The Remains of Company D A Story of the Great War

James Carl Nelson

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

400 Pages



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The Remains of Company D follows the members of Company D, Twenty-Eighth Infantry Regiment, United States First Division, from enlistment to combat and the effort to recover their remains, focusing on the three major battles at Cantigny, Soissons, and in the Meuse-Argonne and the effect these horrific battles had on the men. This is an important and powerful tale of the different destinies, personalities, and motivations of the men in Company D and a timeless portrayal of men at war.



Praise for The Remains of Company D

“One of the best. Nelson is an excellent stylist . . . he knows how to tell a story with a capital ‘S’.”—The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"[Never before] has an American nonfiction writer reached into history and produced a testament of young men in terrible battle with the stateliness, the mastery of cadence, the truthfulness, and the muted heartbreak of James Carl Nelson in The Remains of Company D."—Ron Powers, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Flags of Our Fathers

“A beautifully-crafted anthem to doomed American youth, James Carl Nelson's The Remains of Company D is a must-read.”—Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Longest Winter and The Bedford Boys

"James Carl Nelson's book is a great contribution to AEF history. He has done an incredible amount of research in order to convey the experience of one group of doughboys . . . and to tell their story through their own words . . .  He reminds us that these long-forgotten battles of ninety years ago were as hard fought as any before or since, and that our country was well served by the young men who fought them. It puts a very human face on the experience of Americans on the Western Front."—Dr. Paul Herbert, executive director of the Cantigny First Division Foundation

"Not since Henry Berry’s Make the Kaiser Dance has there been an intimate history like this one to illustrate the doughboys’ contributions in World War I. The story of Company D, Twenty-Eighth Infantry Regiment, First Division, is one not soon to be forgotten . . . The author’s meticulous and persistent research in tracking down the descendants of the combatants to uncover their letters and diaries makes his work the standard for research into the story of the American Expeditionary Force. Essential for all students of modern war.”—Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

A Doughboy
He never made it to Berzy. Hell, he never even made it to Ploisy.
He went lights-out somewhere just beyond the Paris-Soissons Road, while the air rained bullets and his company—the survivors, anyway—rolled on through the German line, shooting and yelling and swearing and falling, and disappeared into the smoke and dust and fading evening light of a hot July day.
He took his last look at them, at their sweat-stained, khaki-clad backs and their tin hats, as the shadows began to lengthen across the wheat, as the pup-pup-pup of the machine guns
Read the full excerpt


  • James Carl Nelson

  • James Carl Nelson is a journalist who has worked as a staff writer for The Miami Herald. He is a member of the Great War Society and the Military Writers Society of America. He lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

  • James Carl Nelson © Ethan Nelson
    James Carl Nelson