Pvt. Leonard London Barnes.

On 5 June 1917, Leonard London Barnes registered in Gardners precinct, Wilson County, for the World War I draft. He was just shy of 30 years old.


Ten months later, the Wilson County draft board inducted the 21 men of group 159 into military service. All were African-American farmers or laborers and were sent for basic training to Camp Grant, Illinois. It was likely the first time most had left North Carolina. Leonard Barnes was among them.


Pvt. Barnes served with 350th Machine Gun Battalion, 92nd Division, and was honorably discharged on 17 June 1919. For details of the famous 92nd’s dramatic and heroic service in France, see E.J. Scott here.


When he died 19 November 1952, his widow Adelaide W. Barnes applied to the military for a flat granite marker.



In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Barnes, 51, wife Pennina, 40, and children Rosetta, 22, James W., 20, Hardy, 18, Chaney, 16, Pruny, 14, London, 12, Silas, 11, Prisa, 8, Simon, 5, and Marylisa, 2. [Leonard’s mother was Penninah Woodard, daughter of Rev. London and Penelope Lassiter Woodard.]

On 19 December 1917, in Rocky Mount, Nash County, Leonard Barnes married Adelaide White, 24, daughter of Allen White and Lula German of Nash County.


In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1203 Carolina Street, rented at $12/month, wagon company laborer Lenord Barnes, 35, wife Adeline, 39, and children Penny, 11, Mary, 9, Adeline, 6, and Oscar, 11 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Lernord Barnes, 52, wife Adalaid, 45, Penny, 21, Adelaid Lee, 15, Oscar, 10, and Leandar Jr., 8.

Leonard Barnes died 19 November 1952 at his home at 1314 Carolina Street in Wilson. He was buried in his mother’s family’s cemetery.


Photo of Leonard L. Barnes courtesy of Ancestry.com member CYBARNES; U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; U.S. Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917–1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.


Leave a Reply