West Virginia Veterans Memorial

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Solomon Johnson

"I did my duty. That's what I set out to do--to show that I could make my way if I knew my job."

General Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

Solomon Johnson was born in the village of Summit Point, West Virginia, on June 13, 1894, to Barger ("Barge") Johnson and Nancy Robinson Johnson. Summit Point is located at the southwestern edge of Jefferson County near the Virginia border. He had a least one sibling, Ethel M. Johnson (b. 1890). By 1900, the family is splintered. Per the1900 Federal Census, Solomon ("Soloman" in census) Johnson, age 7, is listed as a boarder in Kabletown, Jefferson County, West Virginia, living at a household headed by Worth J. Anderson. The head-of-household is white. For Solomon, attended school is shown as zero, can read is no, can write is no. "In school" is listed as the occupation for Anderson's children. Barger ("Barker" in the 1900 census) is listed as a boarder and day laborer in Kabletown. Frank Brockenbrough, occupation day laborer, is listed as head of the household. In 1900, house number 84 is listed for Barger (sheet 15); house number 84 is listed for Solomon (sheet 18), indicating father and son are still connected. In 1910, Barger is widowed. Again, he is listed as a boarder and farm laborer living at the Brockenbrough household. He is listed as age 55. Neither Solomon nor his sister Ethel are recorded as members of the Brockenbrough household. Otherwise, little else is known about Solomon Johnson's childhood.

In response to the Selective Service Act, Solomon Johnson registered for the World War I draft on June 5, 1917. Per his draft registration card, he was residing at 318 Highland Avenue in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia. He is listed as single. He is employed as a farmer. He is described as short and slender with brown eyes. His age is listed as 22.

Pvt. Solomon Johnson was dispatched to Camp Lee in Prince George County, Virginia, where he was a soldier in the Camp Lee March Replacement Draft Company 3 (Colored) [as typed on the government form, U.S. Army WWI Transport Service, Passenger List (1910-1939)]. His initial military record is shown as follows: Pvt. Solomon Johnson; Residence Summit Point, WV; Regiment 155 De Brig; Contact name Barge Johnson; Relationship father; Departure date 14 Mar 1918; Departure place Hoboken, New Jersey; Conflict period World War I; Served for United States of America.

From Camp Lee, his company embarked at Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the USS Pocahontas. They disembarked in Europe. Pvt. Johnson was assigned to the 369th Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division (an all-Black infantry division):

Unknown photographer. Caption:

Unknown photographer. Caption: "Some of the colored men [sic] of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action." National Archives, ARC Identifier 26431282

Following is a World War I timeline of events of the 369th Infantry, 93rd Division cited in the book Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War American Expeditionary Forces (Army War College, Historical Section [Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1931]):

Organization and Training in the United States, Nov 23, 1917-Apr 6, 1918

Nov. 23, the War Department directs the organization of the 185th and 186th Infantry Brigades. The 185th Infantry Brigade is to include the 369th Infantry and the 370th Infantry. The 186th Infantry Brigade is to include the 371st Infantry and the 372nd Infantry.

The minimum strength of about 9,000 under the Tables of Organization of Aug. 15, 1917, is allowed; the staff are to be white officers.

Movement Overseas, Dec 12, 1917-Apr 22, 1918

Dec. 12, the 369th Infantry sails from Hoboken, NJ, and arrives Dec. 27 at Brest (France).

Feb. 18, DHQ sails from Hoboken and arrives March 4 at Brest.

March 30 to April 7, other troops sail from Newport News, including the 372nd Infantry, the brigade headquarters, the 370th Infantry and 371st Infantry (less three companies).

April 14, the 372nd Infantry arrives St-Nazaire and the other units on April 22 at Brest.

April 29, the last elements, three companies of the 371st Infantry, arrive at St-Nazaire.

Final Training and Operations, Jan 1-Dec 12, 1918

The units of the (93rd) Division are to be affiliated with the French (Army).

March 11, DHQ is established at Bar-sur-Seine (Aube) and retains administrative control until May 15. The four American Regiments (369th, 370th, 371st and 372nd) are reorganized to conform to the French tables of organization.

Activities of 369th, 371st, and 372nd Regiments of Infantry Prior to the Meuse-Argonne Operation

Jan. 1, 1918, the 369th Infantry Regiment moves to St-Nazaire and Camp Coetquidan for duty.

March 12, the 369th proceeds to Givry-en-Argonne for training under the French 16th Division (French Fourth Army) and on March 15 establishes its headquarters at Herpont.

April 8-July 4, the 369th participates in the occupation of the Afrique Subsector (Champagne), in which its battalions are affiliated with the battalions of the French 16th Division.

April 16, the regiment holds a 5 km front, extending from the western bank of the Aisne, through the Bois d'Hauzy, to Ville-sur-Tourbe and, on April 29, assumes command of this sector.

Night July 3-4, the regiment is relieved and withdraws to a second position north of Maffrecourt and Courtemont, but keeps one battalion in an immediate position near Berzieux.

July 15-18, the 369th participates in the Champagne-Marne Operation. July 15, after assisting in stopping an attack against the front of the French 16th Division, the regiment moves 6 km west to support the French 161st Division north of Minaucourt.

July 18, the 369th participates in the counter-attack and recapture of the front-line trenches by this division and, until July 22, it remains in support.

July 21-22, one (369th) battalion enters the front line in the Beausejour subsector.

July 23-Aug 19, the 369th occupies the Calvaire Subsector (Champagne).

Sept. 9, the 369th becomes an organic part of the French 161st Division.

Sept. 11-15, the 369th occupies the Beausejour Subsector.

Sept. 14-16, the 369th is relieved and moves to the Somme-Bionne Area preparatory to the Meuse-Argonne Operation.

Activities of 369th, 371st, and 372nd Regiments of Infantry During the Meuse-Argonne Operation

Sept. 26-Oct. 8, the 369th Infantry (French 161st Division) and the 371st Infantry and 372nd Infantry (French 157th Division) participate in the Meuse Argonne Operation.

Sept. 26, the French IX Corps (French Fourth Army) with the French 2nd Moroccan and French 161st Division [which includes the 369th Infantry] abreast and French 157th Division [which includes the 372nd Infantry] in reserve, attacks toward Challerange, Marvaux, and Vieux from the front sector.

Sept. 26, the 369th Infantry (French 161st Division) advances from the Ravin d'Hebuterne, captures Ripont, and occupies a front ¾ km just north of that village; French 163rd Infantry on the right and French 2nd Moroccan Division on the left.

Sept. 27, the 369th Infantry reaches the slopes north of Fontaine-en-Dormois.

Sept. 28, the French 157th Division enters on the left of the French 161st Division; the 371st Infantry advances to 400 m south of le Pied; the 372nd Infantry captures the western part of Bellevue Signal Ridge and reaches a position south of Bussy Fme.

Sept. 28, the 369th Infantry advances against resistance to the southern slope of Bellevue Signal Ridge. The French 163rd Infantry is in line between the 369th and 372nd regiments.

Sept. 29, the 372nd attacks Sechault but retires and reorganizes south of Bussy Fme. The 369th Infantry, with parts of the 372nd Infantry, captures Sechault and reaches a line just northeast of that village; the 371st Infantry captures Ardeuil and Montfauxelles.

Sept. 30, the 369th Infantry advances to a line 1 km south of les Rosiers Fme; the 371st Infantry captures Trieres Fme.

Night Sept. 30-Oct. 1, the 369th Infantry is relieved and placed in division reserve. The 372nd Infantry relieves the 371st Infantry which passes to the division reserve.

Oct. 2, the 372nd Infantry attacks and reaches a line across the Sechault-Monthois road, 3/4 km south of Monthois, where it remains in position.

Night Oct. 7-8, the French 157th Division is relieved.

Activities of 369th, 371st, and 372nd Regiments of Infantry Subsequent to Their Withdrawal from the Meuse-Argonne Operation

Oct. 7, the 369th Infantry (French 161st Division) moves to Vitry-le-Francois and passes to corps reserve.

Oct. 8, rehabilitation begins.

Oct. 14, the 369th moves to the Belfort area and then to the vicinity of Thann.

Oct. 17-Nov. 11, the 369th, stationed at Wesserling and St-Amarin, participates in the occupation of a Thur subsector (Alsace).

Nov. 17, the 369th moves with the French 161st Division (French second Army, now in the Army of Occupation) to the Rhine, and on Nov. 18, takes station near Blodelsheim.

Dec. 12, the 369th is relieved from duty with the French Army,

Dec. 17, the 369th moves to the Belfort area.

Return to the United States and Demobilization, Dec 13, 1918-Mar 11, 1919

Dec. 31, the 369th Infantry leaves the Belfort area and moves to the American Embarkation Center.

Jan. 9, the troops move to Brest.

Feb. 2, the 369th Infantry and 370th Infantry sail, arriving at New York on Feb. 12 and Feb. 9, respectively.

Feb. 28, the 369th Infantry troops pass through Camp Upton and are demobilized.

American Battle Monuments Commission memorial to Pvt. Solomon Johnson

American Battle Monuments Commission memorial to Pvt. Solomon Johnson.

On October 2, 1918, Pvt. Solomon Johnson was killed in action during the Meuse-Argonne operation at Sechault, Departement des Ardennes, Champagne-Ardenne, France. As his remains were not retrieved, he is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery.

Information provided by American Legion Auxiliary Marshall-Holley-Mason Unit 102
September 2021


Solomon Johnson

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