Louis Carlton Webster
Submitted by: Peggy Durack (granddaughter)
Louis Carlton Webster served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The dates of service are: Known April 3, 1918 - June 7, 1919.
My grandfather was born and grew up on the farm that had been in his family for 200 years, the legacy of a Revolutionary War veteran who moved from Massachusetts to settle in Ontario County, NY. Grandpa graduated from Cornell University in 1915 with the degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and had begun his own veterinary practice when World War I began. When I learned that he served during the war, I believed that he was in the Army Veterinary Corps, but his service record tells a different story.
Known as "Carlton" (his middle name) to his sister, "L. C." (his initials) to some, most called my grandfather "Doc" Webster. He was 'Grandpa Doc' to me and 'Uncle Doc' to his nieces and nephews. Doc enlisted on April 3rd, 1918 and wrote two letters to the Clyde, NY Times which were published that April and explained his experiences getting to, and the induction process, at Camp Dix, NJ (now Fort Dix). They are light-hearted and express his readiness for "new adventures."
We have no further word from him about those "adventures", but his enlistment record tells the story of his service. Doc Webster did not serve in the Army Veterinary Corps, as I had once believed, but was promoted from Private to Corporal in November 1918 as a member of the Headquarters Co, 309th Infantry and his vocation is listed as "Veterinarian'. He served in France from May 20, 1918 to May 31, 1919 and battles included the St. Mihiel Offensive, Tinney Sector and the Meuse Argonne Offensive. He returned home and was Honorably Discharged at Camp Upton, NY on 7 June 1919, bringing with him General Orders No. 38-A to returning servicemen from Commander in Chief, General John J. Pershing.
My mother says that her father didn't talk about his experiences in France, but he did return with a strong bias against Army mules, a sentiment I have seen reflected by others! Nonetheless, Doc Webster returned to his veterinary practice, married, and raised a family who loved and respected him. He and my grandmother are buried in the cemetery across the road from the home where Doc Webster was born.