Education

National Guard Muster Roll Abstract for Henry Johnson, 1917-1919


Historical Context
Henry Johnson was a member of the 369th Infantry of the 93rd Division of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), also known as the Harlem Hellfighters.  The 369th was on the front lines in France from December, 1917 until the end of the war, a total of 191 days.  That was five days longer than any other regiment in the AEF.  The 369th held the lines in Argonne and Minacourt and participated in the Aisne-Marne counter-offensive and the Meuse-Argonne offensive.



Throughout the three weeks of the Aisne-Marne counter-offensive, German officers were making frequent raids into Allied camps.  During one of these raids, Corporal Henry Johnson, armed with only a pistol and a knife, fought off an entire German raiding party.  He killed four of the Germans and wounded many more.  Because of his actions, a wounded comrade was able to escape capture and the 369th was able to seize a cache of German arms.  Johnson was wounded severely during the skirmish, but survived and was promoted to sergeant.  His bravery earned him the French Croix de Guerre.
Essential Question
How do inviduals contribute to a nation's war effort?
Check for Understanding
Summarize Henry Johnson's contributions to his country during World War I.
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Document Description
National Guard Muster Roll Abstract for World War I describing Henry Johnson's military service, 1917-1919.
Questions
  1. How was Henry Johnson wounded in action?
  2. Why did Henry Johnson receive the Croix de Guerre?
Historical Challenge
What was life like for African Americans after the war? How did the war contribute to the tensions that led to the Chicago Riot in 1919? How did the war contribute to the flourishing of the arts in the African American community known as the Harlem Renaissance?
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Read and discuss The Colored Soldier by Langston Hughes. Why were African Americans fighting in the war? What were conditions like for them after the war?
Math: The 396th was on the front lines 191 days, five days longer than any other regiment in the AEF. How many days was the next longest that any regiment was on the front lines?