World War I

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Though the country didn't officially enter World War I until 1917, North Carolinains like Kiffin Rockwell and Madelon "Glory" Hancock, both from Asheville, volunteered to fight with British, French and others almostly immediately after the conflict's outbreak in August 1914.

With the declaration of war by President Wilson, North Carolinians rallied to the cause. Women joined the American Red Cross, YWCA, and Salvation Army to serve as nurses in military hospitals at home and in France. Farmers grew victory acres and children grew thrift gardens to earn money to buy war bonds. Individuals and industry united to support the war effort.

Remembering North Carolinians Who Fought with Valor

North Carolinians served in all the major battles of the Western Front in 1918. They fought in the battles of 2nd Marne, St. Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne, the last major campaign of the war. As part of the British army, Tar Heels in the 30th Division fought in Belgium and France in intense combat. In only five months of action in 1918, the United States suffered more than 275,000 casualties with more than 50,000 deaths.

Through 2018, North Carolina will commemorate the centennial of World War I with special publications, programs and educational resources. Check back to this page or sign up for our World War I email list to get the latest information on our plans.


Digital Collection

More than 1,500 maps, photographs, posters, letters and other materials from the collections and of the State Archives and State Library related to North Carolina's invovlement in "The Great War."

Browse the Collection

North Carolina and World War I By the Numbers


Tar Heel deaths from battle and disease


North Carolinians drafted in 1917 and 1918


Service awards earned by North Carolinians