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Sixth Army Corps

The Sixth Corps was organized August 1st, 1918, and was commanded by Major General Omar Bundy, Major General Charles C. Ballou (commanding 92nd Division, the only division in the Corps before the armistice), and Major General Adelbert Cronkhite. After the armistice, the Corps was composed of the 92nd, 88th, 7th, 28th, 5th and 33rd Divisions. These divisions operated with other Corps before being attached to the Sixth Corps. The last two days of combat, the corps started activity in the Vosges. The insignia of the Sixth Corps is a white figure 6" in a blue circle two inches in diameter.

When assigned to the Second Army on October 13, the Sixth Corps possessed, as corps troops, the 115th Engineers, engaged in road construction in the forward areas and barrack construction, which were continued throughout the month. The first ten days of November were occupied in preparing the sector for attack by the establishment of dumps, repair of roads and bridges, and provision of a pontoon train and light footbridge equipage. The 92d Division in line, having but one sapper company, detachments of the 115th Engineers were placed in line with the division. In the attack of November 10, the corps engineer had at his disposal one battalion of the 804th Pioneer Infantry and the 115th Engineers, less one company in line, which were held in alert position in Puvenelle Forest.

Omar Bundy, born 17 June 1861 at New Castle, Ind., graduated from the Military Academy in 1883 and served on the American frontier, participating in campaigns against Crow and Sioux Indians. During the Spanish-American War he fought with the 5th Army Corps in Cuba and received the Silver Star for gallantry at El Caney. From 1899 to 1902 he served in the Philippines during the insurrection and subsequently, after teaching law at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., fought the Moros in the Philippines in 1905-06. General Bundy served within the continental United States until 1917 when he assumed command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Expeditionary Division, and sailed for France in June 1917. As a division and corps commander during World War I he participated in the occupation of the Toulon Rupt, and Troyon Sectors and served in the Aisne-Marne Operations and in the occupations of the Chateau-Thierry and Pas Fini Sectors. Following the war he commanded Camp Lee, Va., the VII Corps Area, the Philippine Division, and the V Corps Area. For his services in World War I, General Bundy was awarded the French Legion of Honor, Commander, and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. He died in Washington, DC, 20 January 1940.

Under the command of Brigadier General Charles C. Ballou, the 92d Division, National Army, was organized beginning on 26 October 1917 from African-American draftees from throughout the United States. The various units were assembled for training in camps widely scattered geographically across the country, with headquarters at Camp Funston, Kansas. The division would never be fully mobilized and trained as a division until it was partially assembled at Camp Upton, New York, for embarkation purposes in late May and early June 1918. The division's commissioned personnel was part white and part black. All the division's general, field, and staff officers, and captains of the field artillery brigade were white and from the regular army. The judgments of Major General Charles C. Ballou, the commander of the all-black 92nd Division in Europe, and other World War I commanders, cast doubt on the performance of black combat units, the intellectual capabilities of black soldiers, and the leadership abilities of black officers.

Charles C. Ballou was born in Orange, Schuyler County, New York, June 13, 1862. Entered West Point June 6, 1882, by appointment from Fourth District, Illinois. Graduated June 12,1886. Commissioned 2d Lt., 16th Infantry, July 1,1886, and served in that regiment in Texas, Utah, and Sioux campaign of 1890-91 in South Dakota. Promoted 1st Lt., 12th Infantry, April 23, 1893. Served in Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Mustered in 8th and 9th Illinois Volunteers at Camp Tanner, 1898. Promoted Captain, 12th Infantry, March 2,1902. Served in that regiment as captain in the Philippine Insurrection, during which time he participated in several battles and small actions. Name sent to Senate by President Roosevelt for confirmation for brevet of Major for "distinguished gallantry in action near Anzeles, Luzon, P. I.," August 16, 1899. Quartermaster 12th Infantry. Transferred to 15th Infantry February, 1904. Quartermaster 15th Infantry. Commissary 15th Infantry. Transferred to 12th Infantry, February, 1906. Detailed in Quartermaster Department October, 1908. Promoted Major 7th Infantry, June 26, 1909. Duty in Quartermaster General's office 1909-10. Transferred to 24th Infantry in 1912. Lt. Colonel 24th Infantry February 7, 1915. Commanded 24th Infantry during portion of campaign in Mexico. Colonel of Infantry July 19, 1916. Conducted Training Camp for Colored Officers, Ft. Des Moines, Iowa, 1917. Brigadier General, August, 1917. Commanded Depot Brigade, Camp Dodge, Iowa, September and October, 1917. Major General, November 28, 1917. Organized, trained and commanded 92nd Division, October 26,1917, to November 19, 1918. Attended Infantry and Cavalry School at Ft. Leavenworth Field Officers' School, and War College. Five times in Philippine Islands. Sailed for France June 10,1918. On front line August 24 to November 19, 1918.

Major General Adelbert Cronkhite arrived in France, May 30, 1918. His assignments included command of the 80th Division, June 22, 1918; and command of the 9th Army Corps, November 25. Adelbert Cronkhite was born in New York, January 6, 1861. of Capt. Adelbert Cronkhite, was assigned to the field artillery by the orders of the Secretary of War, dated Scptember 3,1901, but did not actually join the field artillery for duly until on or about October 2,1901, the War Department reporting that he was on leave and en route to join his new command from July 23 to October 2, 1901. Maj. Adelbert Cronkhite, Coast Artillery Corps, was detailed for duty as inspector-general by Special Orders, No. 109, War Department, 1907, and took charge July 21, 1907. He was relieved from duty at these headquarters by Special Orders, No. 2, War Department, 1908, and was succeeded in office by Lieut. Col. C. G. Woodward.

Adelbert Cronkhite was appointed major general of the National Army August 28, 1917, and notice was sent to an incorrect address on that date, but never reached him. On August 29, 1917, an order was given to him at Ancon, Canal Zone, to report at Camp Lee, Va. This he did, and on September 15, 1917, In answer to an inquiry, wired acceptance of his rank as major general "on the date on which it was tendered." Cronkhite was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal "For exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services. He commanded the Eightieth Division during the Argonne-Meuse offensive where he demonstrated great ability as a leader and proved himself a commander of initiative and courage." G. O. 12 (January 17, 1919). In early 1919 the 6th Corps, commanded by Brig. Gen. Adelbert Cronkhite, was to function in the Luxemburg area with the 5th and 33d Divisions, which had been attached to the Second Army. General Cronkhite was expected to take up headquarters in the City of Luxemburg soon, this city also being the General Headquarters of Marshal Foch. The control of this additional territory would give the Third Army the 3d, 4th, and 6th Corps, with nine divisions.

Joseph Cummings Chase, whose portraits of American leaders in the World War had been a feature of The World's Work for a considerable time, was authorised by the War Department in October 1918 to go to the front and paint the portraits of the American generals and of representative American soldiers. Major-General Cronkhite had a head that Franz Hals would have loved to paint; he is individual, and his ruddy eyes, nose, and mouth all express keen perception and humor. So much did he suggest the Franz Hals type that unconsciously Chase said he almost painted him with the famous Dutch ruff. Cronkhite had the reputation of being an extraordinary officer and disciplinarian, and at the same time is extremely genial.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:48 ZULU