Let Us Consider the Past, that We May Cherish the Present and Prepare for the Future VB BEATY 2004

This page is dedicated to all service members of the Armed Forces from DeKalb County and Valley Head Alabama.

The Story of TAPS

Author Unknown

We have all heard the haunting melody of "Taps." It's the song that

gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But do you

know the story behind the song?

If not, I think you will be pleased to find out about its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain

Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison' Landing, Virginia.

The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During

the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who was severely wounded on the field.

Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to

risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling

on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier

and began pulling him toward the encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually

a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and

suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light he saw

the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music

in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted

in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission to give his

son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was only partially

granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members

play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was denied since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect

for the father, they did say they could give him one musician. The Captain chose

a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found

on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was

granted. The haunting melody, which we now know as "Taps" used at

military funerals, was born. And here are the words:

Day is done.

Gone the sun.

From the lakes.

From the hills.

From the sky.

All is well, safely rest.

God is nigh.

Fading light.

Dims the sight.

And a star,

Gems the sky,

Gleaming bright.

From afar,

Drawing nigh,

Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,

For our days,

Neath the sun,

Neath the stars,

Neath the sky,

As we go,

This we know,

God is nigh.

Let's not forget those service men and women who are away form home, in the

service of their country, giving of their time and sometimes their lives that

we can be safe and secure in this great country of ours.


Revolutionary War

PVT Phillip Hamman 12th VA RGT REV WAR

War of 1812

COL Joe Davenport US Army

James C. Byers

Civil War

LT Allen Lea Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

2LT Wm Lea Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

1st SG N.P. Bunnell Co A 13th Mich Inf Union

1SG Jonathan Lewis Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

SGT Johnson Jones Co C, 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

N. P. (Nathan)Bouldain Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

W. C. Bray Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

James P. Cooper 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Washington Dryer Crow Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Wm. D.Ellis Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Harrison Gattlen (Gatlin) Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Prestin Hawkins (Bugler) Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Thomas Kieth Co G 1st AL& TN Vidette CAV Union

Wm McCormick Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Lewis Morgan Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

JNO. Morgan Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

Henry H. Smith Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

John Steele Co C 1st AL& TN Vidette CAV Union

Jas. T. White. Co C 1st AL&TN Vidette CAV Union

LT S. C. Lowry Co H 21 GA Inf CSA

LT Hugh David Wilson Co 1 KY CAV CSA



PVT William G. Holleman Co F 9 REGT 7 AL CAV CSA

PVT C. M. D. Lowry Co F 9 REGT 7 AL CAV CSA

PVT Richard Mahaffey Co F Malone’s AL CAV CSA

Pvt. William McNew Co G, 19 AL INF CSA

PVT Ellis Phillips Co 13 Conf CAV CSA

PVT P. D. Phillips Co 13 Conf CAV CSA

PVT John G. Whited Co H 21 GA INF CSA

Andrew J. Adkins Co F 5 TN CAV CSA

Wm A. Blancit Co M 11th KY CAV CSA

W. M. Blansit Co M.11th KY CAV CSA

George W. BRIDGES Co. C. 6 TN Mtd. INF CSA

John Wesley CASE 39th REGT Co D Ga INF CSA

Francis Davenport Confederate stone CSA

Aaron Center Dean Co C 62 AL REGT CSA

David Dean Co A 1st AL CAV CSA

William Griffin Co H. 21 GA INF CSA

B. G. Hammons Co A 9 ALA CAV CSA

Moses Henegar Foot Corp Co F 7th AL CAV CSA

Edmund P. Nicholson CORP Co F 1st ARK MTD Rifles CSA

C. W. Patty Corputs Co GA LT ARTY CSA


John William Ellis, Jr. Purple Heart WWII

LTCOL Alvin R. Byrd US Air Force Reserve KYANG

MAJ Welborn Leroy Matthews US Army Viet Nam 1965

MJR Dennis W. Sibert US Army WW II

AD/1LT James Gray US Navy US Air Force WW II, Korea, Vietnam

LT Welborn L. Matthews

LTJG Archie M. Fears US Navy WWII

LT M.T. Ted Holleman US Air Force European Theater 1942

MSG Richard Alexander Hartline US Army WW II Korea

MSGT Robert W. McConathy US Air Force

ACMMH Oris Vester Lyons US Navy WW II

MOMM George W. Hixon USNR WW II

SSG Byron Lamar Biddle US Army European Theater

SSG Ray N. Boydston US Army WWII

SSG Cecil R. Bridgeman US Army European Theater 1944

MM First Class Lester C. Crane US Navy

SSG Hope O.Davenport US Army WW II

TSGT Roy D. Hammond US Army WW II

SSG Daniel T. Hulgan 1Armd Regt WWI&WWII

SSG Eugene M. Newton U S Army WW II

TSGTWayland Eugene Reeves, Sr. US Army WW II

CBM Jerrie Olen Smith UA Navy WW II

SSG Willard D. Whitt U S Marine Corps WW II

SGT Homer Kelso Austin US Army WW II

SP5 Lawrence Glenn Clark US Army VietNam

TEC5 Ramond T. Crabtree US Army WW II

SGT Henry F. Crane US Army WWII

SGT Benjamin David Crowe US Army Air Forces WWII

SGT Hoyet B. Crowe US Army WW II

TEC 5 James W. Crumbley US Army WW II

TEC5 Robert L. Davis US Army WWII

SGT John “Chucker Bill” William Ellis, Jr. US Army European Theater 1943

SGT Bill Gibson US Marine Cops 1951

SGT Raymond E. Ringer US Army Pacific Theater 1944

SGT Clarence A. “Slick” Schlicher Army Air Force WWII

SP5 Edward R. “Slick” Worthey US Army Viet Nam

TEC5 Robert Lee Worthey 420 FABN 10 Armd Div

TEC4 Otis B.Campbell HQ & HQ Service Co. WW II

TEC4 John W. Cason 21 Hospital Train WWII

TEC4 Boddie Ellis US Army WWII

SP4 Franklin Hamman US Army Korea

TEC4 Vernon Nelson Haney U.S. Army WWII

CPL Sam Charles Collett US Army CO2 WW I

TEC3 Austin C. Crowe US Army WW II

CPL Pelham F. Davenport, Jr. HQ 313 Sig BN Korea

CPL William C. Dooley21 QM Gen. Sup. Depot Korea

SP4 John H. Hardy, Jr. Flight Craft Maint Co. TC

SP4 David L. Hartline US Army

TEC4 William C. Holleman HQ DET 12 ENG TNG GP WW II

CPL Hudson Lindle Hulgan US Army WWII Korea

SP4 Robert D. Johnston U.S. Army

CPL Thomas Earl Key US Marine Corps 1951

CPL Roy P. Kirby US Army WW II

CPL Priscilla Surtleff Gregory Monroe US Marine Corps El Tora, CA 1944

CPL William Edward Pittman US Army WWII

CPL (Rev.) Robert N. White US Army WW I

S1 Daniel Hoyt Ashley US Navy WW II

PFC Walter Guy Austin US Army WW II

TEC3 Hugh Marcus Austin US Army WW II

PFC Harles Lessie Blevins U S Army WW II

PFC Julian C. Bullard US Army WW II

PFC Edward T. Call US Army

AIC Raymond Lee Cameron US Air Force

S1 Howard L. Carson US Navy Pacific Theater 1940

S1 Luther O'Neal Ellis, Jr. US Navy WWII

HM3 Leonard Allen Finster Sr. US Navy Korea

F1 Vernon Clem Gifford US Navy WWII

PFC Alvin Cecil Headley US Army WW II

S1 Brit Webb Holleman II US Navy Sea Bees Pacific Theater 1943

RD3 Kenneth Hammon US Navy Korea

PFC William C. Hammond US Army WW II

PFC Aura L. Haney US Army WWII

PFC Claud W. Haney US Army WWII

GM3 Billy Ray Hawkins US Navy Korea

PFC Charles Harris Hunt US Marine Corps WW II

PFC James V. Jenkins US Army WW II

PFC William P. Jenkins US Army

PFC Norman Jones, Jr.US Army WW II

PFC Willard P. Monroe US Army European Theater 1943

PFC William E Mountain US Army WW II

PFC Eddie (James E.) Phillips US Army Korea

PFC Horace F. Robinson US Army WWII

PFC Pearl Vann ShanklesCO D 306 Engineers WW I

PFC Samuel B. Stinson Co M 144 Inf WWI PH&OLC

PFC Pearl Winston US Army WWII

PFC Woodrow W. Woodalln US Army WWII

EM2 Roy Ellis US Navy WWII

S2 Ward W. Hawkins US Navy WWII

S2 Delbert E. Heatherley US Navy WWII

S2 Robert M. Hulgan US Navy WWII

S2 James Edgar King US Navy Korea

S2 Jessie Leyon Lewis US Navy WW II

PVT Irvil Claxton Adkins US Army WW II

PVT Spencer C. Amos 26 REGT. CAC

PVT Felix Porter Beene 307 Aux RMT Rep WWI

PVT Ralph M. Blevins 738 Engr. Base Dept. Co. WW II

PVT Charles Eugene Burnette 23rd Armored Eng. Bat. WW II

PVT Lester E. Chadwick Co. C 31 Eng. WW II

PVT Harley Chasteen 17, Inf., 11 Div.

PVT William Cob Craze U S Army WWI

PVT Charles H. Davenport CO H 116 INF WW I PH

PVT Harry R. Davenport CO F 38 INFANTRY WW I PH

PVT Fairris Leon Dean US Army WWII

PVT John Ross Dean US Army

PVT Herman A. Fischer Army Air Forces WW II

PVT Samuel H. S. Frizzell US Army

PVT Ralph G. Hawkins 117 MACHINE GUN BN WW I

PVT Jimmie Frank Holcomb US Army WW II

PVT George C. Holleman US Army Korea

PVT Frank J. Hutcherson 118 Machine Gun Co. WW I

PVT Charles E.Keys 155 Co. Trans. Corps. WW I

PVT Thomas F. Love INF WWI

PVT Carl D. McGuffey MG CO 323 INF WWI

PVT James P. Morrow 138 Field Arty. 38 Div WWI

PVT John W. Murphy US Army WW I

PVT Thomas Nelson Gray Co. K 152 Infantry WW I

PVT Floy Qualls 10 CO 158 Depot Brigade WW I

PVT Paul Henry Reece CO G 331 INF WW I

PVT Asa Frank Reeves Co B 163 INF WW I

PVT William Edward Short 157 Depot Brig. WW I

AVN Cadet William L. Smith Army Air Force WW II

PVT Joseph W. Steele Co B 121 INF WW I

PVT Nell Franklin Steele US Army WWI

PVT B. Russell Thornbury US Army

PVT William C. Windom US Army WWII

PVT William H. Watson US Army WWII

PVT Guss Worthey Co B 154 Inf WWII

PVT Albert Worthey Co F, 157 Inf WWI

PVT Glenn Murphy York 12 Inf Tng. Co. WW II

James P. Carmichael US Merchant Marine Pacific & Atlantic 1945

William Ovie Carr US Army Air Force WW II

Loy Ray Cooper US Army

Harold E. Dean WWII

Mack Eller US Army WWII

Billy Joe Ellis US Navy WWII

Albert E. Freeman US Navy Vietnam

Richard D. Gifford Co L 167 Inf WWI

Sim Hall US Army WAGR WW I

John L. Hawkins

James M. F. Holcomb Co B 2nd Tn Reg US INF

Carl G. Howard US Air Force WWII

Roy William Jesse WWII

Elbert P. Johnston US Air Force WWII

Francis M. Keith Co I 4th TN Mtd INF

Pete T. Limbaugh Co F, 4th Inf Ala National Guard WWI

John W. Millican US Air Force

Jesse C. Raley US Army WWII

Lafayette W. Thompson US Air Force WWII

Ralph L. White US Army 339th INF WWI American North Russia Expeditionary Force

Albert Worthey Rt Co F 157 INF WWII

DeKalb County Civil War Veterans circa 1913

Methodist Church Service Members


Polar Bears

Supply Company, 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Division, U.S. Army, American North Russia Expeditionary Force Company Photo taken somewhere in the Archangel Region of North Russia, ca. Spring of 1919 (Photo Credit: University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, "Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collection") Special Note: Ralph L. White, a Valley Head resident was a member of this unit.


I think I have identified another name to add to your "Veteran's of Valley Head" web page

I should probably begin by explaining a bit about myself and how I came to this conclusion. My name is Michael V. Grobbel and I live in Shelby Township, which is north of Detroit, MI. My wife of 32 years, the former Kathy Yancy, was born in Ft. Payne, AL in 1952, and moved to the Detroit area with her parents in 1963. My hobby is researching my family's history, including their military service (fortunately, my sister-in-law has taken on the task of researching her Yancy/Townsel/Culpepper/White family lines in the Sand Mountain area).

My grandfather, Clement Grobbel, was born in Warren Township, Michigan in 1895. He was drafted into the US Army's 339th Infantry Regiment in June of 1918 and received his basic training at Camp Custer, near Battle Creek, Michigan. The 339th was sent to England in August of 1918, but instead of going to France, they were assigned to the American North Russia Expeditionary Force (ANREF). The 5,000 men of the ANREF were placed under British command, and together with Allied French, British and White Russian forces, they fought the Communists in the region surrounding Archangel, North Russia, from September 1918 until June of 1919. They were considered to be World War One veterans, even though they continued fighting for more than 7 months after the Armistice. Upon their return to the USA, the ANREF veterans began calling themselves "Polar Bears", since they had fought in the sub-arctic region during the dead of winter.

Most (80% or so) of the Polar Bears who were drafted and inducted into the 339th Infantry came from Michigan and the other Great Lakes states, however almost all the other states in the Union were represented in their ranks. Recently, while browsing through an on-line database listing of Polar Bears arranged by geographic location, I noticed that there were nine men from different places in Alabama. What particularly caught my eye was the location "Valley Head, AL" in the database, which I knew to be just down the road from my wife's birthplace.

Clicking on the "Valley Head, AL" location in the database, I saw the name and information of this "Polar Bear":

White, Ralph L.

company: United States. Army. Infantry, 339th. Supply.

hometown: Valley Head (Ala.)

Hmmmm, I thought - could my dear wife also have a relative who was a "Polar Bear" ? I quickly checked my sister-in-law's genealogy database, but he was not listed in there.

Next, I did a Google search and I found a White, Ralph L. on page 138 of your PDF document which gave this information about him:

White, Ralph L.

b. Feb 1892 in AL

occupation: Helper mill

d. Sept 1943

bur. Valley Head, AL

His birthdate is in the correct range of years for these Polar Bear veterans and the middle initials match, so I am quite sure this is the same person mentioned in the Polar Bear database. Unfortunately, I cannot find any mention of his rank in the Polar Bear information. If you decide to add his name to your Veteran's page, I would identify him as a member of Supply Company, 339th Infantry Regiment, US Army, WW I American North Russia Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919. Here is a photo of Supply Company, but their members are not identified.

I should also add that I am the President (and webmaster) of the "Polar Bear Memorial Association". In addition to the website we maintain, we also conduct an annual Memorial Day service for the Polar Bears. Most people in the USA are not aware that US troops fought the Soviet Communists on Russian soil and our Association's purpose is to make sure that their service, sacrifices and deaths are not forgotten.

Thank you,

Mike Grobbel

PS - I compared all of the (88) WHITE names in your Valley Head PDF document with the (51) WHITE surnames in my sister-in-law's database, but there were no matches. This leads me to believe that there is probably no relationship, but I'll ask her to look into it further. I have also sent her a link to your very interesting Valley Head website

Valley Head Service Members Pictures Just a few of so many

Floyd Crane

Billy Joe Ellis

Boddie BL Ellis

Luther O'Neal (Buck) Ellis, Jr.

Ronnie L Ellis






Tour of Duty - 1961 - 1975 - Viet Nam Pleiku, Kontum, Viet Nam - 1969 - 1970

Original Photos by CW3 S. K. Beaty, Sr.