GUARDSMAN IS KILLED ON DUTY
Struck By Train at Whallomsburg - First Man in Present Crisis to Give Up His Life
As far as is known D. T. Sack of Schenectady, a member of Company F. 2d New York Infantry, is the first man in the country to forfeit his life as a result of the present crisis with Germany. Sack having died in the hospital at Plattsburg Barracks last week Thursday afternoon from a fractured skull received while on duty guarding a bridge on the line of the D. & H. at Whallonsburg about 7 o'clock in the morning.
Sack was walking post at the north end of the bridge, and was plainly seen by the engineer of a south bound freight train as he walked his post at the side of the track. The young man continued in view of the engineer until the head of the engine passed him. A moment later the engineer again looked out of his cab and back to where the soldier had been walking. To the horror of the engineer the soldier lay on the ground, his rifle a few feet from him. The engine was instantly brought to a standstill and the engineer and members of the crew ran to the spot where the young soldier lay. He was unconscious, and blood was streaming from his ears and a gash on his left forehead. His left ear was also cut in two. He was placed on the train and taken to Westport, where a special train was made up and the still unconscious man was taken to the Post hospital at Plattsburg. He never regained consciousness and died about 2:30 o'clock.
While it is not positively known, the supposition is that in order to avoid the strong current of air made by the passing train, the soldier turned his back toward the engine, not realizing how near he was to the train, and that the bayonet of his rifle which was over his right shoulder struck the side of the fast moving engine, throwing him back against the train and to the ground. This theory is borne out by the fact that there are marks on the bayonet and the stock of the gun is cracked.
Sack had been in the company of which he was a member nine days prior to his death having enlisted at Schenectady on March 27. He was at the time his company called was called into the federal service employed as a shipping clerk in a large wholesale establishment in that city. His parents live outside that city on Rural route No. 4 and he has an aunt residing at 480 Hulett avenue in Schenectady. His brother arrived in Plattsburg Thursday night and the remains were taken to Schenectady Friday where he was buried with military honors.
Services were conducted at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel E. Sack, 813 Broadway, at 1 o'clock. The Rev. Cornelius De Young, pastor of Belleview Reformed churck, paid tribute to Private Sack for his service in the guard.
The body was taken to Greenbush, Ransselaer county, where a squad of machine company men, formerly in "F" company fired a volley over the grave. Those in the squad were Sergeant Joseph C. Schrot, Corporal Elmer H. Jackson, Jay A. Patterson, Elmer J. Herzog, Harold D. Dolley and William A. Oatting.
from The Adirondack Record - April 13, 1917
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