Raleigh’s first black sol­dier to die in WWI wounded late

The Herald-Sun (Sunday) - - Local - BY DAWN BAUM­GART­NER VAUGHAN dvaughan@new­sob­server.com

The day an ar­mistice was signed end­ing World War I on Nov. 11, 1918 – 100 years ago – was also the day Raleigh sol­dier Charles T. Nor­wood was wounded.

He later died, be­com­ing the first African-Amer­i­can sol­dier from Raleigh who died in World War I.

Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 157 in Raleigh is named for Nor­wood.

Mem­bers of the post marched in the North Carolina Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in down­town Raleigh on Satur­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Le­gion, Nor­wood was an Army pri­vate who served with Com­pany H, 365 In­fantry, 92nd In­fantry Divi­sion. At the time he lived with his mother, Em­me­line Nor- wood, on East Lane Street, ac­cord­ing to a news­pa­per clip­ping.

Dur­ing World War I, African-Amer­i­can sol­diers in the U.S. Army were seg­re­gated from white sol­diers and as­signed to units led by white of­fi­cers, ac­cord­ing to a war ex­hibit now on dis­play at the N.C. Mu­seum of His­tory in down­town Raleigh.

Two African-Amer­i­can com­bat divi­sions served in France: The 92nd Divi- sion, where Nor­wood was as­signed, served in the Amer­i­can Ex­pe­di­tionary Force and fought in the Meuse-Ar­gonne Of­fen­sive, ac­cord­ing to the mu­seum.

The other divi­sion was the 93rd Divi­sion, which served with the French army.

Nor­wood, 23, was wounded in France on Nov. 11, 1918, and died from his wounds and pneu­mo­nia on Jan. 17, 1919. The Amer­i­can Le­gion post in Raleigh was named for him when it was char­tered in 1924. Nor­wood was buried in the Raleigh Na­tional Ceme­tery in 1921.

“It’s just a great bless­ing to be here to­day to honor (Nor­wood),” said Amer­i­can Le­gion mem­ber Wil­lie Pul­ley, who marched in the Vet­er­ans Day pa­rade. Pul­ley, the post chap­lain, is an Army vet­eran.

Post mem­ber James Whi­taker, also re­tired from the Army like Pul­ley, said it means a lot to be in the Amer­i­can Le­gion post named for Nor­wood. Whi­taker said the post, which meets at Martin Street Bap­tist Church, works to help fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity at Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas.

In a cer­e­mony on the N.C. Capi­tol grounds af­ter the pa­rade, U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Martin Falls noted that it was “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent across Europe, and Amer­ica’s dough­boys started com­ing home.”

The pa­rade Satur­day morn­ing in­cluded high school march­ing bands, high school JROTC groups, the Tri­an­gle chap­ter of Vet­er­ans for Peace, Scouts groups and vet­er­ans groups.

LOSS AND LEGACY OF WORLD WAR I

In­ter­est in the N.C. Mu­seum of His­tory’s World War I ex­hibit has been large enough for the

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IT’S JUST A GREAT BLESS­ING TO BE HERE TO­DAY TO HONOR (CHARLES T. NOR­WOOD). Wil­lie Pul­ley, Army vet­eran, Amer­i­can Le­gion mem­ber and post chap­lain

PHO­TOS BY DAWN BAUM­GART­NER VAUGHAN dvaughan@new­sob­server.com

James Whi­taker, left, and Wil­lie Pul­ley are mem­bers of Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 157, named for Charles T. Nor­wood. Their post marched in the North Carolina Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade on Satur­day in down­town Raleigh. Nor­wood, who lived on Lane Street, was the first African-Amer­i­can sol­dier to die dur­ing World War I. He was wounded hours be­fore an ar­mistice went into ef­fect, end­ing World War I. Nor­wood is buried in Raleigh Na­tional Ceme­tery.

Broughton High School Air Force JROTC stu­dents march in the North Carolina Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in down­town Raleigh on Satur­day.

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