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Shawnee County Casualties in WWI
Stories of Valor and Tragedy on the Battlefield

Pvt. Warren Kline, K Co., 4th Infantry, 3rd Division
Warren Kline headstone Warren Kline

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KIA 6 Oct 1918 in the late afternoon assault on enemy positions at the edge of the Bois de Cunel, south of Madeline Farm.

The 2nd and 3rd Battalions began the attack on the enemy positions at 4:00 pm but were beaten back by heavy machine gun fire from the front and from their left rear. KLINE was downed by a machine gun bullet to the forehead at about 4:30 pm, one of the last of his squad to succumb to the withering fire. The Brigade Commander was forced, by the heavy casualties, to call off the attack.

Most of the line officers were killed or disabled and a complete count of the company could not be held until 18 Oct. At this date it was not possible to ascertain what had happened to many members of the two battalions, including Pvt. KLINE.

Much later, after the Armistice was signed, witnesses were assembled to account for those killed and wounded during the 6 Oct action. Because of this delayed accounting, KLINE's name was not able to be included in the Casualty Listing until some 6 months later.

In January 1919 a letter was sent to Warren's sister, Mrs. Dawson, wife of Kansas Supreme Court Jusice John S. Dawson, by Pvt. P. J. McQuillan of the same company in which Warren had served. Pvt. McQuillan was at that time stationed in Mersenheim, Germany, on military occupation duty. This letter, plus the testimony of two other soldiers from K Co., established what had happened to Warren Kline on that fateful day of October 6, 1918. Subsequently a Kansas House of Representatives Resolution (No. 22) of 1919 was passed during the 38th Parliamentary Session to honor Pvt. Kline as follows (taken from page 469 of the Kansas Session Laws 1919, released on June 17, 1919 and published on the Internet as an E-Book by Google.com):

In memory of Warren Kline.
Whereas, A brother of our colleague, Hon. H. F. Kline, who represents the 99th District in this House, died on the field of honor in France; and,
Whereas, His comrade, another of our Kansas heroes, slightly wounded in the same fight, has sent a tribute of the love he bore his fallen friend in a letter to Mrs. Dawson, wife of Justice John S. Dawson of the Kansas Supreme Court; and,
Whereas, We would preserve the lesson of this supreme sacrifice for God, humanity and country to our youth and those that follow them: therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Kansas: That a copy of that letter, which breathes the true glory and beauty of young American manhood, be spread upon to-day's Journal in memory of Warren Kline, Co. K., 4th U. S. Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces, who put on immortality in the advance from the Argonne to Sedan, October 6th, 1913.

"Mersenheim, Germany, Jan. 28, 1919.
"Dear Mrs. Dawson: "Your brother, Warren, was a very dear friend of mine. We came into the army together on the same day, and soldiered together until the end. We became as brothers. So when your letter of January 5th came yesterday, addressed 'To some one in K. Co.,' it was handed to me. "Warren was killed in action October 6th in the hardest fight of four months at the front. His death was instantaneous, and thus he was spared the pains of long suffering. Every man in the company loved him, for there was no hardship he would not endure to lighten the burden of a comrade. "It pains me to write thi3 letter; but I want you to know that your brother gave his life not thinking of self at all, but of the cause for which he was fighting—for which he died—the cause of his country. While it is sad for a young life to pass out while the future looks so promising, no nobler death can come to a man than came to Warren.
"I am a Kansan, and my home is Lincoln Center.
Warren's Comrade,
Pvt. P. J. Mcquillan,
Co. K., 4th U. S. Inf."

The pages of history will furnish no loftier ideal than animated this simple soldier of the republic. "Greater love hath no man than this."

Resolved, That the chief clerk be directed to engross this resolution and send copies to Representative Kline and to Mrs. Dawson, and to each of the other brothers and sisters of the fallen hero; namely: William G. Kline, James W. Kline, Samuel W. Kline, Mrs. Edward Teel, Mrs. Joseph Winter, and Mrs. Chalmers Teel.

The 4th Infantry lost 182 killed in action between Oct 4 - 13, 1918 while the entire 3rd Division lost a total of 696 killed during the same period.

Pvt, KLINE was assigned to the K Co., 4th Infantry, 3rd Division. He enlisted in Oct 1917 and his death was published in the US Honor Roll Casualty List Apr 7, 1919. Born 6 May 1890 in Salem, Greenwood Co., KS., Warren was the son of Charles & Hannah Marie (BOYD) KLINE, Lucerne, Sheridan Co., KS Pvt. Warren S. Kline is buried at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Romagne, France Plot D Row 8 Grave 33

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