12th Engineers on the march through London, Aug 15, 1917
Information that appears on this page regarding the Twelfth Engineers comes from, "History of the Twelfth Engineers, U.S. Army", by Col. John A. Laird. Edited by Maj. William W. Burden and Capt. Harry F. McFarland; Buston & Skinner, St. Louis, Mo. 1919.
Although the regiment was organized and recruited in St. Louis, other recruiting offices were opened in Kansas City, Mo. and Dallas, Texas. Men were accepted from all across the country, especially mid-westerners who had technical experience. St. Louis was the most prominent hometown listed among the regimental roster. Its original designation was the "Second Reserve Engineers" but on May 14, 1917, was redesignated the 12th Engineers.
Camp Gaillard, the training encampment of the 12th Engineers, was located near the intersection of Chambers road and Riverview Drive near the "Chain of Rocks" on the Mississippi river, located in north part of the city. Because of the unavailability of tents, the army housed the regiment in "quarter boats" moored on the banks of the Mississippi river. They drilled on the open ground between the Chain of Rocks Pumping Plant (water works) and the former Nursery No. 3 Agricultural fields of the Div. of Parks & Recreation, City of St. Louis (now a city park). On land next to each quarterboat was a shower facility. The YMCA opened two large tents to provide refreshments, picture shows, music entertainment and writing tables for the soldiers when off duty. near intersection of Riverview and Chambers road. Today the only reminder of the 12th Engineers ever being there is a short road leading up the bluff named after the regiment.
The Camp was named "in honor of Col. David Du Bose Gaillard, who commanded the Third U.S. Volunteer Engineers in the Spanish American War" that was also organized in St. Louis, Mo. Camp Gaillard was occupied from May 25th to July 25th, 1917. On July 25th, the 12th Engineers was ordered to begin their movement to New York for their embarkation to France.
Panoramic View of the 12th Engineers at Camp Gaillard
Under direct shell fire of the enemy, the Twelfth Engineers built, operated and maintained light railway service that was so necessary in bringing troops, supplies and artillery to the battle lines of the British and American forces. They consisted of brakemen, civil engineers, laborers, locomotive engineers, conductors, locomotive firemen, machinists, mechanics, switchmen, and a whole hosts of other occupations necessary for operation of the Division of Light Railways ad Roads, American Expeditionary Forces.
Engine 5100 at Menil La Tour, France. This was one of the light rail steam engines that the 12th Engineers operated in the Toul sector 2nd Army offensive. Note: the engine bears the letters, "U.S.A.".
St. Louis, Missouri
When the Republic took the gage
of war to save the world aflame,
Swift as the flash that called to arms
Your eager answer came.
Your camp, moored at the Chain of Rocks
On yon historic river's shore,
You left ere summer waned and soon
Were ocean-bound for war.
So far you sped your words came back
Like echoes from enchanted land,
And you in knightly quest had grown
To something new and grand.
We heard the news from far Cambrai,
Where guns were grasped as shovels fell,
From Picardy, where your thin line
Held through the battle hell.
First honors for the soldier sons
Who fell where Fame her signet sets,
And cheers for you who bore the flag
From London Town to Metz.
To you our hearts, and through the years
A nation's gratitude and love,
While Liberty holds high her torch
And heaven bends above.
Mobilized Camp Gaillard ("Chain of Rocks") St. Louis, Missouri, June 1917
Departed St. Louis aboard trains July 25th, 1917
Embarked for Europe from New York aboard the R.M.S. Carmania, July 28, 1917
Arrived at Liverpool, England, Aug 12, 1917
Landed at Boulogne, France aboard the transports, "Australand" and "Antrim", Aug 18, 1917
Somme Sector, France (21 Aug-19 Nov 1917); (6 Dec 1917-20 Mar 1918); (7 Apr-28 Apr 1918)
Cambrai Offensive, France 20 Nov- 27 Nov 1917
Cambrai Defensive, France 30 Nov- 5 Dec 1917
Somme Defensive, France 21 Mar- 6 Apr 1918
North Picardy Sector, France 23 Apr- 25 Jul 1918
Baccarat Sector, France 29 Jul-24 Aug 1918
St. Mihiel Offensive, France 12 Sep-16 Sep 1918
Meuse-Argonne Offensive, France 26 Sep-9 Oct 1918
Toul Sector, France 13 Oct-11 Nov 1918
Returned to U.S., aboard the troopship, "S.S. Cape May", April 26, 1919
Arrived via "welcome home parade" to St. Louis, Missouri, May 12th 1919
Mustered out of service, Camp Funston, Kansas on May 16, 1919
Officers Detached From Service in France p268
Officers Detached From Service in France p269
Officers Assigned To Regiment in France But Relieved Of Duty Before Return to U.S.
Officers That Returned to the U.S. With Regiment
Note: Names listed in bold type are original members of the regiment. Those in regular type are replacements. Names listed with a dagger symbol were killed or died in service. An asterix denotes those wounded. A double plus sign denotes those men winning an officer's commission. [Note: to enlarge image for most browsers, click on image after it completes loading to get enlargement selection]
Abbott to Arnell
Arnold to Barry, James G.
Barry, William J. to Boggiano
Borgeson to Burner
Burrows to Clampett
Clapp to Colnon
Columbus to Cypko
Daghlien to Dodd
Dodson to Ellerkamp
Elliott to Flanigan
Flechs to Gault
Geiger to Grofils
Grunske to Harris
Harrison to Hilton
Hinds to Hughes
Hughes to Johnson, Parley J.
Johnson, Lawrence H. to Kelso, Lester D.
Kelso, William C. to Lackey
Lacy to Liddle
Lieber to McCracken
McCullough to Mahaney
Maher to Meredith, Farris
Meredith, Leslie L. to Morey, Paul E.
Morgan to Neihaus
Neil to Ott
Overby to Pierce
Pittman to Rankin, Albert I.
Rankin, Clyde to Robinson, James L.
Robinson, Jay P. to Sandler
Sandy to Shepherd
Shifflett to Smith
Smithey to Stroud
Stover to Thornton, Robert D.
Thornton, William L. to Vogel
Voiles to West
Weston to Yochum
York to Zwald
Unfortunately the above rosters are not necessarily complete. Those missing from the above list, have been added below. If you have a name to add, please send author documentation, such as military record or photo of veteran's tombstone.
George J. Dyer, Sr.
Submitted by: Rosalie Dyer Ferry (daughter of Pvt. G. J. Dyer)
Missourians of the First World War
October 2001, Scott K. Williams, email@example.com Florissant, Missouri USA