Carlos J. Boggs and the Buffalo Infantry of WWI

Carlos J. Boggs and the Buffalo Infantry

Carlos Jackson Boggs was a Georgia native, born Feb 26, 1893 in Glennville, Liberty County, GA.  He was the eldest son of John and Mary Boggs.  Some time prior to 1917 Carlos J. Boggs came to Berrien County, GA where he made his home in Ray City.

Along with other men of Berrien County, he registered for the draft on June 5th 1917.   His draft registration card gave his physical description as “African”, medium in height and build, with black eyes and black hair. At age 24, he was single and working as a cook for Jacob Fredrick Hinely, a merchant of Ray City, GA.

Carlos Boggs was called for the draft for WWI, along with Joe Roberson and John W. Faison, also of Ray City, and the three were inducted at Nashville, GA on April 2, 1918 along with  85 other African-American men and 14 white men  of Berrien County. The following day Boggs, Roberson, Faison and the others boarded a train on the Georgia & Florida Railroad bound for Camp Gordon near Atlanta, GA.

Boggs was assigned to the 157th Depot Brigade.  Later he was assigned to Company F, 367th Infantry,  known as the Buffalo Infantry.   He shipped out for overseas  duty on July 26, 1918 and served in France until March 1, 1919.

WWI Croix de Guerre

WWI Croix de Guerre

It was during this period that every man and officer in the 367th  Infantry earned the Croix de guerre. The Croix de guerre (English translation: Cross of War) is a French military decoration.  The Croix de guerre may either be bestowed as a unit award or to individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces.  The unit award of the Croix de guerre was issued to military commands who performed heroic deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.

For the 367th Infantry, “This citation was made before the last engagement of the war, Sunday and Monday, November 10 and 11, in the drive to Metz. This battalion went into action though a valley commanded by the heavy German guns of Metz, and held the Germans at bay while the 56th Regiment retreated, but not until it had suffered heavy losses.”

At the end of WWI the 367th Infantry, the Buffaloes, returned to New York where they were honored in a parade.

Carlos J. Boggs was honorably discharged on March 27, 1919 at Ft. Oglethorpe, GA.  He died in Columbia County, Florida in 1971.

The Buffaloes, 367th Infantry, Victory Parade in New York.

The Buffaloes, 367th Infantry, Victory Parade in New York.

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Carlie Lawson and the Battle of the Argonne Forest

Carlie Lawson was born in 1897 in Valdosta, GA, the son of Missouri Spivey and Mitch Lawson.  Some time before 1910, the Lawson family moved to Ray’s Mill, GA (nka Ray City) where Mitch Lawson was engaged in farming. 

In 1917,  20-year-old Carlie Lawson left Ray City and went to  Ft . Oglethorpe, GA where he enlisted in the Regular Army on August 11.  He served as a Private First Class in World War I and fought in France. 

His service record shows that he served in the 11th Infantry, Company G throughout the war. He served overseas from April 24, 1918 to Dec. 30, 1918.  On May 5, 1918 he was promoted to Private First Class. 

PFC Lawson was in the engagement at St. Mihiel – Meuse, Argonne, France. 

 The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.  The Meuse-Argonne offensive, fought in the Argonne Forest September 26 – November 11, 1918, was the biggest operation and victory of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in World War I. The bulk of the AEF had not gone into action until 1918. The Meuse-Argonne battle was the largest frontline commitment of troops by the U.S. Army in World War I, and also its deadliest.  The scale of the overall offensive, bolstered by the fresh and eager but largely untried and inexperienced U.S. troops, signaled renewed vigor among the Allies and sharply dimmed German hopes for victory.  The Battle of the Argonne Forest is credited in part for leading to the Armistice on November 11. The American forces suffered 117,000 casualties and losses in the battle. Although the Meuse-Argonne was “probably the bloodiest single battle in U.S. history”, in the sense that it had the largest number of U.S. dead in a single battle it is little remembered today in the United States.

 BATTLE OF THE ARGONNE FOREST. <br> THE FIRST DAY AT ST. MIHIEL.<BR>Temporary trenches dug by American s on the first night of the St. Mihiel drive, near Beney, Meuse.  Shortly after this picture was made, the troops drove five kilometers further ahead, September 25, 1918.

Carlie Lawson received an honorable discharge on March 22, 1919.

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