:
Privates Dave Akins, Vienna; Elder Grace, Elko.
    Wounded in Action: Lieutenants George A. Roberts, 451 Center street, Macon; Gardie Nix, 70 North Main street, Gainesville; Sergeants William C. Graham, 521 Lee Street, Atlanta; Jabez P. Kelly, Mystic; Corporal Walter S. Robinson, Waco; Privates Dallas T. Townley, Lawrenceville; Lawrence P. Woolf, Morrow.
    Died of Disease:  Private Elijah Mealer, Cartecay.

Lorton W. Register is among the soldiers honored at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France; his name appears there on the Tablets of the Missing.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

The St. Mihiel Cemetery is at Thiaucourt, a shadeless plain about 25 kilometers northeast of St. Mihiel. Here are gathered the bodies of those who fell in the reduction of the dangerous St. Mihiel Salient. The Memorial Highway, in its loop southward from St. Mihiel through Toul and up to Thiaucourt passes near Vaucouleurs and Domremy, associated with the birth and life of Joan of Arc.     –1922 Annual report By American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society

Later, permanent grave markers and a monument were added to the cemetery.

 American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

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