WWI Camp Gordon, Georgia ~ Baptism of Army Negro Soldiers 1917-1919

Camp Gordon - ARMY Negro Soldiers Baptism48. Baptism for Army Men, Colored troops of the U. S. Army receiving Holy Baptism at the Norcross Rifle Range, Camp Gordon, Ga.
The American Negro in the World War – Emmett J. Scott 1919

WWI Army Infantry Mystery & Finding Pvt. Charlie Jackson

Until he tells me otherwise, Gertrude’s big brother and our WWI Army Soldier is officially Charlie JACKSON of the U.S. Army.

Gertrude JACKSON and Aunt Etta FLOYD remained in Macon their entire lives, which makes researching MUCH easier! Gertrude was a career teacher; Aunt Etta at times a laundress. The two remained at 306 Madison Street until Etta passed on July 17, 1952. From what I can tell, Etta was widowed and Gertrude never married — neither appear to have had children.

Now Brother Charlie…

Though I believe he would have been sent to one of the 16 wartime training camps established to support WWI, I believe the postcard on March 18, 1919 was sent from either Fort McPherson or Camp Jesup in East Point Atlanta. Why am I changing-up now? The POSTMARK.

Postmarks from Camp Gordon would have been marked ” Gordon Branch” with the TIME STAMP below the year, like the example below [click image to enlarge]:

POSTMARK - Camp Gordon 1917

Now look at this postmark from March 19, 1919 (1 day after Charlie’s card was stamped). The postmark, print and placement is almost identical!

Did Fort McPherson or Camp Jessup have Negro Troops on base in 1919? I think so, but will need to confirm. Could Charlie have been working with a Labor Battalion to build the installations or hurt in service and sent to McPherson? Possibly.

Where are you Charlie?!:)

References:

Miltary Mystery: WWI 1919 Atlanta Infantry Drill – Take II

As it turns out, the “original poster” of my WWI 1919 Atlanta Infantry Drill mystery is none other than Lee Eltzroth of Hunting & Gathering, my online genealogy Twitter pal! Who knew the genea-blogging community was so small? Well, I guess I did BUT it’s still cool to know the Infantry Drill image is in Lee’s hands AND that allows me to gather even more intel!:)

So take a look at both the FRONT and BACK side views of our mystery image. The devil is in the details! Time to dig in to find our Clarence/Charles and Gertrude JACKSON of Macon, Georgia! These Ancestors are calling for us!:)

Infantry Drill Atlanta 1919

Infantry Drill 1919 postcard back

Infantry Drill 1919 postcard back detailSo tell me what do you see?!:)

Luckie

FOOTNOTE 1.29.2014

U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 — Gertrude Jackson

  • Name: Gertrude Jackson
  • Residence Year: 1915
  • Street Address: 306 Madison
  • Residence Place: Macon, Georgia
  • Occupation: Teacher
  • Publication Title: Macon, Georgia, City Directory, 1915

Gertrude JACKSON - Macon, GA City Directory 1915

1920 United States Federal Census about Gertrude Jackson

  • Notes : Gertrude is living with her Aunt Etta FLOYD (b. 1882) at 306 Madison Street in Macon’s 3d Ward. She is 20 years old, born in 1900 and teaching.

Gertrude JACKSON - Macon, GA 1920 Census

U.S. ARMY Pvt. Elbert CODY III (b. 1894) ~ WWI Veteran of Warrenton, Georgia

Camp Gordon 1918-1919  - IPvt. Elbert CODY III (b. 1894) descends from a long line of Elberts in our family. He was Grandson [and namesake] to my 4th Great Grandfather, Elbert CODY (b. 1820), the son of Elbert II (b. 1847) and Lula CODY of Warrenton, Georgia. If you need help keeping up with our Elberts, just check here – A Tale of Many Elberts ~ CODY, DORSEY, DAWSON, WINGFIELD & STRINGER.

Elbert CODY III is my 1st Cousin, 4xs removed.

As I’ve shared, I was delighted to find Elbert and Zack JONES, Cousin Gwen’s Grandfather, being inducted together and sent to Atlanta’s Camp GORDON for war-training. I’d give anything to know what they talked about on that day or how they felt being sworn in. Or to hear their experiences as part of the newly formed Colored Troops!

Cousin Elbert served overseas from July 1918 to July 1919 with Company C 327th Service Battalion and was Honorably Discharged July 15, 1919.

He departed this life on December 3, 1950 and is buried at the Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio; a Military Headstone marking his grave.

Camp Gordon 1918-1919 - IINegro Recruits Camp Gordon 1918

I’m still seeking to learn where he served and to find his name on an official Roster List. Finding historical documentation of our African American in service has proven to be quite the challenge, and was the genesis for my creating this blog.

Our men deserve better. They are deserving of honor and recognition for their service. We can’t allow their stories, service and memories to be blotted out of history.

As you can see, I’ve discovered more than a few images of Camp Gordon Negro recruits 1917-1918 online via the National Archives.

Who can say? I could very well be looking in the face of Cousins Elbert and Zack as they made their way to Camp Gordon!

I’m hopeful some of my CODY-DORSEY-JONES cousins will find a familiar face among these young men. Now wouldn’t that be something!:)

Elbert CODY III - WWI Service CardElbert CODY III – Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Elbert CODY III - Army Registration CardElbert CODY III – Army Registration Card 1917

Camp Gordon 1918-1919 - IIIAfrican American Soldiers at Camp Gordon listening to another Soldier read 1917-1918

Camp Gordon GA 1918 - IVCamp Gordon New Recruits receiving instruction – 1918 Georgia

WWI U.S. ARMY Pvt. Zack JONES (1891-1961) of Richmond, Georgia

Elbert CODY III & Zack Jones - Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918Surprised doesn’t describe my feelings when I discovered Zack JONES (b.1891 – d. 1961), Grandfather of my Cousin Gwen STEGALL (Connected By Blood) being inducted into the Army on April 30, 1918 with Cousin Elbert CODY III in Warrenton, Georgia!

Focusing on Elbert CODY, I’d missed Zack’s name but he must have shouted out because I spotted him on a 2nd pass! Guess he said if you can poke around my family tree Luckie, you can make sure I’m recognized among my family!

And Cousin Zack is absolutely right!:)

After being inducted cousins Zack JONES and Elbert CODY were both sent to Camp GORDON in Atlanta for war-training.

From Zack’s WWI Service Card it doesn’t appear he was sent overseas. Much of his service from April 1918 to January 1919 was with the 157th Depot Brigade and Company B 403 Labor Battalion QMC, which is also inscribed on Zack’s military headstone at Cody Grove Baptist Church in Warrenton.

Perk JONESZack was Honorably Discharged on January 9, 1919. He returned to Warrenton where he would later marry Cousin Perk Jackson (b.1906 – d. 1959) and raise his family.

Zack JONES departed this life 31 May 1961 and was dearly loved by his family. I’m looking forward to Cousin Gwen sharing a few of Zack’s WWI stories with us!:)

Zack JONES - WWI Service CardZack JONES – Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Zack Jones - Army Registration CardZack JONES – Army Registration Card 1917

Additional Reading: To understand just how special finding Zack and Elbert being inducted together in 1918 is, visit Our Georgia Roots to read about how Cousin Gwen and I reconnected our CODY-DORSEY family line in 2010 – Sisters Ailey & Catie CODY: Separated By Slavery, Connected By Love

Miltary Mystery: WWI 1919 Atlanta Infantry Drill

Infantry Drill - Atlanta 1919 A few days ago while researching my Ancestor Sgt. Pierce DORSEY I discovered a Memorial Day Mystery post that caught my interest.

Note the original poster’s comments below:

The Monday Mystery photograph for today is a photo postcard postmarked “Atlanta May 1919” and captioned “3002 – Infantry Drill – Port Arms.”… The postcard is addressed to Gertrude Jackson in Macon, from her brother, who inscribed it to “my dearest little sister”.  The brother may have been named Clarence, (although it looks to be signed “ChailXX” and I thought perhaps “Charles” if that “i” is really an R, but the last letters are rubbed off).  I did find a Gertrude Jackson in Macon with a brother Clarence in 1910 — BUT the writer is not the mystery.

The military housing and trees look similar to images I’ve seen taken of Atlanta’s Camp Gordon, where a large number of African American soldiers received war-training during WWI.

Can’t help wondering if this is really an image of Camp Gordon and if a young Elbert CODY III or Zack JONES is among the men running through their Infantry Drill? Or if Gertrude JACKSON in Macon, and her brother knew any of my people there?

I plan to poke around to see what I find. Stranger things have happened!:)

Luckie