Wallace with German officers on the Eastern Front. Copied from the Boston American, 29 August 1915
Filming the Mexican Civil WarWallace filmed Huerta in January 1914 for the Hearst newsreels and had the nerve to make movies of the Mexican dictator while he was having a drink in a local bar. The newspaper story that we found sheds some new light on how he was released from prison. The fellow American reporter who helped him get out of jail was William G. Shepherd. In 1915, during his stay in Europe, Wallace met Shepherd in Germany, Paris and Rome. As a matter of fact, United Press correspondent William Gunn Shepherd (1878-1933) proved to be a notable source of information during our research because of his book Confessions of a War Correspondent (1917).
William G. Shepherd. Picture from Chris Dubb's book American Journalists in the Great War (2017)
As a neutral correspondent, Shepherd had the opportunity to cover the Great War from the perspective of the Entente as well as the Central Powers. His memoirs contain interesting inside information on how correspondents from America were manipulated by the press censors of the warring nations in Europe. As it turns out, the interview Wallace did in 1918 after he had returned to his hometown Evansville, Indiana, indicates that he had visited Paris, both before and after Wallace had covered the war in Italy with his movie camera. This is something that we couldn't establish while researching our latest book.
We have posted before in this weblog on Wallace's film work during World War I. Here is a earlier post on his experiences covering the war in Italy in 1915.
For those interested in Shepherd's newspaper work during World War I here is a download link to his book Confessions of a War Correspondent. The newspaper story from the Evansville Press of March 23, 1918, on Wallace's wartime experiences - his first name is misspelled - can be read here.
Postscript July 2019: Wallace on the Eastern FrontOn his return to the United States in July 1915, Wallace was interviewed by the New York American on his experiences as a war photographer at the Eastern Front. This article also was found after we had published our book on the American cinematographers of the First World War. The newspaper story is particularly interesting because in this interview Wallace claimed that near the city of Skierniewice the Germans staged a major battle for the benefit of his movie camera. Cavalry and infantry regiments charged into a wood where the Germans had placed 6,000 Russian prisoners of war who played the part as captives. According to Wallace, the scene was also set up to impress a group of neutral military attachés who accompanied the Germans at that time.
Here is a link to this interview with A.E. Wallace.