Effie Guthrie and the Knight Brothers of Ray City, GA

Effie Guthrie, daughter of Arren H. Guthrie  and Lucy Newbern, was a lifelong resident of Ray City, GA and many of the Guthrie family connection still reside here.   She married first Ralph Knight.

Ralph Knight was one of the Knight brothers of Ray City, GA:  PaulAdrian, Ralph, and Raleigh, all sons of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmie Gardener Gullette.  There were four Knight sisters; Julia Elizabeth Knight, and Ruby Texas Knight, Dollie Howard Knight, and Laurie Inez Knight.

Effie became good friends with her sister-in-law Julia Knight.  After Ralph Knight was killed in the Otranto disaster of World War I, Julia and Effie sometimes travelled together.  Around 1921-22, the two women travelled by train to New York City on a shopping trip.  Later, Effie married Ralph’s brother,  Adrian Knight.

Effie Guthrie Knight. Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight. Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight and Owen Adrian Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Effie Guthrie Knight and Owen Adrian Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ralph Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ralph Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

WWI Boom for Clements Lumber Company at Ray City, GA

About 1911  Levi J. Clements,  purchased the big sawmill at Ray City, GA from W.F. Luckie and it became the Clements Lumber Company.   The Clements Family had some experience in the sawmill business. The Clements brothers, Lucius J. Clements, J.I. Clements, and J.S. Clements, operated the mill; Lucius served as the General Manager.

World War I brought an economic boom for the Clements’ sawmill operations.

During World War I, Southern yellow pine was the most abundant of all ship materials and was extensively used in building wood ships along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

During World War I, Southern yellow pine was the most abundant of all ship materials and was extensively used in building wood ships along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

At first the war reduced the market for southern pine lumber, as European markets were closed and the German navy threatened North Atlantic trade. But as War hysteria grew, lumber became a strategic material. By 1917 the U.S. Shipping Board began discussing the construction of  wooden cargo ships to support the war effort.  The price of lumber rose sharply during the war, nearly doubling from 1915 to 1918.4

Lucius J. Clements continued to serve as General Manager at the Clements sawmill, although on September 19,1918, at the age of 37,  he diligently registered for the draft for World War I along with other Ray City men. His cousin, Hod P. Clements had registered a year earlier.

In a 1973 newspaper interview, Hod P. Clements, reflected on the boom World War I, brought to the Clements Sawmill and his relatives L.J. Clements, J.I. Clements, and J.S. Clements.7

 “When World War I broke out, the Clements’ boys, who are my cousins, sold lumber to the government to build ships, and made about half a million dollars,” he said.

According to Clements, the price of lumber rose from $8 a thousand feet to $120 a thousand feet in a year.

Related Posts:

  1. Fondren-Clements Papers; transcribed by Ronald E. Yates 8/17/2009) http://www.yatesville.net/tngrey/getperson.php?personID=I4423&tree=01
  2. Nashville Herald. Feb 6, 1923.. Clements Lbr Company sold out at Ray City. Nashvillle Herald, Nashville, GA. pg 1.
  3. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Card. Lucius J. Clements. Registration Location: Berrien County, Georgia; Roll: 1556961; Draft Board: 0. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.
  4. Ships to Nowhere: The Southern Yellow Pine Fleet of World War I Thomas D. Clark Journal of Forest History, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp. 4-16 Published by: Forest History Society and American Society for Environmental History Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4004755
  5. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Card. Lucius J. Clements. Registration Location: Berrien County, Georgia; Roll: 1556961; Draft Board: 0. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.
  6. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1920. T625, 2,076 rolls. Census location: Rays Mill, Berrien, Georgia; Roll: T625_235; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 288.
  7. Valdosta Times. 1973. Newspaper clipping. “Natives of Ray City Like to talk about the past.”
  8. Davis, C. G., Clarke, T. W., Drown, F. S., & United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation. (1918). The building of a wooden ship. Philadelphia, Pa: Industrial Service Section, United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corp..

Ray City History Review

January 14 – time for a brief  review of the year’s posts to date.

The Ray City History Blog noted that in 1947, Ray City, GA celebrated the completion of the new school Gymnasium with a “Queen of the Harvest” contest. 

In 1960, Pleamon Sirmons and Minnie Clements celebrated their Golden Anniversary. Among the accomplishments of Mr. Sirmans, service as a city councilman and Mayor of Ray City.

A visit to New Ramah Cemetery found a pair of deteriorating concrete markers almost illegible. Researching the available clues led to a sketch of Edwin and Sarah Griner. As a young man, Edwin suffered the tragic loss of his siblings – four dead in a week, followed by the death of his mother.

Another interesting burial at New Ramah Cemetery turned up in the obituary of John Martin “Black John” Griner

The 1961 obituary of Tessie Vining Griner was followed up with a brief sketch of her three marriages.

A prompt from a reader led to a follow up story on the Haints of Berrien County and the desperado Ben Furlong whose infamy spread around the globe.

A partial list of Ray City veterans of World War I and their service records, were culled from old Berrien County records.  One interesting veteran was Carlie Lawson, who fought at St. Mihiel in the Battle of the Argonne Forest.

Ray City, GA Veterans of World War I

The men of Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia served in World War I.  Some served with honor, a few found difficulty, still others gave their lives (see Otranto Disaster.)  Below is a partial list of Ray City Veterans who returned from service in World War I, with links to details of their service records.

WWI Inductees at Nashville, GA Courthouse, 1918.

WWI Berrien county Inductees at Nashville, GA Courthouse, 1918.

World War I soldiers returning home.

World War I soldiers returning home.

  1. Adams, Champ (Army: Camp Wheeler, Camp Upton)
  2. Ray City People: Altman, Wilbur Harris (Army: Fort Screven)
  3. Anderson, George Marvin (Army: Camp Hancock)
  4. Armstrong, Henry
  5. Baldwin, Will  (Army)
  6. Baskin, John Hagan  (Navy)
  7. Boggs, Carlos J. (Buffalo Infantry)
  8. Boyette, Grover Gordon  (Navy)
  9. Ray City People: Boyett, Jesse
  10. Brown, Hershel Chester  (Navy)
  11. Brown, Ollie   (Army)
  12. Ray City People: Browning, Lewis (Army)
  13. Burkhalter, Francis Marion (Army)
  14. Calhoun, Joseph Burton (Army)
  15. Ray City People: Clanton, Lewis (Army)
  16. Clements, Levi D.
  17. Ray City People: Clements, Grover C  (Army)
  18. Clements, Hosea Peoples (Army)
  19. Ray City People: Clements, Richard Schley (Army)
  20. Collins, Thomas J. (Army, Disabled Veteran)
  21. Currye, Robert  (Army)
  22. Davis, Coley M.   (Army, KIA)
  23. DeLoach, James Marvin (Army)
  24. Eady, Phillip  (Army)
  25. Frasier, William O.  (Army)
  26. Godwin, Joseph W.   (Army)
  27. DeVane, Gordon
  28. Garfield, Baker   (Army: 516th Engineers)
  29. Genrette, David  (Army)
  30. Giddens, Marcus  (Army)
  31. Green, George  (Army)
  32. Ray City People: Greene, Jesse L  (Army)
  33. Ray City People: Hall, Edward C
  34. Hall, Pasco Olandro (Army)
  35. Ray City People: Harnage, William C  (Army)
  36. Hardie, Grover Cleveland  (Army)
  37. Hillard, James  (Army)
  38. Ray City People: Hinson, Milton J  (Army)
  39. Ray City People: Holliday, Glenn  (Army)
  40. Howard, Thomas (Army)
  41. Jones, John  (Army)
  42. Jones, Lacy (Army)
  43. Jones, Robert (Army)
  44. Tonie M. Kirkland, Army
  45. Ray City People: Kirkland, Clayton (Army)
  46. Ray City People: Kirkland, Tonie M (Army)
  47. Ray City People: Knight, Eugene M (Army)
  48. Knight, Owen Adrian (Army)
  49. Knight, Perry Thomas  (Army)
  50. Knight, Ralph  (Army, died in sinking of the HMS Otranto)
  51. Knight, Rossie O.  (Army)
  52. Lane, Collie  (Army)
  53. Ray City People: Langford, James R   (Army)
  54. Lawson, Carlie   (Army)
  55. Lee, James Isaac
  56. Little, Ira  (Army)
  57. Miller, Elzie Nathaniel (Navy)
  58. Miller, Leon Clyde
  59. Mincey, John  (Army)
  60. Ray City People: McDonald, Robert Fulton
  61. Ray City People: Odum, Henry A  (Army)
  62. Parham, Foster B.  (Army)
  63. Ray City People: Parker, John H
  64. Ray City People: Peters, Johntie A  (Army)
  65. Pitman, Perry Lee
  66. Ray, Boisey   (Army)
  67. Ray City People: Register, William B  (Army)
  68. Register, Lorton W.   (Army)
  69.  Rentz, Lawson S.   (Army)
  70. Richardson, William T.  (Army)
  71. Richburg, William Thomas
  72. Rivers, Sidney Jr,   (Army)
  73. Roberson, Alfred   (Army)
  74. Roberson, Joe   (Army)
  75. Robinson, Virgil   (Army)
  76. Scott, Lelon   (Army)
  77. Shaw, John Sheffield   (Army)
  78. Shaw, William (Army)
  79. Sirmans, John   (Army)
  80. Ray City People: Sirmans, Virgil C   (Army)
  81. Sloan, William David (Army Medical Service)
  82. Smith, Lonnie W.   (Army)
  83. Spates, William M.   (Army)
  84. Ray City People: Strickland, Ivey L   (Army)
  85. Ray City People: Sumner, Morris C   (Army)
  86. Ray City People: Sutton, Harry C
  87. Ray City People: Taylor, Leon S    (Army)
  88. Ray City People: Thomas, Silas I    (Army)
  89. Ray City People: Tison, William Wiley
  90. Townsend, Hilton Monroe   (Navy)
  91. Voss, Rubie   (Army)
  92. Watts, Henry   (Army)
  93. Webb, Lowndes Otis   (Army)
  94. Webb, Marcus Lafayette   (Army)
  95. Webb, Shellie Loyd   (Army, died in sinking of the HMS Otranto)
  96. Mallie Boukin Webb, Navy
  97.  Webb, Ura T.    (Army)
  98.  White, James Lee   (Army)
  99.  Whitford, Claudie   (Army)
  100.  Wiggins, Siar   (Army)
  101. Wiley, Mattalies   (Army)
  102. Wilkins, Alfred   (Army)
  103.  Williams, Pink   (Army)
  104.  Williams, Gordon   (Army)
  105. Herman A. Williams, Army
  106. Ray City People: Wilson, Harry   (Army)
  107. Ray City People: Wilson, John F

Related Posts

WWI Vocational Rehabilitation of Thomas J. Collins

In the census of 1910,   Thomas Jefferson Collins was enumerated as a teenager living with his family in Ray City, GA.  He was born July 14, 1894, a son of William A. Collins.  By the time of the WWI replacement draft registration of 1917, he was a young man of 22, with medium height and build, light blue eyes and light brown hair. At the time of the registration, he was living in Barretts, GA, about seven miles south of Ray City where he was employed as a farmer.

Thomas was drafted and inducted for service on June 24, 1918 at Valdosta, GA.  He served in the Army and came back to Ray City a disabled veteran.

WWI Service Record of Thomas J. Collins

WWI Service Record of Thomas J. Collins

The Army sent Collins to Auxiliary Remount Depot 316 at Camp Gordon, GA.

According to the U.S. Army Quartermaster Foundation, “The principle function of the Remount Service during peacetime was to procure, process, train, and issue horses, mules, and dogs (1942-1948) for military use and to train personnel in animal management.

Army Mule. Image Source: http://www.qmfound.com/remount.htm

Army Mule. Image Source: http://www.qmfound.com/remount.htm

It was also responsible for purchase of forage for these animals. Another function of the Remount Service was that of  the Army horse breeding program designed to raise the quality of horses. The Remount Service’s principle functions during war were to supply replacement riding horses and the draft animals required to haul ammunition, water, food, and heavy artillery and to evacuate the wounded. World War I was the last major conflict which the United States Army used horses and mules in significant numbers.  The Remount Service was enlarged to meet the increased demands of the Artillery, the Cavalry and other units.  Around 571,000 horses and mules processed through the Remount system of which more than 68,000 were killed in that war.  At the close of the war the Quartermaster Corps maintained 39 remount depots with a capacity 229,200 animals.”

Auxiliary Remount Depot No. 316 at Camp Gordon, GA had a capacity for 5000 horses and mules, and quartered an average of 4015 animals.  It was staffed with 6 commissioned officers and  75 enlisted men. Collins served there as a private in the Quartermasters Corps. Listing of other depot staff  may be viewed at AUXILIARY REMOUNT DEPOT 316 ROSTER, CAMP GORDON, GEORGIA (ca. 1919).

While in Army service Thomas J. Collins was seriously injured resulting in a 50 percent disability.  He was honorably discharged on March 20, 1919 with a Service Connected Disability.  Fortunately, in 1919 Congress passed a law providing vocational rehabilitation for disabled veterans.


Red Cross Poster for WWI Wounded Warriors

Red Cross Poster for WWI Wounded Warriors

Legislation for Vocational Rehabilitation

During the summer [1919] the bill introduced into Congress by Senator Hoke Smith and Representative Wm. J. Sears, known as the Smith-Sears Bill, was passed by Congress. This Act provides for vocational rehabilitation and return to civil employment of disabled persons discharged from the military and naval forces of the United States. The bill vests the Federal Board for Vocational Education with power to pass on who may be vocationally rehabilitated, to prescribe and provide courses of vocational rehabilitation, and to provide for the placement of rehabilitated persons in suitable and gainful occupations.

The bill appropriates $1,800,000 for buildings and equipment ; preparation and salaries of instructors and supervisors; traveling expenses of disabled persons in connection with training; tuition, placement and supervision after placement of vocationally rehabilitated persons; and investigations and administrative expenses.

An investigation that has been made by the Federal Vocational Board shows that for every million men in the army 100,000 wounded men will recover. Of this 100,000 men 80,000 will need no re-education; 10,000 should have partial re-education, and 10,000 total re-education. Georgia has about   of the population of the United States, and calculating on the basis of three million men in the army we would probably have about 1,000 white soldiers in Georgia to be given re-education, owing to severe wounds. The Federal Board has divided the forms of education for these men into six groups—Agriculture, Commerce, and Professional, Navy, trades, and industries.

This action on the part of the government is indeed a noble one. An effort will be made, as in other countries, to put the crippled soldier on an independent basis of wage earning and not leave him to eke out his existence as a cripple or in a soldiers’ home, but let him feel that tho a crippled he can be a useful and self supporting citizen.

In 1919-1920 Thomas J. Collins of Ray City, GA was a “Rehabilitation Student” at the University of Georgia.

-Announcement of the University of Georgia For the Session of 1920-1021 with a register of officers and students for the session of 1919-1920, Volume 20, Issue 9 By University of Georgia. PG 287

 These courses are open only to disabled soldiers, sailors and marines who have been recommended by the Federal Board for Vocational Training.

Special courses are arranged according to the previous education and training of those recommended for vocational training, taking these courses are required to take work in English and mathematics and optional courses in general agriculture or special courses in agronomy, horticulture, animal husbandry, agricultural engineering or poultry husbandry.

The object of these courses is to give vocational training in some phase of agricultural work

The High school quarterly, Volume 7 By University of Georgia, Georgia High School Association, Georgia College Association, National High School Inspectors’ Association, Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Commission on Accredited Schools of the Southern States. PG 6

By 1930, Thomas J. Collins was living in Valdosta, GA and later moved to Hillsborough, Florida.


Related Posts:

Armistice Day Memorial to Soldiers from Berrien County, GA Killed During WWI

Berrien County, GA soldiers who died in WWI including many who died in the sinking of the HMS Otranto off the coast of Islay, Scotland on October 6, 1918.   To view larger images, scroll down and click icons below.

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The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

Armistice Day  is on November 11 and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

Shellie Loyd Webb – Lost at Sea

Private Webb entered service in July 16, 1918. Was attached to First Company, Coast Artillery Corps, Over-seas Replacement Draft, Ft. Screven, Ga. Embarked for over-seas service in September, 1918, sailing on the ill-fated transport “Otranto,” which was sunk off the Scottish Coast in a collision October 6, 1918. Private Web was one of the soldiers drowned.

Ralph Knight ~ Ray City Soldier ~ WWI

Private Knight entered service in July, 1918. Was attached to 5th Company, Coast Artillery Corps, Ft. Screven, Ga. Embarked for over-seas in September, 1918, and was drowned on the ill-fated transport “Otranto,” which was sunk off the Scottish Coast in a collision October 6, 1918.

Ralph Knight (1889-1918)

Ralph Knight was one of the Knight brothers of Ray City, GA:  Paul, Adrian, Ralph, Raleigh, all sons of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmie Gardener Gullette.  There were four sisters; Julia Elizabeth Knight, Ruby Texas Knight, Laurie Inez Knight, and Dollie Howard Knight.

Ralph married Effie Guthrie, daughter of Arrin and Lucy Guthrie.

Ralph Knight registered for the WWI draft June 5, 1917.  According to his draft card his birth date was April 19, 1890 although his gravemarker gives his date of birth as April 19, 1889.  The physical description given on his draft card was:  Medium height Medium build, brown eyes, black hair.

Ralph did not return from the war; he was killed in the Otranto Disaster.  He is buried in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight’s home was on Park Street, Ray City, GA.  It  was the home of her father, Arrin Guthrie, and others of her family, although it was owned by Effie.  For all of her life, a large print of the portrait above hung in the parlor of Effie Knight’s home.


All through the end of October, 1918 news of the Otranto shipwreck would continue to float across the Atlantic.  Ray City and Berrien County, GA residents waited for news of loved ones; Effie Guthrie Knight waited for news of her husband, Private Ralph Knight. It would be weeks before survivor lists were published. There would be few bright spots; mostly the news was grim and grimmer.

From the Atlanta Constitution:


Island of Islay, Scotland, Sunday, October 13. – Work of recovering bodies from the wrecked troopship Otranto proceeded without interference today as the sea was calm. Wreckage was strewn along the coast for a distance of three miles. There was considerable debris still floating, and it was believed this was covering numerous bodies.
Six American survivors remain here. They are Sergeant C.A. McDonald, of Galesburg, Ill., and Privates Thomas Kelly, of Augusta, Ga.; Earl Y. Steward of Nashville, Ga.; Noah E. Taylor, of Spruceburg, Ky.; E. Garver, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and William Cooney, of Augusta, Ga.
Private Cooney has pneumonia and his case is critical. All the other men are in excellent condition. Five other survivors, all Americans, have been taken to Glasgow. Two more Americans were brought ashore alive, but they died before regaining consciousness.

Private Cooney would only survive another week before succumbing to pneumonia.


Island of Islay, Scotland, October 15. – A British army labor battalion has begun to remove the Otranto wreckage pile in enormous masses in many deep gullies on this savage shore. Only by much laborious and systematic work can the bodies believed to be buried under the wreckage be recovered and it may take several weeks before the task is completed. Other bodies are imprisoned in rocky inlets and great beds of kelp, or tangleweed, as the islanders term it.
The Otranto went to pieces on great rocks a mile out, almost at the very entrance to Machir bay, whose sandy beach might have offered a haven to the disabled transport. A year ago a small steamer stranded in a storm on that beach intact, without the loss of a single life. Here over a hundred bodies came ashore and were recovered easily.
The storm that raged at the time of the loss of the Otranto was so terrific that wreckage was carried by huge waves over the cliffs a quarter of a mile inland. It is regarded as a miracle that anybody escaped, yet with one or two exceptions the twenty survivors who reached Islay shore showed little effect of their fearful ordeal.
Sergeant McDonald, a husky Illinois boy, was hurled by a giant comber into one of the deepest rocky ravines among grinding timbers, broken boxes and portions of the Otranto’s cargo. He climbed out with scarcely a scratch and with strength so unimpaired that he was able to help two others get beyond the reach of the pursuing waves.
Private Robert F. Shawd, of Lebanon Pa., had a still more remarkable experience. According to Shawd, two of his brothers were on Tuscania and both were saved. They wrote urging him to learn to swim. “If I had not taken their advice,” Shawd said, “I would not be alive today.” He tried to jump from the Otranto to the destroyer [rescue ship, H.M.S Mounsey]  but fell into the sea, eventually he was thrown up on Islay.
Several survivors say the cotton-padded collar of their life preservers saved them from fatal blows by pieces of wreckage, and they believe if the heads of the swimmers had been similarly protected many others probably would have escaped. This theory is supported by the bodies found. The consensus of opinion that far more were killed by timbers than were drowned.

About Sergeant Charles A. McDonald:

McDonald, Charles A., Galesburg, IL

Sergeant Charles A. McDonald, of Galesburg, IL, was one of 17 men who survived the swim from the wreck of the HMS Otranto to the rocky coast of Islay, Scotland

Sergeant Charles A. McDonald, of Galesburg, IL, was one of 17 men who survived the swim from the wreck of the HMS Otranto to the rocky coast of Islay, Scotland

Private Battery D, 54th Reg. 1st Army Artillery. Son of Mr. and Mrs. T.W. McDonald; wife, Edythe A. McDonald; born Feb 20, 1896 at Galesburg. Enter the service April 2, 1918, at Galesburg; to Ft. Screven, Ga.; made Corporal May 9, 1918; made Sergeant Aug. 8, 1918; Supply Sergeant Sept. 20, 1918; reduced to private when transferred from 3rd Co., C.A.C., to 54th Reg., Dec. 1, 1919; on Otranto when it was shipwrecked Oct. 6, 1919, off coast of Islay, Scotland; hung on to rafts in water for three hours and swam and floated three miles toshore; in the service 353 days; discharged March 21, 1919.

Oct 12, 1918 ~ 372 U.S. Soldiers Lost in Sinking of Otranto


October 12, 1918 details of the sinking of the troopship Otranto began reaching the U.S.  Out of 699 soldiers on board, 372 were lost. Berrien County and Ray City, Georgia would pay a heavy toll in the disaster.

The October 12, 1918   Atlanta Constitution carried the story.   Nashville, GA resident Early Steward was listed as one of the Otranto survivors.

372 U.S. Soldiers Lost As Result of Sinking Of Transport Otranto

Fort Screven Men Among the Rescued.
A Scottish Port, October 11. –The following American survivors of the Otranto, all of them privates, have been landed here: Charles E. Smithson, David R. Roberts, George S. Taylor, Earle Garver, Stewart Early [Early Steward], Noah Taylor, William Cooney, Robert F. Schaun, Thomas A. Kelly, Ben Smith, Robert Brown, Joseph S. Richards, William Richards, Emil Peterson, Joseph M. Tollock, Sergeant Charles MacDonald, all from Fort Screven automatic replacement draft, and John E. Wean, casual company, Camp Merritt, N.J.

A British Port, October 11. – A large number of American troops have been lost as the result of the sinking of the transport Otranto in the North channel Sunday night between the Scottish and Irish coasts in a collision with the steamer Kashmir.
The Otranto after the collision was dashed to pieces on the rocks off the south Scottish coast with a probable loss of 372 American soldiers.
Three hundred and one men were taken to Belfast by the British destroyer Mounsey, the only vessel which made an attempt at rescue in the terrific gale when the Kashmir, another vessel in the convoy with the Otranto, rammed the Otranto amidships.
Seventeen men were picked up alive on the Scottish coast.
Of the 699 American soldiers on board the Otranto, 310 were landed. Seventeen were rescued alive at Islay, leaving 372 unaccounted for.

Collision Occurred in Storm.
The Otranto and the other vessels of the convoy were battling with the heavy seas and high winds Sunday morning. The storm was so severe and the visibility so bad that the Kashmir, a former Peninsular and Oriental liner, crashed into the Otranto squarely amidships.
The Kashmir backed away badly damaged, but was able to make port.
As the bows of the Kashmir were pulled from the great hole in the side of the Otranto, the water rushed in, but for a time it did not serve to stop the engines. The Otranto tried to proceed, but made no headway against the gale in her crippled condition.
Within a short time the water put out her fires and the Otranto drifted helplessly toward the rock coast of Islay Island, where most of the Tuscania victims met their deaths.
Thirty minutes after the crash the British destroyer Mounsey, herself damaged by the heavy seas, appeared out of the haze in answer to the distress calls from the Otranto. When the destroyer maneuvered to get alongside Captain Davidson, of the Otranto, warned Lieutenant Craven, commanding the destroyer, not to make the attempt.
When it was seen that Craven would make the attempt anyway the men were ordered to remove their shoes and heavy clothing and try to save themselves as best they could.
The destroyer stood off about 100 feet and the gradually came nearer, against the great odds of high waves and the wind, which threatened momentarily to carry her entirely away from the Otranto or dash her to pieces against the side of the wounded vessel.

Struck Rocks Sunday Night.
The Otranto struck the rocks Sunday night south of Saligo bay, Islay Island, an uninhabited section where the coastline in many places rises straight out of the water to the rocky peaks many feet above.
As the destroyer neared the side of the Otranto the men began to jump from 30 to 40 feet from her decks.  The most experienced sailors of the sailors had better success than the soldiers, many of whom had never seen the sea until this trip.
As the destroyer steered toward the side of the steamer many of the men leaped too quickly and missed their reckoning and dropped between the boats. Some of these disappeared in the water, but others of them were caught and crushed between the boats and the lifeboats which had been lowered to act as buffers. The destroyer was badly shattered.
The captain of the destroyer, each time it was brushed away from the side of the Otranto, again would push near enough for many more men to jump to the deck of his vessel. He described  as a veritable rain the number of men landing on the destroyer.
Many of those who reached the decks of the vessel suffered broken bones or otherwise were hurt. Those who missed the deck of the destroyer went almost to instant death.
Four times the battered destroyer came alongside, and each time the previous scene was repeated. At the end of the fourth trip she had 310 Americans, 236 of the crew, 30 French sailors and one British officer on board. The boat was full and having done all possible, she started for port.
The survivors saw the Otranto drifting helplessly toward the rocks as they pulled away toward the Irish coast.  The destroyer barely had time to send a brief message when her wireless was carried away.  The little overloaded vessel had a rough trip to port.

Soldiers at Attention.
One of the American soldiers on board the Otranto pictured the scene when the vessels collided. Soldiers lined the decks as though on parade, and at the word of command stood at attention like statues. They never wavered, remaining there in military formation, exemplifying during the crisis the noblest traditions of the army for heroism and discipline. The same thing, said the soldier, applied to the seamen.
Numbers of bodies today were being washed up rapidly on the shore. It was reported that 175 had been counted at noon and nearly all of them had been identified.
A seaman on the Otranto described the most tragic moment of the disaster as that when the order came for the men to jump and save themselves. The destroyer looked a very small boat alongside the former Orient liner and many landsmen among the American troops thought themselves safer aboard the larger vessel. This was fatal to many of them.
The victims are to be collected at the most suitable place and buried there.  A boat left Liverpool today with material for coffins, fifty laborers and carpenters and chaplains to conduct the funeral. The grave of every man will be marked and charted.
There were few cases among the dead where identification was delayed. Every man had worn an identification tag on his wrist or neck, but in some instances these were torn off and it was necessary to take finger prints of the men.

Heavy “Y” Man Saved.
An instance of the many rescues by the Mounsey was that of T.L. Campbell, a Memphis lawyer and secretary of the Y.M.C.A. He weighs 220 pounds. He was perched on the Otranto’s rail awaiting a chance to spring upon the destroyer the third time the Mounsey came up. As he leaped the Mounsey lurched away and instead of landing in the middle of the deck, as he had hoped to do, one of his legs caught in the cable on the side of the destroyer. Campbell pulled himself aboard uninjured.

“Just when the destroyer was pulling away the last time,” said Campbell today, “the men lined the rails or stood on the afterdeck waving a farewell. A huge wave struck a crowd of about eighteen privates on the afterdeck and a dozen of them were swept into the sea to sure death, as it was impossible to save persons from waves running sixty to seventy feet high.”

London, October 11. -The news of the collision reached London Monday, but nothing was known of the fate of the Otranto until Thursday morning, when the first reports came from Italy. The storm continued to make further attempts at rescue impossible.  No ships pass close enough to that coast in rough weather to see a stricken vessel ashore.


Pvt. Hiram Marcus Bennett, Sparks, GA

Pvt. Jim Melvin Boyett, Milltown, GA

Pvt. John Guy Coppage, Cecil, GA

Pvt. Rufus Davis, Sparks, GA

Pvt. Mack Hilton Easters, Lenox, GA

Pvt. George Bruce Faircloth, Milltown, GA

Pvt. Lafayette Gaskins, Nashville, GA

Pvt. Bennie E. Griner, Nashville, GA

Pvt. Lester A. Hancock, Alapaha, GA

Pvt. Robert J. Hancock, Lenox, GA

Pvt. Arthur Harper, Enigma, GA

Pvt. William P. Hayes, Alapaha, GA

Thomas H. Holland, Adel, GA

Pvt. George H. Hutto, Adel, GA

Pvt. Ralph Knight, Ray City, GA

Pvt. Benjamin F. McCranie, Adel, GA

Pvt. James M. McMillan, Nashville, GA

Pvt. William McMillan, Enigma, GA

Pvt. John Franklin Moore, Adel, GA

Pvt. Charlie S. Railey, Alapaha, GA

Pvt. Tillman W. Robinson, Enigma, GA

Pvt. Thomas J. Sirmons, Nashville, GA

Pvt. Shellie Loyed Webb, Ray City, GA

Pvt. Joel Wheeler, Nashville, GA

Pvt. William C. Zeigler, Sparks, GA

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