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POST HISTORY

For over 90 years, Lowe-McFarlane Post No. 14 of The American Legion has enjojed a proud and active history of patriotism and community service in Shreveport, La. On September 22, 1919, a mere six days after Congress granted The American Legion a national charter, Post No. 14 applied for its own charter from the Legion’s National Executive Committee. The Post counted 45 charter members on its rolls, men bonded together by their shared experiences in World War I and the desire to keep their comradeship alive through mutual helpfulness and community service.

Over the years, Post No. 14 has played an important role in the civic affairs of Shreveport and Northwest Louisiana. The membership roll has read like a veritable “who’s who” of civic and business leaders, including mayors, judges, city commissioners, and state and U.S. representatives. Indeed, the talented leadership of Post No. 14 has played a key role in fostering the spirit of local Boy Scouting and building the next generation of leaders through the Boys and Girl State programs. The tireless efforts of Post No. 14 also ensured the dedication of the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in 1927, and the construction and dedication of Shreveport’s historic Municipal Auditorium on Armistice Day, November 11, 1929. Most recently, Post No. 14, in conjunction with Legion posts and other veterans service organizations from across the state, ensured Louisiana veterans would continue to receive their just dues by sponsoring the construction of the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home in Bossier City and the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery near Keithville.

Today, the dedicated Legionnaires of Lowe-McFarlane Post No. 14 continue to fulfill the call of duty to their community, state and country with pride, loyalty and the same steadfastness they exhibited while serving in the ranks of our Nation’s Armed Forces.

Please refer to this link for an impressive history of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 chronicling the years 1919 to 1935, written by the late Hardwick Joyner Colvin (1896-1979), a professor of history at Northwestern State University, a World War I veteran and longtime member of Post 14 and Voiture Locale 137 of the 40&8 Society.

History of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 (1919-1935)

The Namesakes of Lowe-McFarlane Post No. 14

In the years immediately following World War I, the U.S. Government returned the bodies of American soldiers from graves in France for burial in this country. Shreveport’s Post No. 14 of the American Legion participated in many of these services, as well as funerals of the ex-service men who died during this time. Naturally, the Post wished to honor their fallen comrades. In 1921, Commander Herman C. Strauss appointed a committee to choose from among Shreveport’s war dead a suitable name for the Post, and Sergeant Robert Francis Lowe and Private Sidney Edwin McFarlane were selected for the honor.

Robert Francis Lowe

Sergeant Lowe was twenty-six years of age when he made the supreme sacrifice for his country. He was born in Campti, Louisiana, March 8, 1892, the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Lowe. Being one of twelve children in the family circle, “Doug” as he was called, learned early in life to make sacrifices and as he grew up in this typical American home, responsibilities were accepted in a cheerful manner.

In early manhood young Lowe came to Shreveport, where he found employment in this rapidly growing community. Then came the World War. The Navy was his first choice but the strict requirements made enlistment in this branch of service impossible. With determination in his heart Lowe turned to the Army and was immediately sent to Camp Martin, at New Orleans, then to Chattanooga, and later to France. Private Lowe was made a Corporal, then a Sergeant, in Company A, 11th Infantry of the 5th Division. Sergeant Lowe served with this unit in France. In the St. Mihiel offensive he was struck by shrapnel and mortally wounded on September 13, 1918. Two days later this brave soldier died in Evacuation Hospital Number One.

After the Armistice and at the request of his Mother, Sergeant Lowe’s body was brought home. The flag draped casket arrived in Shreveport on August 2, 1921, and was carried to Campti, the town of Sergeant Lowe’s birth. Father F. J. Plutz, of Natchitoches, conducted the funeral service the next day. The American Legion of Shreveport was officially represented. Comrades from Campti, Shreveport, Natchitoches, and Chattanooga, Tennessee stood at attention as the salute was fired. The bugler sounded taps, and as the last notes echoed in the distance, Legionnaires paid a soldier’s tribute to a fallen comrade.

Sidney Edwin McFarlane

Upon the altar of freedom, Private McFarlane gave his life just seven days before the Armistice. He was born in Monroe, Louisiana, September 7, 1895, the son of Mr. and Mrs. D. J. McFarlane. Three years later the family moved to Shreveport, where the father engaged in the contracting business. Sidney, the oldest of six children, was educated in Shreveport High School, on Hope Street. He loved all kinds of sports, especially boxing. Sidney developed a strong physique and took part in many contests at the Athletic Club, of which he was a member.

Love for adventure overcame love for books, and this restless youth quit school a few months before graduation to work on the K.C.S. trains as a news agent. This did not last long and “Jeeker,” as he was called, decided to become a painter. It was this trade he was following when Germany began her campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare. The United States declared war and Sidney Edwin McFarlane joined Company L, 156th Infantry of the Louisiana National Guard. He was sent to New Orleans under Captain Daniel W. Spurlock. This unit moved to Camp Beauregard and assisted in building this large military cantonment.

After sailing for France and the Western Front, Private McFarlane was attached to Company B, 9th Infantry of the 2nd Division. This unit took part in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and Private McFarlane was under fire for days. On November 4, 1918, there was a call for three men of Company B to go on a scouting expedition. Private McFarlane stepped forward, and with two buddies crept out of the trenches toward the enemy lines. While on this expedition an enemy shell burst killed Private McFarlane instantly, just seven days before the Armistice. His two buddies found shelter and survived.

The body of this American hero was buried on French soil, but was removed to the United States, and, on August 15, 1921, found its last resting place in Arlington National Cemetery. Private McFarlane sleeps among the nation’s soldier dead.

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