During World War I, approximately 100,000 Virginians served in the military; more than 3,700 gave their lives and many more were wounded. About 39% of the draftees in 1918 were African American. Hundreds of Virginia nurses and doctors accompanied the Americna troops to the battlefields.
In January 1913, artist Charles Hoffbauer (1875-1957) began work on the Memorial Military Murals at Battle Abbey (later the Virginia Historical Society). The Lost Cause themed murals were nearly completed when war intervened in 1914. Hoffbauer returned to his native France to enlist as a soldier. He returned to Richmond in 1919 and the murals were formally unveiled in January 1921.