While this regiment was not called into federal service and, therefore, had no chance to participate in the activities at the front; it did its part in the winnng of the war by the thorough instruction given its members, many of whom were drafted or enlisted later in other units and saw active service in this country as well as overseas. Nearly every man who went into active service was quickly made a non-commissioned officer on account of the training he had received in the regiment.
Early in the fall of 1917, when the success of the allied cause looked anything but encouraging, Acting Secretary of War Ingram issued an order, authorizing the organization of national guard units in Tennessee with the distinct understanding that, if the exigencies existed which seemed to make the course advisable, these units were to be subject to the call or draft of the President for foreign service. Gov. Rye immediately called a conference of military men at Nashville and the decision was reached to organize one regiment of infantry. David C. Chapman, J. Wylie Brownlee, Frank L. West, W. Q. Johnston, N. E. Logan and H. F. Knox were appointed provisional officers for the Knoxville units. Messrs. Chapman and Brownlee at once visited 27 different towns in East Tennessee, addressing meetings in behalf of the proposed regiment. This recruiting work resulted, in less than 30 days, in the enlistment of 1,589 acceptable men. In the succeeding months, as men would drop out of the regiment on account of the draft or for other reasons, their places were filled, so that altogether 4,017 men were recruited and sworn into the regiment for service during the duration of the war.
The full quota for one regiment having been raised in East Tennessee, the regiment was designated the Fifth Tennessee Infantry, and Lieutenant-Colonel Chapman, who had been in command, was commissioned a full colonel of the organization on February 5, 1918. Mr. Brownlee was commissioned captain and appointed mustering officer. Accompanied by Col. Chapman, he visited the various towns in East Tennessee where companies had been organized and mustered these units into service during December, 1917.
The officers of the regiment and the towns in which companies were organized were as follows:
Colonel D. C. Chapman, Knoxville; Lieut.-Col. Milton B. Ochs, Chattanooga; Headquarters Company, Captain J. Wylie Brownlee, Knoxville; Supply Compa y, Knoxville, Captain William Q. Johnston; Machine Gun Company, Knoxville, Captain Charles L. Peckinbaugh, 1st Lieut. Robert L. Kern, 2nd Lieut. Thomas Bailey, 2nd Lieut. Wallace D. Boyd.
First Battalion -- Major Frank L. West, Knoxville; Company A, Johnson City, Captain William H. Hodge, 1st Lieut. Grover Summers, 2nd Lieut. Joseph H. Crouch; Company B, Erwin, Captain Robert W. Vandergriff, 1st Lieut. Roy Tucker, 2nd Lieut. Luther C. Hurd; Company C, Greeneville, Captain William C. Hardin, 1st Lieut. Don H. McDaniel, 2nd Lieut. Robert W. Daughty, 2nd Lieut. James A. Holley; Company D, LaFollette, Captain Lee J. Sergeant, 1st Lieut. William H. Noel, 2nd Lieut. G. B. Gallaher.
Second Battalion -- Major C. H. Gillingham, Maryville; 1st Lieut. Earl Rodgers, Knoxville; Company E, Knoxville, Captain Earnest Logan, 2nd Lieut. Arthur J. Cockrell; Company F, Petros, Captain Arthur W. Evans, Captain Walton Y. Boswell, 1st Lieut. E. B. Patton, 2nd Lieut. W. H. Eblin; Company G, Maryville, Captain Edgar Teffeteller, 1st Lieut. James L. Maxey, 2nd Lieut. J. T. Tweed; Company H, Lenoir City, Captain C. E. Morelock, 1st Lieut. J. W. Bussell, Jr., 2nd Lieut. Samuel F. Carroll.
Third Battalion -- Major H. M. Candler, Athens; 1st Lieut. H. F. Knox; Company I, Captain Bartlett Hagemeyer, 1st Lieut. Allen Davis, 2nd Lieut. Roy L. Gooch; Company K, Rockwood, Captain Leland Cook, 1st Lieut. James R. Tedder, 2nd Lieut. Harry C. Howard; Company L, Athens, Captain Charles F. Keith, 1st Lieut. Russell Huff, 2nd Lieut. C. C. Mahery; Company M, Cleveland, Captain Q. M. Smith, 1st Lieut. W. H. Rodgers, 2nd Lieut. C. A. Mee, Sanitary Detachment, Major B. D. Bosworth, Knoxville; Major H. M. Cass, Johnson City. Chaplain, 1st Lieut. H. V. Carson, Knoxville.
During January, 1918, Colonel Chapman was busy securing armories in the various towns of East Tennessee for the local companies, the Knoxville companies being installed in the Briscoe building on State Street. Bi-weekly drills and military instruction were started with a rush, Col. Chapman and his staff making frequent inspection of the companies as the work progressed. Schools for commissioned and noncommissioned officers were held weekly under good instructors, and rapid progress was made in the work. Col. E. V. Smith, of the regular army, inspected the regiment during January, 1918, and declared that every requirement for federal recognition had been met. This recognition was finally extended on May 6 and full equipment was ordered from the quartermaster depots. On account of the enormous demands of the war, however, this equipment was not received until July, 1918.
During this period the draft age was from 21 to 31, so that all members of the national guard above or below these ages had voluntarily made themselves subject to call because of their enlistment. Many members of draft age were called into service by the county boards, thus depleting the ranks of both regiments in the state. From these two sources the regiment lost heavily both in officers and men. Among the officers who resigned to get into active service in training camps were Major West, Captain Brownlee, Captain Peckinbaugh, Lieuts. Kern, Bailey and Boyd, Captain Vandergriff, Lieut. Tucker, Lieut. Maxey, Lieut. Bussell, Captain Cook, Lieut. Tedder, Lieut. Howard and Captain Smith.
Owing to losses by the draft and the training camps, it was thought advisable in June, 1918, to consolidate the Fourth and Fifth Infantry Regiments into one. This was done, and Colonel Chapman was placed in command of the consolidated regiment, which was designated the Fourth Tennessee Infantry. New officers were appointed from the other regiment to fill the vacancies, but the location of the companies remained the same, some consolidations being made to increase the strength of the units.
Every effort was made by the officers and the enlisted men of the regiment to get into federal service and see field duty. With this end in view, frequent trips were made to Washington by Col. Chapman, accompanied by Gov. Rye, Adjutant General Buckner, and officers of the regiment. Senators Shields and McKeller gave their assistance also in trying to get the War Department to call out the regiment.
In the fall of 1918 the regiment was ordered to go into encampment at Camp John Sevier near Fountain City. The rifle range was put in a good state of repair, the camp buildings and grounds prepared, and all arrangements made for the encampment October 7-22, 1918. The serious epidemic of influenza, which reached its height about that time, made it necessary to call off the encampment. After the signing of the armistice, Colonel Chapman resigned his command on November 23, 1918, and serious attempts to continue the military training with the companies were abandoned.
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