Thursday, July 13, 2006

It seems that as we grow older most of us will engage an anxiety about our origins and purpose in life. We look for answers in our Family’s history and the accomplishments (or not) of our ancestors so that in preserving and documenting our history, we can guarantee our future and maybe some degree of immortality.

I guess that was part of my motivation though I had some grave concerns about the timeliness of preserving the history of our Family, lest it be lost to the mists of time. If I don’t do it, who will? Few others in my Family appear to be motivated to do so (that’s OK) and, after all, the sun is going to go super nova. Gads!

Well, that won’t apparently happen for a few million/billion years (views differ) so we have a few years to facilitate global warming or otherwise engaging our mutually assured destruction. Of course, we also have the impending threat of Yellowstone blowing its top or getting hit by an asteroid. I suspect that before any of that happens Mother Nature will pull the plug on that most destructive of the planet’s species – Man – and then get about the job of repairing herself (Yes, she is a Lady).

In the meantime the Shakespearian mantra that sits on a statue astride our National Archives, “What is Past is Prologue” will forever motivate me and others of my ilk to catalogue the past and the lessons already learned. Looking backward (appropriately, regardant) does not insinuate a retreat into the past but rather the charge to righteously prepare for the future.

It is appropriate, then, that the first and only offering of No Greater Calling will be the biography of my paternal grandfather, Colonel Gonzalo Edward Buxton, Jr. He was an action kind of guy who has been memorialized mostly as “Sergeant York’s Major”. Today Buxton might be the straight man for those more cynical, suspicious and pessimistic about our future. We in the Family suspect that he would have persevered now as he did in his lifetime.

May 13, 1880 to March 15, 1949

Lectori Benevolo Salutem.
Though this piece requires no apologies or request of indulgence, we welcome the reader and invite any feedback they may be motivated to provide. We hope that this will be the first of many pertinent histories of great men and women of our ilk.This short biography is a tribute and memorial to a Man whose wisdom, character, integrity, courage, leadership, personality and energy exemplified the best that all men can be. We also dedicate this piece to all of Colonel Buxton’s friends, known and unknown, appreciating their contribution to his life.

Our motivation is to reveal the persona, dedication and some of the major events in the life of a great man who loved his country and who by upbringing, education and a huge dose of common sense, coupled with passion, engaged those arenas he thought significant and strategic.

Because of Colonel Buxton’s wide expanse of life experiences and contributions in virtually every sector, we have included comprehensive endnotes that quantify, qualify and explain some of the background of those experiences, events and the personalities with whom he and this biographer interacted.

Any effort to totally reveal the “real man” will, however, invariably fall short. No one knows what his favorite food, smell, color or song was. While we have many of his books, his favorite painting; even bar hardware and have been able to reveal part of his superb inner spirit, much of his life will forever remain in sepia tones.

We do know that Buxton embraced and lived conscientiously by the tenets of Pericles and (well before Star Trek) the Athenian philosophy of equality and “the good of the many”. When he saw injustice he addressed it and like Pericles saged, “placed the real disgrace of poverty not in owning to the fact but in declining the struggle against it.”
Such was Buxton’s perspective on the affairs of life.[1].

We can take inspiration from his understanding of key issues and his accomplishments so that same motivation and virtue might burn and shine in our own lives.
"The soldier reflects the character and values of the society from which he is drawn as much as, if not more than, his fellow citizens."[2]

G. Edward Buxton, Jr. was a man destined to make many major contributions to the health and welfare of the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations and the United States of America. His courage; respect and compassion for his fellow man; entrepreneurial demeanor and boundless energy; unabashed patriotism; sense of history and diplomacy; maturity and ability to patiently, deliberately and positively engage and communicate with people of all walks of life as equals and as a persuasive consensus builder, forge many positive personal and business relationships served him well. This extraordinary leader and soldier-citizen reflected the best of our greatness and character and the values of our society.

Pedigree & Origins

The Kansas City, Missouri locale of his birth was a product of his Father’s (Dr. G. Edward Buxton
[3]) medical occupation that took him from Harvard to The College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia University) in New York City to Long Island College Hospital to his residency at St. Francis Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Buxton returned to Harvard, completed his examinations, and after earning his MD degree, studied abroad in Dublin, London and Paris before returning to the United States and commencing his practice in Kansas City, Mo., in the winter of 1877. On May 13, 1880, during that six year Missouri window, Gonzalo[4] Edward “Ned” Buxton, Jr. was born to Sarah A. (Harrington) Buxton. Dr. Buxton and his family moved to National City, San Diego County, California[5] in 1884 where Ned received his early education before their return to Rhode Island in 1895. Ned had one sibling, a brother, Bertram Harrington Buxton (June 11, 1883 to February 9, 1947) born in Worcester, MA.[6]

Colonel Buxton’s mid-western birth and early California schooling belied that fact that he was a New Englander through and through by demeanor, family connections and personal associations. Buxton was a direct descendent of Anthony Buxton
[7] of Norfolk, England who settled in Salem, MA in 1637 and Capt. James Buxton[8] of Colonel Benjamin Tupper's (10th) Regiment of Revolutionary War fame (Society of The Cincinnati).

Educated in Massachusetts and Rhode Island institutions, he pursued his business career mainly in Providence, and after a military career in the Rhode Island Militia/National Guard, was commissioned from that State into what evolved into a distinguished Government service.

Education & Business

As a young man with the approval and encouragement of his parents, Ned entertained romantic and noble thoughts of a soldierly life filled with visions of service to humanity that were in adolescence further inspired by Kipling and the other laureates of his day.

Buxton completed his preparatory education at the prestigious Highland Military Academy
[9], of Worcester[10], MA where he attended from 1895 to 1898. In 1897 then Cadet Sergeant Buxton earned first honors in prize declamation (recitation/elocution competition) dramatically demonstrating his facility with the English language.[11] Buxton was graduated in 1898 as Valedictorian of his class and as Captain and Senior Officer of the school battalion. At this point his military career was assured.

Entering Brown University in 1898, he earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree (Ph. B.) from that institution in 1902, having been active in various college activities, being a member of Pi Kappa, Phi Delta Theta
[12], and the Sock and Buskin Club, of which he was a Founder and the first president.

For fourteen months after his graduation from Brown University he was on the staff of The Providence Journal as a reporter and assistant telegraph editor. Following his tenure with the Providence Journal he completed a three years course at Harvard Law School, earning an L.L. B. degree in 1906

Upon the completion of his initial general and professional training he became manager of the Title Guarantee Company, a position he held from December, 1906, to December, 1911. From the latter date to April, 1912, he served as executive secretary of the Brown University Endowment Campaign, and at the same time, and until September, 1912, was Assistant Trustee of the John Carter Brown Estate in Providence, RI (See Post WWI & WWII Business for Colonel Buxton’s continuing business associations). C
olonel Buxton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from Brown University in 1948.

On January 19, 1910, Ned Buxton married Aline Houston Armstrong
[14] of Louisville and Bardstown, Kentucky. They had one son, Coburn Allen, born in Providence on June 6, 1912 - died March 21, 1984 in Dallas, Texas.

From September, 1912 to mid 1914, Buxton returned to The Providence Journal Company as Treasurer and Business Manager, and although his Rhode Island National Guard duties absorbed a large portion of that time, he contributed mightily to the energy, integrity and growth of this well-known and highly respected New England newspaper. From 1912 to 1920 he was Treasurer and Business Manager and a member of the newspaper’s board of directors.

Buxton did take a leave of absence from his duties as Treasurer from August 10, 1914, to January 15 1915 in order to serve as War Correspondent for the Providence Journal. Buxton was engaged in the European Theater, sending strategically important articles from England, Germany, France, and Belgium. Buxton’s offerings painted a picture of the extraordinary conditions imposed by the war upon both antagonists. His work and experiences while within the German lines proved to be of unusual interest and certainly a harbinger of his abilities and ultimate service with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in WWII.

Of special interest, Buxton was arrested numerous times by the Germans as he was repeatedly suspected of being an English spy.
[15]Given his military service (see below) and status (Major & Judge Advocate) in the Rhode Island National Guard at that time, it is amazing that he survived these encounters. It certainly makes one wonder about the possibility of an official though clandestine assignment?[16]

By early 1915, Buxton was convinced that it would be impossible for the United States to remain neutral in the conflict. This represented one of the major turning points in Buxton’s life for he returned home and devoted himself diligently to the cause of preparedness for the inevitable conflict.

From this time on Buxton helped inaugurate, develop and expand the citizen-soldier concept of the Plattsburg Camps Movement
[18], the outstanding feature of his activity being the vigorous, clear-sighted, devoted patriotism that literally possessed him and helped ready (and rally) the United States for the inevitability of world war.[19]Buxton himself trained at the Plattsburg, NY Camp in 1915 and 1916 initially serving as First Sergeant and then 1st Lieutenant of Company I of the Ninth Training Regiment. Buxton served later as Major in the Officers Reserve Corps (ORC)[20] from 10-26-1916. Other officers who trained at Plattsburg included Buxton’s good friend, Teddy Roosevelt, Jr (along with brothers Archibald & Quentin Roosevelt); future Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson with whom he would collaborate for a lifetime and Grenville Clark[21], friend and fellow Harvard Law classmate (1906).[22]

Buxton, like former president Teddy Roosevelt
[23], was a major force for military preparedness[24] particularly as World War I loomed. His willing and extraordinary service was in no small part due to his ability to attract, motivate and influence many others on the local and national levels to this critical program.[25]

Colonel Buxton was instrumental in organizing and was the Chief Marshal of The Rhode Island Great Preparedness Parade held Saturday, June 3, 1916, where 42,452 men and 10,000 women participated; the parade requiring seven hours to pass the reviewing stand!
This parade (at that time) was the greatest demonstration ever held in Rhode Island, the third largest of its kind in the United States (in the smallest state), was indicative of the effectiveness of Buxton’s rallying cry, Rhode Island's attitude toward the war and the stalwart patriotism of her citizens.

Buxton’s contributions to this effort cannot be properly estimated. His gift of persuasion never served him better when preparedness was brushed off as a subject that seemed to have no connection with the peaceful and tranquil lives of Americans.

Prior to entering active military service, Buxton was Chairman of the Executive Committee of Rhode Island for National Defense, under appointment of Governor Robert Livingston Beeckman.

Military Service

Even while attending Brown University, Ned Buxton's formal military career
[27] began in 1900, when he enlisted as a second lieutenant with Company C, First Regimental Brigade, Rhode Island Militia. In 1901 he held the rank of first lieutenant in the same organization, resigning in 1903 to attend Harvard University. Lt. Buxton was cited as, “not only one of the most popular officers in the regiment but one of the most efficient.”[28]

In 1906 Buxton enlisted in the Third Company, Coast Artillery Corps, Rhode Island National Guard as a 1st Lieutenant being elected Captain of that command in 1908 and serving through 1911. Buxton saw service as a Captain with the 28th Infantry (part of Major-General William H Carter’s Maneuver Division) on the Mexican border in 1911
[29] with the RI National Guard serving with other regular Army units.

From 1912 to 1916 he was Major and Judge Advocate (JAG) of the Rhode Island National Guard. As we mentioned earlier as war correspondent for the Providence Journal
[30] in Europe he was arrested many times by the Germans on suspicion of spying.

Following his Great Preparedness success, Buxton resigned from the National Guard in October, 1916, he was immediately commissioned Major of infantry in the Reserve Corps of the United States Army, and was ordered to active duty at Fort Oglethorpe, GA.
[31], May 8, 1917, where he was assigned command of the Second Battalion of the First Officers' Training Camp. On August 26, 1917, he was assigned to the command of the Second Battalion, Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth (328th) Infantry Regiment, of the Eighty-second (82nd) Division at Camp Gordon (near Atlanta and now the Peachtree-Dekalb Airport - PDK). It was here where he first met one of his charges, then Private Alvin Cullum York from the Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf River nestled in the Cumberland Mountains in Pall Mall, Tennessee just a few miles from the Kentucky border (more later).

When then Major Buxton and Private Alvin York met at Camp Gordon, little did they know that meeting would have far flung consequences on their lives, individually, and on the security and history of their regiment/division and the United States.

York began to communicate and share some of his concerns and doubts about the role of the military and questioned his ability to take the life of another human being. While York expressed his concerns, he did not initially file for an exemption as a conscientious objector though his Pastor and Mother had encouraged him to do so.

Providentially, Captain Edward Danforth of Augusta, Georgia, his Company Commander, and Buxton were both impressed with York’s honesty and willingness to address his moral dilemma, not to mention the promise he showed in his basic training. Alvin then began meeting with Major Buxton and Captain Danforth, who were courageous enough to share their personal testimonies and faith with York.

This was an extraordinary act especially in 1918. Danforth and Buxton, who was a devout Congregationalist, knew the Bible well
[32] and respectfully discussed the Bible’s teachings with York[33], citing scriptural passages from the Old and New Testaments, with the intent to convince York there are times when the sword is the instrument of peace and divine justice. Buxton, also an American history scholar, shared his perspectives on freedom and the premise of self-determination.

Finally one evening it is reputed that Captain Danforth shared the following passage from the thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel. “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.” After these discussions, Buxton allowed York a ten day pass to go home to the mountains of Tennessee in order to sort out his feelings. Upon his return Major Buxton was ready to give York his discharge or reassign him as a non-combatant if he still espoused concerns
[34]. In the end, however, York returned refreshed and ready to engage the Germans, reassured by his faith in God[35].

In November, 1917, Buxton
[36] was promoted to Acting Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment though he resumed command of his battalion when the 328th left for overseas duty on April 30, 1918. As the 328th departed for France, the Spanish Influenza of 1918-19 was raging in the United States and the rest of the world.[37]

The Regiment continued their training with the British in the Somme Sector
[38], near Abbeyville, France[39] in the latter part of May and the first two weeks of June. During this period Lt. Colonel Buxton, always leading by example, spent a week in the front line trenches before Albert, with the famed British Tenth Essex Battalion (The Essex Regiment, 18th Division) from May 20 to June 18, 1918.[40]

From June 20 to August 7 the 328th Regiment was engaged in the Lagny Sector, north of Toul, and from August 15 to September 12 occupied a portion of the Marbache Sector (on Moselle). The 328th participated in the great St. Mihiel offensive, September 12-16, 1918 which straightened out the salient made by the Germans in 1914
[41]. Lt. Colonel Buxton’s battalion led the attack of the 328th Infantry along the west bank of the Moselle River, capturing the town of Norroy and the commanding ridge north of that town.

The St. Mihiel offensive constituted an epiphany for Buxton who always actively led his command “over the top”
[42]. In one engagement, Buxton became ensnarled in German barbed wire and was helpless while under machine gun fire. Buxton recounted that he would most certainly have been killed were it not for the heroics of an African-American[43] private who risked his own life to cut the wire and free him. Buxton pledged that he would never, “be tainted by a racial or color bias.”[44] He never was. This experience would guide Buxton for the remainder of his life.

On September 18, 1918, two days after the close of this action, Major Buxton was appointed to and served as Inspector-General of the Eighty-Second Division to January 16, 1919
[45] during which time he saw continuing action as a commander and combatant in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, September 25-November 1, the crowning American contribution to the successive blows upon the German line that brought about the Armistice of November 11, 1918. On January 16 Buxton was assigned to “Special Duty” to February 28, 1919 at General Headquarters under General Pershing. The nature of his service has never been disclosed though like William Donovan’s post WWI activities, it more than likely related to post war intelligence requirements.

Alvin York (now a corporal) distinguished himself and the 328th Infantry Regiment, in the Battle of Meuse River-Argonne Forest on October 8, 1918
[46]. York assumed command of his detachment after three other NCOs fell. While he is sometimes erroneously described as acting single-handedly, his official citation says he led seven others in a charge on an active machine-gun nest. They killed no less than 25 German soldiers and captured 132, including four officers.[47]

Following that action York was promoted to Sergeant and spent much of his remaining service time receiving kudos and many medals (to include the Medal of Honor) for his bravery and prowess in battle. Throughout (and following) this period Ned Buxton and Alvin York remained good friends
[48]. Buxton, who sincerely defined his relationship with Alvin as “Friend”, even penned a letter to Gracie Williams (Alvin’s intended bride back in Tennessee) on February 26, 1919 extolling Alvin’s virtues, “the manly Christian Character displayed by this splendid American, recommending him and noting the, “very high esteem in which he is held by the officers and men of this division.”

From that point on, Alvin York was always a welcome visitor at 85 Power Street
[49] in Providence where he was welcomed into New England Society. This biographer recalls a photograph of Alvin York wearing his big white Stetson that always remained in a position of honor on my Grandfather’s desk.

On February 28, 1919, Buxton was formally promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth Infantry Regiment, returned to the United States (Camp Upton, NY) May 8, 1919, where he was discharged from active service. During his tour of duty on the western front, his many personal distinctions form an integral part of the splendid record of the regiment and division, with which he had been identified since August, 1917.
Following his return to Rhode Island Colonel Buxton went on the Organized (Inactive) Reserve list in 1921[50] and in 1922 was promoted to Colonel and Officer Commanding of the 385th Rhode Island Infantry, 76th Division[51]. He served in that capacity until his retirement from military service in 1932.

There can be no greater reward of service than to see the forces one has helped shape from an awkward, uncertain crowd, into well disciplined and trained troops, justify under fire the hopes and faith of its officers; and no 'outfit' in France, regular army or national guard, performed its appointed task more successfully that the Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth Infantry Regiment. Colonel Buxton was the author and editor of the 'Official History of 82nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces' (Bobbs-Merrill Company, publishers).

The American Legion

With the cessation of hostilities, Lt. Col. Buxton’s duties were not yet over. While he was anticipating a return to civilian life, he became swept up in the fervor to organize a fraternity composed of all parties, all creeds, and all ranks who served in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). This effort was initially motivated by General Pershing who wanted to, “better the conditions and development of contentment“(morale) in the army in France and address the welfare of enlisted AEF personnel. It became much more than that. Buxton assumed a leadership role engaging those AEF members who wished to perpetuate American ideals and the relationships formed while in the military and national service, all united into one permanent national organization.

Buxton soon discovered that with the impetus of his good friend Colonel Teddy Roosevelt Jr
[52] (TR’s eldest son) and others of that ilk, there was a great consensus to do so and on the evening of February 16, 1919 he attended a dinner at the Allied Officers’ Club, Rue Faubourg St. Honoré in Paris along with nineteen other AEF luminaries. At that dinner the American Legion was born.

Participating at that dinner and the ensuing Paris and St. Louis Caucuses were many individuals of national and international note that were to have an inspiring affect on the life of Lt. Col. Buxton. They included Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, of the First Division; Col. W.J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, Rainbow Div; Sergeant Alvin C. York of the 328th; Lt. Col. Henry L. Stimson, Ex-Secretary of War; Lt. Col. Robert Bacon, Ex-Secretary of State and Col. Everitte St. J. Chaffee of the famed 26th "Yankee" Division, among many others.

Lt. Colonel Buxton was soon in a position of consummate responsibility
[53] and chaired the very important Constitution Committee that crafted the Preamble and Constitution of The American Legion. Their product was soon lauded by newspaper men who, commenting that, “The Sermon on the Mount is the finest bit of reporting in the history of writing because it tells a long story succinctly”, agreed that “Lieutenant Colonel Buxton and his committee on constitutions are certainly entitled to credit of the same type—­for they tell a great deal in a few lines.”[54]

Colonel Buxton found in the Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion dignity, equality, patriotism and strength of purpose. It was unanimously adopted by the Paris Caucus and months later (with some revisions and the words of George Davis of Delaware) by the general delegates in St. Louis.

“For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:
To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; To maintain Law and Order; To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; To preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the Great War; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; To make right the master of might; To promote peace and good will on earth; To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy; To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.”
The Paris Caucus[55] (March 15 to 17, 1919) was attended by Lt. Col. Buxton and one thousand officers and enlisted men, delegates from all the units of the American Expeditionary Force (including Sgt. Alvin C. York, of the 328th) which adopted a tentative constitution and selected the name “American Legion” and envisioned that every unit in the A.E.F. would be represented and followed up by another caucus in the United States, preferably in St. Louis because of its central location.

Lt. Colonel Buxton worked diligently in the American Legion
[56] following his return to civilian life, having been one of the incorporators[57], national committeeman for Rhode Island, and the first chairman of the Providence Post of the American Legion. Buxton attended and participated in the St. Louis Caucus and the first American Legion’s first Annual Convention in Minneapolis, MN (and many thereafter). Buxton believed firmly in The Legion’s principles and aims and contributed mightily all his life to the ultimate success and permanence of the American Legion as constituted in 1919.[58]

Post WWI Business

Upon his return to Providence, Lt. Col. Buxton continued to serve the citizens of Rhode Island and the United States in public service while pursuing a successful business career that saw his return to the Providence Journal. Though his business reputation had been honed as a journalist and newspaperman, the textile industry beckoned and Buxton assumed senior management responsibilities (VP and Treasurer 1920-26, President 1926-1935) with the new B. B. & R. Knight Co.
[59] which at one time with 22 mills, was the largest producer of cotton products in the world. With headquarters in New York City[60], they owned many textile plants and brands in New England to include Dan River and the famous Fruit of The Loom labels, among others.

As a national depression loomed, Buxton as the newly elected President of the National Association of Cotton Manufacturers as of October 28, 1927, told the 500 delegates of that body’s annual convention, “New England will not permit the villages along her waterways to become abandoned.”, he further asserted, “Nor allow the whole complicated web of commerce, trade, banking and transportation to suffer the very serious loss which would follow our defeat and elimination. I do not foresee such a catastrophe as the loss to New England of the cotton industry. Today finds us working and planning to meet changing conditions. To the utmost of our abilities, we are adapting our equipment and organizations making them more flexible; endeavoring to create better methods of merchandizing; getting in closer touch with our markets; recognizing the consumers demand for individuality and personality and style and beauty in color and outline and weave and standards of quality. Such changes come about very gradually, no matter how great the energy behind them.”

During this period the great depression prompted the steep fall of cotton prices that further rippled into a general industrial malaise that contributed to reduced consumer spending and confidence in the economy. The special significance of Buxton’s contribution during this period was that he successfully guided Knight and other companies with a minimum loss of facilities and the preservation and maintenance of thousands of jobs.
[62] Buxton’s focus was always the preservation and integrity of New England industry and the individual worker, understanding that they were the backbone of our economy. His effort was courageous and heroic and he was rewarded with continuing and ever increasing management responsibilities.[63]

In 1927-28 Buxton also served the textile industry as member of the Cotton Textile Industry Commission. Additionally, from 1933-44 he served as Vice-President of the Cotton Textile Institute, Inc.

From 1932 to November 6, 1939 while still president and later Chairman of the Board of B. B. & R. Knight Co, Buxton was elected president of a group of five Maine textile plants to include Androscoggin Mills, Bates Manufacturing Company, Edward Manufacturing Company, Hill Manufacturing Company and York Manufacturing Company, all owned by New England Industries, affiliated with the New England Public Service Company.

In 1939 following the end of that assignment in Maine, the Lewiston, ME Journal reflected that, “Colonel Buxton had come to Lewiston in the depths of the depression, in trying days and times that have left their mark indelibly. Colonel Buxton’s efforts were heroic in keeping the mill wheels turning and in promotion of their products. He was genuinely interested in the civic problems in the cities where the mills were located and understood the meaning of good will.”

Successor Walter S. Wyman, President of New England Industries, reflected on Buxton’s leadership in that assignment as “valiant” and that he was, “ideal for the position he held.” Surely Colonel Buxton had an abiding interest in preserving and growing the economic health of all New England Mills and the economy in general.
In this interim in 1935 Colonel Buxton resigned his position as President of Knight Corporation and was elected Chairman of the Board.
Buxton also served Directorships with Blackstone Canal National Bank, U.S. Bobbin and Shuttle Company, General Fire Extinguisher Company (1934), Bliss Fabyan & Co., Inc of New York, New England Public Service Company of Augusta, ME, Waypoyset Manufacturing Company of Pawtucket and Mills Associates. Buxton became famous for his successful collaborations with Cason Callaway of Georgia who headed up the Southern Consortium of textile mills.

In 1941 Colonel Buxton along with other principals formed the Theodore W. Foster and Bro. Co., Inc. taking over the assets of the jewelry manufacturing company of that name for the purpose of producing metal specialties including military items like cartridge clips, shells, grenades, ball bearings and other instruments of military use. Their investors included good friend William Casey later of OSS and CIA fame.

Civic, Social & Political

Buxton was a stimulating influence in civic enterprises and remained active in the affairs of the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations. In 1925 Buxton joined with other RI men of action (Rhode Island Police Research Association) to facilitate the formation of the Rhode Island State Police who invested his old friend Col. Everitte St. J. Chaffee
[66] of AEF and American Legion fame as their first superintendent.

Buxton was, with the famous Colonel Charles S. Mulhearn, one of the integral founders of the Rhode Island Boy Scouts
[67] which began in Rhode Island in 1910 with Buxton serving as their first Council Commissioner in that same year[68] and serving in many other capacities until his death. Rhode Island and the national scouting movement remained a high priority to Colonel Buxton whose memory still lives via of Camp Buxton and the Buxton Lodge in Rehobeth, Massachusetts and the Aline Buxton Trail[69] at Yawgoog, the Boy Scout Camp in SW Rhode Island (Narragansett Council BSA)[70]. Colonel Buxton received the Captain Bucklin Scout Award in 1948 for his long, faithful and distinguished service to Scouting.

We should note now that Colonel Buxton and Robert Baden-Powell, father of World Scouting were later well known to each other through the Rhode Island Scouting Community. Buxton and Mulhearn most admired Powell’s English Scout model and initially chose to follow that path and define Scouting on their own independent and concurrent terms
[71]. Mulhearn and Buxton were not aware of Chicago publisher William Dickson Boyce’s efforts in forming the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Chicago and Washington, DC.[72]

J. Harold Williams, Scout Executive Emeritus of the Narragansett Council, BSA wrote in Scout Trail 1910-1962, The Story of Scouting in Rhode Island, “The National Council, Boy Scouts of America, had been urging the Rhode Island Boy Scouts to get on the national team. Much correspondence was exchanged and conferences were held. The approach of World War I was bringing to the Boy Scouts of America governmental recognition, so that in May 1917 the Rhode Island Boy Scouts voted to merge and become the Greater Providence Council, Boy Scouts of America.”
[73] That merger has seen an ultimate benefit for both organizations as the Narragansett Council, an integral part of BSA, has played a leading role in National and World Scouting.[74]

Interestingly, the Scouting magazine, Boy’s Life, long an arm of RI Scouting, was purchased by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1912 and remains to this day the official youth magazine of the BSA.

Buxton remained active in politics though never as a party candidate for a local, state or national office. The Colonel was an ardent Republican
[76] and started his formal service as an elected member of the First Ward Republican Committee in 1923. He served as an At-Large Delegate from Rhode Island to the Republican National Convention in 1928 in Kansas City, MO and again in Cleveland, OH in 1936. As a member of the Republican National Committee from Rhode Island in 1940 at Philadelphia, PA, his guiding hand was never far away from Republican and National interests. In 1940 he was selected, as the leading GOP strategist in Rhode Island, to head the GOP presidential, state and congressional elections effort.

Following in his father’s footsteps Colonel Buxton was an Elk and member of the Masonic Order, active with both the Harmony Lodge, No. 9, Free and Accepted Masons, and the Providence Chapter, No. 1, Royal Arch Masons. Buxton was also active as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, The Society of the Cincinnati (Capt. James Buxton), the Military Order of Foreign Wars, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Buxton Family Association.
Colonel Buxton was a Director of the Rhode Island District Nursing Association.

His social, fraternal and business club memberships included the Infantry Lodge, Hope Club, University Club, Jacobs Hill Hunt Club, the Squantum Club, the Agawam Hunt Club, Turk’s Head Club, Providence Art Club and the Pen and Pencil, all in Providence. Buxton was also an active member of the 82nd Division National Association (President 1929-30), the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C. and the Knickerbocker, Manhattan and Merchants Clubs, all in New York City. These memberships demonstrated his popularity amongst Providence and New York social and business circles and a strong appreciation for Brown University, the arts/literature and the “wheels” of business.

Buxton was a studious scholar, avid reader and amassed a substantial library that included many antique books. He found inspiration and entertainment from his favorite author Rudyard Kipling who in many works (prose and poetry) to include Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) and Soldiers Three (1888) and Barrack Room Ballads (1892) wrote for and about the common soldier. Other favorites included The Jungle Book, Kim and Gunga Din, among others. Members of the Family as well as personal and business associates always commented and admired his agile facility and elocution, reciting at the drop of a hat, entire poems by Kipling, Whitman, Emerson, Service and Tennyson, among others.

Colonel Buxton was often heard quoting from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Ulysses
[77]. Ned Buxton especially in his later years found the words of Tennyson’s Ulysses to be inspirational and prophetic. Just prior to his passing Buxton was at the Rhode Island Boy Scout Headquarters and recited to some attentive Boy Scouts the closing lines to Ulysses thusly,

“Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs:
The deep moans round with many voices.
Come, my friends,'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

This, by itself would have been a fitting eulogy and memorial and the timing of his presentation prompts our conjecture that he sensed that denouement. It pleases the Family to know that his light shone bright to the end.

Colonel Buxton’s social and civic activity was always defined along mature and progressive, though never radical lines. He always found it easy to leave the beaten track to meet new needs and emergencies. Buxton had a wide acquaintance in New England, New York and beyond among all people in all walks of life with his democratic/egalitarian friendliness contributing to his large following. In the field of business he was known as a consummately successful, energetic and keen executive.

The private sector, however, could not hold Colonel Buxton long for with the foreboding of World War II; old friends reached out and plucked Buxton for the most important job of his lifetime.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt noting the lack of coordination within the US intelligence community and their failure to provide him with strategic unified reports, appointed William J. Donovan of New York on 11 July 1941 as the Coordinator of Information (COI)
[78], the head of a new, civilian office attached to the White House charged with keeping Roosevelt[79] informed on all the intelligence activity of the Army, Navy, State Department and FBI (and a few other agencies). We can note that this appointment was not by chance and involved the interaction and contributions of Britain who was covertly trying to coax a neutral America into war.

Though it is long known that Donovan had already involved and sought Buxton’s counsel on the establishment of a wartime intelligence service, this old friend, confidante, fellow lawyer and WWI AEF and American Legion compatriot, soon to become Major General William J. “Wild Bill”
[80] Donovan, formally came calling with a unique proposition. Donovan formally charged Buxton as his second in command in the development and administration of the office of Coordinator of Information (COI) that evolved into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)[81], eventually morphing into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The Office of Strategic Services was formally established in June 1942 to collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies. During the War, the OSS supplied policy makers with facts and estimates, but the OSS never had jurisdiction over all foreign intelligence activities—the FBI, for example, was responsible for intelligence work in Latin America, with the military jealously guarding their areas of responsibility.
Colonel Buxton[83] known for his shrewd observation and diplomacy was the obvious choice by Donovan to be his primary deputy (First Assistant Director) of the OSS in order to handle the procedural and many of the operational aspects of running this international organization[84] though that appears to have been an almost impossible task from the outset given the political sensitivities mentioned above. Buxton also frequently served as Acting Director, as necessary, and was only one of several “Donovan intimates” who, along with Executive Officer Lt. Col. Otto C. Doering, Jr. with unfathomable talents and demeanor, would poise the OSS to handle any contingency.

Donovan, the “front man”, the visionary and charismatic leader who inspired his people, was at the same time a mediocre administrator
[85], enamored of operations but bored by procedural detail. When we consider that at its peak in late 1944, the OSS employed almost 13,000 men and women, the obvious need for organization was paramount.

Donovan, Buxton and Doering believed that the best way into the mind of the enemy was to harness the minds, talents and experiences of every kind of American. That meant hiring women as well as ethnic minorities. So, while many people were gripped with a fear of subversion and while Japanese-Americans were being put in internment camps
[86], the OSS (and Buxton specifically)[87] were hiring Japanese-Americans from these camps along with German, and Italian-Americans. The OSS personnel office once boasted that its payroll listed every nationality and every occupation. The OSS hired thousands of women to work in many types of jobs. Buxton and the OSS and other war-related positions offered the first real relief from the discrimination then rampant in our society and set the stage for future progress.

An example of the great respect and high esteem afforded Colonel Buxton occurred when Buxton’s distinguished former Battalion Sergeant-Major in the 328th and AEF in WWI, Toki Slocum, a Nisei
[88] with a magnificent fighting record, presented Colonel Buxton with his two samurai swords immediately following Pearl Harbor. Buxton thought this significant as Slocum, a cultivated Bushido[89], was declaring his loyalties to America. Those swords remain within the Buxton Family.

Colonel Buxton’s duties took him to Canada, England, Scotland and Ireland in 1942 and later to the European continent and the Mediterranean theaters of operation in order to inspect OSS activities.
Buxton as the OSS Planning Group and Action Director of Strategic Services was from the start a key figure in all policy as well as operational decisions[90]. He addressed and approved strategic issues, projects and communications to President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower (among others) that directed activities key to the Normandy Invasion, offered a critical post-war assessment of Russian weakness, the planned (but aborted) assassination of the German physicist entrusted with the development of the Nazi atomic bomb all the way to the routine and mundane duties of daily administration. His perspectives and contributions were huge! Anthony Cave Brown, renowned OSS biographer (and everything else associated with the international intelligence community) has extolled Colonel Buxton as, “A leading American of his time whose greatest achievement was to co-found with “Wild Bill” Donovan the modern American intelligence and special operation service, the OSS.”

Colonel Buxton received many acknowledgements for his service in the OSS to especially include the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from King George VI on November 12, 1945. Colonel Buxton had worked closely with British intelligence services to include British Naval Intelligence and MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Buxton and Donovan worked closely with Commander Ian Fleming
[91] (later of James bond fame) and two of Britain's top spymasters, Admiral John Godfrey, the British Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) and Sir William Stephenson, Director of British Security Coordination (BSC) in the western hemisphere.

Colonel Buxton developed, extended and maintained life long close friendships and even business relationships with many of his OSS compatriots to include Director William Donovan, William Casey
[92], OSS Head of Personnel Administration-William H Vanderbilt III, OSS Deputy Director Elmo Roper (later of Roper Research Associates fame), Deputy Director of Intelligence Services John Macgruder and Commander John Ford[93], head of the OSS Field Photographic Services, among many others.

With the German surrender on May 8, 1945 (VE Day) and the anticipated surrender of the Japanese
[94], Colonel Buxton on June 30, 1945 resigned as Assistant Director and second in command of the OSS.[95] Buxton’s resignation was accepted by Director Donovan, “with keenest personal regret.” Donovan continued, “Colonel Buxton has tirelessly and ably served the war effort. And now when he finds that he must return to private life, no words of mine can express the vast extent of our debt and indeed, that of our country to him.” Bottom line: Like Cincinnatus[96], another Citizen-Soldier, his job was done.

Much of Colonel Buxton’s career in the OSS remains, out of necessity, archived, classified and undisclosed. Some progress has been made in the declassification of his record, though it will apparently be many years before substantive progress is made and all is revealed.

The war won and party politics and territorial imperatives still extant, Truman’s Executive Order 9621 dissolved the OSS as of 1 October 1945, sending the Research & Analysis branch to the Department of State and everything else to the War Department. The Executive Order also directed the Secretary of War to liquidate OSS activities “whenever he deems it compatible with the national interest.”
However, after intense lobbying from many quarters, Truman finally caved in and created the Central Intelligence Group (CIG)[98] on 22 January 1946 - reconstituted as the Central Intelligence Agency in July 1947.

So, in less than four months, the government dissolved the OSS only to recreate it under a new name. This, however, wasn’t a case of a vacillating government. If President Truman
[99] had not signed the executive order dissolving the OSS, Congress would simply have eliminated any funding for it as it had done with other “wartime” agencies.

In that interim Buxton would be called on to assist in the reconstruction of the intelligence function, via of the creation of the “new” Central Intelligence Group/Agency so that we may be more fully prepared to meet the challenges of the future.

Post WWII Business

Following World War II Colonel Buxton saw further service in the business sector heading boards and companies, campaigns and great enterprises. He served as a Director with the Fruit of the Loom Mills, business consultant and Director with Bache and Company (now Prudential Securities) and Director and Chairman of the Board of the Panhandle Production & Refining Company. From 1946 to 1948 Colonel Buxton was President of Knight Finance Corporation of Providence.

Colonel Buxton remained very active in Scouting, the American Legion, the Republican Party (GOP) and his beloved Brown University working as head of their very successful endowment campaign in 1946-47.

One of his most interesting personal & business associations was with Director John Ford, one of Buxton’s old OSS buddies. Buxton invested in Ford’s Argosy Pictures and we know he was personally involved in at least the first two of Ford’s Cavalry Trilogy - Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
[100] (1949) about post-Civil War military life in the western United States. The third component of The Trilogy was Rio Grande (1950) made after Colonel Buxton had already passed.
Final Reward

After a long and fulfilling life dedicated to the service of his fellow man, Colonel Ned Buxton claimed his final reward in his sixty-ninth year (March 15, 1949) in Providence, Rhode Island. He was laid to rest in the Buxton plot in the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.

Colonel Ned Buxton received much deserved recognition for his military service and is part of the glorious record of the 82nd and the OSS. In recognition for his WWI heroics, Buxton received three citations for bravery
[101], the Purple Heart for wounds received in battle and the Medal for Distinguished Service, among others. Following WWII Colonel Buxton received the Medal of Merit from the US Government, the Order of Polonia Restituta from the Polish Government in exile and the previously mentioned Commander of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)[102] from Lord Inverchapel, the British Ambassador on behalf of George VI in 1945.

Colonel Buxton received posthumous recognition from the government of Thailand[103] via the Order of the White Elephant, second class and the Thailand Peace Medal all presented by Prince Wan Waithayakon, Ambassador to the United States and later elected President of the Eleventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly, while serving as Thailand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1955.

Ned Buxton’s greatest rewards, however, were his many friendships and associations that reflected his true character and persona.
[104] The Colonel was awarded the Captain Bucklin Scout Award in 1948 while Buxton’s alma mater, Brown University awarded the Colonel an honorary Doctors of Laws (LLD) degree[105] and the coveted Brown Bear Award[106] in recognition of outstanding and wide-ranging personal service rendered to the university and the nation over a period of many years. The Buxton International House[107] (Hall) on Brown’s Providence campus is named in his honor. Appropriately, his beloved home at 85 Power Street in Providence is now owned by Brown University and houses a member of the Brown faculty.

Of special significance was the gesture offered by the members of the Infantry Lodge which consisted of twelve World War One officers that included Colonel Buxton. The surviving members of The Lodge deeded thirty acres of land in Rehobeth, MA to include one building (that became the Buxton Lodge) and a significant stand of red pine in honor of the memory Colonel Buxton to the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America. That acreage is now Camp Buxton.

Dignitaries at Colonel Buxton’s funeral and celebration of life at the Central Congregational Church in Providence included Maj. Gen. William Donovan
[108]; Robert Hale Ives Goddard[109]; Weston Howland of Milton, Massachusetts[110]; F. Ellis Jackson; Col. James C. McManaway, Clarksburg, WVA; William Slater Allen; Thomas F. Black, Jr; Charles B. McKinney; Fred A. Otis; S. Bruce Smart[111]; Henry D. Sharpe[112]; Elmo Roper[113]; William H. Vanderbilt III[114]; Col. Everitte S. Chaffee[115]; Governor John O. Pastore; Mayor Dennis J. Roberts; Brig. Gen James A. Murphy[116]; Brig. Gen. Chester A. Files; Bruce M. Bigelow[117]; Col. H. Stanford McLeod[118]; Col. Dwight T. Colley[119]; Colonel William F. Hoey[120]; Capt. Raymond Walsh; Colonel Maurice Wolf[121]; Arthur Black of Boston; William R. Sturges; William J. Gilbane[122]; Atherton Richards[123]; Brig. Gen. Herbert R. Dean and J. Harold Williams[124], delegations from the RI Boy Scouts/BSA, Brown University, the American Legion, the 82nd Division, the Providence Journal and Phi Delta Theta Fraternity among many others.

J Harold Williams,(1898-1976), who led an exemplary life of service to God and country through Scouting as the Narragansett Council Scout Executive (BSA) for 43 years and Director of Yawgoog for 32 years eulogized Colonel Buxton in 1949 with great eloquence.
“The frontier days end. One by one the pioneers disappear into the sunset.But, they leave behind springs of living water which their eyes first saw, trails which their feet first marked, artifacts which their hands made and loyalties which their spirits created.
G. Edward Buxton was one of these pioneers. Though the years may erase memory of that glorious personality which stepped out to meet its fellow man, the qualities of his heart and soul go leaping on as the lives of these he marked, touch other lives.

These inadequate words are written by one who in boyhood received from him the heritage of the Boy Scout oath; who in youth tapped the resources of his wisdom in leadership and human relations, and who in maturity claimed his friendship and love.

This is not a tribute to him as a business man, as a citizen, as a patriot or soldier. That tribute is for other pens.

But, if you catch something of the adventurous, courageous, crusading spirit of this man, remember how he used to say, “If I could choose the era in which I would live my life, my first choice would be the time in which I have just lived; my second choice would be Elizabethan England and my third choice would be in Athens at the time of Pericles.”

Yes, this is the man that we know and loved. He has sailed beyond the sunset, but has left us his philosophy of life, his ideas and ideals. He gave us part of himself and we shall do our best to pass on to Scouting his love of country, his loyalty, his fairness, his respect for the dignity of each individual so that they too may be, strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.”

Colonel Ned Buxton was immensely popular and when he talked to people he made them feel good – needed and glad to be alive. This highly respected gentleman was placed perfectly in a not so kinder and gentler time that encompassed the Spanish influenza of 1918, WWI, WWII and the great depression. With all the skills and ethics necessary to successfully navigate our world in crisis, he was a larger than life personality who left his indelible mark on the American Community with his long and distinguished career in business, particularly in journalism, the textile industry and the military. Colonel Buxton advised no less than four US Presidents primarily on military and industrial matters. Contemporary Human Resources managers would define and characterize him as, “the perfect fit.”

Not of an athletic build and temperment, one never expected him (by appearance alone) to demonstrate his adventurous spirit and the highest principles of character, integrity, leadership and courage as he did in his military service and commitment to his community. He commanded his battalion and regiment in WWI and later was a key component of the management rationale of the OSS in WWII. Wounded in battle and cited for illustrious service and bravery three times in WWI, he was tenaciously committed to the preservation and betterment of his community and nation. He led by example, courageously leading his troops and the community at large always from the trenches of the front line.

He went about his work deliberately, without fanfare and always exhibiting a resolute “quie-attitude”, seeking no recognition. A modest man, Buxton rarely wore or displayed his well deserved medals, almost embarrassed by the attention and applause he invariably received.

Colonel Buxton was an intellectually honest man of incorruptible / indefatigable vision who saw things the way they really were/the way they should be and tried to make a difference. This student of philosophy understood that the future of the world lay, even beyond his vision, in the hands of the young and dedicated himself to the education and preparation of our young people so that future might be secure. He saw injustice and stood up for his ideals, and while righting those wrongs, never recognized the imposition of limits – on anyone, anywhere, including himself.

He was a biblical scholar and man of high moral character who held his deep and abiding faith, privately, close to his heart but always willing to share his testimony with those in crisis or winding their way through life. As the conscience of a generation he became a part of all that he met, never afraid to make critical decisions or tackle difficult issues, never compromising his professional ethics or individual values and moral principles.

A progressive, his highly principled politics were issue-based, both liberal and conservative and not a matter of convenience. Colonel Buxton advised Presidents on both sides of the aisle on matters of national, strategic importance. He embraced an earnest, egalitarian and loyal debate on all issues. Always diplomatic as the ultimate consensus builder, he was also frank, open, honest, and sincere - an expression of his personal integrity.

Ned had a great sense of humor and propriety that seconded respect for his fellow man. Ralph Waldo Emerson properly expressed the sentiments of Colonel Buxton’s biographers thusly:
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Colonel Buxton succeeded in all he engaged and his life stands as testament and inspiration for all those that follow.

Sleep well, Colonel Buxton; a job well done.

Gonzalo Edward “Ned” Buxton III
Dallas, Texas
May 24, 2006

[1] No apologies for all the superlatives for this “Renaissance Man”. They were sincerely bestowed by those that worked with Colonel Buxton and knew him best. They are well deserved. GEBIII
[2] Soldiers of Scotland by John Baynes: (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1988)
[3] Dr. Buxton was very interested in Buxton genealogy and was active in the Buxton Family Association (BFA) from 1905 to his passing in 1925. Dr. Buxton was the second Buxton Family Association historian and designed and introduced the BFA coat of arms in 1913 on the occasion of the 8th Buxton Family reunion. Dr. Buxton carefully researched the coat of arms of his Buxton Norman/English ancestors and in his design incorporated elements strictly appropriate to the BFA to include the shield’s thirteen white stars on a blue field (chief) and the red deer supporters. Buxton was well educated in heraldry and adopted the BFA coat of arms by right of assumption. The BFA coat of arms is displayed at the end of this biography. GEBIII
[4] Gonzalo was not a family name and not liked by Colonel Buxton. Many of Colonel Buxton’s friends, associates and acquaintances later in life knew him as “Ned” or “Buck”. Ironically, his very closest friends also knew him as “Zalo”. It was thereafter a family tendency to judge those that professed a close friendship with The Colonel as to their knowledge and use of that name. Many imposters were thusly exposed.As family tales go, when Colonel Buxton’s Grandmother Julia Coburn Buxton was about to give birth to the first G. Edward Buxton she was reputed to have been enamored of Shakespeare’s Gonzalo of The Tempest and so inspired to name her first born in his honor.
When The Colonel’s son, Coburn, approached his father about naming his first-born son in his honor, Colonel Buxton insisted that his grandson be forever, G. Edward Buxton III, prompting a lifetime silent response to the query, “What does the G. stand for?”
Sidebar: Colonel Buxton at an early age became a serious student of Shakespeare and all his works. GEBIII
[5] National City is located just south of San Diego and just ten miles north of the US-Mexico border. The history of National City includes the era of the Spanish land grants when this area was part of “Alta California” and then later known as "Rancho Nación". Alta California constituted that area of land occupied by the modern-day U.S. states of California, Nevada, Utah, northern Arizona and southwestern Wyoming.Mexico's successful, decade-long war of independence against Spain ended in 1821 and resulted in recognition of California as one of the constituent territories of the newly independent united Mexican States with the adoption of their 1824 Constitution. In 1846–48 US Civilian and U.S. Army & Navy forces invaded and captured the territory. Mexico formally ceded this land to the U.S. under the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Frank Kimball (along with brothers Warren and Levi) purchased the 26,000-acre El Rancho de la Nacion in 1868. They founded National City and cleared lands, built roads, constructed the City's first wharf and even brought the railroad to the City.
The modern era of National City dates to the 1880's, when this was a successful hub of commerce, and the birthplace of the region's first commuter train. Doctor Buxton’s participation in National City’s medical program certainly makes him one of the pioneers and significantly demonstrates his sense of adventure that no doubt heavily influenced his son, G. Edward Buxton, Jr. This writer suspects Frank Kimball’s hand in bringing Dr. Buxton to National City. The collapse of San Diego County's land boom of the late 1880s brought a serious recession to the city in 1890. The population dropped substantially and business literally came to a standstill. The door was then open for Family and opportunity to lure Dr. Buxton and his Family back to New England. Gleaned in part from Wikipedia and GEBIII
[6] Brother Bert also graduated from Brown University (class of 1904) with honors (Phi Beta Kappa) and where, like his Father and Brother, he was a Phi Delta Theta. Bert earned his MD from Harvard in 1908. He was an active officer in the RI National Guard, Medical Corps (MC) where he saw service in the Mexican Punitive Expedition of 1916-1917 along with good friend, Captain Everitte S. Chaffee. Bert also saw significant service in WWI (AEF MC) and attained the rank of Captain.
Bert Buxton, like his Father, was an illustrious MD (general practitioner then OB/GYN) in private practice first in Edgewood and afterward in Providence, RI. He was a visiting surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital, Providence Lying-In Hospital and Pawtucket Memorial Hospital and Chief of Service at Charles V. Chapin Hospital in Providence (formerly the Providence City Hospital to 1931). Bert later served as the distinguished President of Lying-In Hospital in Providence. Bert Buxton was active in RI civic affairs to include the Rhode Island Boy Scouts and the Military Order of Foreign Wars. Bert married Sara Alice Elliot and had three children: Barbara-Lee Harrington Buxton, Bertram Harrington Buxton Jr. and Elliott Anthony (Tony) Buxton. GEBIII
[7] “Anthony Buxton, of England, born in 1601, came to Salem, Mass., in 1637, and took one of the original town lots of five acres. He died in 1684, when eighty-three years of age and his will is still to be seen among the old records of Salem. He left a large farm which joined that of Governor Endicott, and the will mentions the hay, grain, cattle, working teams, wagons, ploughs and farming tools, besides sums of money the neighbors owed him - one of pounds, shillings and pence that Governor Endicott was owing him he gave to his youngest child and daughter, Hannah.
With considerable property to dispose of, the first item therein deserves attention, not that it should have been given to the oldest son, but that it should be of such apparently trivial import: 'I will and bequeath unto my son John the great Bell-metal mortar I brought out of England with me.'But on investigation this, it seems, would be in those early times the family grist mill, in which was ground or pounded fine the parched corn for their bread. His wife was named Elizabeth, and they had the following children: John, Elizabeth, Mary, Lydia, Sarah, Hannah, and Joseph.” The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, NY: American Historical Society, 1920 V4, P444
[8] “James Buxton, son of Benjamin Buxton, was born in 1745, in Smithfield. He enlisted as ensign on the Worcester Rolls (Vol. 48, File 349), was made lieutenant in March, 1779, Third Company, Massachusetts Regiment, Fifteenth Regulars, Captain, Noah Littlefield, Major, Andrew Peters, Lieutenant-Colonel, Benjamin Tupper, Colonel, John Bailey; served on the Hudson under General Lee, and on January 1, 1781, received a captain's commission. He died in Smithfield in 1817. He married, in 1773, Esther Southwick, of Uxbridge, and their children were: Jonathan, Rufus, Otis, Ruth, David, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Charity.” Ibid
[9] An institution recognized for its academic excellence, Highland Military Academy was established in 1856 and offered preeminent military training for the young soldier aspirant until their doors closed in 1912. We suspect that this educational venue allowed the Family to faire d’une pierre deux coups allowing Buxton to pursue and demonstrate his passion for the military and permitting his family to keep a close eye on him. GEBIII
[10] The Buxton Family has a considerable pedigree and history with and business links to Worcester, Mass. Buxton’s grandfather, Edward Buxton of Slatersville, RI was educated at Worcester Academy and later had contracted with the Washburn, Moen Company to supply them with one particular kind of scrap iron for their rolling mill at Worcester, Mass. Buxton’s Father, born in Worcester in Feb 18, 1849, received his preparatory education in the public schools of Worcester and married his Mother, Sarah A. Harrington (daughter of Benjamin Harrington) also of Worcester, Mass. Ned’s brother Bertram was born in Worcester.
James Buxton of Revolutionary War fame, though he was born and lived most of his life in Smithfield, RI, had enrolled via the Worcester Rolls. GEBIII
[11] The Highland Military Academy Register, 1897-98 via The Worcester Museum, Worcester, MA
[12] Buxton was a proud and loyal Phi Delt all his life, as was his Father before him and Son after. Brother Bert was also a Phi Delta Theta at Brown University.
[13] Buxton attended Harvard Law School with many notables to include classmate Grenville Clark (fellow New Englander, Plattsburg/MTCA conferee and future fellow Knickerbocker) and the future Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter. In 1917, like Buxton, Frankfurter was a Major and judge advocate in the Officers' Reserve Corps, United States Army. Buxton and Frankfurter also inevitably ran into each other given their mutual associations with Henry Stimson who was an informal advisor to Franklin Roosevelt even before he was elected president. Buxton always furnished Frankfurter as a business and personal reference. GEBIII
[14] With that union came the rich heritage of the Armstrong (Charles Quirey Armstrong & John Allen Armstrong) and Allen (John Allen & Amanda Frances Allen) Families of Kentucky and the Shreves (Israel & Henry Miller) of Louisiana. GEBIII
[15] The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, NY: American Historical Society, 1920 V4, P446.
[16] The Family is assured that he was involved in an officially sponsored covert activity. With his National Guard and Preparedness rationale coupled with his at-the-ready set of personal and professional acquaintances there is no doubt as to Buxton’s intent and the merit of this assignment.
[17] General Leonard Wood was Army Chief of Staff in 1913. It was General Wood's political and public-relations savvy that launched the fledgling attempt at military preparedness. The inspiration for Wood's actions in 1913 came from a situation that is unimaginable in modern-day Army protocol. During Cornell University's spring break Lieutenant Henry T. Bull, the university's professor of military science, took the train from Ithaca, New York, to Washington and quickly obtained an appointment with the chief of staff.
Bull had learned of the navy's plan to offer college students a two-month summer cruise aboard battleships and thought the idea could be adapted by the army. He proposed to Wood that qualified students be attached to regular army units for four or five weeks in the summer, but strictly as volunteer civilians, with no enlistment involved.
Wood liked the idea but believed special camps should be established for the training. He assigned Bull to a three officer committee to prepare a detailed program. The other two officers were Captain Robert Van Horn and Captain Douglas A. MacArthur. Despite the short notice and limited time for preparation, two successful camps were conducted that summer of 1913 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for the eastern sector, and one for the west in Pacific Grove, California, near the Presidio of Monterey.
There were no extra appropriations for the camps, nor did Wood attempt to obtain any. In addition to transportation costs to and from camp, the training cost for each young man was $27.50: $10 for uniforms and $17.50 for food.The camps were so successful that the next year four camps were scheduled. The 1914 camps were located in Ludington, Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan; Asheville, North Carolina, near the Pisgah Mountains; and Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, on Lake Champlain. The camp in the west remained in the Monterey area.
By 1914 the European continent was engulfed in war, causing the idea of military preparedness to take on a new urgency for Americans. This concern was particularly strong in New York and other urban areas of the northeast. Influential young eastern executives and politicians became so anxious about the issue that they, almost spontaneously, helped create what became known as the "Plattsburg Movement." Relevance, Quarterly Journal of The Great War Society, Autumn 1997, Vol. Six, Number Four, The Plattsburg Movement and its Legacy, by Donald M. Kington.
[18] Purpose of the Plattsburg Movement (also known as the Business Men’s Camps) was to increase the then inadequate numbers of trained military reserve by, “A class of men from whom, in time of national emergency, a large proportion of the commissioned officers will probably be drawn, and upon whose military judgment at such time, the lives of many other men will in a measure depend.” Indeed that was the ultimate outcome with the camps providing in excess of 200,000 officers, “most of them competent.” Ibid
[19] Yet the Plattsburg idea was, for all its naïveté, the beginning in the United States of the
twentieth-century conception of the citizen-soldier, the genesis of the officers’ training camps of the two World Wars, a psychological preparation for the drafts that were to follow.When Gentlemen Prepared For War by Francis Russell via -
[20] The Officer Reserve Corps was later named the Organized Reserve Corps (ORC), forerunners of the current Army Reserve.
[21] Glenville Clark was a fellow New Englander and graduate of Pomfret, Harvard-Harvard (’06) and mutual close friend of Felix Frankfurter. Clark preferred, not unlike Buxton, to conduct his public activities in a quiet and unobtrusive manner. GEBIII“
Clark was given the epithet "statesman incognito," because he was virtually unknown to the general public but known very well to a few thousand persons of large influence in national affairs. Good friend Felix Frankfurter once wrote, "a man of independence, financially and politically, who devotes himself as hard to public affairs as a private citizen as he would were he in public office." The historian Elting E. Morison summed Clark up as one who "appeared, in critical or confusing times, as a lobby for particular impulses of the national conscience." His work spanned war and peace, education, politics, and the law, and he well deserved the title "statesman incognito." Grenville Clark: World Peace Through World Law by J. Garry Clifford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut
With WWII looming, Clark would revive the Plattsburgers and formed the National Emergency Committee of the Military Training Camps Association (MTCA). This committee drafted The Burke-Wadsworth Bill that created the Selective Training and Service Act of September 1940. GEBIII
[22]Other luminaries that participated in the later versions of these Citizen's Military Training Camps included Captain Jonathon Wainright (Plattsburg, NY), Colonel Harry Truman (Camp Pike, Arkansas-1933) and Ronald Reagan (Fort Des Moines, Iowa). Many a poster was placed in stores that shown Babe Ruth saying "If I had a son I'd want him to attend a Citizen's Military Training Camp!" George Herman Ruth went on to autograph a baseball and a bat to be awarded to the outstanding soldier athlete at each camp for the year. This went on from 1927 when he hit 60 home runs until 1934. Fort Benjamin Harrison Historical Society
[23] Buxton provided counsel and was advisor to former president Teddy Roosevelt and then President Woodrow Wilson relative to the preparedness effort.
[24] On January 22, 1917 Major Buxton along with Mayor John Purroy Mitchel of New York City (also a graduate of the Plattsburg Camp) and other representatives of the Plattsburg Camp Movement appeared and testified before the U. S. Senate’s Military Affairs Committee. Major Buxton urged the adoption of a “Universal Service” and “obligatory military training system”. In order to jump start the program Buxton suggested a plan which may be put into operation to ascertain the sentiment of the rank and file of the National Guard towards obligatory universal training and service for the young men of the United States under exclusive Federal control.
Buxton cited the experience and the system used by the British to train “raw” troops and territorials and espoused a training concept where an association of men of different stations in life in the training ranks as in Plattsburg would form a “sweat brotherhood” for the benefit of all. The Providence Journal 1-22-1917
However, with the German violation of their Sussex Pledge and the interception of their letter offering a German alliance with Mexico, encouraging Mexico to attack the United States, and given the certain outbreak of hostilities, the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. With no time left for debate Congress enacted the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917 requiring all males between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. By 12th September 1918, 23,908,566 men had registered. Around 4,000,000 men were ultimately drafted into the armed services. Of these, 50 per cent served overseas during the war.With those events the counsel of Major Buxton and the advocates of the Plattsburg Camps Movement and the MTCA was timely and prophetic. GEBIII
[25] Buxton, like other graduates of the 1915 and 1916 camps, had given the spark for the formation of the Military Training Camps Association (MTCA), with the core of its membership principally alumni of Plattsburg training. GEBIII
The MTCA soon gained sufficient political clout to influence Congress's approval of a full appropriation for the 1917 camps (see endnote 24 above). In April, however, the nation declared war against Germany, wiping out any possibility of summer camps for volunteer civilians. The MTCA quickly suggested to the secretary of war that the proposed civilian camps be converted into officers' training camps. The association and the War Department carried on a nationwide recruiting campaign, and by 27 August, 341 candidates had been graduated from the first series of training camps. This, wrote the secretary of war, was "a number sufficient to meet the immediate needs of the Army.
The Officer Candidate Schools ran from May 1917 through November 1918 at locations across the nation. Officer candidates, after careful screening, were given three months of intensive training. By May and June of 1918, 57,307 graduates from the first three series of schools had been commissioned and enrolled in the new national army. The Plattsburg Movement and its Legacy, by Donald M. Kington.
[26] Robert Livingston Beeckman. (Apr. 15, 1866 - Jan. 21, 1935) was the Republican Governor of Rhode Island from 1915 to 1921. A native New Yorker, Beeckman moved to Newport, RI as a youth. He was educated in Rhode Island and became a part of Newport’s aristocracy. Beeckman had a passion for and was a brilliant tennis player and even earned US Open Champion runner-up honors. Beeckman resided at Land’s End in Newport which he sold in 1897 to Edith Wharton who became first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for The Age of Innocence.
Beeckman entered business and became an influential banker and broker via Lapsley, Beeckman & Company and was associated with the RI Hospital Trust Company and Industrial National bank, among others. He became interested in politics and was elected to the RI House of Representatives from 1908 through 1911. In 1912 and for three years thereafter, Beeckman was elected and served as a RI State Senator. Thereafter Beeckman was elected governor for three terms and was rated as one of the more efficient and popular governors of Rhode Island, compiling a distinguished record.Beeckman was intensely interested in the preparedness issue and was keenly aware of Buxton’s distinguished record in the RI National Guard and his concerted effort to prepare the populous for the inevitability of war.Of interest, Beeckman refused to call a special session of the RI Legislature in order to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment (Women’s Right to Vote) in 1919 because of the expense, though he was an ardent supporter of The Amendment. The Providence Journal (Buxton’s employer) offered twice (in writing) to defray the cost of any extraordinary expense though that appeared to have little affect as no special session was ever called. During the next regular session in January The Amendment was ratified in regular session on the first vote by an almost unanimous vote (1 nay). The Amendment was ratified and became the law of the land on August 18, 1920.Beeckman and Buxton were friends, compatriot Republicans and fellow members of the Hope Club in Rhode Island and the Knickerbocker in New York.
[27] Buxton’s Father, Dr. G. Edward Buxton (1849-1925) had always encouraged the spirit of volunteerism and promoted participation in the Volunteer Medical Service Corps (VMSC) to which he had been appointed by Secretary of War Newton Baker with the approval of President Woodrow Wilson. Dr. Buxton took great pride in the active service of his two sons during WWI. The Providence Journal, January 25, 1925Dr. Buxton was active in the VMSC under the US Public Health Service (PHS) in combating the Spanish Influenza, a pandemic of never experienced proportions which affected about 28% of the population in the United States, killing upwards to 675,000. Worldwide estimates ranged from 25 to 100 million deaths. The exact figure remains elusive because of the wartime conditions, news blackouts and the inability to accurately gauge the affects of the pandemic in third world countries like India where an estimated 17 million died.It was in this same spirit of volunteerism that Ned and Bert Buxton established their priorities and conducted their lives. GEBIII
[28] Providence Evening-Bulletin, December 15, 1908
[29] In Mexico, Porfirio Díaz was forced to dissolve his government because of a successful revolt led by Francisco Madero. In response to the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution, Regular US Army troops (along with key National Guard units) were concentrated along the US-Mexican border in the spring of 1911, ostensibly for maneuvers and to aid civil authorities, to enforce neutrality laws and to protect US citizens and property. Fighting in the Mexican Revolution was said to have been so close to the US-Mexican border that U.S. citizens gathered to watch.
This mobilization is an important event as it not only constituted a show of military strength but a testing ground for a new tactical organization. At San Antonio, TX, where the main mobilization occurred, units were organized into the U.S. Army's first modern tactical division, that is, one containing the combined arms of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. During its brief existence, Mar-Aug 1911, the Maneuver Division (later the 2nd), commanded by Major General William H. Carter, conducted no maneuvers and never reached full strength before its disbandment. The experience gained, nonetheless, was put to use in Feb 1914, when the 2nd Division was mobilized at Texas City and Galveston, TX, again under the command of Major-General Carter who also later led this same unit in WWI. Data gleaned from
[30] In Rhode Island pro-Allied sentiment ran high, conditioned in part by the Providence Journal, whose editorials repeatedly urged intervention to halt alleged German aggression. When war finally came in April 1917, the state contributed 28,817 troops, of whom 612 died. Many of these succumbed not to German gas or bullets but to the Spanish influenza, the dread virus that was carried home (reintroduced/reinforced) from the battlefront by returning soldiers. This deadly infection took 941 lives in Providence alone during 1918.
[31] Fort Oglethorpe was located in far north Georgia, just south of Chattanooga, TN, near the Chickamauga Battlefield. Funded in 1902, activated in 1905, Fort Oglethorpe was named for Georgia's founding Father, James Oglethorpe and replaced Fort Oglethorpe in Savannah, whose name reverted to Fort Jackson in 1905. In 1919 the fort was designated the official headquarters of the Sixth Cavalry. After a distinguished service, Fort Oglethorpe was one of the first forts to be decommissioned following the end of WWII in 1946.
[32] The Brown University Alumni Monthly profile (Vol. 65, No. 2, November 1964) was prompted on news of the passing of Sergeant Alvin York in 1964 to recall a previous Providence Journal interview with Colonel Buxton (Brown University, 1902) where he confessed that, “Before his famous exercise in persuasion, he prepared diligently and searched out appropriate Bible passages he might quote in his argument.” The Brown University Alumni Monthly Profile (Vol. 65, No. 2, November 1964)
Buxton remained humble and without personal agenda all his life, this being a good example. Buxton had a great knowledge of the Bible and in an age without an easy and ready reference (no computers or Internet), his capacity to readily reference what for him were key passages in the Bible, demonstrates impressive knowledge and facility with that great document. GEBIII
[33] Alvin York confided years later about Colonel Buxton, “He was the first New Englander I ever knowed… I was kinder surprised at his knowledge of the Bible. It made me happy to know my battalion commander was familiar with the word of God.” The Providence Journal, March 15, 1949 and September 3, 1964
[34] The Department of the Army in their field manual on Leadership as late as 1990 cited the behavior of Captain Danforth and Major Buxton with Private York as the epitome of leadership and character building, thusly. “Your soldiers assess your character as they watch your day-to-day actions. They know if you are open and honest with them. They see whether you are indecisive, lazy, or selfish. They will quickly determine whether you know and enforce the Army standards. Your soldiers' perceptions of your actions combine to form a continuing assessment of your character.Soldiers want to be led by leaders who provide strength, inspiration, and guidance and will help them become winners. Whether or not they are willing to trust their lives to a leader depends on their assessment of that leader's courage, competence, and commitment.Future wars will be won by leaders with strong and honorable character. When mentally preparing for the stress of combat, it is good to know that ordinary people in past wars have shown that kind of character. An inspiring example of such a soldier follows.If we go to war again, many of our soldiers and units may find themselves in situations similar to York's. How will they behave? Will they rise to the occasion as York did? Will they have the necessary character and skills? The answers to these questions will depend on whether leaders have developed in their soldiers the required beliefs, values, character, knowledge, and skills.Today's soldiers have as much potential as Sergeant York did. They too can serve courageously under stressful circumstances if they are trained and led properly. Base your training program on building the motivation, confidence, and competence your subordinates will need on the battlefield.” US Army Leadership Field Manual, Headquarters, NO. 22-5, Department of The Army, Washington, DC, 31 July 1990
It is known that Buxton and Danforth were sincerely motivated by York’s plight and were not following any “leadership script” nor had designs on inclusion in an Army Manual. Their behaviors demonstrated leadership, were surely sensitive and deserving of such inclusion. GEBIII
[35] Even with these assurances Captain Danforth polled his entire company upon their arrival in Boston just prior to their embarkation to Europe. Private York responded that he was satisfied and gave himself wholeheartedly to the duties of the soldier. York reflects that Danforth then responded, "Blessed are the peacemakers," whereupon Alvin replied that, “If a man can make peace by fighting, he is a peacemaker.” The Diary of Alvin York by Alvin C. York
[36] It is appropriate to mention here that Colonel Buxton, like other officers during this period, was an accomplished horseman. The horse was perfectly suited for his 1911 service on the Mexican border. WWI, however, presented different obstacles and the horse and the mule were relegated to important logistical duties to include ambulance duty and the hauling of artillery pieces. Camp Gordon, for example, maintained stables for almost 8,000 horses and mules.The cavalry and mounted infantry up to WWI remained an important tool, especially as a mobile shock element well suited to pursue breaches in enemy defenses. While the horse was still effective on the eastern front and in the middle east, the trench warfare of the western front coupled with sophisticated wire defenses and devastating modern armaments made the horse and rider increasingly vulnerable and ineffective. The role of the horse in modern combat was over, soon to be replaced by mechanized units.
From that point the horse was primarily relegated to ceremonial duties to especially include parades. Some photos of Colonel Buxton while at Camp Gordon show him mounted with campaign hat while on parade. Most WWI and post WWI photos show Buxton, unmounted, marching with his troops. GEBIII
[37] “Few noticed the epidemic in the midst of the war. Wilson had just given his 14 point address. There was virtually no response or acknowledgment to the epidemics in March and April in the military camps. It was unfortunate that no steps were taken to prepare for the usual recrudescence of the virulent influenza strain in the winter. The lack of action was later criticized when the epidemic could not be ignored in the winter of 1918. These first epidemics at training camps were a sign of what was coming in greater magnitude in the fall and winter of 1918 to the entire world.”
The US Military had to contend not only with the Germans but also the Influenza that took a huge toll on soldiers, including the 328th and the 82nd. Of the U.S. soldiers who died in Europe, half of them fell to the influenza virus and not to the enemy (Deseret News). An estimated 43,000 servicemen mobilized for WWI in the United States died of influenza. The celebration of the Allied victory in November of 1918 in the United States allowed for a resurgence of the Flu as huge crowds gathered to celebrate. Ibid
The management of Buxton’s battalion was thusly widened and complicated though when the 82nd was finally returned home in May of 1919 that timing appeared well-educated as it was near the end of the influenza cycle. GEBIII
[38] J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of The Rings) served for some months in 1916 as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Lancashire Fusiliers in the terrible, decaying and desolate topography of the Somme in northern France in World War I. Tolkien acknowledged that his horrific experiences affected and inspired his The Passages of The Marshes (Two Towers) where the Hobbits led by Gollum traverse the Dead Marshes and The Mere of Dead Faces. GEBIII“John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-Earth (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) reflects that Tolkien’s experience in the Great War, and in particular the loss of two of his closest friends (Gilson and Geoffrey Bache Smith) at the Battle of Somme (1 July to 13 November, 1916), had a profound effect on the mythology he invented. Garth argues that without the catalyst of World War I, Tolkien might have not written at all. Tolkien’s mythology, he writes, was born on the battlefields of World War I, and that is why Middle-Earth "looks so engagingly familiar to us and speaks to us so eloquently, because it was born with the modern world and marked by the same terrible birth pangs." a review by Liz Milner.
The military folly of the Somme with its desolate landscape and thick glutinous mud was, indeed, a horrific place and site of one of the bloodiest battles known to human history. This brutal engagement, in which over a million soldiers were either killed or wounded, was a great metaphor for the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. It was in this kind of vicious environment that Colonel Buxton’s leadership came to the fore. GEBIII
[39] Colonel Buxton spoke French and we suspect that this was extraordinarily helpful in his war correspondent days and in this assignment. When queried about his fluency in French he would smile and say, “a little.” GEBIII
[40] Lt. Colonel Buxton was a qualified sharpshooter and used his rifle in combat not unlike British General James Wolfe in the true First World War (1756-1763 - French & Indian or Seven Years War) who carried and used a Brown Bess musket.
Buxton carried a Model 1917 American Enfield, like others in the 82nd who were reissued American Enfields (they turned in their Springfields) following their initial training in France, “for ease of resupply”. When the 82nd was moved from the Somme Sector to the Lagny Sector, a French sector, the infantry were issued French Chauchot automatic rifles with machine gun companies receiving the French Hotchkiss 8mm machine guns, again, for the purpose of making resupply easier.
When the 82nd relieved the 2nd Division in the Marbache Sector in August 1918 they, “pursued the same methods of relief by battalions within the regiments as followed in the Lagny Sector.” This reference is believed to reflect that now in an American Sector all members of the 82nd were reissued American Enfields. Researchers have found many, many 1917 American Enfield shell casings in the area around Chatel-Cherey, near where Alvin York engaged his heroics.
Buxton also carried a Model 1911 .45 caliber APC semi-automatic pistol, always at the ready. GEBIII
[41] To reduce the St. Mihiel salient, the American First Army was formed with the I, IV, and V Corps - a total of 665,000 troops. The 82nd was assigned to the I Corps, and was placed on the far right flank on the south side of the salient. Its mission was to make contact and keep pressure on the enemy. On 12 September the First Army began its attack. The main thrust of the 82nd was on the west bank of the Moselle River heading north to Norroy. Throughout the 14th, the German artillery shelled the area with high explosives and mustard gas, but the 82nd held. On the 15th, the Division continued the attack, entering Vandieres and securing Hill 128 to the north. The 82nd was relieved on 21 September. Heavy casualties had been caused by enemy artillery. Overall casualties for the Division numbered more than 800 for the St. Mihiel offensive. Colonel Emory Pike, who died of wounds received during the operation, earned the Medal of Honor for his actions, making him the first member of the 82nd to be decorated with the nation's highest military award. Summary of History of the 82nd Division by Col. G. Edward Buxton, Jr.
[42] One of the great reasons for the success of Colonel Buxton was his audacity as a field commander on the battlefield. Unlike many other World War One officers, he commanded his soldiers from the front lines ensuring that his presence would help ease the potential chaos of the battlefield. Other WWI commanders like Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur, Lt. Col. William Donovan and Colonel George Patton and other luminaries would lead their soldiers from the front lines in WWI and WW II to their credit and the success of the Allied Cause. It is reported, however, that their heroics and front line mentality was a source of great consternation to General Pershing. GEBIII
[43] “In 1917 the United States entered World War I under the slogan "Make the World Safe for Democracy." Within a week after the United States entered the war, the War Department stopped accepting Black volunteers because colored army quotas were filled. No Black men were allowed in the Marines, Coast Guard or Air Force. They were allowed in the Navy only as messmen. When drafting began, of the more than 2,000,000 Blacks registered 31 percent were accepted to 26 percent of the white men. Blacks then comprising 10 percent of the population furnished 13 percent of the inductees.”
“World War I was a turning point in Black American history. The British Army had been training American units as they arrived in France in 1917 and 1918, but when the 92nd Division arrived the British refused to train them. Gen Pershing protested to the British Gen. Haig, "These Negroes are American citizens. I cannot and will not discriminate against them." But to avoid making an issue of the case, the War Department scheduled the 92nd for training with the French. The French were delighted to work with the 92nd and asked to have them attached to the French Army. The War Department refused, and after training, the 92nd then moved on to participate heroically in the September 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive.”
While most African Americans served in support positions during WWI, many performed on the front lines with great distinction, repeatedly demonstrating their loyalty, bravery and ability in all venues. Many were attached to French units, ironically wearing American AEF uniforms, but with French helmets and carrying French arms. By their contributions African Americans wanted to prove their willingness and the right to more fully participate in the American Democracy. GEBIII
[44] The Evening Bulletin, Providence, Tuesday March 15, 1949
[45] General Pershing was a strict disciplinarian and constantly engaged and refined the AEF training effort that he had inaugurated in 1917 despite great pressure - official, diplomatic and otherwise, (especially from Marshal Foch, Allied Commander in Chief and Georges Clemenceau - President of the Council and Minister of War for France) who consistently sought to diminish the identity of the US AEF and amalgamate them with French and British troops. Pershing persisted and as the St. Mihiel Salient and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives proved, he was able to produce and command an integrated and well-trained American fighting force of two million men in 18 months that eventually influenced the Allied victory. Buxton’s contribution as the 82nd Division Inspector General (and active combatant) during the Meuse-Argonne offensive was considerable given his training background and military demeanor. Buxton’s second citation on April 16, 1919 from the 82nd Division Commander, MG George Duncan was quickly followed up by another presented by General Pershing on April 19, 1919 for “exceptionally meritorious and conspicuous service in the field.” GEBIII
[46] During its service in the Meuse-Argonne, the 82nd had suffered over 7,000 casualties and had another Medal of Honor recipient -- CPL Alvin York of G Company, 328th Infantry Regiment. The 82nd was relieved in the Argonne on 1 November, thus ending its combat participation in the Great War. Lt. Col. G. Edward Buxton, History of the 82nd Division[47] While York bore the greater burden of the initiative and the achievement of the firefight, York never failed to give credit to his fellow soldiers for their participation in that engagement in the Meuse-Argonne contrary to the almost mythological aspects that time and ceaseless repetition of the story have generated.Following his return to the US, Alvin York was quick to give credit for his heroics to his men and Lieutenant Kirby Stewart who had initially led the advance on the machine gun nests, attacked and initially drew the fire from that same band of one hundred and thirty-two German soldiers who York captured later that same day. GEBIII“
That York deserves credit for his heroism is without question. Unfortunately, however, his exploit has been blown out of proportion with some accounts claiming that he silenced thirty-five machine guns and captured 132 prisoners single-handedly. York never claimed that he acted alone, nor was he proud of what he did. Twenty-five Germans lay dead, and by his accounting, York was responsible for at least nine of the deaths. Only two of the seven survivors were acknowledged for their participation in the event; Sergeant Early was finally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) in 1927 while Corporal Cutting was recognized 47 years later with the Silver Star. Legends & Traditions of the Great War: Sergeant Alvin York, by Dr. Michael Birdwell of Tennessee Technology University
[48] Alvin York named his second son George Edward Buxton York in honor of his friendship with G. Edward Buxton, Jr.Buxton and York teamed up again in October of 1929 when both appeared at the War Department’s Annual Military Exposition and Carnival. They participated in the featured representation of “Marching through the Argonne with Sergeant York.”
Colonel Buxton and Sergeant York attended the premiere of the 1941 movie, Sergeant York starring Gary Cooper together at the Astor Theater in New York City. The Providence Journal September 28, 1929 and GEBIII
Buxton also attended the Providence premiere of Sergeant York with many in attendance hearing his remarks of displeasure regarding the unbuttoned uniform of his character in one scene. When in uniform and on duty Buxton was always “buttoned-up” and would never have taken such liberty. Buxton served as an advisor and consultant for the Sergeant York film. GEBIII
[49] Jean Radigan, the Scottish-born Housekeeper that managed the Buxton home in Providence was a loving and sensitive friend (yea, an aunt) to the grandchildren who regularly frequented 85 Power Street. Otherwise, she was the highly regarded professional chef, nanny, housekeeper and Buxton confidante.
Colonel Buxton’s wife, Aline (Gran to the grandchildren), who with strong, traditional 19th century tastes and sensibilities ran a very tight ship. The rules of proper etiquette were always followed, providing challenges for the uninitiated formal diner. Jean was the epitome of the professional house manager always attired in a proper starched gray dress with white linen apron. The house was always spotless with her kitchen wonderfully warm and capable of only purveying the finest culinary delights.
Jean was always able to bridge the gap of proper dining protocol and common sense and even in the case of this writer always served this gaucher petit-fils from the right so as to have ease of access to my meal. Jean always made sure that Gran was looking the other way when she engaged her thoughtfulness which has always been fondly remembered and appreciated by this Buxton.
Jean was loved as an integral member of The Family, faithfully serving The Buxtons until Aline Buxton’s passing in 1967. Thank you, Jean. God Speed. GEBIII
[50] Major W. F. Hoey, in charge of organization of the Reserves in Rhode Island said yesterday, regarding the assignment of Buxton and two other officers, “The selection of these officers forecasts the high character of the units which will go to make up the great reserve army now being created throughout the country.” The Providence Journal December 16, 1921
[51] “Constituted 5 September 1918 in the National Army as the 385th Infantry and assigned to the 97th Division. Reconstituted 24 June 1921 in the Organized Reserves as the 385th Infantry and assigned to the 76th Division (later redesignated as the 76th Infantry Division). Organized in December 1921 with Headquarters at Providence, Rhode Island.”
[52] When the man who became President Roosevelt was born, his father became Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. and the son Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. When TR's father died in 1878, he dropped the "Jr." and became, simply, Theodore Roosevelt.But then when TR's son was born, the son became Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. After President Roosevelt died, his son following family protocol tried to drop the "Jr" designation just as his father had done. Eventually it became clear this would be too confusing to the public and to the children as well. He kept the "Jr" forever prompting this end note. Our thanks to the Theodore Roosevelt Association for this clarification.Colonel Buxton and Colonel (later Brigadier General) Roosevelt became very good friends with Buxton reminding himself of their association and his visit to Puerto Rico by prominently displaying a photograph of Roosevelt’s Puerto Rico home. Interestingly, Roosevelt had been appointed Governor of Puerto Rico in 1929 by Herbert Hoover and was later transferred by him to become the Governor General of the Philippines. GEBIII
[53] It was Buxton that called for the immediate formation of such a group rather than wait until after the war had been over. This prompted the now famous Paris Caucus. The Providence Journal, August 31, 1947
[54] The Story of the American Legion by George Seay Wheat, New York, May 1919
[55] Interestingly, the Paris Caucus opened to the tune of Dixie played by a struggling French orchestra. We should note that much of the inspiration for the organization was gleaned from The Grand Army of The Republic (GAR) and The United Confederate Veterans (UCV), two veteran’s organizations from the American Civil War. The deliberations that included both these organizations demonstrated the cordiality and brotherhood that existed in post WWI among the AEF veterans. Ibid and GEBIII
[56] Colonel Buxton refused the nomination for National Commander in 1920 (Cleveland, Ohio).The Providence Journal November 23, 1923.
[57] Lieutenant Colonel Buxton was recognized as one of the primary incorporators of the American Legion for which special incorporation by an act of Congress was asked in a bill introduced in the House of Representatives on June 28, 1919 by Representative Johnson of South Dakota. The Providence Journal June 28, 1919 and The American Legion, Indianapolis, IN.
[58] For The Record: Buxton would never have supported the extreme politicization of any organization witness the words of the American Legion Preamble as constituted by Buxton and his committee. Colonel Buxton was also active with Brother Bertram in the Military Order of Foreign Wars and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Buxton never supported or encouraged the mostly conservative Democrat-sponsored American Liberty League nor any subversive element in any party or organization. GEBIII
[59] The B. B. & R. Knight Company operated from 1852 to 1920 when the firm was sold to Consolidated Textiles Corporation. Consolidated operated the company under the B. B. & R. Knight banner until they bankrupted in 1925 due to the collapse of the international cotton market and the pressures of southern competition. Buxton remained with the firm (ostensibly representing the bankers) and held the reins of leadership until 1939 serving as President and thereafter as Chairman of The Board taking the firm into the modern era. Many of the business components of that great company still survive to this very day. GEBIII
[60] Given his business interests Colonel Buxton maintained residences in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island from 1920 until his passing.
[61] The Providence Journal Friday, October 28, 1927.
[62] “B. B. & R. Knight has had a trying period since the war, in view of Southern Competition, but it is now staging a comeback, with a centralized organization, and plants equipped with modern machinery. Colonel Buxton is determined his company will stay in New England and work out is salvation here.” Brown University Archives, December 1927
[63] Buxton’s WWI record was so distinguished and well known that he was presented by the local press in caricature representing “The New England Spirit” wearing his WWI uniform and helmet, charging from the trenches with rifle and bayonet at the ready, fending off negative influences like “Southern Competition” which is yelping, “Good grief, its Colonel Buxton!”.Brown Monthly and The Providence Journal, December, 1927
[64] The Lewiston, Maine Journal, November 6, 1939
[65] Of special interest to those of us in the 21st century was Buxton’s successful effort to increase the (Maine’s) minimum wage to 32.5 cents per hour! IbidOne of Colonel Buxton’s lifelong goals was to bring together “Capital & Labor” and build on this strategic partnership so that the two parties could engage business as equals. GEBIII
[66] “Colonel Chaffee was a New Yorker graduating from Yale, and Harvard Law School. He came to Rhode Island in 1904, settling in Providence.As a commissioned officer he commanded the Rhode Island Battery in 1916 on the Mexican Border. The outfit, expanded to a battalion, went overseas during World War I as part of the famed 26th "Yankee" Division; the unit was cited for its action just north of Chateau Thierry in July, 1918. Its commander received a field promotion to Colonel. From that point on, throughout a long and productive life of public service (that included the Rhode Island Boy Scouts), it was "Colonel" Chaffee.” and Chaffee remained close, lifelong friends. Chaffee served in the RI National Guard with both Bert and Ned Buxton and as reflected earlier, Chaffee was tapped by the Rhode Island Police Research Association as the first superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. Chaffee was active in the formation and organization of the American Legion. GEBIII
[67] “Twenty-five years ago, two young men met on the northwest corner of Westminister and Dorrance Streets. They had been close friends through several years of association in the Rhode Island National Guard. One was thirty-four years old, - the other was twenty-nine.The older man was tall, straight, - a soldier from the top of his red head to his heels. He spoke with great animation and serious purpose; but from time to time, his face lit up with an unusual smiling charm, and humorous crinkles around his eyes. He was a natural leader, because he used his imagination and optimism and courage to help other people, and very rarely thought of himself. His life has reminded me of one of the early figures of the Roman Republic, like Cincinnatus. He had the love for his City and State which motivated Horatius. He shared the ideals of citizenship expressed by Cato and Cicero and Horace and Virgil. He also had a genius for friendship. He spent his life working for his City and State, and he died in the service of the Federal Government. His name was Charles E. Mulhearn and there is a square in Providence which memorializes his spirit and his service.
“Have you been reading about General Baden-Powell and his Scout movement for boys?” said Mulhearn. His interest had been caught by press notices and the further announcement that an organization called the “American Boy Scouts” was developing in Boston, under the leadership of the Boston American. Colonel Mulhearn had visited their headquarters, and obtained a copy of Baden Powell’s first manual.
He gave me a copy to read, and said that if I was interested in inaugurating such a movement in Rhode Island with him, he would be willing to “take off his hat and coat”, as he put it, and “go to work.” I went home and read the manual from cover to cover, met the Colonel the next day and we pledged ourselves to this task.” It Started on a Street Corner: An address on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the RI Boy Scouts on January 8, 1935 by Colonel G. Edward Buxton, Jr., RI Boy Scout Archives
[68] Colonel Buxton even while engaged in WWI served as Rhode Island Scout Commissioner in 1918 and part of 1919 en absentia. 1918 saw the addition of J. Harold Williams as the Scout Executive and Camp Chief of Yawgoog. Not ironically, Williams left his position as a reporter with the Providence Journal who as an entity and in the person of Editor John R. Ranthom had been stalwart supporters of Scouting in Rhode Island. Ranthom was Scouting Commissioner from 1911 to 1918. The Providence Journal provided Scout headquarters from 1910 until the 1920’s when the Boy Scouts moved to the Strand building. Gleaned from Scout Trail 1910-1962 by J. Harold Williams
[69] Aline Houston Armstrong Buxton (1882-1967), wife of Colonel Buxton, was recognized and memorialized for her participation as a Scouting benefactor in her own right. GEBIII
[70] On July 28, 1928 Colonel Buxton dedicated then newly enlarged Yawgoog with the following words, “We dedicate these acres to the memory of the men who have made it possible. We dedicate this camp in recognition of the shy, yet deep sense of duty, which lies in the heart of the boy; we dedicate it to the spirit of greater understanding in future generations; and we dedicate it, finally, looking into the far distant future, to the time of a better, wiser and happier race (Human). We dedicate it as a Scout Adventureland forever.” Scout Trail 1910-1962 by J. Harold Williams, p. 23.As Williams recounts, Yawgoog has been known since then as Scout Adventureland. GEBIII
[71] “Neither of us liked the idea of accepting the leadership of the American Boy Scouts, which was sponsored by the Boston American and since we did not know of the start of the Boy Scouts of America in Washington, we decided to form our own State organization and get our information directly from England.” Scout Trail 1910-1962 by J. Harold Williams, p. 12, Colonel Buxton on the origins of the RI Boy Scouts.
[72] Baden Powell’s efforts in England and his manual, Scouting For Boys, attracted Chicago publisher William Boyce (BSA via YMCA) and California publisher William Randolph Hearst who initially supported the American Boy Scouts (ABS) via his Boston American. Hearst In December 1910, however, citing financial irregularities in the ABS, withdrew his support. A group from the ABS's New England Division also withdrew and formed the New England Boy Scouts (NEBS). The NEBS and the ABS eventually ceased to exist as respective entities.The Providence Journal was a major supporter for the Rhode Island Boy Scouts (RIBS) supplying leadership, monetary support and office facilities over the years. GEBIII
[73] “It should be remembered that for a period of years, the Rhode Island Boy Scouts continued an independent existence from the Boy Scouts of America although the latter had troops in both Newport and the Blackstone Valley. It was not our intention to be stubbornly provincial in our hesitation to merge our identity with what had become a national movement although our action may be said to have reflected some typical Rhode Island characteristics. You will remember that our State, although the first to strike a blow in the Revolutionary War, was the last to assent to the formation of the Federal Government. A small, compact geographical unit is perhaps more likely to assert its individualistic identity than a larger territory, which possesses a greater sense of security.However, this movement meant so much to those of us who had created it that we waited a while, to be sure that the heads of the national organization were actuated by similar purposes – that the good of the boy was being placed first, and that leadership was not inspired by either a hope of personal aggrandizement or a love of power. It may be that we were strengthened in our determination to go along through some formative years by the far-sighted philanthropy of Captain Bucklin, whose generosity enabled us to finance our State-wide organization, and to build up that great laboratory experiment in troop camping, Camp Yawgoog.
Suffice it to say that in early 1917 a meeting took place in our headquarters between half a dozen of our Rhode Island leaders and the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. After a few preliminary clashes of personality, we found that we were speaking the same language, and without further hesitation, threw in our lot with that great national body.”It Started on a Street Corner: An address on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the RI Boy Scouts on January 8, 1935 by Colonel G. Edward Buxton, Jr., RI Boy Scout Archives
[74] In closing his 1935 speech on the 25th anniversary of the RI Boy Scouts, Buxton desirous of cementing the solidarity of the Boy Scout movement, quoted a stanza from England’s Answer by his favorite poet, Rudyard Kipling, thusly:“Also we will make promise. So long as the Blood endures,I shall know that your good is mine. Ye shall feel that my strength is yours:In the day of Armageddon, at the last great fight of all,That our house stand together, and the pillars do not fall.”
[75] There exists conflicting information on the establishment of Boy’s Life. J. Harold Williams in Scout Trail 1910-1962 notes that 18 year old RI Boy Scout, Joseph Lane labeled and founded Boy’s Life as the “Official Boy Scout Magazine” in 1911. Williams reports that Providence businessman, Edward M. Fay provided Lane moral and financial support for his venture. Williams stated that Boy’s Life was purchased by the BSA on July 19, 1912. Williams literally lived through this time period, knew Lane and Fay personally and recounted a 1959 meeting with Lane and Fay where he listened to their stories about the early, “shoestring” days of Boy’s Life.
Dr. John T. Dizer a BSA Scout, however, reflects in his The Birth and Boyhood of Boy’s Life for Scouting Magazine that George S. Barton, of Somerville, MA, was the founder, publisher, and first editor of Boys' Life serving in those capacities from its beginning until he sold the magazine in 1912 to the BSA. Dizer states that Joseph Lane served on Barton’s staff as an editor and the advertising manager. Dizer did not recognize the RI Boy Scouts in his article though he did state that there were no BSA members on the staff of Barton’s Boy’s Life. Barton was a member of the American Boy Scouts. Dizer does state that prior to its purchase by BSA, Boy’s Life was domiciled in Providence, RI.
This writer suspects that both stories are probably inclusive as one and Lane surely had a relationship with Barton, whose first offering was known as Boys' and Boy Scouts' Magazine, not Boy’s Life, Lane’s magazine. We suspect that Lane might have sold his Boy’s Life to Barton who took the magazine to the next level. We also note that the ABS and NEBS did not have any organization in Rhode Island.
James H. Williams Jr. (J. Harold’s son) agrees that the version as reflected by his Father reflects the true and complete origins of Boy’s Life. We will continue to research this issue and update as necessary. GEBIII
[76] Colonel Buxton maintained strong friendships and alliances on both sides of the aisle (State & National) and was able to develop consensus in key areas of state and national importance.Colonel Buxton formed friendships and alliances with many RI Governors to include Republican Governor Aram J. Pothier (1909-1915, 1925-Feb. 3, 1928). Buxton and Pothier knew each other well and worked together on political, civic and business matters as both were heavily involved in the banking and textile industries and the ultimate good health of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Pothier and his wife were energetic and influential supporters of the Rhode Island Boy Scouts. GEBIII
[77] Tennyson presents Ulysses as an old sailor, a warrior and a king who is in retrospection on his experiences of a lifetime. This verse was embraced by Colonel Gonzalo Edward Buxton, Jr. who motivated himself and others, awakening the hero at heart for everyone and making us feel proud and motivated to take on life. GEBIII
[78] Roosevelt had sent Donovan on a fact-finding mission to Europe (and beyond) in order to determine the necessity of a US intelligence service. Donovan urged Roosevelt to adopt a clandestine agency and diplomatically stated that this agency should not take over any home duties now performed by the FBI, nor should it interfere with the intelligence activities of the Army or Navy but would instead simply coordinate, classify and interpret all information from any source.While in England Donovan personally met with a number of British intelligence operatives and several high ranking British officials; Rear Adm. John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence; Maj. Gen. Sir Stewart Menzies, Director of MI6 and Sir William Stephenson, Director of British Security Coordination (BSC) in the Western Hemisphere. Donovan was well received and impressed the British.
Roosevelt initially waffled on the issue. It was not until the British, and more specifically, Admiral John Godfrey, head of British Naval Intelligence and Ian Fleming (of later fame as the creator of James Bond) advised the president over dinner that America needed an intelligence agency specifically headed by Donovan, that Roosevelt was convinced. Brig. Gen. Bedell Smith, Secretary of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and American Secretary of the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff (who would later serve as Eisenhower's Chief of Staff and Director of Central Intelligence) convinced the Army brass to incorporate “Donovan's outfit” into the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gleaned from a variety of intelligence sources to include The History of The CIA by Michael Warner.
[79] As Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson, Roosevelt found himself responsible for overseeing the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). He reveled in this role and embraced this, “small and sleepy outfit until the First World War catapulted it into the wider and rougher world of international intrigue.Roosevelt's enthusiastic embrace of its work marked an important moment in American intelligence. He spent much of 1916 organising the Naval Reserve Force, where he cast aside the pretence that Americans were innocents and recruited like-minded Ivy League friends for secret work. Like him, they regarded it as both glamorous and legitimate. Those destined to run American intelligence in the future would no longer be regarded as social outcasts or political lepers, but could include the best and the brightest. He even recruited an espionage network of undercover agents in Latin America behind the back of an exasperated Director of Naval Intelligence.” Roosevelt and Churchill Men of Secrets By David Stafford
[80] Donovan strongly disliked the “Wild Bill” nickname that he had earned while playing football at his alma mater, Columbia University. Though he would continue to live up to that name later in life, it was not (as has been erroneously reported) from his illustrious record in WWI. GEBIII
[81] President Roosevelt moved the COI to the Joint Chiefs but kept COI’s Foreign Information Service (FIS - which conducted radio broadcasting) out of military hands. Thus, he split the “black” and “white” propaganda missions of COI, giving FIS the officially attributable side of the business—and half of COI’s permanent staff—and sent it to the new Office of War Information.The remainder of COI then became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on 13 June 1942. The change of name to OSS marked the loss of the “white” propaganda mission, but it also fulfilled Donovan’s wish for a title that reflected his sense of the “strategic” importance of intelligence and clandestine operations in modern war. History of The CIA by Michael Werner
[82] The perception that the OSS was a “League of Gentlemen” (“Oh So Social”) with a high percentage of Republicans and “Episcocrats” from Ivy League Schools fueled the antagonism between the OSS and other intelligence gathering agencies which was sometimes particularly rancorous and without precedence. Territorial imperatives aside, the FBI and the War Department’s Military Intelligence Division (G-2) didn't like the idea of this newly formed “rag-tag” organization having so much power. By the end of WWII, however, the OSS proved itself highly efficient and very useful even to its toughest critics. The CIA owes its very existence to the OSS and its organization and accomplishments during WWII. GEBIII
[83] Buxton remained a civilian during his entire OSS tenure. Many who joined the OSS as civilians were given Army ranks and training to help them do their OSS jobs better. About a quarter of OSS people were civilians, including many women, and men who were too old for military service. Donovan, however, as head of the OSS was given the rank of major general. Colonel Buxton while he would have declined any rank, preferring to serve his country as a citizen-soldier, was known to all in the OSS as, “Colonel Buxton.” GEBIII
[84] Malcolm Muggeridge, English iconoclast, satirist, journalist and veteran of the Manchester Guardian, Calcutta Statesman, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph, among other newspapers, in the British Army Intelligence Corps (MI5) in WWII was admired by Donovan. Muggeridge while assigned with the OSS in London remembered the early OSS men ''arriving like jeunes filles en fleur straight from a finishing school, all fresh and innocent, to start work in our frowsy old intelligence brothel.'' William Casey recalled later that the British and the Americans soon adjusted to their difficult marriage, due in no small measure to stroking by Donovan, Buxton and the urbane Col. David K. E. Bruce, Chief of the London office of OSS and Head of OSS activities in the European Theater of Operations who would later become not only Ambassador to Britain but also to France and Germany. Muggeridge served in Mozambique, Italy and France. Following the war, he spent almost two years in Washington, D.C. as a correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph. He was later the Senior Editor of British satirical magazine, Punch. The Secret War Against Hitler by William Casey.
[85] Donovan had a firm grasp of his strengths and weaknesses and understood his role in the OSS. Donovan therefore understood the necessity of an astute, methodical and disciplined manager like Buxton who as Assistant Director (and many times Acting Director) was an integral part of the checks and balances to his more flamboyant style. Donovan defended this system that served the OSS well. GEBIII
[86] The highly controversial interment camps were located across the United States and included Japanese and German and Italian-Americans to a lesser degree. The Japanese “exclusion” was more a broad sweep while most of the German and Italian detainees were foreign nationals or individuals otherwise seen as subversive enemy aliens. GEBIII
[87] It was no side bar that Buxton (like another OSS compatriot, John Steinbeck) disliked and opined about these camps. Surprisingly, only one voice in the Roosevelt administration opposed the Japanese internment - J. Edgar Hoover. General Ralph Van Deman, Chief of American Military Intelligence in WWI and a staunch anti-communist, thought that the proposition was, “about the craziest proposition that I have heard of yet.” GEBIII and The Shadow Warriors by Bradley Smith, p. 99
[88] Nisei were native-born American citizens who are the children of Japanese immigrants. Their name meaning "second generation," the Nisei especially along the Pacific Coast were harshly treated during World War II when thousands were evacuated from their homes in the Japanese-American internment following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. GEBIII
[89] Inazo Nitobe (1862 - 1933), author of Bushido: The Soul of Japan describes Bushido as an unwritten code: "...Bushido, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe. It is not a written code; at best it consists of a few maxims handed down from mouth to mouth or coming from the pen of some well-known warrior or thinker. More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten, possessing all the more the powerful sanction of veritable deed, and of a law written on the fleshly tablets of the heart. It was founded not on the creation of one brain, however able, or on the life of a single personage, however renowned. It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career." Bushido: The Soul of Japan, by Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933).
Bushido ethics enjoyed a revival during World War II as a way to build up Japanese fighting spirit. It was particularly reinforced among the fighting forces of Japan as a means of portraying the value of self-sacrifice and loyalty, and reached its apotheosis with the self-sacrifice of the kamikaze pilots.
[90] Mitchell Livingston WerBell III, the bantam-sized, former OSS agent in Burma and China, characterized Colonel Buxton as “The heart of the OSS” and kept a photograph of Colonel Buxton on his desk. WerBell spoke Chinese and Burmese dialects sufficient to be very successful in his SE Asia endeavors. The son of a wealthy former Czarist cavalry officer and Scottish Mother, WerBell later joined "the super spy fraternity" that included Allen W. Dulles, William Casey, Richard Helms and E. Howard Hunt. After WWII, WerBell lived outside of Atlanta on his 60 acre farm in Powder Springs and worked as an arms dealer and security consultant. Seemingly eccentric, sporting a handlebar moustache and carrying a swagger stick, WerBell, always patriotic, seemed to be consulting one agency of the US government while in conflict with another, the left never knowing what the right was doing. WerBell was the preeminent designer of the modern-day silencer, his work credited with enabling the widespread use of silenced sniper rifles in the Vietnam War. Because of the controversy WerBell got out of the arms sales business, concentrating instead on security work and counter-terrorism via Sionics, a counter-terrorist training camp run by WerBell at his Powder Springs farm. His sons now operate Brigade Quartermasters out of their store in Kennesaw, Georgia.Data gleaned in part from Our Man in Powder Springs by Ronald L. Ecker.
[91] Ian Lancaster Fleming as the right-hand man to the British Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI) Admiral Godfrey had written many memos to Donovan on how to set up the COI/OSS. For that bit of work, Fleming received a revolver from Donovan engraved with the thanks: "For Special Services."“Fleming carried the gun with him as he caught the Clipper to Lisbon, proud at his role in helping the Americans create a central intelligence agency. He had no idea, at the time, just how utterly his visit had failed to eliminate the American twilight-zone problem. Nor had Fleming any inkling, as he left New York, that he was about to meet the man who would become his real-life model for James Bond, whose case was about to be passed into the Hoover-Donovan twilight zone, where it would be bungled in a way that brought America into the war.” Wild Bill Donovan by Mark Riebling,
Fleming was later put in charge of a special commando unit that he coordinated from behind his desk at Whitehall in London. Fleming had traveled to Whitby, Ontario to train at Camp X, the top secret training school for Allied forces. Fleming and Buxton collaborated on many organizational and intelligence issues and maintained their friendship after WWII. GEBIII
[92] A New York lawyer and businessman, Casey was commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve during WW II, joining the wartime staff of the OSS in 1943, serving as Chief of the Special Intelligence Branch in the European Theater of Operations in 1944-45. Casey received the Bronze Star for his work in coordinating clandestine activities and French Resistance forces in support of the invasion of Normandy and the liberation of France. Following the war, William Casey later served as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1971-73, Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in 1973-74, President and Chairman of the US Export-Import Bank from 1974-76, Member, President Gerald Ford’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1976-77, Campaign Manager for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Director of Central Intelligence from 1981-1987. Casey and Buxton knew each other before WWII, engaged in business together and were friends prior to, during and after WWII. GEBIII
[93] A special note here: While in the OSS, John Ford Directed many documentaries; two of them, The Battle of Midway (1942) and December 7th (1943), were awarded Oscars. It is also reputed that Ford engaged many clandestine projects for Naval Intelligence prior to formal US involvement in WWII. GEBIII
[94] The Japanese had been suing for peace since well before FDR’s passing and little was left except to negotiate the terms of the surrender. It should be noted that while this diplomacy was transpiring the Japanese Imperial Cabinet reassessed the war strategy in June, only to decide more firmly than ever to fight to the last man. By this time the decision to use the Atomic bomb on Japan, if necessary, had already been made.The OSS, especially in the last year of the war, was very busy in this theater. Colonel Buxton was intimately involved in the Asian Theater to include French Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos), Thailand, and China. It may be a surprise to some that Ho Chi Minh was an ally during WWII and received an official appointment as OSS Agent 19 with the code name of "Lucius." Among other tasks, Ho and his Viet Minh assisted American fliers downed behind Japanese lines and sent intelligence and weather reports to the Allies. GEBIII
Many OSS agents informed the U.S. administration that despite being a Communist, Ho Chi Minh was not a puppet of the Communist-led Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and that he could potentially become a valued ally in Asia.” The OSS And Ho Chi Minh: Unexpected Allies in the War against Japan by Dixee Bartholomew-Feis a review by Paul Atwood, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Research Associate, The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, University of Massachusetts at BostonOn May 12, OSS Director Donovan sent a memo to Truman relative to negotiations ongoing with the Japanese Minister to Switzerland, who wanted to arrange an end to the war. This report reflected the main body of these negotiations through Vatican channels and the Japanese demand that the Emperor be retained. As late as June 22, Hirohito broke tradition once again to speak to his ministers, saying "I desire that concrete plans to end the war, unhampered by existing policy, be speedily studied and that efforts be made to implement them.”
Stubbornness prevailed, however, and despite the ultimatum of the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945 coupled with an attempt to educate the Japanese on the damage inflicted by an atomic bomb, the Japanese still refused “unconditional surrender.” Japan formally replied on August 10, 1945, one day following Nagasaki and four days following Hiroshima. Gleaned in part from Wikipedia,, The Martin S. Quigley Papers, Atomic Diplomacy by Gar Alperovitz (New York: Penguin Books, 1965) and How Henry Stimson bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki too, by Stu Rosenblatt as appeared in the March 12, 1999 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Ironically, the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been avoided as MacArthur forced Hirohito to reject any claims to his own “divine status”, but ultimately insisted that Hirohito remain Emperor in order to keep him as a symbol of the continuity and cohesion of the Japanese people and their willingness to accept the occupation. GEBIII
[95] With his resignation, however, Ned Buxton was by no means removed from the OSS. On September 28th, 1945, the last active duty gathering of OSS, Ned Buxton delivered a speech (part of which follows) that summed up the dedication and mission of the OSS.“Thousands of devoted people took the uneven odds. People of all ages lived or died as duty demanded or circumstances permitted. They killed and were killed alone or in groups, in jungles, in cities, by sea or air. They organized resistance where there was no resistance. They helped it to grow where it was weak. They assaulted the enemy’s mind as well as his body. They helped confuse his will and disrupt his plans.”
[96] Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus: farmer, Roman general and citizen soldier who is viewed by historians as one of the great heroes of early Rome and model of Roman virtue.Cincinnatus served as cousul in 490 BCE and Roman dictator in 458 BCE and 439 BCE. Once his job was done even as dictator he returned his ultimate power to the Roman senate and the people of Rome. Cincinnatus was the ultimate citizen–soldier. Colonel Buxton admired this same commitment and dedication to Country like one of his greatest heroes, George Washington. GEBIII
[97] Attempts by archivists in the 1990’s to present to declassify (Freedom of Information Act) Buxton’s records in the National Archives have been stonewalled by the CIA. Additionally and unfortunately, the July 1973 fire that destroyed millions of records at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis also claimed Buxton’s formal National Guard and WWI records. GEBIII
[98] “The problem for the Truman administration that fall of 1945 was that no one, including the President, knew just what he wanted, while each department and intelligence service knew fully what sorts of results it wanted to avoid. With this context in mind, it is informative to view the formation of CIG with an eye toward the way administration officials preserved certain essential functions of OSS and brought them together again in a centralized, peacetime foreign intelligence agency. Those decisions created a permanent intelligence structure that, while still incomplete, preserved some of the most useful capabilities of the old OSS while resting on a firmer institutional foundation.” History of the CIA by Michael Warner
[99] There was no doubt, however, that Truman’s dislike/distrust of Donovan was critical in this decision and the later decision not to install him as the CIA’s first Director. GEBIIIWe should also note that in September of 1944, “Donovan, by then a major general, had submitted to President Roosevelt a proposal calling for the separation of OSS from the Joint Chiefs of Staff with the new organization having direct Presidential supervision. Donovan proposed an "organization which will procure intelligence both by overt and covert methods and will at the same time provide intelligence guidance, determine national intelligence objectives, and correlate the intelligence material collected by all government agencies." Under his plan, a powerful, centralized civilian agency would have coordinated all the intelligence services. He also proposed that this agency have authority to conduct "subversive operations abroad," but "no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad."
Donovan's plan drew heavy fire. The military services generally opposed a complete merger. The State Department thought it should supervise all peacetime operations affecting foreign relations. The FBI supported a system whereby military intelligence worldwide would be handled by the armed services, and all civilian activities would be under FBI's own jurisdiction.”
So, Truman’s decision was in part due to a mandated demobilization rationale, partisan politics, territorial imperatives all punctuated by a report from Col. Richard Park, Jr, the Military Aide to President Roosevelt, (commissioned by President Roosevelt shortly before his death) to evaluate the OSS and Donovan and most likely based on Donovan’s proposal. The report was not entirely complimentary and apparently bore some resemblance to an ''American Gestapo'' story that had appeared earlier in the Chicago Tribune. While far from reality, that perception also helped support the decision to dismantle. In retrospect, given Park’s prime directive – the military – his report is not surprising. GEBIII
Quoted material above - Salvage and Liquidation The Creation of the Central Intelligence Group by Michael Warner in the Studies in Intelligence Volume 39, Number 5, 1996
[100] Continuing this interesting vignette, Director Ford wanted an Eastern and refined name for his main female lead, Shirley Temple, daughter of Henry Fonda’s Colonel Thursday character. Buxton offered the name of one of his 19th century ancestors, Philadelphia Darling Buxton of Slatersville, RI and Philadelphia Thursday’s character was born. GEBIII
[101] Buxton’s first regimental citation as of April 1, 1919 reads, “ This officer in commanding his battalion on the Toul Sector and in the St. Mihiel offensive showed great bravery, coolness and discretion and materially aided in the success of these operations.” The citation is signed by Colonel Richard Wetheril, commanding the Three Hundred and Twenty-eighth Infantry.
Colonel Buxton’s second citation (a division citation) dated April 16, 1919 awarded for services in the Meuse-Argonne offensive by Major General George Duncan, Commanding the Eighty-second Division reads, “Colonel Buxton has not only rendered exceptional service when charged with the responsible duty of division inspector of a combat division during active operations but by his sound judgment, devotion to duty, thorough knowledge of military matters and ability far above the average, he contributed materially to the welfare and efficiency of this division.”
His third citation which is from General Headquarters and signed by General Pershing personally under date of April 19, 1919 is for “exceptionally meritorious and conspicuous service in the field.” The Providence Journal 3-30-19 and 6-23-19
These three citations received for Bravery in WWI reflected Colonel Buxton’s “leading by example”, front line mentality. Like most of his OSS exploits we shall probably never know the true extent and the circumstances of his GHQ “special assignment.” GEBIII
[102] The Order of the British Empire, a British Chivalric order (OBE), was presented at the British Embassy in Washington, DC in front of a distinguished group that included the Duchess and Duke of Windsor, and other honorees that included 35 American Generals, 17 US Navy Admirals, a Chinese General, a French General, a Chinese Admiral and 15 American Army Colonels.
Colonel Buxton’s citation declared that he was the Assistant Director of the OSS and further that, “Prior to and after Pearl Harbor he always cooperated fully and he showed the greatest sympathy in dealings with British problems. Throughout he was a most valuable ally.” The Providence Journal April 20, 1945.
[103] In December 1941 the Japanese attacked Thailand and installed a puppet government that then declared war on the United States and Great Britain in 1942. The OSS was involved in the establishment and coordination of the Thai Resistance that in 1944 ousted the dictatorship that had declared war on the Allies.
Thai students recruited and trained by OSS (the Seri Thai “Free Thai”) and the British SOE was able to meet with underground leaders and even to broadcast reports from secret locations. The OSS was able to confirm that the Thai underground was secretly led by the de facto head of state, Prince Regent Pridi Phanomyong (codenamed Ruth). Pridi and his followers provided intelligence on the Japanese and offered to rise up in revolt, but they needed arms and training which only SOE and OSS could provide. To complicate matters, Pridi and the Free Thai (as well as OSS observers) suspected that the British harbored imperial designs on Thailand. If Americans could build a Thai guerrilla force, OSS men on the scene believed, the Thais could harass the Japanese and bolster a postwar claim to independence from British tutelage. Colonel Buxton was intimately involved in the OSS operations in Thailand, hence this recognition. We thank the CIA and their History of the CIA: The OSS in Asia for much of this data.
Side Note: When Lord Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of South East Asia visited Bangkok in 1945 he recorded a tribute to Pridi in which he said that there had existed a unique situation wherein "the Supreme Allied Commander was exchanging vital military plans with the Head of a State technically at war with us". Ibid
Another Thai connection: With the dissolution of the OSS Donovan returned to public service as the Ambassador to Thailand (1953–54) at the personal request of President Eisenhower. GEBIII
[104] Interestingly, a Dutch bulb grower wanting to memorialize Colonel Buxton’s World War II OSS exploits named a variety of daffodil, G. Edward Buxton, a variety that filled this writer’s front yard back in Georgia! Colonel Buxton would have appreciated that irony! An officer with the American Daffodil Society in Atlanta, Georgia and a VP with the National Bank of Georgia knew the grower personally and made the association initially unknown to this writer. GEBIII
[105] “As a student on this campus you gained more than learning; you became saturated with the inner spirit of The University. Always conspicuous for affectionate loyalty you have made vital contributions to your alma mater in many capacities and on numerous occasions. Distinctive attributes of character and notable ability have given you a business and professional life rate in both variety and achievement. Twice patriotism has caused you to abandon your own concerns to serve the nation in time of war. Because you so nobly embody Brown’s ideal of liberal education, we are pleased to do you honor.Auctoritate mihi commissa te ad gradum in Legibus Doctoris admitto, omniaque jura ac privilegia ad hunc gradum pertinentia, tibi concedo. In testimonium hoc diploma tibi solemniter trado” Brown University, Hay Library Archives 1948
[106] “Throughout a busy life of high service to the nation and to the community your loyalty to our Alma Mater has remained unwavering. By word and deed you have given greater meaning to the familiar cry, “In peace or war, it’s Brunonia!” Your steadfast love for Brown and your deep understanding of her constant purpose has inspired a host of alumni to her service. For your generous gifts of time, of energy and of boundless ability to the cause of Brown, we, your fellow alumni salute you!In recognition of your many and valued services to Brown University, we honor you with this symbol of her rugged greatness, the Alumni Brown Bear Award.” Brown University Hay Library Archives 1948 and The Providence Journal June 19, 1948
[107] Buxton International House (formerly Buxton Hall) is the largest special interest house on Wriston Quad at Brown University. Buxton International House houses sixty residents, approximately half from the United States and half international. The objective of the house is to bring together enthusiastic, internationally-minded people under one roof. The house seeks to foster and promote cultural exchange through numerous events, such as dinners, study breaks, community service and social events scheduled throughout the year.
[108] Major General Donovan (1883–1959) and Buxton remained the closest of friends and confidantes. Upon his passing in 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to Donovan as "The Last Hero." Donovan was awarded a multitude of medals that included the Medal of Honor. He is the ONLY American to have received our nation's FOUR highest awards, The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal and the National Security Medal.
Donovan had engaged in clandestine activities as early as 1919 in Russia where he acquired a taste for intelligence gathering. By the way, he was on his honeymoon. GEBIII
[109] Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1880-1959) of the Providence, Rhode Island investment firm Brown and Ives and the Counting House Corporation was known for his philanthropy, his generosity to Rhode Island and Brown University and Republican politics. GEBIII
[110] OSS Compatriot Weston Howland of Milton, Mass., 1917 graduate of Haverford College, board chairman of Warwick Mills, Inc. whose philanthropy engaged such projects as Camp Langham (now Camp Coca-Cola). GEBIII
[111] S. Bruce Smart was president and later chairman of Fruit of the Loom Inc, and successor to Colonel Buxton in that capacity in 1935. GEBIII
[112] Henry D. Sharpe (1872-1954) Philanthropist, close friend, fellow Republican and delegate to the 1928 and 1940 Republican National Convention from Rhode Island. Sharpe took on the role of president with Brown & Sharpe Mfg. Co. in Providence at age 27 upon the passing of his father Lucien in 1899. Sharpe expanded and improved the company which established in 1833, employed 11,000 employees at one time and flourishes to this day. Sharpe was an 1894 graduate of Brown University and like Buxton was the recipient of the Brown Bear Award. He served as a long term Chancellor of Brown University from 1932 to 1952. GEBIII
[113] Social scientist Elmo Roper (1900-1971) was a close personal friend, OSS compatriot and pioneer in the fields of market research and public opinion polling. Roper was director of the Fortune Survey, the first national poll based on scientific sampling techniques, from 1935 until 1950, and his correct prediction of the 1936 Franklin Roosevelt landslide over Alf Landon helped establish scientific polling as a viable industry.Roper was hired by Donovan as an OSS deputy director in order to survey general American opinion and is credited with helping convince George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower of the importance of opinion research in the armed forces. Roper also helped Donovan go outside channels to ensure that security at American industrial plants was sufficiently strong.Roper memorialized his OSS sanctioned 1942 visit to London with Buxton via of a sterling silver coaster engraved, “To Ned from Elmo, London 1942.”Roper became a "dollar-a-year" man for the Office of War Information, the Office of Production Management, and the Army and the Navy. His company also did work for the government, surveying the general public in order to set wartime production goals as well as prioritize the transition back to a peacetime economy.
In 1946 Roper founded the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Williams College, the first social science data archives. To establish the basis for the Center's collection, Roper convinced fellow pioneers Gallup and Archibald Crossley to send their data to the Center as well, with the idea of assembling the kind of breadth and depth of data necessary for scholars and policymakers to make informed and responsible use of public opinion information. Now located at the University of Connecticut, the Roper Center is the world's largest repository of polling data, with collections spanning the globe and dating back to the 1930s.Elmo Roper Papers. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.
[114] William H Vanderbilt III (great-great grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt) and Colonel Buxton were close friends and were each a part of their own “inner circles”. Buxton and Vanderbilt shared many interests to especially include the Rhode Island Republican Party. Vanderbilt was a delegate to the Republican National Convention along with Buxton in 1928, was elected to the Rhode Island Senate from 1928 to 1934 and later was elected governor of Rhode Island serving thusly from 1939 to 1941. He was known as a conscientious and honest politician, statesman and philanthropist. During WWII he enlisted in the US Navy and, not coincidentally, ended up in Washington DC working in the OSS as the Head of OSS Personnel Administration with two close friends, Donovan and Buxton. Vanderbilt earned a well deserved LLD from Bates College in Lewiston, ME in 1940. GEBIII
[115] No one can diminish the significance of the strong personal friendship that Buxton and Chaffee had. Please see endnote #66. GEBIII
[116] Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard. GEBIII
[117] Bruce Bigelow was Vice-President and Director of Admissions at Brown University (class of 1924), a Brown Bear Award recipient and close friend to Buxton. GEBIII
[118] H. Stanford McLeod, Brown University class of 1916, was a well known and highly regarded investment banker and Chancellor of Brown University from 1964 to 1968. He was a close friend, member of the Infantry Lodge and confidante of Colonel Buxton and the Buxton Family. GEBIII
[119] Colonel Colley was Buxton’s fishing buddy and long time, close personal friend. A proud member of the RI National Guard, graduate of the Plattsburg Camp and veteran of World Wars I & II. Colley was a two time recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross in WWI as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 104th Infantry Regiment and again in WWII as the Colonel and officer commanding of the 104th Infantry of the 26th Infantry Division – the famed “Yankee Division”. Colley was a member of the Infantry Lodge and with Buxton served on the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island Police Research Association. GEBIII
[120] Hoey, another member of the Infantry Lodge served in WWI as a Major in the 55th Infantry, 7th Division and then Lt. Colonel in the 32nd Division in the Army of Occupation. Hoey succeeded Buxton as Colonel and Officer Commanding of the 385th Infantry. GEBIII
[121] Fellow RI National Guard member, Plattsburg Camp (Sgt. E Company, Eighth Regiment) and WWI veteran, member of the Infantry Lodge, Republican and RI philanthropist. GEBIII
[122] William J. Gilbane President and Chairman of the Board of Gilbane Building Company. A 1933 graduate and Trustee Emeritus of Brown University, Gilbane and Buxton shared a love of their Alma Mater and as Brown Bear Award recipients, worked diligently towards that end. Gilbane had earned Eagle Scout honors and came full circle serving as Narragansett Council BSA President in 1959 and 1960. Gilbane was well known for his philanthropy and service to the community, witness his service as a successful United Fund Chairman. GEBIII
[123] Atherton Richards was a Hawaiian-born, missionary descendent who attended Wesleyan, later working for the San Francisco Bureau of Government Research, and serving as a second lieutenant in World War I. He became a partner in Holton Richards & Co., fiscal advisers, of New York. He returned to Honolulu in 1926 to become treasurer and director of Castle & Cooke. He was president and manager of Hawaiian Pineapple Co., now Dole, in 1932-35 while also owning and developing the famous Kahua and Ponoholo Ranches. In World War II he achieved the rank of Colonel and served as a Deputy Director in the OSS. Buxton, Richards, Murphy, Doering and Vanderbilt coordinated the administrative machinery of the OSS and were all close friends. GEBIII
[124] Colonel Buxton had earlier recalled giving the Boy Scout oath to Williams, the son of James A. Williams, in 1910 at the Slater Avenue School in Providence, RI. Rhode Island Boy Scouts Archives
[125] J. Harold William’s most eloquent words also define the greatness and significance of his own life’s work. The great sentiment of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Ulysses was not lost on Williams who more than most, understood the true soul of Ned Buxton. GEBIII[126] Colonel Buxton was proud of his military service and chose to have his portrait painted in his WWI uniform.
Finis, Aye
Gonzalo Edward Buxton III
Dallas, Texas
Whatsoever thy hand findeth, do it
with thy might