Today’s Kansas City Star has an article about Wayne Miner, an African American soldier from Kansas City, Missouri.  He was killed in action three hours before the Armistice at 11:00 a.m., November 11,  1918.  Instead of rehashing the article, see it here:

Death in war is never very easy, particularly for those left behind.    To die on the last day of the war may be even more difficult.  To the best of my knowledge, there may be nine Kansans who died that day, although only two were killed in action.  The others either died of wounds received earlier, or of disease.  Perhaps later we’ll write something up about each of them, but for now, here is a list:

PFC Albert McCoy, Baxter Springs, Co. F, 356th Infantry, 89th Division–killed in action.

Sgt. Clark Whiting, Larned, Co. H, 356th Infantry, 89th Division–killed in action.

2nd. Lt. Albert E. Birch, Lawrence, Co. A, 346th Machine Gun Battalion–died of wounds.

PFC Forrest C. Haslett, Paola, Co. D, 137th Infantry, 35th Division–died of wounds.

Sgt. Albert S. Lane, Liberal, Co. D, 7th Engineers–died of wounds.

Pvt. Albert Nester, Marysville, Co. F, 355th Infantry–died of disease.

Harry Reilly, Brookville, Supply Co., 44th Infantry–died of disease.

Pvt. Edmond P. Thomas, Independence, Co. K, 805th Pioneers Infantry–died of disease.

Pvt. Harry A. Coulter, Hugoton–died of disease.

I apologize if some of the information is not correct or is lacking.  The source I was using left me knowing more research was needed.  If anyone has information about these men, it would be appreciated.

As for the last American soldier killed in the war?  That distinction belongs to Henry Gunther of Baltimore, Maryland.  He was killed at 10:59 a.m.–one minute before the Armistice took effect.


Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.