1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
A Good Letter
Private George L. Athey
Company D 22nd Infantry
George L. Athey was born on May 22, 1876 in Floyd County, Kentucky.
He served in Company M of the 2nd Kentucky Volunteeer Infantry (2nd K.V.I.) during the War with Spain.
The 2nd K.V. I. was mustered
into service at Lexington, Kentucky between May 14 and 25, 1898.
The Regiment served its existence at Camp Thomas at Chickamauga, Georgia until September 13, 1898
when it relocated to Lexington, Kentucky where it was mustered out of service on October 31, 1898.
Athey enlisted in the Army as a
Private for a period of three years on December 24, 1898 at
His enlistment record indicated he stood 5 feet 8 inches tall, had blue eyes, red hair and a fair complexion.
His previous occupation was listed as Barber.
He was assigned to Company D 22nd Infantry and joined his Company at Fort Crook, Nebraska on December 29, 1898.
Athey and his Company deployed
to the Philippines on February 1, 1899 aboard the transport Senator.
Within a week of their arrival on Philippine soil he and his Regiment were engaged in action against
On November 26, 1899 Athey wrote
a letter to the editor of a newspaper in his home state
of Kentucky. The letter was published in The Hazel Green Herald Thursday January 18, 1900.
In the letter Athey relates his experiences with his Company in the Philippines and devotes an
entire paragraph to the specifications of his issued rifle the 30-40 Krag.
He mentions the two soldiers
killed in his Company to that date, Privates Ira Cox and
Wesley J. Hennessy (which is incorrectly spelled as Hensly.)
At the end of the article Athey's name is incorrectly spelled as Athy.
Article from The Hazel Green Herald Thursday January 18, 1900 Issue 88.
From the Library of Congress Chronicling America
At the end of his first
enlistment Athey reenlisted in Company D 22nd Infantry. He served
with the Regiment
on its second deployment to the Philippines and in October 1904 was officially transferred from his Company
to the Casual Detachment of the 22nd Infantry which was stationed at the Presidio at San Francisco, California.
Athey arrived at San Francisco on January 15, 1905 having sailed aboard the transport U.S.A.T. Sherman as
one of 65 soldiers from the 22nd Infantry transferred to the Depot of Casuals and Recruits at Angel Island,
San Francisco to await their discharges.
Athey was discharged as a
Private by reason of Expiration of Service at Angel Island on
January 30, 1905
with a character reference of Excellent. He had seen combat in the Philippines with the Regiment on both of
its deployments there.
He returned to Wolfe County,
Kentucky and his previous profession of Barber at the township of
He married Ruth Evans in 1909. For a while in the 1930's he and Ruth lived in Montgomery County, Ohio
where he was a machinist on electric refrigerators. By 1935 they had returned to Campton where he became
a salesman for a grocery store. He and his wife Ruth had been married for 68 years when she died in 1973.
They had one daughter, Mattie.
George L. Athey lived for one
hundred and one years and four months and died in Campton, Wolfe
Kentucky on September 11, 1977.
Campton, Wolfe County
Grave marker for George L. Athey and his wife Ruth
Photo by Pam Dale from the Find A Grave website
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