Charles Whittlesey gained fame as an American soldier and Medal of Honor recipient who led the "Lost Battalion" in World War I. The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine companies of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men, who were isolated by German forces during World War I after an American attack in the Argonne Forest in October 1918. They were led by Major Whittlesey. Although he was honored for his bravery, the ramifications of the event weighed heavily upon him. He was last seen on the evening of November 26, 1921, on a passenger ship bound from New York City to Havana, and is presumed to have committed suicide by jumping overboard, but no trace of him was ever found.