Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CPT Alfred Dickinson Barksdale

Born 17 Jul 1892 in Houston, Virginia (now Halifax) to William Randolph and Hallie Bailey (Craddock) Barksdale. Barksdale graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1911 at the age of 18, then earned an LL.B. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was president of his class, in 1915. After a year in private practice in Lynchburg, he served in the United States Army from 1916 to 1922. For his service with the Virginia-based 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division in Europe during World War I, he received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Croix de guerre, and the Chevalier Legion of Honor. The VMI website has a photograph of Barksdale in uniform. His DSC commendation reads:
"Alfred D. Barksdale, Captain, 116th Infantry. For repeated acts of extraordinary heroism in action near Samogneux, France, October 8, 1918; near Molleville, France, October 12; and in the Bois de la Grand Montagne, France, October 15, 1918. Commanding a support company during the attack of October 8, Capt. Barksdale discovered that his battalion had advanced ahead of the unit on the right flank, and was suffering heavy losses from machine gun fire. Without orders he attacked and captured the guns, taking many prisoners. On October 12 he worked for over an hour, exposed to a terrific bombardment, binding the wounds of his men. On October 15 he advanced alone in a thick wood and, with the aid of his pistol, put out of action a destructive machine gun which was pouring such a deadly fire his men could not raise their heads."
After the war he eventually became a United States District Court Judge. He died 16 Aug 1972 and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia.

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