Category Archives: Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Erastus I. Nelson 1893-1918

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: Randolph County Public Library
120th Infantry at Camp Sevier, SC
March 16, 1918

Erastus I. Nelson
Leland, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private First Class

Served:
September 19, 1917 – August 22, 1918
Overseas:
May 12, 1918 – August 22, 1918
Killed in Action: August 22, 1918

Erastus Nelson was born and raised in Brunswick County. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch. The 1910 Census and his WWI Draft Registration shows he was working on his father’s farm.

Erastus had a brother who also served, Walter Decator Nelson. See below for additional information about his brother’s service.

On September 19, 1917, Erastus was ordered to report for duty [Source: ancestry.com].

The 120th Infantry was formed with the 119th Infantry, as part of the 30th “Old Hickory” Division as described in previous posts. The roster contains quite a few Brunswick County men. All of the rosters can be found on the World War I Army/Marine Division Rosters webpage

30th Division, 120th Infantry (from Brunswick County)

Name Co.
Pfc Kinnie Benton H
Pvt William C Hewett C Died of Wounds 10/25/1918
Pvt Hanson H Leonard I Wounded 09/19/1918
Pvt Jesse J Leonard D Wounded 10/09/1918
Pvt Claudie H McCall Sup Died of Disease 04/13/1919
Wag George M Milliken Sup
Pvt Edward A Mills M Severely Wounded 09/01/1918
Pfc Erastus I Nelson C KIA 08/22/1918
Pvt Harry L Piggott M KIA 09/29/1918
Pvt Andrew J Robbins F
Pvt Byron Stanley I
Pvt Martin R Willis A

The 120th Infantry trained at Camp Sevier, SC, along with the other units of the 30th Division. They soon began training with French and British instructors covering the use of bayonets, bombs, scouting, trench-warfare and open-warfare. The middle of December 1917 brought an unusually frigid winter that interfered with training and caused hardships, but the men were able to resume training in January.

The trip to NYC to prepare for embarkation began in May 1918. All men had an opportunity to visit the city, which was a great experience for “most of the men.” (no further explanation was given)

Transport from Boston to London was provided by an Australian transport service. The food, therefore, was Australian and not appreciated by the men. The boats were crowded but the weather was good and all submarine attacks were unsuccessful.

The trip to France was completed on June 5, 1918, when all men were given a copy of an autographed letter from His Majesty, George V.

At first, the men were anxious to join the battle.

…for a long time the constant query was “When do we go South?” but in course of time it was changed to “We don’t want to go South.” At Calias the distant thunder of guns could be heard, and the nightly air raids with the accompaniment of bombs, taking their nightly toll of women and children, gave the first touch of war, and opened the eyes of many to the kind of enemy they were to fight.

They were the first troops to enter Belgium. It was July 4th and the village had Belgium and French flags flying from the houses in honor of the American holiday.

In early August, the men were thrilled to have an inspection by King George. It was over in a few minutes but enjoyed by all.

Training was finished and the Division prepared to relieve British troops at the Canal Sector at Ypres.

The entire sector is a ghastly monument to the tenacity and courage of the British soldiers. For four long years they held it against bitter attacks by a determined enemy; to-day it is consecrated ground made sacred by the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Britain’s finest sons; and the few Americans who lie “where poppies bloom”

On the night of August 17-18, the 120th and 119th Infantry relieved the British troops. At this time, Pvt Luther Benton of the 119th Infantry was wounded, as shared in his WWI Profile.

The ground was very low, easily flooded, and the water so near the surface that each shell hole became a little pool. All of the high ground, Observatory Ridge, Passchendaele Ridge, and the famous Mont Kimmel, was held by the enemy. These points of observation enabled the enemy to detect any movement within the sector, and, as a result, daylight movement was of necessity reduced to a minimum, for even small parties would provoke instant and heavy shelling. The Salient was so deep and so narrow it was subjected to shell-fire from front, flanks, and rear. Oftentimes the men in the forward systems believed they were being shelled by their own artillery, when as a matter of fact the shells were from enemy guns on our right and rear.

It was during these operations, on August 22, 1918, that Pfc Erastus Nelson was killed in action.

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

The Wilmington Morning Star [Wilmington, NC] 29 Sept. 1918, p.8 published this about his death.

The following is a copy of a letter from Lieut. Gross [George] McClelland, chaplain, 120th infantry, 30th division, American Expeditionary forces, to Mr. and Mrs. John C. Nelson, R.F.D. 1, Leland, notifying them of the death of their son, Erastus I. Nelson, who was killed in action August 22:

“Your son met death instantly yesterday afternoon by a direct hit. He was in the line of his duty and died like a man. I wish, as the officiating chaplain at his burial, to command you to the great Comforter of hearts in this your dark but proud hour.

“We buried your son this morning at Nine Elms cemetery with due military honors. A number of the boys from our regiment were present at the service.

“I should like to get a line from you at any time. Meantime, assuring you of my personal sympathy, and with every high personal regard.”

A friend of Private Nelson has received a letter from him, which was written August 17, five days before he paid the supreme price. The letter follows:

“There are so many laws concerning what a solider can and cannot write that I hardly know what a fellow is allowed to say and get his letter past the censor. Anyway I am well and getting plenty to eat, although it is far from being your table.

“We are not working so hard now. This much talked about ‘Sunny France’ is not what I expected to find. Its lots colder here than at home, and is at least 100 years behind the good old U.S.A. in every respect. The more I see of it the more I appreciate America.

“I am having quite a lot of fun with my French. By using my hands I can generally make myself understand. I think I am going to be able to speak French soon. I find more trouble trying to count the money than anything else.

“We are billeted in a French village, but am not allowed to give the name. At present am sleeping in a barn, which is not so bad so long as we are under a roof.

“If at any time you do not hear from me for quite a while do not worry for if anything happens you will be notified at once.”

His remains were returned to the United States in 1921 [Source: ancestry.com] and laid to rest in Nelson Cemetery in Leland, NC.

Source: findagrave
PRIVATE ERASTUS I. NELSON
SON OF J.G. & HARRIET S. NELSON

BORN OCT. 8, 1893
DIED AUG. 22, 1918

KILLED IN ACTION WHILE
SERVING AS AN INFANTRYMAN
WITH AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY
FORCES IN BELGIUM

[Remaining illegible]

Pfc Erastus Iredell Nelson was the first KIA from Brunswick County.
There would be four more.

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

Additional details about his brother Walter’s service.

Walter was a Wagoner with the 117th Engineer Train, 42nd “Rainbow” Division. The 117th Engineer Train was created entirely with North Carolina men. Wagoner Walter Nelson served with Wagoner Dorman Mercer and quite a few other Brunswick County men. More information will be available when the 42nd Division is covered in later profiles. This is confirmed by his NC WWI Service Card and his US Army Transport Passenger lists [Source: ancestry.com] for both outgoing and incoming, as well as the Roster for the 42nd Division. Yet, his application for military headstone and his military flat marker show “155 Depot Brigade.” The Depot Brigades were to receive, train, equip, and forward replacements (both officers and enlisted men) to replacement divisions of the corps. Walter Nelson had enlisted in the NC National Guard in July 1917, was a member of the 117th Engineer Train in October 1917 when he was transported to France, and remained in the 117th Engineer Train through April 1919 when he returned to the United States.

With all of this evidence from multiple records and the published roster, the assumption is his military flat marker is incorrect.

If you would like to help us honor Erastus I. Nelson 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Erastus I. Nelson 1893-1918

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: John W. Carlisle 1887-1919

Source: Soldiers of the Great War, Vol. II
John W Carlisle
Mill Branch, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private, First Class

Served:
September 19, 1917 – February 13, 1919
Overseas:
May 12, 1918 – February 13, 1919
Died of Disease: February 13, 1919

John Carlisle was born in Mill Branch, NC, in 1887. He married Lizzie Fowler or Walker (records aren’t consistent) in 1911. His draft registration shows he was married with two children, working as a farmer in Mill Branch. Records show his children were born in 1913 and 1916.

John was ordered to report to duty on September 19, 1917 [Source: ancestry.com]. He was 31 years old.

A third son was born during his training, January 7, 1918, confirmed by the 1920 Census.

Pvt John Carlisle was initially assigned to the 322th Infantry, 81st Division. Many from the 81st Division were moved to supplement the 30th Division and this included Pvt Carlisle. On February 20, 1918, he was transferred to the 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division, and eventually Company K. He served in that division throughout the war, according to his NC WWI Service Card.

Previous posts described the operations of the 119th Infantry until the war ended on November 11, 1918. At that point, the 30th Division moved by rail to Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, Southwest of Paris. They remained there until February 11, 1919, when orders were received to march approximately 30 km to Le Mans, to prepare for embarkation to the United States.

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

Pfc John Carlisle did not participate in that march. His name was scratched from the passenger list for USS Huron for return to the United States on March 21, 1919, with the notation, “SOLDIER DIED IN HOSPITAL FEBRUARY 13, 1919.”

Pfc John Carlisle died of pneumonia on February 13, 1919. There has been no record found for the return of his remains to the United States.

Some members of the The Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range visited Griffin Cemetery in Ash, NC, recently to pay tribute to Pfc Carlisle and take photos and rubbings of his headstone.

While not an official military headstone, it does include his service on the back of the headstone, as shown.

Notice the American flag displayed.

Rubbings show the words:

JOHN W. CARLISLE PVT. 1316552
CO. K 119TH INF. DIED FEB. 13, 1919

NO. 63
F

The meaning of “No. 63 F” is unclear. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.

John’s second son died of hepatitis in May 1919 and was buried in the same cemetery as his father. He was three years old. His oldest son died in 1993 and is buried in Brunswick County. His youngest son fought in many battles in the Italian Campaign in WWII and received a Purple Heart. He died in 1994 and was buried in Salisbury National Cemetery, in Rowan County, NC, with military honors.

This is the last profile for the 119th Infantry. Next week, posts begin for the 120th Infantry of the 30th Division.

If you would like to help us honor John W. Carlisle 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: John W. Carlisle 1887-1919

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Samuel Goodman Fulford 1894-1966

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

Samuel Goodman Fulford
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private

Served:
September 19, 1917 – April 8, 1919
Overseas:
May 11, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Wounded: October 17, 1918

Samuel Goodman Fulford was born and raised in Brunswick County, NC. A family tree can be viewed in FamilySearch. His WWI Draft Registration shows he was single, farming, and living in Supply, NC.

Samuel was ordered to report to duty on September 19, 1917, and was accepted for service on October 4, 1917 [source: ancestry.com]. On October 16, 1917, he joined 30th “Old Hickory” Division, 119th Infantry, Company C. Previous posts describe training, transport to France, and battles, including the breaking of the Hindenburg Line, until the beginning weeks of October 1918.

The 119th Infantry’s final contact with the enemy occurred during October 17-19, 1918. It was during that time that Pvt Fulford was wounded, and Pvt Luther Benton and Cpl Calmer Clemmons were wounded a second time. Pvt Fulford and Pvt Benton recovered by the end of November and early December, returning to duty at that time. Cpl Clemmons’ injuries were severe and required additional hospitalization after returning to the United States. Recall that he was initially reported missing.

The operation that resulted in the three men being wounded began before daybreak on October 17, 1918. The 119th Infantry had just rested for 6 days following their earlier push immediately after the Hindenburg Line assault. Before daybreak on October 17, they lined up at the eastern outskirts of La Haie Mennerese and bore on Vaux Andigny, advancing under an artillery barrage. You can follow their progress on the map below, starting on the middle right and advancing toward the east (right side of map shown below). Companies A (which included Pvt Luther Benton), B, E, and H led the assault with the others in support. At one point, they experienced a very heavy counter barrage from the enemy. At around 11am, the infantry advanced to a railroad cut 2,000 yards west of the village of Ribeauville. The men dug in for the night. This position was very heavily shelled and there were many casualties. Pvt Benton and Pvt Samuel Fulford were wounded at some time during the day’s maneuver.

Source: NC Digital Archives

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

The 120th Infantry (also in the 30th Division) and a British Regiment on their flanks had fallen behind so little movement was made during the day of the 18th. At 8pm, they began to advance over rough country with only a compass and moonlight. After reaching the eastern edge of Ribeauville, the shelling became heavier and mustard gas shells were falling. They captured Ribeauville, liberating one French civilian, then advanced further, halting at 1:30am on October 19. Cpl Clemmons’ severe injuries were received during this maneuver.

There were no more injuries among the remaining Brunswick County men in the 119th Infantry at this time. Refer to Pvt Luther Benton’s WWI Profile or the World War I Army/Marine Division Rosters for the infantry roster. The infantry continued pushing forward on October 19, but made little progress due to open country and deadly machine gun fire by the Germans. During these three days, the infantry had pushed forward for a total of 5 miles. They then halted, were relieved, and saw no more battles for the remainder of the war.

Between October 16-20, the casualties reported by the 119th Infantry were the following:
KIA: 31
Died of Wounds: 5
Severely Wounded: 47
Slightly Wounded: 145
Gassed: 45
Wounds undetermined: 7

Pvt Samuel Fulford returned to duty on November 26, 1918. The 119th Infantry was transported back to the United States in April 1919 and were mustered out at Camp Jackson, SC. Samuel resumed farming.

Samuel Goodman Fulford passed away on May 8, 1966, at age 71. He had never married. He was laid to rest in Sabbath Home Baptist Church Cemetery in Holden Beach, NC. A military flat marble marker is displayed.

Most of the information gathered was from History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919

If you would like to help us honor Samuel Goodman 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.

 

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Samuel Goodman Fulford 1894-1966

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Edgar Levett Ballard 1898-1975

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Herman Dan Fulford 1892-1977

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

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. His flat marker includes “U.S. Army Hero, WWI”

Corporal Curtis Lee Smith was one of three known soldiers from Brunswick County to be awarded medals during WWI.

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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Curtis L. Smith 1897-1982

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Albert Warren Williams 1894-1985; Henry David Williams 1892-1972

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.

Submitted by Harry David Williams’ grandson.
Henry David Williams (sitting), Albert Warren Williams (standing)
Albert Warren Williams
Shallotte, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Private, First Class

Served:
September 18, 1917 – April 7, 1919
Overseas:
May 12, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Severely Wounded: October 10, 1918

Henry David Williams
Shallotte, Brunswick County, NC
US Army
Corporal

Served:
October 7, 1917 – April 7, 1919
Overseas:
May 12, 1918 – April 2, 1919

Albert and Henry Williams were brothers born and raised in Shallotte, NC. A partial family tree is located in FamilySearch. Albert was 22 in 1917 when the country entered WWI. Henry was 25.

Albert’s WWI Draft Registration form shows he was single and a farmer. Henry was a widower, having lost his wife and infant a year earlier. He was also a farmer.

After receiving orders to report to the military board (Albert received orders for September 18, 1917; Henry for October 5, 1917), Albert and Henry were assigned to Company M, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division. Refer to the previous posts outlining the history of the division and their famous Hindenburg Line assault.

Henry was not injured during his service. He was promoted to Private First Class on June 1, 1918; then to Corporal on October 15, 1918.

Pvt Albert Williams was wounded in the push after the September 29th Hindenburg assault, as the Allies continued their advance, capturing French cities and liberating the citizens.

Using the map and description of the advance during October 8-10, detailed in the previous post, it is possible to pinpoint the approximate location where Albert was severely wounded on October 10, 1918.

Page 59 shows that during the period of time when Albert was wounded, the following casualties were reported by the 119th Infantry.

56 KIA
6 Died of Wounds
66 Severely Wounded
110 Slightly Wounded
31 Gassed
1 Taken Prisoner
7 Undetermined Wounds

No sources were found that describe his injury. Pvt Albert Williams returned to duty November 11, 1918. The war ended that day.

Albert was promoted to Private First Class on January 1, 1918.

When Albert and Henry returned aboard the USS Huron on March 21, 1919, [source: ancestry.com] the passenger list described all as “Class A” which means fully fit.

Both Pfc Albert Williams and Cpl Henry Williams were honorably discharged from the US Army on April 7, 1919.

The 1920 census for Henry showed a familiar name. Henry was in New Hanover County, boarding with Harry Chadwick and his wife. (Harry Chadwick was the twin brother of Harvey Chadwick, who was Killed in Action in 1918.) Henry and Harry were working together as ship carpenters. (Henry’s first wife was the sister of Harry’s wife.) A 1920 census for Albert was not found, but he was married around the time of the census.

Albert married in March 1920. Henry was married in November. Both raised families in the area.

Henry passed away on December 8, 1972, at age 80. He was laid to rest in Gurganus Cemetery. No military honors are shown in findagrave. No obituary is available.

Albert passed away on August 2, 1985, at age 90. His obituary was published in the August 8, 1985 issue of Brunswick Beacon.

Albert W. Williams

Albert Warren Williams, 90, of Hubert and formerly of Shallotte Point, died Friday in the Veterans Hospital in Fayetteville.

The funeral was held Monday at Village Point United Methodist Church, with burial in the Gurganus Cemetery, Shallotte Point.

Williams was a veteran of World War I, serving in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the American Legion and lifetime member of Village Point United Methodist Church. Williams was also a past chairman of the church board.

He was the husband of the late Stella Lee Williams and the son of the late John L. and Susan Gurganus Williams.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Vivian Milligan, of Hubert; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Albert Warren Williams was also laid to rest in Gurganus Cemetery in Shallotte. Military honors are shown.

Most of the information gathered was from History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919

If you would like to help us honor Albert Warren Williams, Henry David Williams, 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Albert Warren Williams 1894-1985; Henry David Williams 1892-1972

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Van Grissett Mintz 1893-1929

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

Photo courtesy of findagrave
Van Grissett Mintz
Goldsboro, NC
NC National Guard
1st Sergeant

Served:
June 23, 1916 – August 13, 1919
Overseas:
June 5, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Wounded: October 10, 1918

Van G. Mintz was born and raised in Shallotte, Brunswick County, NC. Van had one brother who also served in WWI, Pvt James Roland Mintz.

On June 23, 1916, Van enlisted in the NC National Guard, served in Mexico, then was eventually assigned to Company E, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Previous posts described training with the 30th Division at Camp Sevier, SC, the transportation to France, and events up to and including the Hindenburg Line assault.

The advance continued, as shown on this map.

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

The 119th Infantry began advancing at 3:30am October 8. They formed at Premont [see map]. They began capturing material and liberating French citizens who had been under German control for four years.

Upon the entrance of the Americans into the village and before the Germans had been driven entirely out, the civilians were in the streets offering the soldiers hot coffee. They could not be too kind to their liberators. It seemed to surprise them greatly that the troops occupying their town then were friendly Americans. They thought that the British had freed them and it was sometime before they could believe the truth.

They arrived close to Busigny, then waited until the following morning to resume their advance. Regimental HQ had moved to Premont and a runner was used for communications. Wires had been nearly impossible to maintain throughout the barrage, so pigeons and dogs were also often used for communications.

The advance continued without meeting very strong resistance until the town of St. Souplet on the west bank of the LaSalle River was reached; about 3:00 o’clock that afternoon.

Here the enemy apparently had time to make some preparation and to bring up a few reserves, as the Heights immediately east of the River were well protected. Heavy Machine Gun and Artillery fire was received from the entire ridge covering the Regimental front. It was practically impossible to advance up this open incline without the sacrifice of a great number of lives. Repeated efforts were made to cross the River, and at a few points were successful but due to the nature of the terrain and the terrific Machine Gun fire, it was deemed necessary to dig in and hold the line along the west bank of the River, as a counter-attack was anticipated, but never materialized. The left flank of the Regiment at this time was connected with the 25th British Division but the right flank was exposed as the 120th Infantry had not kept up, causing the line to bend back in front of several fortified Machine Gun posts.

Confronting these conditions, the line was ordered to halt and make good a general line along the west bank of the LaSalle River and gain contact with the 120th Infantry, which was done later that night. During the day’s operation the Regiment advanced to a distance of 4,000 yards and captured the towns of Escaufort, St. Souplet and St. Benin, liberating 706 French civilians. A large number of Machine Guns and several field pieces were captured with a large supply of ammunition.

That afternoon about 2:30 o’clock Regimental Headquarters moved from Premont to Busigny.

The night of the 9th-10th of October was spent in consolidating the captured position and to gain contact with the unit on the right which had been held up by Machine Gun fire. It was the plan that as soon as this connection had been made an Artillery Barrage was to be laid down on the whole front thus enabling the entire line to advance. The German position could not be taken without this preliminary preparation by the Artillery so strongly was it defended.

The Regiment then rested for five days. Cpl Metz was slightly wounded during these operations. He returned to duty on November 1, 1918. The Regiment had completed another intense advance while he was recovering. They were now replenishing and filling their ranks with replacements for those killed or wounded. Van Metz was now Sgt Metz for “gallantry under fire” [see below]. The Regiment would not fight again, as the Armistice was signed before they were ordered back to the battlefields.

After returning to America, 1st Sgt Van Mintz required more hospitalization and was finally honorably discharged on August 13, 1919. He was reported as 35% disabled.

News and Observer [Raleigh, NC] 21 Aug. 1919, p.3, published this news from Goldsboro.

Sergeant Van G. Mintz, of Co. E, 119th Infantry, who served under Capt. E.H. Bain, of this city, in Mexico and later in France, and was promoted to sergeant for gallantry under fire, and who has been a patient at the government hospital in Asheville since the return of his division, has arrived in Goldsboro and is being cordially greeted by his many young friends here.

Camp Sevier, SC, became a tuberculosis treatment hospital for discharged soldiers after the war. Van Mintz was a patient there in 1920.

He was married in 1922 in Greenville, SC. According to the published notice, he had accepted a government job in Waynesville, NC, outside of Asheville. [Source: The Greenville News (Greenville, SC), 22 Nov. 1922, p.8.]

Van Grissett Mintz passed away on May 13, 1929, at age 36. His death record lists his occupation as salesman. He left behind a wife and young daughter (Elizabeth Mintz Hair).

Van G. Mintz was laid to rest in Mintz Cemetery. A military headstone is shown.

The information quoted above was from History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919

If you would like to help us honor Van Grissett Mintz 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Van Grissett Mintz 1893-1929

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Calmer Thomas Clemmons 1895-1965

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
Calmer Thomas Clemmons
Supply, Brunswick County, NC
National Guard
Corporal

Served:
May 5, 1917 – February 28, 1919
Overseas:
May 11, 1918 – January 30, 1919
Wounded: September 29, 1918; October 16/18, 1918

Calmer Thomas Clemmons was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, NC.

On May 5, 1917, at the age of 22, Calmer 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. Cpl Calmer Clemmons was assigned to Company F, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Previous posts described training with the 30th Division at Camp Sevier, SC, the transportation to France, and events up to and including the Hindenburg Line assault.

Recall the following description of the operation.
Photo Source

Very early in the morning of September 29th the 60th brigade [119th Infantry, 120th Infantry, and 115th Machine Gun Battalion], with some units of the 117th regiment, assaulted this terrible line on a front of 3,000 yards, captured the whole Hindenburg system, then advanced still further and took the tunnel system with all the German troops hidden in it and next captured the towns of Bellicourt, Nouroy, Riqueval, Carriere, Etricourt, the Guillaine Ferme (farm) and Ferme de Riqueval; in this part of the assault advancing 4,200 yards and defeating two German divisions of average quality and taking from these (the 75th and 185th) 47 officers and 1,434 men. – Source

Cpl Clemmons was slightly wounded during the heroic assault on the Hindenburg Line on September 29, 1918. This injury was reported on his NC WWI Service Card. But he faced more serious injuries a few weeks later. Details of that battle will be covered in later posts, as several Brunswick County men were wounded during that time.

Source: Rockingham post-dispatch. [Rockingham, NC], December 05, 1918, p. 9

 

Cpl Calmer Clemmons was seriously wounded on October 16 [NC WWI Service Card] or 18 [119th Roster]. The date was probably recorded incorrectly because Cpl Clemmons was initially reported missing.

Cpl Clemmons never returned to service due to the seriousness of his injuries, which are unknown. On January 22, 1919, he left US Army Base Hospital No. 40 in Southern England and boarded USS Plattsburg to New York. The passenger list stated that all passengers were “Walking Cases.” [Source: ancestry.com]

The Charlotte Observer [Charlotte, NC] 1919 Feb. 13, p. 14 reported the following.

52 Carolina Soldiers, Wounded, Arrive Here

Sent to Camp Greene Base Hospital for Medical and Reconstruction Treatment.

Fifty-two Carolina soldiers, wounded in action in France but now almost well again, from a New York army hospital, arrived at the base hospital at Camp Greene for medical and reconstructive treatment, according to information given out there yesterday. With relatively few exceptions these men formerly were with the famous Thirtieth division. Others were with labor battalions, medical corps unit and artillery regiments.
[…]
Corporal Calmer Clemmons, Company F, 119th infantry.
[…]
Bugler William R. Smith, Machine Gun company, 322d infantry.
[…]

Bugler William R. Smith was also from Brunswick County. His WWI Profile is coming soon.

 Calmer Clemmons was honorably discharged on February 25, 1919, with no reported disability. He married  and appears to have lived with his wife and son in Wilmington until his death. Calmer Clemmons was laid to rest on September 26, 1965. Military honors are displayed.

If you would like to help us honor Calmer Thomas Clemmons 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Calmer Thomas Clemmons 1895-1965

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile

WWI Profile: Elder Eugene Heath 1896-1984

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: 119th Infantry Unit Rosters for Company H to Company M, Page 13

Elder Eugene Heath
Bolivia, Brunswick County, NC
NC National Guard
Corporal

Served:
May 27, 1917 – April 7, 1919
Overseas:
May 12, 1918 – April 2, 1919
Severely Wounded: September 29, 1918

Elder Eugene Heath was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, NC.

On May 27, 1917, at the age of 19, Elder Heath enlisted in the NC National Guard by way of the Boys’ Brigade, as described in a previous post. He was eventually assigned to Co. I, 119th Infantry, 30th “Old Hickory” Division.

Cpl Heath’s NC WWI Service Card shows he was a Private. Company rosters, such as the one pictured above, US Army Transport records to and from France [Source: ancestry.com], casualty lists printed in newspapers at the time [see below], and his military flat marker refer to him as Corporal Elder E. Heath. It is not unusual for discrepancies in historical records, and the evidence is overwhelming that the service card is incorrect.

Before settling at Camp Sevier, SC, the soldiers were at Camp Jackson, SC. There, photographs were taken. This photograph is Pvt Thomas Newton Bryson (on the left) with three unknown fellow soldiers. [Source: NC State Archives] Pvt Bryson also served in the 119th Infantry. More about Pvt Bryson later.

Previous posts described training with the 30th Division at Camp Sevier, SC, the transportation to France, and events up to and including the Hindenburg Line assault.

Cpl Elder Heath was seriously wounded during the assault on the Hindenburg Line, along with many of his comrades in the 30th Division. Recall that History, 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division, U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919 reported the casualties in the 119th Infantry on that day were as follows:

146 KIA
691 Wounded
16 Died of Wounds
37 Taken Prisoner
12 MIA

Source: The commonwealth [Scotland Neck, NC], December 17, 1918, p. 4

This (partial) casualty list appeared in many newspapers after he was wounded.

Pvt Newton was also severely wounded that day. He recuperated in France and had this photo taken, again, with an unknown fellow soldier. [Source: NC State Archives] Pvt Newton’s photographs give us a glimpse into the experience of the other soldiers from the 119th.

Cpl Heath luckily had a complete recovery, returning to duty December 2, 1918. [Source: 119th Infantry Roster, Page 91] The war had ended a month earlier.

When he boarded USS Huron on March 21, 1919, to return to America, the passenger list shows All Class “A” (fit for duty).

After Cpl Elder E. Heath was discharged, he married. It doesn’t appear he had children.

Elder Eugene Heath was laid to rest in Columbus County, NC in 1984. He was 88 years old.

If you would like to help us honor Elder Eugene Heath 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.

Comments Off on WWI Profile: Elder Eugene Heath 1896-1984

Filed under Honor a Veteran, Veteran Profile