Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Alvis Julian Chandler (1895-1918)

Courtesy Carolina Caswell
Alvis Julian Chandler (1895-1918)

We have not found a photograph of Alvis Julian Chandler. Hopefully, a relative can provide one.

However, we do know that he was tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and light brown hair. And, when he registered for military service June 5, 1917, he reported no physical disability. He was living with his parents in the Blanch community of Caswell County, North Carolina, and working on the family farm. He went by Alvis and never married.

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Alvis did not see overseas duty during World War I. He joined the Coast Artillery and was stationed at Fort Monroe in Virginia, where he died. Newspaper reports indicate that he died due to measles, followed by pneumonia. However, his family disputed this, claiming that he had the flu (influenza) and was forced to stand guard in the rain, and as a result developed pneumonia.

Although Alvis Julian Chandler died unmarried and without children, he was part of a large family. Moreover, as a tribute, his brother Clyde Thomas Chandler (1893-1956) named his first child Alvis Julian Chandler (1918-2006). The younger Alvis Julian Chandler was born December 23, 1918, less than a year after the death of his namesake uncle.

The World War I soldier, Alvis Julian Chandler, rests under the trees at the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church.

According to the Chandler family, the newspaper version of Alvis Julian Chandler's death was not adequate. The family maintained he was forced to stand guard in the rain when it was known that he was ill with influenza. Recall that 1918 was the year of the influenza pandemic. And, there is even some confusion whether he had influenza or the measles.

Yanceyville Man Dies In Service Of Nation

Alvis Chandler, of Coast Artillery, a Pneumonia Victim; Grave Bedecked With Flags

Yanceyville, Feb. 28 -- A feeling of gloom spread over the town and community Tuesday when the message came announcing the death of Alvis Chandler, which occurred Monday night in the government hospital at Fortress Monroe, Va. His death was due to measles followed by pneumonia. He volunteered last August joining the coast artillery which is stationed at Fortress Monroe. He was about 22 years of age. He had been a member of New Hope Methodist church for several years. Mr. Chandler was the second son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Y. Chandler.

The funeral services were held Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock in the Yanceyville Presbyterian church, conducted by Rev. S. F. Nicks and Rev. George W. Oldham. The church was decorated with American flags, and 12 flags were placed upon the grave by 12 of his former schoolmates. The floral designs were many and beautiful. Mr. Chandler is survived by his parents, two sisters, Mrs. Miles and Miss Sue Chandler, and six brothers, George, Clarence, Clyde, Talbot, Eugene and Norman.

Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, North Carolina), 1 March 1918, Friday, Page 14.

The following is from Anderson, George A., Compiler. Caswell County in the World War, 1917-1918: Service Records of Caswell County Men. Raleigh (North Carolina): Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., 1921:

Alvis Julian Chandler was born on the 16th day of August, 1895, near Hamer, in this County. He was a son of T. Y. Chandler and Sallie Elizabeth Chandler. The mother's maiden name was Miss Elizabeth Bohannon. She was a native of Pittsylvania County, Va. The grandfather, George Chandler, saw Service for much of the time during the war between the States and was slightly wounded in one of the battles in Virginia. This young soldier, having completed the Public School Course in Caswell, spent two years at Wallburg. At the time of his Registration, he was actively engaged in farming, and on August 15th 1917, he volunteered for service; his enlistment papers being signed at the Recruiting Office, in the City of Danville, Va. He was sent to Fortress Monroe, and was assigned to service in the Coast Artillery; afterward he was transferred to Ft. Monroe, and there assigned to a company of the Field Artillery.

While in active training for overseas service, he contracted the measles; complications setting in, of such a serious nature, that on Febuary 28th 1918, he died in the Hospital, at that place. The body of this young soldier was brought back to Caswell, and tenderly buried in the Graveyard at the Presbyterian Church, in the little village of Yanceyville. Of Alvis Julian Chandler, it may truly be said; "His Soul has gone West; He laid his young life on the Altar of his Country; the Great God of Battles accepted the Sacrifice; let the people of Caswell County hold in constant recollection the memory of one of her sons who loved his country, and in loving, made the Supreme Sacrifice: God rest him."

Killed during World War I (died of complications from measles at Ft. Monroe).

Alvis Julian Chandler, fourth child of Thomas Y. and Sarah E. (Bohannon) Chandler, was born August 16, 1895. He "died Sunday night 10 o'clock, February 25, 1918 at Fort Monroe, Virginia, being a soldier in the 6th Company - C.H.C. Va." Source: Register of Deaths in the Bible of Thomas Yancey and Sarah E. (Bohannon) Chandler: Alvis Chandler died from exposure when he was kept on duty while he had the flue.

House in which Alvis Julian Chandler was born: Chandler House

From the Chandler family Bible:

Minnie Lanier Chandler 15 February 1888, Wednesday A.M.
George Maynard Chandler 1 December 1890, Monday A.M.
Clyde Thomas Chandler 10 February 1893, Friday A.M.
Alvis Julian Chandler 16 August 1895, Friday A.M.
Clarence yancey Chandler 14 April 1898, Thursday A.M.
Eugene Spencer Chandler 17 September 1900, Monday P.M.
Talbott Bedford Chandler 25 November 1903, Wednesday P.M.
Delmas Dodson Chandler 26 March 1907, Tuesday 12 o'clock A.M.
Sue Helen Chandler 2 February 1910, Wednesday A.M.
Norman Allen Chandler 14 August 1912, Wednesday

T. Y. Chandler died September 11, 1928

Caswell County Genealogy

Cemetery Census

WWI Plaque Controversy

Caswell County Board of Commissioners Minutes

World War I Military Service Card
Name: Alvis J. Chandler
Race: White
Residence: Blanche, Caswell County, North Carolina
Enlisted at Danville, Virginia, July 9, 1917
Born: Blanche, NC
Age: 21 11/12 years
Served: 6th Company Virginia CAC Fort Monroe Virginia to January 5, 1918; Battery B, 60 CAC to death
Grade: Private
Wounds/Injuries Received in Action: None
Served Overseas: No
Died Of: Streptococic Empyema February 25, 1918
Person Notified of Death: T. Y. Chandler, Father, RFD#1, Blanche, NC

Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage

During the 1920s, the Gold Star Mothers' Association lobbied for a federally sponsored pilgrimage to Europe for mothers with sons buried overseas. Although many of the women who belonged to the organization had visited their sons' graves, they realized that women often could not afford the trip to Europe. In their testimony, these women placed great emphasis on the bond between a mother and son. The bond between wife and husband seemed almost secondary in the congressional debates. The bond between fathers and sons was barely considered--the association maintained that the maternal bond surpassed that of the paternal bond.

In 1929 Congress enacted legislation that authorized the secretary of war to arrange for pilgrimages to the European cemeteries "by mothers and widows of members of military and naval forces of the United States who died in the service at any time between April 5, 1917, and July 1, 1921, and whose remains are now interred in such cemeteries." Congress later extended eligibility for pilgrimages to mothers and widows of men who died and were buried at sea or who died at sea or overseas and whose places of burial were unknown. The Office of the Quartermaster General determined that 17,389 women were eligible. By October 31, 1933, when the project ended, 6,693 women had made the pilgrimage. Once the quartermaster determined a woman was eligible, she was sent a questionnaire.

Gold Star Mothers

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