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Guide to the Stevenson S. MacWhinney Papers
1915-1920 (bulk 1918)
 MS 399

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


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Melissa Haley

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Container List

Series II. Diaries, 1916-1919

Scope and Contents note

This series contains MacWhinney's pocket diaries (not all are signed by MacWhinney but are assumed to be his). The civilian volume from 1916 includes brief entries of social events, rehearsals, shows, and sports, presumably in the Bronx. The remaining three volumes cover most of MacWhinney's time on the Western Front, May 3 [1918] to May 9, 1919. The first of these, May 3-Aug. 28 [1918], includes equipment lists, and brief entries concerning marches, fighting, food, illness, bathing, gas, letters written and received, rumors, entertainment, and lice.

"2 Allied planes fall. Slept in shell proof dugout (German). Barrage all afternoon. 1st prisoner for Company. Gave up. Kid of about 20 yrs. All Jewish interpreters & no one able to talk real german. Kid nearly starved. On gas guard from 11.45 to 1 am. Prayed nearly all the time for help & guidance & protection. Allied barrage all night" ([8]/17/[1918])

The next volume, August 29 to December 1 [1918], includes lists of field and kitchen equipment, descriptions of daily activities, food, mail received, gas guard, weather, insects, marches and shellings; reports of deaths, German prisoners, surrenders, and the armistice.

"Now in woods under trees after being awakened at 130 am & rushed out by 245 am for 4 ½ hr hike. Boys all in & tired. Talbot on being awakened asks about breakfast & Hank O'Dea says hand grenade & coffee. Breakfast of strawberry jam & hard bread." ([9]/20/[1918])

"I have just finished washing my cootie breeders." ([9]/22/[1918])

MacWhinney also mentions the "Lost Battalion," which included members of Company E, in this volume.

"Saw Capt MacDougall & heard his story of situation of 1 & 2 batt'ln how surrounded & cut off from food & communication. Only a miracle can save them & miracle would be peace or armistice." ([10]/7/[1918])

The final diary, Dec. 2, 1918 to May 9, 1919, includes social events, games, sports (esp. baseball), drinking, the town of Aix-les-Bains, waiting for news of departure, and his homecoming in late April, 1919.

"See cooks use a cognac bottle to mash potatoes. Some stunt." (2/18/1919)

"…Arrive at Penn St. Use "L" to go home. Everything looks familiar. Stop in Carr's & see people. Get in house & after that everything is a dream." (4/29/[1919])

Note: MacWhinney began his last two diaries in the middle or towards the end of the volume, then continued them in the front.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Diary
1916
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Diary
[1918] May 3-Aug. 28
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Diary
[1918] Aug. 29-Dec.1
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Diary
1918 Dec.2-1919 May 9

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