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Guide to the Eric G. Lindquist Papers
1915-1919, 1960-1961
 MS 3129

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 08, 2019
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Lindquist, Eric Gustave, 1891-1966
Title: Eric G. Lindquist papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1915-1919, 1960-1961
Abstract: Photo-illustrated manuscript diary and typescript memoir detailing the military experiences of New Yorker Eric G. Lindquist (1891-1966). A member of the 71st New York Infantry, National Guard, in Texas, during the border skirmishes spawned by the Mexican Revolution (1915–1917), Lindquist later served in the United States Army, as a corporal and sergeant, in the 105th Infantry and 102nd Engineers, 27th Division, during World War I (1917–1919) in Europe. Lindquist participated in the Second Battle of the Somme (France) and the Battle of Lys (Flanders). The collection includes his dog tag and service medals.
Quantity: 0.834 Linear Feet (in 2 document boxes)
Call Phrase: MS 3129

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Biographical / Historical

Eric Gustave Lindquist (1891–1966) was born to Swedish immigrant parents in New York City on April 30, 1891. While employed at the New York Workmen's Compensation Rating Bureau, Lindquist, along with several colleagues, was induced by a coworker who was a member of the National Guard to join Company K of the 71st Infantry, New York. Lindquist enlisted on August 17, 1915. The 71st was stationed at McAllen, Texas, during the so-called Border War, the series of skirmishes between U.S. troops and Mexican revolutionaries. Lindquist was promoted to corporal on August 10, 1916, and to sergeant on September 1, 1917. On October 14, 1917 he enlisted in Company K, 105th Infantry, which was soon absorbed into the 27th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard. Lindquist transferred to the 102nd Engineers of the 27th on December 6, 1917, and remained with regiment until his discharge on April 3, 1919. For his service in France (May 1918–February 1919), and participation in the Battle of Lys (April 1918) and Second Battle of the Somme (August-September 1918), Lindquist received the World War I Victory Medal. He died, age 75, in Bronxville, Westchester County, New York, on December 2, 1966, ten years after retiring from the management of the 42nd Street office of the Royal-Globe Insurance Companies. [See Lindquist's brief obituary in the New York Times, Sunday, December 4, 1966, page 88.]

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of two main parts:

[A] "Written and Pictorial Diary / Service Prior to and During / World War / With / 71st New York Infantry / 105th Infantry / 102nd Engineers / 27th Division, U.S.A. / Eric G. Lindquist 1915-1919."

[B] An untitled, undated, typescript memoir.

In the "Written and Pictorial Diary" [A], Lindquist has interspersed pages of calligraphic text with captioned photographs of himself, fellow servicemen, officers, camps, and equipment, taken while stationed at McAllen, Texas, during the border skirmishes of the Mexican Revolution; at Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina, before shipping to Europe; and in various locations throughout Belgium, France, and England during World War I.

Tipped inside the "Written and Pictorial Diary" were two newspaper clippings (dated 1960 and 1961), a scrapbook page of sewn-on service medals and Lindquist's dog tag, and his pocket diary for 1918 (originally a printed diary for 1916, Lindquist filled it two years later). For ease of access, these items are now filed separately but retain their original position at the front of the diary proper. (See the container list descriptions for Box 1, Folders 1–3.)

Lindquist's typescript memoir [B], which runs to 502 pages, is based on his "Written and Pictorial Diary" of 1915-1919, and his pocket diary of 1918, which he describes in the "Forward" [sic] as "a tiny book of not more than three inches in length containing a record of the most minute incidents. The writing was accomplished with a delicate pencil of no greater weight than a slender reed." Indeed, the minuscule script requires magnification to be legible. (See Box 1, Folder 3.)

The memoir runs to 24 chapters with titles like "First Call to Arms" (chapter 2), "Nights of Hell at Mount Scherpenberg" (chapter 15), and "A Colonel Goes Berserk" (chapter 22). It includes two hand-drawn maps signed "E.G.L": "The Mount Kemmel Battle Area" (Box 2, Folder 5, following page 351), and "Hindenburg Line at St. Quentin Canal Tunnel" (Box 2, Folder 5, following page 393).


Lindquist's "Written and Pictorial Diary" is divided into two parts occupying Box 1, Folders 4-6 (Part 1), and Box 2, Folders 1-3 (Part 2). The front matter (i.e. the loose clippings, dog tag and medals, and pocket diary described above) precedes the diary proper in Box 1, Folders 1-3. And Lindquist's typescript memoir may be found in Box 2, Folders 4-5.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Diaries.
  • Ephemera.
  • Medals.
  • Photographs.
  • Postcards.
  • Scrapbooks.

Subject Organizations

  • New York (State). National Guard. Regiment, 71st
  • United States. Army. . Engineer Regiment, 102nd
  • United States. Army. Infantry Division, 27th
  • United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 105th

Subject Topics

  • Lys, Battle of the, 1918
  • Somme, 2nd Battle of the, France, 1918
  • World War, 1914-1918

Subject Places

  • Camp Wadsworth (Spartanburg, S.C.)
  • McAllen (Tex.)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

This collection is owned by the New-York Historical Society. The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder. Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to 20 exposures of stable, unbound material per day.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the "Eric G. Lindquist papers, MS 3129, The New-York Historical Society."

Related Materials

See the William Sharman Papers, 1916–1965 (MS 3068), a small collection documenting the military service of native New Yorker William Sharman (1894–1978). Like Eric G. Lindquist, Sharman served with the 71st New York Infantry, National Guard, in Texas, during the 1916–17 border skirmishes spawned by the Mexican Revolution. Sharman subsequently enlisted in the 106th Regiment Field Artillery, United States Army, 27th Infantry Division, and saw action in France during World War I. Sharman actually appears in at least five photographs in Lindquist's "Written and Pictorial Diary" (see box 1, folder 4, preceding page 21, and following page 22).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Beltrone & Company, March 2016.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by archivist Joseph Ditta, March-April 2019. The Eric G. Lindquist Papers came to the New-York Historical Society in three overstuffed, deteriorating post binders, which have been discarded. Two binders held Lindquist's "Written and Pictorial Diary" (now filed in Box 1, Folders 4-6, and Box 2, Folders 1-3), and the third binder held his typescript memoir (now filed in Box 2, Folders 4-5).

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 "Written and Pictorial Diary" | loose clippings (2)

Scope and Contents

"A National Shrine for Pershing / Mementoes of his great military career now rest in the boyhood home of this famous soldier," World-Telegram and Sun, Feature Magazine Section, Saturday, September 10, 1960.

"Maj. Gen. John O'Ryan, Ex-Police Head, Dies / Served 8 Months for La Guardia; Led 27th Division in World War I,"  New York Herald Tribune, Tuesday, January 31, 1961.

Box: 1 Folder : 2 "Written and Pictorial Diary" | dog tag and medals

Scope and Contents

The medals and dog tag are sewn to a loose scrapbook page.

01 | Dog tag engraved "ERIC G. LINDQUIST" (obverse); "1201333" (reverse).

02 | "For Service On The Mexican Border"; no. 3357 (on rim); plus ribbon bar.

03 | "Mexican Border Service / 1916-1917 / Presented By / State of New York"; no. 10050 (on rim).

04 | World War I Victory Medal ("The Great War for Civilization") with bars for "Somme Offensive," "Ypres-Lys," and "Defensive Sector"; plus ribbon bar with three battle stars.

05 | "For Faithful State Service in the Field During the World War" (obverse); "Presented by the State of New York / 1917 / 1918 / 1919" (reverse); no. 3105 (on reverse).

06 | "World War" (obverse); "For Service 1917-1919 Presented by the State of New York" (reverse); no. 52119 (on reverse).

Box: 1 Folder : 3 "Written and Pictorial Diary" | pocket diary

Scope and Contents

Printed "Knickerbocker Diary" for 1916, but used by Lindquist for the period May 9 through December 8, 1918. Lindquist recorded names and addresses on the pages for January through April. His daily diary entries are written in pencil in a microscopic script that requires magnification to be read. The small (2 x 3.25-inch) volume is sewn to a loose scrapbook page.

Box: 1 Folder : 4-6 "Written and Pictorial Diary" | text and images [part 1] (3 folders)

Scope and Contents

"Written and Pictorial / Diary / Service Prior to and During / World War / With / 71st New York Infantry / 105th Infantry / 102nd Engineers / 27th Division, U.S.A. / Eric G. Lindquist 1915-1919"

Box: 2 Folder : 1-3 "Written and Pictorial Diary" | text and images [part 2] (3 folders)

Scope and Contents

"Written and Pictorial / Diary / Service Prior to and During / World War / With / 71st New York Infantry / 105th Infantry / 102nd Engineers / 27th Division, U.S.A. / Eric G. Lindquist 1915-1919"

Box: 2 Folder : 4-5 [Typescript memoir] (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Chapter titles and page numbers:

01 | Intrigued, 1
02 | First Call to Arms, 8
03 | The Vagaries of Men and Nature, 26
04 | Quarantined, 50
05 | The Will of the People, 54
06 | Camp at Van Courtlandt, 71
07 | Scattered to the Four Winds, 76
08 | The Engineers, 84
09 | A Messenger in the Night, 98
10 | Off on the Great Adventure, 117
11 | An Exciting Voyage, 127
12 | In Northern France, 146
13 | A Grueling March, 162
14 | On to Mount Kemmel, 214
15 | Nights of Hell at Mount Scherpenberg, 269
16 | A Strange Rest, 352
17 | The Great Battle of the Hindenberg Line, 394
18 | The Canadian Hospital at Trouville, 437
19 | The Battle of La Salle River and Jonc de Mer Ridge, 445
20 | I Meet Michael [changed to "Gervaise"], 453
21 | The Armistice, 460
22 | A Colonel Goes Berserk, 484
23 | A Wild Voyage, 493
24 | Farewell to Arms, 499


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