Welcome to the first installment of our new series, Spotlight on Our Collections! The first object we will be sharing is the casing of the first artillery shell fired by American troops in World War I. Before we discuss the casing and its history, let's trace the United States' entrance into the war.
|The artillery shell casing|
It was not until October 23, 1917 that the first artillery shell was fired by gunnery Corporal Robert Braley of Batter C, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, First Division. The shot was fired by American ground troops into a German trench a half mile away. The brass casing of the shell was given to President Wilson as a souvenir by the First Division American Expeditionary Forces in France.
The shell casing now sits on the fireplace mantel in Wilson’s bedroom at the Woodrow Wilson House. We hope you enjoyed the first installment of a Spotlight On Our Collections; please share with us what you think in the comments below!