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Leslie Warner Halterman

Courtesy Rhonda Kelly

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Leslie Warner Halterman
1889-1918

"This is the end and the beginning of an age. This is something far greater than the French Revolution or the Reformation and we live in it."

H. G. Wells

U.S. Army Private Leslie Warner Halterman was the third child of James Buchanan “Buck” Halterman and Emma Amanda Burnside Halterman. Leslie was born at Freemansburg in Lewis County, West Virginia, on July 20, 1889. His parents were married in Lewis County on September 27, 1877.

The Haltermans made a home for the following children: Willis Wade, Lillian Blanche (Mrs. Harry S. Root, Mrs. Asa Hannon Reese), Leslie Warner, and Clara Gay (Mrs. William Joseph Droppleman).

Leslie responded to the call for the initial World War I draft by registering on June 17, 1917, in Lewis County. He was single and working as an oil rig builder for the Crude Oil Company. His draft registration card indicated that he was tall and stout and had light blue eyes and light sandy hair. He claimed no dependents or physical exemptions from the draft.

draft registration

World War I draft registration card for Leslie Warner Halterman. National Archives and Records Administration


When Leslie Halterman entered the U.S. Army, he was assigned to the 11th Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 10th Infantry Brigade within the Fifth Army Division. The 11th Infantry Regiment departed on April 24, 1918, for France and joined the Fifth Division near Chaumont, France. During the weeks that followed, the 11th participated in major battles, among them the St. Mihiel Offensive between September 12 and September 16. The objective of this battle was fourfold: 1. To deprive the Germans of the St. Mihiel salient; 2. To prevent them from interrupting traffic on the Paris-Nancy railroad by artillery fire; 3. To free the railroad leading north through St. Mihiel to Verdun; and 4. To provide a base of departure for an attack against the Metz-Sedan Railroad system, vital to the German armies west of Verdun and against the Briey Iron Basin, which was necessary for the production of German armament and munitions. Although American forces suffered 7,000 casualties during the St. Mihiel Offensive, that number was far fewer than expected.

The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was begun on September 26, 1918, and lasted until the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. The objective of this offensive was to repel the German forces eastward behind the Hindenburg line, thereby eliminating rail routes supplying the German front line sectors.

Leslie Warner Halterman was killed in action on November 6, 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, just five days before the Armistice was signed. He was probably initially buried in a battlefield grave and was later interred in a U.S. cemetery in Europe, but was finally brought home for burial in the United States. At the conclusion of the war, France resisted removing bodies for reburial, but in 1920 the French agreed to the return of American soldiers to the United States. The remains of 46,000 war dead were returned to the U.S. at a cost of over $30 million.
graveside

Graveside photo (Willis, James, Amanda, Lillian, and Gay).
Courtesy Rhonda Kelly

grave marker

Gravestone for Leslie Warner Halterman in Freemansburg United Methodist Cemetery. Courtesy Dan Nicholson

Private Leslie Warner Halterman was laid to rest on November 11, 1921, in the Freemansburg United Methodist Church Cemetery at Freemansburg in Lewis County, West Virginia.

Article prepared by Leon Armentrout
May 2015

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Leslie Warner Halterman

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.


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