Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Richard Clarence Bradford WWI Draft Registration Card
Mr. & Mrs. Paul McKim Collection; 2002.035.108.009

In its September 26, 1918 issue The Bossier Banner discussed drafting farm laborers for military service.

“There was a meeting of farmers of Caddo, Bossier and other parishes last Thursday at the office of the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.  The object was to discuss the labor situation, and to arrive at an understanding with reference to the drafting of farm laborers for military service.  Speeches were made by several members of the Parish Council of Defense and a number of farmers.”

“Judge J.C. Pugh seemed to think that all farmers should be exempted from the Army and finally said:”

“However I really do not believe that any man of the last draft will ever be able to smell gunpowder in this war, because the news we are now getting from over there indicates that our boys will have the Huns licked to a standstill before any more reinforcements reach them.”

“But Mr. W.H. Hughes, Jr., an extensive planter of Elm Grove, took a larger view of the situation, and spoke in a patriotic tone, as follows:”

“I intend to fill out my questionnaire and place myself as being eligible for Class I.  And I will do the same thing by every man who works on my plantation.  If I make out his questionnaire and believe him to be good soldier material.”

“Our country is at war and it is our duty to go, and to send every man available for military service. There are enough men who cannot fight to raise the crops, and I do not believe that my farm will produce any less by reason of the absence of those of us who go to the front and fight.  Those who are left will have to work harder, that’s all.”

“Mr. Hodges hit the point exactly.  Because a man has large farming interests there is no reason why he should be allowed to remain in the rear and accumulate a fortune while others are at the front defending his fortune.  He has more at stake, financially, than the poor man—and should be made to fight.”

Fifteen days later, on November 11, 1918, World War I ended and Judge Pugh was proved correct.

WWI Postcard from B. Herbert Britain to his family while on a ship returning to the U.S.A.
Mr. & Mrs. Paul McKim Collection; 2002.035.118.003

To find out more about how Bossier Parish participated in both World Wars pay a visit to Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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