According to a Thursday, Oct. 24, 1918 Johnson City Daily Staff newspaper, a determined looking and likely-nervous squad of young recruits from Washington County, assembled at the Southern Railway Depot on the afternoon of the 23rd. They were there to begin preparations for the next morning's rail journey to Camp Wadsworth in Spartanburg, SC.
Street View Showing Mess Shacks & Tents at Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, SC, 1918
The camp, named in honor of Brigadier General James Samuel Wadsworth, was approved June 1917 as a temporary quarters site. The 27th division trained there from September 1, 1917 to May 4, 1918; the 6th from May 10, 1918 to June 23, 1918; and the 96th from October 20, 1918 to January 7, 1919.
The group consisted of recruits from the June and August 1918 registration class who were being mustered into service to swell the growing army of America's unexcelled fighting men.
There were 66 strong young men, including alternates, from Johnson City and an additional contingent of 74 men joining them from Bristol, Elizabethton and Mountain City.
S.K. Lindsey, drill master, was in charge of the company. The soldiers were initially formed in line and put through a few rudimentary movements.
Shortly before embarking the train, the soldiers marched to the Red Cross room located in the Summers Building at the Southern Station where each man was given his parcel and box lunch.
The Red Cross Attention Station was used by the ladies to prepare excellent box lunches for the soldiers. The food in each box was carefully inspected before it was distributed. The left over boxes were subsequently packed in cartons and loaded on board the train for the men en route.
The room was fully equipped for taking care of an emergency situation should a soldier arrive there and need immediate medical attention.
Prior to departure time, the station was saturated with a horde of people who were there to wish their special soldier “the best.” The young men were then loaded into coaches for the journey to Camp Wadsworth and beyond.
Shown in this list of names are those from Washington County. Some of the spelling is questionable but is shown just as it was listed in the newspaper:
Ollie T. Burrass, James W. Wilson, Floyd McKinley Tyree, Charles Ray Bayless, William McKinley Crow, Vernon Whitlock, William M. Fitch, William McKinley Green, Frank Kite, Henry Elbert Williams, Robert Marion Johnson, Clarence Walter Barnes, James Jackson Hale,
John Franklin Brokn, Samuel Clinton McCurry, Bernie Hubert Ball, Kelly McKinley Graybeal, George Branch, Charlie McInturff, James Lee Ferguson, James Franklin Brown, Guy A. Miller, Carl Eugene Cannon, Hubert Bryon Wheelock, William Benjamine Taylor, Colonel Stacy Elliott,
George Squibb Bacon, Hubert Baldwin, Carson A. Story, Eugene Kitzmiller, Roy Shaward Deakins, Hobert William Harrison, Alfred Henry Johnson, Benjamin Bryan, Paris Earl Story, Clayton Byrd Loyd, Clyde Joseph Campbell, George T. Britton, Hiram Cole, Dennis Bricker,
Nathan Dempsie Tarlton, Hobart Mat Richardson, Enoch Hobart Bacon, Aon Whaley, Walter Clifford Elliot, Hobert Smith, Willard L. Mitchell, Dock William Black, Charles Clarence Johnson, Uriah Squibb Lewis, Sherman Jarrott, Noah Edgar Collins, Dana Scott Laws, John Robert Miller,
Thomas Jefferson Bacon, James F. Brown, Loncion Porter Insco, Ephream Buck Norris, Hickey Sliger, Paul Franklin Lawson, Robert Scott, Charles Earl Shell, William Chester Adams, Hugh Vestal Kyker, William McKinley Clark and Mack Andis Shipley.
I hope many of you recognize a family member or friend in the list.