Memorial Day 2018: Graveside Honors

Memorial Day is next week.
Many set aside the day to honor veterans at their graveside.

725 World War I veterans have been identified as born, raised, lived, or served in Brunswick County. We encourage you to include the WWI Brunswick County veterans in your Memorial Day plans or throughout the year.

If you take a photograph of yourself alongside a gravesite, the photo will be posted on the website.

A new webpage has been created to help assist in graveside honors.

Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran: Cemeteries contains two lists:

  • The 24 Brunswick County WWI veterans who gave their lives.
  • All known gravesites to date, sorted by location (Ash, Bolivia, Holden Beach, etc.)

Many of their final resting places have not been identified.

Would you like to help?

A book is planned to honor the Brunswick County WWI veterans. Cemetery locations should be included for all of the veterans.

To identify which veterans have unknown gravesites, use the Brunswick County WWI Veterans page. The blue button on the right side at the top of the website can also be used.

If there is no “Date of Death” then no gravesite has been identified.

  • If you find one of these graves, send the findagrave information to ftcaswellriflerange@gmail.com and the list will be updated.

Even if the gravesite has already been identified, there may be no photo. If there is a “?” after “Date of Death” then there is no photo of the headstone/flat marker.

  • Take photos of the headstone and/or military flat marker and send to ftcaswellriflerange@gmail.com

Please help us create a complete list of cemetery locations for the WWI veterans of Brunswick County.

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WWI Profile: Edgar Levett Ballard 1898-1975

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.

WWI helmet with 30th Division insignia.
Source: Photo from Pvt Roy E. Jones at purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com

Edgar Levett Ballard
Bolivia, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard
Corporal

Served:
May 7, 1917 – April 8, 1919
Overseas:
May 11, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Gassed: October 13, 1918

Edgar Levett Ballard was reportedly born in Little River, SC, and raised in Bolivia, NC. Only one reference to Little River was found, on his NC WWI Service Card. All other sources list his birth location as Brunswick County.

A family tree is located in FamilySearch. Two of Lawson’s brothers, John Thomas Ballard and Lawson Devaun Ballard are also WWI veterans. Lawson Devaun Ballard’s WWI Profile can be found here.

On May 7, 1917, at the age of 19, Edgar enlisted in the NC National Guard by way of the Boys’ Brigade, as described in a previous post.

In October, the 30th Division was created from NC National Guard units. Pvt Edgar Ballard was assigned to Company B, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

The photograph above shows the 30th Division’s insignia in a horizontal position. If you remember from previous posts, the insignia contains an “O” for “Old” and “H” for “Hickory” as well as “XXX” the Roman numerals for 30, the division number. The insignia was designed to be worn vertically as shown here. According to division history, during WWI it was worn incorrectly and not discovered and corrected until the 1920s.

Refer to the previous posts outlining the history of the division and their famous Hindenburg Line assault. Details of the operations following the Hindenburg Line assault are included in 1st Sgt Van Mintz’s profile. This took place during October 8-10, 1918. The next contact with the enemy was October 17-19.

Pvt Ballard’s NC WWI Service Card indicates he was slightly gassed on October 13. History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919 lists October 29, 1918, and shows he was “Sick.” However, sometimes that designation corresponds to poisonous gas exposure. Military casualty lists published in newspapers listed him as wounded slightly, so it seems to indicate gas exposure. Neither date fits with the operations of the 119th Infantry, but the effects of gas exposure often takes time to appear. However, without more information it is difficult to determine the exact date and location where the gas attack took place.

The 119th Infantry documentation shows he returned for duty on November 27, 1918. At that point, the war had ended. He was quickly promoted to Private First Class and then Corporal. He returned to the United States on March 17, 1919, with his company on USS Madawaska.

Edgar Ballard passed away in 1975. His obituary was published in Statesville Record and Landmark (Statesville, NC), 1975 Dec. 26, p.18].

Ballard, 77, Dies

Edgar Levitte Ballard, 77, route 10, Statesville, was dead on arrival at Iredell Memorial Hospital Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Death was attributed to a heart attack.

At native of Brunswick County, he was a retired auto mechanic and lived on the Buffalo Shoals Road. He was an Army veteran of World War 1.

His parents were the late B.T. and Myrum Ballard, and he was born on Dec. 12, 1898.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Mary Woodsides Ballard; two sons, Thomas Ballard and W.L. Ballard, both of Statesville; one daughter, Mrs. Flake (Marium) Stewart of Taylorsville; two brothers, Johnny Ballard of Bolivia and Lawson Ballard of Wilmington; three sisters, Mrs. Casper Norton of Bolivia, Mrs. Pearl Stanley and Mrs. Henry King, both of Wilmington; 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

The funeral was scheduled at 2:30 p.m. today in Westmoreland Chapel of Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. Burial was to follow in Iredell Memorial Park.

Edgar Levett Ballard was laid to rest in Statesville, NC. No military honors are shown.

If you would like to help us honor Edgar Levett Ballard 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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Fort Caswell Rifle Range Centennial: May 20, 2018

The 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range is 100 years old today.
MAY 20TH 1918

Date on south wall

On January 21, 1918, the United States War Department proposed the construction of a rifle range adjacent to Fort Caswell, NC, for small arms training of soldiers “in view of the immediate necessity for instruction of men destined for over-seas duty” in World War I.

Continue reading and view the documents in the History section of the website.

Please consider contributing to the Fort Caswell Rifle Range stabilization fund to ensure many more years.

Click the green “How to make a donation” button on the right or click here.

Read about the stabilization efforts in the Stabilization section of the website.

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DAR Community Service Award presented to Norma and Ronald Eckard

During the Brunswick Town DAR May meeting, a Community Service Award was presented to Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range president, Norma Eckard, along with her husband and Administrator, Ronald Eckard.

The DAR Community Service Award is presented on local, state, and national levels to individuals and groups who have contributed to their communities in an outstanding voluntary, heroic, civil, or benevolent manner, or who have participated in or organized community activities. The award is presented twice/year by the Brunswick Town DAR.

Norma and Ronald began the effort to save the historic rifle range in 2011, and have continued working hard for seven years and counting. See the Stabilization section of the website for a journal detailing the years of work.

Congratulations, Norma and Ron!

DAR member Mary Willetts Earp gave a touching speech at the same meeting about her family and involvement in the Honor a World War I Veteran program for the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range Memorial. Mary and the Friends are working to create a dedicated story to honor her family and thank them for their donation. This will be posted in the near future.

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WWI Profile: Herman Dan Fulford 1892-1977

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 Source
Herman Dan Fulford
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
September 18, 1917 – January 19, 1919
Overseas:
May 11, 1918 – December 26, 1918
Severely Wounded: September 29, 1918 or October 14, 1918

Herman Dan Fulford was born and raised in Supply, NC. A family tree is located in FamilySearch.

Herman’s WWI Draft Registration form shows he was married with one child, working at a sawmill in Supply.

After receiving orders to report to the military board on September 18, 1917, Herman was assigned to Company M, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division and trained at Camp Sevier, SC. Refer to the previous posts outlining the history of the division and their famous Hindenburg Line assault.

Pvt Herman Williams was severely wounded either on September 29th during the Hindenburg assault [Source: NC WWI Service Card], or in October as the Allies continued their advance, capturing French cities and liberating the citizens [Source: History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919, p.84.]

The previous posts describe the details of the operations at the time. No information was found to pinpoint the exact date of Herman’s injury. What is known is that it was severe and he did not recover completely.

Pvt Herman Dan Fulford left Base Hospital No. 29 in London on December 26, 1918, and boarded at the Tillbury Docks, England, on Saxonia with other sick and wounded soldiers [source: ancestry.com]. He was honorably discharged on January 19, 1919, with a reported 25% disability.

Later census records show that Herman Fulford was working in the fishing industry. He and his wife had several more children and remained in the Supply, NC, area.

Herman Fulford passed away at age 84. His obituary cannot be found online, but his wife, who lived to age 94, included him in her obituary from The Brunswick Beacon [Shallotte, NC] 4 June 1992, p.10A.

Lovie Jane C. Fulford

Lovie Jane C. Fulford, 94, of Route 1, Supply, died May 31 in The Brunswick Hospital.

The funeral was June 2 at Sabbath Home Baptist Church, Supply, with the Rev. Sidney Britt and the Rev. Weston Varnum officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Mrs. Fulford was born in Supply on Feb. 1, 1898, the daughter of the late Jim Thomas and Julia Fulford Caison. She was a member of Sabbath Home Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Fulford, and a daughter, Alene Robinson.

Her survivors include a son, Jabie Fulford of Supply; five daughters, Beatrice Fulford, Violet Fulford, Mable Corbett and Vera Carlisle, all of Supply, and Marie Del Re of Washington, D.C.; 16 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Herman Dan Fulford was laid to rest in Holden Beach, NC. Military honors are shown.

Source: findagrave

If you would like to help us honor Herman Dan Fulford 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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A nationally designated WWI Centennial Memorial in Dunmore, PA

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range continue to receive photos of supporters’ ancestors who served in World War I; therefore, the World War I Wall of Honor is continually being updated.

Recently, photos of four ancestors who served were received from Jane Del Rosso-Freach, including her great-uncle, Vito Copola from Dunmore, PA, who tragically died of pneumonia on October 18, 1918, a week after being gassed in battle.

All four photos were added to the World War I Wall of Honor here.

Soon after, the 1918 Fort Caswell Rifle Range was designated a National WWI Centennial Memorial.

While scrolling through the list of all 100 memorials chosen for national recognition, a familiar name jumped out: Dunmore, PA.

After a quick search, it was exciting to discover that Jane’s ancestor was honored at the World War I memorial in Dunmore. In fact, his name was etched on the memorial! And this memorial shared the same national honor as our own rifle range.

Jane graciously visited the memorial and took some photos.

It is touching to see the names of those who gave their lives on the memorial.

The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range began to wonder if the 24 Brunswick County men who gave their lives in World War I could be honored on the monument that is planned onsite at the rifle range.

The original plan was to etch all of the names of those who served, until the discovery of 725 veterans! A booklet of some sort is now planned.

The estimates for the memorial have not yet been received; no decision can be made until then. But seeing the names etched on the Dunmore, PA, memorial can deeply affect those who read them and help show the real cost of the war. They are also a reminder of the many, many more who served and did come home, but were affected in ways we can see, such as the physical disabilities, and ways we can’t, such as psychological scars and family members who suffered while they were away.

The 24 known Brunswick County men who gave their lives are listed below.

  Brunswick County WWI Veteran Classification Date of Death
57 PFC Walter Stephen Brock KIA 11/10/1918
59 PVT William Frederick Brooks Died of Disease 06/13/1918
81 PFC John W Carlisle Died of Disease 02/13/1919
88 PVT Harvey T Chadwick KIA 09/29/1918
123 PVT Carl Jefferson Danford Died of Disease 12/08/1917
126 PFC Isaac Davenport Died of Disease 11/04/1918
143 Cook David L Dosher Died of Disease 02/09/1919
153 Seaman James Coy Edwards Died of Disease 12/24/1917
165 SGT Robert G Farmer Died of Disease 10/09/1918
225 PVT Jimmie Griffin Shot by Sentry 09/11/1918
231 PVT Manning Hall Died of Disease 07/11/1918
261 PVT William Cross Hewett Died of Wounds 10/25/1918
380 PVT Claudie Hall McCall Died of Disease 04/13/1919
420 PVT Elijah Milliken Died of Disease 12/11/1918
466 PFC Erastus Iredell Nelson KIA 08/22/1918
476 PVT Kendrick Whiteleaf Outlaw Died of Disease 10/05/1918
492 PVT Cecil Smith Pierce Died of Disease 03/05/1918
493 PVT Harry Langdon Pigott KIA 09/29/1918
596 PVT Benjamin Bantie Smith Died of Wounds 10/17/1918
640 PVT Samuel Claudius Swain Died of Disease 01/07/1918
671 CPL Herbert B Ward KIA 09/12/1918
672 PVT Guy Ellis Watson Died of Disease 10/21/1918
692 PVT David Williams Died of Disease 03/18/1919
718 PVT Fred Wilson Died of Disease 05/26/1918

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Giving Thanks

Now that the whirlwind of preparations and the actual Derby fundraiser is complete, it’s time to give thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Thank you to everyone who attended and added to the fun, bid on the baskets, donated their winnings, and gave their support just by being there.

Thank you to all who made the fundraiser possible. It’s difficult not to make mistakes when listing names. Please forgive any omissions.

♥ Barbara and David Ash ♥ Russ and Ann Barlowe ♥ Victor Cash ♥ Mike and Joyce Crabtree ♥ Norma, Ron, Lorraine, and Amy Eckard and Sam Allison ♥ Christy Fox ♥ Mary Lou and Gene Green ♥ Barbara and Jim Griffin ♥ Ken and Lynda Grymala ♥ Marvin and Betsy Hamer ♥ Connie Hendrix ♥ Joe Higgenbottham ♥ Lee Hinnant ♥ Dee Hunsucker ♥ Carol Jutte ♥ Tommy and Gloria Lewis ♥ Lucia Bland and Allen Lister ♥ Gary McDaniel ♥ Jody McCann ♥ Ruth Ann McLellan ♥ Leddy and Richard Polity ♥ Helen and Bob Radcliffe ♥ Jayne and Bill Rankin ♥ Mary Snead ♥ Lois and Norm Sprinthall ♥ Patricia Steele ♥ Stephani Thompson ♥ Trudy Wells ♥ Darby and Judy Whitlow ♥

Thank you to the individuals who donated to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range for the Stabilization effort. The link to view the names is always shown beside the thermometer on the right side of the website.

Thank you to those who honored the sacrifices of the brave men and women from Brunswick County who served in World War I by participating in the “Honor a Brunswick County WWI Veteran” program. The link to view veteran names and the donor honoring them is also shown beside the thermometer.

Thank you to those who sent photographs of ancestors who served in World War I. These can be found on the World War I Wall of Honor.

Thank you to the businesses that donated items for the fundraiser. The business names and links to the website/Facebook are also listed on the Contributors webpage. We ♥ our local businesses!

One unique item was donated by the Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse (FOIL), which was included in one of the themed baskets.
A plaque with an original piece of the Oak Island Lighthouse Emergency Beacon Tower support system mounted on it, including a Certificate of Authenticity.

There are currently 300 of these available for $60 each. The price will increase to $75 in the fall. Contact oakislandlighthouse@gmail.com for more information.

Thank you to all!

As always, thanks for the support of our local media. See the News section to read years of published stories.

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WWI Profile: Curtis L. Smith 1897-1982

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.

Curtis Lee Smith
Mill Branch, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard
Corporal

Served:
September 11, 1916 – April 9, 1919
Overseas:
May 11, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Awarded Silver Star

Curtis Lee Smith was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A family tree is located in FamilySearch.

On September 11, 1916, Curtis enlisted in the NC National Guard. In November, he was promoted to Private First Class.

In 1917 when the United States joined the war, Pfc Smith was assigned to Company G, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. Refer to the previous posts outlining the history of the division, training at Camp Sevier, SC, and their famous Hindenburg Line assault. After arriving in France, in August 1918, Curtis was promoted to corporal.

Cpl Smith was not injured during the Hindenburg assault or the push afterwards that wounded both Pfc Albert Williams and 1st Sgt Van Mintz. But his gallantry on October 10, 1918 earned him a Silver Star. (Events of that operation are described in the two profiles of those fellow soldiers.)

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith received the following citation.

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Corporal Curtis L. Smith (ASN: 1315927), United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Corporal Smith distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Company G, 119th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near St. Souplet, France, 10 October 1918, in alone going forward and operating his machine gun, after the rest of his squad had become casualties.

After the war, he returned to Brunswick County, married, and began raising a family. Some time after 1940, he relocated and eventually lived in Archdale, NC, in Randolph County. Curtis Lee Smith passed away on September 7, 1982, almost two years after his wife. He is buried in Floral Garden Memorial Park, High Point. There is no photograph of his grave site to confirm if military honors are shown.

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith was one of three known soldiers from Brunswick County to be awarded medals during WWI. If a photograph is taken or submitted of his headstone, it will be added to this post.

If you would like to help us honor Curtis Lee Smith 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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The Final Derby Day Fundraiser

The fundraiser was a great success.

Thanks to the special volunteers, donors, business donors, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, the fundraiser was full of fun and a success at raising money to continue with the stabilization.

Supporters arrived, with many dressed for the Derby. Prizes were given later in the day for costumes and hats.

Volunteers registered those attending, sold dinner tickets, and offered both Kentucky Derby tickets and tabletop race tickets during the day.

During the festivities, an uninvited visitor (small alligator) watched from outside.

Ten members of Brunswick Town Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and supporters of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, attended.

One corner was a reminder of those we honor as we save the historic structure in the neighborhood. The Doughboy Wall was overflowing with Brunswick County WWI Veteran names; next to it, the insignias of their divisions and special units could be viewed. This is a copy of a recruiting poster from 1919.

The new baskets for silent auction were appreciated by all who attended. Helen Radcliffe, pictured here in her Derby attire, watches pensively as attendees look at goodies in the baskets she created. Helen’s hard work resulted in a big boost to the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range. This table displayed many baskets; however, the entire room was overflowing with them!

More items for sale, made by a distant supporter of the rifle range.

The tabletop races were enjoyed by all.

Dinner and cake was served before the official Kentucky Derby.

The thermometer is going to need an update soon!

We’ll be sharing our thanks to volunteers, donors, and local businesses in the coming days. Thank you!

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NC State’s Belltower Centennial Event

Poppies at the North Carolina State University Belltower Centennial Ceremony

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~ from the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae

The ceremony at North Carolina State University’s Belltower mentioned in yesterday’s post included the recitation of the poem, while surrounded by a mixture of thousands of real and artificial poppies, shown above, the internationally recognized symbol of remembrance.

Jerry Hester, military veteran and NCSU alumni (class of 1935), who was appointed to the WWI Centennial Commission by President Obama, presented the university with a 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar.

The 40-minute ceremony also included a singing of the national anthem, an invocation, the laying of a wreath at the base of the tower and “Taps” in memory of the 34 NC State students and alumni who died while serving our country in World War I.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute and a flyover of F-15 fighters from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, which alarmed nearby residents who were unaware.

Read an account of the ceremony and view the great pictures published in the North State Journal.

The North Carolina State University Belltower was designated an official WWI Centennial Memorial last year during the first round of the 100 Cities / 100 Memorials program.

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