Letter Describing the Account of the Death of Pfc. Matt Hill, of Archibald, in WWI, ca 1919

Account of the death of Pfc. Matt Hill, of Archibald. WWI Death Sat, Mar 1, 1919 – 1 · The Richland Beacon-News (Rayville, Louisiana)

We suppose Richland parish came as near contributing her share to the winning cf the war as any section of the country. She supplied as many and as brave as the best, and every now and then we have some evidence of this fact brought to us by a letter telling how one of the noble boys died. While they always sadden our hearts, they not but rekindle in us a great deal of pardonable pride in the loyalty, the courage and grandeur of these soldiers of ours who fought for the noblest cause now ever battled for in the world.

Below we publish a letter from Lieutenant Clinton J. Greene, Chaplain with the American Expeditionary Forces in France, to Mr. Elbert Hill, of Archibald, telling how hi. brother, Private Matt Hill, gave his life for his country. Young Hill had made his home with his brother in this parish for the past five year and was universally loved just for the same virtues he displayed at the time of his great sacrifice. The letter is as follows:

U. S. A. Base Hospital No. 35, ‘Office of the Chaplain. Hospital Center – Mars-sur Allier-France. December 18th, 1918. Mr. Elbert Hill, Archibald, La.

“My dear Mr. Hill: “Your brother Matt has been lying in our hospital for many weeks suffering from gunshot wounds received in action October 8th. His condition was always critical and weeks ago I thought he was dying and did all I could for him. But he rallied and put up such a splendid fight even after his right leg was amputated. Surgeons and nurses all did their utmost for him and we all loved and admired him. He was such a good, true American soldier. He grew weaker and weaker, however, and finally just slipped quietly away, Sunday, Dec 15th, at 2 p.m.”

“I saw him a couple of hours before he died and I assure you he had made his peace with God and fellow-man. There was nothing special he wanted to say. His poor tired body machinery was just worn out. I tell tell you sir, he was a brother to be proud of. I’m glad I knew him and shall always remember him. I held his funeral yesterday and laid him away in the Military Cemetery at this place with full military honors. His grave is No. B. 183 and is marked with a white cross.”

“It means something to have have such a fine brother and it means something to lose him. Please remember that he did his best and gave his life freely in the greatest cause men ever fought and died for. He was a true Christian gentleman and a good soldier of the Cross.”

“To you and all his dear ones, I extend my truest sympathy knowing full well if you lived and thought as he did, you know the way the loving Father’s heart Who in turn knows and understands the sacrifices you have made. May His spirit sustain and comfort you all – Very sincerely yours, CLINTON J. GREENE, 1st Lieut. Chaplain, U.S. Army”

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