Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: BIOGRAPHY – Community
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH
Photographs 500 – 599 (Set 5)
Published 2021-xx-xx hhw/in process
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599 (Set 5)
TAGS: Clinton Hill, WWI, WWII, war, soldiers, Karen Jill Hill, Audrey McIntire, American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia, Bugle Corps, Creech Family military service, military service of Appalachian families
WWI: JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH PHOTOGRAPHS 500-599 (SET 5) is largely comprised of photographs depicting men who served in WWI and their families. Creeches served in WWI from Harlan County, Kentucky, but casualties are largely not known and no Creeches appear on the county’s casualty lists for the war. Searching in nearby counties returns a greater number of deaths. The most well-known death in Perry County was from Viper — that of Sampson Brashear.
When the war opened and troops from the United States began to respond to the call of General John J. Pershing, who lead the first call, the troops were exceedingly thin. Reportedly there were only 127,000 officers and Regulars. In addition there were approximately 67,000 men who were pulled into the War as National Guardsmen.
This thin response quickly changed with the formal declaration of war and exploded when President Woodrow Wilson officially declared war and instituted the Draft. The initial Draft called for all men between the ages of 21 and 30 years of age to enlist and when the range was expanded to 18 to 45, another surge followed raising the numbers to over 1 million men. The totals near the close of the war neared 2.7 million men through draft and enlistment.
In the Columbus and Emily Hill Creech family there some remarkable military roles on Emily’s side of the family. The Hill Family participation in the War continues to be researched. The two striking discoveries is the participation of Clinton Hill in a little-known activity in Russia, in which American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia fought the Bolshiviks [“Bolos”] whose mission was vague — at best. A second continuing research project related to this group of photographs regards a large numbers of bugle corps photographs and the discovery of buglers in the family ranks. Both stories are compelling tales of unique service in WWI.
While research continues, many of the pictures included in this set suggest there are more stories to be told of servicemen in World War I who came from the Central Appalachians. The migration into the Coal Fields to support WWI and out of the Coal Fields to fight in Europe have many threads. Notable heroes abroad included Alvin York, Sgt. Willie Sandlin of Leslie County, and Peter McCoy of Pike County. Kentucky Monthly covers their history briefly in “In Praise of Appalachian Soldiers.” The Coal Fields story is less evident in single heroic events but is nonetheless remarkable as the miners fought brutal abuse in over-extended mines and the rampant pandemic that overwhelmed life in the coal-fields in the Central Appalachians in 1918 and 1919.
Many of the photographs in this collection capture the very human story of families up-ended by war and visual stories that shed light on two military eras that are still being defined. The Bugle Corps created by General Pershing during WWI can be traced back to the Civil War but found its strength in WWI when Pershing pushed the idea of brass bands and folk singing to the front of his war efforts. Pershing spread these unique musical efforts throughout the WWI ranks in an effort to build the morale of his troops. He saw the value of using music to build camaraderie in his soldiers. It is not surprising to find this extension of bugles and folk music coming from Appalachian soldiers who often used music in their daily lives to create a sense of community during trying times.
WWII: JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599
The photographs of WWII are more familiar as more folk remember this period in time and families today can recall similar scenarios in many of their Appalachian families. As men joined the war effort, leaving families and children to struggle with the war-time economy and all the social challenges that the European and Pacific conflicts created at home, the photographs capture the very fluid population and the many adjustments that the war years demanded of both soldiers and their families.
[Work is continuing on this set]
PHOTO ID LIST: JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599
…. Missing — 542,543, 544, 545
GALLERY: JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599
(Set 5 – Images 500-553)
CREECH FAMILY HIGHLIGHTS
EMILY HILL Biography
GLYN MORRIS Biography
GUIDE TO CREECH FAMILY LETTERS
HENRY C. CREECH Biography
PHILIP ROETTINGER Biography
SALLY DIXON CREECH Biography
VI 37 FRIENDS & NEIGHBORS – Creech Family Photographs
WILLIAM & SALLY CREECH FAMILY
WILLIAM CREECH Biography
WILLIAM CREECH A SHORT SKETCH OF MY LIFE Autobiography
[Note: Follow up on this military service]
23 NOV 1918
**American Military Government in Siberia. The American Expeditionary Force conducted duties from 1918 until 1 April 1920. U.S. Forces also participated in an Allied occupation of North Russia during this time. Clinton Hill was apparently part of this occupation force.
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 001-099
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 100-199
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 200-299
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 300-399
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 400-499
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 500-599 [military]
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs 600-699 [recent]
JAMES COLUMBUS AND EMILY HILL CREECH Photographs Documents and Letters (PASSWORD PROTECTED)