Hometown Boys from Alabama: Information and Statistics about WWI Service Members

Alabama provided 5,000 National Guardsmen, 7,000 other volunteers, and 74,000 selected servicemen (draftees) to the U.S. Army during World War I. Over 2,500 Alabamians died fighting in France. The 167th Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Division originated in Alabama, as did much of the 31st Division. Draftees from Alabama provided much of the original manpower of the 82nd and 87th Divisions as well. The 167th Infantry Regiment distinguished itself in fierce fighting for Croix Rogue Farm and the Ourcq River. Here Corporal Sidney E. Manning won the Medal of Honor leading a successful assault on a critical position despite suffering nine wounds.

Alabama was host to Taylor Army Air Field and Camp Sheridan near Montgomery and Camp McClellan near Anniston. Here soldiers and units from across the country organized, trained and prepared for war. The Regular Army’s 6th Division stood up at Camp McClellan, for example, and its 9th Division at Camp Sheridan. As economic mobilization progressed demand for Alabama’s timber, food and fiber accelerated, as did demand for Birmingham’s iron. Defense-related investment led to a hydroelectric dam and nitrate plants at Muscle Shoals, and new ship yards at Mobile. Hundreds of thousands of Alabamians supported the war effort as volunteers or in official capacities through such agencies as the Alabama Council for Defense.

Editor's Note: This ongoing series will feature information and statistics about World War I service members from every state. You can also find this information in our new Chateau-Thierry Visitor Center that will be opening later this year.