Tuesday, September 22, 2020

108th Cavalry Commander and Veteran of Two World Wars: Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby

Maj. William Carraway

Historian, Ga. Army National Guard

Left: The Georgia National Guard Cavalry Squadron on the Mexican Border in 1916. Photo by 1st Lt. Vivian Roberts, courtesy of Ms. Toni Maxwell.
Left: Uniform belonging to Capt. Joseph Slicer, commander of Company C, 108th Cavalry, who preceded Capt. Theodore Goulsby.
Photo by Maj. William Carraway

Georgia Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby died Sept. 22, 1970. A veteran of World War I and World War II, Goulsby served more than 38 years in the Georgia National Guard.

Goulsby was born September 13, 1892 in Fulton County, Ga., the oldest child of Wyatt, a railroad conductor and Angie Goulsby. Theodore went to work as a chauffeur at age 18 for an Atlanta-based streetcar company. The following year he enlisted in the Georgia National Guard’s Company E, 5th Georgia Infantry Regiment.[1] In June 1916, Sgt. Goulsby transferred to Troop L, 1st Squadron of Cavalry and was mobilized to the Mexican border with the squadron July 16.[2] Returning from the border expedition, Goulsby remained on active duty and deployed to France in 1918. He returned from Europe as first sergeant of the Company B, 106th Military Police.[3]

Maj. Theodore Goulsby,
commander, 108th Cavalry Regiment
in 1939. Ga.Guard Archives.
Upon his return to Atlanta, Goulsby was commissioned a second lieutenant and was a driving force behind reorganizing the Governor’s Horse Guard as Troop C, 108th Cavalry Regiment in June 1921. In 1928, Goulsby was promoted to captain and assumed command of Troop C. By 1939, Maj. Goulsby had risen to command the 108th Cavalry. The following year, the 108th was redesignated the 101st Sep. Coast Artillery Battalion, Antiaircraft with Col. Joseph Fraser as commanding officer and Goulsby as executive officer.[4]

After training with the 101st at Camp Stewart in 1941, Goulsby was reassigned to the 1st Cavalry Division and served in the Pacific Theater of the War. In 1946 he was assigned as the executive officer of international prosecution in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Tokyo headquarters where he was responsible for trying Japanese war criminals including Premier Hideki Tojo.[5] He remained on active duty through March 1950 when he left the active army with the rank of colonel and swiftly rejoined the Georgia National Guard. Goulsby served as the public information officer for the adjutant general. He retired September 30, 1952[6] but remained with the Georgia National Guard serving as the budget and fiscal officer in the officer of the comptroller until 1954.[7]


The formal retirement of Brig. Gen. Theodore Goulsby was celebrated October 16, 1952 at a supper given by the officers of State Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment Army and Air sections. General Goulsby was presented with a silver platter engraved with the boar’s head insignia in recognition of his 38 years of service. In the group are (standing left to right) Major Ross Jergerson, Col. Leland O’Callaghan, 2nd Lt. Thomas G. Holly, Col. James Grizzard, Brig. Gen. Goulsby, Maj. Paul Castleberry, Lt. Col. Joel B. Paris III and Lt. Col. Homer Flynn. (Bottom left to right) Maj. Earl Bodron, Lt. Col. B. M. Davey, Maj. Donald Mees, Maj. Harold Kluber and CWO Joseph C. Strange. Paris would serve as Georgia's Adjutant General from 1971-1975. Mees served as commander of the Ga. ARNG from 1973-1975. Flynn commanded the Ga. ANG from 1955-1957 and 1959-1963. Grizzard served as commander, Ga. ANG from 1957-1959. Georgia Guard Archives.

Goulsby was laid to rest in Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, Sept. 24, 1970. 

[1] “Lt. Col. Theodore Goulsby Oldest Active Guardsman.” Georgia Guard Magazine, December 1951, 7.

[2] Muster Roll of Troop L Cavalry, Ga. N.G. 2nd Sqdn called into service 16 July 1916.

[3] Ancestry.com. Georgia, World War I Service Cards, Sgt. Theodore Goulsby, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

[4] Henderson, Lindsey Come What Will, a Military History of the 101st AAA Automatic Weapons Battalion. United States Occupied Berlin, Germany 1966, 109.

[5] Sedgwick, James Burnham. “The Trial within: Negotiating Justice at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1946-1948.” Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) 2008+. T, University of British Columbia, 2012. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0072876.

[6] Georgia Guardsman Magazine, September 1952, inside cover.

[7]Gen. Goulsby Dies; Retired Guard Leader.” Atlanta Constitution Sept. 24, 1970, 34.


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