A Soldier's Story: Private First Class James Harvey Booth

A Soldier's Story: Lieutenant James Reese Europe

Lieutenant James Reese Europe was born on February 22, 1880, in Mobile, Alabama, before moving with his family, first to D.C in 1889 and then to New York in 1904.

A talented musician, Lieutenant James Europe organized the Clef Club in 1910, which made history in 1912 by performing at Carnegie Hall in 1912.

Staying active in the music scene, he established the Tempo Club and continued to perform,  recording two albums in 1913 and 1914 for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

During World War I, Lieutenant James Europe was approached with forming a military band for the New York National Guard, which deployed as the 369th Infantry, also known as the "Harlem Hellfighters," spent a whopping 191 days in the trenches during their deployment to France. Their 369th Infantry is also known for bringing Jazz to France, namely through the work of their regimental band.

After returning to the States, Lieutenant James Europe recorded for the Pather Brothers and began to perform when, on May 9, 1919, after a dispute with a drummer, Lieutenant James Reese Europe was stabbed to death.

He rests in Arlington Cemetery.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, writer, and photographer currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

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