On Oct. 10, 1918, Miss Charlotte Ball wrote a letter to her very dear friend, Lt. Edward L. Wells Jr., congratulating him for receiving the French Croix de Guerre medal for heroism in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Wells was serving in a machine gun battalion with the 1st Division, and had been in France since 1917.

“How splendid I think it is that you have won the Croix de Guerre. ... I just knew you would do something like that and now I am wondering how many medals you really will have when you do return, for you certainly are brave, Ed, and I really don’t believe you know the meaning of the word fear. ... I wonder how it would feel to have so many bullets flying around you ... .”

The letter was returned to Charleston, noted “addressee deceased.” After the Great War ended, Sgt. Ben Neff recalled the battlefield action Oct. 10 as the enemy was being slowly pushed back, but at a very high cost to the Allies.

Ed Wells had been promoted to the rank of captain, but the paperwork was in transit at the time of his death. He lived at 44 East Battery. Today a memorial plaque remains in the Carolina Yacht Club to Capt. Wells’ memory. Another memorial was placed in St. Philip’s Church. Capt. Edward L. Wells Jr. exceeded Miss Ball’s estimation of bravery under fire. On the 100th anniversary of his passing, he is still remembered for his service to our country.

Danny Crooks

Harbor Oaks Drive