Private Morris L. Slaughter
Private Morris Lawson Slaughter was born on November 23, 1893, to Martha Slaughter in Winston, North Carolina (Pvt. Slaughter was born before the 1913 merger of Winston and Salem). While living in Winston, he worked as a tobacco stemer. According to Pvt. Slaughter's service card, he registered for the World War I draft in 1918 and was assigned to the 365th Infantry Regiment of the 92nd Division. Pvt. Slaughter was formally inducted at Camp Grant, Illinois on May 8, 1918. At the time, Camp Grant served as a training ground for 365th Infantry.
The 92nd Division was an African-American infantry division of the United States Army that served in both World Wars as a part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). The 92nd was established in October of 1917 and was commanded by Major General Charles C. Ballou for most of its existence. This 92nd Division was comprised of the 183rd Infantry Brigade with the 365th and 366th Infantry Regiment. The 92nd also included the 184th Infantry Brigade with the 367th and 368th.
The 92 Division participated in one of the most critical battles in the War. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France was one of the battles that helped bring the First World War to an end. During their time in France, the 92nd would fight under the command of the French government. This was due to racist policies and segregation, which dominated American society at the time. That campaign was one the deadliest campaign in American military history with 26, 000 soldiers being killed in action (KIA) and over 120,000 casualties.
Argonne-Meuse Sector, France in 1919
Pvt. Morris Slaughter's Draft Card
Pvt. Morris L. Slaughter was killed in action while in France on September 6th, 1918 just before the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. His body was returned to Winston-Salem and buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
Ferrell, Robert H. Unjustly Dishonored: An African American Division in World War I. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011.
Smith-Lentz, Adriane. Freedom Struggle African Americans and World War I. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.
Scott, Emmett J. The American Negro in the World War. Chicago: Homewood Press, 1919.
National Archives. “The Meuse-Argonne Offensive,” September 7, 2016. https://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww1/meuse-argonne.
Wallover, Christy, and Patri O’Gan. “Over There: A Buffalo Soldier in World War I.” National Museum of American History, February 22, 2017. https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/buffalo-soldier-world-war-i.
Image Credits and Courtesies
Private Morris Slaughter's Draft Card:
United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm
Argonne-Meuse Sector, France:
Courtesy of the National Archives Catalog