During the First World War, Tipton County lost both Black and white sons to the ravages of war, as grief knows no color and death does not discriminate.
Ahmid D. Doggett of Mason, was born on Sept. 15, 1886, one of seven children born to Andrew T. Doggett and Sylvia Glass.
His parents, both widowers, were married Oct. 12, 1885 in Mason in a hopeful attempt at finding love and starting a family, a feat for that time which often proved to be very difficult. This was the third marriage for his father and the second for his mother, but heartache seemed to follow them.
The 1900 census shows his mother having given birth to seven children with only four living at the time of the census. During their first 15 years of marriage, they had buried three children and by the time the 1910 census was taken, those numbers had increased to five. Only Ahmid and his brother Winterwood Doggett were still living. On Oct. 22, 1914, heartache struck again, as Sylvia was once again widowed with the death of her beloved husband, Andy.
On June 20, 1918, her oldest living son, Ahmid D. Doggett, 32, was entrained into the U.S. Army as a private and was sent to Camp Dodge located in Des Moines, Iowa where he was assigned to 32nd Company, 8th Battalion, 163 Depot Brigade.
A couple of months later, Ahmid was amidst the worse outbreak of the Spanish Flu pandemic on a military installation. Of the approximately 40,000 men at the camp, an astounding 10,000 cases of influenza were treated. It isn’t known if Ahmid caught the flu, but he did have tuberculosis and he was soon sent to hospital at Whipple Barracks at Fort Whipple located in Prescott, Ariz., one of five sanatoriums established for tuberculosis patients. Not long after his arrival in Arizona, Private Ahmid D. Doggett died of his disease on Oct. 16, 1918.
A 1920 Gold Star interview conducted at the request of the Tennessee General Assembly for each soldier lost during World War I, claims that Doggett’s body was sent back to Mason on Oct. 16, 1918 for burial.
Included in his interview file was a letter from the hospital chaplain of Whipple Barracks to Doggett’s mother dated Oct. 20, 1918.
“My dear Mrs. Doggett, please accept my most sincere sympathy in the loss of your son Ahmid who died on October 16. I visited him daily during his illness and did all I could to comfort him. Be assured that nothing was left undone for his comfort. You mothers who freely give your sons for the cause can feel the heart of our heavenly father who so loved us as to give his son to die for us. Let me know if I can be of service to you at any time. Very sincerely yours, Robert E. Taylor, Lieut. Chaplain, U.S.A.”
Doggett died in service to his country and was honored on Feb. 22, 1920 by the country of France, for his ultimate sacrifice. With assistance from Tipton County American Legion Post 67, France honored 44 young Tipton Countians who died in service during the Great War. A memorial service was held at the First Methodist Church in Covington and a certificate of honor, offered by the French Republic, was given to Ahmid Doggett’s mother for his service and to the 43 others of America’s sons who gave their lives for liberty and justice.