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:

Rare Historical Find! Liljenquist Civil War Photographs Collection ~ Library of Congress

Liljenquist Collection - Unidentified African American soldier in Union Zouave uniformIf you haven’t seen the AMAZING collection of Civil War images donated to the Library of Congress in 2010 by the Liljenquist Family, you are missing a historical treat!

The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs contains 1220+ ambrotypes and tintypes portrait photographs capturing both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865), including many portraits of African American Soldiers!

The Liljenquist Collection Summary:

More than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The photographs often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Among the most rare images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, Lincoln campaign buttons, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends.

Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See “From the Donor’s Perspective–The Last Full Measure” for the full story.

The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War.

Take your time and go through the collection. You never know when you might find a long, lost Ancestor.

Luckie

References:

U.S. COLORED TROOPS: WINGFIELD Union Soldiers of the Civil War

Company B 103 Regiment - Unidentified Civil War UNION Soldier

Earlier tonight Bernita ALLEN (Air Force SME) of AAGSAR (African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research) shared an awesome site to research your Civil War Ancestors, the National Park Service: Soldiers and Sailors Database. I’ve already identified 8 WINGFIELD Civil War Soldiers I need to research further to determine if a family connection exists!

Albeit connected by SURNAME, blood and/or plight, I honor these WINGFIELD men of service. I’ll keep you posted on connections too! AMAZING!:)

Luckie

*****************

Wingfield, Albert

  • Regiment Name: 13th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Alexander

  • Regiment Name: 115th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, Charles

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 95th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 97th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Winfield

Wingfield, John

  • Regiment Name: 103rd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union
  • Alternate Name: John/Wingfield

Wingfield, William

  • Regiment Name: 1st Regiment, United States Colored Infantry
  • Side: Union

USCT Recruitment Poster

NOTE: NPS Soldiers and Sailors database results returned 222 WINGFIELD Confederate Soliders. I also plan to research [and honor] my Confederate Ancestors of military service

REFERENCES:

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

U.S. ARMY Sgt. Pierce DORSEY (b. 1891) ~ WWI Veteran of Athens, Georgia

Colored Troops of Camp [Fort] Jackson - Columbia, SC

It really just dawned on me this morning how I spend more time writing about Ancestors I have no memories or inherited history of, than those familiar to me. Seems these Ancestors fight hardest to be seen and heard, which does make sense. It’s the Ancestors we don’t know or remember that have the greatest possibility of being omitted [albeit inadvertently] from future narratives of our family’s history.

I’m thankful I got my descendant’s head on straight by taking time to share Great Uncle Pierce CODY’s life narrative. I should’ve never been so busy tracing the clues he deposited in his WPA Slave Narrative that I neglected to add more texture to the story of his 90+ year life. Forgive me Uncle Pierce!:)

And just as Ancestors work, as I was pulling together the story of Pierce [CODY], I discovered more than I ever knew about one of his namesakes, 1st cousin Pierce DORSEY, his sister Ailey and Elbert’s son!:)

Pierce DORSEY - Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918Pierce DORSEY (b. 1891) was inducted into the U.S. Army on August 22, 1918 in Athens, Georgia. His training was conducted at Camp [Fort] Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. It *appears* he was assigned to Company D 346th Service Battalion, although me and my handy Military SMEs True LEWIS (Army) and Bernita ALLEN (Air Force) are still tracking down Pierce’s Roster and company details.

Cousin Pierce was sent overseas to serve almost immediately (September 30, 1918 – July 15, 1919) and was appointed to Sergeant on October 1, 1918. He was Honorably Discharged on July 23, 1919, where he returned to his wife Louise in Athens, Clarke County Georgia. In 1923 Pierce and Louise welcomed a son, Robert.

I’d mentioned to Bernita just last week how I had an Ancestor nudge telling me I was overlooking our family men with military service. Clearly, this is true!:)

Given Fort Jackson is a mere 70 miles from my home, the kids and I will travel there soon to visit the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum. I want to learn more about what Pierce and other WWI negro servicemen encountered in 1918, given I know many (including Pierce) returned in 1919 to experience Red Summer and Jim Crow brutalities in FULL effect.

The above image of Camp Jackson’s Negro Troops was taken in 1918. I’d like to believe my Cousin, Sgt. Pierce DORSEY was among the proud men standing there. I have Cousin Gwen (Ailey’s 3rd Great Granddaughter) polling the family for an image of Pierce too!:)

Pierce lived to be 90 years old, passing December 26, 1983. I’ve included the Army service records of his I could find, and am proud to have had the honor of updating his Fold3 Memorial Page.

Neither U.S. Army Sgt. Pierce DORSEY nor his WWI Service will ever be forgotten — by anyone.

Luckie

Pierce DORSEY - Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Pierce DORSEY – Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Pierce DORSEY - Army Registration Card 1918

Pierce DORSEY – Army Registration Card 1917

Camp Jackson 1918

Camp [Fort] Jackson, Columbia SC – 07.05.1918

The American Negro in The World War - Emmett J. ScottAnd if you REALLY need to be schooled on the military history of African American servicemen and the politics [and challenges] surrounding our integration of the armed services, read Emmett J. SCOTT’s The American Negro in The World War of 1919.

A Complete and Authentic Narration, from Official Sources, of the Participation of  AMERICAN SOLDIERS OF THE NEGRO RACE
in the WORLD WAR FOR DEMOCRACY

Emmett J. SCOTT was the Special Adjutant to Secretary of War and for 18 years served as the Private Secretary of Booker T. WASHINGTON.

His narrative is first-account history we’ll never have privy to again, and the images of our servicemen (reference Illustrations) are enduring. They made me SO PROUD!:)

REFERENCES:

WWI Service of Pierce DORSEY Recognized in Athens GA News 1917 & 1922

Thanks to a tip from Athens Historian Al HESTER, I discovered two news articles recognizing Pierce DORSEY’S military service in WWI from the historic Athens Herald, 1917 and 1922!:)

500 Registrants Have Been Called – Athens Daily Herald
Tuesday, 21 August 1917 [Click to enlarge image]
Note: Pierce DORSEY is listed on the 4th column, 9 names down from top

Pierce DORSEY WWI Call To Duty

Clarke County Colored Men Who Served in The United States Army During World War – Athens Daily Banner
Saturday, 1 July 1922 [Click to enlarge image]
Note: Piece DORSEY is 4th column; upper 1/4th of page

Pierce DORSEY - WWI Service July 1, 1922

Reference: Athens Historic Newspapers Archive : Georgia Historic Newspapers