Draft List, 1918

Dublin Core


Draft List, 1918

Alternative Title

World War I List of Men Drafted for Service


World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1914-1918--African Americans


A 1918 draft list for Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida. Approximately 24 million men registered for the draft in 1917 and 1918. Those who were drafted reported to their local draft boards and then traveled to camp, where they were inducted into and trained for the United States Army. To keep track of draftees and whether they reported for duty, each local board created forms. Form 1029 PMGO provided information including name, order number, serial number, call number, primary industry, classification, report date, entrainment location, and the local board itself. John Watkins (1889-1918) is listed with order number 2233, serial number 953, and primary industry of autodriver. He has a mark in both Classifications I and II, though both meant he would eventually be eligible for service, and an X in the column for those who failed to report to military authorities.

John Watkins was born on February 22, 1889 to James and Sarah Watkins in Ocala, Florida. Little is known about his life before the war. At age 29, he was inducted into the United States Army in Tampa, Florida on June 21, 1918. He was then sent to train at Camp Dix in New Jersey, as a Private in the 807th Pioneer Infantry, an all-black segregated unit. On September 4, 1918, the 807th departed from Hoboken, New Jersey to France aboard the USS Siboney. Soon after arrival in Europe, Watkins was promoted to the rank of Corporal, likely because he could read, write, and drive. Though the 807th served in a non-combatant role, they were often in the thick of battles, such as the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the last major engagement of the war, building and repairing infrastructure. Watkins survived the war and remained in France, continuing to repair roads and bury the dead. Within a month, on December 8, 1918, Watkins died of pneumonia, likely caused by the influenza epidemic. He is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery at Plot H Row 6 Grave 23.

In 2017, the University of Central Florida was one of three universities selected to launch the National Cemetery Administration’s Veterans Legacy Program Project. The program engaged a team of scholars to make the life stories of veterans buried in the Florida National Cemetery available to the public. The project engages UCF students in research and writing and fosters collaboration between students, faculty and local Central Florida schools to produce interactive curriculum for k-12 students. The corresponding website exhibit uses RICHES Mosaic Interface to create a digital archive of related data. The public can use the project-developed augmented-reality app at more than 100 gravesites at the Florida National Cemetery, where they can access the UCF student-authored biographies of veterans.


Office of Provost Marshal General, Selective Service System


Digital reproduction of original typewritten draft list, June 21, 1918: Records of the Selective Service System (World War I), 1917-1918, Record Group 163, NAI Number 1159403.


Office of Provost Marshal General, Selective Service System

Date Created

ca. 1918-06-21


Watkins, John




703 KB


1 typewritten draft list






Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally created and published by the Office of Provost Marshal General, Selective Service System.

Rights Holder

This resource is not subject to copyright in the United States and there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance, or display of the work. Anyone may, without restriction under U.S. copyright laws:

• reproduce the work in print or digital form
• create derivative works
• perform the work publicly
• display the work
• distribute copies or digitally transfer the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.

This resource is provided here by RICHES for educational purposes only. For more information on copyright, please refer to Section 5 of Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code.


O'Neil, Rhiannon

External Reference

Abney, Barb. "VA Selects UCF Historians to Archive Stories of Deceased Veterans. UCF Today, March 13, 2017. Accessed August 9, 2017. https://today.ucf.edu/va-selects-ucf-historians-archive-stories-deceased-veterans/.
American Battle Monuments Commission. "John D. Watkins." ABMC. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.abmc.gov/node/338687#.W79L02hKi01.
Cromwell, Benedict and Robert Forrest Wilson. The Road to France II, Transportation of Troops and Military Supplies 1917-1918. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921.
Dalessandro, Robert J. and Gerald Torrence. Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2009.
Florida Department of Military Affairs. "John D Watkins." Online database with images, FloridaMemory. Dunedin, Florida. Army Box 15. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/227495.
Keene, Jennifer D. World War I: The American Soldier Experience. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2011.
Litwack, Leon. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1998.
Office of the Quartermaster General. "John Watkins." Online database with images, Fold3. Accessed March 1, 2018. https://www.fold3.com/image/604170947.
Selective Service System. "<a href="https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=try&amp
h=26881" target="_blank">John Watkins." U.S. Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917-1918. Online database with images, Ancestry.com. Hillsborough, Florida. Record Group 163, NAI Number 1159403. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=try&amp
Shofner, Jerrell H. "Custom, Law, and History: The Enduring Influence of Florida's "Black Code"." The Florida Historical Quarterly 55, no. 3 (1977): 279. https://www.jstor.org/stable/30149151.
U.S. Census Bureau. "<a href="https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=try&amp
h=8072960" target="_blank">John Walkins." 1900 United States Federal Census. Online database with images, Ancestry.com. McIntosh, Marion, Florida. Enumeration District 0088. NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240173. Accessed October 11, 2018. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=try&amp
United States War Department. "Regulations for the Army of the United States, 1913: Corrected to April 15, 1917. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1918.



Transcribe This Item

  1. Watkins.Nightingale.Lyons.002.jpg