About 120,000 men in Dutchess County would be called into service, and approximate 125 would die in service.
Draft Numbers Allocated ~ Readiness Assessment ~ Draft Call ~ Departure
Dramatic Change in Five months in 1917
April 6 — US declares war on Germany and enters the European war that had started over two and a half years earlier
May 18 — President Wilson signs the Selective Service Act, the national draft
June & July — Dutchess County creates local Draft Boards that evaluate physical fitness and exemption claims of all county men age 21 to 30
August — names of those who were officially drafted are published and the age range for recruitment is expanded to include those 18 to 45
September — names are assigned to specific departure dates and the first group “entrains” September 10 to Camp Upton, Yaphank, Long Island, to begin life as “Sammies”
September to December — between Sept. 10 and Dec. 5, over 200 men among six contingents “entrain," getting four days’ to a week’s notice.
September 20, 1917 County Farewell Parade, Poughkeepsie
On September 20, 1917 there was a very large, "Farewell" Parade, shown here. Any time a contingent of men would head to the train station to depart for training and service, there was some sort of parade.
The photograph by Van Vlack showing the large flags is described in detail in the following day's Poughkeepsie "Evening Enterprise," both below.
The first flag is carried by the Elks (B.P.O.E), then there is a contingent of workers from the "Evening Enterprise," and then a flag is carried by employees of the Prudential Company. By the end of the parade the two flags had "earned" $271 and $46 in coins and paper bills, respectively.