The Lost Battalion of WWI
in the Argonne Forest October 2nd thru 7th, 1918
Brief Description of the Lost Battalion
On October 2nd, 1918, units of the 77th "Liberty" Division from New York advanced into the dense terrain of the Argonne Forest in France. History was made over the next 6 days as this unit, the "Lost Battalion", refused to surrender even though they were completely surrounded, constantly attacked, low on ammunition and supplies, had no food, shelter and limited access to water. Of the over 600 men first trapped in the "pocket", only around 200 walked out. They received 3 Congressional Medal of Honors (CMO), many Distinguished Service Crosses (DSC), and many other awards. Their leader, Major Whittlesey, was declared one of the three most important members of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) by General Pershing, Commander of the AEF. Two airmen received CMO's for their involvement in the event, the first attempted air resupply drop in military history. Others trying to releive the battalion also received the DSC. A carrier pigeon, Cher Ami, received international acclaim for heroically delivering a message. A movie of the event was made in 1919, and scores of books on the subject make it one of the most analyzed military actions in history. If that was not enough, Major Whittlesey committed suicide in 1921, and controversy has swirled around the event for over 80 years. A&E recently produced a new "Lost Battalion" movie, hopefully bringing new interest to this fascinating piece of American Military history.
Lost Battalion Survivors Immediately After the Event
Under Construction - has been for years - Please be eternally patient!
This site is in the honor of James Joseph Mulvey, my maternal Grandfather. He is the soldier smoking the pipe, second from the left, in this photo taken in a barn somewhere in France, 1918. He served in the 77th Division in WWI, and family anecdotal history says he was a member of the Lost Battalion, but research to this point his him just in the general area at the time of the battle. He suffered the rest of his life from his service to his country. Any information regarding his service would be greatly appreciated.
This page was last updated on:
April 2, 2006
<--------Medals of Honor, Distinguished Service Crosses, Lost Battalion Roster
<--------Major Whittlesey, Commander of the "Lost Battalion"
<--------Take a Tour with the 77th from Camp Upton to the Argonne and Home
<--------Lot's of Websites relating in one way or the other to the Lost Battalion
<--------This event was huge in 1918 and after. Museums, memorials, etc.
<--------Many books featuring the Lost Battalion as a main or side subject
<--------The new A&E version and the 1919 silent classic
Finding the Lost Battalion
Beyond the rumors, myths and legends
of America's famous WWI Epic
Robert J. Laplander, 2006
The DEFINITIVE study on the Lost Battalion! The result of over 8 years of tireless research into the subject by a man who lives and breathes the Lost Battalion. I know! I traveled to the sight with Robert on his first trip there, and was stunned as he pulled out maps from his comprehensive collection, paced off the distance, and we came upon the EXACT
situation he expected to prove this was the spot he was looking for! He has exhaustingly researched all possible avenues of information (not that he will ever, ever stop looking for more!) and his encyclopedic knowledge on this subject is overwhelming! Here is the story presented by a man with the passion and perseverance to get it as right as humanly possible!
John Cotter, Web Master
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