|Orange County men who were killed or died in service during World War One|
There are conflicting reports of the number of and the names of the Orange County men that died while in the military during the war. In 1919, Annie Cameron compiled a list of Orange County Soldiers who were either killed in action or died of wounds or disease, which appears to be the most accurate list compiled so far. There are, however, some descrepancies between her main list and other lists such as J. R. Graham's, to include a separate list of hers of soldiers who served during the war. I used Cameron's list as a base and added and subtracted names as I came across information that either confirmed or refuted a soldier's death. Cameron's list, by the way, is the only list I have been able to find that contains the name of black soldiers who died or were killed. Even unit histories and official military records state incorrect information, which really causes problems when conducting research. Orange County lost 24 men; eight were killed in action, three died of their wounds, ten died of disease, and two were killed or died from unknown (to me) causes.
For a list of UNC alumni killed in the war, please refer to this database.
Definites (those whose service and deaths during the war are confirmed):
• John Allen
African-American; born August 20, 1895 in Chapel Hill. Worked in Chapel Hill "pressing clothes" for a Mr. Coates when he was drafted. He entered the service April 20, 1918. PVT Allen was training with 8th Company, 156th Depot Brigade when he died of pneumonia (influenza) May 26, 1918 while at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. He is buried in the Old Chapel Hill cemetery.
• George Robert Baldwin
Born May 29, 1893 in Durham County; he grew up in Cheeks Township, but moved to Chapel Hill before he was drafted, where he worked at a saw mill (for a Lewis Blake). PVT Baldwin was killed in action in the vicinity of Premont or Busigny, France, on October 10, 1918 while serving in Company H, 119th Infantry Regiment, 60th Brigade, 30th Division. He is buried in Plot D, Row 8, Grave 15 within the Somme American Cemetery near Bony (Aisne), France. (His middle name is often mis-listed as "Barton.")
• Richard Berry
African-American; born September 8, 1889 in Hillsborough. Was living in Laurinburg (Scotland County) and working as a bookeeper/clerk when he was drafted into the Army. Berry died of pneumonia (influenza) while at Camp Greene (near Charlotte), December 8, 1918, where he was serving as a regimental Supply Sergeant in the 810th Pioneer Infantry. He is buried in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
• Floyd Wilson Booker
Born February 26, 1890 in Chapel Hill; variously listed as living in Charleston, South Carolina (Cameron list), Greensboro (Haulsee et al), and Chapel Hill (draft card) at the time he was drafted, and apparently was employed as a writer for the federal government. Entered military service May 27, 1918. PVT Booker served in the 322nd Infantry Regiment, 81st Division, when he was killed in action November 9, 1918 (two days before the Armistice). He is buried in the Mebane City Cemetery ("Oakwood").
• Vasa Jefferson Cate
Born June 22, 1897, lived near Chapel Hill (RFD Route #2). PVT Cate was assigned to Battery E, 7th Regiment, Field Artillery Replacement Depot (FARD). He died of pneumonia/influenza October 2, 1918 while training at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and is buried in the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery near Carrboro. (His first name is sometimes mispelled "Vassa.")
• Chandler J. Cates
Born May 3, 1893; worked on his family farm in Bingham Township in southwest Orange County. He volunteered for military service, and served in Company F, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Division. He was severely wounded October 17, 1918, "after distinguished service," likely either by German artillery or machine gun fire during the advance on Ribeauville, France. He was then taken by ship to a hospital in England, where he died of his wounds November 20, 1918 (nine days after the war ended). He is buried in the Cane Creek Baptist Church Cemetery near Hillsborough.
• Hugh C. Clark
Born March 5, 1888 near Chapel Hill, and grew up on a farm in Chapel Hill Township. Lived in or near Durham and worked on his father's farm "near Chapel Hill" (RFD route #1) when he was drafted into the Army July 25, 1918. He was assigned to Company 73, M.T.D. for training, when he died from influenza at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia, October 17, 1918. He is buried in the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church cemetery near Chapel Hill.
• Willard Alex Clark
Born August 3, 1897, lived in Carrboro. Joined the Army July 14, 1916, and served on the Mexican border during the "Pancho Villa Expedition" from October 1, 1916 until March 25, 1917. During WWI, he was sent to Camp Glenn, NC, and then Camp Sevier, SC, for training. He landed in France June 5, 1918, and served with Company M, 120th Infantry Regiment of the 30th Division; was killed in action near Bellicourt, France, going against the Germans' "Hindenburg Line," September 29, 1918. He is buried in the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery near Carrboro.
• Norman Cole
Born October 23, 1892; grew up on a farm in the Blackwood community, in Chapel Hill Township. May have worked as a laborer in a Durham cotton mill before the war. Drafted into the Army July 6, 1918; died of influenza "In The Service of The U.S. Army" September 27, 1918. He is buried in the New Hope Cemetery south of Hillsborough.
• John Wilson Craig
Born June 1, 1894, grew up on a farm in the Blackwood community, in Chapel Hill Township. PVT Craig was drafted into the Army July 6, 1918; died of influenza October 16, 1918, at General Hospital 14, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. He is buried in the New Hope Cemetery south of Hillsborough.
• John William Crabtree
Born March 6, 1890; lived four miles south of Chapel Hill (RFD route #1), where he was a farmer. He was training with the 19th Company, 156th Depot Brigade when he died April 18, 1918 of complications from pneumonia (influenza), while at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. He is buried in the Damascus United Congregational Christian Church cemetery in Chapel Hill.
• David Clinton Dixon
Born February 9, 1893, most likely either in Fishing Creek (Granville County) or Jacksonville (Onslow County); lived in Roxboro and worked at the Roxboro Cotton Mill when he was drafted into the Army. PVT Dixon served in the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was "Killed in France" October 3, 1918, likely in the Belval forest during the end of the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive. He is buried in the Chestnut Ridge Methodist Church cemetery near Efland. (His tie to Orange County is perhaps that his family moved to/lived there; he is the only Dixon buried in the cemetery.)
• Earl Florence
African-American; born March 10, 1895 in Guilford County, and worked as a farmer in Cedar Grove (for his brother, cousin, or uncle, Thomas Florence). Drafted into the Army March 23, 1918; trained at Camp Grant, Illinois, in Company 22, 161st Depot Brigade. Likely assigned to Camp Upton, near Yaphank, New York, to Company A, 307th Labor Battalion, before being shipped to France. He may have been wounded, injured, or became sick and was transferred to Base Hospital 208 near Autun, Saone-et-Loire, France. He died while in service while at Camp Merritt, near Hoboken, New Jersey, April 6, 1919. He is buried in Lee's Chapel Baptist Church cemetery in Cedar Grove. (His last name is also sometimes spelled "Florance.")
• Joseph Henry Johnston
Born July 25, 1889, in Orange County. 1910 (BA) and 1914 (MA) graduate of UNC; obtained a PhD from the University of Illinois in 1916. Was living near Chapel Hill (RFD Route #2) and had been working as an assistant professor at the school of administration at UNC since 1916, when he volunteered for service May 1917. Trained at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and Camp Jackson and Camp Sevier, both in South Carolina. Was a first lieutenant in Company E, 322nd Infantry Regiment, 161st Infantry Brigade, 81st Division, when he was killed by German machine gun fire near Beulay, France, October 15, 1918. A statement made by PFC Lee Bell (also of the 322nd Infantry Regiment) describes 1LT Johnston's death, and he is listed in a casualty report of the 322nd Infantry Regiment for the St. Die Sector. Johnston was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously (see General Orders 74, W.D., 1919). He is buried in Plot D, Row 26, Grave 23 within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. (His last name is mispelled on his tombstone as "Johnstone.")
• Stephen Carl Lloyd
Born July 28, 1895 in Orange County, grew up in Bingham Township. Lived in Albemarle (Stanly County) and worked at the Wiscasset cotton mill at the time he was drafted. PVT Lloyd was assigned to Company 11, 113th Training Battalion, 158th Depot Brigade. He died October 15, 1918, from influenza while in training at Camp Sherman, near Chillicothe, Ohio, and is buried in the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery near Carrboro.
• John E. Lynch
Born January 6, 1890, in Orange County; lived near Durham (RFD Route #5). Was a volunteer for the Orange County Home Guard in October 1917, and was drafted into the Army May 27, 1918. PVT Lynch was killed in action (by the same artillery shell that killed his friend, Robert Reese) during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive near St. Die (Hande Sapt Subsector), France on October 9, 1918 (although the regimental history states there was no one killed on that day) while serving in Company D, 321st Infantry Regiment, 81st Division. He was originally buried in the cemetery at Hurbache, France, but was reinterred in Plot H, Row 15, Grave 18 within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. He has memorials to him at two cemeteries in Orange County: the Mt. Hermon Baptist Church Cemetery, and the Pleasant Green United Methodist Church Cemetery.
• Hugh Allen McFarland
Born September 12, 1892. McFarland, serial number 1861802,was drafted, and served as a cook with Battery F, 316th Field Artillery, 81st Division. Died from pneumonia/influenza while at Camp Valdahon (an artillery training camp near the town of Besancon on the Swiss border), France, October 2, 1918. Apparently, he had been sick for awhile, but refused to go to the hospital until it was too late (he died on the way to the hospital in an ambulance). He was originally buried in the U.S. military cemetery at Valdahon, grave number 98, and was reburied in the McFarling/McFarland family cemetery in Chapel Hill, June 5, 1921 (apparently, all the graves in the American cemetery at Valdahon were relocated/reinterred in the early 1920s).
• Ira Hurdle McKee
Born February 25, 1893; he grew up on a farm in Little River Township, and was a member of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics (JOAM). Was living near Rougemont (RFD route #3) when he was drafted into the Army March 16, 1918. Assigned to Company A, 114th Machine Gun Battalion, 59th Infantry Brigade, 30th Division. PVT McKee died of wounds October 2, 1918, and is buried in the Little River Presbyterian Church cemetery in Cedar Grove.
• John Henry Wilson Morris
Born in May 1891, raised on a farm near Chapel Hill; was living in Carrboro when was drafted into the Army March 26, 1918. PVT Morris served in Company B, 1st Battalion, 310th Engineer Regiment, 85th Division (American Expeditionary Force, North Russia). The Russia-bound units left Camp Mills (Long Island, New York) July 22, 1918, and landed in Liverpool, England, August 3, 1918. Trained at Camp Cowshot (know as Camp Aldershot to the British) near Brookwood, in the south of England; began the march from camp to London August 25, 1918, then took a train to Newcastle-on-Tyne, where they departed England via ship, and landed in Archangel, Russia (at the port of Bakarytya), September 4, 1918. He was wounded in action (possibly by Bolshevik artillery fire near Seltso, on the Northern Dvina River in northwest Russia, or in Seletskoye/Seletskoe on the Emtsa River, or in the attack on the village of Kodish), and died of his wounds October 18, 1918. He is buried in Plot B, Row 3, Grave 10, within the Brookwood American Cemetery in Brookwood, Surrey, England.
(Another date of his death is listed as October 16. The Brookwood Cemetery incorrectly lists him as having served with the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Division, which is a New York State unit. Also, a PVT John H.W. Morris from North Carolina, serial number 1865888, served in Company D, 105th Engineers, 30th Division. He is listed as being "severely wounded by enemy shell fire" September 29, 1918, but apparently survived the war.)
• Paul Eunice ("Unie") Sparrow
Born July 13, 1896, lived in Chapel Hill. Was drafted into the Army March 18, 1918. PVT Sparrow was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France on October 7, 1918 while serving in Company B, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division; he is buried in Plot F, Row 40, Grave 10 within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.
• Acy Austin Thompson
African-American; born July 22, 1896, grew up on a farm in Cedar Grove Township. He was living in Chapel Hill when he entered service March 23, 1918. Died June 5, 1918. He is buried in the White Oak Grove Baptist Church cemetery in Cedar Grove Township. (His first name is also spelled "Acey" or "Acie.")
• Felix Stanfield Walker
Born August 10, 1889, and grew up on a farm in Little River Township. He was living in Rougemont when he was drafted into the Army July 25, 1918; assigned to Company 73, M.T.D. Died from influenza at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Georgia, October 18, 1918. He is buried in the Robert Walker Family Cemetery near Rougemont, NC. (His date of birth is listed as 1890 on his draft card, but as 1889 on his tombstone.)
• Charles Battle Wills
Born April 28, 1893; was living in Chapel Hill when he volunteered for military service June 19, 1917. Served in Battery C, 113th Field Artillery, 30th Division. SGT Wills took part in the Battle of St. Mihiel and was at Montfaucon during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (the Battle of Argonne Forest). He became sick December 21, and on the 22nd went to the hospital after falling ill on the march from France to Luxemborg, Germany. He died of pneumonia/influenza "at an American hospital in Germany" December 25 (Christmas Day), 1918. He is buried in the Old Chapel Hill cemetery.
• Samuel Maris Wilkinson
Born November 14, 1897. Lived near Hillsborough (RFD Route #2). Enlisted in the Marine Corps December 15, 1917 (serial number 304722 or 304723). Assigned for training to 66th (or N) Company, Marine Barracks, Paris Island, South Carolina. Was transferred to 138th Company, 2nd Replacement Battalion, 32nd Division (USMC), when he shipped to France. Then was transferred to 17th (or A) Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, (USMC, which was attached to the Army's 2nd Infantry Division). He was wounded June 15, 1918 during the battle of Chateau Thierry/Belleau Wood, and may have died from his wounds that day or two days later (June 17); or, he was transferred to a replacement battalion via the hospital and died later. Has a marker in the Fairfield Presbyterian Cemetery in Cedar Grove, which also states that he was "buried in France," but was reburied in Section 24, Site 1227 of the Raleigh National Cemetery, Raleigh, North Carolina. (His middle name is mispelled as "Marie" on his federal tombstone and in several military records. His serial number and date of death are aren't clear from his military records.)
American Battle Monuments Commission. http://www.abmc.gov.
Cameron, Annie Sutton. A Record of the War Activities in Orange County, North Carolina, 1917-1919.
Conway, Coleman Berkley. History 119th Infantry, 60th Brigade, 30th Division, U. S. A. Operations in Belgium and France, 1917-1919. Wilmington: Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, 1920.
Fletcher, A. L. History of the 113th Field Artillery 30th Division. Raleigh, N. C.: The History Committee of 113th F. A., 1920.
Graham, J. R. Tar-Heel War Record (In the Great World War). Charlotte, N.C.: World War Publishing Co., 1921.
Grant, Daniel L. Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 1795-1924. Chapel Hill: General Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina, 1924.
Haulsee, W.M. F.G. Howe, and A.C. Doyle (compilers). Soldiers of the Great War. Vol. II. Washington, D.C.: Soldiers Record Publishing Association, 1920.
Johnson, Clarence W. The History of the 321st Infantry, with a Brief Historical Sketch of the 81st Division. Columbia, SC: R.L. Bryan Company, 1919.
Moore, Joel R., Harry H. Mead, and Lewis E. Jahns. The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919. Detroit: Polar Bear Publishing, 1920.
Muster Rolls of the U.S. Marine Corps, 1893-1940; National Archives Microfilm Publication; Records of the U.S. Marine Corps. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
National Archives and Records Administration. World War I Draft Registration Cards. Microfilm Roll List, M1509, Rolls NC51, NC52.
The News of Orange. Chapel Hill, Orange County. 1917-1919.
North Carolinians and the Great War. http://docsouth.unc.edu/wwi/index.html.
North Carolina Military Deaths in World War I. http://www.newrivernotes.com/nc/ncww1dea.htm.
Orange County North Carolina Cemeteries Census. http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/orng/index.htm.
Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. South Carolina Death Indexes 1915-1957. Columbia, SC.
United States Federal Censuses. 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
University of North Carolina, 1910 Yackety Yack.
Wake County North Carolina Cemeteries Census. http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/wake/index.htm.
Walker, John O. Official History of the 120th Infantry "3rd North Carolina" 30th Division, from August 5, 1917, to April 17, 1919. Canal Sector, Ypres-Lys Offensive, Somme Offensive. Lynchburg, Va.: J. P. Bell Co., 1919.
Wildcats Never Quit: North Carolina in World War One. http://www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/archives/wwi/default.htm.
Willett, Robert L. Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2003.
|[Last updated: 27 May 2012]|
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