Place the Headstones Where They Belong: Thomas Neibaur, WWI Soldier

Place the Headstones Where They Belong: Thomas Neibaur, WWI Soldier

Place the Headstones Where They Belong: Thomas Neibaur, WWI Soldier

Place the Headstones Where They Belong: Thomas Neibaur, WWI Soldier

Synopsis

After a long journey from Sugar City, Idaho, to France's Argonne Forest France during World War I,
young Thomas Neibaur found himself in the core of the American Expeditionary Force's most important offensive.
After becoming separated in advance of his unit, he, despite serious wounds, single-handedly stopped a German
counterattack at a critical hill known as Côte de Ch¢tillon. For this remarkable feat of valor, he received the Medal of
Honor and other awards, becoming the first Idaho and first Mormon recipient of the nation's highest combat award.
But after a heroic return and brief celebrity, his life followed a tragic downward arc, culminating in his attempt to return
his medal because, as he put it, it could not feed his family.

Excerpt

An American Soldier

He was just one Medal of Honor recipient of many, but he was, nevertheless, one. Private Thomas Neibaur is not listed among the most prominent names in the annals of U.S. military history, but some think he should be. His remarkable story is compelling and certainly worthy of acclaim. Like so many stories of heroism in World War I, Neibaur’s has remained unnoticed to all but close family and friends for decades. In truth, Private Thomas Neibaur was one of the most decorated veterans of the Great War. He was the first native Idahoan to be awarded this nation’s highest honor. He was also likely the first Latter-day Saint (Mormon) to have received the award. For many, the power of the story of Thomas Neibaur is found in the triumph and tragedy of his life.

In this volume, historian Sherman Fleek does all of the things a professional military historian should do. He provides an excellent sketch of Tom Neibaur’s early life, his training and preparations as a soldier destined to fight in a terrible war, the first taste of battle, the awful life in the trenches, and the tactics and slaughter of “no man’s land.” As a former soldier, Fleek walks us through the remarkable events that Private Neibaur experienced that day in October of 1918, a day never to be forgotten by a few, and never before known by many more. The German army was unraveling and it was just weeks before the armistice was reached, yet, as widely known . . .

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