Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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Wagonner Ralph C. Patterson
Troop K, 12th Cavalry
February 20, 1896 - November 21, 1918

     Ralph Patterson was born at Petersburg, Ind., February 20, 1896.
He went to the public schools of Petersburg until the age of thirteen.
In Evansville he attended Fulton Avenue School for two years.  When
his school days were over he began to work in a furniture factory, and
continued this work until he entered the service.

     An army career appealed to his romantic temperament.  On
September 28. 1914, he enlisted in the army as a cavalryman.  His
first training was at Jefferson Barracks, where he remained two months.
He was then transferred to Ft. Meade, Md.  After a year and six
months of service at this post as a wagonner, he went to Culberrson
Ranch, at Hachita. New Mexico.  At this time he was a member of
Troop K. 12th Cavalry.  During his long period of service he had
only one furlough for nine days, in May, 1918, during his father's
illness.  On the 17th of November, 1918, he contracted Spanish
Influenza.  The illness developed into pneumonia, which caused his
death, November 21, 1918.  He was buried in Evansville in Locust
Hill Cemetery.

     True typical red-blooded American that he was, he liked the
adventurous life of the army, and often expressed his intention of
re-enlisting when his term expired.  His desire to serve in France was
expressed in the following poem which appeared in the Evansville


      We are sitting down here on the border,
      Waiting for orders to sail,
      We are trying to establish order,
      When nobody cares for a jail.

      We had a fight the other night,
      And one of our men was killed;
      The bandits took him and he died game;
      Sergeant Herbert Ulrich was his name.

      But who cares about the border
      When everyone's going across,
      Who cares if we suffer Loss?

      It's a pretty hard pill to swallow
      When the boys are going to France,
      To sit down here on the border,
      And not even get a chance.

      But we must obey our orders,
      And will gladly do so, too,
      If you'll give a thought to the boys
      Who are guarding the border for you.
                -RALPH C. PATTERSON,
                 Troop K, 12th Cav., Hachita, New Mexico.


Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record,
Compiled by Heiman Blatt,
Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920
pp. 147-148
October 25, 1998