Statement of Service Card for Fox Conner. Call Number: Series 1731: Mississippi World War One Statement of Service Cards (Army, page 845) MDAH Collection

Statement of Service Card for Fox Conner. Call Number: Series 1731: Mississippi World War One Statement of Service Cards (Army, page 845) MDAH Collection

The Mississippi World War I Statement of Service Cards and Indices collections were recently digitized by FamilySearch. At the urging of various state Adjutants General, Congress passed a law in 1919 that authorized the Secretary of War (for the Army) and the Secretary of the Navy (for the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard) to provide to each state with statement of service cards on all service members mustered into service during World War I. These cards were prepared by the two departments over the next seven years, being finally completed in 1926.

The cards give an abbreviated history of each individual’s service during WWI. They include the name of the service member, birth and residency information, ranks held and dates of promotion, units and dates assigned, and type and date of discharge. For more information, please click here to read the Collection Description.

These records are divided into three groups:

Series 1731: Mississippi World War One Statement of Service Cards

This group contains images of the statement of service cards for those Mississippians who served in World War I.

Series 1730: Mississippi World War I Veterans Index Books, 1917-1919

Z/0291.000/S: Master Alphabetical Index of World War I Army Veterans (Mississippi)

The indices can help you determine whether or not a person served in the war.

Pictured above is the one of the statement of service cards for Fox Conner (1874-1951), a Calhoun County native and member of the Mississippi Hall of Fame. Conner was a major general in the U. S. Army, served as General John “Blackjack” Pershing’s Chief of Operations during WWI, and was a mentor after the war to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Luther Harper. Call Number: PI/1988.0009 (MDAH Collection)

Luther Harper. Call Number: PI/1988.0009 (MDAH Collection)

Mississippi native Luther Harper, pictured above, was a veteran of World War I. Harper was born in 1893 and grew up in the Brushy Creek community in Copiah County. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1918 and was honorably discharged in 1919.  This circa 1915 photograph depicts Harper in his U.S. Army uniform.

Harper and his family moved to Jackson in 1942, where he died in 1985. This hand-tinted photograph was donated to MDAH by Harper’s step-granddaughter in 1988. Sources like this one document the contributions of African Americans to America’s war effort.

Luther Harper's World War I Statement of Service Card. Call Number: Series 1731, Army #778 (MDAH Collection)

Luther Harper's World War I Statement of Service Card. Call Number: Series 1731, Army #778 (MDAH Collection)

Pictured above is Harper’s statement of service card from Series 1731: Mississippi World War I Statement of Service Cards, 1917-1919, which is now available online, along with related indicies.

Sources:

PI/1988.0009 control folder, Image and Sound Section files, Archives and Records Services Division, MDAH.

Mississippi History Newsletter 31, no. 3 (March 1989).

Gem from the Daniel Collection

On November 8, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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"New Capitol, Bevo Car, circa 1918." Call Number: PI/1999.0001, no. 50 (MDAH Collection)

"New Capitol, Bevo Car, circa 1918." Call Number: PI/1999.0001, no. 50 (MDAH Collection)

We stumbled on this little treasure while browsing the excellent Daniel (Al Fred) Photograph Collection (PI/1999.0001). At first glance, it appears to be simply an early automobile in front of the capitol, but upon closer examination, you’ll notice life preservers, ship’s bell, miniature cannons, and a front bumper that is reminiscent of an anchor!

This car was called a “Bevo Boat” and was manufactured by Anheuser-Busch to promote its non-alcoholic “Bevo” beverage. However, during World War I, the company loaned the cars to the United States government so that they could tour the country and aid in the recruitment of soldiers and sale of war bonds. This is what most likely brought the vehicle to Mississippi in 1918. Click here to see an original catalog of the Anheuser-Busch Vehicle Department, including the Bevo Boat.

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In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions and to Nan Prince, Museum Division, for compiling the artifacts.

World War I uniform coat. Accession Number: 1985.45.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

World War I uniform coat. Accession Number: 1985.45.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

This World War I uniform coat belonged to Luther Manship, Jr., of Jackson.  In 1917, he served as an artillery officer and for a time was attached to the British Army and American Air Forces in France.

Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.

Draft registration card of Albert Pitts. From: National Archives microfilm; World War One Draft Registration Cards from Mississippi.

Draft registration card of Albert Pitts. From: National Archives microfilm; World War One Draft Registration Cards from Mississippi.

The image above shows the May 1917 draft registration card of a Mississippian who was already involved in military training at the Reserve Officer Training Camp in Plattsburg, NY.

Statement of service cards for Albert Pitts. Call Number: Series 1731.  Miss. World War One Statement of Service Cards, 1917-1919 (MDAH Collection)

Statement of service cards for Albert Pitts. Call Number: Series 1731. Miss. World War One Statement of Service Cards, 1917-1919 (MDAH Collection)

The above image shows the same soldier’s World War I statement of service cards, showing that he was in the Army Air Service and served overseas in France.