In 1898, on a sweltering summer day in mid August, Army Pvt. James Neely of the all-black 25th Infantry Regiment was on leave in the small town of Hampton, Georgia, on a day pass from his post at Fort Hobson.
On a December morning in 1918, Charles Lewis began his last day as a private in the United States Army. Just a month after the end of World War I, Lewis accepted his honorable discharge and left Camp Sherman, in Chillicothe, Ohio, one of the few military facilities that housed black soldiers. He was headed home to Alabama.