Background info on the 28th Division in WWI

Rachel Yerger provided some background on the 28th Division (see full post on a collection of letters from Harry L. Campbell, 28th Division): The 28th Infantry is the oldest continuously serving division in the US Army and can trace its ancestry back to Benjamin Franklin and the "Associators." The division was officially established in March of 1879 and quickly adopted the red keystone as their infantry insignia. Prior to WWI they served along the Mexican-American border (1916-17). In August of 1917 the 28th Division was ordered to active duty in response to America’s entrance into The Great War. They began training at Camp Hancock in Georgia, and by April 1918 they found themselves in the countryside of France.

In July of 1918 the 28th Division would receive their ‘baptism of fire’ at the Second Battle of the Marne, one of the most pivotal battles of the war. It was during this intense and almost month-long conflict that the 28th Division would see some of the fiercest fighting of the war. American troops, including the Keystone Division, would play a key role in staving off what turned out to be the last major German offensive of the Great War.

You can read more about the 28th Division on the PA Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs website and the PA Military Museum website.

Editor's note:

From a digitization of the WPA survey of World War I veterans in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, 1935-36:

Campbell, Harry L. (1239830)

Born at Aledo. 111. Son of Alexander C. and Sara (Nevius) Campbell. Entered service Dec. 4, 1917 at Camp Hancock, Ga., in Co. C, 28th Div., as Pvt. Service in U. S. 5 months. Promoted to Sgt. Dec. 17. 1917. Foreign service 1 year. Engagements: 2nd Battle of Marne, Ourcq and Vesle, Thiaucourt Sect., and Argonne. Discharged May 23, 1919 at Camp Dix, N. J. Dependents are wife, Hester J. (Meyers) Campbell and daughter Annie L. Campbell. Located at Confluence. Pa. Employed as office manager. Physical condition, fair.

RAKESTRAW, Rueben S. (1239877)

Born April 27, 1877 at Knoxdale, Jefferson Co., Pa. Son of George and Mattie (Hilderbran) Rakestraw. Entered service Dec. 4, 1917 at Camp Hancock, Ga., in Co. C, 110 Inf., 28 Div., as Mechanic. Service in U. S. from Dec. 4, 1917 to May 3, 1918. Foreign service from May 3, 1918 May 11, 1919. Engagements: 5th German Off. Discharged May 23, 1919 at Camp Dix, N. J. Located at 19 E. Weber Ave., Du B'ois, Pa. Employed as bartender. Physical condition, fair.