Monday, July 2, 2018

The Great War: July 2, 1918

Exploring the Columbia Republican for July 2, 1918, I was expecting to find an account of great plans for the celebration of Independence Day during a time when the country was at war. Instead I found this affecting story of one young Hudson man's experience while training in the cavalry.

Some research discovered that Paul Burns was born in East Greenbush, the seventh child of William and Mary Burns. His father was an Irish immigrant, whose occupation was listed in the 1900 census as "Trackman on RR." At the time he enlisted in the cavalry, Paul Burns was living here in Hudson with his oldest sibling, his sister Mary, who was thirteen years older than he and married to a man named John F. Dryer.

Although the account in the Columbia Republican reports that Paul Burns's arm was so badly injured it would have to be amputated, his military records suggest otherwise. According to his military card, found on, he was honorably discharged on March 17, 1919, having served with the 12th Cavalry from the time of his enlistment. He had not served overseas, and he was "0 per cent disabled on date of discharge."  


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