Ferguson Brothers

West Virginia Division of Culture and Historycirca. 1919

Reed College of Media Innovation Center at West Virginia University

Reed College of Media Innovation Center at West Virginia University
Morgantown, United States

The Ferguson brothers of Charleston, West Virginia in uniform. Capt. Guenette Ferguson, center, was the highest ranking black officer from the state. He was commissioned as captain and sent to Camp Grant, Ill., where he trained Company M., 365th (Colored) Infantry. His unit went overseas, but Captain Ferguson remained in America to defend some African American soldiers who were involved in legal charges. His conduct of the case won for him commendation by General Martin of the Army. Ferguson later went to France on a transport carrying 1,700 solders. He was the ranking officer on board and was in command of the troops, which was significant, as he was the only African American officer who commanded a transport. His brother, Lt. Daniel L. Ferguson II enlisted in the army as a private in October 30, 1917, in the Engineer's Training Battalion, located at Camp Lee, Virginia. Shortly after arriving at Camp Lee, Ferguson was subjected to prejudice and discrimination, and protested, resulting in his transfer. Not only did Ferguson stand up to oppression, but he set a precedence for other African American soldiers to became vocal about mistreatment. His outspokenness and the other men’s threats to transfer afforded African Americans better treatment at Camp Lee. Ferguson was promoted to corporal after being transferred to Camp Grant, Illinois., where his brother, Captain G. E. Ferguson, was in command of Company M., 365th African American (Colored) Infantry. He was assigned to Company F of the same regiment and later transferred to Fourth Officers Training School at Camp Dodge in Iowa. Ferguson qualified for Machine Gun Training School and was sent to Camp Hancock, Georgia, where he was trained and received his certificate as instructor. On September 15, 1918, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and graduated with honors at the head of his class, with the highest general average in work and theory. He was put in command of 84th Company, 7th Group, M. T. D., which position he held until he was discharged from the service on January 6, 1919. Ferguson returned to West Virginia Collegiate Institute, now West Virginia State University, and he resumed his work there as chair of Economics and Sociology. He also served as Dean of College, as well as Professor of Sociology in the Collegiate Institute and Special Extension Agent for both the Institute and West Virginia University.


  • Title: Ferguson Brothers
  • Creator: West Virginia Division of Culture and History
  • Date Created: circa. 1919
  • External Link: West Virginia and WWI

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