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Charles L. White diary

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S1390

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a World War I diary, a photograph, and other items from Charles L. White, ranging from 1918 to 1919, during World War I. The diary contains White's account of military life, including trials of army life in France, specifically mentioning the food, weather, and living conditions. There are also a photocopy and a typed transcript copy of the diary, as well as a small photograph, positive print and negative, of a soldier, a document to his mother, and a French war bond advertisement, found in the back of the diary.


  • 1918-1919


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Charles L. White grew up in Elkhart, Indiana. He served as a private in Co. E or G, Third Indiana Battalion, U. S. Army during World War I. Upon returning from France in 1919, he was stationed at Camp Devens at Ayer, Massachusetts. According to his diary he was a school teacher and hoped to pursue that career further out east after the war.


Items in the collection.


0.02 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation of 1977/02/05 by Earle D. Bragdon.


No further additions are expected.

Materials Specific Details

Folder 1. 1918 Sept. 5-1919 Feb. 18 Charles L. White's World War I diary circa 1918 Photograph of unidentified soldier circa 1918 Photographic negative of two soldiers holding a ladder 1919 Jan. 3 Paper addressed to "Dear Mother" with financial figures Circa 1910s French war bond advertisement

Summary of the entries in Charles L. White's diary 1918 Sept. 5 At Rolampont The Marne (France) regarding comment about army, purchases of food and activities. 1918 Sept. 8 Near Gondrecourt, France regarding food 1918 Sept. 9 Near Gondrecourt, France regarding weather. Describes visit to French airdrome. Discusses rumors about the war. 1918 Sept. 10 Near Gondrecourt, France regarding move toward Toul sector in Vosges Mts. Describes food. 1918 Sept. 12 At Meuse, Saint Germain regarding description of "Cossack post" at "wine joint" and glow from burning of Metz. Mentions drive toward Metz. Describes meal and French family. Speaks of American Aviation field and "Liberty Motor", and mentions scarcity of "Bosche" planes. 1918 Sept. 13 Mentions artillery and weather. 1918 Sept. 17 In the woods north of Vaubecourt regarding weather, food, artillery, march, Colonel Cavenaugh and Lt. Colonel Coburn. Discusses procedure for getting permission to "fall out" during march. Names guns. 1918 Sept. 18 Autographs 1918 Sept. 20 In dugout support trench near Aubreville regarding reactions to first encounter with shrapnel fire. Describes dugout. 1918 Sept. 21 Same place regarding false gas alarm and enemy fire. 1918 Sept. 24 In trench near Aubreville regarding heavy artillery fire, gas alarms, food, and French. 1918 Oct. 7 U.S. Army Hospital #3, Nubecourt Meuse describing battle, killed and wounded. 1918 Oct. 10 Evacuation Hospital,Souilly regarding trip from Hospital #3, American Red Cross, and Bosche prisoners. 1918 Oct. 17 Evacuation Hospital, #24 Mesves regarding weather 1918 Oct. 25 Mesves regarding book. 1918 Oct. 29 Mesves sur Loire regarding illness and food. 1918 Dec. 4 Near St. Aignan (Meher) regarding food. 1918 Dec. 4 "Y" Flatfoot Camp regarding German arms souvenir. 1918 Dec. 5 Y Flatfoot Camp regarding food, discussion of security of America, and changes to come. 1918 Dec. 6 Same place regarding search for overcoat in Black Companies, food, and reading material. 1918 Dec. 8 Same place regarding duties of sick soldiers. 1918 Dec. 9 Same place regarding difference between treatment of officers and men. 1918 Dec. 10 "Y" Flatfoot Camp regarding quarantine for diphtheria. 1918 Dec. 15 "Y", same place regarding reason for quarantine, food, arrest of mess officer. 1918 Dec. 16 "Y",same place regarding food and weather 1918 Dec. 17 "Y" same place regarding food and M.P.'s 1918 Dec. 21 "Y" same place regarding food, insects and rumor of evacuation. 1918 Dec. 22 Farm house near camp, Mehers regarding food. Describes furnishings. Mentions (church) service. 1918 Dec. 30 Same place regarding food, illness, and hardships. 1918 Dec. 31 Same place regarding food and unjust punishments. 1919 Jan. 4 Saint Aignan regarding formation of Co. 451 "cooty baths", and preparations to leave for port. 1919 Jan. 7 Same place regarding war risk (insurance?) and food. 1919 Jan. 10 Saint Nazaire Camp #2 regarding illness and medicine, trip, food. 1919 Jan. 16 Same place regarding inspection, showers, entertainment, and eulogy for Roosevelt. 1919 Jan. 17 Same place regarding description of French boys and description of funeral service for American soldiers and graveyard. 1919 Jan. 20 On board U.S.S. Mongolia in Bay of Biscay regarding church service and attendance at movie for German prisoners. Mentions songs sung. Speaks of preparations for boarding ship, food and "colored soldier band", and names tunes played. 1919 Jan. 22 On board Mongolia regarding trip across the Atlantic. Gives statistics on speed and miles covered, etc. Mentions name of magazines and discusses 1919 Jan. 29 "Soldier articles". 1919 Jan. 30 S.S. Mongolia, Hoboken, N.J. regarding welcoming celebration. 1919 Feb. 3 Camp Merritt, N.J. regarding trip from Hoboken, food, K.P. duty, decootyizer", and other to activities. Mentions seeing "bum" war movie in New York. 1919 Feb. 5 1919 Feb. 12-18 Camp Devens, Ayer, Mass regarding trip from Camp Merritt, regarding activities, trip to Boston and Jewish Welfare Board Entertainment, statistics on prisoners taken and casualties. He mentions he is going to Booth Tarkington's. "Seventeen" at the Liberty Theatre.

Folder 2. Photocopy of White's diary and transcript of White's diary entries

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in May 2006 by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. EAD finding aid created 2016/05/25 by Bethany Fiechter. Collection and EAD finding aid processed with additional notes on 2017/12/14 by Linda Gellert. EAD finding aid revised 2018/02/16 by Brittany Kropf.
Charles L. White diary
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.