Lost Battalion


On October 4, 1918, Maj. Charles Whittlesey sent this message to his commander via a carrier pigeon named Cher Ami. Whittlesey’s troops, sometimes known as the Lost Battalion, had penetrated German lines during an attack near Charlevaux, France. They were quickly surrounded by the Germans and suffered many casualties—some from friendly fire. In a few blunt words, Whittlesey calls for a halt to the bombardment.

National Archives, Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I)