Saturday, February 21, 2015

Grandma's Photo Album Page 75 - Snyder Brothers from Wilkes in World War I


These are photos circa 1917-1919 of two sons of Nicholas Grindstaff Snyder (1863-1944) and his wife, Louise Jane Whittington (1863-1933).  The family lived in Wilkes County, North Carolina, so I believe these photos were taken there.

Standing in the left photo is Russell Jess Snyder (1896-1984).  Seated, and in the photo at the right, is John B. Snyder (1894-1969). 




Jess registered for the draft on September 12, 1918, in Wilkes County.[1]  He was a single farmer of medium height and build with blue eyes and light hair.  He never served in the military.

John registered on June 5, 1917 in Wilkes County.[2]  He was also a single farmer.  He was tall, with a medium build, dark blue eyes and dark brown hair.  He was initially in the 16 Company 4 Training Battalion 156th Depot Brigade until April 24, 1918. This company was in the 1st Battalion, 59th Infantry Brigade, 30th Division.  He was initially sent to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, for training, where he and Tom met up. 



On April 24, John was transferred to the 118th Infantry, Company B.  Just one week later, on May 1, the 59th Infantry Brigade left Camp Sevier for Europe, via Camp Mills, NY.  May 11, they set sail to England on the SS Canada, a miserable British troop ship, arriving in Liverpool on May 23.  They immediately headed to Calais, France, arriving May 24.[3]
 
They trained with the British near Calais and then at Dirty Bucket Camp in Flanders (Belgium).  By August 17, the 59th Infantry Brigade was on the front lines in Belgium in the Canal d’Ypres sector.  From September 22 to October 20, they were on the front line in the Somme Offensive.  On October 8, the 59th Infantry Brigade, assisted by tanks and one battalion of the 60th Infantry Brigade, attacked and captured Brancourt-le-Grand and Premont, and reached a line from the Farme de la Piete to the eastern outskirts of Premont.  They remained on the front lines until October 23, 1918. [4]



[1] Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005; card for Jess Snyder in Wilkes County, N.C.
[2] Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005; card for John Snyder of Wilkes County, N.C.

[3] Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War, 5 volumes (1931-1949; reprint, Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 1988), 2: 163.
[4] Order of Battle, 2:165 - 169.