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Seventh Army Corps

The Seventh Corps was organized August 20th, 1918. It was commanded by Major General W.M. Wright, Major General Omar Bundy and Major General William G. Haan. It was composed of the 6th, 81st and 88th Divisions in the Vosges sector. The insignia of the Seventh Corps is a figure "7" in white on a blue shield.

When war was declared W.M. Wright was in charge of the commissioned personnel of the Adjutant General's office in the War Department. On 01 July 1917 W.M. Wright was sent to Hoboken to organize the board of embarkation, and was placed temporarily on that duty until Gen. Shanks arrived from the Philippine Islands. Wright was then sent out to Camp Donovan, at Fort Sill, to train and organize the thirty-fifth Division. Before the division assembled Wright was sent abroad as an observer in the middle of September 1917, and got, back about the 10th of December, assumed command of the Thirty-fifth Division and took it abroad on the 16th day of April 1918: went to the British, and was there until the 6th of June, when the division was moved to the Vosges.

On the 13th of June W.M. Wright assigned to the temporary command of the Third Corps, for the organization of the corps staff and the training of the divisions in the corps. The divisions in the corps were under the tactical jurisdiction of the French, and under the training and administrative jurisdiction of the corps commander. The Third Corps passed from Wright's command, and he took up the Fifth Corps and did similar work with that, and had just started in with the Seventh Corps when he was relieved and sent to command the Eighty-ninth Division about a week before the St. Mihiel offensive.

The 89th Division arrived in France in July, 1918; had a month's intensive training, and then went into the Lucey sector, being the first American division to take over an entire sector. On September 6, 1918 Major General W.M. Wright succeeded Brigadier General Winn in command of the division. Wright was in command of the Eighty-ninth Division in the battle of St. Mihiel and (he battle of the Meuse-Argonne. On November 9 he was assigned to the command of the First Corps and took command November 12, and was with that corps in France during the winter. Wright came back to America in April 1919.

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.

With the initiative passing to the Allies, so too passed the chance for Germany to defeat Britain and France before the United States could intervene in force. From August 28-September 1 Maj. Gen. William G. Haan's 32d Division attacked north of Soissons, seizing the key town of Juvigny and making a two-and-a-half-mile penetration of the German lines.

A series of disorders in the National Capital during the latter half of July, 1919 were variously termed " race riots," "uprising against the colored population," etc., but in the opinion of those who made close observation and study of the situation at the time, the trouble could not be attributed to any premeditated or concerted action on the part of either the white or colored population against the other, but was the result of angry demonstrations on the part of a certain element composed of citizens, soldiers, sailors, and marines who, encouraged by general public discussion and newspaper comment, were out in the main solely for adventure and excitement and to seize the opportunity to create or participate in any crisis that occurred. The unfortunate feature of most disorders of this kind, however, is that human life is usually sacrificed and it is regretted that during the period of the disturbances some persons were wounded by pistol shooting, and several, including a member of the Home Defense League and a detective sergeant of the police department, were killed. The several branches of the Military Establishment responded generously and promptly to the appeal made by the commissioners for cooperation with the police in handling any unexpected situation, which is always anticipated in such disturbances, and Maj. Gen. William G. Haan was detailed by the Secretary of War to command the troops for such duty.

Within the Army itself, there were many indications of arapid and successful assimilation of the lessons of the Western Front. The Army's post-war operational doctrine,the 1923 Field Service Regulations, embodied an effective combined-arms system. Equally impressive was Brigadier General William G. Haan's "Positive System of Coast Defense." Issued in 1920, it addressed the long-recognizedproblem of protecting the coastal areas between the fortresses. Haan recognized the similarity between crossing No Man's Land and an amphibious assault, and he created a flexible defense in depth that would have channeled the attackers into killing zones, pinned them on the beaches,and then struck them with overwhelming firepower.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:49 ZULU