Liberty County and World War I

The U.S. Congress on May 18,1917, enacted the Selective Military Conscription Bill (draft), and on July 15, 1917, passed the Espionage Act and created the War Industries Act. The government took over control of all American railroads. It was widely reported that German espionage agents were active in the South.


Young men from Liberty County were drafted into the military services, and letters began arriving back home from camps where they were in training. Windows in many homes displayed flags starred with the number of men from each family serving in the armed forces.


Patriotic Liberty Countians traveled to every part of the county selling war bonds, and none was more energetic and no lady more beautiful than Sarah Dunlevie , wife of Ernest Dunlevie , owner of the Dunlevie Lumber Company at Allen­hurst.


“Meat-less,” “Wheat-less,” and “Fuel-less” days were ob­served throughout Liberty County. Ladies of the county knitted for the “boys over there.” The Liberty County Chapter of the American Red Cross rolled bandages and gathered medical supplies to send to American Red Cross hospitals in France.


The Liberty Independent Troop remained on federal active duty guarding railroad facilities in coastal Georgia. It was then assigned to Camp Gordon, Georgia, where a con­tonment area was being constructed.


In the fall of 1917, the Liberty Independent Troop was ordered to Camp Wheeler at Macon, Georgia, where it was redesignated Company B, 106th Signal Battalion, and trained for several weeks. It was moved with the 31st Infantry (“Dixie”) Division to France, but arrived there too late to take part in combat.


First Lieutenant Joseph B. Fraser Jr. was a member of Battery B, 129th Field Artillary, 60th Brigade, 35th Infantry Division in France. He saw combat as executive officer of a unit commanded by Captain Harry Truman, later president of the U.S.


Nine members of the U.S. armed forces from Liberty County lost their lives during World War I. Most of them came from that part of the county which in less than two years would be a part of Long County, Georgia.