Creator: McKissick, Ernest B. (Ernest Boyce), b. 1895.
Collection number: 5299
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Abstract: Ernest Boyce McKissick (Mack) was born in Kelton, S.C., in 1895. His family moved to Asheville, N.C., around 1900. McKissick served in France, 1918-1919, with the African American 92nd Infantry Division during World War I. Returning to Asheville after the war, McKissick married Magnolia Thompson of Asheville. They had four children, the eldest of whom was Floyd S. McKissick, prominent North Carolina attorney, businessman, and civil rights leader, who was the first African American to attend the University of North Carolina’s Law School. The collection chiefly contains letters, 1918-1919, from Ernest B. McKissick to his future wife, Magnolia Thompson, written during his World War I service. Letters were sent from Camp Jackson, S.C.; Camp Dix, N.J.; Camp Merritt, N.J.; and France. They include jokes, romantic sentiments, and mention of fellow soldiers from Asheville and nearby Hendersonville, but offer little information about life as a soldier. Also included are a postcard, possibly from McKissick to H.E. Jones, and two letters to McKissick from Floyd S. Bixler, a wholesaler from Pennsylvania whom McKissick met while working at a hotel in Asheville.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection