Pullman in the First World War

1918 and 1919

Formal hostilities ceased on November 11, 1918, a day which would eventually become memorialized as Armistice Day.  The catastrophe of the First World War continued for several years afterwards, as the maps of Europe and the Middle East were being redrawn in the aftermath of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. Russia was involved in a brutal civil war between the Bolsheviks and the anti-Bolsheviks. In America, 1919 brought racial strife during the “Red Summer” of race riots throughout the U.S., the loss of civil liberties as a result of anti-Bolshevik fears, and the influenza epidemic.
Life in Pullman, as always, reflected outside events.
In an article entitled "One of Life's Derelicts," a former employee, not named in the article, down on his luck, too old to work, and dependent on charity, lived alone in destitution in Pullman. He had no one because his wife and teenage son had gone to Belgium just before the outbreak of World War I. He had not heard from them for four years, and he feared that his wife was dead and his son dead or impressed into the German Army and then killed in action.

Cheering for victory opposite the Stephenson Street gate
Photograph of scene outside of the Pullman Factory gates, 111th and Champlain Avenue, November 11, 1918.

'Lo Pullman! Home again!
Cartoon in the Pullman Car Works Standard expressing the joys of returning home (to Pullman) after being at the front.

Map showing approximate positions of Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik positions
Map showing the disposition of Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia during the early part of the Russian Civil War, 1917-1922. A few Pullman employees were deployed to Archangel in Siberia to fight on the White Russian side. New York Times, Current History 1919 (Volume X, p. 262)

Two groups of Pullman soldier brothers overseas
Portrait of two groups of three brothers each, all Pullman employees and all in the armed services. From left:
William Connelly, Co. K, 129th Infantry. James Connelly, Battery C, 8th Field Artillery. Edward Connelly, Co. B, 108th Engineers. In addition to working at the Pullman Factory, their father, Edward Connelly, was one of the longest serving employees in the Blacksmith Shop. The Connellys were also Pullman residents, living at 10713 Champlain Avenue.
 Fred J. Karl, of Co. D., 27th Infantry served in Siberia fighting the Bolshevik forces. Charles M. Karl, Co. A., 39th Regiment. Edward F. Karl, Naval Air Station, Whiddy Island, Ireland. The Karls originally lived at 10453 Corliss Avenue, but moved elsewhere in 1910.

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