soldier

Heavyweight boxer Harrison rolls up victories.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 May 1946.

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Benjamin Harrison, 21, son of Luther and Elnora Harrison, married Lillie Mae Reaves, 23, daughter of Monroe and Fannie Reaves, in Nashville, North Carolina, on 15 October 1938.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Spruce, paying $7/month rent, Benjamin Harrison, 22, cook in private home; wife Lillie Mae, 23; and son B. Frank, 1.

In 1940, Benjamin B. Harrison registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 20 August 1917 in Nash County, North Carolina; lived at 614 West Spruce Street, Wilson; his contact was wife Lillie Mae R. Harrison; he worked for R.T. Smith, 902 Broad Street, Wilson; and he was six foot six inches tall, 185 pounds [30 pounds less than his fighting weight].

In the 1950 census of Washington, D.C.: at 215 1/2 C Street, SW, Benjamin Harrison, 31, train repairman for railroad yard; wife Lillie May, 32; and children Benjamin F., 11, and Mary Ann, 6.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Cpl. Johnson drowned in the sinking of the Rohna.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 February 1944.

For more about the sinking of H.M.T. Rohna by a German glide bomb, see here.

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In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: widow Hattie Johnson, 36, and children Willie, 23, John W., 20, Herbert, 16, Clement, 11, and James, 10.

 

 

Studio shots, no. 190: 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.

true-2.jpg

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.