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Guide to the James G. Harbord Papers
 MS 1493

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by CUNY fellows Lauren Bailey, Karen Hammer, Jenny LeRoy, and Sophia Natasha Sunseri

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 23, 2021
Finding aid is written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series II: Military papers

Scope and Contents Note

This series includes cablegrams and reports from World War I, as well as articles and reports on both civilian and military aspects of the Philippines from Harbord's years of service there.

Subseries II.1: Correspondence, reports and diary

Scope and Contents Note

This subseries contains cablegrams, war reports, and papers relating to the 1937 Convention of the American Legion. There is also one folder of military photographs and a folder of pamphlets.


Cablegrams A 813-A 2099 (boxes II.1-2) are cablegrams received by Harbord which primarily relate to personnel concerns. Earlier cablegrams mostly center around logistics (shipments, production, training, payments, replies to queries) while later cablegrams are mostly concerned with discharge, messages to soldiers, and verification of soldier status (location, health, condition, rank, citizenship).

These cables are organized topically by individual date and labeled with alphanumerical code, typically ranging 1-2 pages in length per topic group. Each cable is subgrouped into numbered paragraphs which represent separate messages.

Each of these cables is signed by Kerr, McCain, or Harris; several messages from March, Marcorps, Baker; others include Williams, Garfield, Goethals, Keppel, Dockery, Pershing, Crowell, Biddle, Wheeler, Marks. The messages are addressed to "Pershing Amexforce" General Headquarters A.E.F.

A significant number of cablegrams are absent, noted only by alphanumeric code on otherwise blank sheets, noting that there were "no copies made." Most of these cablegrams refer to "casuals" or "casualties," though others are simply marked "confidential."

The majority of cablegrams are seeking/relaying orders about personnel; procedure; release of and communication with prisoners; requests for money and/or goods; discharge of soldiers; aid for military families of fallen soldiers; notifications sent to soldiers while abroad (mostly related to death of family members); foreign infantrymen & U.S. naturalization/citizenship (Mexican, Cuban, Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish; Panamanian, Danish, Russian, Colombian, Netherlands, Brazilian, Portuguese, Bulgarian); officers available to work different positions (veterinarian, ophthalmologist, flight surgeon); delays in mail; hospital organization; service award and rank announcements; requests for more officers; expense reports; machinery requests; shipments of Christmas presents; deaths from disease; epidemic in France; transportation authorization (including of military wives and children); funds transferred to Commanding General trust in Paris; prevention of disease spread upon reentry to U.S.; new system for baggage records (in response to lost baggage complaints); reassignments/moving of officers; statements to be read to soldiers; missing cabled money to soldier; verification of status of health and/or causes of death; Christmas greetings from Baker and March; service records; issues with notifying family of death/illness; uniform regulations; employment of soldiers; YMCA and other welfare organizations; suitable soldiers; special assignments for soldiers continuing military service (ex: American propaganda balloons); hiring of artists overseas for lack of camera coverage; "handling soldiers of enemy-alien birth."

Cablegrams with prefixes CA and CP (end of box II.2-II.3) include three alternate types of cablegrams different from the above type, though they still follow the chronological and alphanumeric code system. CA and CP cablegrams are sent via courier rather than cable, and both sets are addressed to the Commander in Chief or Commanding General from the Adjutant General and copied to Harbord in his capacity as Chief of Staff to Pershing. The CP cablegrams are drafts to be reviewed and sent out. Most of the CP cablegrams are in letter-form with much more detailed explanation or requests.

The first folder in box II.3 is comprised of cablegrams from Pershing to Harbord. These are often denoted as "extract cablegrams" and are also in longer, letter-format. These cablegrams are primarily concerned with logistics about troops and supplies. There are also multiple requests for more men of specific positions and at least one request for women stenographers, typists, and clerks.

The last three folders in box 3 are comprised of cablegrams received and sent about urgent need either for supplies or conditions of living (primarily in prison or aboard ships). Urgent supply needs include medical, artillery, clothing, uniform, beds, horses, lithographs, and cameras among other materials. Most of the messages are complaints or concerns about morale and/or health risks, but most of these claims are decided to be unfounded.

SOS (Services of Supply) cablegrams in boxes II.4-II.5 are sent and received directly by Harbord, addressed and signed by him and the Adjutant General. These are primarily concerned with logistics of supplies, specifically artillery, machine, animals.


Reports and memorandums were generally authored by Harbord and cover a variety of military topics as indicated by the titles in the Box and Folder list.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: II.1 Cablegrams A2100-A3445
Box: II.12 Cablegrams A813-A2009
Offsite-Box: II.3 Cablegrams
Offsite-Box: II.4 - II.6 S.O.S cablegrams
Offsite-Box: II.7 Index to cablegrams
Offsite-Box: II.8 S.O.S daily statistical reports
Offsite-Box: II.9 Other S.O.S. reports
Offsite-Box: II.10 Report of Board of Officers Appointed by S.O.S.; Report of Assistant Chief of Staff of S.O.S. with accompanying maps
Offsite-Box: II.11 Report of Commanding General First Army American Expeditionary Forces; Summaries of Intelligence; Field Orders
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 1 Notes on Organization of Operations Section; Report on Organization of French H.Q.
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 2 Review of U.S. Artillery Program
1918 October 4
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 3 Shipment of Troops
1918 July-September
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 4 Tank Corp Papers
1918 September
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 5 Directory of officers/organization chart
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 6 Memorandums and reports
Offsite-Box: II.12 Folder : 7 Peace celebration orders
Offsite-Box: II.13 Folder : 1 Historical Report of Railway Artillery Reserve
Offsite-Box: II.13 Folder : 2-4 Second Division Northwest of Chateau Thierry
1918 June 1-July 10
Offsite-Box: II.13 Folder : 5 Report, "The U.S. in the Mediterranean"
Offsite-Box: II.13 Folder : 6 Report to His Excellency, Don Horacio Vasquez, President of the Dominican Republic, of the Economic Commission
circa 1929
Offsite-Box: II.13 Folder : 7 War Report, Edited Minutes of Army-Navy Conference of Industry-Labor and Other Leaders
1944 January 7-8
Offsite-Box: II.14 Folder : 1-8 American Legion 1937 Convention Corporation
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 1 American Legion 1937 Convention Corporation
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 2 Letters and clippings regarding Second Division Reunion
1919, 1934
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 3 War pamphlets: Estimating Tactical Field Orders and Chemical Warfare
1909, 1936
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 4 Photographs

Scope and Contents Note

Includes group portraits, images of Bellau Woods and the Ceremony of Decoration with the Croix de Guerre, and a booklet of photos of Veterinary Hospital No. 9, France

1914-1919, undated
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 5 Images of Memorial de Chateau-Thierry, France
Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 6-7 Diary of Major General Harbord (2 copies)

Scope and Contents Note

Provides a very detailed account of the passage from the U.S. to Europe on the U.S.S. Baltic when America first becomes involved in World War I, particularly the danger of submarine attack, disease and hardship experienced on the boats. Describes in detail the important landing of Pershing at Liverpool. Excellent descriptions of the trenches. And while diaries were forbidden at the Front, he described the important battles in which he took part, namely during the stand of the 2nd Division near Chateau Thierry, which stopped the German invasion of Paris in June 1918, as well as the Soissons Offensive on July 18th and 19th.

Offsite-Box: II.15 Folder : 8 Letters

Subseries II.2: Materials from the Philippines

Scope and Contents Note

This subseries contains articles and reports about various aspects of Philippine government and culture, including Islamic culture.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: II.16 Folder : 1 The Filipino as a Soldier
Offsite-Box: II.16 Folder : 2 Filipino Character
Offsite-Box: II.16 Folder : 3-4 The Philippine Insurrection Against the United States/Copy from Insurgent Records
Offsite-Box: II.16 Folder : 5 The Maintenance of Order in the Philippines
1908, undated
Offsite-Box: II.17 Folder : 1 The Maintenance of Order in the Philippines
1912, undated
Offsite-Box: II.17 Folder : 2-4 The Filipino: Christian, Mohammeden, Pagan
Offsite-Box: II.18 Folder : 1 The Strong Men of the First Decade of the American Government in the Philippines
1913, undated
Offsite-Box: II.18 Folder : 2-4 The Philippines, background materials
Offsite-Box: II.18 Folder : 5 The First Three Philippine Assemblies
1912-1913, undated
Offsite-Box: II.19 Folder : 1-2 Manners and customs of the Mohammedan Moros of the Philippines
1914, undated
Offsite-Box: II.19 Folder : 3-4 American Accomplishment in the Philippines
1910-1913, undated
Offsite-Box: II.20 Folder : 1-2 The Government of the Mohammedens Moros in the Philippines
Offsite-Box: II.20 Folder : 3-4 Leading Filipinos of the Day
Offsite-Box: II.21 Folder : 1-2 Filipino Feelings toward Americans
1902, 1911
Offsite-Box: II.21 Folder : 4 Articles and speeches

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