“Quit the Mines to Defend the Flag at Home and Abroad”

“All honors to… Charles Henry Buffington, son of Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Buffington, of this place, the first to respond to the present call,” wrote the Lykens Standard on April 13, 1917.  “The young man, 22 years old, employed in the mines, discarded the pick and shovel, to help keep afloat the banner of freedom, under which American citizens MUST be protected at home, on the open sea or in foreign lands.”

The Standard used Buffington as an example for others. They published a photograph of the young recruit in a striking military uniform, rifle at his side as an enticement to attract others to volunteer for service. “How many of you will join Charles?” they wrote.

First Lykens Boy Enlisted in World War

Quit the Mines to Defend the Flag at Home and Abroad

Training at Fort Slocum

Buffington
Charles Buffington

Lykens has never failed in its loyalty to the flag. Long before the thrifty town was mapped out – way back when this section was inhabited by savages, the few white men here then – the pioneers who hewed the forests and tilled the soil for the benefit of future generations, where the town is now located, left home and kindred to the call of Washington against the British foe. In the Mexican wars, the Rebellion, the Spanish-American war, the patriotic citizens of this section responded to the defense of the flag. Now we are again at war – not of our choosing – it has been thrust upon us – the Chief Executive of the nation has issued a call to arms.

All honors to the above Charles Henry Buffington, son of Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Buffington, of this place, the first to respond to the present call. The young man, 22 years old, employed in the mines, discarded the pick and shovel , to help keep afloat the banner of freedom, under which American citizens MUST be protected at home, on the open sea or in foreign lands. Young men, you are needed! How many of you will join Charles? He enlisted in the infantry at the recruiting station at Harrisburg on the 1st inst., and is now at Fort Slocum, New York.

Any young man wanting to know about enlisting may get the desired information from the postmaster. Car fare may be secured to the nearest recruiting station thru the postmaster.

Charles Buffington served from 1917-1919 with the 36th Infantry Regiment. Below is a service record detailing the dates of his war-time activities courtesy of the PHMC.

Buffington Service File

Buffington’s example was followed by hundreds of others from Lykens, Wiconisco, Williamstown, Tower City and other communities in the “Upper End.”


Featured Image: A headshot of Charles H. Buffington, (Lykens Standard; April 13, 1917)

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