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

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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

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

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