14 July 2011

World War I Draft Registration Card - James H. Campbell

James Harrison Campbell was my great grandfather. He was born on 9 June 1889 in Randolph County, North Carolina and died on 21 Feb 1970 in Guilford County, North Carolina.

For the most part, I have pretty standard information about him. I have census records, a marriage record, and a death certificate; but I also have a copy of his World War I Draft Registration Card, which provided me with more of an insight about my great grandfather than any of the other documents I have on file for him.


From this card, I learned that he was tall with dark hair and blue eyes. He was a 29-year-old bookkeeper who was married with three children at the time he completed this draft registration.

To me, the most interesting thing about this card is the Registrar's Report (it's on the right-hand side in the image above). This section lists James Harrison Campbell's physical appearance, including the fact that he only had one leg.

According to my research, all males between the ages of 21 and 31 years of age were initially required to register for the draft during that time period (the age range was later changed to include men between the ages of 18 and 45). This was a requirement that stemmed from the Selective Service Act of 1917, which was signed into law by Woodrow Wilson's administration.

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