(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Mr. Charles H. Ashley,
My Dear Mr. Ashley--
Your letter of August 20, 1919, to Major J. S. Murray, that is a copy of it,
reached me only a few days ago. I may perhaps give you a little additional information.
I first met your son in May 1917 at Norfolk, directly after he had entered the
service. My Company at that time was preparing to go to France. We left Norfolk
a few days later and my Company became the 67th which went to France with the
5th Regiment of Marines and the 1st Division. I next met your son about May
28th'18 near Gisors, France, where we were at that time in a rest area. I had
at that time turned over the command of the Company to First Lieut. Crowther,
but I was attached to Bn Headquarters as second in command and naturally I had
an interest and affection for the Company with which I had served so long, and
I was glad to have an officer of the type of your son join it. I saw him often
from this time until he was killed and had the highest regard for him both as
an officer and as a man.
The movements of the Company from the time your son joined ase as near as
I can remember as follows--May 31 moved by motor truck to the town of May-en-Multien
(north of Meaux) After several hours bivouac in a wheat field, marched at 4
a.m. June 1st through Lizy-Montreul-Bizu-and bivouaced at Pyramid Farm, about
one mile south of Marigny. This was a long hard dusty march especially after
a ride of 16 or 18 hours in motor trucks the day before, and with mighty little
to eat. The Company got turned in at about nine o’clock in a wheat field again
and at three the next morning June 2nd we marched, the Bn forming the advance
guard of the 9th Infantry and went into position near Premont. This was another
hard day. The enemy were in sight and we were expecting an attack, it was necessary
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This lengthy letter, written by Major Rockey of the United States Marine Corps to the father of Tom Ashley (1894-1918) in Deerfield, Massachusetts, explains the circumstances surrounding the death of this man's son. Tom Ashley was killed at the battle of Chateau-Thierry in France in June 1918. Major Rockey recounts the terrain, the attack, and goes on to reassure Mr. Ashley that his son gave his life in the most heroic manner possible while also imparting new life to the Allied cause.
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Letter to Charles Hart Ashley
| author Keller E. [Major] Rockey
| date Nov 2, 1919
| location Aux Cayes, Haiti
| width 8.5"
| height 11.0"
| process/materials typescript
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L01.044
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