Category Archives: History

Independence Day 1918

Source of photos: Library of Congress

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

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

(Signed)         PERSHING

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

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

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

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

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

A view of the parade on Fifth Avenue, 1918

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

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

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

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The origin of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range

In April, we honored and recognized the Centennial of the US entry into World War I by holding a Commemoration Ceremony at the Fort Caswell Rifle Range alongside the Brunswick Town Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

As we prepare for the Centennial of the End of World War I on November 11, 1918, we will also recognize the centennial of the Fort Caswell Rifle Range, which was approved and built in 1918.

Mason’s mark on north wall

The Fort Caswell Rifle Range was built to replace the existing one, which had become unsafe due to the increase in the garrison to house the “large number of recruits and drafted men now here or expected in the near future.”

A site for the new rifle range was found “three miles distant from the Post.” The site, now within the Caswell Dunes neighborhood, “affords a fine camp ground with plenty of water and wood without further expense to the Government.”

These US War Department documents including blueprints can be found by clicking the HISTORY selection at the top of the website.


Please consider making a donation to save this unique piece of history. Click here or the green “How to make a donation” button at the top right of this website.

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Have you seen our World War I Wall of Honor?

Last year, the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range began a project to commemorate the rifle pit’s centennial year in 2018. Requests were made locally and beyond for photographs and biographies of family members who served in World War I. These were assembled on a physical Wall of Honor that is displayed during special occasions such as the Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser at the Caswell Dunes Clubhouse.

You can see the Wall of Honor behind Norm Sprinthall, who is shown here wearing his father’s WWI medals.

But did you know there is a virtual World War I Wall of Honor right on the website? It’s accessible in the WWI section of the website or using the link above.

If you’re interested in submitting your own photographs, please use the link for details.

The World War I Wall of Honor will be displayed again at this year’s Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser on May 6, 2017.

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How much did the rifle range cost in 1918?

The War Department lists an estimate dated January 24, 1918, for a total of $3856.38 for
“Target pit, protected passage and store house at New Rifle Range, Artillery Cantonment”

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