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Private Mashack* Roberson

U.S. Army
Ser. #  2,806,659

November 15, 1890*  –  April 30, 1919
Old Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery
Don Tol, Wharton County, Texas


Gold Star Mother
Rosa Bell [Stratton] Roberson




Private Mashack Roberson [November 15, 1890 – April 30, 1919] was born to John Roberson* [April __, 1855 - March 3, 1929]* and Rosa Bell [Stratton] Roberson [Jan. __, 1852 - May 16, 1938]* at Don Tol, Wharton County, Texas, near Pledger, Matagorda County, Texas. He most likely died of the Spanish Flu while serving with the French Army in Germany.* He was attached to Company A, 514th Engineer Service Battalion, 185th Infantry Brigade, 93rd Infantry Division. The official insignia is a French helmet, but a bloody hand, said to have been assumed from the insignia of a French colored colonial division with which the 93rd operated, was more common in actual practice.  The division nickname was the “Red Hand” Division.  The 93rd, a colored division staffed with white officers, never fought as a unit.  Directed to be organized on 23 November 1917, a staff was created and trained at Camp Stuart, Newport News, Virginia. The enlisted men (3,699) were drafted from various parts of the country, quotas having come from Camp Devens, Camp Custer, Camp Lewis, Camp Lee, Camp Pike, Camp Travis, and about 1,500 from New York and Brooklyn.  The regiments moved overseas from 12 December 1917 to 22 April 1918 and elements of the unit fought under French control. Over 200,000 Black soldiers made it to France, equaling 9.2% of the American Expeditionary Force.  Most were in support units.  But the all black 92nd and 93rd Infantry Divisions lost 773 Killed in Action, and 4,408 Wounded in Action, 661 were gassed, 40 died of disease, and 28 were reported missing. Private Roberson was first buried overseas. He was brought home to Don Tol for re-burial at the Old Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery. His parents are buried near him. Besides his parents he was survived by six brothers and three sisters. 


*Private Roberson's name is spelled Meshack on all records except the grave marker which has Mashack. 


The 1900 Federal Census for Matagorda County, Texas gives the following dates of birth: Mashack: Feb, 1892; John: Apr, 1852; and Bell: Jan, 1855. 


Marriage Registration gives John's surname as Robertson – Married Matagorda County, Texas March 2, 1876.


His death is reported in the three volume set Soldiers of the Great War  Memorial Edition by W. M. Haulsee, F. G. Howe, & A. C. Doyle Copyright 1920  Vol. 3 page 296.


Mashack and his parents, John & Rosa Bell are buried at the Old Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery in Don Tol, Wharton County, Texas.

Rosa Bell Roberson
Born in Mobile in 1852 - Died May 16, 1949
Age 98? Years

John Roberson
April, 1855 - March [3], 1929

Photos courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames.


Copyright 2007 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jul. 22, 2007
Oct. 3, 2007