Lewis Wiggins, Corp
of Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index || Navarro County - World War I


Sgt. Lewis Wiggins was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Wiggins, of Houston, Texas.  He was born in Corsicana, Texas, September 8, 1890 and was educated in the schools there.  March 1, 1917, entered the service of the United States Army and was ordered to Camp Travis, where he was assigned to Company D, 360th Infantry, 90th Division.  Trained at this camp until June, 1918, when his division was ordered to Camp Mills, from which place they were sent overseas.  After arriving in France went to Rouvers and trained several weeks.  About the first of September the 90th Division entered the front line trenches and saw continuous action until the close of hostilities.  Sgt. Wiggins did excellent work in the St. Mihiel battle, and when his company entered the Meuse-Argonne offensive showed such ability that his Captain made him Sergeant on the battlefield.  On November 1, 1918, while leading his men against a strongly entrenched German machine gun position at Avadavanna, a position which the 360th had tried all day to gain, and had just gained the top of the hill when he was instantly killed by a high explosive.  He was buried on the spot where he fell with simple religious services.

History of Texas World War Heroes - World War 1


Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana, Navarro Co., Texas



Body of Corporal Lewis Wiggins En Route Home.

The body of Corporal Lewis Wiggins, who was killed in action in France is now en route home.

His father, Wm. Wiggins, yesterday received a telegram to that effect. The telegram was dated at Hoboken, N. J., and reads:

“Remains of Corporal Lewis Wiggins will leave New York City, October 10th, at 10:50 a.m. and will arrive via St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt) railroad.

Mrs. James Redden, sister of the dead soldier boy, with whom the reporter talked this morning, said that she could not suggest the hour for the arrival of the body, based on the above telegram. Later, however another telegram received by her father, gave the hour for the body’s arrival. This telegram was dated Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and reads:

“Remains of the late Corporal Lewis Wiggins will arrive in Corsicana 9:05 a.m. October 14th, with attendant.”

It will be observed that the body is coming via San Antonio and will reach here Friday morning, via the Cotton Belt at the hour named in the telegram.

Mrs. Redden says no arrangements have been made for the funeral further than sending notices to her brothers who are out of the city, and on their arrival the funeral arrangements will be announced.

Corporal Wiggins was a popular young man who held the respect and confidence of all who knew him. He grew to manhood here and enlisted in Corsicana. His death is deeply deplored but his courage and devotion to his country for which he gave his life will never be forgotten.




Train Service Is Given As Cause For Delay

The following telegram received by Mr. William Wiggins late yesterday morning is self-explanatory:

Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oct. 12.—Disregard telegram of October 10th on account of train delay, remains of Corporal Lewis Wiggins will arrive in Corsicana at 10:05 a.m. 15th. (Signed) “Agnew.”

It will be recalled that a previous telegram which was published in Tuesday’s Sun stated that the body of Corporal Wiggins would arrive at 9:05 Friday. According to the above telegram the arrival of the body has been delayed until Saturday morning.

The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon at three o’clock from the residence of the father of the deceased, Wm. Wiggins at 102 East First avenue, with burial in Oakwood cemetery.



Military Funeral For Lewis Wiggins Who Died Fighting


The remains of Lewis Wiggins, son of William Wiggins, who was killed in action during the world war arrived in Corsicana this morning and was taken to the family home at the Corner of North Beaton and First Avenue. The body was accompanied to Corsicana by Corporal D. L. Dunnavant of Ft. Sam Houston.

The funeral will take place Sunday afternoon from the First Methodist church at 3 o’clock. Military honors will be accorded the body and members of the Johnson-Wiggins Post of the American Legion, in uniform, will act as pall bearers. The local post was named in honor of the deceased.

Lewis Wiggins was killed in action November 4, 1918. He fell at Andavanno, a small town about four miles from Dun-Sur-Meuse. He entered the service March 1, 1918, and was trained at Camp Travis, Texas. He was a Corporal in Co. D. 360th Infantry Ninetieth Division. His body was first buried where he fell. Andavanne, France. He was twenty-eight years old at the time of his death and was unmarried.

All ex-service men are requested to meet at the Sutherland Undertaking Parlors Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock from which place they will march in a body to the church. All ex-soldiers are requested to wear their uniforms.




Impressive Ceremonies at Burial of Sergeant Lewis Wiggins

From the far away fields of France, back to his native home the remains of Sgt. Lewis Wiggins, one of Corsicana’s heroes who made the supreme sacrifice upon the battlefield of the world wide war; were laid to rest in Oakwood cemetery at 2:30 o’clock yesterday.

Funeral services were conducted at the First Methodist church of this city by Rev. Collom H. Booth, pastor who in most impressive and touching language paid tribute to the deceased. Sergeant Wiggins was said to have been a most exemplary boy during his childhood spent in this city and a brave and fearless soldier upon the battlefield.

The altar was most appropriately draped with the National flag and service flag, showing more than 100 enlistments from Corsicana families.

Rev. Mr. Booth paid the highest tributes of love honor and memory to Sergeant Wiggins, relating incidents of his boyhood evidencing his many admirable qualities. He was charitable to all, loyal to his friends, and a dutiful son.

The following letter from Capt. Mike Hogg, of Company D, 360th Infantry, was read, having been written to a sister of Sergeant Wiggins after he was killed upon the battlefield of Andavanne on Nov. 1, 1918.

“Dear Mrs. Redden:

“I have intended writing to your mother for some time, concerning the death of her son, Lewis. Unavoidable delay only caused me to wait this long without writing, because I am sure her grief will be softened to know what we of the company thought of him and will always remember about him.

“He was an excellent soldier. When in training he did his work most cheerfully and without being subject to criticism. Lewis had many friends, but confined himself to only a few. He afforded them a great deal of pleasure with his ready wit. He said many things that were quoted throughout the company. His most intimate friend was Sergeant Reed of Beaumont. Sergeant Reed was wounded and has gone to the states.

“Lewis, did excellent work in the big fight, in the St. Milaiel sector and later led several successful patrols out into No Man’s Land. He was one of the best leaders in the company.

“When he went up to the Meuse-Argenne sector I made him sergeant and placed him in command of his platoon. This was an officer’s job, but there were not enough to go round, so I made Lewis commander. The morning of November 1, he was commanding this platoon when we went “over the top.” The company had gone through the hardest part of the fight that day, when Sergeant Wiggins was killed. He had led his platoon against machine guns and they had either killed or captured all the Huns in front of them. The worst seemed to be over, but just as they reached the crest of a hill, they were fired upon by direct fire from artillery. Here Lewis was hit by an H. E. (illegible) and instantly killed.

“When the fight was over there was nothing but praise for Sergeant Wiggins’ work. He was buried on the spot where he fell with simple religious service.

“Andavanne, a small town about four miles from Dun-Sur-Meuse and about that distance west of the river is where he fell. The fighting at this place was as severe as any during the war.

“You may rest assured that Sergeant Wiggins ‘played his part and did his ‘bit’ in a game that called forth the strongest in the best of men. I need say no more. I know this matter of fact statement can not but cause you to mingle the highest but most humble pride with the sorrow that you feel for one who has made his ‘supreme sacrifice,’ as did Lewis Wiggins.

“Please convey to your mother my heartfelt sympathy in her great sorrow.”

Most sincerely,
“Capt, Company, D 360th Inf.”

Music by the quartette composed of Mrs. Harry Williams, Mrs. Percy Townsend, Jack Haslam and Edgar Metcalf was rendered in beautiful tunes at the church and grave.

Many floral offerings manifesting the love and admiration of numerous friends, covered the casket shrouded in the National flag.

The active pall bearers were Capt. C. A. Davis, Harland George, Suttle Roberts, J. A. McMahon, Henry Dickson, Fred Rouse, and Suncie Mallory.

After completion of services at the grave and benediction had been pronounced, taps were sounded as the last requiem to Sergeant Wiggins.


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Edward L. Williams