World War I Honor Roll

Richard L. Reighn

Private, U.S. Army

Company F
114th Infantry Regiment
29th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: October 21, 1918
Buried at: Plot E Row 39 Grave 33
Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery
Romagne, France

PRIVATE RICHARD L. REIGHN was the son of William and Marie Reighn, of 428 Evans Street in Camden NJ. He was born around 1900, probably in Pennsgrove, Salem County NJ, where his father was a farmer. By 1910 William Reighn was running a farm in Lumberton Township, Burlington County NJ. William Reighn's sister Abigail married William Munion, their daughter Amanda married Arthur Kessler and had moved to North Camden by 1900.

Richard Reighn was living at 15 East Atlantic Avenue in Haddon Heights NJ when he enlisted in the 3rd Infantry Regiment, New Jersey National Guard, in 1916, possibly with his older brother Charles, who is known to have been living in the adjacent town of Audubon in June of the following year.

Private Richard Reighn left Camden for Camp Edge, Sea Girt NJ with his regiment on July 25, 1917. He later received training at Camp McClellan in Anniston AL, and was assigned to Company F, 114th Infantry Regiment, when the 29th Division was formed there. He went overseas with that unit.

The 114th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division was part of the attack on German positions near Verdun on October 8, 1918, an action known as the Battle of the Argonne Forest. On October 12, 1918, Private Reighn was attempting the capture of a German machine gun position in Bois de'Ormont, near Verdun, France, when he was reported missing. Initially reported missing, it later developed that he had been killed in action.

The 29th Infantry Division's account record has the following account for October 12 1918:

The 114th Infantry, 29th Division was attached to the 18th French Division, moved from its bivouac in the Cotee des Roches into position in the Ravin de Coassinvaux on the night of the 11th-12th October preparatory to an attack upon the Bois d'Ormont, which the Division had been ordered to make at 0700hrs on the 12th. In conjunction with the 66th French Infantry, the 114th moved to attack at the hour designated.

The objective of the 114th was the enemy line between Bois d'Ormont and Bois d'Moirey. The enemy has established a very strong dug in concrete line of machine guns. The French artillery unit providing preparatory fire had a severe shortage of artillery ammunition. The small amount that was actually fired was placed to far behind the enemy lines. The artillery had very little effect on the enemy machine gun line and caused very little damage. The 1st Company of the 111th Machine Gun Battalion began its advance on Bois d'Ormont to support the 114th advance but was forced to pull back after only five minutes due to the heavy German Artillery. After just five minutes eleven 111th men were killed.

The 114th eventually made it into Bois d'Ormont but the cost was very high. Six officers and 112 enlisted men were killed, twelve officers and 800 enlisted men were wounded in the engagement.

On October 12, 1918 the Bois d'Ormont was conquered at the cost of 118 casualties. Private Reighn and several other Camden County men were of that number. 

Richard L. Reighn was survived by his parents, of the Evans Street address.