The Bugler

Bugler Newsletter

World War I: Spirit of the American Doughboy (Part 3)

"The Spirit of the American Doughboy" in Helena, Arkansas. Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki.

E.M. Viquesney, the son of French sculptors, was born in Spencer, Indiana and came to design one of the most seen sculptures in the United States. Viquesney's statue of pressed copper depicts a doughboy walking through shattered tree stumps strung with barbed wire, his rifle in his left hand and his right hand held high above his head, clutching a hand grenade. The statue is made of copper relief and was relatively inexpensive to reproduce and thus is found in over 140 communities across America. It can be found outside city halls, in local parks and cemeteries. According to Wikipedia, "Installed in cemeteries, town squares, and parks, outside museums, on courthouse lawns, and countless other places, the design is said to be the most-viewed example of outdoor statuary in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty) although many people do not even realize they have seen it."

Viquesney worked out of a small studio in Americus, Georgia. The first installed sculpture was at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Take a few minutes and read the wonderful website, It has a great introduction section as well as a locator section. There could be one within driving distance of your home. For example, I was in Frenchtown NJ a few weeks ago and remember seeing this statue but I just realized that this is one of eight Viquesney's Doughboy statues in New Jersey. Be sure and check out the website below that will help you locate statues near you.

And if you are an antiques buff, be sure and look in your attic. The statue was so popular that lamps and other household items were made depicting the doughboy.

What is a Doughboy?

Talk about times changing. I thought I knew what a doughboy was but that some of our readers might not so I thought I would add a short note. I laughed when the first definition (which is usually considered the most common) was a "boiled or deep-fried dumpling." The second dictionary definition was "a U.S. infantryman, especially one in World War I." However on further research I saw the name really was linked to dough. Like so many things, there is no exact reason why the soldiers were called doughboys but according to some of the theories include, "the term dates back to the Mexican War of 1846-48, when American infantrymen made long treks over dusty terrain, giving them the appearance of being covered in flour, or dough. As a variation of this account goes, the men were coated in the dust of adobe soil and as a result were called 'adobes,' which morphed into 'dobies' and, eventually, 'doughboys.' Among other theories, according to 'War Slang' by Paul Dickson the American journalist and lexicographer H.L. Mencken claimed the nickname could be traced to Continental Army soldiers who kept the piping on their uniforms white through the application of clay. When the troops got rained on the clay on their uniforms turned into 'doughy blobs,' supposedly leading to the doughboy moniker."

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

December 7, 1941 - 76 years ago, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, home port of America's Pacific fleet was attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The event brought the United States into World War II. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day commemorates and remembers the more than 2,000 Americans killed and more than 1,000 injured in that surprise attack.

The U.S. flag should be flown at half-staff till sunset. When flying the flag at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the top of the staff for an instant, then lowered to the mid-way point of the staff (half-staff). It should be raised to the top of the staff again before lowering the flag at the end of the day.

Thank You for Thinking Pink

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 4th "Think Pink" campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness. Several schools held fundraisers for Breast Cancer research and awarded their cadets a pink cord for their participation. We made a donation of $805 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in recognition of our Think Pink Campaign.

We keep a list of interested organizations and we will contact you in the spring before school breaks for the summer to see if you want to order for delivery in September. Give us a call or email if you want to add your school or organization to our list!

Photo courtesy of Allegheny East Pathfinder Drum Corps.

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