"Waiting for overseas war assignments, soldiers attend a weekly segregated movie at Camp Travis, Texas." Courtesy of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
When the war started Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality and most of the American populace agreed. However during the war, Germans destroyed any ships that came into the British Isles. Germans destroyed many American boats as well. On February 22, Congress passed a two hundred-fifty million arms bill to make the United States ready for war. In March, Germany sunk more United States ships. On April 2, President Wilson demanded a declaration of war against the Germans. Four days later it was granted.
In this newspaper article Hellfighters, Leroy Montgomery, describes what, in his mind, was the greatest battle of the war. Snake Hill had been a German held stronghold for fifty years. The French could not win, but when the Hellfighters came, they forced in and won the hill. After this event, the French called them the snake regiment.
“The greatest battle I was in was the battle of September, when we captured Snake Hill. For capturing this German stronghold, which had been held by them for fifty years, the French christened us ‘The Snake Regiment.'” -Leroy Montgomery
A few statistics . . .
Sadly the Harlem Hellfighters did not go without loss. They suffered over 1400 casualties. Not one of them was captured, and they never lost an inch of ground.