By Robert Terrell
Harry Mathews was born on May 29, 1889 in Mathews, Virginia to John Henry Mathews and Susan Crosby. He attended public school but never went to college. His draft card listed his address as 834 Whites Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia. It also describes him as a colored man who was tall and slender. It stated that he was single man who was Baptist and a dock laborer in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mathews’ draft card listed him as being 30 years old when he enlisted in the National Army on June 20, 1918. Mathews obtained the rank of Private after completing his infantry training at Camp Lee, Virginia. His company number was 45.
After serving a year in the military he was discharged on July 8, 1919 still as a Private. He returned to civilian life and worked as a seaman. He died on July 18, 1953 at the age of 64.