Honoring Wayne County’s WWI Dead: Andrew Best

Died November 11, 1918

Andrew Bass photograph, News & Observer, October 18, 1919
Photo from the October 18, 1919 issue of the News & Observer.

Andrew Best was born in Goldsboro on November 30, 1886, the son of Spicie Annie, a laundress. The family lived at 513 Denmark St.

The 1916 city directory lists Andrew’s profession as laborer, a catch-all term for manual laborers.

The 1910 census lists that he was married to Mary and they had a son named George, born about 1909.

Andrew was inducted into the US Army on March 30, 1918 in Goldsboro. He was assigned for training to the 161st Depot Brigade at Camp Grant, Illinois, one of the largest training camps for black soldiers during World War I.

On April 22 he was transferred to Company E of the 365th Infantry, part of the 92nd Division, the only active black fighting division during the war. The 92nd was nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers”, a name given by Native Americans to black soldiers serving in the American West during the 19th century.

His unit left for France on June 10, 1918 from Hoboken, NJ aboard the transport ship Agamemnon. Originally built as the German liner SS Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1903, it was seized by the US on April 2, 1918, four days after America’s official entry into the war.

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Honoring Wayne County’s WWI Dead: Charles Rom Hardesty

Another victim of the worst killer in WWI- disease

George HardestyGeorge Rom Hardesty was born in Wake County on July 17, 1882 to Washington (1825-1904) & Katherine (1845-1914) Hardesty.

He attended North Carolina State University (known then as NC State A&M) and graduated in 1907 with a degree in electrical engineering. While at school he was a member of the literary society and served in the college military department as captain of Company B.

In 1909 Hardesty moved to Goldsboro to take a position as an engineer at Cherry Hospital, a job he held until 1917.

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