Carlton “Carl” Webb Short was born in East Providence, Rhode Island on 7 October 1885. He was the son of Frederick and Ida Short. He entered Rhode Island State College (RISC) in September 1912 and graduated in June 1916 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He was a member of the Beta Psi fraternity, played on the football team and was an honor student. He participated in the Army ROTC program for two years while at RISC.
Shortly after Carlton graduated from RISC, he enlisted in the Rhode Island National Guard. On 22 August 1917, the 26th Division was activated with two brigades comprising National Guard units from Rhode Island and the five other New England states with the nickname of “Yankee Division.” In August 1917, Corporal Short deployed with the Yankee Division to St. Nazaire, France. This was the second American division to arrive into the theater joining the 1st Infantry Division.
In late April, enemy German Infantry conducted a combat raid on positions of the 26th Division. This was one of the first attacks on American troops during the war. The German forces withdrew before the 26th Division could counterattack; but the Germans inflicted 634 casualties, included 80 killed, 424 wounded, and 130 captured. The Germans lost over 600 men. Following this battle, the 26th Division was moved by train to Meaux and entered the line at Chateau Thierry on 5 July 1918.
Shortly after their arrival the Germans launched a major attack against Allied forces. The “Second Battle of the Marne” started on 15 July 1918. The German attack failed; however, casualties on both sides numbered in the thousands killed and wounded. The Second Battle of the Marne marked the end of a string of German victories and the beginning of a series of Allied victories which brought the German Army to its knees.
On 22 July 1918, Corporal Carlton Webb Short, Battery B, 103rd Field Infantry, 26th Division, U.S. Army was cited by Major General Clarence R. Edwards for bravery during the Second Battle of the Marne, 16 July to 4 August 1918.
“During the advance of the 26th Division and other divisions who they supported from 16 July to 4 August 1918 during the Second Battle of the Marne, your gallant contact and devotion to duty in the field at all times especially on 22 July 1918 while establishing communications under heavy enemy fire at Bezu, France was favorably reported by your Regimental and Brigade Commanders.”
After World War I, Carlton Short returned to the United States and settled in East Providence, Rhode Island. Carlton married Mable Winsor, and they had two daughters. Carlton was employed as a Chemical Engineer in the copper wire industry and chemist in rubber industry in Rhode Island.
Carlton Short died in 1976 and was buried at the Lakeside Cemetery, East Providence, Rhode Island with full military honors. Corporal Carlton Webb Short, U.S. Army was a son of Rhode Island State College who answered the call to service for Rhode Island and America during the “Great War.”