Thanks for the reply Jackie, This post was the first post I made here and I was just begining to establish my Manning roots. My info became much more detailed from then to now. As I read this old post I realize how much I have learned over the past few years. To start with your fathers name was Sidney Hill Manning. My father and mother and all our family called him Sidney Junior. His first wife was Bueno Sapp. As for his father Sidney Earnest Manning, My father Austin Jackson Knowles was his nephew and his brother-in-law and was one of the few men that Uncle Earnest respected. I was told the story of how he jumped off the train when he came in to Flomaton on his return fromFrance to avoid a public speech for his valantry. Nobody new where he went. When his parents Barney and Lizzy returned home he was sitting in the rocking chair in front of the fireplace. When he was interviewed, his exact words were, "I did no more than the other men that returned from France and a lot less than the ones who did'nt". He refused to let the media make a movie of his valantry in WW1. And as you said he refused the memorial as long as he was alive. I set a goal for myself to find out exactly what happened on the morning of July 28th, 1918 at the Ourpq River to bring Uncle Earnest such fame and here's what I found out.
Sidney Earnest Manning was the only man to recieve the congressional medal of honor on the most successful day of ww1. On July 28th 1918 he was a corpral in one of the three rifle troops that were ordered by General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing to cross the Ourcq river and take out the fortified machine gun nest on the high banks on the other side. His captain became a casualty and his Sargent was wounded to bad to continue. Being highest ranked he had to take command of the troop even though he was wounded from shellfire himself. Soon after he took command his main gunner and ammo carrier became casualties. He took the gun and the ammo himself and continued up the hill. At that point there were 35 men still behind him. When he reached the top of the hill he was nailed by machine gun fire. Out numbered three to one his troops won the battle. He continued to the bottom of the hill where once again he met heavy resistance. He looked behind him and saw that only seven men of the 35 had survived the battle. He told the seven men to retreat while he coverd them. He held off the large group of germans with his rifle and refused to leave his position untill the sqauds to his right and left fought their way past him. He then crawled to safety with nine wounds to all parts of the body. The hole he broke thru the line enabled the capture of the hub city of Sergy after it changing hands 4 times that afternoon. On the morning of July 29th the 42nd rainbow division had full possession of the City and Imperial Germany would never stage another offensive against the American, British and French allied forces. After the war General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing was made commander of all the armies which is a 6 star General. George Washington was the only other to reach this rank. Pershing respected the fact that Sidney Earnest Manning helped him win WW1 and recieve the high rank and made him a personal friend and protected man until Pershings death in 1949. Uncle Sidney died on Dec. 15th 1960. I attended his funeral at the age of six. He was born in 1892 and was only 26 years old in 1918.
Send me an e-mail and I'll send you links to your family. They are posted on the internet.