Category Archives: Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Jesse Lee Fayette Inman 1891-1935

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: Soldiers of the Great War, Vol. II
Jesse Lee Fayette Inman
Freeland, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
May 27, 1918 – May 9, 1919
Overseas:
July 31, 1918 – April 25, 1919
Wounded: September 29, 1918

Jesse Lee Fayette Inman was born and raised in Freeland, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch. Jesse’s brother Joel “Joe” Robert Inman also served in WWI.

Jesse’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was single, living in Ash, and working on the family farm.

Jesse and his brother Joe were ordered to report for duty on May 27, 1918, along with 35 other men from Brunswick County [Source: Ancestry]. Included in the 37 were John Hillery Caison, David Bertram Frink, and Zade McLoud Williams (NC WWI Service Record not found). Jesse, John, David, and Zade were sent to Camp Jackson, SC, to train with the 81st Division, but transferred to the 42nd Division in August. (His brother Joe Inman was honorably discharged with a Surgeon’s Certificate of Discharge in September, classified as 33 1/3% disabled.)

Jesse Lee Fayette Inman and John Hillery Caison became replacements for Company A, 168th Infantry, 42nd “Rainbow” Division. David Bertram Frink was assigned to the 166th Infantry and Zade McLoud Williams to the 167th Infantry, all with the 42nd Division.

Previous posts described the formation and training of the 42nd Rainbow Division, along with the months in France up to August 17, 1918, when the Rainbow Division, victorious in many battles, was finally given a chance to rest and resupply. Replacements such as Pvts Caison, Inman, Frink, and Williams arrived to serve with the battle hardened troops. Those drafted at a late date such as these men were typically not trained and never even held a rifle before boarding ships to France. They were given uniforms and sent overseas quickly, which earned them the gruesome nickname “Cannon fodder.”

Pvt Caison’s WWI Profile described the St. Mihiel Offensive, the first all-American offensive of the war, along with casualty totals. Pvt Inman was reportedly “slightly wounded” during the operation on September 29. No details are available.

On October 1, 1918, the 42nd Division withdrew and went south. They were a shock division now, elite troops, and must wait until they were needed.

Note: Source information for the diary entries can be found at bottom. Corporal Sherwood served in the 67th Artillery Brigade of the 42nd Rainbow Division from April 12, 1917 until May 10, 1919.

This gang doesn’t act like lambs going forth to slaughter. In fact, we are happy that the Rainbow is going into the line.

We turned into blankets early to the sound of a fierce cannonading from the distant battle front, and in my sleep I dreamed, not of war, but of home and loved ones waiting there, of those at home who really suffer and endure more of the mental agony than we who are in the midst of the war.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 3

Along the way, when troops ask their outfit, they sometimes respond with pride, “Rainbow.”

This always has the desired effect of creating a wholesome awe and respect among the bystanders who watch us pass, and many are the remarks of encouragement and references to our past victories addressed to us.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 4

As they started for the front, the destruction around them was devastating.

In our path lay the four-year-old trenches and defenses of both French and German. What a picture of desolation! We came into what had been a great forest, now shorn of life. What few trees remain standing are naked, burnt and scarred. Gas has killed every living thing.

Our engineers are busy building bridges across this forsaken country, for shell holes are so thick that a gun or even a cart can’t start across it without upsetting. In fact, it is all a foot soldier can do to walk across it.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 6

The 84th Brigade (167th Infantry of Pvt Frink and 168th Infantry of Pvt Inman) relieved the 1st Division in the front lines north of Exermont on October 13, 1918. Their attack began at 5:30am.

The Rainbow attack today netted four kilometers and a great number of prisoners, but our losses exceeded a thousand. For the first time since we have been on the line in this drive the fog cleared away today and a great rainbow emerged from the clouds. Our men regard this as an omen of good luck, and shout to each other encouragements and orders to press on.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 15

I talked to a sergeant whom I had known back in Lorraine. He told me that replacements had filled the great gaps in the lines of the old regiments until only non-coms and a few officers remained of those who had come across with the Division.

He said the new men were filling the places well and got right into the spirit of the Division.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 17

The captain read an order this morning to the non-coms of the battery stating that since our infantry has been so terribly shot up it will be necessary for each artillery outfit to furnish 68 privates, seven non-coms, and one officer to go into the line as infantry on the next advance. …every man volunteered to go over the top with a rifle and doughboy pack.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 22

Replacements are coming in regularly now to fill up the gaps in our ranks caused by losses in action. At first the men of this outfit hated the idea of rank outsiders getting into this volunteer outfit, but of course it has to be done. Then we are Americans after all, and all have one purpose – to win the war; so we have assimilated the green drafts from the States and find that, generally speaking, they make good soldiers.

The new men bring into the outfit news of the States and what the folks at home are doing. They also bring along various training camp songs and jokes.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 24

The 42nd Division broke through the Hindenburg Line in that area and were relieved on October 31 by the 2nd Division. Troops of the 42nd still held the front line but the 2nd Division passed through the lines and attacked the morning of November 1.

The hard-boiled Rainbow infantry doesn’t like the idea of letting the marines make the attack. [November 1]Many Rainbow doughboys pressed on in spite of orders to hold up and let the marines filter through.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, October 31/November 1

The Division moved further north, past the areas that had seen years of fighting.

The villages we now occupy are not demolished and ravaged by war like most of the communities we have been used to seeing along the front. Aside from a few bullet marks and an occasional shell hole, these are peaceful looking villages and hills. These villages had been occupied since 1914.

The French peasants were overjoyed. They hung out of their windows hastily made replicas of “The Stars and Stripes” and wept and laughed and sang.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, November 4

The enemy was in full retreat. The 42nd attacked once more from November 7 until November 10 when they were relieved by the 77th Division, ending their participation in the war. It is not known whether Pvt Inman was in combat during that time.

The air is charged with expectancy today, as we await word of peace.

At eleven, the great rumble of artillery and small arms was stilled.

Eleven o’clock!

How strangely solemn, almost painful to ears long accustomed to the din and tumult of the front!

Our men seem strangely silent. Our thoughts in this hour of triumph cannot but turn to those missing comrades who have shed their blood yielded up their lives for America.

We think, too, of their sorrowing mothers who will have no sons to welcome home.
~ Diary of a Rainbow Veteran, November 11

The 42nd Division had suffered nearly 15,000 casualties during the war. Its total days of combat has been claimed as the highest of all American divisions during the war at 264 days.

Their service not complete, they were chosen for the Army of Occupation and began marching for Germany on November 20. The first troops crossed into Germany on December 2. They remained there until they left to return to the US.

Pvt Inman left Brest, France, on April 18, 1919, with the other members of the 168th Infantry [Source: Ancestry]. On May 9, 1919, he was honorably discharged.

Jesse Inman returned to his family in Waccamaw Township (1920 Census) to continue farming. He married Virginia Dare King the next year. The 1930 Census shows him living in the same area with his wife and working on his own farm. There were no children.

Sadly, his wife passed away in 1931 at age 26 from an embolism after surgery. Jesse also passed away at a young age, 42, in 1935. They were both laid to rest in New Britton Church Cemetery in Ash, NC. No military honors are shown.

Sources:
Reilly, Henry J. (1936). Americans All, The Rainbow at War:Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division in the World War. Columbus, OH: Heer.

Sherwood, Elmer W. (1929). Diary of a Rainbow Veteran. Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen.

Thompkins, Raymond S. (1919). The Story of the Rainbow Division. NY: Boni & Liveright.

World War I American Battle Monuments Commission (1944). 42d Division Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington DC: GPO.

If you would like to help us honor Jesse Lee Fayette Inman 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 Profile: John Hillery Caison 1895-1984

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
John Hillery Caison
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
May 27, 1918 – April 8, 1919
Overseas:
July 31, 1918 – March 21, 1919
Wounded: September 23, 1918

John Hillery Caison was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. His younger brother, James Cline Caison, and brother-in-law, Herman Dan Fulford, also served in WWI. There is a partial family tree in FamilySearch.

His WWI Draft Registration card shows he was single, living in Supply, and working on the family farm.

John was ordered to report for duty on May 27, 1918, along with 36 other men from Brunswick County [Source: Ancestry]. Included in the 36 were Jesse Lee Fayette Inman, David Bertram Frink, and Zade McLoud Williams (NC WWI Service Record not found). All four were sent to Camp Jackson, SC, to train with the 81st Division, but transferred to the 42nd Division in August.

John Hillery Caison and Jesse Lee Fayette Inman became replacements for Company A, 168th Infantry, 42nd “Rainbow” Division. Jesse’s WWI Profile will follow this one next week. David Bertram Frink was assigned to the 166th Infantry and Zade McLoud Williams to the 167th Infantry, both with the 42nd Division.

Previous posts described the formation and training of the 42nd Rainbow Division, along with the months in France up to August 17, 1918, when the Rainbow Division, victorious in many battles, was finally given a chance to rest and resupply. Replacements such as Pvts Caison, Inman, Frink, and Williams arrived to serve with the battle hardened troops. Those drafted at a late date such as these men were typically not trained and never even held a rifle before boarding ships to France. They were given uniforms and sent overseas quickly, which earned them the gruesome nickname “Cannon fodder.”

During the 42nd’s rest in Bourmont area, changes were made. General Douglas MacArthur had been made a Brigadier General and placed in command of the 84th Infantry Brigade, which included the 167th and 168th Infantries. Pvts Caison and Inman served in the 168th. The men from the 168th were originally National Guard members from Iowa. With ranks depleted from the heavy fighting, replacements had to be accepted.

Note: Rosters of Brunswick County veterans and Organizations of the Divisions can be found on the World War I Army/Marine Division Roster webpage.

Excerpts below taken from The Story of the Rainbow Division, source listed at bottom.

Replacements, those freshly arrived, untried soldiers at whose advent the veteran survivors of hard battles look askance, and without whom no division could continue its career as a division, came to the Rainbow in great numbers. The gaps in the ranks were filled. Lost and battle scarred equipment was replaced by new, up-to-date fighting material. The Rainbow Division, in a sort of new Camp Mills, having found its fighting spirit in the field, now was being made over—getting its second wind, so to speak.

The WWI Profile of Herbert Burnell Ward (5th Division) described their next battle. It was the first all-American operation of the war: St. Mihiel. Fourteen American divisions were gathered for the operation: 1, 2, 4, 5, 26, 42, 82, 89, 90; Reserve: 3, 35, 78, 80, 91.

The Rainbow Division had started forward on August 30. Moving always at night and resting during the day in inconspicuous places (for the attack was to be a surprise) it marched about one hundred and twenty kilometers to the Foret de la Reine. There it went into camp in shelter tents. It became a division of mud-dwellers, lying quietly in the sticky black muck all day and wallowing about in it through the night, for by daylight no movement of men or transportation was permitted.

Rain fell steadily and the roads became horrors. Through the downpour and the absolute blackness the men of the 117th Supply Train and the 117th Ammunition Train struggled forward inches at a time with the deep mud sucking their trucks back and the pitch-dark roads seeming to fall away beneath them. Nearly always about twenty-five per cent of all the Rainbow’s transportation was stalled impotently in the mud and wrecking crews were at work day and night.

Soldiers of the 167th Infantry (42nd Division) dug in near St. Benoit on the Meuse River during the St. Mihiel offensive in September 1918. (National Archives)

The attack began on September 12. Brunswick County men Pvt Jimmie Griffin from the 2nd Division had been killed by sentry the night before, while Cpl Herbert Ward from the 5th Division was KIA that day.

The Germans were taken by surprise.

Intelligence found on captured prisoners showed that the Germans did not expect the attack during the rain, and that they considered it a rather mean thing to do—an advantage that would not have been taken by the French and British.

The Germans retreated to the Hindenburg Line, which they thought was impenetrable. It too would be defeated soon.

Under constant fire from the German artillery, the Rainbow Division remained in place, sending raiding parties out to keep the Germans unaware of the Army’s plans elsewhere. The 42nd remained in the area until October 1.

Pvt Caison was severely wounded on September 23, while the Division remained in the area. It appears that he did not return to combat. During the operations, Pvt Caison’s 168th Infantry reported 61 KIA, 30 Died of Wounds, and 289 Wounded.  Pvt Inman was also wounded during these operations (WWI Profile to follow this one next week).

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
Pvt Caison returned to the US with other casualties from North Carolina on March 6, 1919, from Marseille Embarkation Camp, as shown in the passenger list above. There are no details of his severe wound or if he was recovering from that one or a new illness/injury, but his status is indicated as “B2” which means he could no longer serve in combat. That seems to indicate his injury was disabling but there was no disability at discharge reported on his NC WWI Service Record.

According to the 1920 Census, John returned to Lockwoods Folly to the family farm. When his father died, he remained with his mother (1940 Census). There is no record of him marrying.

John Hillery Caison passed away in 1989 and was laid to rest with his family in Holden Beach. A military flat marker is shown.

Sources:
Reilly, Henry J. (1936). Americans All, The Rainbow at War:Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division in the World War. Columbus, OH: Heer.

Sherwood, Elmer W. (1929). Diary of a Rainbow Veteran. Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen.

Thompkins, Raymond S. (1919). The Story of the Rainbow Division. NY: Boni & Liveright.

World War I American Battle Monuments Commission (1944). 42d Division Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington DC: GPO.

If you would like to help us honor John Hillery Caison 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 Profile: Dorman Lowell Mercer 1894-1996 (post #2)

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 reprinted with permission by The Brunswick Beacon
Dorman Lowell Mercer
Bolivia, Brunswick County, NC
National Guard
Wagoner

Served:
July 24, 1917 – May 12, 1919
Overseas:
October 18, 1917 – April 24, 1919
Wounded: July 27, 1918
Gassed

Note: Dorman Mercer was the first Brunswick County WWI Profile published in the blog. Because the profiles following his became more detailed, his profile has been rewritten. Read the previous post about him here.

Dorman Lowell Mercer was born in Brunswick County, NC. His brother, Edward Mercer, also served in WWI.

In June 1917, Dorman registered for the WWI Draft as required. His registration shows he was single, living in Bolivia, and farming.

A month later, Dorman enlisted in the NC National Guard. In October he became a Wagoner. He left for France with most of the 42nd Division in October 1917.

“I was a wagoner, and I drove trucks and mules in wagon trains. Our work was to haul ammunition to the front, and picks, shovels, and barbed wire for the engineers to use.” ~Dorman Mercer [Source: The Brunswick Beacon]

The previous post described the formation and training of the 42nd Rainbow Division, along with the months in France up to March 21, 1918, when the German offensive was unleashed.

The Rainbow Division remained in the Baccarat Sector for nearly three months, until the end of June. The Champagne-Marne Defensive and Aisne-Marne Offensive immediately followed.

The following was used to determine where and when Wagoner Mercer was injured.

July 14th was the start of the Champagne-Marne Defensive. On July 25, the 42nd Division prepared for the Aisne-Marne Offensive. According to his NC WWI Service Card, he was wounded on July 27.

“Once while retreating from the front, a German shell hit the roof of a nearby house and showered Mercer with shrapnel and debris. Less than two weeks later, he was gassed in an engagement and required medical treatment, although he said his injuries ‘didn’t amount to much.'” [Source: The Brunswick Beacon]

From this description, it seems his first brush with injury was in the Champagne-Marne Defensive, while his official gassing injury was during the Aisne-Marne Offensive.


This map segment shows Paris on the left. The Allied Champagne-Marne Defensive is marked. Following that, the 42nd Division moved to Chateau-Thierry [sha-tohtee-uh-ree] (west at the top of the salient) to push the enemy to the north during the Aisne-Marne [ayn-mahrn] Offensive. At the far right is the St. Mihiel [san-mee-yel] salient, the site of the first all-American operation which the 42nd joins later among a total of 14 American divisions.

The Champagne-Marne Defensive, referred to as “the last and greatest trench battle,” was planned by the Germans for July 14th, French Independence Day. According to a captured enemy soldier, it was the hope of the Germans to face only drunk and surprised French soldiers with what was to become their last offensive move against the Allies. This information gave the Allies the chance to prepare.

The French filled the first line of their trenches with decoys, sacrifice troops, to keep the enemy fooled and delay their advance.

The second line was occupied by infantry from the American 42nd. Beside them, the 117th engineers were serving as infantry. Behind that line were the animals and transportation, artillery, and “great heaps of ammunition.”

At five minutes past midnight on July 14, on a front of 42 miles, the German barrage began, four continuous hours.

Exceprts below taken from The Story of the Rainbow Division, source listed at bottom.

There was death and destruction in the very air; it seemed to be reaching out with hungry, clutching hands, sweeping victims in; the sky swished and swirled like a hurricane, bringing a rain that burst with a red crash when it landed, and the clean night breeze became a deadly draft of poisonous gas.

For years to come Americans who lived under it will shake their heads and fail for words when you talk of the first part of that night in the Champagne.

At four in the morning, the German infantry began the assault, not knowing that the French were prepared for them.

[The Germans] found nobody to fight; nothing but mines that roared up beneath their feet, and thick gas clouds and shells tearing great holes in their ranks. And in little torn forests of wire the men of the French sacrifice companies now came out of their holes like small swarms of angry bees and stung them with bursts of machine-gun fire.

The Allied artillery began to fire.

Direct hits from high explosive shells began piling into the German attackers. But still they kept on, thousands more climbing over heaps of bodies to fill the gaps. And finally, by sheer disregard of losses, they came to the intermediate line—the Allies’ first real line of defense.

Then and there the Battle of the Champagne became a rough-and-tumble fight with bare knives—man against man; with knives, fists, teeth and rifle-butts.

Machine-guns were spraying the Germans, hand-grenades bursting in groups of them, rifles were spitting at them from the parapets, but still they came on.

The [167th Infantry of the 42nd Division] went in by platoons, winding through the trenches, crawling over heaps of dead French, Americans and Germans, and labyrinths of tangled wire, into the melee. Of the first platoon none ever came back.

Thus they were still fighting while the sun rose high and the air grew warm and the day advanced, and the first shock of the last German offensive had fallen on men who would not yield an inch.

By noon they had gained a foothold seven times in the [165th Infantry, 42nd Division] trenches and seven times had been hurled out. That evening at six o’clock they tried it again and were beaten off.

All night bombs and shells fell on the fighting lines and rear areas ; steady showers of them on hospitals, towns and roads. There was no rest from them, especially the bombs. By day the sky was literally dark with German aeroplanes; every French plane had been chased away.

The German aviators would hover above trenches like hawks circling to pounce on chickens, then swooping low, cut loose with machine guns and showers of steel darts upon the heads of the infantry. Carrying parties with ammunition had to dodge these planes as they would swarms of bees. Stretcher-bearers carrying wounded men through trenches and along roads were shot down by low-flying aviators.

At six o’clock on the morning of July 16 the Germans attacked again [and were again thrown off].

On the night of July 16 the Germans gave up hope, and the hand-to-hand fighting ceased. The Allied line in the Champagne, though it had bent in and out during the two days’ battle, was reestablished with not a foot of ground lost; the German offensive had crumpled in the early hours of the first day. The decisive battle of the war had been won.

Now the Hun became spiteful. Raging in defeat he shelled the rear areas as far back as Chalons, and sprinkled the earth with bombs from the sky.

Back there where the ammunition and supplies had come from and where the wounded had been carried, the scene was indescribable.

Dead horses lay everywhere—simply spattered about the landscape. The big American hospital at Bussy-le-Chateau had been wrecked by bombs—several wards full of wounded soldiers destroyed and the men killed.

Roads were obliterated for miles; a blight seemed to have descended on trees and vegetation; everywhere within a radius of twenty miles the earth was torn and tortured. But the line had held; the bodies of Americans of the Rainbow had barred the road to Chalons; and some were in huddled, shapeless heaps in the trenches and some were wiping off their bayonets and crying.

They said the Rainbow Division had put a new spirit into France; that before the battle their mere presence had been a tonic; that their resistance during the battle was like a promise of new life. And he announced for the first time the successful launching of an allied offensive between Soissons and Chateau-Thierry.

Officers who had not slept for days—covered with the dirt and blood of the trenches—shouted with joy. Camps of men just out of the jaws of death rang with laughter and song. The tide of war had turned. The French celebrated their Fourteenth of July on July 19, and champagne ran like water.

Wagoner Mercer’s official wound (gassing) was yet to come, recorded as July 27.

The Allies were ready to take an offensive position and this began with the Aisne-Marne Offensive on July 25th, mere days from the beating above. There was no rest for the 42nd Division. They boarded the trains that would take them there.

The long trains that carried the Rainbow rolled through [suburb of Paris] there between July 21 and 24. It was a beautiful day—warm and mellow—and wherever they could find holds for hands and feet, the men clung to open flat-cars, taking the air. Bridges across the railroad yards were crowded with Parisians, mostly women and girls. For nearly four years they had had no chance to celebrate a victory, but now they had one, and here, within sound of their voices, were the Americans who had stopped the Germans in the Champagne.

They cheered wildly and threw kisses and flowers at the men in olive-drab. The men cheered back; their spirits had returned, they had seen the worst of war; there was nothing they could not tackle now. It was good to be alive on this warm July morning with Paris cheering you as a conquering hero. This was the “sort of stuff you read about.”

It was thus the Rainbow Division went toward the Aisne-Marne Offensive for what was to be the bloodiest battle of the outfit’s history. For at this stage of the war it was “Push while the pushing is good,” and no division of soldiers with such reputations as the Rainbow for steadfastness and valor could be permitted to rest while there were such possibilities of getting the enemy on the run, not even when that division had been in actual combat without rest since midwinter.

The 3rd Division had just completed blocking the Germans at the Marne, as detailed in James Isaac Jenrette’s WWI post. The 42nd Division was now joining them in the area of Château-Thierry for the first Allied offensive.

The 42nd Division Memorial at Croix Rouge Farm

The Aisne-Marne Offensive included the capture of La Croix Rouge Farm: a clearing surrounded by forests on four sides with a road running diagonally SE to NW. The road and woods were lined with German machine gun nests. The 42nd Division relieved the 26th Division. The artillery of the 26th Division stayed in position to assist.

Much has been written about the La Croix Rouge Farm battle, which is too long to recount here. One source: http://croixrougefarm.org/history-battle/

The 42nd began the attack on the morning of July 26. Six days and nights of constant fighting of the hardest kind ended on August 1st when the Germans stole silently away at night.

Source: Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division
The Rainbow had outwitted, outgamed and outfought the best soldiers in the German army. They were now in full retreat. The weather was hot, and the country full of ruined villages, dead, unburied bodies…and thousands of dead horses.

The men were dirty; baths were next to impossible. But instead of being withdrawn from the salient which seemed on the verge of becoming a pest-hole, the Rainbow Division infantry was held in reserve for nearly a week. Sickness broke out.

There were gaps in the ranks of the Rainbow now—big gaps.

On August 17 the division was loaded into cars marked “Hommes 40, Chevaux 8,” and rolled off to the Bourmont area. It was booked for a period of “intensive training.”

At that point, many replacements for the infantry arrived. The division had over 5500 casualties just in the Aisne-Marne Offensive alone.

For the first time, the Division was being resupplied and rested.

Five replacements were from Brunswick County and only recently inducted into the Army. Two would be wounded in the coming weeks (their profiles will follow this one).

Fortunately, as stated in his interview, Wagoner Mercer’s wounds were slight and he returned to duty.

After the Armistice, Wagoner Mercer served in the Army of Occupation, then returned with his unit in April 1919. He rejoined his family in Bolivia, married Annie Mae McKeithan in 1925, and raised a family. He was a farmer, sawmill operator, and county forest ranger before his retirement.

Dorman Lowell Mercer was laid to rest on December 6, 1996, at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Bolivia, NC, beside his wife. He was 102. No military honors are shown.

Sources:
Reilly, Henry J. (1936). Americans All, The Rainbow at War:Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division in the World War. Columbus, OH: Heer.

Sherwood, Elmer W. (1929). Diary of a Rainbow Veteran. Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen.

Thompkins, Raymond S. (1919). The Story of the Rainbow Division. NY: Boni & Liveright.

World War I American Battle Monuments Commission (1944). 42d Division Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington DC: GPO.


If you would like to help us honor Dorman Lowell Mercer 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 Profile: Jackson Berry Potter 1896-1972

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.

Photos of her great uncle Jack contributed by Dale Coleman Spencer
Jackson Berry Potter
Winnabow, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard
Wagoner

Served:
July 12, 1917 – May 12, 1919
Overseas:
December 8, 1917 – April 28, 1919

Jackson Potter was born in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch.

In June 1917, Jack registered for the WWI Draft as required. His registration shows he was single, living in Town Creek, and farming and supporting his parents.

A month later, Jack enlisted in the NC National Guard. He initially was a Horseshoer but in October he became a Wagoner, which he held throughout the war.

What is a Wagoner?

Horses and mules were crucial in this time period.

“Horses and mules carried men to battle and wounded men to safety. They transported food, water, medical supplies, guns, ammunition, and artillery to the front lines through appalling weather, over unforgiving terrain, in horrifying situations, and surrounded by dead and dying men and animals. Yet they continued to do their part, in spite of being terrified and often while sick and wounded themselves, and they worked until they were annihilated by guns or poison gas, or simply died in their harnesses from exposure and sheer exhaustion.” [Source: Fran Jurga’s blog]

Eight million horses and mules died in WW1. And Wagoners were some of those responsible for their well being.

Greg Krenzelok, Historian for the US Army Veterinary Corps Historical Preservation Group (Facebook link), details the many and overwhelming duties of the U.S. Army Wagoner here.

Army vehicle transportation by animal consists of spring wagons, ambulances, and escort wagons. The Wagoner must have the skills to care for the animal and machinery, plus understand how to handle both. He is responsible for his team, harness, and wagon, tools and spare parts, and the condition in which he keeps them is a measure of his efficiency. A successful Wagoner is one who keeps his wagon and animals in good condition and gets his load to its destination at the proper time. This requires constant attention from morning until night.

Recall the WWI Profile of Martin Newman Mintz in which a lack of horses and mules forced his Artillery Brigade to withdraw. Horses and mules and those who cared for them and handled them were crucial in war.

With the country still struggling to heal following the Civil War, the formation of the Rainbow Division offered an opportunity to unite. August 1917, the Rainbow Division was formed with National Guard troops in 26 states from California to Oregon to New York and Alabama. It was an all volunteer division.

The Washington correspondents who had grabbed the story from the War Department and flashed it red-hot all over the nation had many glorious words to say about the fact that America’s sons from the north and the south, the east and the west were at last going to fight side by side to make the world safe for democracy. America was sending a “Rainbow” of hope to Europe. ~The Story of the Rainbow Division (1919)

Wagoner Jackson Potter

The rainbow became the name and insignia of the division that stretched “over the whole country like a rainbow.” Its initial design was a half arc, but later modified to a quarter arc to memorialize half of the division’s soldiers who became casualties during WWI.

This photograph of Wagoner Jackson Potter shows the insignia on his shoulder as a quarter arc, which indicates it was taken near the end or after the Great War. The two chevrons on his lower sleeve indicate 2-6 month periods of service overseas, another indication this photo was taken after the war.

Camp Mills, Long Island
Source: Library of Congress


By mid-September 1917, 27,000 men were assembled in Camp Mills on Long Island. The entire country was vested in their success.

The North Carolina National Guard was chosen to provide the troops for the 117th Engineer Train. The table below shows those from Brunswick County. Most were also Wagoners.

42nd Division, 117th Engineer Train

Name Co.
Wag Joseph L Clemmons Transferred 09/27/1918
Wag Pearl Collum
Wag John B Cox Transferred 05/19/1918
Horseshoer James E Gilbert
Wag Erie J Gore SCD 10/10/1917
Wag David M Hilburn
Pvt John H Holden
Wag George Floyd Kirby
Saddler Josiah C Maultsby SCD 01/12/1918
Pfc William O McKeithan
Wag Dorman L Mercer Wounded 07/27/1918
Wag Joseph E Mintz
Mess Sgt Clyde Needham A Bugler at discharge
Wag Walter D Nelson
Wag Adrian Phelps SCD 10/10/1917
Wag Jackson B Potter
Pfc Vance Reynolds
Wag Herbert T Sellers
Pvt Oscar David Sellers SCD 10/10/1917
Wag James D Skipper
Wag Wesley W Skipper

Shown below are the pages from the 1917 published roster. All of the Brunswick County men are included; not all appear in alphabetical order.

“Roster of the Rainbow Division (Forty-Second)”

Most of the 42nd Division left the United States on October 18, 1917, straight for St. Nazaire, France. It was one of the first divisions to arrive in France. Some units, including a ship of infantry that was forced to return early in the trip due to engine trouble, did not begin the journey until December. Pvt Potter boarded at Newport News, VA,  on December 8, 1917, joining the Division during their intensive training in France.

The day after Christmas, the 42nd began a 100 kilometer march to a new training area. This march was later known as “The Valley Forge Hike.”

The supply system had not yet been established, which meant the soldiers had little food, no overcoats, and no spare shoes. A blizzard created huge drifts of three or four feet deep. Men were often marching barefoot through the snow, creating bloody tracks similar to Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. They huddled together to keep warm at night, as temperatures dropped below zero. Many became ill and could not continue.

The Americans’ respect for the French grew, as they contemplated four years of war and the possibility of never returning home.

Upon arrival, the engineers (and trains) were busy day and night.

Source: US Army: Rainbow Division soldiers get ready for war in the winter of 1918

A French instructor introduces National Guard Soldiers of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division to life in the trenches during World War I. French instructors taught American Soldiers the basics of trench warfare as the Americans prepared to enter combat in the winter of 1918. ( Courtesy New York State Military Museum)

Rainbow engineers from the 117th Engineers, originally from North and South Carolina, had worked tirelessly to improve conditions during the division’s time at the training area near Rolampont. The regiment built 80 barracks, 70 horse stables, 18 bath units, pigeon lofts, latrines and reworked electrical and water systems for the thousands of Doughboys now preparing for combat.

The engineers then went on to conduct their combat training at night, providing classes for officers and NCOs or small arms ranges, marches and drill.

In February, the 42nd Division prepared to enter the front. They quietly took their places in the trenches in the Luneville sector in Northeast France, without alerting the enemy. This was previously a quiet sector but the Americans were anxious to prove themselves. Soon they were in the thick of an active sector.

A month later, the Division was ordered to rest. However, the German offensive was unleashed on March 21, 1918. The Division was ordered to return. The Rainbow Division was given the honor of being the first American division to occupy a divisional sector on its own and under its own command.

Over and over again, the Division was ordered to rest, but was unable to do so. It is credited with 264 days of combat, with half the division becoming casualties. It holds the record for continuous duty at the front line for three months straight. Following the Armistice on November 11, 1918, the Rainbow Division became part of the Army of Occupation, remaining in Germany until April 1919.

Details of the 42nd Division’s record of continuous duty at the front line will be included in the posts following this one.

In April 1919, Jack returned to the United States with many of his fellow NC wagoners. He returned to the family farm. He married Fannie Lewis in 1920, raising a family in Brunswick County.

Source: findagrave
In 1972, at the age of 75, Jackson Berry Potter passed away. He was laid to rest in Peace Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery in Winnabow. A military flat marker is shown.

Sources:
Johnson, Lieut. Harold Stanley (1917) “Roster of the Rainbow Division (Forty-Second)”. New York, Eaton & Gettinger, Inc. Printers.

Reilly, Henry J. (1936). Americans All, The Rainbow at War:Official History of the 42nd Rainbow Division in the World War. Columbus, OH: Heer.

Sherwood, Elmer W. (1929). Diary of a Rainbow Veteran. Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen.

Thompkins, Raymond S. (1919). The Story of the Rainbow Division. NY: Boni & Liveright.

World War I American Battle Monuments Commission (1944). 42d Division Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington DC: GPO.

If you would like to help us honor Jackson Berry Potter 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 Profile: James Isaac Jenrette 1894-1973

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.

Insignia of the 3rd Division
James Isaac Jenrette
Ash, Brunswick County, NC
Regular Army
Private
Served:
November 22, 1917 – January 10, 1919
Overseas:
April 6, 1918 – December 31, 1918
Wounded: July 26, 1918

James Isaac Jenrette was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch. James had two brothers who also served, Wendell Vivian Jenrette, who served stateside in the Army, and Walter Regan Jenrette, who served in the Navy.

His WWI Draft Registration shows he was single, living in Ash, and working for his father on his farm.

James did not wait to be drafted, but enlisted in the Regular Army on November 22, 1917, at Fort Thomas, Kentucky. He was assigned to Company G, 4th Infantry, 3rd “Rock of the Marne/Blue and White Devils” Division.

On April 6, 1918, Pvt Jenrette boarded Great Northern [Source: Ancestry] at Newport News, VA, with the rest of his unit [Source: Ancestry].

Pvt Jenrette was present when his Division earned their nickname “Rock of the Marne” after famously holding back the Germans on the Marne River on July 14, 1918. Their commanding officer cried, “Nous Resterons La” (We Shall Remain Here), which became their motto. General Pershing called this stand “one of the most brilliant pages in the annals of military history”.

Source: Wikipedia: 2nd Battle of the Marne
The Second Battle of the Marne (July 15 – August 6, 1918) was the last major German offensive on the Western Front. The attack failed and marked the start of the relentless Allied advance which culminated in the Armistice with Germany about 100 days later.

The Germans’ target was the salient, shown at left, in the shape of a triangle with Château-Thierry at the apex. The other sides, about 45 km each, were formed by the cities of Soissons and Reims.

Source of map, photo, and descriptions below: The Journal of the World War One Historical Association: Rock of the Marne, from a lecture in the 1930s for the US Army Infantry School at Leavenworth, KS

This map shows the Marne River and the location of Pvt Jenrette’s division, which was under French command. The 3rd Division is in the lower section of the map, which includes four infantry regiments: 4th, 7th, 30th, and 38th. Pvt Jenrette served in the 4th Infantry.

The Army’s defensive positions had not been completed before the enemy struck.

At midnight, July 14-15, the Germans began the artillery barrage. At 3:50am on July 15th, the enemy began their advance.

With hard fighting occurring all around them, the sector occupied by the 3rd Division faced the severest fighting by the American troops.

The Marne River in this area is 30-40 yards wide and too deep to ford. There were no bridges, and forests concealed the enemy’s approach. The area being defended by the 3rd Division was a vantage point desired by the enemy due to its tactical and strategic point of view.

As the enemy began to cross the river, Pvt Jenrette’s 3rd Division gave everything to prevent them from landing. Those Germans who succeeded in reaching the banks wiped out several platoons.

“At 3:30 am the general fire ceased and their creeping barrage started—behind which at 40 yards only, mind you, they came—with more machine guns than I thought the German Army owned.

“The enemy had to battle their way through the first platoon on the river bank—then they took on the second platoon on the forward edge of the railway where we had a thousand times the best of it—but the [Germans] gradually wiped it out. My third platoon [took] their place in desperate hand to hand fighting, in which some got through only to be picked up by the fourth platoon which was deployed simultaneously with the third. By the time they struck the fourth platoon they were all in and easy prey.

“It’s God’s truth that one Company of American soldiers beat and routed a full regiment of picked shock troops of the German Army. At ten o’clock the Germans were carrying back wounded and dead [from] the river bank and we in our exhaustion let them do it—they carried back all but six hundred which we counted later and fifty-two machine guns.

“We had started with 251 men and 5 lieutenants. I had left 51 men and 2 second lieutenants.”

~ Capt. Jesse Woolridge, Commander of Company G., 38th Infantry, 3rd Division


A German Officer’s Impressions

“I have never seen so many dead. I have never seen such a frightful spectacle of war. On the other bank the Americans, in close combat, had destroyed two of our companies. Lying down in the wheat, they had allowed our troops to approach and then annihilated them at a range of 30 to 50 yards.’The Americans kill everyone,’ was the cry of fear on July 15—a cry that caused our men to tremble for a long time.”

~ Lieutenant Kurt Hesse, Adjutant, German 5th Grenadiers

By the end of July 15th, the 3rd Division had not only stopped the two attacking enemy divisions, they had blocked the important Surmelin Valley and thereby halted the entire German advance. The last German offensive of the war had ended.

“A single regiment of the Third Division wrote one of the most brilliant pages in the annals of military history in preventing the crossing at certain points of its front, while on either flank the Germans, who had gained a footing, pressed forward. Our men were fighting in three directions, met the German attacks with counterattacks at critical points, and succeeded in throwing two German divisions into complete confusion, capturing 600 prisoners.”

~ General Pershing

Department of Army Poster, US Army Center of Military History
Near Mézy, France, July 1918. Here the German Army made its last great attack of World War I. It struck in the Marne River area along the road to Paris, and the weight of the blow fell on the 38th U.S. Infantry Regiment under the command of MG Ulysses G. McAlexander, of the 3rd Division. This was their first fight. Firing in three directions, blasted by artillery fire, taking all flesh and blood could stand, the regiments held on doggedly and threw the enemy back across the Marne. This defense checked the Germans’ assault and made an Allied offensive possible. General Pershing called it “one of the most brilliant pages of our military annals.”


Pvt Jenrette’s NC WWI Service Card shows he was slightly injured on July 26, 1918. No details are available and it is not known when he returned to service.

The 3rd Division was not relieved until July 31st, totaling a bruising 70 days in continuous front line service.

During the operations in the Marne area, the 3rd Division suffered the following casualties:
1096 KIA
4833 Wounded
1777 Gassed
231 Missing
34 POW

In all, the 3rd Division was credited with the following operations:
Somme defensive
Lys defensive
Aisne defensive
Montdidier-Noyon defensive
Champagne-Marne defensive
Aisne-Marne Offensive
Somme Offensive
Oise-Aisne Offensive
Ypre-Lys Offensive
St. Mihiel Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
with the total number of battle casualties 16,456.

On November 14, 1918, after the Armistice, Pvt Jenrette transferred to Prisoner of War Escort until December 1918. According to his NC WWI Service Card, he returned on December 31, 1918. The Passenger List [Source: Ancestry] shows he boarded Ryndam for the return home on December 18, 1918, with other sick soldiers. The excerpt below shows him classified as “B-1” or “Available for limited military service.” Although unconfirmed, the likely reason is a temporary illness such as influenza. He was honorably discharged with no disability on January 10, 1919.

Source: Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

He returned to farming at his family’s farm in Ash. Soon after, he married and raised a family, continuing to farm in Brunswick County. Years later, his son, James Herman Jenrette served in the US Army after graduation from Mars College (now Mars University) in Asheville, NC.

James Isaac Jenrette passed away on November 13, 1973, in Elizabethtown, Bladen County, NC. He was laid to rest in McKeithan Cemetery in Ash, NC, with other members of his family. Military honors are not displayed.

Sources:
Hemenway, Frederic Vinton (1919) History of the Third division, United States army, in the world war : for the period, December 1, 1917, to January 1, 1919. Andernach-On-The-Rhine: M. Dumont Schauberg

The Journal of the World War One Historical Association: Rock of the Marne, from a lecture in the 1930s for the US Army Infantry School at Leavenworth, KS

If you would like to help us honor James Isaac Jenrette 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
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WWI Profile: Guy Ellis Watson 1895-1918

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.

Guy Ellis Watson
Leland, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
March 21, 1918 – October 21, 1918
Died of Disease: October 21, 1918

Guy Ellis Watson was born around 1895 in either New Hanover or Brunswick County, NC, and raised in Brunswick County. The 1900 Census shows him born in June 1893 (with brother Quincy Manual born in March 1893, clearly a mistake was made), living in Town Creek, Brunswick County, with father Wiley Worth and mother Eliza Jean Watson.

The 1910 Census lists Guy as 15 years old, a laborer at the farm. His brother Quincy is now reported as 17 years old, also a farmer. There are a total of seven children reported as born, all living.

Guy’s WWI Draft Registration Card (listed as Ellis Watson) shows him born in New Berlin, NC, on June 9, 1894, living in Leland, single, and working at a sawmill (Appomattox Box Shook Company). His NC WWI Service Card lists “Hanover, NC” as his birthplace.

Ellis Watson was ordered to report for duty on March 22, 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 Willie Winfield Millinor (on our WWI Wall of Honor) 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.

Embarkation Hospital, Camp Stuart.
Source: National Archives

There were many responsibilities at the hospital, and no information to determine exactly what Private Watson did while serving. Some of the more interesting duties include mosquito control due to Camp Stuart located within a swampy area; the control of flies, many because of the holding area for horses to ship overseas and the dumping of manure into the swamp; the control of bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas and lice; and embarkation and debarkation delousing stations.

In 1918, over 273,000 troops moved through the embarkation port.

Private Watson was attended from October 9, 1918 to October 21, 1918 in the Camp Stuart Hospital for influenza. During that time, his older brother Quincy Watson passed away from influenza/pneumonia on October 11 in the High School Emergency Hospital in Wilmington, NC, where many were dying from the influenza pandemic [Source: Death Certificate in Ancestry]. Read more about how influenza affected NC in Robert Guy Farmer’s WWI Profile post.

Guy Ellis Watson eventually succumbed to acute lobar pneumonia on October 21, 1918. [Source: Death Certificate in Ancestry] Historical data shows a peak of patients and deaths occurred in the hospital during the month of October 1918 during the influenza pandemic with a total of 5,562 patients (4,425 new cases of influenza) and 204 deaths.

Guy Ellis Watson was laid to rest in Benton Cemetery in Maco, Brunswick County, NC, joining his older brother, Quincy Manual Watson. His headstone, shown above, gives no indication he died while serving his country.

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 Guy Ellis Watson 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
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WWI Profile: Fred Wilson 1895-1918

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.

Fred Wilson
Fairmont, Robeson County, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
April 1, 1918 – May 26, 1918
Overseas:
May 8, 1918 – May 26, 1918
Died of Disease: May 26, 1918

Note: Because the 1890 Census records were destroyed and the family is recorded as no longer living in Brunswick County by 1900, more details than normally included are presented to assist with the identification of the family and determine when and where they lived in Brunswick County.

Fred Wilson was born in Brunswick County, NC, the son of Jackson and Francis Shine Wilson. His sister Kizzie Wilson Buck, the only sibling whose death certificate was found, is also identified as being born in Brunswick County. Her death certificate is also the source of their mother’s maiden name, Shine. The entire family is repeatedly recorded in census records as born in North Carolina.

The 1900 Census shows the family was now living in Hillsboro, SC, farming. In 1910, the family was living in Fairmont in Robeson County, NC, where they appeared to have remained for many years. His father was now working in a saw mill.

Fred’s mother presumably passed away between the 1910 Census and 1912 or 1914, when his father married Cora Stephans. FamilySearch shows the date as 1914, while Ancestry shows 1912, although the image of the marriage license in Ancestry shows the actual marriage took place in 1914.

Fred Wilson’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was born in Brunswick County, NC, living in Fairmont, NC, and working at the Beaufort County Lumber Company in Fairmont.

Transfer Machine, Beaufort County Lumber Company in Fairmont, NC, 1905-1915 [Source: NC Postcards]
The Beaufort County Lumber Company operated in Fairmont, NC, from 1910-1925, employing up to 400 people at its peak. The company included a lumber yard, sawmill, and kiln drying plant as well as a company village named North Fairmont with streets and houses for workers.

In 1927, while the company began moving operations to Columbus County, parcels were bought by Richard Bradshaw, a former sharecropper and the first black entrepreneur in Fairmont. Bradshaw rented the houses and sold them over many years.

Fred Wilson was ordered to report for military duty on April 1, 1918. He and the other draftees were received at Camp Grant, Illinois on April 8, 1918 [Source: Ancestry].

On May 8, 1918, at Hoboken, NJ, he boarded USS George Washington, famous for warning ships of an iceberg it passed on April 14, 1912, which sank Titanic hours later.

Pvt Wilson was serving in a Labor Battalion, 10th Company, Camp Grant Reinforcement Draft [Source: Ancestry]. A total of 15 Companies formed the Camp Grant Reinforcement Draft. The soldiers would be assigned where needed after arriving overseas.

On May 26, 1918, Pvt Wilson passed away from lobar pneumonia. His name was published on national casualty lists. [Online source of clipping shown above: Polk County news and the Tryon bee, 1918 Sept 06, p.3]

The location of his death is unknown. There is no record of his remains returning to the US and no record of burial overseas. It was only 18 days after he boarded USS George Washington.

John Carlisle is another Brunswick County veteran who died of pneumonia overseas. No record was found for the return of his remains, yet a headstone is in Griffin Cemetery in Ash, NC. It is possible that Fred Wilson’s remains were returned despite no record. If so, the cemetery below is the likely place his remains were laid to rest.

Fairmont Cemetery

Richard Bradshaw’s daughter Marie married a Fairmont undertaker named Robert Alston. A Mr. Bradshaw had purchased the Fairmont cemetery many years earlier that was used for African Americans, as described in the online Fairmont Board of Commissioners Minutes of 2002.

It appears that this cemetery is where Fred Smith’s sister Kizzie Wilson Buck was buried in 1950 (05/09/1892-05/07/1952) [Source: Ancestry]. The funeral director’s name is R.J. Alston. Fred Wilson’s father is also listed as buried in Fairmont Cemetery (d. 01/23/1921) [Source: Ancestry]. It should be investigated whether Fred Wilson is also buried there. If his remains were returned to the country, his remains would likely be placed in the cemetery with his family.

If you would like to help us honor Fred Wilson 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
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WWI Profile: Owen Ransom Mintz 1886-1963

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.

Henry Lindon Clemmons (center) is shown with the six other men from Brunswick County ordered to report for duty on October 15, 1917. Beside him (order unknown) are Luther J. Inman, Owen R. Mintz, Willie H. Hewett, Robert W. Holden, Mack Leonard, and Isaac Fred Edge.
Contributed by Gwen Causey, granddaughter of Henry Lindon Clemmons

Owen Ransom Mintz
Ash, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
October 15, 1917 – July 26, 1919
Overseas:
April 24, 1918 – July 22, 1919
Wounded: October 21, 1918

Owen Ransom Mintz was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. He was the eldest of four brothers, all serving in WWI.

Forney Boston Mintz was the first to enlist in the US Army in 1913 at age 21. Half brother Samuel Leob Mintz enlisted in 1916; Martin Newman Mintz and Owen were drafted.

All four brothers served overseas. Like Martin, Forney and Owen were wounded.

Leob and Forney made a career in the Army.

Owen’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was living in Mill Branch, Brunswick County, single, and working on his own farm. He was described as medium height, weight, with brown eyes and black hair. (If anyone can identify each man in the photo based on their physical descriptions, please contact Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.)

He was ordered to report for duty on October 15, 1917, with the other six men shown in the above photograph. All were sent to Camp Jackson, SC, and officially accepted on October 26. [Source: ancestry.com], then assigned to Company F, 322nd Infantry, 81st “Wildcat” Division, but as previously included in the 81st Division history, many soldiers were transferred to other needed divisions.

On February 5, 1918, Pvt Mintz was assigned to Company C, 11th Infantry, 5th Division.

The previous posts describe the creation of the division and activities up to the taking of Frapelle, and finally the operation at St. Mihiel, the first all-American operation of the war, which was a success.

The 5th Division had lost many men, which meant green recruits were added to their ranks and required training. Their camp was in Foret de Hesse, 15 kilometers west of Verdun and 20 kilometers below the current front.

They would soon be called upon for the first phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The sector on which the Division was embarking had been the scene of terrific fighting since the launching of the assault on September 26. American bombardments and barrages and German counterfire had converted the open ridges, ravines and slopes into stretches of churned and shell-torn earth. The wooded areas, dense with the tangled underbrush, looked as though they had been struck by fierce cyclones. The villages of the areas were wrecked and ruined.

[On October 11] The front was reported to be from the neighborhood of Cunel eastward along the road to Brieulle.

From the very first entrance of our troops into the area they were subjected to harassing shell-fire. Inasmuch as the sector was only a few kilometers west of the Meuse and throughout its entire length was visible from the eastern heights still in the hands of the enemy, his artillery sheltered in those hills could constantly deluge the whole region with gas, shrapnel and high-explosive.

The Division had suffered severely from its exposure to a day and a half of continuous shelling. Their first attack was set for October 14 at 8:30am. The Tenth Brigade (6th and 11th Infantries) were selected as the assault brigade. The operation from the start promised to be a hard one.

At dusk, the troops moved up toward their positions for the operation and took their assault formation. Assault battalions found that the jumping-off line at the front was three quarters of a kilometer south of the one specified in the attack order. Then it was discovered that the 32 Division which was to protect their left flank had orders to begin at 11:30am, thereby exposing the 5th Division on that side. Furthermore, an American deserter had informed the enemy of the attack.

[Before the attack had started], the Germans put down the strongest counterfire the men had ever seen. For two hours, the positions of the assault battalions were raked with high explosives.

At 8:30am the assault was launched with vigor and courage, despite the punishment that had just been undergone. The men still remembered the victorious rush at St. Mihiel and dashed forward impetuously. But it was a different enemy here, one who was sticking till the last and fighting for every foot of ground.

[Due to the confusion earlier of the jumping-off point] our own artillery barrage had not been close enough to our lines to be effective and our battalions looked down into Ravin des Perrieres and at the Romangne-Cunel road, thickly populated with German machine gun nests.

After many feats of courage and gallantry and many losses, the only possible action was to dig in.

The afternoon was spent in organizing the dearly won lines, in connecting shell-hole to shell-hole by shallow scooped-out-trenches.

Our men lay in the shell-holes scattered over the entire area of advance. The intense shell-fire and barrages had inflicted casualties that for the day’s fighting surpassed the thousand mark.

The attack on Bois des Rappes was ordered to be continued at 7:30am of the 15th.

After another confusing day with erroneous reports such as one that all officers were killed, no new attack was ordered for October 16th. Time was spent organizing and planning. October 17th was spent solidifying the front. The Division’s Command was relieved and replaced. Small combat troops were employed on the 18th and 19th, and an attempt at a direct attack was made on the 20th.

Six days of fighting had failed to conquer Bois des Rappes. It was evident that only a surprise attack could force the enemy to give up the place.

New command for the 11th Infantry planned the surprise attack on the 21st. The battalions were stealthily filtered up to the attack line, the artillery shelled the front lines for only 5 minutes.

At 11:30am the assault plunged forward and literally overwhelmed the Germans on the front lines. The surprise was a success.

Finally, the enemy was routed. Bois des Rappes was won for good.

Casualties of the Tenth Brigade (6th and 11th Infantries) were over two thousand. The 11th Infantry, which included Pvt Mintz, had suffered more than any other regiment:
12 Officers KIA
210 Men KIA
952 Wounded

Command of the sector passed to the 90th Division. The 6th and 11th Infantries withdrew to the zone south of Montfaucon and buried their dead.

Bois des Rappes had turned into a glorious victory, after a withdrawal due to misunderstanding of circumstances. The casualty list of the Division was 20%, 4,449 men. Fifty-one officers and 728 men had given their lives.

During those eleven days men and officers alike had existed under the most trying and wearing conditions. Throughout almost all the period there had been rain, which kept clothing wet and rendered battlefields “seas of mud.” The chill of autumn was in the air and the warmth of a fire was never possible in the open under the observation of the enemy. A shelter tent stretched over a shell-hole half filled with water was all the protection that could be had against both artillery and weather. Food reached the front lines cold and in insufficient quantities. Water was very scarce and often contaminated. Practically every officer and man was suffering from diarrhea and exposure.

3000 replacements were received on the 24th. Most were untrained but time was short. The next battle of the 5th Division was their most famous and the one which earned them the nickname “Meuse Division.” Their crossing of the Meuse and establishing a bridgehead while clinging to the banks for several days is an exciting read in the Division history source below. General Pershing declared it “one of the most brilliant military feats in the history of the American Army in France.”

Pvt Mintz was slightly wounded on the surprise battle detailed above. He would remain in France and return with his Company on July 11, 1919, presumably serving in the Army of Occupation with the 5th Division.

He was honorably discharged on July 26, 1919, with a 10% disability. No details were found describing his wound, recovery, or the source of his disability.

The 1920 Census shows him living at home along with his brothers Martin Newman, Forney Boston, and his sister Mary. He would continue to work on the farm and never marry.

On April 26, 1963, Owen ran off the road and was crushed by his truck. He was 76.

Owen Ranson Mintz was laid to rest in Mintz Cemetery. A military headstone was installed.

If you would like to help us honor Owen Ransom Mintz or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Profile: Herbert Burnell Ward 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.

Source: Soldiers of the Great War, Vol. II
Herbert Burnell Ward
Ash, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Corporal
Served:
October 4, 1917 – September 12, 1918
Overseas:
April 24, 1918 – September 12, 1918
KIA: September 12, 1918

Herbert Burnell Ward was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC.

Herbert’s WWI Draft Registration shows he was living in Ash, single, and working on his family’s farm. His registration included his previous service, one year at Fort Sherman. This was also handwritten on his NC WWI Service Card with the dates April 22, 1916 – May 21, 1917.

Herbert had four brothers near his age. They were never called to duty. Willie Davis Ward was disabled due to a broken foot. Luther Lewis Ward was employed by the US Government as Mail Carrier, while John Butler Ward was a substitute carrier. George Brooks Ward Jr was too young for the 1917 Draft Registration but did register in September 1918 when the age range was expanded.

Herbert was ordered to report for duty on October 4, 1917. He was accepted for service on October 15, 1917, at Camp Jackson, SC [Source: Ancestry]. A handwritten notation states that they were intended for the 322nd Infantry of the 81st Division, but as previously included in the 81st Division history, many soldiers were transferred to other needed divisions.

On February 6, 1918, Pvt Ward was assigned to Company M, 11th Infantry, 5th Division. He had moved up and down in rank during that time, likely because of the shuffling of men where needed. On April 1, 1918, he attained the rank of corporal, which he would hold for the remainder of his service.

The previous post describes the creation of the division and activities up to the taking of Frapelle. The 5th Division’s next operation was at St. Mihiel, the first all-American operation of the war.

The American First Army was organized in August and September 1918. The training schedule emphasized open warfare methods. The use of maps and compasses, and rifle and machine gun firing was stressed, and the wearing of gas masks was enforced for training.

The Division began a 50 kilometer march on September 4th. Absolute secrecy was maintained. All marching was between the hours of 8pm and 4am. No lights were permitted. By day the troops and trains remained concealed. The area around Martincourt was the destination of the Fifth Division.

Those forced night marches stand out most vividly in the mind of every man in the Division. It was the first hurry-up march the troops had undergone; 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.

Fourteen American divisions were gathered for the operation: 1, 2, 4, 5, 26, 42, 82, 89, 90; Reserve: 3, 35, 78, 80, 91. The objective was to reduce the German’s occupation of the St. Mihiel salient, or the triangular portion jutting out as shown in the map below. The plan was to cut it off on all sides with the various divisions. The Germans had been prepared for the possibility of withdrawal to the famous and supposed impregnable Hindenburg Line, which the 30th Division would break in their famous assault on September 29. But the Germans were still taken unaware.

The blackness of the nights and the perpetual rain exhausted everyone. The Military Police especially were called upon for supreme effort, for they had to act as column markers throughout the night and then spend the ensuing day getting in position for the next stage of the Journey. Officers and men alike were footsore and weary from exposure to the raw weather and loss of sleep when the brigades reached their designated stations.

The 5th Division was assigned to drive practically due north, about 8 kilometers, to the Hindenburg Line.

The German positions that faced the troops of the Fifth Division were excellently situated for defense. They included four successive heights, three of which were defended by well organized systems of trenches. Each of the heights commanded several valleys where enemy reserves were stationed and from which counter attacks might normally be planned should the heights be taken.

The Germans had foreseen the attack and had prepared for withdraw. But the attack came 48 hours before it was expected, so the assault caught the Germans as they were beginning evacuations. Because of the secrecy of the attack, the Americans faced reduced resistance.

By midnight before the morning of September 12, the troops had reached their posts for the attack. At 1am the bombardment began.

The roar of cannon was deafening and bursts of flames lit up the sodden sky. At first the Hun artillery attempted to reply, but by 1:55 am their last gun was silent. Doughboys waiting in the trenches were impatient of the delay. Already all except the forward strands of defensive wire in front of their jumping-off trenches were cut to speed their advance. The rain soaked everyone to the skin. H hour was 5 am.

At 4:30 the machine guns all opened up a heavy barrage of indirect and overhead fire on the points in the German lines when counterattacks might come.

At the instant that the barrage came down the Doughboys dashed forward. Four thin waves of mud-stained men, helmeted and under full pack, bayoneted rifle in hand, swept through the lanes in their own barbed wire. It was not quite dawn.

The enemy “must have quaked as the avalanche descended upon them.” Frantic calls by them for counter-barrages were unanswered.

Machine gunners had difficulty in keeping pace with the fast-going Doughboys. The unwieldy tanks struggled to catch up, but floundered in the mud and shell-torn stretches of No Man’s Land.

German prisoners taken by the infantry began arriving at 6:15 am. The photo below shows prisoners taken by the Tenth Brigade (6th and 11th Infantry) being escorted by the 5th Division. Ultimately, 1,210 enlisted men and 32 officers were taken prisoner by the 5th Division during the operation.

Cpl Ward and the 11th Infantry descended on Vieville, taking the town. Dressing stations were opened, caring for the wounded and serving hot coffee, bread and corned beef, and chocolate to tired soldiers. The orders were “Press advance to the First Phase Line. Rush digging with great vigor.” The advance pushed on.

The 6th Infantry met less resistance than the 11th.

The troops had to cross open fields in the face of fire from heights where machine gunners were making a stand. The resistance of the enemy grew stiffer.

The First Day Objective was reached and the troops began to dig in. Everywhere the first day’s operation of the American Army had been successful.

Losses in the Division that day were heavy. The 11th Infantry alone lost 3 Second Lieutenants. 3 more officers were KIA. 18 officers were wounded. 450 enlisted men were wounded. 144 were KIA, including Cpl Herbert Ward.

The Division would go on to end the successful operation, capturing the St. Mihiel salient and driving to the Hindenburg Line. It wasn’t won easily, as the enemy fought hard and continued targeting the Americans after being driven beyond the Hindenburg Line. In total, the 5th Division had casualties of 1,612 from September 12-16. Most were suffered by the 6th and 11th Infantries. Thirteen officers were killed, 44 wounded, and 11 gassed. The enlisted men had 305 killed, 1,123 wounded, and 116 gassed. Two were captured.

The spoils won by the 5th Division were high: 25 77-mm guns, 4 105-mm guns, 13 150-mm guns, 7 anti-tank guns, 1 anti-aircraft battery, 30 trench mortars, 125 machine guns, 550 rifles, over 100,000 rounds of artillery and trench mortar ammunition, 65 horses, 30 flat cars, several miles of railroad equipment, one complete field hospital, 20 wagons, thousands of dollars worth of signal, engineer, and medical property, many maps and secret documents, and other miscellaneous property.

It is not known when Corporal Herbert Burnell Ward was killed that first day. It is hoped that he experienced some of the success of this major victory for the Americans, made possible due to his sacrifice.

Corporal Herbert Burnell Ward’s remains were returned on May 23, 1921 [Source: Ancestry]. He was laid to rest in Ward Cemetery in Brunswick County with his family. A military flat marker is displayed.

Source:
The Society of the Fifth Division (1919) The Official History of the Fifth Division USA, During the Period of its Organization and its Operations in the European World War, 1917-1919. New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company.

If you would like to help us honor Herbert Burnell Ward or another Brunswick County WWI veteran, please use the following links:

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WWI Profile: Barfie Randel Long 1895-1947

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.


Barfie Randel Long
Winston-Salem, NC
US Army
Private
Served:
September 18, 1917 – July 29, 1919
Overseas:
April 9, 1918 – July 22, 1919
Wounded: August 17, 1918

Barfie Randel Long was born and raised in Brunswick and Columbus Counties, NC. (His daughter’s birth record shows his name as “Barfield Randal Long.”) His findagrave listing and death certificate shows he was born in Columbus County, whereas his WWI Draft Registration and NC WWI Service Card shows he was born in Brunswick County. He had one brother who also served, Pvt Vanderbilt Long.

In 1900, he and Vanderbilt lived with their family in Shallotte, Brunswick County. By 1910, they were both working on the family farm in Chadbourn, Columbus County, NC.

His Draft Registration in 1917 shows he was single and working as a mechanic at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston-Salem, NC.

Barfie was ordered to report for duty on September 18, 1917 in Winston-Salem. He was accepted for service on October 16, 1917, at Camp Jackson, SC [Source: Ancestry]. A handwritten notation states that they were intended for the 321st Infantry of the 81st Division, but as previously included in the 81st Division history, many soldiers were transferred to other needed divisions.

Pvt Long eventually was assigned to Company M, 6th Infantry, 5th Division. The division was not organized until December, and did not unite as a division until the following spring in France, so Pvt Long likely remained in SC or transferred to GA (Camp Forrest) where the 6th Infantry trained. Because it is not known when his transfer took place, it is not known exactly where he trained.

The 5th Division insignia is shown. The nickname is “Red Diamond” or “Red Devils.” They were also referred to as “The Meuse Division” after WWI because of their crossing of the Meuse River and establishing a bridgehead in an area considered impregnable.

The 5th Division’s capture of the riverfront and points east was called “one of the most brilliant military feats in the history of the American Army in France” by General Pershing. Some details will be shared in the WWI Profile of Pvt Owen Ransom Mintz.

There are five known Brunswick County men who served with the 5th Division, as shown below. The rosters are also available on the World War I Army/Marine Division Rosters webpage.

5th Division, 6th Infantry

Name Co.
Cpl Charles Byron Drew HQ
Pfc Barfie Randel Long M Severely Wounded 08/17/1918
Pfc John William Mills M

5th Division, 11th Infantry

Name Co.
Pvt Owen Ransom Mintz C Slightly Wounded 10/12/1918
Cpl Herbert B. Ward M KIA 09/12/1918

Pvt Long boarded Covington with the 6th Infantry on April 9, 1918, for France [Source: Ancestry]. The movement of the entire 5th Division overseas was piecemeal.

The atmosphere of France was a shock after the cheer of England.

Those days of April and May were grave and menacing to the French, for the Germans had launched their last great offensive that was to win or lose the war.

As each unit arrived, it began immediate and intensive training for the front. They were introduced to the French method of conservation: not just concerning food, but methods of firing to save the largest amount of ammunition and construction using an economy of materials.

In late May, the division was declared ready for introduction to the front. They were placed under command of the French and entered the Upper Alsace and Vosges Mountains as the first American troops in that sector. There they participated in patrols, and harassing and raiding the enemy. They experienced their first casualties in June and later a gas attack killed and wounded many. As the Americans became more familiar with trenches, the Americans took over command of the division.

On July 15, the division moved into the St. Die sector. Here, the Germans controlled No Man’s Land. They had visibility of all American daylight movement. German airplanes were constantly monitoring. The 5th Division took a more offensive stand. Sniping was developed until the enemy dare not show himself.

Hungry Huns attempting to reach their cabbage and vegetable gardens by crawling on hands and knees were often forced to scuttle to some protecting shelter by our snipers or machine guns turned on sensitive points.

An Observation Post (O.P.) of the Sixth Infantry

The patrolling and raiding grew bolder and stronger as the 5th Division became experienced in the trenches. Then the first real engagement was booked. The mission was to capture the village of Frapelle (bottom right on map), about 9 kilometers east of St. Die, as well as Hill 541, just north of the town.

This mission was assigned to the third battalion of the 6th Infantry. (Third battalion includes Companies I, K, L, M.) Privates Barfie Long and John William Mills along with the rest of Company M were to lead the attack with Company L. Private Long was severely wounded during this attack.

Use the map above to set the battle positions.

They were positioned just behind the lines at Charmont, about 1 kilometer west of Frapelle. The second battalion (Companies E, F, G, H) was at Nayemont, about 4 kilometers west of Frapelle. The first battalion (Companies A, B, C, D) was at Vanifoss on the Fave, about 4 kilometers southwest of Frapelle. Thirty-six batteries had moved up to concealed emplacements more favorable to fire on the area of attack. The Ammunition Train had moved ammunition and the 99th American Aero Squadron was ready to give air support. “H” hour was set at 4am of August 17.

At 3:54am, the artillery opened up on the enemy’s lines with a heavy barrage. For ten minutes the rain of high-explosive and gas poured on the town of Frapelle and Hill 451, on the Hun trenches and on every known enemy battery.

At four, the bombardment changed to a box barrage, smoke shells were thrown into enemy observatories, and behind the curtain of shell the infantry went over the top.

Companies L and M led the assault while I and K occupied the trenches from which the former departed. Companies A and C were held in support. Each assaulting company was deployed in four waves and had “moppers-up” of engineers and infantry. A platoon of machine guns accompanied each company in its advance.

Evidently the enemy was prepared for the attack, for his counter-barrage came down upon the departure trench at exactly 4:06am and caught the second, third, and fourth waves. With considerable losses the troops pressed through the heavy and accurate barrage toward their objectives. Company M encountered a heavy machine gun barrage on Hill 451 and was held up for a time. The lines were re-formed, the enemy was rushed and the height was won. Company L advanced without serious opposition and occupied Frapelle. With the aid of the engineers enemy shelters were blown up and dugouts and houses searched.

No sooner had the troops gained their objectives than the German artillery was turned on Frapelle and Hill 451. At 6:30am the deluge of fire began, which lasted with varying intensity for three days and nights. The men of the Signal Battalion had carried their telephones and wire over the top in the first assault waves, to establish communication to the rear from the forward command posts. So continuous was the shelling that the telephone lines had to be abandoned.

Large quantities of gas were used, with concentration of mustard. The wooded areas, overgrown with thick underbrush and filled with depressions, were drenched with fumes. Gas overcame many of the parties working at night on the entanglements and the trenches.

The operation received considerable comment in the French and American press. It was the only change that had taken place on this front in three years.

Casualties reported:
81 KIA
5 Died of Wounds
18 Missing
80 Severely Wounded
237 Slightly Wounded
Over 150 of the wounded were gas cases.

It is unknown what type of wounds Pvt Barfie Long experienced. Perhaps it was gas, given that he had several lung diseases at his death many years later.

In addition, Pvt John W. Mills was reported missing in US newspapers on October 31. He was later reported found in reports published in newspapers in December. Newspapers were very much behind reporting casualties so it could have been from this operation or a later one, which will be covered in the next WWI Profiles of the 5th Division.

Private Long returned with his unit in July 1919 and was honorably discharged July 29. A 1920 Census could not be located.

The 1930 Census shows Barfie living with his mother in Chadbourn, Columbus County, NC, farming his land. His father had passed away a year earlier.

In 1936, his brother, Pvt Vanderbilt Long, died of influenza at age 41 and was laid to rest in Chadbourn, Columbus County, NC.

The 1940 Census shows Barfie now married to Emma Louise Long, age 20, from SC. They had a two year old daughter, Helen Elizabeth Long, born in NC. Barfie’s mother is still living with him. Barfie continued to work his farm.

At age 51, November 6, 1947, Barfie Randel Long passed away at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Oteen, NC, near Asheville. He had multiple diseases of the lungs.

The Asheville Citizen-Times published an obituary on November 8, 1947, on page 2.

BARFIE R. LONG

Barfie R. Long, 51, of Chadbourn, Columbus county, a veteran of World War I, died yesterday morning in a hospital here following a long illness.

Surviving is the widow, Mrs. Emma Long.

The body was sent to Chadbourn for funeral services and burial. Morris-Gearing and Black funeral home was in charge of arrangements.

His mother applied for a military headstone, which is in Chadbourn, NC, where Pvt Long was laid to rest. His mother was laid to rest near him at her death in 1959 at age 89.

Records of his wife could not be found, nor is it known whether they had more children. However, his daughter married and raised a family in Brunswick County.

Source:
The Society of the Fifth Division (1919) The Official History of the Fifth Division USA, During the Period of its Organization and its Operations in the European World War, 1917-1919. New York, Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company.

If you would like to help us honor Barfie Randel Long 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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Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile