A part of our continued remembrance of the 100 year anniversary of America’s involvement in WWI, today we will be highlighting some wonderful books from the Dan Bartlett Collection.
About Lieutenant Dan Bartlett
Dan Bartlett was still a junior at Washington University when he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1917 and became a lieutenant in Battery D, the 340th Field Artillery, 164th Brigade, 89th Division of the U.S. Army. Both during and after his service, he collected a wide range of materials related to the war, including photographs, news clippings, maps, operational orders, and books. His collection in the Washington University Archives contains all of these materials, as well as personal items like his footlocker and uniform. You can read more about Bartlett’s collection in our previous blog post.
One particularly interesting aspect of Bartlett’s collection are the books he collected on WWI, located in Box 5 of the Dan Bartlett Collection. Several of these books date back to 1920, only shortly after the end of the war, and most contain illustrations and in some cases even maps. Below is a reproduction of two pages from I Was There With the Yanks In France (1920), a book of sketches by the artist Cyrus Leroy Baldridge, who had served as a war correspondent in occupied Belgium and France before America even joined the war. Baldridge later joined the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) and became the chief illustrator for the new Stars and Stripes military newspaper.
Another interesting book coming out of the Stars and Stripes is The A.E.F in Cartoons (1933) by Abian A. Wallgren. This book features a collection of cartoons that had appeared as a regular column in the military newspaper during the war. Most strips contain humorous “helpful tips” like the one shown below in the right corner that critiques army food.
Food was apparently a major source of comical complaint for soldiers, as yet another of Bartlett’s war books, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (1929), mocks what it calls “dirty little greaseballs” in verse (reproduced below). The book is put together by John J. Niles and Douglas Morre and illustrated by Abian Wallgren.
Other books in the Bartlett collection provide detailed histories of the war and the 89th Division in which Bartlett served. Below is a segment of a map from 89th Division Summary of Operations (1944). Another thick volume titled History of the 89th Division also tells the history of Bartlett’s division and its participation in the war, and is similarly complete with maps.
The largest book in Bartlett’s collection is an extensive volume of photographs titled U.S. Official Pictures of the World War (1920). Bartlett’s edition of this book is very worn and detached from its spine, indicating that perhaps it was well-used. Below is a page from the book showing a picture of army nurses led by Julia Stimson, who received her master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and was the first woman to receive the rank of Major in the United States Army.
Further Resources on WWI
Materials from Washington University’s WWI collections, including elements of the Bartlett collection, are now available digitally through the Missouri Digital Heritage project, “Missouri Over There: Missouri and the Great War,” a project to digitize collections of Missouri’s participation in the First World War. You can check out the project at http://missourioverthere.org/. Patrons interested in researching more about WWI can also view the library’s WWI Archival Sources Research Guide to discover other related University collections.