Top of page

Film, Video The lost battalion

digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • The lost battalion


  • Based on the experiences of soldiers in the American 77th Infantry Division, about 550 of whom were isolated and surrounded by the Germans during the Battle of the Argonne in World War I. The men suffered from thirst, hunger, and heavy losses, but refused to surrender. As more men were killed and captured, carrier pigeons became the only method of communicating with headquarters. Coming under friendly fire, the men were saved by a pigeon named Cher Ami, who was able to deliver a message to stop the barrage. After five days, and several unsuccessful rescue attempts, the remaining men were finally rescued. Five participants received the Congressional Medal of Honor, and others received the Distinguished Service Cross. The fictional part of the story precedes and follows the battle scenes, showing the men in civilian life and in training, and the survivors coming home to their loved ones. The fictional characters also appear in the battle scenes along with some of the actual participants.


  • MacManus, Edward A., 1882-1958, production
  • King, Burton, 1877-1944, direction
  • Logue, Charles A., writing
  • Ferguson, Helen, 1901-1977, cast
  • Coakley, Marion, 1896-1968, cast
  • Glass, Gaston, cast
  • Robson, May, 1868-1924, cast
  • Davenport, Blanche, cast
  • Learn, Bessie, cast
  • Young, Tammany, 1887-1936, cast
  • D'Albrook, Sidney, 1886-1948, cast
  • MacManus Corporation
  • W.H. Productions Company

Created / Published

  • United States : W.H. Productions Co., 1919.


  • -  Argonne, Battle of the, France, 1918--Drama
  • -  World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--Meuse River Valley--Drama
  • -  United States.--Army.--Infantry Division, 77th--Drama
  • -  Cher Ami (Pigeon)--Drama
  • -  Alexander, Robert,--1863-1941--Drama


  • War films
  • Historical films
  • Silent films
  • Feature films
  • Fiction films


  • -  LP14170 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: MacManus Corp.; 6Sep19; LP14170.
  • -  Helen Ferguson, Marion Coakley, Sydney D'Albrook, Gaston Glass, Jack McLean, Mrs. Stuart Robson, Blanche Davenport, Bessie Learn, Tammany Young.
  • -  Appearing: Major General Robert Alexander, Major George G. McMurtry, Lt. Col. Charles W. Whittlesey, Capt. William J. Cullen, Lieutenant Arthur F. McKeogh, Lieut. Augustus Kaiser, Private Jack Hershkowitz, Corporal Philip Cepaglia, Sergeant Herman J. Bergasse, Private J.J. Munson, Private Abraham Krotoshinisky, Lieutenant Jordan, Private J.W. Rosson.
  • -  On MI Film and Television catalog card for 16 mm print: "Incomplete copy: LC has reels 3-5". DLC
  • -  Originally released on eight 35 mm. reels.
  • -  On digital viewing copy: This film was preserved by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center.
  • -  Part of summary from MI Film and Television catalog card.
  • -  Sources used: MI Film and Television catalog card; Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1912-1939, p. 488; Wikipedia WWW site, viewed August 27, 201; Internet movie database, August 27, 2018; American Heritage magazine, v. 28, issue 6, 1977, (The lost battalion) viewed online August 30, 2018; Moving picture world, v. 41, no. 12, September 20, 1919, p. 1867-1868, viewed online August 30, 2018 at the Media History Digital Library.
  • -  16 mm dupe neg pic renumbered: FLA 0486-0488 to FRD 0636-0638.


  • 1 video file (digital, MPEG-4) (approximately123 min.) : si., b&w.
  • viewing print 3 film reels of 8 (r3-5) (approximately 1,045 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 3 film reels of 8 (r3-5) (approximately 1,045 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 0483-0485 (viewing print)
  • FRD 0636-0638 (dupe neg pic)

Source Collection

  • AFI/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Fleming (Douglas) & Moore (Lynn) Collection (Library of Congress)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2018600177

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright or other restrictions in the vast majority of motion pictures in these collections. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse.

In rare cases, copyrighted motion pictures are made available by special permission to the Library and may be used only for educational purposes. For example, the Gershwin home movies fall within this category. Rights assessment is your responsibility. No registration information exists for some titles, and reproduction of some titles may be restricted by privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Additionally, some works may still be protected by copyright in the United States or some foreign countries. The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. You should consult the catalog information that accompanies each item for specific information. This catalog data provides the details known to the Library of Congress regarding the corresponding item and may assist you in making independent assessments of the legal status of these items for their desired uses. You should also consult restrictions associated with donations to the Library.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Logue, Charles A., Writing, Helen Ferguson, Marion Coakley, Gaston Glass, May Robson, Blanche Davenport, Bessie Learn, et al. The Lost Battalion. directeds by King, Burton, Ection, produceds by Macmanus, Edward A., Uction United States: W.H. Productions Co, 1919. Video.

APA citation style:

Logue, C. A., Ferguson, H., Coakley, M., Glass, G., Robson, M., Davenport, B. [...] W.H. Productions Company. (1919) The Lost Battalion. King, B., dir, Macmanus, E. A., prod United States: W.H. Productions Co. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Logue, Charles A., Writing, et al. The Lost Battalion. dir by King, Burton, Ection, prod by Macmanus, Edward A., Uction United States: W.H. Productions Co, 1919. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.