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Mark S. Reed

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial

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Mark S. Reed
1892-1918

“There is nothing that fear and hope does not permit men to do.”

Marquis de Vauvenargues

Army Sergeant Mark S. Reed hailed from Stover in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The 1900 United States Federal Census shows that Mark S. Reed resided in the Jumping Branch, Mercer County, household of James A. and Onie E. Reed, along with siblings Sydney L., Rosa A., Nettie G., Lacy O., and Clifton F. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census indicates that the family lived in Clear Fork, Raleigh County, and had added sons Burd and Ray and daughter Irene.

According to the World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Mark S. Reed was born on June 4, 1892. Mark stated on his registration form that he was 25 years old. He also indicated that he was born at Camp Creek, West Virginia, and was at the present time employed at Stotesbury as a miner with the E. E. White Coal Company. The World War I draft registration cards provide a wealth of information; Reed’s card notes that he was single with no dependents—and he had already served his nation in the Marine Corps for 2 years and 3 months! The registrar described Mark as being of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.
Mark Reed registration card
Mark S. Reed, registration card

Sgt. Reed was assigned to the 39th Infantry, Company E. He was killed in action on August 5, 1918. The date of his death coincides with the end of the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I (also known as the Battle of Reims), a major battle fought from July 15 to August 5, 1918, near the river of that name. According to the EncyclopædiaBritannica Online, this last major German offensive on the Western Front was the result of German General Erich Ludendorff’s attempt create a diversionary attack that would split the French armies and capture Reims, but the attack failed when an Allied counterattack led by French General Ferdinand Foch and his forces (assisted by British, Italian, and American units) overwhelmed the Germans, inflicting a large number of casualties.1 It is estimated that, while France suffered 95,000 casualties; Britain, 13,000; and the U.S., 12,000, Germany lost 168,000 troops.2 The loss caused the Germans to tactically retreat, and they never regained the offensive. The Allies’ successive victories following the second Battle of the Marne led to the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, and the Treaty of Versailles.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery.
Courtesy The Cemetery
Sgt. Mark S. Reed, Company E, 39th Infantry, 4th Division is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section Euro Site 1923.

1. “Second Battle of the Marne.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 01 Jul. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/365975/Second-Battle-of-the-Marne.
2. Michael Duffy, Ed. “The Second Battle of the Marne, 1918.” FirstWorldWar.Com: A Multimedia History of World War One. 2009. Web. 01 Jul. 2011. http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/marne2.htm.

Article contributed by Patricia Richards McClure

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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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