Monday, October 13, 2014

Old Alabama Stuff (2): Alabama's Own in France

In April 1917 Alabama National Guard units returned from duty in Mexico; since October 1916 they had been involved in the U.S. effort to put down the rebellion led by Pancho Villa. In that same month the United States entered World War I and the 4th Alabama Infantry became the 167th Regiment of the 42nd or "Rainbow" Division. The unit participated in the Second Battle of the Marne in July and August 1918. The German defeat there resulted in the Allied forces' advance and further victories leading to the Armistice.

The book Alabama's Own in France published in 1919 is the story of the "Rainbow" Division. Not all its soldiers were from Alabama; many other states were represented. Yet for some reason our French allies identified the state with the Division.

An article on "World War I and Alabama" from the Encyclopedia of Alabama can be found here. Below are the title page and table of contents from the book which can be found on the Internet Archive. Last is a photograph of the 167th's victory parade in Montgomery.

Author William Henry Amerine was an Alabama native who served in Europe with the Red Cross in World War I. He died in 1964.

A recent history of the 167th is Nimrod Frazier's Send the Alabamians

Victory parade for the 167th Infantry regiment on Commerce Street at the intersection with Tallapoosa Street in Montgomery

Source: Ala. Dept. of Archives and History

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