Military Mystery: ARMY Lance Corporal Charlie JACKSON (b. abt 1890) of Macon Georgia

I completely believe our research is championed by the Ancestors whose stories we seek to tell. So rather than holding on to all the Charlie JACKSON data I’ve gathered on my mission to find Gertrude’s big brother, I’ll begin posting what I’ve learned of their lives and military service here, among friends. I believe Charlie is fighting to not be forgotten and we will find him soon.

Charlie JACKSON Macon GA Service Card 1917Charlie JACKSON – Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919

Lance Corporal Charlie JACKSON was born about 1890 in Macon, Georgia. According to his U.S. Army Service Card, Charlie JACKSON enlisted on October 23, 1917 at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in January 1918, serving overseas from December 26, 1917 to July 10, 1919.

Lance Cpl. JACKSON was Honorably Discharged from the Army July 21, 1919.

From various records and Macon news sources, I can confirm Charlie’s address as 120 Pio Nono Avenue in Macon where he lived with his Wife, Roberta (b. 1890) for many years, including following his discharge from the Army. Charlie and Roberta can be found in Macon’s City Directory from 1924-1945. There address is less than 2 miles from the home Gertrude shared with Aunt Etta FLOYD at 306 Madison St.

Charlie-JACKSON-I---Macon-GA-City-Directory-1925Charlie & Roberta JACKSON – 1925 U.S. City Directory. Macon GA

Charlie’s 1890 birth year, Macon birth location, close proximity to Gertrude and Fort McPherson training base make him a strong candidate for being “Our Charlie”.

Wounded-Georgians-Return-July-12-1918What doesn’t add up is how could Charlie send Gertrude a postcard with what I believe a March 18, 1919 Fort McPherson postmark IF he didn’t return to the states until July 1919?

Atlanta GA
Mar 18 19
My dearest little sister,
I am so sorry that I didn’t see you any-more.
I am expecting visit there again soon, with lots of love your Bro Charl [sic]

Could Charlie have been injured overseas in France and returned early to Atlanta on July 11, 1918? Could he have been at Fort McPherson recovering from a war injury for 1 year, among the UNNAMED Negroes mentioned in this Macon Telegraph news article (07.12.1018)?

Also, if Charlie lived in Macon close to sister Gertrude, would he have spoken of a “visit” soon? Wouldn’t he have been returning home to Roberta?

I still plan to obtain a death certificate for Gertrude that would [hopefully] identify parents to trace via the census and connect Gertrude and Charlie. An Army Roster with Charlie listed and/or discharge papers would be GOLDEN too! Or a Georgia Military expert to weigh-in on the postcard and confirm if it’s Camp Gordon or Ft. McPherson.

So, what do you think? Is Lance Cpl. JACKSON our Charlie?

Charlie-JACKSON I---MACON-GA--6-AUG-1917

Last Draft List Has Been Mailed. Macon and Bibb County Physical Examinations for the Draft Are to be Held during Present Week
Date: Monday, August 6, 1917  
Paper: Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)

Charlie JACKSON I - Army Registration CardCharlie JACKSON – Army Registration Card 1917

Charlie-JACKSON-I---Macon-GA-1920-Census

Charlie & Roberta JACKSON – 1920 Macon GA U.S. Census

References:

  • Wounded Georgins Return, Friday, July 12, 1918  – Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)
  • Last Draft List Has Been Mailed. Macon and Bibb County Physical Examinations for the Draft Are to be Held during Present Week,  Monday, August 6, 1917  – Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA)
  • 1920 United States Census – Macon Georgia, BIBB County
  • 1925 U.S. City Directory – Macon, Georgia
  • World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 – Ancestry.com
  • Army Registration Card 1917 – Ancestry.com
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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: