100 Years Ago at the Chesterfield County Courthouse

 

In 1917, more than 1,500 Chesterfield County men either volunteered or were drafted to serve in World War I, and only initially 167 men were selected for training before transportation to France to participate in the "Great War."  Some men served their full enlistment, and some served only a few months because they died from disease while in training.  A recruiting station was set up at the old Chesterfield County courthouse to form an infantry company.  Around 100 drafted recruits pitched their tents and camped on the courthouse green, where now we hold the annual Veterans Day ceremony. These soldiers were not just waiting to be shipped to a training camp to prepare for the battles in France, they were also here to be honored by their fellow citizens. 

 

One hundred years ago today, on November 11, 1918 – “At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month” - the Armistice was signed to mark the end of WWI.  After that, our soldiers started coming home.  In Chesterfield County, a patriotic gathering was held at the 1917 Courthouse on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate their homecoming.  Two ministers conducted devotional services at precisely 11:30 a.m., giving thanks for a bountiful harvest and for the restoration of peace..  Dr. Douglas Freeman delivered an inspiring speech, and a huge lunch was provided to all attendees, served in the County Fair hall behind the courthouse.  In Chester Village, the Camp Lee Army Band led a parade and services were held at Chester High School.   Click here to learn more on Camp Lee.  

 

                                     Many returning veterans were reluctant to speak of the horrors of war, choosing rather to blend quietly back into society and consider the experience closed.  They had seen and heard enough of war; it was time to move forward, and get their lives back on track.

 

WWI Fallen Soldiers from Chesterfield County

 

  • Private Bernard J. Cosby Died from wounds received in France on July 29, 1918. He is buried in Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery in Midlothian, Virginia.

 

  • Private Willie B. Crawley Died of disease in France on October 8, 1918. He is buried in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

 

  • Private Harrison M. Crawley Died of disease at Campton, Long Island, NY, on October 4, 1918. He is buried in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

 

  • Private Lance Evans Killed in action on October 14, 1918. He is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Meuse Argonne American Cemetery in France.

 

  • Private Pertney Green Died of disease at Camp Upton, New York, in September 1918.  Burial site is unknown.

 

  • Private William K. Hughes Killed in action in France on October 5, 1918. He is buried in Richmond’s Riverview Cemetery.

 

  • Private Herman Lane Killed in action on October 25, 1918.  He is buried in Gale City, Virginia.

 

  • Private Frank E. Lester Died in France. Burial site is unknown.

 

  • Private John Lomax Died of disease on June 28, 1919. Burial site is unknown.

 

  • Private Roy S. Moore Killed in action in France on October 9, 1918. He is buried in Richmond’s Maury Cemetery.

 

  • Private Aaron F. Parkhurst Killed in action on August 8, 1918. He is buried in Arlington  National Cemetery in Virginia.

 

  • Private Nathan Pride Died of wounds received in France on August 2, 1918. He is buried in the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, France.

 

  • Corporal Maynard C. Satchfield Killed in action in France on October 17, 1918. He is buried in the Meuse Argonne American Cemetery, Romage, France.

 

  • Private Thomas E. Selbe Died of disease at Camp Lee, Virginia, on October 5, 1918.                                                            Burial site is unknown.

 

  • Private James William Turner Killed in action in France on October 5, 1918. Burial                                                                site is unknown.

 

  • Corporal Fountain L. Holmes Killed in action in France on October 14, 1918. He is                                                              buried in Richmond’s Maury Cemetery.

 

  • Private Henry M. Wells Died of disease at Camp Lee, Virginia, on October 1, 1918.                                                          He is buried in Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Virginia.

 

  • Private Virgil Wilkerson Died October 19, 1918, at Fortress Monroe. He is buried in the Cox Family Cemetery in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

 

  • Private William T. Williams Killed in action in France on July 26, 1918. He is buried in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France.

 

 

U.S. World War I Mothers’ Pilgrimage, 1929

 

The U.S. War Department compiled a list of mothers and widows of deceased soldiers killed in World War I and buried in Europe, and offered to send these ladies to their loved one’s final resting place overseas. The list included nearly 11,000 women who were entitled to make the pilgrimage, according to the records dated November 15, 1929.  The women were able to make their trips in 1930, 1931, 1932, or 1933.

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10111 Iron Bridge Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23832, USA

©2017 BY CHESTERFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA.