Finally, more than five months after the United States entered World War I, the 192 Knox County men who were members of Battery E, left Mount Vernon and headed for the training camp at Montgomery, Ala.
“Berlin Special” was chalked on one of the seven cars furnished by the B&O Railroad to accommodate the artillerymen and their equipment.
The men boarded the train at 7:25 a.m. and it rolled off promptly at 7:30. A large crowd was on hand for the departure. The Daily Banner wrote: “E Battery never looked better than it did Friday morning as the men took leave of their friends and, with sober faces, fell in line for the last roll call of E Battery in Mount Vernon until the war ends. With the train waiting for them, the men realized more strongly than ever the responsibility upon them, and the sorrow of parting with wives, sweethearts, mothers and friends merely obscured the outward appearance of their eagerness to get on their way and begin in earnest the serious work of fitting themselves to do their ‘bit’ for the United States.”