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Dear Mr. McGinnis,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Security Classified Correspondence and Reports, 1917 - 1941 of the Military Intelligence Division in the Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (Record Group 165) including File 9434-154 [Box # 7141] that contains documents relating to the Nathan Hale Volunteers. The majority of documents in this file were submitted by a Mr. Pierson Worrall Banning providing information about the Nathan Hale Volunteers and their successor organization, the Volunteer Intelligence Corps, as well the establishment of a “National Intelligence Bureau” through state chapters of the Sons of the Revolution and the Daughters of the Revolution. We searched the name and subject indices for these records and were unable to locate a separate listing for either the Volunteer Intelligence Corps or the National Intelligence Bureau. We also located a brief mention of the organization in the file San Francisco: Volumes 14-16 - April 1, 1917-July 31, 1918 (1 of 2) of the record series Daily Reports of Agents, 1875 - 1937 in the Records of the U.S. Secret Service (Record Group 87). These records are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2). To access these records, please contact RDT2 via email at email@example.com.
The Online Archive of California references letters “Written on behalf of the American Safety League Service and the Nathan Hale Volunteers Bureau of the U.S.A” in its Guide to the Berkeley Police Dept. Records, 1909-1932. There may be additional records concerning this organization at the California State Archives or at municipal and county archives in California. We also located a mention of the organization the The Newsletter of the Berkley Historical Society. The article states that scholar Stephen Barton “has uncovered a wealth of material about this organization...”. You may wish to contact the Berkeley Historical Society for additional information. The Sons of the Revolution may have records concerning Pierson W. Banning and the National Intelligence Bureau.
We also searched online and located a listing for the activities in the Nathan Hale Volunteers claimed by Pierson Worrall Banning in the The Honor Roll of the Society: Services of Members of the Society During the World War, 1917-1918 published by the General Society of Colonial Wars. “An Index of Ancestors and Roll of Members of the Society of Colonial Wars: The Honor Roll, Services of Members of the Society During the World War, 1917-1918”, also by the General Society of Colonial War, has more such listings. Another article about Pierson Worrall Banning in The Liberty Bell published by the Sons of the Revolution, California Society purports that he “organized and had charge of three organizations working along the line of secret service and intelligence work for the United State Government, a service that was of most incalculable value to the government.” Searches for Pierson Worrall Banning also turn up other results such as this listing in Roster, Society, Sons of the Revolution in the State of California indicating his association with the Nathan Hale Volunteers and other such organizations.
We also located the name of this group in Google Book previews of the books World War I and the Sacramento Valley and The Home Front Encyclopedia: United States, Britain, and Canada in World Wars I and II, Volume 1. The books Negative Intelligence: The Army and the American Left, 1917-1941, The State and the People: California During the First World War, World War I and the Origins of U.S. Military Intelligence, The Price of Vigilance, and Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI contains mentions of the the Volunteer Intelligence Corps, however they do not mention the Nathan Hale Volunteers by name. Plus, We found the Volunteer Intelligence Corps included in the Military Surveillance: Hearings, Ninety-third Congress, Second Session, on S. 2318 and THE GREAT WAR AND AMERICA Civil-Military Relations during World War I. There may be citations in these sources which can provide further research leads.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!