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American Red Cross, 91st Division death reports, 1917-1931 (majority within 1919)

41 items

Colin V. Dyment, Lt. A.R.C., 91st Div. wrote these American Red Cross, 91st Division (World War I) death reports for the benefit of bereaved family members. Written in 1919 and with varying degrees of detail, they describe the circumstances of the deaths of men in the 91st Division - almost exclusively during the Meuse-Argonne and Belgian offensives, September-November, 1918.

The American Red Cross 91st Division death reports consist of 29 reports, each of which documents the deaths within a particular company or companies, battalion, or detachment within the 91st. Every page bearing an American Red Cross letterhead, the documents begin with a list of deceased soldiers' names and emergency contacts and are followed by a description of each man's death. The reports comprise 332 pages and relate the wartime deaths of 781 men.

The author of the reports, Colin V. Dyment, Lieutenant A.R.C, was a "searcher" within the 91st Division. His reports each proceed in a chronological fashion, beginning in the first phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive and ending variously - as the final deaths suffered by each unit occurred at different times. Some of the units lost their last man in the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and others not until their service in Belgium.

With as much detail as he was able, Dyment related the military context, troop movements, geographical surroundings, and precise events that led to the death of the soldiers. The descriptions are at times narrative, sometimes including last words, final dialogues with other men, physical descriptions of the men, and exact burial locations (when known). Where he did not bear witness, he attempted to include the contact information of officers or soldiers who had, so that bereaved family members might query them for information about their loved ones. The individual reports often read like stories, telling of the same battles with a focus on different companies, battalions, and detachments.

One report of non-combat casualties describes a train wreck near Bonnieres, France, in which a French freight train crashed into the rear of a military troop train. The 91st suffered the loss of 30 men from the Machine Gun Company and Medical Detachment of the 362nd Infantry unit.

This collection arrived at the Clements Library with twelve additional items: typescript copies of nine letters and two postal cards from Harry B. Critchlow of the 363rd Ambulance Company, 316th Sanitary Train, 91st Division and one typescript document entitled "Who Won the War," written by William H. Johnston in collaboration with General John J. Pershing. These additional materials relate directly to the 91st Division, but their relationship, if any, to the death reports is unclear.

Harry B. Critchlow of Portland, Oregon, sent these letters to his parents and to his brother Walter, mainly in August 1917, while at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and Fort Riley, Kansas. In them, he described life in military camp and the activities of his fellow soldiers. In a letter dated June 19, 1918, from Camp Lewis, Washington, he anticipated his deployment overseas. Following the War, he sent two postal cards from France, assuring his family that he was still alive.

William Johnston's typescript copy "Who Won the War" is made up of transcripts of letters between himself and General John J. Pershing, regarding the accuracy of Pershing's portrayal of the 91st Division in his memoir of the war.


Dorothy T. Arnold collection, 1904-1932 (majority within 1912-1919)

0.25 linear feet

This collection is primarily made up of photographs, periodicals and clippings, and ephemera related to World War I. The materials pertain to the occupation of France and Belgium, peace efforts, and the American-British-French-Belgian Permanent Blind Relief War Fund, among other subjects.

This collection is primarily made up of photographs, periodicals and clippings, and ephemera related to World War I. The Photographs consist of 422 prints and 240 negatives; a few of the prints are duplicates, and some images are represented by both prints and negatives. Most of the personal photographs were taken in numerous locales in France between 1916 and 1919, often showing rubble and destruction, camouflaged outposts, healthy and wounded Allied soldiers, nurses, medical automobiles and other scenes directly related to the war. Some items feature artillery pieces, dugouts or bunkers, warships, and the front lines; one shows an artillery explosion. German-language signage is visible in a few photographs, as are German and Allied cemeteries and grave markers. One group of images relates to the victory parade held after Woodrow Wilson's arrival in Paris in 1918. Views of French churches, chateaux, and towns are also present. Some of the personal photographs from the war period are informal portraits of French men and women, including a group of girls with large Alsatian hair bows.

The collection contains some commercial photographs, with captions written directly on the negatives. These include views of dead soldiers, artillery pieces, and a picture of a French tank division heading into battle. One captures the explosion of a German mine in Cambria, and one features Ferdinand Foch and John J. Pershing.

Other groups of photographs date from before the war. A group of photographs taken in Albany in 1909 includes a view of the Emma Willard School. One group of prints is comprised of views of Ely Cathedral and the various colleges of the University of Cambridge. Another set concerns a trip to Mexico, particularly Oaxaca and Mitla. These pictures feature natives in local dress (often carrying large loads), an outdoor produce market, and horse- or mule-drawn vehicles.

The Ephemera series includes 5 empty albums once used to house some of the photographic negatives in the collection, including captions. Two empty photograph envelopes are housed with the photographs, as are a Kodak exposure guide, a manual for the No. 0 Graphic Camera, and a number of loose articles laid into the cover of an issue of Kodakery. A group of 19 large broadsides and notices includes items in English, French, and German. Many of these are the German army's posted notices to residents of occupied towns in France and Belgium, which list rules and regulations related to curfews, "voluntary" work, and other aspects of daily life. One lists methods for picking nettles and offers rewards for residents who provide them, one warns against alcohol use, and one contains news about the Germans' progress toward Paris. Also included are three advertisements for French war bonds, a sign encouraging viewers to "Help Re-chickenize Devastated France," and a sign for an Army telephone station.

One group of items pertains to theAmerican-British-French-Belgian Permanent Blind Relief War Fund. This series includes a printed appeals by Helen Keller and the association's leadership, a pamphlet highlighting the organization's work, and reports by numerous organizations seeking to provide relief for blinded soldiers. Items printed in Braille include a list of rules for the Blinded Soldiers' and Sailors' Hostel in London, alphabet cards, a book with raised illustrations of several animals and parts of the human body, and several other items printed only in Braille.

The collection also includes a large number of Periodicals and Printed Items , including complete issues of and extracts from American magazines such as Vogue, the Illustrated London News, Dress & Vanity Fair, and The Red Cross Magazine; French publications such as L'Illustration, La Baionnette, and Les Arts Français; and the Austrian magazine Kikeriki. Many of these include photographs or other illustrations of winter recreational activities and World War I-era soldiers. Newspaper clippings often refer to the progress of World War I and to the peace process; one clipping pertains to the relationship between Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover in 1932. Other printed materials concern Germany's justifications for going to war, the German and Allied delegations' responses to the first draft of the Treaty of Versailles, and the capture of German artillery ("I have captured a boche Machine gun... what can I do with it?"). Other items include a musical score for a Girl Scout song entitled "Onward," French ration tickets, and a hand-colored lithograph by Marcel Jeanjean showing several French soldiers carrying logs across a battle-scarred landscape while smoke rises in the distance.


Edwin F. Conroy scrapbook, 1918-1921 (majority within 1918-1919)

0.25 linear feet

This collection consists of the contents of a scrapbook kept by Effie M. Conroy of the Bronx, New York, who documented the army service of her son, Edwin F. Conroy, a member of the 114th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The scrapbook contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, and ephemera related to Conroy, to the 114th Infantry Regiment, and to the 29th "Blue and Gray" Division.

This collection consists of a 54-page scrapbook and 24 related items kept by Effie M. Conroy of the Bronx, New York, who documented the army service of her son Edwin, a member of the 114th Infantry Regiment during World War I. The first pages of the scrapbook mainly hold newspaper clippings, including a collection of humorous anecdotes from Conroy's time working as an attaché at the West Farms Court and later articles documenting the 114th Infantry Regiment and the 29th Division. These clippings, though undated, concern the infantry's service throughout and just after the war, and one item from the Bronx Home News relates Effie's thoughts upon hearing that Edwin had been wounded (p. 13). Several other clippings contain poetry, including a sheet of contributions by soldiers (p. 16), and one is a comic strip about service at the front lines (p. 19).

Correspondence includes a printed letter from Corporal Jos. H. Shea describing his journey to France onboard the SS Princess Matoika (p. 3), a printed letter from General John J. Pershing thanking soldiers for their service (p. 5), and many letters that Conroy wrote to his mother while in training at Camp McClellan, Alabama. Between May and June 1918, Conroy described his railroad journeys to the base, his life at the camp, and his journey to his unit's embarkation point at Newport News, Virginia. While in training, he discussed his daily activities and his anticipated voyage overseas. He wrote one letter on YMCA stationery with a letterhead composed of photographs (p. 29), and two of his postcards depict scenes from Camp McClellan. Though most of his letters date to his time in training, Conroy wrote later letters to Anna Gernand, with whom he shared his impressions of destruction near the front (p. 53), and to his aunt and mother.

Most ephemera items are printed programs, though the collection also holds a pamphlet of songs sung by the American Expeditionary Forces (p. 53) and a medal citation for service in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (loose ephemera). One program relates to event honoring General Ferdinand Foch in 1921 (loose ephemera).


Fitzhugh Lee papers, 1914-1927 (majority within 1916-1927)

93 items

The Fitzhugh Lee papers are made up of 77 unique documents (and 16 carbon copies) kept by Captain Fitzhugh Lee, aide-de-camp to Major General Frederick Funston during and following the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, 1916.

The Fitzhugh Lee papers are made up of 77 unique documents (and 16 carbon copies) kept by Captain Fitzhugh Lee, aide-de-camp to Major General Frederick Funston during and following the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, 1916. These papers were originally housed in a 154-page notebook, ordered roughly by date, beginning with Fitzhugh Lee's appointment as Major General Funston's aide-de-camp, dated February 24, 1916.

The majority of the collection consists of official military orders, telegrams, and other communications from the time of the Punitive Expedition. Many of these are between Major General Funston and the War Department; to General John J. Pershing; and between Major General Hugh L. Scott (U.S. Army chief of staff) and the War Department. Some of the communications are confidential or in code. A number of pre-coded transmissions are accompanied by their coded versions. Some of these documents are orders for attacks or retaliations. One such document, dated in 1916, reads: "Hostilities have begun period Take same action as if you had been attacked." Another contains information on Pancho Villa's background.

One of the most significant items in the collection is a 38-page document, handwritten by Captain Lee, which notes almost daily troop movements and other military activity, March 14-April 6, 1916. The following excerpt is typical in terms of its length and depth. It regards the news of George A. Dodd and the 7th cavalry's attack on Villa's forces at Guerrero:

"From Pershing- Mch 30-16 Re:75:1) Dodd struck Villa's com'd consisting 500, 6'o'clock-Mch, 29th (probably a.m.) at guerrero. Villa suffering from broken leg & lame Hip, was not present: Villa dead- known to be 30, probably others carried away dead: Dodd captured 2 mach-guns, large number horses, saddles and arms2) Our casualties, 4 enlisted men wounded- none seriously.3) Attack was surprise. Villa troops being driven in 10 mile running fight, retreated to mountains. N.E. of R.R. where they separated into small Bands. May assemble upper part Santa Maria Valley:4) Large no. of Carrangista troops being held for execution were liberated during fight.5) Dodd marched 55 miles in 17 hours & carried on fight for 5 hours (only 26 miles from Bachineva where Dodd was on 27th guerrero- Believe Dodd marched around west of town & attacked from south)6) now trying to locate Villa7) Elisie Hernandez- Villa commander, killed in fight also reports Lopez wounded (not known which Lopez this is - There was a Lopez reported killed at Columbus- Two brothers were with Villa, it is thought."

A selection of communications and documents regards an early May 1916 conference at El Paso, Texas, between General Alvaro Obregon, secretary of war of the Republic of Mexico; Major General Hugh L. Scott, U.S. chief of staff; and Major General Frederick Funston. Three photographs taken at this event depict General Hugh Scott, Col. R.E.L. Michie, Captain Fitzhugh Lee, and General Frederick Funston standing on and alongside a train.

The material dating after the Punitive Expedition relates to Colonel Fitzhugh Lee's work as a commanding officer of the 7th cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas. Many of these are administrative documents pertaining to Lee's position, duties, and proficiency. Most of the official correspondence from this period is between Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Washington, D.C.


Frank J. Hecker papers, 1868-1908 (majority within 1898-1905)

1.75 linear feet

The Frank J. Hecker papers are primarily made up of official letters and documents pertaining to his service during and following the Spanish-American war (1898-1899) as Chief of the Division of Transportation, Quartermaster's Department, and as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904). The collection also contains scrapbooks and newspaper clippings related to his work in these capacities, plus miscellaneous photographs, printed items, and ephemera.

The Frank J. Hecker papers are primarily made up of official letters and documents pertaining to his service during and following the Spanish-American War (1898-1899) as Chief of the Division of Transportation, Quartermaster's Department, and as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904). The collection also contains newspaper clippings related to his work in these capacities and miscellaneous photographs, printed items, and ephemera.

Frank Hecker's correspondence and documents begin in June 1898, as he began to manage the purchase of transport ships. Correspondents include Hecker, Russell Alexander Alger (Secretary of War), Charles Patrick Eagan (Commissary General of Subsistence), George D. Meiklejohn, Nelson A. Miles (Commander, U.S. Army), William Giles Harding Carter, and many representatives of companies in business with the government. The letters are all official, mostly regarding the purchase and charter of ships; the inspection of ships; and the procurement of laborers, construction materials, and equipment throughout the campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.

The letters and documents include Frank Hecker's appointment as Chief of the Division of Transportation within the Quartermaster Department; J. M. Ceballas and Company's report of expenses for the transportation of prisoners of war from Santiago de Cuba to Spanish ports, September 1898; correspondence regarding proposed stations for U.S. troops in Cuba and the construction of railways and piers; and other communications respecting transportation, supplies, and storage.

Frank Hecker's two letter books consist of retained copies of his official War Department letters to governmental and military personnel and various businesses. This correspondence contains additional detailed information on the purchase, charter, and maintenance of transport ships and equipment, as well as administrative and financial decisions related to them.

From 1899 to 1903, the collection's correspondence and documents follow up on Hecker's work during the Spanish-American War. Among these are legal documents regarding the John C. Calhoun v. Atlantic Transport Company case (including Hecker's testimony before the Supreme Court, New York County). John Calhoun brought suit with the transport company for commission related to the sale of several vessels to the U.S. government during the war. The correspondence and documents also include one small, undated, Spanish-American War-era notebook, marked "Col. F.J. Hecker. U.S. Vols." Each of approximately 50 pages in this volume contains a ship's name, owning company, tonnage, size, speed, claimed capacity, and cost of charter.

The correspondence and documents dated 1904ff. begin with President Theodore Roosevelt's appointment of Col. Hecker to the (second) Isthmian Canal Commission and a letter specifying the responsibilities of the Commission. The bulk of this material is made up of the proceedings of the Isthmian Canal Commission. The proceedings (meetings 1-49, 53-55, 60) consist of minutes and resolutions, awarded contracts, financial distributions, subcommittee appointments, and other administrative paperwork. Hecker's letter of resignation to Theodore Roosevelt (November 11, 1904) is present, as is the President's letter of acceptance and a series of letters to Hecker, lamenting his decision to leave the commission. Several of them (particularly Russell Alger's of December 1, 1904, and George W. Davis' of January 17, 1905) suggest that Hecker's resignation was in part the result of confusion and turmoil caused by the allegations made against him by the newspapers.

The collection also includes two scrapbooks with content largely related to Frank Hecker's unsuccessful run for Congress (Detroit, Michigan) in 1892, his service on the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904ff.), and the World War I service of his son Christian Henry Hecker, in the 338th Infantry. Other materials include loose clippings from Detroit and New York newspapers with content concerning Hecker's resignation from the Isthmian Canal board. Please see the detailed box and folder listing for a complete list of photographs, printed items, and ephemera.


George E. Boggs collection, ca. 1895-1947

1 photograph album, 1 letter, 1 box of ephemera

The George E. Boggs collection contains one photograph album, one letter, and one box of ephemera. These materials document the First World War service of George E. Boggs and to a lesser extent his brother Hamilton Irwin Boggs. Also included are numerous photographs of the Boggs family both prior to and after the war.

The George E. Boggs collection contains one photograph album, one letter, and one box of ephemera. These materials document the First World War service of George E. Boggs, and to a lesser extent his brother Hamilton Irwin Boggs. Also included are numerous photographs of the Boggs family both prior to and after the war.

The album does not have a strict order; many photographs from Boggs’ time in France are interspersed with images of family and at training camps in the United States prior to going to France. Captions are apparently written by both George Boggs and his mother Caroline. The majority of the images from France are of Châtillon-sur-Seine but other places are also represented. Please see the Subject Terms for a more complete list of locations.

Images of note include:
  • George and Hamilton Irwin Boggs in uniform with their Great-Uncle James P. Boggs, Civil War veteran who was wounded at Second Battle of Bull Run (loose photo in front of scrapbook, duplicate copy on page 46)
  • General Pershing awarding the Distinguished Service Cross to members of the 81st Division. (page 18)

The letter, written in France on December 28, 1918, is from Hamilton Irwin Boggs to an "Uncle Jim" (possibly his great-uncle James P. Boggs). In the letter, Hamilton Boggs gives a summary of his service in the army, and mentions George Boggs’ service.

The ephemera includes George E. Boggs' dog tags, an embroidered souvenir French handkerchief, an United States Army Air Service insignia pin, and a piece of "trench art" made from a French 75mm shell casing. Also present are eleven track and field ribbons and two medals, all from 1913-14.


George S. Patton family papers, 1789-1938 (majority within 1876-1919, 1934-1938)

0.75 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, speeches, a travel diary, and a published history related to the family of General George S. Patton. The bulk pertains to Patton's parents, George S. Patton, Jr., and Ruth Wilson Patton, and to his sister, Anne W. Patton ("Nita"), though items written by and addressed to General Patton are also present.

This collection (0.75 linear feet) is made up of correspondence, speeches, a travel diary, and a published history related to the family of General George S. Patton.

The largest selection of correspondence pertains to George S. Patton, Jr., and Ruth Wilson Patton. Letters written by Patton to Wilson during their courtship and after their marriage provide news of his life, work, and travels. Some items mention their son Georgie (George S. Patton III). Patton also wrote letters to his family, including five to his mother while participating in the punitive expedition to Mexico in 1916. Letters written by Nita Patton largely concern her experiences while living in London, England, in 1919. Some of her letters refer directly to her acquaintance and relationship with John J. Pershing, whom she met during a visit to New Mexico after the punitive expedition of 1916.

Multiple letters written by George S. Patton, Jr., relate to the future general's admission to and studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in the 1900s. Patton provided his son with personal advice and encouragement, and news from home. The collection includes miscellaneous family letters, addressed to and exchanged between numerous family members between the 1870s and 1890s.

The Patton family papers contain a daily diary of Nelly Davenport and her father's trip to Antigua from December 1789-1790, taken in an attempt to improve Nelly's ailing health. The diary and an accompanying description relate Nelly Davenport's final illness, medical treatments, and death.

A selection of George S. Patton, Jr.'s, speeches is included in the collection. Most were delivered while Patton attended the Virginia Military Institute in the late 1870s, including his valedictorian speech. The speeches concern topics such as the Civil War, the Battle of New Market, and politics. One later item, the text of a speech delivered before the Sunset Club on November 25, 1904, concerns interactions between African Americans and Europeans, particularly with regard to black slavery and suffrage in the United States.


Harry H. Bandholtz Papers (Microform), 1890-1937 (majority within 1899-1925)

12 microfilms — 1 map — 2 oversize folders — 10 folders

Career military officer, served in the Philippines ca. 1900-1913, chief of the Philippine Constabulary, 1907-1913; papers include correspondence, constabulary reports, diaries, topical files, visual materials, and scrapbooks.

The Bandholtz collection, covering the period of ca. 1890 to 1925 (with some later papers of his wife Inez Bandholtz), consists mainly of materials accumulated while Bandholtz was stationed in the Philippines, 1900-1913. Except for this time in the Far East, Bandholtz was always on the move with ever changing assignments, and consequently his files covering his work on the Mexican border, for example, or the 1921 West Virginia coal miners strike (also known as the Battle of Blair Mountain) are substantially thinner. But in the Philippines, because he was a provincial governor and head of the indigenous military force, Bandholtz was at the center of affairs in this period of Philippine history. And beyond that, he made an effort to maintain and preserve as much documentation from his service here as he could.

The Bandholtz papers came to the library in three separate accessions in 1965, 1994 and 2005. The first accession includes the following series: Correspondence (1899-1913), Invitations, Miscellaneous, Published Materials, and Philippine Constabulary Reports (1906-1913). The second accession includes the following series: Biographical-Personal, Correspondence (1895-1925), Diaries (1900-1923), Topical Files, Visual Materials, Scrapbooks, and Inez Bandholtz papers. Although there is some overlap (especially in the two Correspondence series), the two accessions have been kept separate, and not interfiled, so that researchers who examined the first accession might read from the new material without having to go through the entire collection. This encoded finding aid treats the correspondence as a single series although it has not been interfiled. the third accession consists of correspondence (1903-1912), chiefly confidential letters between Bandholtz and Luke Wright and Leonard Wood, concerning major military an political issues in the Philippines.


Richard Licht letters, 1918-1919

14 items

This collection is made up of letters to Louis J. Licht and his daughter Elizabeth ("Betty") of Geneva, New York. Richard Licht, Louis's son and Betty's brother, often wrote about his experiences in France, where he served with the 307th Machine Gun Battalion during World War I.

This collection is made up of 14 letters to Louis J. Licht and his daughter Elizabeth ("Betty") of Geneva, New York. Richard Licht, Louis's son and Betty's brother, wrote 12 letters to his family between July 7, 1918, and March 27, 1919. He discussed aspects of his service with the 307th Machine Gun Battalion near the front lines in France, such as marches through ruined towns, rat-infested sleeping quarters, the prevalence of thick mud, and his work. Though he often had problems with his truck, including difficult navigation across treacherous roads littered with shell holes, Licht was happy that he avoided an assignment to an aviation unit. He expressed his confidence in an Allied victory.

In a letter dated December 22, 1918 (likely written earlier in the fall), Licht wrote a detailed account of life near the front lines, describing hastily abandoned German trenches, leftover military paraphernalia in the woods, the experience of being shelled, and antiaircraft fire shooting at hostile planes. According to Licht, the Germans constructed a bowling alley within their trench system, and the American troops reacted to close shelling with laughter rather than fear. Licht's final letter concerns his pride after an inspection by General John J. Pershing. The Licht family also received letters from Chauncey Wayne Grove at Camp Hospital #6 (January 29, 1919) and "Pete" Bodine of the 266th Military Police Company (February 27, 1919); Bodine discussed the importance of, and danger to, "runners" who facilitated communication between units along the trenches.


Roy Dikeman Chapin Papers, 1886-1945 (majority within 1910-1936)

32 linear feet (in 33 boxes) — 7 oversize volumes

Lansing, Michigan businessman, founder of the Hudson Motor car Company, Secretary of Commerce in the Hoover Administration, leader of the "good roads movement" and the Lincoln Highway Association. Collection includes correspondence, speeches, business papers, clippings and scrapbooks and photographs.

The Roy D. Chapin papers include correspondence, speeches, articles, interviews, business papers, receipts, scrapbooks, photographs, and miscellaneous notes and files of Chapin's wife, and his biographer, John C. Long, concerning family matters, highway transportation, the automobile industry, general economic conditions, foreign trade, World War I, national defense, state and national politics, the Republican Party, and the University of Michigan. The collection also contains extensive papers concerning the Hudson Motor Car Company, including information on management policies, production, and labor organizing.