Major Louis E. Schucker and the Last Battle

Major Louis E. Schucker and the Last Battle

By: David Bennett, Curator at the Port o’ Plymouth Museum

Special thanks to the Garden Spot Café, the Golden Skillet, and US Cellular for hosting this article by the Port o’ Plymouth Museum.

On November 11, 1918, the Armistice that ended the First World War was signed.  On that day, however, men were still being maimed and killed.  One man who stood out heroically was Major Louis E. Schucker of Washington County, North Carolina.  He was the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, 321st Infantry Regiment, 81st Division.  It was Schucker’s first and last battle of the Great War, but his presence on the battlefield that day made all the difference. 

At 6 a.m., Schucker and his men were ordered to go “over the top” and they charged head first into heavy artillery and machinegun fire.  The fog was heavy that morning and the American forces became scattered on the battlefield.  A gap opened in the divisional line exposing the flanks of two American battalions.  On his own initiative, Schucker moved his battalion into the gap to prevent a slaughter.  He then pushed 2nd Battalion forward aggressively.  Two of his companies made it through the German barbed wire and took out several machinegun nests.  They proceeded to capture the German trenches.  By then, however, it was 11 a.m. and the Armistice came into effect.  The war was over.

The American offensive on November 11th was a pointless exercise that resulted in unnecessary bloodshed.  Maj. Schucker, acting with courage and a cool mind, possibly prevented further bloodletting by strengthening the weak point in the American line.  He was not heralded as a hero and he has largely passed from memory.  His legacy, however, lives on.  Every man from Washington County that Schucker led into battle survived the war and returned home.

The Washington County men who fought side-by-side with Schucker include: Arthur Furlough, Willie Hufton, Allie Latham, Seaton Phelps, John Rodgers, Henry Sawyer, and John Sawyer.  
Major Louis E. Schucker and the Last Battle Major Louis E. Schucker and the Last Battle Reviewed by Port o' Plymouth Museum on 9:22:00 AM Rating: 5

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