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“C. C. Ballou, Major General, National Army, Commanding 92nd Division.” The First Black Unit that Fought Overseas!
CHARLES C. BALLOU (1862-1928). United States Army Major General, Commanded the 1st Black Combat Division to Fight Overseas in WWI, October 1917, organized the first Black Officer Candidate school. Black Military History related.
Signed Heavy Paper Card with military rank, “C. C. Ballou, Major General, National Army, Commanding 92nd Division.” Measures about 5.25” x 3”, Choice Very Fine. Reverse has old mounting remnants and pencil text which reads: “Charles C. B / In Indian Wars / Maj Genl 92nd Inf Div WW I / Cmdr 1st Black unit that fought overseas.” Extremely Rare and a wonderful Black History and United States Army related signature with rank.

The 92nd Infantry Division was organized in October 1917 and put under the command of General Ballou, who had also organized the First Black officer candidate school. The Division was comprised of Black infantrymen from all states and had four infantry regiments, three field artillery regiments, a trench mortar battery, three machine gun battalions, a signal battalion, an engineer regiment, an engineer train, and various support units.
The 92nd Infantry Division was organized in October 1917 and put under the command of General Ballou, who had organized the first Black officer candidate school. The Division was comprised of Black infantrymen from all states and had four infantry regiments, three field artillery regiments, a trench mortar battery, three machine gun battalions, a signal battalion, an engineer regiment, an engineer train, and various support units.

The American buffalo was selected as the divisional insignia due to the "Buffalo Soldiers" nickname, given to African American cavalrymen by Indians in the 19th century. This was the first Black combat division to fight overseas (although some of the officers were white).

The 93rd Division, another all Black Division also served in WW1, but the 92nd was given the distinction of being the first to fight overseas. The 92nd saw combat in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during November 1918. During WW2, the 92nd Infantry Division was the only all Black infantry division to see combat in Europe as part of the U.S. Fifth Army.

GENERAL CHARLES C. BALLOU was born in Orange, N.Y. and graduated from West Point in 1886. He was commissioned in the 16th U.S. Inf. and assigned to frontier duty. In 1890-91 he fought in the Sioux Campaign. From 1891-93 he was Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Florida State Agriculture College. From 1894-95 he was in charge of Apache prisoners of war in Alabama. During the Spanish American War he was a Major in the Seventh Ill. Vols Inf.

In 1899 he was Regimental Quartermaster in the Philippines and participated in the Battle of Zapote River, and the assault on Angeles. Prior to WW1 he served at various posts and was promoted to Colonel. He was at the Army War College when WW1 began. In 1917, after the U.S. entered WW1, he was promoted to Brigadier General and then quickly promoted to Major General and placed in command of the 92nd Infantry Division after its formation in October 1917.

Post war he commanded the 89th Division. In 1926 he retired from the army. He died in 1928. The USS General C. C. Ballou (AP-157), a WW2 transport ship was named in his honor.

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CC BALLOUC Commander 1st Overseas Black Army Unit

Estimate $400 - $600Jun 23, 2018
P.O. Box 3507
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
United States
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