The Lost Battalion in Argonne Forest
FES Title: The “Lost Battalion” in Argonne Forrest
Alternate Titles: Our Famous “Lost Battalion” in the Argonne Forest [2002]
Date: 11/21/1918
Size: 30″H x 50″W
Medium: oil_single-prime-canvas
Type: subject painting
Published: “Souvenir Pictures of the Great War.” The Ladies Home Journal, February 1919: 17.
caption: Our Famous “Lost Battalion” in the Argonne Forest

Beamish, Richard J. and Francis A. March, Ph.D. America’s Part in the World War. Philadelphia: The John C. Winston company, 1919: frontispiece.
caption: OUR FAMOUS “LOST BATTALION” IN ARGONNE FOREST Seven hundred of our boys were surrounded by thousands of Huns. For thirty-six hours they had had no food. Death seemed inevitable. In answer to the enemy’s messenger with an offer to spare them if they would surrender, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Whittlesey roared his historic “Go to Hell!” –which was at once “refusal, malediction and prophecy.”

Schoonover, Cortlandt. Frank Schoonover, Illustrator of the North American Frontier. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1976: 186.
caption: The Lost Battalion

Ianni, Francis A. World War One Remembered. Wilmington: Delaware Heritage Commission, 1993: 56.
caption: Our Famous “Lost Battalion” in the Argonne Forest

Harrington, Peter. “The Great War Paintings of Frank E. Schoonover.” Military Heritage, August 1999: 68.
caption: In the Lost Battalion, a German envoy offers terms to surrounded Americans in October, 1918. The reply was No and the battalion held out for a week.

Johnson, Thomas M. and Fletcher Pratt. The Lost Battalion. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000: cover.
no caption

Blum, Raymond K. U.S. Army: A Complete History. Arlington, VA: The Army Historical Foundation, 2004: 583.
caption: “The Lost Battalion,” Frank E. Schoonover, Anne S.K. Brown Collection

Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover
Exhibitions: 1919 WSFA; 2002 HSD
Comments: index; edit
Commentary: “This painting depicts a famous incident in World War I. The blindfolded soldier is United States Army Private Lowell R. Hollingshead who was captured by German soldiers while trying to return to get reinforcements for his surrounded fellow American forces. The English speaking German officer in charge blindfolded Hollingshead, gave him a note demanding surrender, and sent him back to Col. Charles Whittlesy. In the painting, Col. Whittlesy is reading the note. He refused to surrender and proceeded to fight on, extricating himself and almost 200 men from the dangerous situation. Both Whittlesy and Hollingshead became American World War I heroes. Col. Whittlesy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.” (text by Steven H. Amick, State Senator, 10th Senatorial District, Delaware, January 16, 2007)

On the eighth day of working on this picture, November 11, 1918, peace was declared and World War I was over. However, the artist continued with his commission, completing eight more major World War I works. He completed this work in seventeen days.
For further commentary, see #886.

Provenance: Sold by the artist to the Delaware National Guard (March 9, 1959)
Current Owner: