WWI Profile: Jesse James Leonard 1892-1970

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.

Source: findagrave

Jesse James Leonard
Shallotte, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
October 4, 1917 – April 17, 1919
Overseas:
June 5, 1918 – April 11, 1919
Wounded: October 9, 1918

Jesse James Leonard was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is in FamilySearch.

His 1917 Draft Registration Card shows he was married, farming, and living in Shallotte. He was married to Mary Lillian Grissett on December 6, 1916.

Jesse was ordered to report to duty on October 4, 1917 [Source: ancestry.com]. Private Leonard was initially assigned to Company M, 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division, then moved to Company D. He eventually began training at Camp Sevier, SC, as reported in previous posts.

As mentioned in a previous post, Private Leonard, along with Private Pigott, was scheduled to depart for France on May 17, 1918, but did not board the USS Miltiades with their Companies. Instead, both boarded Ascanius on June 5, with many other soldiers of the 30th Division who were detached from their units, for reasons unknown.

Multiple posts have included the horrific details of the Hindenburg Line and the many who were wounded or died during the assault. Private Leonard was not wounded at that time, but in the push afterward. Refer to the WWI Profile post of 1st Sgt Van Grissett Mintz for more details of these operations from the 119th Infantry documents. The 120th Infantry followed similar orders.

On October the 1st, when the Division was withdrawn from the [Hindenburg] line, this Regiment moved by marching to the Tincourt Area. On October the 2nd the movement continued, the Regiment marching to Belloy, west of Peronne.

(To zoom in further, use the map from the Source.)

This area had been fought over for four years, changing hands time and again; as a result, it was a perfect example of destruction–of many villages nothing remained, no one would have known a house had ever existed but for the signboard marking the site. It was hard to realize that this, the Somme Country, had at one time been the most productive part of France.

On October the 5th the Regiment returned to the Tincourt Area, and on October the 6th the movement continued to Villeret.

Private Leonard’s NC Service Card shows he was wounded on October 10, but it was crossed out and changed to October 9.

Mistakes were made during the operations that followed.

On the afternoon of October 8, the 120th Infantry moved to Joncourt, but left the 1st and 2nd Battalions [Companies A-H, which includes Pvt Leonard’s Company D] as reserve battalions for the 117th and 118th Infantries. The 117th and 118th Infantries were attacking near Montbrehain. Companies A and B of the 120th Infantry were being used in the front line near Premont, while Pvt Leonard’s Company D was used in the taking and mopping up of Brancourt.

At 2:00 am on October 9, the 120th was ordered to join the 118th to hold the general line Premont-Brancourt in an attack to be launched at 5:30 am. Three and a half hours is a very short time in which to prepare orders and distribute them to the troops. The 120th had to regain Companies A-H, which were still under the 118th’s command.

The orders were quickly prepared and distributed to those Companies and support units present with the 120th. They were surprised to learn that the 118th Infantry had notified their own units but never notified the Companies of the 120th Infantry to return to their own Regiment. Companies A-H were still operating as if they were under the previous orders and command of the 118th. Companies A-H were essentially abandoned and forgotten as they moved through the area locating and “mopping up” isolated enemy troops.

In spite of the lack of assistance given by [the 118th Infantry] the battalions were located, and the battalion commanders by almost superhuman effort collected their companies and followed the 118th Infantry–the 2nd Battalion on the right, the 1st Battalion on the left, and the 3rd Battalion in support. In this and in future engagements the 3rd Battalion, in support, was engaged shortly after the attacking battalions went into action. This Regiment was to pass through the 118th Infantry, when it reached its objective, and should have done so about 10:00 A. M.

The 118th was held up, however, by machine gun fire from the right, and this Regiment did not pass through and take its objective until 4:00 P. M. The villages of Becquigny and La Haie Meneresse and the Bois De Busigny were taken, and a platoon from the 3rd Battalion was diverted to assist in taking the town of Bohain, where the unit on the right was held up.

It’s not known whether these mistakes played a role in the wounding of Pvt Leonard, but he was wounded during these operations of October 9.

On the morning of the 10th the advance continued, and after severe fighting the town of Vaux Andigny was taken. This position was enfiladed from the Bellvue Farm on the right, and, as the right of the Regiment was nearly 3,000 yards in the air, the troops were withdrawn a few hundred yards to the western edge of Vaux Andigny.

On the morning of the 11th the 118th Infantry, who had come up too late to take care of the right of this Regiment, attacked through this Regiment, but was unable to advance more than 200 yards.

Between October 7th and October 12th, 1918, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
38 KIA
319 Wounded
1 POW

There are no details on Pvt Leonard’s wound. It was described as “slight” but the recovery period was unknown. He may have returned later, but given that the war ended soon after and little action was seen by the 120th after October 20, most of the fighting would likely have been completed by the time he was fit for duty.

Pvt Leonard returned to the United States with his Company on April 11, 1919. He was honorably discharged on April 17th and returned to Shallotte and his wife.

Jesse James Leonard and his wife lost at least two small children, as shown in findagrave, but also had at least two other children.

Tragically, his son, Mahlon Mallory Leonard, died while serving in Germany during World War II. The December 20, 1944 issue of the State Port Pilot reported him wounded. This was followed by his death on June 8, 1945, in a auto-truck accident in Germany. His funeral was reported in the September 14, 1948 issue of the State Port Pilot.

Funeral Sunday for Pvt. Leonard

Mahlon M. Leonard Laid To Rest Sunday In Gurganus Cemetery Following Graveside Services

Killed in an auto-truck accident in Luxomburg, Germany, on June 8, 1945, the body of Mahlon M. Leonard, well known 24-year old Shallotte Village Point man, was brought home last week and interred in the Gurganus cemetery near Shallotte, Sunday.

Funeral services were held at the graveside with Rev. Austin J. Wheeler and Rev. B.W. English, both of Wilmington.

Private Leonard is survived by his widow, Mrs. Laura A. Leonard, and a small son, Malory B. Leonard; his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse J. Leonard, and a sister, Miss Connie L. Leonard.

Jesse James Leonard passed away in 1970 at age 78. He was laid to rest in Gurganus Cemetery with his wife, and the three children who preceded him in death. Military honors are shown.

Information regarding the 120th Infantry was gathered from Official History of the 120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, From August 5, 1917, to April 17, 1919. Canal Sector Ypres-Lys Offensive Somme Offensive

If you would like to help us honor Jesse James Leonard 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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Graveside Honors: Private George Finnis Willetts 1894-1956

Kenny Jones, Sue Jones Jordan, and Mary Willetts Earp are pictured here honoring their uncle, Private George Finnis Willetts, at his graveside in Sharon United Methodist Church Cemetery, Holden Beach, Brunswick County, NC.

Private Willetts has been honored with a donation by his granddaughters Darlene Willetts McGee, Joann Willetts Neal, and Beth Willetts Osborne.

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range are encouraging donors and supporters to honor Brunswick County WWI veterans by submitting photos of themselves at the gravesides. Use the Cemeteries list to locate gravesites for Brunswick County WWI veterans.

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WWI Profile: Harry Langdon Pigott 1894-1918

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.

American Soldiers killed during the Hindenburg Line assault

Harry Langdon Pigott
Shallotte, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
September 18, 1917 – September 29, 1918
Overseas:
June 5, 1918 – September 29, 1918
KIA: September 29, 1918

Harry Langdon Pigott was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is in FamilySearch.

His 1917 Draft Registration Card shows he was married, farming, and living in Shallotte. He was married to Annie Eliza Milliken on December 15, 1916.

Harry was ordered to report to duty on September 18, 1917. [Source: ancestry.com] Records show his wife was pregnant at the time. Private Pigott was assigned to Company M, 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division, and eventually began training at Camp Sevier, SC, as reported in previous posts. In December, his daughter Rosalind Pigott was born.

Private Pigott, along with Private Jesse James Leonard, were scheduled to depart for France on May 17, 1918, but did not board the USS Miltiades with their Companies. Instead, both boarded Ascanius on June 5, with many other soldiers of the 30th Division who were detached from their units, for reasons unknown.

Soon after departing, Pvt Pigott’s small daughter passed away. She had survived only five months, dying on June 9, 1918, from whooping cough. [Source: ancestry.com] She was laid to rest where her father would eventually join her, at Gurganus Cemetery in Shallotte.

Multiple posts have included the horrific details of the Hindenburg Line and the many who were wounded or died during the assault. Private Pigott was KIA on September 29, 1918.

Pvt Harry Langdon Pigott gave his life for what has been called the turning point of the war. Pvt Pigott and the courageous men of the 120th Infantry were the first Allied troops to break the line. It was also the Great War’s deadliest day for NC.

Between September 29th and October 1st, 1918, the three days of the Hindenburg Assault, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
202 KIA
759 Wounded

Pvt Pigott’s remains were returned to the United States on April 3, 1921. [Source: ancestry.com] He was laid to rest in Gurganus Cemetery with his daughter. His headstone shows that he was Killed in Action [Source: findagrave].

This concludes the Brunswick County soldiers who died or were wounded breaking the Hindenburg Line, the conflict that led to the end of the war.

These words were written in 1923: [Source: Library of Congress]

The 2nd American Corps, under Maj. Gen. Geo. W. Read, consisting of the 27th and 30th American Divisions, was not with the main American army at the Marne and St. Mihiel and in the Meuse-Argonne. It served throughout the war with the British armies. Consequently the work of the New Yorkers of the 27th and of the Carolinians and the Tennesseans of the 30th has been somewhat obscured in our histories.

The Canal Tunnel sector of the German line north of St. Quentin was tremendously fortified, with passageways running out from the main tunnel to hidden machine gun nests. Into these nests the German gunners returned after the American assaulting waves had passed, and poured a destructive fire into their rear. But through everything the men of the New York and the “Old Hickory” divisions forced their way, supported by the Australians, until the fortified zone was conquered in one of the most desperate single conflicts of the war.

“In fact, in analyzing the records of our state’s dead, we now know that the September 29, 1918, charge on the Hindenburg Line was North Carolina’s deadliest of the war.”Source

If you would like to help us honor Harry Langdon Pigott 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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In the News – June 2018

Click here or the NEWS selection at the top of the website to see the many stories in the media about the rifle range and Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran project.

As always, The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range appreciates the support of the local media!

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Independence Day 1918

Source of photos: Library of Congress

THE  A.E.F.  TO  AMERICA — July  4,  1918

On this anniversary of our independence, the officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces on the battlefields of France renew their pledges of fealty and devotion to our cause and country. The resolve of our forefathers that all men and all people should be free is their resolve. It is quickened by sympathy for an invaded people of kindred souls and the war challenge of an arrogant enemy. It is fortified by the united support of the American people.

(Signed)         PERSHING

The American entrance into the war was celebrated by Allied powers on July 4, 1918.

American troops marching through the Place d’Iena on July 4th, 1918, when all of Paris joined in celebrating the American Independence Day

French girls in a balcony over Avenue du President Wilson showering the American troops with flowers during the Fourth of July parade


Allied Representatives at the Belgian General Headquarters saluting the American flag during the United States Independence Day celebrations, 1918

Parade in honor of American Independence Day in Florence, Italy, 1918

A view of the parade on Fifth Avenue, 1918

The drawing below used for The Soldier’s Record represents the cooperation among the Allies.
In order of the illustrations: Cuba, England, France, Romania, America, Belgium, Italy, Serbia, Russia

Source: NC Archives
This Soldier’s Record is for John Wesley Eubank, NC
Click here for the original and to zoom in further.

Additional Reading:
The United States WWI Centennial Commission which was authorized by Congress to designate the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range an Official United States National WWI Centennial Memorial has a short post on the July 4th celebrations: The day the Stars and Stripes flew from Victoria tower

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WWI Profile: Hanson Hillard Leonard 1888-1936

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.

Source: The Charlotte News (Charlotte, NC) 08, Feb. 1919, p.9
Hanson Hillard Leonard
Southport, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
April 2, 1918 – April 18, 1919
Overseas:
May 17, 1918 – April 13, 1919
Wounded: September 19, 1918

Hanson Hillard was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch.

Hanson had a brother who also served, Stacy Harvey Leonard. See below for additional details about his brother’s service.

Hanson’s 1917 Draft Registration Card shows he was single and working as a farm hand for Hiram McKeithan in Southport.

Hanson was ordered to report to duty on April 2, 1918. [Source: ancestry.com] On April 26, he was assigned to Company I, 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Previous posts describe activities until September 1, 1918, when Private Edward Mills was wounded. A few days later, the Regiment was relieved by the British.

September 5th and 6th were devoted to cleaning up. The entire Regiment was deloused and bathed at “Kill Bug Station and Hop Factory,” each man receiving a clean suit of underwear. After a period in the line the little bugs were plentiful.

The Regiment trained until the end of September when the 30th Division broke the Hindenburg Line. While Pvt Leonard’s NC Service Card shows he was wounded September 19, the Official History of the 120th Infantry does not seem to indicate an opportunity. More telling is that the document does not include a list of wounded for the dates between September 5 – September 29. While it is possible that his wounds were received on the 19th, it is more likely that he was wounded during the breaking of the Hindenburg Line.

On the night of September 23, 1918, the Division was transferred to the 4th British Army, commanded by General Rawlinson. No one knew what was to take place, but each man in the Regiment felt the time had come for the Regiment to prove its worth.

The Regiment was formed in columns of twos on the road between Acheux and Forceville. Lorry after lorry rolled into place, and at 8:00 P. M. all troops were embussed and ready to move into the night.

All night long the movement continued through Albert, Peronne, Doingt, and along the marshy Somme. With the sky growing lighter in the east the Regiment debussed at Cartigny and marched to Tincourt. Once more the flash of guns and the burst of “Very lights” could be seen.

The same day the Regiment was joined by a detail of Australian officers and men, who were to give whatever assistance the Regiment might need; and from these Australians more was learned in the short period they were with the Regiment, particularly as regards the rationing of troops in the line, than in the entire period of training.

In the afternoon the Regiment marched to Hervilly. Regimental Headquarters was in the side of a sunken road. The troops were scattered wherever room could be found, the mass of artillery, infantry, and cavalry filling the entire country.

The Regiment learned that in front of it lay the hitherto impregnable positions of the Hindenburg Line, against which many fruitless attacks had been made; that the British Army had been given the task of fighting the only decisive battle in the World-War; that the place of honor in this attack between Cambria and St. Quentin had been given the 4th British Army; that the 30th Division, as part of the 4th British Army, would attack in the center with the 46th British on the right and the 27th American on the left; that the 119th and 120th Infantry Regiments had been selected to do the job, with the 117th Infantry to follow and attack to the right after crossing the Canal, and 118th Infantry as Divisional Reserve.

1920 Hindenburg Line model
Source: Library of Congress

This Regiment’s sector of the Hindenburg System consisted: First, of three rows of heavy barbed wire, woven so thick as to resemble a mass of vines and briars intermingled–each row was from thirty to forty feet in depth, and to which the artillery fire did but little damage; second, three rows of the Hindenburg trenches, on which four years of work had been spent; third, the backbone of the entire system, Bellicourt, the St. Quentin Canal Tunnel. This Canal passed for a distance of 6,000 yards underground from Le Catlet on the north to Recquval on the south.

It had been built by the Great Napoleon, and in some places was 193 feet underground. The Germans filled the Canal with barges, lighted it with electric lights, and fitted it with dressing stations. On the barges accommodations were provided for a division of troops, where they could rest secure from any shell-fire.

The end of the tunnel had been closed with ferro-concrete walls with openings left for machine gun. To the trench system and to the town of Bellicourt, overhead, ran concrete tunnels through which troops could move to reinforce the front line or to occupy the prepared positions in Bellicourt; third, the Catlet-Nauroy Line, a supporting system; and, fourth, the village of Nauroy, which had been prepared for defense.

Over the entire area were machine guns without number, not only the probable approaches, but every inch of front was covered by one or more guns.

The Germans believed the position could not be taken, and even when lost, prisoners would not believe it to be possible, and laughed at those who would tell them.

It was the turning point of the war.

Between September 29th and October 1st, 1918, the three days of the Hindenburg Assault, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
202 KIA
759 Wounded

Many months later, Pvt Hanson Leonard returned on USS Martha Washington with his Regiment in early April 1919, and was honorably discharged on April 18, 1919 with no disability. Nothing is known about his wound or recovery.

He married in 1928. The 1930 Census showed he was the father of two step-children. His life ended suddenly in 1936 at age 47. The 1940 Census shows he and his widowed wife had at least one child together.

Hanson Hillard Leonard was laid to rest in Pender County, where he was living at the time. There is no picture of his gravesite but an application for a military headstone was submitted and approved.

Additional details about his brother Stacy’s service

Stacy Leonard’s NC WWI Service Card shows he was a Private in 156 Depot Brigade. The Depot Brigades were to receive, train, equip, and forward replacements (both officers and enlisted men) to replacement divisions of the corps. Yet his military headstone lists “Pfc Co L, 20th Infantry.” Why the discrepancy?

Luckily, Pfc Stacy Leonard’s military headstone application was available on ancestry.com. The back shows that he enlisted in the National Guard on January 20, 1917, and was honorably discharged on September 16, 1917, with a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability (SCD). He was then ordered to duty (for the draft) on August 25, 1918. He served until December 6, 1918 when he was honorably discharged.

His injury or illness in 1917 had to have been recoverable as he passed the physical examination a year later and was accepted for duty. Unless it was a service related disability, he would not have received military disability in 1917.

This explained the discrepancy. As the highest rank achieved is credited, the Brunswick County Army/Marine WWI Veterans – Units, Dates Served was updated to reflect Private First Class. The units and dates served were modified to include both sets of service.

If you would like to help us honor Hanson Hillard Leonard 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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Booth at the 2018 NC 4th of July Festival in Southport

Visit Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range VP Russ Barlowe and other Representatives on

Tuesday, July 3, at Waterfront Park

in the Community Non-Profit Spotlight Booth from 11:00am – 5:00pm.

Available at the booth:
  • Notecards for sale, 5 for $5.00, featuring Helen Radcliffe’s gorgeous watercolor of the rifle range.
  • 5×7 prints for sale, $12.00
  • Certificates to Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran for a donation.
  • Pamphlets about the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range
  • Business cards
  • Forms to support the rifle range
  • Information about various events from past and future by the non-profit, which can be found on this website:
    • Recitation of Brunswick County WWI veterans at commemorations throughout the year
    • Designation as a National WWI Centennial Memorial
    • Onsite memorial plans
    • Book to be published (names are being collected of those interested in purchasing the book)

For more information about the festival, visit http://www.nc4thofjuly.com/
Events calendar and map here.

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Graveside Honors: Private Frederick Arnold Willetts 1895-1972

Kenny Jones, Sue Jones Jordan, and Mary Willetts Earp are pictured here honoring their uncle, Private Frederick Arnold Willetts, at his graveside in Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery , Wilmington, New Hanover County, NC.

Private Willetts has been honored with a donation by his Great-nieces Sue Jones Jordan and Maggie Faulkner Harper.

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range are encouraging donors and supporters to honor Brunswick County WWI veterans by submitting photos of themselves at the gravesides. Use the Cemeteries list to locate gravesites for Brunswick County WWI veterans.

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WWI Profile: Edward Anderson Mills 1891-1953

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.

Source: Rockingham Post-Dispatch (Rockingham, NC) 21, Nov. 1918, p.9

Edward Anderson Mills
Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
September 19, 1917 – February 11, 1919
Overseas:
May 17, 1918 – January 21, 1919
Wounded: September 1, 1918
(Note that Wagoner Dorman Mercer appears on the list. However, they did not serve in the same division.)

Edward Mills was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. His Draft Registration shows he was single, living at home, and working on the family farm.

Edward was ordered to report for duty on September 19, 1917. He was initially assigned to the 322nd Infantry (81st Division). Many from the 81st Division were moved to supplement the 30th Division and this included Pvt Mills. In April 1918, he was transferred to the 120th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. In May, they left for France, as detailed in the previous post. See previous post for details of operations through mid-August.

Pvt Edward Mills was severely wounded on September 1, 1918. A previous profile for Cpl Mack Atkins of the 119th Infantry describes the activities of the 120th Infantry at the time. There was a gas attack performed by the 105th Engineers that resulted in some of the infantry being gassed. This is one possibility for Pvt Mills’ injuries. But there are also more details about the operations involving Mont Kemmel that went beyond the details in that post.

The 120th Infantry was originally to be relieved by the 117th Infantry after the gas attack, but there was increased activity on the front so it was canceled. When it appeared the Germans were withdrawing from Mont Kemmel (as described in the profile for Cpl Atkins), patrols were sent forward to confirm, and this resulted in some casualties. Then, an attack was ordered.

On the morning of September 1st an attack was made by the Second British Army. The 1st and 3rd Battalions, this Regiment, was ordered to push forward 100 to 1,000 yards, establishing a new line from Lock No. 8 on Canal, running north of Lankhof Farm to Zillebeke Lake. The principal objective was Lankhof Farm, a strongly fortified position surrounded by a moat. The fighting was very bitter, but, with the cooperation of the artillery, who maintained close liaison with the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, the new line was taken and consolidated, for the consolidation troops were sent up from the 2nd Battalion and from the engineers. The 119th Infantry made a successful advance on the right, taking Voormezeele.

Given the date he was wounded, September 1st, it is likely this was when Pvt Mills was wounded. His injuries were severe and he did not return to duty.

Between July 4th to September 5th, 1918, the following 120th Infantry casualties were reported.
34 KIA
216 Wounded
1 POW

On January 2, 1919, he was taken aboard USS DeKalb from Base Hospital No. 29 in Liverpool, England, with other sick and wounded soldiers, headed for Camp Merritt for more treatment and recovery [Source: ancestry.com].

Base Hospital No. 29 was organized at City and County Hospital, Denver, Colo., on April 5, 1917, and was mobilized at Camp Cody, N. Mex., during March, 1918. The nurses (some 100) were all graduates of Colorado State University and were equipped by the Denver Red Cross Chapter.

The unit trained at Camp Cody and at Camp Crane, Allentown, Pa., until July 5, 1918, when it left for Hoboken, N. J., arriving there on July 6, 1918. It embarked on the Empress of Russia, and sailed the same date for Europe. The unit arrived in England on July 17, 1918, and was assigned to duty at North Eastern Fever Hospital, London, where it arrived on the night of July 19, 1918. It took over the hospital from the British on August 1, 1918. The hospital cared for 3,976 cases, of which 2,351 were surgical and 1,625 were medical.

Base Hospital No. 29 ceased operating on January 12, 1919; sailed for the United States on the Olympic, February 18, 1919; arrived in the United States on February 24, 1919, and was demobilized at Fort Logan, Colo., on March 13, 1919. [Source: The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War, Chapter 24, and Lost Hospitals of London]

After returning to the United States, it would be a few more weeks before Pvt Mills completed recovery. He was honorably discharged on February 11, 1919, with no reported disability.

Edward returned to the family farm, and married years later in 1930. The 1940 Census shows that he and his wife had three daughters. The final number of children is unknown.

Tragically, Edward was killed by a falling tree in 1953. He was laid to rest in Robbins Cemetery in Town Creek. Military honors are shown.

Information regarding the 120th Infantry was gathered from Official History of the 120th Infantry “3rd North Carolina” 30th Division, From August 5, 1917, to April 17, 1919. Canal Sector Ypres-Lys Offensive Somme Offensive

If you would like to help us honor Edward Anderson Mills 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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Graveside Honors: High Point, NC

Some supporters of Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range traveled to High Point to seek the gravesite of one of Brunswick County’s three WWI veterans awarded medals during their service: Corporal Curtis Lee Smith.

Corporal Smith’s WWI Profile had already been posted but until now, the details and picture of his gravesite were unavailable. His death certificate shows Floral Garden Park in High Point as the cemetery. If his gravesite could be located, then military honors could be verified.

Floral Garden Memorial Park (Cemetery Census) is 44 acres. There is an onsite office and files are available to offer an exact location of a grave. Because the information in findagrave for this cemetery indicated that phone queries could be a problem, an actual visit to the office was made instead. Maps to the gravesite were provided by a very nice gentleman in the office.

Below, the map of the cemetery indicating the correct section, followed by the map of the section indicating his gravesite.

Findagrave accepts GPS coordinates and Plot numbers, both of which were entered after the visit.

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith‘s gravesite is next to his wife, Mary Alice Jones Smith. Both pictures were added to findagrave.

His flat marker is not an official military marker but it does include the words, U.S. ARMY HERO, WWI.

Three Brunswick County men were awarded medals for their service in WWI. We now know the resting places for all of them.

    • Sergeant Forney Boston Mintz
      ★Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster

    • Private Benjamin Bantie Smith (Died of Wounds)
      ★Silver Star, British Military Medal

    • Corporal Curtis Lee Smith
      ★Silver Star

If you are interested in assisting with the discovery of gravesites, please read this post: Memorial Day 2018: Graveside Honors for more information.

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