WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profile: Anna Andis 1889-1943

To view this or another nurse profile at any time, click the “WWI Profile” link beside the nurse’s name on Fort Caswell WWI Nurses, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Source: Findagrave
Anna Lucille “Lou” Andis Cleveland
Johnson City, TN
Army Nurse Corps

October 5, 1918 – January 15, 1919
Fort Caswell, US Army Post Hospital:
October 5, 1918 – January 15, 1919

Anna Lucille “Lou” Andis was born and raised in Jonesville, VA.

The 1900 Census, when Lou was 11 years old, listed her father as a farmer. There were eight children, all living. Lou was the third eldest sibling and the eldest daughter. Her older brothers were working on the family farm. All siblings over age 5 were reportedly reading, writing, and attending school.

In 1910, Lou was living in Johnson City, TN, with her younger sister who had recently married. Lou’s brother-in-law was employed as a salesman. Lou was employed as a trained nurse.

According to The Comet (Johnsonville, TN), 01 Jul 1909; p.1; her younger sister’s marriage was “a notable event in social circles.” Lou served as maid of honor. The bride was reportedly a “most popular young lady” and the groom “is a successful young business man of Johnson City, where he holds a responsible position with the Summers-Parrott Hardware company.”

Jonesville, VA, is in the far western part of Virginia. Johnson City, TN, is actually east of Jonesville, VA, and NE of Asheville, NC, about halfway between Jonesville, VA, and Asheville.

The 1913 Johnson City, TN, City Directory, the earliest directory in which Lou appears, shows Lucile Andes (both names misspelled) as an apprentice nurse at Memorial Hospital, living at the hospital. It was common to live at the hospital while training.
Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA,

The next year, the nurses were listed in the City Directory as shown. It is assumed that Lou had completed the training program.
Source: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

On October 5, 1918, Lou enlisted in the Army Nursing Corps as Anna Andis. She served at Fort Caswell Post Hospital and was discharged on January 15, 1919.
Source: The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Dec., 1918), pp. 60, excerpt shown below

Lou’s younger brother Guy Herbert Andis served in WWI in the 117th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.
Source: World War Record of Ex-Soldiers of Washington County, State of Tennessee; Page 10

Lou remained in Johnson City, TN, according to city directories until some time after 1935. She married Wilbur Cleveland in Miami, FL, sometime before the 1940 Census. (Wilbur divorced a woman named Ann in 1936, then married Anna Lucille “Lou” Andis, which created complications due to their similar names.)

Wilbur and Lou remained married until her death, as her death certificate shows. Lou died in 1943, at age 54, after spending 6 months in the VA Hospital in Asheville, NC. The cause of death was cervical cancer.

The following obituaries were published.

Mrs. Wilbur Cleveland
A nurse of World War I, Mrs. Wilbur Cleveland, 50, died in a hospital in Asheville, N.C., Wednesday morning. Word of her death was received by a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Charles W. Cleveland, 1227 S. W. 11th ave. The deceased had lived in Miami at 3030 S. W. 25th terrace the last five years, coming here from Asheville. She was well known here, in North Carolina and in Tennessee as a nurse. Funeral services will be held in her home town, Johnson City, Tenn.
The Miami News, 30 Sept. 1943, p. 13.

Mrs. Wilbur Cleveland
Mrs. Wilbur Cleveland of Miami, Fla., formerly of Johnson City, Tenn., died yesterday at 8:30 a.m. in an Asheville hospital following an illness of several months.

The body will be sent by the Morris-Gearing funeral home to Johnson City for funeral services and burial today. The Morris funeral home will be in charge of services in Johnson City.

Mrs. Cleveland, a nurse in World War I, is survived by her husband, Wilbur Cleveland of Miami; her mother, Mrs. W.H. Andis of 22 Kenilworth road, and four sisters, Mrs. George M. Hyder of 22 Kenilworth road, Mrs. Alton Riley of New Town, Ind., and Mrs. M.S. Smith of Roanoke, Va., and Mrs. Lon Smith of Jonesville, Va.
Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), 30 Sept. 1943, p. 2.

Anna Lucille Andis Cleveland was laid to rest in Johnson City, TN. Her husband Wilbur passed away over 30 years later.

Four years later, in 1947, a military flat marker was ordered for her gravesite. The marker was requested by Mrs. John W. Moulton. Her connection to Lou is unclear.

If you would like to help us honor Anna Lucille “Lou” Andis Cleveland or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

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WWI Fort Caswell nurse profiles begin next week

Source: Oteen Newsletter, October 4, 1919
“If Doughboys Gave Medals”
Beside the brave fighting men of WWI were the women of the Red Cross and American Nurse Corps. Fourteen of these courageous women were identified as serving in Fort Caswell during WWI. These women’s lives will be shared in the coming weeks.

Navy Nurse Susan Adkins Williams from Southport was introduced in one of the first Brunswick County WWI Profiles posted on the website. WWI began the shift to viewing women as competent contributors both in war and at home. The diary used in Nurse Williams’ profile gives a clear picture of the physical and mental strength required to serve overseas. To read a short article about WWI nurses serving overseas, visit https://www.womensmemorial.org/exhibits/detail/?s=world-war-i-nurses-the-journal-of-emma-elizabeth-weaver

These women chose to serve. What motivated them to join the war effort? A look into their lives may help answer that question but there are no obvious answers. Some had both parents, some lost one, one was an orphan. Some were the oldest children in the family, others were the youngest. Some were relatively wealthy, others came from more disadvantaged backgrounds. All of them relocated, at least briefly, to cities for training.

One immigrated from Germany. Two were born and raised in NC, one relocated to NC (Asheville) for nursing training and remained in NC throughout her life.

During World War I,

  • 5 served only at Fort Caswell.
  • 7 served in multiple locations.
  • 3 served overseas.

After World War I,

  • 7 continued serving.
  • 2 of those continued serving in the US Navy.
  • 1 served in World War II, became the first Navy nurse to win the Bronze Star, and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

In their life after service,

  • 8 were married.
  • None had children.
  • 1 died at age 33 (tuberculosis)
  • 3 died in their 50s.
  • 3 lived into their 90s, with one dying at age 99.

ANC Pin from WWI; Source of Pin: NC DNR
The American Nurse Corps (ANC) was formed in 1901 after the Spanish American War in which 1500 nurses were contracted to help. A permanent nursing corps was deemed necessary. The Red Cross recruited reserve nurses, while the ANC included active duty nurses.

Posters such as the one shown below lured women to become trained nurses. Only graduate nurses were eligible for serving in WWI.

“The minimum educational requirement is one year of high school work. The profession, however, offers almost unlimited opportunities for high school and college graduates. During training the students receive full maintenance, also books, uniforms and a monthly allowance of $25.00. Free elective post-graduate courses are open to graduates.

“The schools in the Department of Public Welfare, New York City, also Bellevue School, afford the best of facilities for a broad general training.

“Address the Principal of the following registered Schools for further information –
Bellevue Hospital School, East 26th Street – New York City
City Hospital School – Blackwell’s Island, New York City
Cumberland Street Hospital School, Cumberland Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kings County Hospital School – Clarkson Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Metropolitan Hospital School – Blackwell’s Island, New York City”

When the US entered WWI, there were only 403 nurses on active duty. By November 1918, there were 21,460 with 10,000 serving overseas. By one estimate, 1/3 of nurses in the US served with the military during WWI.

These were the requirements for US Army nurses. Some requirements were changed during the war in order to admit more nurses.

  • US citizens – later changed to accept citizens of Allied countries
  • female
  • unmarried
  • between 25 and 35 years of age – later changed to 21-45 years of age
  • Caucasian
  • Graduates of training schools offering theoretical and practical nursing
  • Appointed by the Surgeon General with the approval of the Secretary of War
  • All applicants had to be individually considered, especially regarding physical examinations before and after appointment.

No member of the ANC was assigned to overseas service against her will.

According to Volume V of the Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, published in 1921-1929 by the Government Printing Office, “The part played by the post hospitals in the care of the sick and wounded during the World War was, perforce, relatively small.” Unless the post hospitals were at large recruit depots like Fort Jay or Fort Leavenworth, they had few personnel and the senior medical officer on duty was in charge of the hospital while also serving as post surgeon.

A chart in the referenced document (page 394) that lists the number of personnel in United States Army Post Hospitals shows that the majority had no nurses whatsoever. One post hospital with a list of the number of nurses broken down by month matches fairly closely to Fort Caswell: Chief Nurse Nellie E. Davis began in March 1918 with a staff of 7, swelling to 13 during the influenza pandemic in the fall-winter of 1918, dropping gradually as nurses left for other posts or overseas until March 1919 when all nurses were discharged.

US nurses overseas worked on surgical teams, hospital trains, hospital ships, and in all sorts of hospitals: field hospitals, mobile units, base hospitals, evacuation hospitals, camp hospitals, and convalescent hospitals. They often worked 14-18 hour shifts for weeks at a time. They served on shock, gas, orthopedic, and surgical specialty teams where they could be moved to the front lines in groups of five or six.

All of this was accomplished while wearing full length dresses! Initially the dresses were required to be white, but in order to free up time to care for the wounded rather than cleaning their white clothing, nurses were given permission to wear gray uniforms.

“All white is the dress uniform of the Red Cross nurse in foreign service, where its wearing, for laundry purposes has to be a luxury. But sometimes a wounded man is decorated in the ward, or a General may visit; almost certainly then the nurse will wear dress uniform as a mark of honor, and one which is dramatic in its symbolism. Nurses of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps wear the same uniform, with their insignia the Caduceus of the Army or anchor of the Navy replacing the Red Cross pin. They retain the Red Cross on the cap, however, if they have entered military service from the Red Cross reserve.”

“This is the Nurses’ uniform that wounded soldiers know best – the gray cotton crepe working uniform of the Red Cross Army and Navy Nurse, which makes its wearer “the best dressed woman in the world.” Gray is an innovation used abroad made necessary by the laundry problem in France. The Red Cross brassard is worn only by nurses serving directly under the Red Cross.”

“Stormy weather attire is the same in the Red Cross or Army and Navy service, the only difference being in the insignia. The heavy ulster was worn often in the sleeping tents as well as the out-of-doors during the rigors of last winter in France. Though the nurses who had tent quarters in base hospitals maintained that they were as warm as those within solid walls, during the almost fuel-less months.”

272 US Army nurses died of disease. Those who died during their Army service were buried with military honors.

Three nurses were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and 23 the Distinguished Service Medal.

  • Nurses held no rank.
    • In 1920, they were authorized to retain ranks from 2nd Lieutenant to Major.
    • In 1947, the Army Nurse Corps was established as a staff corps, with officers holding permanent commissioned rank from second lieutenant to lieutenant colonel.
  • Their pay was half that of soldiers with the same rank.
  • They were neither enlisted nor commissioned personnel.
    • In 1944, military status was granted by Congress.
  • African American nurses could join but could not serve in the war.
  • Men were prohibited.
    • The first man was commissioned in 1955.

The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. These women accelerated the changing views of what women could accomplish. To learn more, listen to episode #125 of the WWI Centennial podcast.

Nurses assigned to Fort Caswell were discovered by searching “Nursing News and Announcements” in the issues of The American Journal of Nursing in the relevant years. The list of fourteen may not be complete.

More details were found when the nurses lived in small communities with archived newspapers. Larger cities rarely published details about them in their society pages or included obituaries.

A few references were found in the Wilmington newspapers.

Dora Bell in March 1918:

Bertha Jost in June 1918:

Anna Loveland in December 1918:

The Army Nurse Corps Association
Army Medical Department
The History of American Red Cross Nursing
Posters from Library of Congress
Photographs from National Archives

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Memorial Day 2019

We will not forget.

The 23 Brunswick County men who gave their lives in World War I

Killed in Action: Died of Disease:
PFC Walter S Brock PVT William F Brooks
PVT Harvey T Chadwick PFC John W Carlisle
PVT Jimmie Griffin PVT Carl J Danford
PFC Erastus Iredell Nelson Cook David L Dosher
PVT Harry Langdon Pigott Seaman James C Edwards
CPL Herbert B Ward SGT Robert G Farmer
PVT Manning Hall
Died of Wounds: PVT Claudie Hall McCall
PVT William Cross Hewett PVT Elijah Milliken
PVT Benjamin B Smith PVT Kendrick W Outlaw
PVT Cecil Smith Pierce
PVT Samuel C Swain
PVT Guy Ellis Watson
PVT David Williams
PVT Fred Wilson


Soldiers on our WWI Wall of Honor who gave their lives

Killed in Action: Died of Accident:
CPL Russell Kellogg Bourne PVT James Hemphill
SGT Richard J. Dennis
PFC Louis “Lolly” B. Doerr Died of Wounds:
Mech Dona J. Dugal PVT Edward Clarkson Bonnell
PFC Wilmer H. Eicke
PVT Ben W. O. Hildebrandt Died of Disease:
PFC Robert Anthony Strzempek PFC Vito Copola
PVT Carl F. Greene


The Brunswick County World War I Monument

“Dedicated to the men and women from Brunswick County, NC
who served their country during World War I
with Honor, Courage, and Commitment”

Center photo courtesy of Christine Urick

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WWI Profile: Harry Clayton Chinnis 1888-1946

To view this or an earlier profile at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Photo courtesy of Jane B. Henry.
Private Harry Chinnis (right) is Jane B. Henry’s maternal grandmother’s brother.

Harry Clayton Chinnis
Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private, First Class

October 7, 1917 – August 9, 1919
April 24, 1918 – August 1, 1919

Harry Clayton Chinnis was born and raised in Brunswick County. A family tree is located in FamilySearch. Harry had a brother who also served, Joseph Wheeler Chinnis. Joseph had enlisted in the National Guard in 1916 when he was 18 years old, then served in WWI with the 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. In 1922, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving in WWII. He retired in 1948.

Harry’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was single, living in Winnabow, and working in a sawmill in Bolivia.

Harry was married in April 1917, then ordered to report for military duty on October 3, 1917 [Source: Ancestry]. He and five other men were sent to Camp Jackson for training. Pvt Chinnis’ NC WWI Service Card shows he was serving with the 331st Infantry, but it appears to be a typo and should read 321st Infantry, 81st “Wildcat” Division. This assumption is based on the training camp and the assignments of the five men who were drafted with him.

The 5th Division was organized in December and Pvt Chinnis was transferred in February 1918 to the 11th Infantry. Some information about the division and other Brunswick County men who served can be found starting with Pvt Barfie Randel Long’s WWI Profile. Pvt Chinnis left for France in April.

Pvt Chinnis did not take part in the operation detailed in Pvt Long’s profile. A new branch of service in the Army for the Military Police was formed in July 1918. In August, Pvt Chinnis became a member of this new branch, assigned to III Corps, MP Company.

The US Army realized an increased and focused Military Police force was necessary due to the volume of prisoners of war, the challenges of traffic control, and the responsibilities typical for a police force. Merely controlling traffic had become overwhelming due to the number of troops, vehicles, and horses trying to navigate the muddy conditions in France. Gridlock often forced delays in operations.

Recall from Cpl Herbert Ward’s WWI Profile the description of the first All American Offensive at St. Mihiel at the beginning of September 1918, an operation that was secret and therefore required night marches:

The weather was one continuous downpour of rain; the roads were slippery and wound over steep hills and through wet woods; as the organization approached the lines the traffic on the highways grew denser and denser until those arteries were solid-streams of vehicles and men, with a current in each direction.

Orders were that the artillery should be in the sector and in position by September 8th; but the enormous traffic on the roads, the scarcity and wretched condition of the horses and the incessant rain made it impossible to complete the march on time. Forage was scarce, water was often unobtainable. Horses died along the road or had to be abandoned to the mercy of French peasants. The muddy ground made the entrances and exits of woods extremely difficult; sometimes as much as three hours were consumed merely in getting organizations out of the woods and on the road. The strain on men and animals was terrific. Sleep was almost unheard of.

The following continues that description. [From the same source The Official History of the Fifth Division]:

The M.P.’s were given their first real test in handling the traffic on the roads leading to the front. They were handicapped by lack of experience in such jams. Officers and men exhausted themselves in the gigantic task of keeping the roads clear, many doing forty-eight-hour shifts without sleep.

One M. P. knew his job thoroughly. As this traffic cop was patrolling a road reserved for animal-drawn transportation, a big automobile tried to force its way through. The M. P. promptly halted the machine, with the threat, “I’ll shoot if you move another inch.” He probably didn’t notice the four stars. The Commander-in-Chief of the A. E. F. alighted from his auto and congratulated the private with the remark, “You are the first M. P. I have found doing his duty.”

The photograph of Pvt Chinnis at top can be enlarged to show many details of his uniform. On the lower half of his left sleeve, his chevron shows he has served six months overseas. His MP armband is also on his left sleeve. Overseas, the Americans adopted the British style shown here, black wool with the red “MP” cut in red felt. [Source] His shoulder insignia is III Corps.

October 1918, he was promoted to Private, First Class.

Pfc Chinnis boarded USS Minnesotan on July 23, 1919, and was honorably discharged on August 9, 1919. The 1920 Census lists him living with his wife’s family in Town Creek, working in a sawmill. He later owned and farmed his land and raised a daughter with his wife.

Tragically, Harry Clayton Chinnis committed suicide on July 7, 1946, at age 57, an apparent reaction to his failing health, according to a local newspaper article. He was laid to rest at Vines Cemetery in Winnabow. Military honors are shown.

If you would like to help us honor Harry Clayton Chinnis or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

Click the category: Veteran Profile here or at the bottom of any veteran profile post to see all of the veteran profiles published. Follow or subscribe to the blog to stay updated on all new profiles.

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Bands were a hit at Dinner, Derby & Dance


It may have been hot, but the bands were hotter!

Despite the controversy regarding the Derby winner at Churchhill Downs, Kentucky, the unsung heroes of the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range fundraiser on May 4, 2019, were the bands: Trilogy, Three to Get Ready and Jimmy on the keyboard.

Both bands and Jimmy offered the talents of music to the primary fundraiser for the restoration of the World War I, National Historic Preservation site in Caswell Beach, the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran and the future book to be published and placed in the schools and libraries. The rifle pit was once a training location for soldiers in defense of our country in 1918, until the end of the Great War and WW II. The site, long neglected, has been the beneficiary of grants, pro bono services, and fund raising dollars for eight years.

Three to Get Ready

The bands providing entertainment for the Derby Day event donated their costs to the cause. Peter Borgia of Three to Get Ready, Jimmy Maglio of Trilogy, and fellow band members kept the audience on its feet for the four hour, Dinner, Derby, and Dance, at the fire station in Caswell Beach Town, NC. Representing several genres of music, the event began with the smooth jazz sounds of Three to Get Ready, and concluded the evening with a rock and roll journey to the sounds of Trilogy. During the dinner hour, Jimmy Maglio and Paul Wood enhanced the dining experience with a piano and saxophone duo.

Besides the musical event there were Best Hat and Best Dressed Couple contests.

Richard & Jean Malinofsky won Best Dressed Couple;
Pat Rizzo won Best Hat, Female; and
David Smith won Best Hat, Male.

A 50/50 raffle, Kentucky Derby betting, Themed Baskets for the silent auction, and a fantastic buffet, hosted by Turtle Island catering, completed the evening festivities. Over $2000 was raised. Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range are grateful for the generous contributions of the sponsors, the town of Caswell Beach for the use of the public facility building (fire station), and the support of those who attended.

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WWI Profile: William Winfield Millinor 1890-1926

To view this or an earlier profile at any time, click on the veteran’s name on the WWI Brunswick County Veteran list, which is also accessible by the blue button on the top right of the webpage.

Photo contributed by Jane B. Henry.
Private Millinor is her paternal grandmother’s brother.
William Winfield Millinor
Fish Factory, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
April 2, 1918 – December 11, 1919

William “Willie” Winfield Millinor was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch.

The 1900 Census and the 1910 Census show him living in Southport with his parents.

On December 16, 1913, Willie married Katie Gore. Their only child was born the following year, September 16, 1914, which is also the date of death of Katie Millinor, apparently dying during childbirth.

His WWI Draft Registration shows he was living in Southport, single (actually widowed), supporting one child, and working as a laborer for Captain J.F. Bussells at Neptune Fisheries. According to newspapers at the time, Neptune removed the oil from the fish and used the scrap for fertilizer.

Willie was ordered to report for duty on April 2, 1918 [Source:Ancestry] and sent to Camp Jackson, NC.

On April 24, he went to Medical Detachment, Embarkation Hospital, at Camp Stuart, VA. At the same time, Brunswick County Privates Guy Ellis Watson and Roy McKeithan (later Sgt) were assigned, presumably making the trip with him.

Note: More Brunswick County men could have served there. NC WWI Service cards of those serving in Medical Detachment units do not always include the location of the hospital.

The WWI Profile for Guy Ellis Watson included some details of the responsibilities of those serving at the Camp Stuart hospital. It is not known what role Private Millinor held. Camp Stuart was the largest single embarkation camp of the war and the hospital served an important role in sending healthy soldiers to France.

On February 22, 1919, Private Millinor was transferred from the embarkation hospital to the debarkation hospital as the focus turned from sending soldiers to France to receiving the returning soldiers.

Private Millinor was honorably discharged in December 11, 1919, serving longer than usual, likely due to being crucial for processing soldiers from overseas.

In 1920, it appears that his parents (C.T. Milander) and one brother (C.C. Milander) and his family were living in Southport. Willie could not be located in census records, although his son, George Atwood Millinor, was located in Town Creek, living with his maternal grandmother.

William “Willie” Winfield Millinor died in a one-car accident, hitting a telegraph pole, on August 22, 1926, at the age of 35. He was laid to rest in Drew Cemetery in Winnabow. No photograph is available to verify whether military honors are shown.

Source: The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Volume IV, Activities Concerning Mobilization Camps and Ports of Embarkation. Washington : US Govt Printing Office : 1928, Chapter 24

If you would like to help us honor William Winfield Millinor or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

Click here for the announcement: Announcement: Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran
Click here for directions to donate and honor a veteran: How to Honor a Brunswick County World War I Veteran

Click the category: Veteran Profile here or at the bottom of any veteran profile post to see all of the veteran profiles published. Follow or subscribe to the blog to stay updated on all new profiles.

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May 7, 2019: Dedication of the Robert Bollie Stanley military style marker

On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range, along with members of the Brunswick Town Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, paid tribute to Pvt Robert Bollie Stanley, WWI Brunswick County veteran and only known POW.

The flat military style marker which was installed and dedicated was purchased with funds donated by Allen Dunstan, an out of town visitor who was deeply touched by Pvt Stanley’s sacrifice.

Seven of Pvt Stanley’s descendants along with a friend attended the ceremony and received the thanks and recognition for his sacrifice.

The family members, pictured from left to right.

  • Vivian Stanley, granddaughter
  • Leroy Hill, grandson
  • Ellis Stanley, cousin
  • Deborah Bolin, granddaughter
  • Fred Stanley, grandson
  • Anna White, granddaughter
  • Joe Stanley, cousin

Norma Eckard read a short biography during the ceremony.

Robert Bollie Stanley was born and raised in Shallotte.

He was called to duty for World War I on March 29, 1918, training in Camp Grant, Illinois. Pvt Stanley served with the 92nd Division, nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers” in honor of African American troops who served in the American West after the Civil War. There were only two divisions in World War I having African American combat units, the 92nd “Buffalo Soldiers” and the 93rd “Blue Hat” Divisions.

Robert Stanley was one of only nine known African American men from Brunswick County who served in a combat position.

During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, on October 29, 1918, Pvt Stanley was captured by the enemy. He was released about a month later, on November 27, 1918. Pvt Stanley returned to America on March 24, 1919, with his right leg amputated at the thigh. He was discharged from the US Army on August 25, 1919, with a 95% disability.

Robert Bollie Stanley married and raised several children. He was laid to rest on September 22, 1961, at age 66.

Pvt Robert Bollie Stanley’s WWI Profile can be read for more details here.

During the dedication ceremony, Joe Stanley unveiled the marker. After the prayer, “Taps” was played.

The script for the ceremony is available here: Robert Bollie Stanley Dedication Ceremony

The family shared a photo of Pvt Stanley in uniform, which stirred emotions as we recalled his sacrifices.

Following the dedication of the marker, the family members were invited to share stories of Pvt Stanley.

Fred “Stan” Stanley, grandson, was adopted by his grandfather and raised like a son. Pvt Stanley raised several young children on his own after the death of his wife at a young age. Stan remembered him being in frequent pain, but rarely complained. Stan and his grandfather were always together.

Stan was 17 years old when his grandfather suffered a stroke. Delaying his entrance into the Navy, he stayed with his grandfather until he “took his last breath” in September.

Both Stan and Joe Stanley, cousin, commented that their grandfather never spoke about WWI.

Deborah Bolin, granddaughter, was wearing a brooch owned by her mother, Pvt Stanley’s daughter. She shared that her mother was very special to her.

Joe Stanley remarked that Pvt Stanley was “a fabulous man.”

Stan shared more information via email after the ceremony, including this comment.

“God has blessed me and allowed me to see and do so much, and even more so, allowed me to witness such an amazing recognition of my grandfather’s sacrifice.”  ~Fred “Stan” Stanley

More memories may be added later.

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National School Nurse Day

Today is National School Nurse Day.

School nursing is not a typical topic on a WWI and historical preservation blog. However, there is a small connection.

The WWI Profiles of Brunswick County veterans are about to end. Profiles for the Fort Caswell WWI nurses will begin and they were an impressive group of women.

It just happens that two of the nurses who served at Fort Caswell during WWI became school nurses after the war.

Ida Estelle Trollinger was employed as a Wake County Raleigh City School Nurse for many years, then became Head Nurse in the Infirmary at North Carolina State College (now NC State University).

Frances Cordelia “Fannie” Boulware was Head Nurse in the Infirmary at Furman University (Greenville, SC).

These were the women who cared for Brunswick County WWI soldiers at Fort Caswell, then may have cared for them or their children or grandchildren at school after the war.

The WWI Fort Caswell Nurse Profiles will begin in a few weeks.

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Honoring Pvt Robert Bollie Stanley: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range and the Brunswick Town Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will honor Pvt Robert Bollie Stanley tomorrow with the installation of a military style marker.

The funds for this marker were donated by Allen Dunstan, an out of town visitor who was deeply touched by Pvt Stanley’s sacrifice.

Read more here:
Donor honors WWI POW Robert Bollie Stanley with military marker

Pvt Stanley is buried in Stanley Cemetery in Shallotte. The ceremony will begin at 11 am.

WWI Profiles will resume next week.

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Dinner, Derby, & Dance this Saturday

Tickets still available. Call now!

May 4, 2019 (Saturday) 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Fundraiser: Dinner, Derby and Dance
New! Click to view program/handout
Click to view flyers
Location: Caswell Beach Town Public Facility Building
Hat contests, 50/50, Churchill Downs Betting, Blind Pool, Raffle for a Cause, Mint Juleps & much more!
Music by Trilogy & Three to Get Ready.
Catering by Turtle Island Restaurant & Catering

  • Call 278-7584 for tickets

Beautiful themed baskets to benefit the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range have been assembled.

Read more about the baskets here.

All proceeds from the event will be used to continue the preservation of the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range, an Official National WWI Centennial Memorial; and to help publish the book through the Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran program that began in 2017.

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