uns is a military unit organized to give battle to a regiment of infantry. Yet, one man, a representative of America on that hillside on that October morning, broke the morale of a battalion of machine gunners made up from members of Germany's famous Prussian Guards. Down in the brush below the Prussians was a human machine gun they could not hit, and the penalty was death to try to locate him.
As York fought, there was prayer upon his lips. He was an elder in a little church back in the "Valley of the Three Forks o' the Wolf" in the mountains of Tennessee. He prayed to God to spare him and to have mercy on those he was compelled to kill. When York shot, and a German soldier fell backward or pitched forward and remained motionless, York would call to them:
"Well! Come on down!"
It was an earnest command in which there was no spirit of exultation or braggadocio. He was praying for their surrender, so that he might stop killing them.
His command, "Come down!" at times, above the firi
Sam Cowan wrote this profile of Sergeant Alvin York soon after the hero of the Argonne returned to his home following World War I. York, of course, had single-handedly caused the surrender of a battalion of Imperial German machine-gunners during his service as a Corporal in the 82nd Infantry Division.
The book tells about the history of the York and Pyle families in the mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky, the religious upbringing that York brought to his Army service and his refusal to accept monetary reward for his heroism.
He accepted no gifts of value, except for the farm that the people of Kentucky gave him in gratitude and love. After all, he needed someplace to call home with the young wife he took right after his return home. York's calls for any further gifts to be sent to a foundation he created to help build local schools seems quaint in a day when education is considered a right to be granted by the government. Good book for young and old.
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