The War to End All Wars:
Arkansas Fights World War I
Arkansas, like the rest of the United States, was
reluctant to enter the Great War in Europe when it commenced in August
1914. The world in Europe was unlike anything most Arkansans had ever
witnessed, and the war only added to the confusion.
1st Lieutenant James Alexander Winn of Russellville sent
home his observations of Europe in a letter to his family written in
The world is in a chaotic
condition...I have come across the seas to find all mankind ready and
anxious to become high-class murderers.
Fighting between the Central Powers and the Allied Powers
quickly bogged down into a devastating stalemate, a situation that the
United States, after much deliberation, would change in the Allies' favor
with America's entrance into the conflict in 1917. Less than a year after
conscription began, the United States sent approximately 250,000 men
overseas each month. The addition of two million American soldiers, called
doughboys, had an immediate impact.
Many Arkansans distinguished themselves during the war.
Twenty-eight men received the Distinguished Service Cross, the
second-highest award given by the United States to military personnel. At
least three bona fide war heroes--Herman Davis, Oscar Miller, and Field
Kindley--were Arkansas natives who received awards and recognition for
Despite the state's role in the war fought "to make
the world safe for democracy," few Arkansans know what the state's
soldiers and civilians did to help win the war. Among Arkansas's
contributions to World War I were
more than 72,000 troops, some of whom earned military
two military facilities, one of which trained African
a Wisconsin-class battleship named for the state
This exhibit honors the actions of Arkansas's World War I
veterans and is dedicated to their memory.
Exhibit research and design by the UALR
Public History Program and
the Arkansas History Commission.