1st Nebraska Infantry

Contributed by Curt Pendergraft

W. S. Orr and friend of the 1st Nebraska, taken in San FranciscoThis image is of W. S. Orr (on left), who was killed in the Philippines during the Insurrection.

Below is his obituary. It is typical of that which would have been found in any American Hometown newspaper of the times.

"W. S. Orr's Body Brought Home

The government officials are sending all the bodies of the heroes who fell on the Manila battlefield to their respective homes, and the remains of W. S. Orr, the Only Clarke county boy who gave his life for his country in the Spanish and Philippine wars, arrived inOsceola Monday at 10:45 a. m. It was taken to Mr. Bailey's undertaking room, but afterwards to the home of his mother, Mrs. Catherine Orr, in South Osceola. The funeral services were held in the M. E. church Thursday at 20 o'clock. The G. A. R. and Knights of Pythias orders attended in a body. Rev. McCorkle, of the M. P. church, delivered a brief eulogy upon the deceased, recounting his exemplary life as a son,brother, citizen and hero. The interment took place in Maple Hill cemetery under auspices of the Knights of Pythias, of which order the deceased was a member.

A few brief facts may be again given concerning Mr. Orr. He was a member of the 1st Nebraska, enlisting in Omaha, in June, 1898, after having worked on the exposition buildings a while as a carpenter. Nearly all know the severe service seen by this regiment. Mr. Orr wrote several letters to The Sentinel, describing his experiences, in the language of a student and scholar. They revealed the spirit of a zealous and sincere patriot, not afraid to do his duty. His company, A, was in all the active battles from the precipitation of the war, February 4, 1899, until his death, near Manila, March 30, 1899. In that time his regiment was on the firing line nearly all the time and saw much hardship. It was during the attack on Aguinaldo's capital, Malolos, and while within a mile or so of it, that he fell, pierced in the chest with a bullet. His company had advanced to the firing line at 11 a. m. The fatal bullet found its mark at an advance in the face of a severe fire three hours afterward. Mr. Orr met a hero's death unflinchingly. He did his duty bravely and well and holds a high place in the hearts of all who knew him. His father was a veteran in the civil war and received wounds from which he died some years ago, so the family maywell be proud of its heroes who have so faithfully served their country. The aged mother, Mrs. Catherine Orr, lives in Osceola. Five sisters and two brothers also survive the deceased."


The newspaper clipping above was apparently from the Osceola, Iowa newspaper, but the article unfortanately did not include the newspaper's name or date.

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