Alvin York started off as an average man who loved to hunt and use guns and ended up using those skills for something else. Alvin York ended up with a Congressional Medal of Honor because of his skills with weapons. Alvin York was a kind and decent man who never planned to serve in World War I, but his life changed when he was drafted.
Alvin York was born in 1887 in a two-room cabin in Tennessee. Alvin was one of eleven children and didn’t have a very fortunate childhood. He was forced to help provide meat for the family by hunting. He used guns to kill animals and never saw them as a weapon but more of a tool. Alvin York started to drink and gamble and wasn’t the best man during his youth. His life changed drastically in 1914 when he experienced a religious conversion. After his York decided to change how he lived his life and was never the same man again (Duffy).
When the United States entered World War I, York was drafted in the 328th Regiment, and 82nd Infantry. Alvin York had second thoughts about serving in the war due to his religious beliefs. However, one of his commanders convinced him that The Bible sanctioned war and this made him feel better about it. York served in the front lines in France on June 27, 1918. He is greatly remembered for what happened in the Argonne Forest though. On October 8th, York had orders to take his squad on a surprise attack against a group of Germans with machine guns. Once they got there they surprised a group of about twenty Germans and they were able to take them without any shots even being fired. One of the men that they had captured was a German Major, and he called out in German and before York and his men knew it they were being fired at. There were Germans firing from a ridge about 10 yards away with machine guns. Before York knew it all but two of his squad had been shot and he just started firing at the Germans. He later wrote in his diary how he didn’t think he had missed...
Cited: "Alvin York," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2008.
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Duffy, Michael. "Who 's Who: Alvin C. York". First World War. 14 Mar 2009.
Reviews in American History, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Dec., 1985), pp. 598-601
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
York, Alvin. "The Diary of Alvin York". Alvin C. York Institute Website. 15 Mar 2009.
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