Click on each image to read about the featured soldier. Use the Index page to look up slang words used by the soldiers.
"The Fighting Parson": Chaplain Ben Lacy Jr.
Chaplain Ben Lacy Jr. of the 30th Division earned the nickname "The Fighting Parson"
for risking his own life to save wounded soldiers and for directing artillery fire on
German positions. Read more about Ben Lacy Jr. here.
1st Lt. James W. Alston, 372nd Infantry
Prior to serving in World War I, 1st Lt. James W. Alston worked for the North
Carolina Department of Agriculture as a janitor and messenger in the North Carolina
Museum of History. Written by an African-American, James Alston's letters offer insight on racial
issues during WWI. Read more about James Alston here.
Sgt. V. J. Johnson, Company M, 119th Infantry, 30th Division
Sgt. V. J. Johnson, Company M, 119th Infantry, 30th Division, wrote his cousin,
Annie Avery, about the death of Annie's brother, Pvt. Jesse M. Avery. Sergeant Johnson
considered Jesse his best friend and he consoled Jesse in his last moments on the
battlefield. Private Avery, 119th Infantry, 30th Division, died near Ypres, Belgium,
on August 5, 1918. Read the letter here.
Lt. William M. Morgan, Company E, 119th Infantry, 30th Division
1st Lt. William M. Morgan, Company E, 119th Infantry, 81st Division, used
humor to describe trying to sleep during the incessant artillery fire endured on the
front lines. Read the letter here.
Pvt. Edger Blanchard, Company G, 120th Infantry, 30th Division
Pvt. Edger Blanchard, Company G, 120th Infantry, 30th Division, recipient of the
Distinguished Service Cross, wrote his mother: "I surteny [certainly] do love to hear from
home. the last letter I received from you. it came to me in the front line and it
surteny [certainly] did make me fight better. We go to church every Sunday and I am a much better
boy than I use to be." Read the letter here.
William Warlick, 115th Machine Gun Company, 30th Division
A Rutherfordton, North Carolina, newspaper published an article about William Warlick and his
eight brothers who served in World War I. William and five of his brothers served in the
115th Machine Gun Company, 30th Division. Read the article here.