Charles Holland Riggin served in World War I as Captain, Company E, 7th United States Infantry and was killed-in-action in France on 14 October 1918. He was subsequently returned to the United States for burial with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Lillian Bigelow Riggin, died 22 December 1952 (outliving him by 34 years) and was buried with him.
Dear Sir: I am writing to you because your site on my great uncle, Captain Charles Holland Riggin, is requesting information. I am a great great nephew related to his wife Lillian, who was the sister of my great grandmother Grace Bigelow. Hope this helps.
Charles Holland Riggin, Captain, United States Army
Entered the Service from Hebron, Maryland
Captain Riggin was born 1 September 1890.
The following story appeared in The Wicomico News, 31 October 1918.
A WICOMICO MAN WHO “PAID IN FULL” IN FRANCE
CAPTAIN CHARLES HOLLAND RIGGIN FORMERLY OF THIS CITY WHO MADE
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE FOR HIS COUNTRY
A SELF MADE MAN AND AN HONOR TO HIS COUNTRY
Starting life as a grocer boy in Salisbury, Captain Riggin worked his way through college and university and was appointed Captain in the regular Army for Meritorious service.
Captain Charles Holland Riggin was killed in France, 16 October 1918. He was the son of Mrs. Roxie Riggin of Quantico.
Captain Riggin left his home in 1907 to work in Salisbury. He was first employed by Joseph Cooper on Walnut Street and later by T. L. Ruark & Co. Being of progressive mind however, he left this establishment to attend St. John’s College in the fall of 1908. He made a good record at college graduating in 1912. He was greatly respected and loved by his companions as evidenced by the fact that he was elected to many honorable and responsible positions. In his senior year he was captain of one of the cadet companies, and it was here that he received his first military training. In the fall of 1912 he accepted a position as commandant and instructor at Charlotte Hall Academy. In 1913 he was instructor at East Rutherford High School and later became principal of that school, where he remained until he entered the U. S. service in August 1917, being commissioned Second Lieutenant Lieutenant directly from civilian life.
He married Miss Lillian Biglow, of East Rutherford, August 1, 1917. Soon thereafter he was sent to army service school at Fort Leavensworth, Kansas, and attended as an U. S. officer. Upon completion of this course he was assigned to Company E, 7th Infantry, stationed at Camp Green, Charlotte, North Carolina. Here he was with his company only a short while and was again selected to attend school. This time he went to School of Engineering, United States Army, where he was taught construction of trenches and barbed wire entanglements. Later he was sent to Camp Merritt, New Jersey, where he was commissioned First Lieutenant, and ot proceed overseas in May.
Captain Riggin was in the second Battle of the Maras and Belleau Woods. It was the later place that he lost his life while leading his company in an advance.
He was of a sunny, cheery disposition and was liked by everyone with whom he came in contact, as evidenced not only by his home friends but by his Lieutenant who writes of him: “Every man in the company would follow him at any time and any place. I personally liked him very much indeed. He was a wonderful man and soldier. That he had a strong will and supreme confidence was evidenced by his own words: ‘Every American knows what expect of an American soldier’ and writing to friends in America waiting to cross, ‘If you don’t hurry and get here we’ll have German Kaiser wiped off the face of the earth.’”
He was buried by a fellow Captain and one of his Lieutenants on an open hillside near Cunel, 20 miles northwest of Verdun.
He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Roxie Riggin, two brothers, George and Lee, and four sisters, Mrs. Thos. B. Howard, Mrs. Geo. E. Bennett, Mrs. Reuben Watson, Mrs. Walter Insley, all of this county, and his wife, who makes her home in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
RIGGIN, CHAS H
CAPT 7TH INF, 3RD DIV
DATE OF DEATH: 10/14/1918
BURIED AT: SECTION WS SITE 4003
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
RIGGIN, LILLIAN B W/O CHARLES H
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/09/1883
DATE OF DEATH: 12/22/1952
BURIED AT: SECTION 3 SITE 4003 EH
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WIFE OF CH RIGGIN, CAPT CO E 7TH INF USA
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard