From Lisa Slaski
Source: Utica Herald Dispatch, Dec 3?, 1918
HERO'S CROSS TO UTICAN WHO DIED OF WOUNDS
President Wilson Recognizes Valiant Action of
Sergt. Charles Adrean Who Directed His Men in
Battle After He Had Been Severely Wounded in the Head.
FIRST UTICAN TO RECEIVE SUCH GREAT RECOGNITION
First Sergt. Charles Henry Adrean, husband of M. Regina Moore Adrean and son of Susan and the late John Adrean, who died of wounds received in action on September 29, the first day of the Cambral-St. Quentin drive, was one of the greatest heroes of the World War. According to the War Department, in its citation list issued this morning, Sergeant Adrean, although badly wounded in the head, continued to direct his men, reorganizing a detachment of soldiers and establishing a line of defense. For this he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
The official report of Sergeant Adrean's action follows:
"The Commander-in-Chief in the name of the President has awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to the following soldier for an act of extraordinary heroism set forth as follows:
"First Sergt. Charles Adrean (deceased), Company A, One Hundred and Seventh Infantry (as No. 1,209,634), for extraordinary heroism in action east of Ronssoy, France, September 29, 191S. Sergeant Adrean, while commanding part of his company was wounded in the head, but continued to direct his men, reorganizing a detachment of soldiers and establishing a line of defense in a trench. Later while going to the assistance of some members of his command who had pushed far to the front he was again hit in the shoulder and severely wounded. His heroic and voluntary disregard of self in order to save his comrades set a splendid example to all ranks. He had since died of the wounds received in this action. Next of kin: Mrs. Charles H. Adrean, wife, 1106 Rudolph place. Utica."
To the relatives of this young man is the consolation that Sergeant Adrean was the first and only Utican, thus far officially reported as having received the Distinguished Service Cross, the coveted recognition of valiant work on the battlefield.
The fact that he continued to direct his men after being wounded was made known in a letter received by his wife a short time ago, but there has been no word that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
First Sergeant Adrean was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and had been in the service for the last 20 years, although not actively during this time. During the Mexican outbreak he was sent to the border on guard duty, as a member of Company A, First Regiment, New York National Guard, formerly the Twenty-eighth Separate Company. At the outbreak of the present war he was transferred to the One Hundred and Seventh Regiment and was stationed at Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, S. C., until going overseas on May 10. He was a born soldier and was pleased with his work in the trenches in France. The last letter received here from his wife, who resides at 1006 Rudolph place, stated that he was resting up and would soon be participating in the drive in which he is believed to have lost his life.
He was born in Utica 41 years ago, a son of Susan and the late John Adrean, who was street commissioner here at one time. He was educated in the local schools and after completing his education joined the United States army and during the Spanish-American War was stationed for nine months at Greenville, S. C ., taking no part in any of the battles of the war. At the close of the war he returned to Utica and entered the employ of the Standard Oil Company and later gave up this position to become custodian of the State Armory here. He continued this work until about ten years ago, when he entered the employ of the Utica Gas & Electric Co. as a collector. This was his last place of employment before leaving here during the Mexican uprising. He was married to M. Regina Moore, 12 years ago. He was a member of the local Moose Lodge and St. Agnes's Church.
The local American Legion Post was named after Charles Adrean. Though he was not the only Utican to received the Distinguished Service Cross (see Francis Bean), he was the first and he did not live to know that he was awarded it. Thirty one other Utican men of the 107th died in the war.
Charles Henry Adrean was married about 1907 to Eugenia M. She was one year younger than him. In 1910, he says that his parents were born in Germany, so perhaps they were from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France/Germany, as the 1900 census states that they were born in France. In 1910, he was a meter reader for a gas company. He enlisted in the National Guard as a private in Utica on 17 Jun 1916. He was promoted to First Sgt. on 13 Sep 1918. He was overseas from 9 May 1918 to 1 Oct 1918 (the day he died) and was in the battles of "Trenches at Dekebush offensive, Mt. Kemmel, attack on Hindenburg Line South of Verdhuile". He previously served as a wagoneer, in Company G of the 203rd Infantry Regiment in the Spanish-American War, enlisting on 25 Jul 1898. He was promoted to Artificer on 24 Sep 1898 and was on furlow in Utica from 27 to 31 October 1898. He mustered out with his company at Greenville, S.C. on 25 Mar 1898. He is described as 5 foot, 6.5 inches tall, ruddy complexion, grey eyes, dark brown hair, born at Utica, NY, a teamster, residing at Utica. His partent/guardian is said to be Mr. J. Adrian, 133 Webster Ave in Utica.
From "The History of the 107th Infantry, U.S.A." by DeVinne Press, 1920:
Charles H. Adrean, 1st SGT, Co. A.
American Distinguished Service Cross (posthumously)
French Croix de Guerre
1st Sgt. Charles H. Adrean was in command of one-half of the company during an attack on Septembe 29, 1918, in the battle of the Hindenburg Line. He displayed extreme collness, ignoring all dangers, and with great discretion handled his command in a very praiseworthy manner. After advancing 400 yards he was severely wounded in the scalp. After having this bound up by one of his men he refused to pass to the rear and went on forward, locating the members of his command, who were in confusion due to a havy machine gun fire, reorganized them, and established a line of defens in a trench. While going to the assistance of some of the members of his command who had pushed too far forward, 1st Sgt. Adrean was struck in the shoulder and severely wounded, from which wound he later died.
From "Gas Age" volume 43, Harbrace Publications, 1919 (page 96):
First Sergeant Charles H. Adrean, formerly a collector for the Utica Gas & Electric Co., Utica, N.Y., who is a brother-in-law of W. J. Cahill, general manager of the gas department of that company, made the supreme sacrifice in the great drive against the Hindenburg line between Cambria and St. Quentin September 29. For his bravery the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to him after his death. He was the onlly soldier out of 4,000 from Utica to be so honored. The citation awarding him the cross was as follows: The Commander-in-Chief in the name of the President has awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to the following soldier for an act of extraordinary heroism set forth as follows: First Sergt. Charles H. Adrean (deceased), Company A, One Hundred and Seventh Infantry (as No. 1,209,634) for extra-ordinary heroism in action east of Ronssoy, France, September 29, 1918. Sergeant Adrean, while commanding part of his company, was wounded in the head, but continued to direct his men, reorganizing a detachment os soldiers and establishing a line of defense in a trench. Later, while going ot the assistance of some members of his command who had pushed far to the front, he was again hit in the shoulder and severely wounded. His heroism and voluntary disregard of self in order to save his comrades set a splendid example to all ranks. He has since died of the wounds recevied in this action.
1900 Federal Census records for Utica, NY:
Adrian, John, b. May 1834 in France, married 40 years ago, farmer, immigrated in 1849.
Adrian, Susie, b. Sep 1838, in France, wife, married 40 years ago, immigrated in 1837.
Helen M., b. Aug 1870 in NY, daughter.
Katherine H., b. Jun 1875 in NY, daughter, a school teacher.
Charles H., b. Oct 1877 in NY, son, a teamster.
Louis V., b. Jan 1882, son.
Louis, Susan, b. Dec 1811 in France, aunt.
The 1880 census shows older siblings.