AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES
Guide to the Edward R. Wren Papers, RG 52
Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003
0.25 cubic feet; 40 items.
Number of Boxes:
4 file folders.
Historical or Biographical Sketch:
Edward Rueben Wren was a resident of Talladega, Alabama
prior to entering a two year agricultural program at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (presently Auburn
University) in September of 1914. He remained at Auburn until the Spring of 1917 before returning to
Talladega. In August of 1917, Wren enlisted in Company B of the 167th Alabama Infantry, which later
became part of the 42nd Division (also known as the Rainbow Division). His division arrived in France
in November of 1917 and was at the front line by March of 1918. By the summer of 1918, Wren had
climbed the ranks to First Sergeant. During the Second Battle of the Marne in July of 1918, Sergeant
Wren "exposed himself to violent (artillery) shelling to dress the wounds of his comrades" as well as
supervise their evacuation. In September of 1918, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He again performed
valorously when his company, near Bordeaux, was sent "foreward under intense enemy machine gun fire and
directed the patrol to safety." Following the war, he returned to Talladega where he devoted a great
amount of time and effort to the American Legion. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the
Order of the Crown (Belgium) and the silver star with oak leaf cluster (posthumously) for his bravery
during the First World War.
Scope and Content:
Consists of Edward R. Wren's wartime letters home, numerous official
papers, newspaper clippings about Wren and the 167th regiment, a map of Chatteau Thierry, and words to
the song, "The Doughboy."
1. September 21, 1917 Postcard - health fine
2. September 25, 1917 Postcard - Leaving training camp soon
3. October 9, 1917 - Postcard - leaving soon - health fine - address in France
4. December 21, 1917 - Postcard - In France; health fine
5. May 29, 1918 - Conditions and excitement of trench warfare.
6. March 19, 1918 - Field Service postcard
7. July 1, 1918 - Army moving, health all right
8. August 19, 1918 - Description of heavy fighting
9. September 17, 1918 - Battle conditions, drive against Germans
10. October 8, 1918 - Had received field commission, expecting withdrawal
from advanced zone.
11. October 28, 1918 - In hospital near Bordeaux for rest and recovery following heavy action.
12. November 27, 1918 - In Luxemburg - Thanksgiving description - Hoping occupation duty not long.
13. November 29., 1918 - Mentions casualties and replacements
14. December 9, 1918 - Dreis, Germany - Attitude toward German people - Recounting campaigns,
wishing to go home.
15. January 2, 1919 - Sinzig, Germany - Party - Bidez (Auburn) and band played. Considering
permanent army career reminiscing on experiences.
16. January 16, 1919 - Restlessness with occupation duty - Description of sham battle.
17. January 22, 1919 - Postcard - health fine
18. February 23, 1919 To be awarded D.S.C.
19. March 31, 1919 - Gen. Pershing awarded him the D.S.C. - Also awarded Order
of the Crown (Belgium).
1. July 8, 1918 - Recommendation for Commission
2. August 7, 1918 - Transfer order
3. September 9, 1918 - Special temporary order awarding field commission
4. October 7, 1918 - Commission confirmed officially
5. October 15, 1918 - Letter to parents from Government about Cormission.
6. November 6, 1918 - Transfer orders to Haute Marne
7. February 9, 1919 - Pass from Provost Marshal's Office
8. March 3, 1919 - 14 day leave for Brussels, Belgium
9. March 24, 1919 - Official notification of Belgian decoration
10. June 3, 1919 - Discharge papers. Notice awarded bronze Victory Button (2 copies)
11. October 16, 1931 - Statement of Service of Edward R. Wren in the Great War
and Alabama National Guard.
12. No Date - Citations for Gallantry in Action (Silver Star) awarded posthumously.
1. April 26, 1919 - "Rainbow Soldiers Here on Leviathan" The New York Times.
Account of Wren being most decorated of "Fighting Alabamians"
2. July 11, 1951 - "City Welcomes Rainbow Division" the history of the Rainbow Division in both
wars with pictures.
3. Undated - "List of Honors Awarded to the Men of the 167th" - incomplete
4. Undated - "Decorated by King Albert of Belgium" - story and letter of Wren's receiving the
5. August 15 - "Taps for Good Soldier" Huntsville Times - Obituary
6. Undated - "E. R. Wren Awarded Posthumously" - Awarded the silver star and anoak leaf cluster -
the equvalent of a second silver star.
- Proofs for Correction of story of Wren's gallantry on September 22, 1918
- Song: "The Doughboy" - Place Ahrweiler, Germany - December 20, 1918
- Map of Chatteau Thierry and small map showing the Offensive Battle of 167th Infantry for La Croix
Rouge Farm, July 26.
to Special Collections & Archives Homepage