soldier

Studio shots, no. 191: Willie B. Hines.

Willie Benjamin Hines (1927-1990).

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In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 51; wife Eliza, 50; and children Beatrice, 17, Tommie, 15, Rosa, 13, Frances, 12, Creasy, 11, Turner Jr., 8, Daisy L., 6, Willie B., 4, and Fred D., 3.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 62, and children Rosetta, 23, Francis, 22, Lucretia, 21, Turner J., 18, Daisey, 17, Willie B., 13, Fred, 11, Freeman, 8, Ederene, 6, and Thelma D., 4.

In 1945, Willie Benjamin Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration, he was born 17 February 1927 in Wilson County; lived at Route 4, Box 184, Wilson; his contact was father Turner Hines, 1001 East Vance Street, Wilson; and he worked for [brother-in-law] George Powell, Route 4, Box 184.

Photo courtesy of Roger Barron.

Pfc. Thomas writes his family.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 December 1918. 

Wilson Daily Times, 27 December 1918.

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The Daily Times published a handful of letters from African-American soldiers written during World War I, including these from Elton Thomas and two from Arthur N. Darden.

Despite their hopes, Thomas and his buddies did not get home until March 1919. Dave Barnes suffered the effects of his gas attack the rest of his life. This history of Company H, 365th Infantry’s battles in France suggests that the date of injury was November 10, not the 18th.

This service card provides details of Thomas’ time in the Army.

North Carolina World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919, www.ancestry.com

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  • Elton Thomas

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charlie Thomas, 38, printing office pressman; wife Sarah, 33; children Elton, 9, Louis, 8, Elizabeth, 6, and Hattie May, 2; and lodgers Manse Wilson, 36, and Johnnie Lewis, 21, both carpenters.

In the 1908 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Thomas Elton (c) lather h 616 E Green

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charlie Thomas, 49, laborer for printing office; wife Sarah, 44; and children Elton, 20, Lizzie, 18, Louis, 15, Hattie M., 11, Mary, 5, and Sarah, 1 month.

In 1917, Elton Thomas registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 17 July 1889 in Wilson; lived at 616 East Green Street; was single; and worked as lathing contractor for Kittrell & Wilkins. 

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Clarence Dawson, 23, barber; wife Elizabeth, 22; and daughter Eris, 2; widower father-in-law Charley Thomas, 59; brother-in-law Clifton Venters, 24, his wife Hattie, 20; and in-laws Elton, 29, Marie, 15, Sarah, 10, and Beatrice Thomas, 8.

In the 1927, 1929, 1930, 1934, and 1942 Newark, New Jersey, city directories, Elton H. Thomas is listed at several addresses, including 117 Summer Avenue, 105 Somerset Avenue, and 109 Sherman Avenue.

In 1942, Elton Henry Thomas registered for the World War II draft in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1894 in Wilson; resided at 108 Sherman Road, Newark; his contact was Charles Thomas, 619 East Green Street, Wilson; and worked for Julius Rose, 327 Amherst Street, Orange, New Jersey. 

On 27 November 1947, Elton Thomas, 52, of Wilson, son of Charlie and Sarah Best Thomas, married Rebecca Williams, 44, of 804 East Vance Street, Wilson, daughter of Solomon and Lettie Kittrell in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister E.H. Cox performed the ceremony in the presence of Lillie J. Thomas, 715 East Green; Harold E. Gay, 623 East Green; and Louis Thomas Jr., 715 East Green.

Elton Thomas died 15 December 1970 in Goldsboro, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 July 1891 to Charlie Thomas and Sarah Best; was married to Rebecca Thomas; resided in Wilson; and had worked in lathing construction.

  • Miss Richardson
  • Rev. Coward — Bryant P. Coward, pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church.

 

The boys of Company H.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 March 1919.

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Soldier kills soldier.

In November 1898, the Third North Carolina Infantry moved from Camp Poland near Knoxville, Tennessee, to a winter camp at Fort Haskell, Macon, Georgia. Just days before the regiment paraded in formation before President William McKinley, Private James Ellis shot and killed Private Robert Thomas in a dispute over money. Former tent mates, both men were from Wilson.

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Macon Telegraph, 16 December 1898.

Per subsequent news reports, Ellis was found guilty, dishonorably discharged, and sentenced to imprisonment “for the term of his natural life” at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Volunteers in the Spanish-American War.

The Third North Carolina Volunteer Infantry was a black regiment formed for service in the Spanish-American War. The officers and one thousand enlisted men of the regiment included these residents of Wilson, North Carolina.

In Company A, formed in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; mustered into service 12 May 12 1898, at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 2 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Barnes, Spencer — enlisted and mustered into service 23 June 23rd 1898; mustered out of service 2 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In the 1880 census of Wilson, North Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mark Barnes, 31; wife Annie, 30, a hotel cook; and nephews Peter, 10, and Spencer Barnes, 8, who shared a household with Esther Taylor, 65, and her nephew Iredel Taylor, 16.]

In Company H, formed in Franklin County; mustered into service 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 4 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Hahn, Joseph — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 4 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [Was “Hahn” actually Hines?]

In Company I, formed in Cumberland County; mustered into service 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service on 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia:

  • Allen, James I., 2nd Lt. — commissioned 23 June 1898; mustered into service as Second Lieutenant 14 July 1898 at Fort Macon, North Carolina; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer West Allen, 33; wife Harriet, 33; children Boston, 15, Susan, 12, Cornelius, 10, James I., 7, John, 6, Lettice, 3, and Effie, 1 month; and mother Harriet, 65.]
  • Clayton, Patrick C. — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [In 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco stemmer Patrick Clayton, 47; wife Sarrah, 37, washing; and children Ellex, 15, tobacco stemmer, Tom, 11, tobacco stemmer, and Georgia, 9. Patrick C. Clayton died 6 September 1929 at National Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City County, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; married to Lela Clark Clayton; was a laborer; and his birthplace and parents were unknown. He was buried in Hampton National Cemetery.]

Patrick C. Clayton, like Willie Gay, died in the veterans’ hospital in Hampton, Virginia. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery.

  • Cross, Joseph — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Currin, Thomas — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Daniel, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Ellis, James — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia.
  • Gay, Willie, Corporal — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service as a corporal 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia.
  • Hart, Duncan — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Jackson, Benjamin F. — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899, at Macon, Georgia. [Perhaps: Ben Jackson, 22, married Rena Brinkley, 19, at the residence of James Ellis in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister C. Best performed the ceremony in the presence of H.T. Phillips, G.W. Joyner, and Edgar Gay.]
  • Jones, Peter — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Killibrew, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Lewis, Edward — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Mack, William — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.
  • Moore, Alexander — enlisted on 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [Perhaps: on 13 September 1894, Alex Moore, 23, married Martha Barnes, 18, at the A.M.E.Z. church in Wilson. L.B. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of S.H. Vick, A.C. Smith, and S.A. Smith. Alex Moore died 28 December 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was a widower; lived at 108 Manchester; worked as a common laborer; and was born in Wilson to John and Sallie Ann Moore of New Bern, N.C. Charles Moore was informant.]
  • Thomas, Charles — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [This was most likely, newspaper employee Charles Thomas, born in Wilson to Sarah Thomas, not barber/insurance agent Charles S. Thomas.]
  • Thomas, Robert — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; killed 15 December 1898 at Macon, Georgia. [Two members of the 3rd N.C. were shot and killed in Macon. I am searching for additional details.]

Wilmington Morning Star, 16 December 1898.

  • Utley, Turner –enlisted on 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia. [On 12 September 1901, Turner Utley, 22, married Mariah Williams, 24, at J.W. Rodgers’ residence in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Irene Miller, Minnie Rogers, and Bettie Davis. Turner H. Utley died 20 July 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 52 years old; was born in Wake County to Ellen Utley; was married to Mariah Utley; worked as a cook; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.]
  • Warren, Lewis — enlisted 23 June 1898; mustered into service 14 July 1898; mustered out of service 8 February 1899 at Macon, Georgia.

A Roster of the 3rd North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, http://www.spanamwar.com; U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms 1928-1962, ancestry.com.

A Christmas invitation for Negro soldiers.

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 December 1942.

Ready to take the field.

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Many of the men who enlisted in the Union Army after escaping bondage in Wilson County joined the 14th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops, Heavy Artillery, at Fort Macon, south of Morehead City, North Carolina. Prior to its federal designation, this militia unit was organized as the 1st North Carolina Colored Heavy Artillery.

Men who marched under the flag above included Hendy Barnes and Jeremiah Barden of Company C; Lawyer Maree (alias Lawyer Barnes) of Company F; Sampson Bailey and Thomas Dean of Company H; and Amos Hinnant of Company K.

Many thanks to Jerilyn James Lee for sharing this image.

Studio shots, no. 44: Alvin Howard, a soldier.

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In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Deal Howard, 39; wife Nancy, 39; and children John, 16, Christian, 14, Oscar, 11, Ettie, 10, Albert, 7, Thomas, 5, Alvin, 3, Herman, 1, and Tiner, 0.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Horne’s Road, farmer Zelius Howard Jr., 49; wife Nancy, 49; and children Albert, 17, Thomas, 15, Alvin, 13, Herman, 11, Tina, 9, Florence, 7, and Ella, 5.

Alvin Howard registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 15 November 1896 in Wilson County; worked as a farmer for John Ba[illegible]; and was single.

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In the 1940 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Dock Eatmon, 63; wife Sallie, 63; son Clifton, 19; brother Peedie, 50; and lodger Alvin Howard, 44.

Alvin Howard died 15 August 1974 near Sims, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 March 1903 to Deil Howard and Nancy Blackwell; was a retired laborer; never married; and was buried in Howard cemetery. Mary Eatman was informant.

Photograph courtesy of Europe A. Farmer.

Shaw badly wounded.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 October 1918.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Spencer Shaw, 40, wife Tabitha, 41, and children George A., 17, James R., 11, Hattie, 9, Joeseph G., 6, Seth T., 5, and Albert S., 2.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Raleigh Branch Road, Spencer Shaw, 51, wife Bitha, 49, and children James R., 21, Joseph T., 16, Seth T.,14, Albert S., 11, Merlin S., 9, Willie H., 7, and Alice M., 5.

In 1918, Seth Thomas Shaw registered for the World War I draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he resided at 3631 Warren Street, Philadelphia, and worked for Eddystone Ammunition Company, Eddystone, Pennsylvania.

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Seth T. Shaw’s military discharge card.

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Seth T. Shaw’s application for a Victory Medal, filed 20 June 1921.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buckhorn [illegible] Road, Spencer S. Shaw, 70, wife Bytha J., 70, sons William H., 24, and Seth T., 34, daughter-in-law Georgeanna, 24, and grandchildren Alice M., 4, Seth T., 2, and Franklin S., 6 months.

In 1934, Shaw applied for veteran’s compensation for war injuries resulting from a gunshot wound to the arm suffered in fighting in the Vosges Mountains of France. (Note that pharmacist Darcey C. Yancey notarized his application.)

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In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Seth T. Shaw, 44, wife Georgiana, 34, mother Bitha, 79, and children Alice M., 14, Seth T., 12, Franklin G., 10, George C., 7, Daisy May, 5, and James C., 3.

Seth T. Shaw died 22 December 1981 at a Veterans Administration hospital in Salem, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 November 1895 in North Carolina in Spencer Shaw and Bitha Richardson; was married to Georgia Shaw; and worked as a farmer.

Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948, www.ancestry.com;