WW1 Chateau Thierry Casualty: Manchester NH’s Pvt. Herman Francis Little (1893-1918)

On  October 1st of 1940, the Mayor and Board of Alderman of the City of Manchester,

Photograph of Herman F. Little recognition plaque, located in Manchester NH at the corners of South Main and Granite Streets. Copyright of Martin Miccio for the City of Manchester, and used here with permission.

passed an ordinance: “That the Square located in West Manchester, where Granite and Main Streets intersects and commonly referred to as Granite Square, be officially designated and known …as “Herman F. Little Square.”  A bronze marker was created and placed there, situated at the southwest corner of South Main and Granite Streets.  It reads: ” PVT. HERMAN F. LITTLE. Co. B –103RD INF. 26 DIV. KILLED JULY 20, 1918.  AT CHATEAU THIERRY.”

Herman Francis Little, was born on 28 Jan 1893 in Manchester, New Hampshire, the son of Charles J. & Anne (Moran) Little.  Herman’s father was a driver and later a tanner, residing at 316 Douglas Street in the city.  He probably attended the local schools. By 1917 when he registered for the military at the age of 24, he was working in the Amoskeag mills as a wool sorter, already having 1 year of service in New Hampshire’s National Guard. From this same registration document we learn that Herman was of slender, medium build, with brown eyes and black hair.

French soldiers at Chateau Thierry.

French soldiers at Chateau Thierry.

Herman F. Little was assigned to Company B, 103rd Infantry, 26th Division, and was soon sent to the European front, where he participated in the Battle of Chateau Thierry.  Much has been written about this battle, notably that it “was one of the first actions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) under General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing.”  Herman died two days into the battle, which continued on for four days.  A month later his widowed mother received notice that he was slightly wounded, and a similar notice was published in the Boston Herald, however in fact Herman was already dead.  By September the newspapers were printing the correction that he had died of wounds.

Likeness of Herman F. Little from the Boston Sunday Globe of September 1918.

Likeness of Herman F. Little from the Boston Sunday Globe of September 1918.

Wednesday August 7, 1918 Boston Herald (Boston MA)
SLIGHTLY WOUNDED: LITTLE, PRIV. HERMAN F., 316 Douglas Street, Manchester NH — B. Company, 103d infantry; wounded July 20. Is the son of Mrs. Anna Little, 316 Granite Street, Manchester. He is 22 years old and saw service on the border. He worked before enlisting as a wool sorter. A brother, Walter, is a seaman in the navy.

Three years would pass before his remains were brought home, and he was buried in the Old St. Joseph Cemetery, Gonzague section, 181-9 to rest with his father, and other members of his family. A monument was built near Chateau Thierry to commemorate those lost during the battle.


Archibald F. Little was b. abt 1832 in Ireland, son of James and Catherine Little; he married 19 July 1852 in Lowell MA to Catherine McLaughlin, daughter of Charles & Sarah McLaughlin.  She was b. abt 1833 in Ireland, sister to Patrick McLaughlin.  They resided in Lowell, and later Lawrence MA. Occupations: Dyer on his marriage record;  “Founder” on his son Charles’ birth record; A bootmaker on his son John’s death record. The 1855 Lowell City Directory lists his occupation as “Foundry” and livig at 3 Bay State Avenue.  He enlisted twice during the Civil War in the Union Army: 1) 2 Oct 1862 Private Company F., 48th MA Infantry, Mustered out 3 Nov 1862 at Wenham MA [Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Civil War]. 2) Substitute to Company F, NH 5th Infantry Regiment, enlisted 30 Aug 1864, Mustered out on 11 Oct 1864 at Petersburg VA. [Register of Soldiers & Sailors of NH 1861-1865].  His wife Catherine filed to receive his military pension 16 May 1870.
1860 US Census > MA > Essex Co. > Lawrence
Archibald Little M 28 Ireland [b abt 1832]
Catharine Little F 27 Ireland [b abt 1833]
Charles J. Little M 7 Ireland [b 1853]
John Little M 5 Ireland [b 1855]
Archibald F. Little M 3 MA
Mary J. Little F 1 MA
Patrick McLaughlin M 25 Ireland [b abt 1835]
Terence Borin M 25 Ireland
James O’Niel M 21 Ireland
Children of Archibald & Catherine (McLaughlin) Little:
1. +Charles J. Little, b. 28 May 1853 Lowell, Middlesex Co. MA
2. John Little, b. 1856 Lowell MA; d. 8 Sep 1892 W. Boylston MA; single
3. Archibald F. Little, b. 13 January 1857 Lawrence MA
4. Mary J. Little, b. 19 January 1859 Lawrence, Essex Co. MA
5. Patrick Little, b. 1861, d. 13 October 1861 Lawrence MA
6. Sarah Ann Little, b. 6 November 1862 Lawrence MA; d. 9 Feb 1865 Lawrence MA
7. Catharine Little, b. 15 April 1865 Lawrence MA

Birth record of Herman J. Little

Birth record of Herman J. Little

Charles J. Little, son of Archibald & Catherine (McLaughlin) Little was born 28 May 1853 in Lowell, MA, son of Archibald and Catherine (McLaughlin) Little. He died 7 January 1917 in Manchester NH.  Occupation driver, tanner. Resided Lowell MA and for 30 years Manchester NH [316 Douglas Street]. He married  19 June 1888 in Manchester NH to Anne/Anna “Annie” Moran, daughter of Michael & Mary (Hines) Moran. She was b. June 1862 in Ireland, and died 8 February 1945 in Manchester NH. She immigrated to the United States betwe 1874-1882.
1900 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > 255 Pine Street
Little, Charles J. Head W M March 1862 38 married 12 yrs MA Ire Ire Driver Provision
Little, Annie wife W F June 1862 37 married 12 yrs 4 ch 3 yrs Ire Ire Ire
Little, Gertrude dau W F March 1891 9 single NH
Little, Harlan J** son W M Jan 1893 7 single NH
Little, Walter son W M Sep 1895 4 single NH
1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > [316 Douglas Street]
Charles J. Little 44 Head m1 20 yrs MA PA Ireland  Tanner, Tannery [1915 clerk]
Ann J. Little 43 m1x 20 yrs 4 children 3 living Ire Ire Ire imm 1882
Gertrude H. Little 18 dau single NH MA Ire Burling Woolen Mill
Herman F. Little 17 single NH MA Ire Laborer Bleachery
Walter C. Little 14 single NH MA Ire
1915 Manchester Directory
Little, Herman F., Amoskeag bds 316 Douglas
Children of Charles J. & Anne “Annie” (Moran) Little:
1. Stillborn child, b and d. 19 December 1889 Manchester NH
2. Gertrude H., b March 1891 Manchester NH; d. 21 March 1966 unmarried
3. Herman F. (aka Harlan J.), b. 28 January 1893 Manchester NH
4. Walter Charles P. Little, b.September 1895 Manchester NH; Enlisted 20 April 1917 US Navy; Discharged 17 January 1919; died 28 February 1963; buried with his family in the Old St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester NH

[Editor’s Note: This article is one of several I have written at the request of Don Pinard, Department of Public Works, Chief of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division, City of Manchester, New Hampshire.  It is a volunteer project (on my part) to better record and share the stories of the men memorialized by the city’s “Military Squares.”  All the information specifically within the body of this project is shared copyright free with the City of Manchester and its representatives, with the exception of photographs provided by family or friends who still retain whatever rights conveyed to them by law.]


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