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Milam County, Texas

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Milam County, Texas: List of Honor --
Individuals Who Have Given Their Lives in the
Defense of Their Country from World War I through Vietnam

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James Wallis Carlile [1], [2]

Corporal, U.S. Army, World War I


Service No.: 1,487,221

Born: 27 Oct 1881 at Rockdale, Texas

Died: 8 Oct 1918 (sometimes found as: 9 Oct 1918) near St. Etienne, France [3]

Age at time of casualty: 36 years, 11 months, 12 days

Home of Record: Rockdale, Texas

Race: Caucasian

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: Farm Laborer

Attended: Hamilton Chapel Schools, Milam Co., Texas

Religion: Baptist

Draft Registration: Not found in Milam Co., TX [4]

Physical Description: Height-5'9¼", Weight-134 lbs, Eyes-not found, Hair-brown, Shoe size-8E

Entered Service: 2 Jul 1917 at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas

Overseas Duty: 26 Jul 1918 to 8 Oct 1918

Engagements: Suippes, Champagne Front

Ship/Unit: Co. C, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Division (sometimes found as 147th Infantry Regiment)

Awards: French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star

Casualty Type: Hostile, killed in action

Cause of Death: machine-gun, small arms fire (also found as: unknown) Casualty Location: 6-kilometers northwest of Somme, Py. Champaigne Front near St. Etienne, France

Soundex Code: C-644

Census: 1900 Federal Census [5]; Not found in 1910 Federal Census - Texas

Parents: William Penn Carlile and Mary Anders Carlile at Rockdale, Texas

Brothers: Hichs Robert Carlile (killed-in-action, U.S. Army, World War I), George Carlile, William Cullen Carlile

Sisters: Mary Rebecca "Mollie" Carlile Spence (Mrs. C. I.), Louise "Lou" Carlile Cunningham (Mrs. R. A.), Boliver Carlile, Johnnie Carlile Berger Bushman, Catherine "Kate" Carlile Merchant (Mrs. J. A.), Green Carlile Johnson

Paternal Grandparents: William Penn Carlile and _______________ Carlile

Maternal Grandparents: John D. Anders and Nancy Gilleland Anders

Wife: None

Children: None

Burial: Body Not Recovered (because he was buried in a trench, 6-kilometers northwest of Somme, Py. Champaigne Front)

Arrangements: None

Milam County War Memorial: Left Panel

World War I Tablets of the Missing: Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial, Romagne (Meuse), France

Note: Also found name listed incorrectly as: James W. Carlyle

French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star Citation [6]

"During the combats near St. Etienne October 8-10, 1918, he displayed extraordinary heroism. Was killed while courageously advancing under a violent artillery and machine gun fire."

In a report filed by Sergeant Chester A. Griffin (Service No.: 1,487,291), Co. C, 141st Infantry, he stated that Cpl Carlile was found dead laying on his back with his hands crossed over his chest in a trench where the company went over about 8:00 a.m. on 9 Oct 1918. He did not show any sign of being shot or hurt in anyway. He was buried the spot he was found dead by a detail.

The French Croix de Guerre was established on 8 April 1915. Criteria: During World War I, the French Croix de Guerre was awarded for bravery to military personnel mentioned in dispatches. Recipients of the Légion d'Honneur and Médaille Militaire were automatically entitled to the Croix de Guerre. For subsequent acts of bravery, the recipient was awarded a palm leaf for Army citations, a gold star for Corps citations, a silver star for Division citations or a bronze star for Brigade and Regimental citations.

"Newsy Letters from our Soldier Boys" [7]

Somewhere in France

Dear Mother,

It has been a long time since I wrote but I have not been in one place long enough that I thought I could get an answer so I wouldn't write. But think we are settled now for awhile.

Mother, we have seen, as the Indian says, "heap much" since we left Ft. Worth. We had the best luck that heart could wish on our trip. No sickness or anything hardly. We are both well.

The country is so different to ours. I have always heard of a cold day in August and I have seen one since I left Texas.

Mother, I have seen some of the finest crops that I have seen in a long time, but they don't farm anything like we do. You never see a spot of land laying out that can be cultivated at all. This is a fine country but give me Texas. The people are nice to the soldiers but they can't understand a word we say and we can't them. That makes it pretty hard on us. I hate for anyone to try to talk to me when I don't know a word they are saying, but they do their best to make us understand.

The left hand corner of the envelope is my address as you will know how to get a letter to me. When you write tell me all you know, and write often whether you get a letter or not for we may not have time to write every time we want to. I haven't had a letter since I left.

Mother, I met a boy on the ship as I came over that I knew in Greasy Bond, Okla.

Well, I will close, write often.

Your son,
Wallis Carlyle

"Two Carlile Boys Killed in France" [8]

It has fallen to the lot of Milam county mother, Mrs. W. P. Carlile, of the Hamilton Chapel community, four miles south of Rockdale, to receive the heart-breaking news that she had lost two sons in battle in Northern France.

Both boys were killed on the same day, October 8. Mrs. Carlile was notified Nov. 9 of the death of one, and again on Nov. 13 she received a telegram from the War Department advising her of the death of her other son.

These young heroes were both born in the Hamilton Chapel community. Corporal James W. Carlile was 36 years old on Aug. 27, last. He was above the draft age and volunteered in June 1917 at Houston. He was trained at Camp Bowie.

Hicks R. Carlile was 25 years old July 11, last. He registered on June 5, 1917, but volunteered into service the following month, having received a release from draft call by the Local Board. He also was trained at Camp Bowie, and was assigned to Co. C, 141st Infantry, Both boys left with the 36th Division in July, 1918.

Both were evidently in the same command and were killed on the same day in the same battle.

This afternoon, Mayor H. C. Meyer, on hearing the news, called hurriedly together a meeting of Rockdale business men at the Rockdale State Bank, where he told of the two fatalities, and suggested that some suitable action be taken. Upon motion the meeting proceeded in column of two to the city flag pole, where, with heads uncovered the flag was lowered to half mast. After standing in silence a moment, Rev. M. N. Terrell offered a word of prayer, in dismissal. This was quite an appropriate acknowledgment by Rockdale citizens of the inbedtedness felt toward the heroes who had paid the supreme sacrifice for the cause of freedom.

The Reporter joins with all its readers in extending a bereaved mother a tender and sincere sympathy.

"Two Rockdale Soldiers Who Died in Their Country's Cause" [9]

Above is reproduced the latest photograph of the two Carlile boys who were killed on the same day in the same battle October 8, 1918, "somewhere in France." The one on the left is Private Hicks Carlile, age 25. The other is Corporal James W. Carlile, age 36. Both volunteered in the summer of 1917. Both were members of Company Co, 141st Infantry. They were both trained at Camp Bowie; went to France together and stayed together through all the hardships of the war, finally laying down their lives together in the cause of liberty.

These noble lads were both born and raised in the Hamilton Chapel community four miles south of Rockdale being the sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Carlile.

Herewith we reproduce letters written by them to their mother. Neither letter was dated, but both were written before they reached the front line.

Sept. Sunday Morn.

Dear Mother -- We got your letter this morn. though it had been written a long time. We were sure glad to get it. We are both alright and going well.

Mother, that was another one of those good letters and as long as you write such letters as that, I am satisfied and Mother, dear, you can bet your life that if I ever go over the top I am going to get enough of them to pay me and then some if I don't have any hard luck and I am not looking for anything like that. When I go over, with you to think of me and Go to help me and the officers I have to mead me, being an able bodied man to help myself, dear Mother, I surely ought to come through alright which I am counting on very much.

Mother, I haven't had a letter since I got over there except from you and Will Barnes and I am always glad to hear from anyone. I got two Reporters the other day and it was just like seeing some of the home folds. I thought it wasn't worth two dollars a year but it surely is if I don't get but one a month. The two copies that I got were before the election. I sure would like to have one since then. When you write tell me who was elected governor and all of our county and beat officers. When you write tell me everything and when I come back I will have a handful to tell you and I am coming back when it's over here. When we landed, as we were marching up the streets the kids were signing, "Hail, Hail, the gang's all here, what the hell do we care now."

Oh yes, I see where the draft age is changed from eighteen to forty five. That's going to get lots of those dead heads and loafers around the little city isn't it?

Well here goes for my address. CORP. James W. Carlile, Co. C, 141st Inf. Am. Ex. Forces, via N.Y.

"Rockdale Boys killed in Action Honored by French Government" [10]

Mrs. W. P. Carlile, who lives in the Hamilton Chapel community four miles south of Rockdale, was adivsed recently and later received from the French War Department two Croix de Guerre awarded to her two sons, Pvt. Hicks R. Carlile and Corp. James W. Carlile, who died on a French battlefield. The citation is as follows:

"Displayed extraordinary heorism during the combts near St. Etienne, October 8-10. Was killed while courageously advancing under violent artillery and machine gun fire.

Dated April 2, 1919, The Marshal of France, Commander in Chief of the French Armies of the Least.


The citation for Corporal J. W. Carlile reads in a like manner.

These are the first awards for distniguished services received by any Rockdale soldiers and are honors not usually bestowed.

These two brothers were born and raised in the Hamilton Chapel community and had been together throughout their army life. Both volunteered in the summer of 1917 and received their training at Camp Powie, Ft. Worth. They were both members of Co. C, 141st Infantry, going to France together and dying together in the same battle on the same day, October 8th, 1918.

They had only been on the front for two days, taking up their position in the frong line trenches on October 6th. On the morning of the eight an advance was made. Just as he went over the top, Corp. James Carlile was killed. Hicks fell about a half a mile further on. Both died instantly.

In the above picture the one of the right is Corp. James Carlile age 36 years, the one of th eleft, Private Hicks, age 25 years.

The highest honor, praise, or award that could ever be bestowed could not recompense the mother in the loss of these two sons but it must be a source of great pride and consolation to the mother's heart to know that her sons not only died for their country as soldiers but also as recognized heroes.


[1] Individual Deceased Personnel 293 File, Office of the Quarter Master General Burial Case Files, 1915-1939 (Record Group 92), National Archives Building, Washington, DC

[2] Military Service Card (Form No. 724-6, A.G.O.), Texas Military Forces Museum, Adjutant General of Texas, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas

[3] No Texas Death Certificate found

[4] WWI Draft Registration, Milam Co., TX, M-1507, Roll 124

[5] Milam Co., TX, T-623, Roll 1657, ED 72, SH 19A, LN 16

[6] Order No. 15.302 "D", dated 2 Apr 1919, General Headquarters, French Armies of the East

[7] Rockdale Reporter, 26 Sep 1918, p. 5

[8] Rockdale Reporter, 21 Nov 1918, p. 2

[9] Rockdale Reporter, 5 Dec 1918, p. 10

[10] Rockdale Reporter, 17 Jul 1919, p. __

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Created 20 June 2004 and last revised on _______ 2004