Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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|Pvt. Clyde Samuel Collins
Co. C, 6th Field Battalion, Signal Corps.
November 16, 1896 - April 11, 1918
That ambition for military activity is a trait of character in the family of Clyde Samuel Collins, may be gleaned from the fact that his brother, John Pirtle Collins, enlisted in the navy when he was a lad of seventeen, and on board the U.S.S. Arkansas made several trips to Cuba, two trips to Panama and a voyage to Italy, where he visited Naples and Rome. John's death in 1916, caused by an accident after he was honorably discharged from the navy, prevented his active participation in the war with Germany. Clyde heard his brother predict that the sinking of the Lusitania would result in our entrance in the war. He, too, wanted to experience military life. Especially did he want to serve across the sea. His enthusiasm for the service and his eagerness to rejoin the fighting ranks when he was weak from illness, proved fatal for Clyde Samuel Collins. He was born November 16, 1896, in Folsomville, Ind., Warrick County. He attended the Baker, Chestnut and Harlan Avenue schools. He did not enjoy the advantages of a higher education, but he was a voracious reader and he possessed a store of information far beyond the attainment of an elementary education. When his school days were over he worked in a store, Hercules Buggy Works and at a veneer factory. When he entered the service he worked at Philadelphia as air inspector on Pullman coaches of the Philadelphia and Rending Railway. On February 22, 1918, he entered the service. His mother said, "I will always remember this day, Washington's Birthday, as the day my youngest son went forth to serve his country." He served in Co. C, Sixth Field Battalion, Signal Corps, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kans. His military career, however, was terminated by a fatal malady, the Spanish Influenza. Fearing that his battalion which was preparing to go to France, would leave without him, he left the hospital before he completely regained his strength and consequently suffered a relapse. Pneumonia developed, and about noon of April 11, 1918, he died at the post hospital. He was given a military funeral at Leavenworth before his body was brought to Evansville two days later. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. A letter from his captain, F. 0. Ludlow, speaks of his brave fight with the disease which finally overpowered him: "Private Collins was an excellent soldier who was universally liked by his officers and fellow soldiers, and his death is a genuine sorrow to us all. During his illness at the post hospital the surgeons and his nurses reported that he was making a gallant fight for his life against the disease. We feel that his memory is to be honored just as truly as will be those who die fighting in the trenches in France in the service of their Country." (Signed) Captain F. 0. LUDLOW. He was in the army but a short time, but there is another testimonial of his worth. A letter from Major Donald B. Sanger to his mother characterized his service and the keen loss his organization felt when he died. The letter said: "I realize that words are futile; yet I want you to know of the high standing your boy, Clyde Collins, held among his fellows in the battalion. Although he was with us but a short time; yet, even short as it was, it was sufficient for us to know his worth, and that but for the call of a Higher Duty he would have been one of our best men. "In his passing, my dear Mrs. Collins, I want you to know that his service to his country and to the great cause for which we are fighting was just as glorious, just as big a thing as if he had died on the field of battle in France. His work will go on and his death is to us an inspiration. May God comfort you in your loss and ease your sorrow with the knowledge that your son comes to Him with clean hands, a worthy soldier." _____ Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record, Compiled by Heiman Blatt, Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920 pp43-44.
April 15, 1998