Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
[Home] [Previous Soldier] [Next Soldier]


Pvt. Everett Burdette
Co. I, 120th Infantry, 30th Division.
October 17, 1895 - September 1, 1918

      "In case of need one single man has the right and duty to compel
the whole of mankind." Such was the doctrine of Fichte, the apostie
of German unity. The veneration of the Kaiser before the war
perpetuated this doctrine and aroused the resistance of most of the
world. In this opposition Everett Burdette was ready to give his life.

     He was born October 17, 1895, at Fort Branch, Ind. He received
his education in Evansville at Centennial School. At fifteen he began
to learn the painter's trade. As this work did not appeal to him, he
found employment in a grocery, where he remained until he went to
the army.

     His first training station after he entered the service, September
15, 1917, was at Camp Taylor. After a sojourn of six months he was
transferred to Camp Sevier, S.C., where he was assigned to Co. I,
120th Infantry. Three months later he was ordered to Hoboken, N.J.
In May, 1918, he crossed the Atlantic to Liverpool and from there
he went to Calais, France.

     On Sunday morning, September 1, 1918, as Everett Burdette went
"over the top" in the battle of Mt. Kemmel, a bursting shell killed him
instantly.

     The circumstances of Everett's death are described in a letter
from his brother, Ernest, who was with him at the front at that time.
The letter follows:
        "Dear Mother, Long before this letter reaches you,
         I suppose you will have heard of the sad news that
         Everett lost his life last Sunday morning, September 1.
         We left the front the second day after and this is the
         first chance I have had to write to you.

        "Of course, it is hard to bear, but you have to expect
         such things in the time of war.  I am writing to Ralph
         today also.

        "We were all in the lines together, but I did not know
         anything about it until he was buried.  He was killed by
         a shell dropping in a trench and it was instant death.
         He did not suffer.  He was buried with military honors
         in the Nine Elms cemetery in Belgium.  I visited the
         grave and made arrangements with the British for a nice
         cross.

        "The night we went into the trenches he came to me and
         told me good-bye.  The last words I said to him were,
         'Be a man and fight to the last,' and he answered,
         'Don't worry; I will.' He died a good soldier and game
         to the last.

        "Fifteen minutes after it happened the Huns sure were
         paid for it.  There is nothing else to write, only please
         don't worry about me, I am well and all right."

   A certificate signed by Gen. John I. Pershing was sent to his
parents.  The certificate is: "In Memory of Everett Burdette," and it
says"
         "He bravely laid down his life for the cause of
          his country.  His name will forever remain fresh
          in the hearts of his friends and comrades."
_____

Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
pp37-38.

cdmyers@wowway.com
April 15, 1998