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Charles Emory Boykin

Submitted by: Johnette Brooks {GA WWI Troops of Color Historian}

no photo 300

Charles Emory Boykin born around 1896. Charles Brooks served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1917 and the service was completed in 1918.

Story of Service


WWI Corporal Charles Emory Boykin KIA: Argonne Forest

Charles Emory Boykin, Serial No. 1.974.564, was born the eldest of ten (10) children in Pool Mill District of Troup County, LaGrange, Georgia on November 17, 1896. His mulatto parents were Albert Sydney Boykin and Eunice Hill living at 307 Hamilton Street. Two years later, his brother, WWI Pvt. John Thomas, Sr. was born.

He was a student at (SATC) Georgia State Industrial College (the future Savannah State College) when he was inducted on July 1st and trained at Camp Hancock. His son was WWII Pvt. John T. Boykin, Jr.

When Charles E. registered for the Selective Service Draft on May 29, 1917, he was already a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He had a medium build, brown eyes, dark hair and he was single. Nine months later, he was inducted at a Chicago, IL Induction Office. He likely was entrained at Camp Meade. They arrived in Brest, France on June 19, 1918.

Their battalion proceeded to the French city of Vitrey, a four-day hike. Cpl Boykin was assigned to the the only negro signal corp in the American Army; the 325th Field Signal Corp, Company C. They were all colored college and high school males with expertise in radio/electrical engineering.

On September 27th, the 92nd Division joined the 38th French Army Corp. Cpl Boykins’ signal corp was the first signal corp of color sent into battle. A Colonel and Lt. Herbert (an soldier of color); and some French liaison officers advanced beyond the battalion post and found themselves directly in front of a German machine gun nest. Ordered to split into small groups, the Signal Corp boys captured eight (8) prisoners; and two machine guns but the cost was the loss of Corporal Charles Emory Boykin did not return.” He and Sgt Henry E. Moody were the first of the signal corp to make the supreme sacrifice at the battle near Vienne Le Chateau in the France’s Argonne Forest.

His initial interment was at the Argonne American Cemetery @ Romangne-Sous-Montfaucon Cemetery on September 27, 1918 in Gravesite No. 39, Plot 1, Section No. 40, Grave No. 1232. In August 1921, Cpl Boykin was moved to Arlington National Cemetery, European Section, Grave No. 2674, Section 18. The National/Georgia WWI Commission placed a wreath on his grave site to honor his sacrifice and an commemorate the ARMISTICE on 11-11 @ 11 AM EST.

Cpl Charles E Boykin, we thank you for your service & supreme sacrifice.

5be228a925487 1918 GA (WWI) HEADSTONE   ARL NATL   BOYKIN, Cpl Charles (TROUP)

  5be228a927c6b 1919 GA (WWI) BOYKINS, Cpl Charlie  DSRC

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