A collection of miscellaneous materials which may be relevant to those interested in Gaulden Genealogy.

Corporal Fletcher Earl Gaulden
(Fletcher E. Gauldon on his dog tags), York, SC.,
Serial Number 1891038
81st Division, 321st Infantry, Headquarters, 3rd Batallion, Company I

Wildcat Shoulder Insignia

September 5, 1917 Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC

"A military uniform tradition was established at Camp Jackson by the 81st Division. Men of this unit, training on the southeast corner of the reservation near Wildcat Creek, began to wear crude cloth emblems of wildcat heads on their sleeves. The emblem was designed by Corporal Dan Silverman of Company I, 321st Infantry Regiment. As the 81st “Wildcat” Division joined the American Expeditionary Force in France in August 1918, this custom found wide popularity and eventually these unique unit identification patches were worn throughout the Army."

"From the beginning medical personnel at the Base Hospital were con fronted with epidemics. Four days after the opening of the hospital, 60 persons became bed patients with the measles. This outbreak was coupled with a rash of pneumonia cases, and the resulting death rate was so high that Camp Jackson’s first cemetery had to be built.

On 21 November 1917, a third epidemic broke out — meningitis. By 11 December 12 persons had died from the disease and the Camp’s labor force, fearful of being infected, deserted the reservation en masse. Threatened by a total shutdown, troops from the training units worked tirelessly in subfreezing temperatures and snow to finish those jobs that had to be completed.

Relations between Camp Jackson and Columbia went from bad to worse as the meningitis spread. City newspapers pleaded for absolute quarantine of the reservation, but to no avail, for such a measure was nearly impossible to enforce." - Camp Jackson

May 11-18, 1918 Camp Sevier, Greenville, SC

" Tragedy struck Camp Jackson again. At 0730 hours the morning of 10 May 1918, three cars of a troop train left the tracks as it started across the trestle where the railroad entered Camp Jackson. Troops aboard were portions of the 81st Division being transferred to Camp Sevier near Greenville, South Carolina. There were nine soldiers killed and about 40 more injured in the accident. " - Camp Jackson

July 16, 1918 Camp Upton,
July 30, 1918 Set Sail
August 11, 1918 Liverpool, England
August 14-16, 1918 Le Hauvre, France
August 17-September 14, 1918 Billeted @ Lignieres, France
September 19, 1918 Raen L'Etape in Vosges Mt. North of St. Dié
October 9, 1918 Dawn attack Company I
October 29, 1918 Rambervillers
November 1, 1918 Chatel-Sur-Moselle train to Sompigny
November 3, 1918 March to Verdun (Pavé Barrocks)
November 11, 1918 Armistice

Ref., "The 81st Div. 'Wildcats' Going Over The Top, Meuse-Argonne Drive (Novemeber 7-11, 1918", by Clarence Walton Jackson

Names highlighted by my grandfather in his copy of the above book:

George A. Owl, Cherokee, NC
Ammons Tramper, Cherokee, NC
Jas. Sanooka, Cherokee, NC
Arneach Tioneeta, Cherrokee, NC
Charlie Bigwitch, Swayney, NC
Ned Hill, Stonery, NC
Jasper Queen, Whittier, NC

Photograph of 321st Infantry Regiment in Dampierre, France, October 25, 1918.
Photograph of 321st Infantry Regiment in Dampierre, France, October 25, 1918. - NC Dept. of Cultural Resources

"81st Division

The 81st Division was initially made up of men drafted from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. The first men sent to the division were part of the first draft of September 5, 1917. The division was called the "Wildcat Division." A wildcat silhouette was adopted as a shoulder patch for the division, the first insignia worn by troops in the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). The division was organized at Camp Jackson, near Columbia, South Carolina in September 1917 and went into training. In May 1918 it was sent to Camp Sevier, near Greenville, South Carolina, and in July it was ordered to New York to be shipped overseas. In August the division sailed to England and then to France. It was initially sent to the trenches in the Vosges Mountains in September where it held what was considered a quiet front. While there the division suffered 116 casualties.

On November 6, the division was transferred to the front east of Verdun, on the east side of the Meuse River. Starting on November 8 the division attacked German positions for two days with limited success. From the outset the 81st Division's troops were met with heavy German machine gun and artillery fire. Rumors reached the 81st Division commanders that an armistice might be signed on November 11, but because no official word was received about a cessation of hostilities, they ordered their men to continue their attacks. At daybreak, November 11, 81st Division soldiers were ordered to assault German positions. The troops slowly advanced through the heavy fog and German shell and machine gun fire. Then, at 11:00, the firing abruptly stopped. The war was over. The 81st Division suffered 1,104 casualties--248 killed or dead from wounds and 856 wounded--for the short time it was in combat. Like the 30th Division, the 81st Division remained in France and was not part of the Army of Occupation in Germany. In early June the men were shipped back to the United States and discharged from service."

This summary is also from the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources .


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