Have you tried to find information about your ancestor who served in the U.S. Army during World War I? Knowing that many U.S. Army records for World Wars I and II were damaged or destroyed in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis,

I haven’t tried to obtain my grandfather’s world war I record. Instead, I’m looking to other means of documenting his military service. One of the sources that is proving to be of value is the Dodge City newspapers. Even though I’ve spent many hours reading back issues of those newspapers at the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka, I wasn’t reading the issues during world war I. Since many of these newspapers are now on, I decided to see what I could find about the military service of my grandfather, Leon Crawford and his brother, Marion Crawford.

This search turned up articles about their recruitment.

Two Recruits a Day

Dodge City Office Has Sent 44 Men to Army Since April 1

The Dodge City recruiting office is maintaining an average of two recruits a day, and this morning it made up for several dull days by sending seven men to Ft Logan to be distributed to their respective departments in the army. John M. Lesch was assigned to the cavalry and the following joined the coast artillery: Cecil R. Campbell, Alfred B. Cramer, Joshia B. Owings, John J. Wiseman, Marion R. Crawford, Homer R. Sharp. Forty-four Men have enlisted at the Dodge City station since April 1.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas). 20 April 1917, page 1. available on

The headline of the next article is somewhat confusing. It implies that the article was about Hodgeman County residents. Leon Crawford’s parents lived in Dodge City at the time and this is the first piece of evidence that as a young man, he may have been working in Jetmore.

Hodgeman County Sends Recruits

County Clerk Rounds up Party for
Artillery Services — News of Cavalry
Infantry and Motorcycle Companies

County Clerk J. B. Eakin of Jetmore brought four men to the Dodge City recruiting station yesterday afternoon for enlistment in the regular army. Mr. Eakin told Corporal Scott Bryon in charge of the station, he had noticed heavy enlistments in other Kansas counties and seeing that Hodgeman county had no representatives, he went out on a recruiting trip. He began at home by enlisting his brother-in-law. The following men cam from Jetmore and enlisted in the coast artillery corps: George B. Orr, Allan w. Corner, Russell C. Horton and Leon Crawford.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas). 23 April 1917, page 1 available on

Another article names Leon R. Crawford as a recruit at the Dodge City office.

Three Recruits for Coast Artillery

Two army recruits were sent to Ft. Logan this morning and another enlisted for service at the Dodge City recruiting stations today. John H. Smith and Yale J. Thayer went to Ft. Logan and will be sent to the coastal artillery. Leon R. Crawford enlisted for artillery service and will go to Ft. Logan tomorrow. The three recruits make a total of forty-seven men enlisted at the Dodge City station since April 1.

The Dodge City Daily Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 21 April 1917, page 1 available on

I’m thankful the papers recorded these enlistments!

Civil War Deaths

Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that was totally unrelated to your genealogical research that caused you to go search your data for facts related to that discussion?

That happened to me when a friend described a trip she and her mother and sisters took to the Atlanta area. During the trip they visited the Kennesaw mountain battlefield. During their tour, they were told that the fighting stopped to allow both sides to bury the dead on the battlefield due to the stench. This battle fact was recorded in the first hand account written by Confederate Private Sam Watkins.

On the third morning the Yankees raised a white flag, asked an armistice to bury their dead, not for any respect either army had for the dead, but to get rid of the sickening stench.  I get sick now when I happen to think about it.  Long and deep trenches were dug, and hooks made from bayonets crooked for the purpose, and all the dead were dragged and thrown pell mell into these trenches.  Nothing was allowed to be taken off the dead, and finely dressed officers, with gold watch chains dangling over their vests, were thrown into the ditches.  During the whole day both armies were hard at work, burying the Federal dead….

Watkins, Sam. The Dead Angel.

Discussing this battle, the comment was made that so many had died while fighting the civil war. Knowing that none of my second great-grandfathers who served were killed during their service. I was curious as to whether I have anyone in my file who died during military service in the civil war, I decided to investigate.

To begin my search, I created a marked group of those people who have a military fact with a date between 1860 and 1866.

That identified 76 individuals in my tree with military facts dated between 1860 and 1866. To narrow down the list to those who died during the civil war, I added a line to my search for a death date before 1866.

That left me with nine people who died while serving in the military during the civil war. Since I already had a custom report showing military information and date of death, I used that report.

This produced a report showing the military information for each of the nine along with their death date.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the cause of death for all nine of these civil war deaths. Thus, further research is needed to learn how all of these men died.

Now that I know how to pull this information from RootsMagic, I can create similar reports for other wars.

Honoring the Veterans in My Family

Anyone who has lived in Emporia, Kansas realizes that Veteran’s Day is a MAJOR holiday. Today, we take time to honor those who have served and who are serving. Thus, I would like to take a walk thru my family tree to honor my veteran ancestors.

World War II

Eugene Crawford

Between 15 Feb 1945 and 1 Aug 1946, Eugene served at the Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He shipped out on the USS Oneida (APA-221) towards the end of the War in the Pacific as seaman 1st class in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He received the Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.

Esther Crawford Noll

Esther served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in the European Theater between 1942 and 1945.

Hugh Judson Crawford

Hugh Crawford served in the U.S. Navy Seabees

Walter Emery Briles

Walter enlisted in March 1942 in Los Angeles, California serving in the U.S. Army. Walter was discharged in 1944 but re-enlisted in 1946 and served until 1958.

World War I

Leon Crawford

LeonCrawford began his military service on 26 April 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas. He was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th AA Battery, 1st AA Sector. Leon was a wagoner at St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 March 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France.

Leon served with others from Dodge City including his brother-in-law Russel Horton and his brother, Marion.

War between the States

Washington Marion Crawford

Washington Marion Crawford enlisted in Company H of the 2nd Regiment of the New York Calvary Volunteers on 3 August 1861 serving as a sergeant. W. M. Crawford was captured in September 1863 and was imprisoned in Andersonville and Belle Isle. He was paroled on 7 Dec 1864 in Florence, South Carolina.

Richmond Fisk Hammond

Richmond Fisk Hammond enlisted as a private in Company E 177 Illinois Volunteers on 26 May 1861. He also served in the 1st Illinois Calvary Volunteers and in Company D 14th Regiment Illinois Calvary. Richmond Hammond was captured near Atlanta, Georgia on 5 Aug 1864 and was imprisoned at Andersonville.

Richmond Hammond and Washington Marion Crawford both moved to Dodge City, Kansas after the war. Richmond’s daughter, Josie, married Washington’s son Judson in Dodge City.

Other Civil War Veterans

Hiram M. Currey served as a private in Company B of the 12th Regiment of the Kansas State Militia in 1864.

Albert Hutchi(n)son began his military service on 1 Sept 1862 in Independence, Iowa. He served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Calvary Volunteers. Albert re-enlisted on 1 Jan 1864 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Noah Washington Briles enlisted on 13 Jun 1861 in Ottumwa, Iowa serving in Company I of the 1st Regiment Iowa Calvary Volunteers. His father, Alexander Briles served in 1864 under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia.

James Marshall Ricketts enlisted 11 Sept 1863 in Indianapolis, Indiana serving in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry.

George Mentzer began his military service on 25 Sep 1861 serving in Company C of the 24th Massachusetts Infantry.

Alexander Briles served with the Kansas Militia under Captain John Douglas in Company I.

Revolutionary War

Nathaniel Hammond served the revolutionary cause by supplying provisions to the soldiers families between 1776 and 1783 in Bolton, Connecticut.

There could easily be other revolutionary war ancestors in my tree. However, I haven’t proven my descent from any of the other known patriots.

Mustered Out

Have you ever discovered an obituary in a location that you never imagined? While searching for an obituary on a collateral line, I stumbled across a brief obit in a ‘Mustered Out’ column in the National Tribune (Washington, D.C.)

Since I had never encountered this type of obit before, I was curious to see if I could find an ancestor in a similar “Mustered Out” column. Thus, I searched for my great-great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford who died in 1889. And – I found it!

Crawford — At Dodge City, Kan., recently, ofheart failure, W. M. Crawford Co. H, 2d N. Y. Cav.,aged 51 years. He was captured Sept. 22, 1863, andfor more than 14 months suffered all the crueltiesof Belle Isle, Andersonville and prisons of the South, returning to his home the last day of De-cember, 1864, a mere wreck of his former self, fromthe effect of which he never recovered. He was amember and had been an officer of Lewis Post No.294. He always had a kind word for his comradesand was interested in their affairs. It was his re-quest frequently expressed, that he be buried bythe Post and that ex-Andersonville prisoners actas pallbearers which request was fully carried out.His last act was to respond promptly and cheer-fully to a call to take charge of old Fort Dodgewhich is being refitted and beautified for a StateSoldiers’ Home. He leaves a wife, two sons andtwo daughters; also, one brother, two sisters andmany friends.
I don’t know the extent of this ‘Mustered Out’ column, but I found an 1889 record and a 1910 record. Now, I need to search for all of my civil war veterans to see if I can find a mustered out entry for them!

Honoring Those Who Served

In honor of Memorial Day, a group of bloggers initiated the “Honor Roll Project“. As stated on the project home page,

Just find a military honor roll in your hometown park, or in front of a civil building, or inside on a plaque – Anywhere!  Photograph it, transcribe the names and post it to your blog.

There are several ‘military honor rolls’ in Seneca, Kansas. The most prominent one is the wall on the East side of town.

Memorial (640x483)

About two years ago, I photographed the wall. Although not the best photos, they have been shared in an album on the Nemaha County Historical Society‘s Facebook page. The album is titled, Seneca Military Wall.

I have been working on transcribing all of this info. The Civil War portion of the wall has been transcribed into a spreadsheet and shared on the web page: Civil War (and Earlier) Names on the Wall. For a more complete list of names on the wall, see 2018-05-28-Military-Wall. (Note: transcription is NOT finished!)

I invite everyone to participate in the honor roll project! Find your relative’s name on a flag post, roll of honor, or other military memorial. Take a photograph, transcribe the info and share using the hashtag #honorrollproject.

Let’s flood the Internet in honor of those who served!

Brothers Served in France during World War I

Leon Russel Crawford


Military 26 Apr 1917 (age 23) and was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner 25th A.A. Battery 1st A.A. Sector; Dodge City, Ford, Kansas, United States
Military from 31 Mar 1918 to 31 May 1918 (from age 24 to 24) as wagoner at St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne; France
Military from 28 Jun 1918 to 8 Nov 1918 (from age 24 to 24) as wagoner in the outer defense of Paris; France
Military 20 Feb 1919 (age 25) U.S.S. Ohio; Brest, Bretagne, France
Military 15 Mar 1919 (age 25) sent telegram to parents saying had arrived and all was well; Camp Stuart, Virginia, United States
Military 28 Mar 1919 (age 25) received an honorable discharge from the United States Army; Camp Funston, Kansas

Marion Richmond Crawford

Military 23 Apr 1917 (age 21) enlisted in U. S. Army serving with Battery D of the 13th Field Artillery; Dodge City, Ford, Kansas, United States
Military 1918 (about age 23) with Battery D of the 13th Field Artillery; Camp Green, Charlotte, North Carolina
Military Oct 1918 (about age 23) fought in the Battle of the Argonne Forest as a member of the 13th Field Artillery; France
Military 18 Jul 1919 (age 23) U.S.S. Zeelandia; Brest, Bretagne, France
Military 6 Aug 1919 (age 23) was discharged from service at Camp Dodge, Iowa, United States

Proud to Serve: Eugene Crawford

When I visited with my dad, Eugene Crawford, about his military record the dates and locations didn’t make sense when put together with his high school graduation. However, one comment stuck with me: “I flunked out of radio school.” This coming from someone who would become a physics teacher at the college level and who would obtain his amateur radio license.

For the longest time, other than his military discharge (on file in the Record of Deeds office in Dodge City), this was all I had in regards to his military service. That’s because we were told that military records from World War I and World War II had been lost in a fire. Thus, I didn’t try to obtain his full military file. That changed when I learned a few years ago that the navy records exist. Now that I have his military record, all of the dates and locations make sense.

Military 6 Feb 1945 (age 17) passed the Eddy Test and was technically qualified for Radio Technician training in the U.S. Navy
Military 15 Feb 1945 (age 17) enlisted in the United States Naval Reserves; U.S. Naval Reserve Station, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States
Military 15 Feb 1945 (age 17) U.S. Navy Recruiting Station, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States
Military 16 May 1945 (age 17) was received; the U.S. Naval Reserve Station, Dodge City, Ford, Kansas, United States
Graduation 17 May 1945 (age 17) Dodge City Senior High School, Dodge City, Ford, Kansas, United States
Military 20 May 1945 (age 17) was recalled to active duty; U.S. Naval Reserve Station, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States
Military 21 May 1945 (age 17) was transferred to the; U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Lake, Illinois, United States
Military 21 May 1945 (age 17) reported for active duty; U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Lake, Illinois, United States
Military 9 Jul 1945 (age 17) was granted recruit leave from 9 Jul 1945 to 14 July 1945; U.S. Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Lake, Illinois, United States
Military 20 Jul 1945 (age 17) was transferred to the Navy Training College for study of pre-radio material; Wright Junior College, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Military 15 Aug 1945 (age 17) was transferred to the Naval Training School (EE & RM) for a course of instructions; U.S. Naval Training Center, Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, United States
Military 4 Sep 1945 (age 17) was discharged from class V-6 US Naval Reserve
Military 5 Sep 1945 (age 17) enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a seaman 1st class radio technician; Naval Training Center, Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, United States
Military 5 Sep 1945 (age 17) reported for active duty in the U.S. Navy; Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, United States
Military 23 Oct 1945 (age 17) was discharged this date for convenience of the government; Naval Training Center, Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, United States
Military 23 Oct 1945 (age 17) voluntarily enlisted in Class V6 US Naval Reserve; Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi, United States
Military 4 Jan 1946 (age 18) was transferred to the Naval Training Center; Great Lakes, Lake, Illinois, United States
Military 1 May 1946 (age 18) was transferred to receiving station; Shoemaker, California
Military 20 May 1946 (age 18) was transferred for duty aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221). The USS Oneida (APA-221) was a Haskell-class attack transport
Military 1 Jun 1946 (age 18)  served outside the continental limits of the United States in the Pacific Ocean around Guam and Samar from 1 Jun 1946 to 16 July 1946 aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221)
Military 24 Jul 1946 (age 18) was transferred to the receiving station; Treasure Island, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
Military 1 Aug 1946 (age 18) received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy as Seaman First Class V-6 USNR; U.S. Naval Personnel Separation Center, Norman, Cleveland, Oklahoma, United States


Even though his military records do not say that he flunked out of radio school, there is a hint to that buried in the records. In September 1945, Eugene’s branch of service and rank changed as he became a 1st class radio technician. Eugene was transferred to Gulfport, Mississippi where the Navy had a Naval Training School (Radio) during WWII. Then on the 23rd of October, Eugene was discharged from the U.S. Navy – for the convenience of the government. Eugene was then enlisted (re-enlisted) in the U.S. Naval Reserves and transferred (back) to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

WWI Group Pics

Photo Album Finds

Names on back of photo

Emrich – Rebmrnovich – ? – Scott – Clark – Pilgrim – CRAWFORD

Rowe – Cline – Dweggins – Hiller – Madsen – Kaufman – Garlick

(person with arrow is Leon Crawford)



Names on back of photo:

Scott – Belizzi – Terry – Saylor – Geffeny – Beacacek

Croathers – Cole – Wooten – Blevins – Chapman

Morton – Stampler – Cartwright – CRAWFORD – Garlick

Oliver – Jacobson – Lacy – Ferguson

(person with arrow is Leon CRAWFORD)