1918 - 1919 ORIGINAL PAIR [2] OF MANUSCRIPT DIARIES DETAILING THE SERVICE OF A 22-YR OLD PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIT SOLDIER FROM NEW YORK TO ST. MAXIENT

By: SIDNEY W. BABCOCK

Price: $2,855.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a rare collection of 2 diaries kept by a soldier in WWI. Each of these small volumes measures 5.75 inches by 3.5 inches and 5 inches by 3 inches. The first diary is a flip-top style and contains 120 pages. It is 100% complete. The second has 68 pages and is 95% complete. Included are a number of pieces of ephemera, including a photograph of 2 mounted soldiers. The cover of the first diary shows a good deal of wear and the binding is loose. All pages are intact. The second diary likewise has obvious wear on the cover. All pages are also intact. The handwriting in both is legible. The diaries are written by Sidney W. Babcock and cover the period Sept 13, 1918 to Mar 3rd, 1919. Babcock was born in Clarkson, NY in 1896. Casual research has not turned up much more information about Babcock. From census data, he appears not to have married, living with his mother. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 81. At the time of writing, he was 22 years old. He had been conscripted into the United States army and attached to the 24th Photographic unit. His hometown of Clarkson is located west of Rochester NY and Pvt. Babcock was initially posted to Madison Barracks in Sackets Harbor, NY. On Sept 13th, his unit was mobilized for active service: "... Ordered to clean up barracks by 1 PM and be out for roll call at 3:15 PM. Marched to Sackets Harbor station at 3:45 PM en route to port of embarkation for active service ..." [Sept 13]. He travelled by train and eventually ferry to barracks at Garden City on Long Island. For the next weeks, he is engaged in the daily routines of barracks-based life: "Up at 6 AM Reveille & roll call . Mess at 6:45 AM. Back to Warehouse No 8 with rest of my division ... Sgt. Nurack would not let me go to take a bath. Called at 3 Pm to help load army clothing on and off a large truck ..." [Sept 17]; "Up at 5:50 AM. Guard at post 10 for fourth time 6-8 AM. Mess at 9 AM. Back to Guard house ... short-arm inspection just before being paid for the month of Sept $23.50 …" [Sept 30]; "... Five Photo divisions 16-20 inclusive left during the night for transport. I am in the 24 th so I go later ..." [Oct 5]. Much spare time is spent writing letters. One person in particular that he corresponds with is 'Hazel' whose relationship is never explained. He notes the surrender of Germany: "... Germany accepts Wilson's terms of peace sent the 27 letter to Hazel ... hard bread and corned beef issued to me for embarkation to Europe. ... " [Oct 13]. On Oct 15th, he shipped out for Europe: "... Were marched aboard the transport about 12 noon. A very large ocean liner formally Wilhelm Der Schwi (sic - possibly the Wilhelm Der Schwiz). We are not crowded as infantrymen are on the transports but have a bunk for our use alone. ..." [Oct 15]. On Oct 25th, he arrived at Brest. Over the next month he experiences camp life in France and eventually moves to St. Maxient, southwest of Paris. He comments on the conditions of both the countryside and the people he encounters. Along the way, he is hospitalized for an abscessed boil. The fist diary ends on Nov 11th, 1918. The second picks up on Feb 1st, 1919. "Up at 5 AM Mess at 5:45. Preparing to go to Camp No 1 for inspection by General John J. Pershing ..." [Feb 2]. He has great news the next day: "..Orders this evening to board ship tomorrow in St. Nazaire to sail for USA on Wednesday … "[Feb 2]. He arrived back in the United States and signs his discharge papers March 3rd. This is an excellent look at the day-to-day life and routine of a private soldier in the later years of WWI. Although he did not see combat, he experienced the routines shared by soldiers throughout history. His descriptions of what he saw in France in 1918 add colour to his routine. For a historian it offers both the lived experience through the eyes of an ordinary soldier as well as corroboration of other historical details.

Title: 1918 - 1919 ORIGINAL PAIR [2] OF MANUSCRIPT DIARIES DETAILING THE SERVICE OF A 22-YR OLD PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIT SOLDIER FROM NEW YORK TO ST. MAXIENT

Author Name: SIDNEY W. BABCOCK

Categories: 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: CLARKSON NEW YORK - FRANCE, 1918

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 24mo - over 5" - 5¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008200

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; UNITED STATES; EARLY 20TH CENTURY; 1910s; GREAT WAR; FIRST WORLD WAR; SIDNEY W. BABCOCK; ROCHESTER, NY; CLARKSON, NY; NEW YORK; MONROE COUNTY VETERANS (WW1); WESTERN NEW YORK; WW1 VETERANS; WWI; UNITED STATES ARMY; 24TH PHOTOGRAPHIC UNIT; AEF; AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES; GENERAL JOHN J. PERSHING; CONSCRIPTION IN WW1; WESTERN FRONT; AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN FRANCE; ST. MAXIENT BARRACKS; SAINT NAZAIRE; AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL