The Tennessee State Library and Archives has launched a new digital collection, Record of Ex-Soldiers in World War I, Tennessee Counties, 1917-1919.
Visit the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) to view the records of over 130,000 soldiers and sailors from Tennessee who served in the Great War.
Service record information is arranged by county and includes:
- place of birth
- unit in which the soldier served
- enlistment and discharge dates.
These service abstracts fill a gap left by the 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire, which destroyed the majority of Army personnel records between 1912 and 1960.
This collection began as an American Legion Auxiliary project spearheaded by Graeme McGregor Smith, mother of two World War I veterans. She mobilized Tennessee’s women to collect the records of soldiers and sailors to ensure that every Tennessean who served in the Great War would be remembered.
In 1937, the legislature granted these compiled service records status as official public records of Tennessee and allowed for certified copies to be used in all courts.
“After all the History of a State is but the history of her people and when the Records of the ninety-five Counties of Tennessee are completed, Tennessee will have available a complete survey of its industrial and military man-power.” — Graeme McGregor Smith