Oxenrider Family History

Ernest's face cropped from the large framed photo.

Ernest OXENRIDERAge: 27 years18911918

Given names
Birth July 1891 21 24
Marriage of parentsNoah L. OXENRIDERMatilda “Tillie” Richmond (adopted by MANWEILER)View this family
January 5, 1892 (Age 6 months)
Birth of a brotherClarence Leroy “Dick” OXENRIDER
February 24, 1898 (Age 6 years)
Note: Was never in a resthome. He was staying at a retirement home with his own apartment. He lost his balance one day and they took him to the hospital where he developed Phemonia and died. He was disappointed because he wanted to live to at least 102 so he would have lived in three different centuries.
Death of a paternal grandmotherElizabeth SCHARTZER
July 11, 1901 (Age 10 years)
Birth of a sisterMildred LaVerne “Betty” OXENRIDER
September 6, 1902 (Age 11 years)
Death September 28, 1918 (Age 27 years)
Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: January 5, 1892Williams, Ohio
6 years
younger brother
-7 years
Ernest's face cropped from the large framed photo.Ernest OXENRIDER
Birth: July 1891 21 24Henry Twp, Wood, Ohio
Death: September 28, 1918Meuse Argonne, France
11 years
younger sister


Ernest was killed while serving in World War One as a dough boy. He died September 28th and the armistice came on November 11th, less than two months later..

This battle was the costliest battle in American History with 26,000 Americans killed.

Sept. 26, 1918 was the day the push started. Forty thousand American dough boys were going over the top, in an offensive from the Meuse River to the Argonne forest. Ernest was killed two days later.

He was a machine-gunner and raised up to cock the machine gun and was shot in the head by a sniper. His mother Matilda went to France in 1930 as a Gold Star Mother in a trip on an ocean liner sponsored by our Government to visit his grave. He is buried in France. It was a shipload of grieving mothers.

By Ken Oxenrider

September 26, 1918 - The U.S. 1st Army and French 4th Army begin a joint offensive to clear out the strongly defended corridor between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest. Here, the Germans do not fall back and the battle soon resembles action from earlier years in the war. Amid a steady rain, the troops advance yard-by-yard over the muddy, crater-filled terrain with 75,000 American casualties suffered over six weeks of fighting.

Hindenburg Line Broken

September 27, 1918 - The British 1st and 3rd Armies, aided by Australians and the U.S. 2nd Corps, break through a 20-mile portion of the Hindenburg Line between Cambrai and St. Quentin.

September 28, 1918 - Belgian and British troops push back the Germans in the Fourth Battle of Ypres. Unlike the previous drawn-out battles, this one lasts just two days as the Belgians take Dixmude and the British secure Messines.

The day Ernest was killed, September 28, 1918 - Confronted by the unstoppable strength of the Allies and faced with the prospect of an outright military defeat on the Western Front, General Ludendorff suffers a nervous collapse at his headquarters, losing all hope for victory. He then informs his superior, Paul von Hindenburg, the war must be ended. The next day, Ludendorff, accompanied by Hindenburg, meet with the Kaiser and urge him to end the war. The Kaiser\'s army is becoming weaker by the day amid irreversible troop losses, declining discipline and battle-readiness due to exhaustion, illness, food shortages, desertions and drunkenness. The Kaiser takes heed from Hindenburg and Ludendorff, and agrees with the need for an armistice.

Here are the details from the official US War Monuments Site...

In between the Aire and the Meuse Rivers were a series of broken, wooded ridges that provided excellent observation. The first was the dominating hill of Montfaucon. Behind it were the Heights of Romagne and Cunel; beyond them was Barricourt Heights. To protect this vitally important area, the enemy had established almost continuous defensive positions for a depth of 10 to 12 miles to the rear of the front lines.The movement of American troops and materiel into position for the Meuse-Argonne attack was made entirely under the cover of darkness.

On most of the front, French soldiers remained in the outpost positions until the very last moment in order to keep the enemy from learning of the large American concentration. Altogether, about 220,000 Allied soldiers were withdrawn from the area and 600,000 American soldiers brought into position without the knowledge of the enemy, a striking tribute to the skill and abilities of the U.S. First Army. Following a three-hour bombardment with 2,700 field pieces, the U.S. First Army jumped off at 0530 hours on 26 September. On the left, I Corps penetrated the Argonne Forest and advanced along the valley of the Aire River. In the center, V Corps advanced to the west of Montfaucon but was held up temporarily in front of the hill. On the right,III Corps drove forward to the east of Montfaucon and a mile beyond.

About noon the following day, Montfaucon was captured as the advance continued. Although complete surprise had been achieved, the enemy soon was stubbornly contesting every foot of terrain. Profiting from the temporary holdup in front of Montfaucon, the Germans poured reinforcements into the area. Ernest Oxenrider was killed about this time. By 30 September, the U.S. First Army had driven the enemy back as far as six miles in some places.The assault of the U.S. First Army was renewed on 4 October. Enemy forces continued the stubborn resistance, as additional German divisions arrived from other battle fronts. Though the U.S. First Army was subjected to furious counterattacks, its advance proceeded relentlessly. On 7 October, a strong flanking attack by I Corps on the left in the Aire Valley made capture of the Argonne Forest possible. The next day on the right, U.S. troops crossed the Meuse River, where severe fighting was encountered for possession of the heights beyond. On 9 October, V Corps began an attack in the center aided by III Corps on its right; both Corps then penetrated the Hindenburg Line.It seemed on 14 October that the Allied assault would develop into another prolonged struggle, as the enemy continued to resist stubbornly. The III and V Corps, however, provided relief when they broke through the German main line of defense and seized the Heights of Cunel and Romagne. On the left, I Corps captured St. Juvin and Grand-Pre, enabling the French Fourth Army, which was positioned to the left of the U.S.First Army, to advance its attack.

The final chapter of the great offensive by the U.S. First Army began at daybreak on 1 November after a two-hour concentrated artillery preparation. Its progress exceeded all expectations. By early afternoon, the formidable position on Barricourt Heights had been captured, ensuring success of the whole operation. That night the enemy issued orders to withdraw west of the Meuse. By 4 November, after an additional crossing of the Meuse by the U.S. First Army, the enemy was in full retreat on both sides of the river. Three days later, when the heights overlooking the city of Sedan were taken, the U.S.First Army gained domination over the German railroad communications there, ensuring early termination of the war.

Meanwhile in mid-October, the U.S. Second Army was formed to take command of the St. Mihiel sector on the right of the U.S. First Army. In response to a directive that offensives be initiated and sustained all along the entire Allied front, the U.S. First and Second Armies both launched attacks on 10 November and made substantial gains. So perilous was the enemy position that it was compelled to seek an immediate armistice, which became effective on 11 November 1918.

To echo some of the words of General John J. Pershing, Commander- in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces, inscribed on the Montfaucon Monument:



Visit the cemetery where Ernest is buried in France.



View the Windows Media Video

A Tribute to Pvt. Ernest Oxenrider


By Ken Oxenrider


What Happened in the year they were born? http://www.brainyhistory.com/years/1891.html

What Happened in the year they died? http://www.brainyhistory.com/years/1918.html


A personal account of the fighting leading up to Ernest's death.

By August 10th the Germans had fallen back to a line running through Chaulnes and Roye. Montdidier had been captured, and eleven German divisions had been smashed. By August 12th the number of prisoners was 40,000, and by the 18th the Allied front was almost in the same line as it was in the summer of 1916, before the battle of the Somme. The next step was to capture Bapaume and Peronne. The French, on August 19th, captured the Lassigny Massif, and continued to press on their attack. Noyon fell on the 29th, Roye on the 27th, Chaulnes on the 29th. Further north the British had captured Albert, and on the 29th occupied Bapaume. On September 1st they took Peronne with two thousand prisoners.

The advance still continued, and the German weakness was becoming more and more apparent. On September 6th the whole Allied line swept forward, with an average penetration of eight miles. Chauny was captured and the fortress of Ham. On September 17th the British were close to St. Quentin and the French in their own old intrenchments before La Fere. On September 18th a surprise advance over a twenty-two-mile front crossed the Hindenburg line at two points north of St. Quentin, Villeret and from Pontru to Hollom.

The first and third British armies, a little further to the north, were moving toward Cambrai and Douai, threatening not only them, but to get in the rear of Lens. This force proceeded up the Albert-Bapaume highway, and on August 27th captured a considerable portion of the Hindenburg line. On the 30th they reached Bullecourt and on September 2d crossed the Drocourt-Queant line on a six-mile-front. This was the famous switch line, meant to supplement the Hindenburg line and its capture meant the complete overthrow of the German intrenched positions at this point.

The Germans retreated hastily to the Canal du Nord, and on September 3d Queant was captured by an advance on a twenty mile front, along with ten thousand prisoners. The Allied forces were moving steadily forward. On September 18th the British reached the defenses of Cambrai and were encircling the city of St. Quentin. On October 3d the advance upon Cambrai forced the Germans to evacuate the Lens coal fields, and on October 9th another advance over a thirty-mile front enabled the Allies to occupy Cambrai and St. Quentin. On the 11th they had reached the suburbs of Douai. By this time the whole of the Picardy salient had been wiped out.

The preceding summary of this great movement gives little idea of the tremendous struggle which had gone on during these two critical months, and hardly does more than suggest the tremendous importance of the British operations. The Hindenburg line was like a great fortification, and for more than a year had been regarded as impregnable. At Bullecourt there were two main lines. One hundred and twenty-five yards in front of the first line was a belt of wire twenty-five feet broad, so thick that it could not be seen through. The line itself contained double machine-gun emplacements of ferro-concrete, one hundred and twenty-five yards apart, with lesser emplacements between them. More belts of wire protected the support line. Here a continuous tunnel had been constructed at a depth of over forty feet. Every thirty-five yards there were exits with flights of forty-five steps. The tunnels were roofed and lined and bottomed with heavy timber, and numerous rooms branched off. They were lighted by electricity. Large nine-inch trench mortars stood at the traverses and strong machine-gun positions covered the line from behind.

The Hindenburg line was really only one of a series of twenty lines, each connected with the others by communicating trenches. The main lines were solid concrete, separated by an unending vista of wire entanglements. At points this barrier barbed wire extended in solid formation for ten miles. This tremendous system of defenses was originally called by the Germans the Siegfried line, and in the spring of 1917 they found it wise, at points where a strong offensive was expected, to fall back to it for protection. It had been their hope that it would prove an impassable barrier to the Allied troops, but now it had been broken, and the moral effect of the British success was even greater than the material.

One of the most noticeable results of the British advance had been the capture of Lens. It had been captured without a fight, because of the British threat upon its rear, but its capture was of tremendous importance. Lens had been the scene of bitter fighting in the latter part of August, 1917, when the Canadians had specially distinguished themselves. This city had been heavily fortified by the Germans who had recognized its importance as being the center of the great Lens coal fields, and they had never given it up. It had sometimes been described as the strongest single position that had ever confronted the Allies on the western front. It had been made a sort of citadel of reinforced concrete. Even the courage and power of the Canadians had only given them possession of some of its suburbs. Between these suburbs and the concrete citadel were the coal pits, with their fathomless depths of ages and the mysteries of kultural strategy. The struggle became a succession of avalanches of gas, burning oil, rifle and machine-gun fire. Both sides lost terrifically, but the Germans had held the town. Now it was given up without a blow and its great coal fields were once more in possession of the French. Before retreating the Germans showed their usual destructive energy and the mines were found flooded as a result of consistent and scientific use of dynamite.

The recapture of Lens was cheering news in Paris. Not the least of the many sufferings of the French during the last two years of the war was that which came from the scarcity of coal. Indeed, more than once during those two winters coal could not be obtained at any price. These periods unfortunately came in the latter part of the winter, and it happened they were unusual periods of intense cold. Thousands of people stayed in bed all day in order to keep warm. The capture of Lens, therefore, had been anxiously desired. Nearly the whole of the French coal supply had come from Lens and the adjacent Bethune coal fields. The Bethune field, although steadily working, had never produced enough coal for even the pressing necessities of the French munition works.

The news that Bapaume had fallen on August 29th brought back, especially to the British, memories not only of the previous year and of the great forward movement which, on March 17th, had swept them over Bapaume and Peronne, but also bitter memories of the retreat in the previous March, which had carried them back under the overwhelming German pressure. The capture therefore was balm to their spirits, and an English correspondent, Mr. Philip Gibbs, who had accompanied the British on their previous advance, found officers and men full of laughter and full of memories.

On all sides were the battle-fields of 1916 and 1917; Mametz Wood, Belleville Wood, Usna Hill, Ginchy, Morval, Guillemont. The fields were covered with battle debris, and yet to the English it was sacred ground from the graves of the men who fell there. Those graves still remained. The British shell fire had not touched them, but as the English advanced there were many bodies of gray-clad men on the roads and fields, and dead horses, and a litter of barbed wire, and deep shelters dug under banks, and shell craters, and helmets, gas masks, and rifles thrown here and there by the enemy as they fled. Now it was the Germans that were fleeing, and fleeing hopelessly, sullen, bitter at their officers, impatient of discipline.

One of the great differences between the attacks of the Allies in their last year of the war and those of preceding years, was the increased use and the improved character of the tanks. The tanks were a development of the war. Before the war, however, the development of the caterpillar tractor had suggested to a few farsighted people the possibility of evolving from this invention a machine capable of offensive use over rough country in close warfare. Experiments were made in behalf of the English War Office for some time without practical results.

At last, after these experiments had resulted in various failures, a type of tractor was finally designed which produced satisfactory results. It was a caterpillar tractor, with an endless self-laid track, over which internal driving wheels could be propelled by the engines. It was not until July, 1916, that the first consignment of these new engines of warfare arrived at the secret maneuver ground.

There were two kinds. One called the male was armed with two Hotchkiss quick-fire guns, as well as with an armament of machine guns. The other type, called the female, was armed only with machine guns. The male tank was designed for dealing with the concrete emplacements for the German machine guns. The other was more suitable for dealing with machine-gun personnel and riflemen. Some time was taken in training men to use these tanks, for the crew of a tank must suffer a great deal of hardship on account of the noise of the engine every command had to be made by signs, and the motion of the tank being like that of a ship on a heavy sea, was likely to produce seasickness.

The tanks were painted with weird colors for the purpose of concealment, and when they first appeared caused a great deal of wonder and amusement. They were first used in battle on September 15, 1916, in a continuation of the battle of the Somme, and proved a great surprise to the Germans. The Germans directed all available rifle and machine-gun fire upon them without success. A correspondent narrates that: "As the 'Creme de Menthe' moved on its way, the bullets fell from its sides harmlessly. It advanced upon a broken wall, leaned up against it heavily, until it fell with a crash of bricks, and then rose on to the bricks and passed over them and walked straight into the midst of factory ruins." They were an immense success and had come to stay.


Specific Information regarding actions of Ernest's 147th Infantry, 37th Div.



Frank Buckles, Last Known U.S. Doughboy, Dies

Advocated for National World War I Memorial in D.C.

WASHINGTON (February 28, 2011) - Frank Woodruff Buckles, who lied about his age to enlist in the Army in 1917 and became the last known U.S. veteran of World War I, died on February 27, 2011 at the age of 110.

"We have lost a living link to an important era in our nation's history," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "But we have also lost a man of quiet dignity, who dedicated his final years to ensuring the sacrifices of his fellow 'Doughboys' are appropriately commemorated."

Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. Details about the funeral are expected to be released soon.

A long-time resident of Charles Town, West Virginia, where he had a farm, Buckles was born in Bethany, Missouri. He enlisted shortly after his 16th birthday and served in France and Germany.

At the start of World War II, he was a civilian working with a steamship company in the Philippines. He was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp for three and a half years.

In his later years, Buckles became an advocate for the expansion of a little-known memorial to World War I Veterans from the District of Columbia into a national memorial.

More than 4,700,000 Americans served in the military during World War I. About 53,000 died of combat-related causes, while another 63,000 deaths were listed as non-combat.

Media objectErnest Gravesite in Meuse-Argonne, France - 147th Infantry, 37th DivisionErnest Gravesite in Meuse-Argonne, France - 147th Infantry, 37th Division
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Media objectErnest at home right after bootcamp. (Top left in uniform) When he signed up they said he would go on leave home when he graduated. Instead, he was suppose to go directly to France. He went AWOL and visited home anyway, then went back. They did not do anything to himErnest at home right after bootcamp. (Top left in uniform) When he signed up they said he would go on leave home when he graduated. Instead, he was suppose to go directly to France. He went AWOL and visited home anyway, then went back. They did not do anything to him
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Media objectLone soldier and unknown hilltop graveLone soldier and unknown hilltop grave
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Media objectMeuse-Argonne Cemetary in FranceMeuse-Argonne Cemetary in France
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Media objectLocal Newspaper story about Ernest death in WWILocal Newspaper story about Ernest death in WWI
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Media objectErnest posing for a portrait in civies.Ernest posing for a portrait in civies.
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Media objectNoah and Matilda's Certificate greatly enlarged so you can read the print. This is a big file so it will take a minute to load.Noah and Matilda's Certificate greatly enlarged so you can read the print. This is a big file so it will take a minute to load.
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Media objectAmerican soldier receiving first aid soon after being wounded.American soldier receiving first aid soon after being wounded.
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Media objectSept 1918 photo of American WWI Machine Gunners like Ernest Oxenrider. He was killed by a sniper when he raised up to recock the gun.Sept 1918 photo of American WWI Machine Gunners like Ernest Oxenrider. He was killed by a sniper when he raised up to recock the gun.
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Media objectHill where Ernest was killed on Mont Faucon 1Hill where Ernest was killed on Mont Faucon 1
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Media objectHill where Ernest was killed on Mont Faucon with Monument in backgroundHill where Ernest was killed on Mont Faucon with Monument in background
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Media objectChurch on top of hill where Ernest died, near monument to AmericansChurch on top of hill where Ernest died, near monument to Americans
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Media objectMontfaucon-d'Argonne American Monument near where Ernest died.Montfaucon-d'Argonne American Monument near where Ernest died.
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Media objectFrank Buckles, Last Known U.S. Doughboy, DiesFrank Buckles, Last Known U.S. Doughboy, Dies
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Media objectWWI Browning Machine GunWWI Browning Machine Gun
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Note: Although chiefly renowned for designing small arms John Moses Browning's M1917 machine gun was adopted by the U.S. government following America's entry into the war in April 1917. Prior to the armistice tens of thousands of recoil operated, belt fed, water cooled M1917 machine guns were manufactured for use by the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) from 1917.
Media objectPvt Ernest OxenriderPvt Ernest Oxenrider
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