An Introduction to "The Other Sixteen" Thank you for visiting, and choosing to look beyond what you were told to believe.
From the very beginning, and for more than ninety years, every investigation into this battle has come down to one thing: focus. What has been the focus of each investigation that has presented this story to the public? In February of 1919, the focus of the Official Army investigation, was to award Alvin York with the Medal of Honor. Despite a first set of affidavits taken in January 1919, a second effort was made; and each affidavit taken in February 1919, and allegedly signed by the surviving members of this battle had, as its focus, the actions of Alvin York. We will provide an analysis of these affidavits from another perspective and provide extensive evidence that the survivors of this battle denied having made these statements.
In 1929, the focus of the Army War College was a re-enactment of this battle, again focusing only on York; the other "survivors" were invited to watch. This is the first document that openly identifies these soldiers as merely "survivors". As these soldiers began to assemble in Washington for this event and present their perspectives it became very clear, very quickly, that not all involved share the same opinion or recollection of what had transpired eleven years earlier; the were not merely "survivors" but heavily contributed to this battle. We will show the differing perspectives of these men in their own words, and how this event re-opened wounds for some of them. We will present information showing how this controversy, for a brief moment, was able to shift the focus; and how this shift lead to the DSC for Bernard Early and sparked an over decade long correspondence between Otis Merrithew and G.E. Buxton. Undeniable is the fact that through this correspondence and his further investigation, G.E. Buxton experienced a shift in his focus relative to this event.
We will also address the most narrowly focused presentation of this battle, and sadly for the Other Sixteen, the one that is most enduring, the 1941 Warner Bros. movie, Sergeant York. While Alvin York did participate in this battle, to present it in a manner that the other soldiers, six of whom were killed, were inconsequential is an insult. We will present letters, articles and sworn statements contrary to the content of the film. We will also share the personal stories of these men, and the impact the final presentation in this film had on them.
Again and again, we have tried to maintain the position that this site is not dedicated to the dismantling of the Alvin York "legend"; it is dedicated to the construction and raising up the Other Sixteen men of this detachment. However, others who continue to portray this story based in myth and legend rather that fact have made this effort increasingly more difficult. We will be confident to state that York is as much the "hero" of this battle as the Other Sixteen are merely "survivors".
Thank you for being here and open to shifting your focus.