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Tag Archive | "Argonne Forest"

Remembering Glen Hill

By Tanya Eldred, Cedar Springs Historical Society

Editor’s note: The Glen Hill Post #287 of the American Legion is a familiar sight in Cedar Springs. What follows is a little history of the first man to die from the area in World War I, after whom the legion is named. 

Glen Hill, the son of Orlando Hill, was drafted in September 1917 from Cedar Springs and went for training at Camp Custer. He was soon promoted to corporal. The Camp Custer method was reportedly too slow for him and he obtained a transfer by volunteering for overseas duty on February 2. When he arrived in France, he was transferred from the 338th Infantry Company to Company E. 104th Infantry.

Hill was cited for bravery in action with the American forces on the Western front on April 12 and 13. The dispatch read, “With calmness and courage on April 12 and 13 he had hardly reached his company and learned of the order to counter attack given to a neighboring detachment when he voluntarily joined it and killed two of the enemy with his bayonet.”

In a letter dated April 18, he gave an account of the incident. “I have had some experience since I have been over here. I have been in the trenches and been over the top twice and got a German with my bayonet and I am not hurt very much. I was a little scared at first, but I got all over it and we went some. When I get back I can tell you all about it.”

Hill was awarded the distinguished service cross July 12 by General Pershing for conspicuous bravery in action April 12 and 13, and about the same time received the French croix de guerre. The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to a person who distinguishes himself against an enemy of the United States. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.

He had participated in the battles of Champagne, Aisne, Saint Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne.

After being decorated twice for gallantry in action, Corporal Glen Hill died of wounds received in battle in the Argonne Forest in France, on October 19, 1918. (Some sources say October 17.) He was 25 years old. (One source says 23.)

Glen Hill was laid to rest in Solon Cemetery following solemn military rites. The services were under the auspices of Glen Hill Post #287, American Legion, named in honor of the dead corporal, and Merrit Lamb Post of Rockford. Rev. E. Teachout preached the funeral sermon.

He was survived by his father, Orlando Hill, of Cedar Springs; three sisters, Mrs. Bert Lewis, and Mrs. E. Bloomfield, both of Cedar Springs, and Mrs. George White, of Grand Rapids; and two brothers, Rush Hill, of Cedar Springs, and Henry Hill, of Lansing.

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