11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2016 9:10 AM by Daria Labinsky

    Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?

    Newbie

      I contacted the National Archives regional office in Kansas City and their chief archivist Lori Cox-Paul said they do not have records for Camp Dodge (nor for Fort Riley, KS). This sounds suspicious since I can look at Great Lakes Naval Base records at the National Archives office in Chicago?  She said she could only find a reference to records in RG 393 in Washington D.C. (identifier 720231). I have been to the NPRC in St. Louis and these soldiers records are fire records, so all I have to go on are final payment vouchers. Looking for any help to try to discover the soldiers unit/division to try to recreate their service.

      Thank you,

      Tina

        • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
          Thomas Richardson Tracker

          Tina,

           

          One division was based out of Camp Dodge during World War I, the 88th Infantry Division. This division only saw service during both world wars and the camp was turned over the state authorities following WWI. The Iowa National Guard might retain some records on the 88th Division.

           

          Another facility that has an extensive WWI collection is the Combined Arms Research Library in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Two archivists staff the entire special collections area and they have a strong knowledge of all American divisions that served overseas during the war. CARL and the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth also have a large digital library as well.  Their contact information can be found on their website below: http://http://usacac.army.mil/organizations/cace/carl/archival

           

          Hope this helps!

           

          Thomas

            • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
              Newbie

              Thanks Thomas,

              Yes, I know one of the soldiers was in the 313th Engineers with the 88th, but I have no information on the other 2 soldiers I am seeking.  I've been to the state archives in Iowa and did not have much luck, since they were not guard units that were called up. Same for the Adjutant General's Office in Illinois, which was their home state. I will try Ft. Levenworth. I appreciate the answer.

               

              Tina

                • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                  Adventurer

                  The National Archives at College Park, MD, will most likely have unit records for the 313th Engineers. You can contact the staff at archives2reference@nara.gov. Usually, unit records don't details on enlisted personnel, but they often contain the history of the unit's movements.

                   

                  There are also various construction records and correspondence for Camp Dodge at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and at College Park, but if you're chiefly interested in the soldiers, these probably won't be too useful.

                    • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                      Newbie

                      Thanks Mary,

                      I have a decent amount of information on the 313th along with photos that my soldier took while on base and in France. These are at the Plainfield Historical Society in Palinfield, IL. I'm struggling with the two other men who served. For the first man, there was no unit or company listed on their discharge vouchers. For the second man, the NRPC sent me a letter saying they had nothing at all, not even a payment voucher.

                        • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                          Daria Labinsky Adventurer

                          Tina,

                          In the past couple of years, the National Archives at St. Louis (in the NPRC building) has accessioned 30,000 cf of the WWI Deceased Veteran's Claim Files from the VA. Sometimes, the VA claim files contain service information. Please send your request, including the names, service numbers (if known), dates of birth and/or death (if known), to stl.archives@nara.gov, or mail it to the address below, and we will search them for you.

                           

                          If we have them, they will be archival and open to the public. But many of them still belong to the VA and are not open to the public.

                          National Archives & Records Administration

                            Attn: Archival Programs

                            P.O. Box 38757

                            St. Louis, MO 63138

                  • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                    Megan Dwyre Adventurer

                    Hi Tina,


                    There are three series described in the National Archives Catalog that were created by Camp Dodge for the time period you seek: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/10454635.They are in the custody of Archives I Textual Reference, National Archives at Washington, DC. If you have questions about these records, you should e-mail the reference staff directly at archives1reference@nara.gov.

                      • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                        Newbie

                        Thank you Megan,

                        I already have that information. The Identifier number I included in my original message was to part of this collection.  My question is really why is there nothing at the regional archives?

                          • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                            Adventurer

                            Tina,

                             

                            I don't have a precise answer for you, but as a former archivist at the National Archives in Kansas City, I can confirm that Lori is absolutely correct--there are no Camp Dodge demobilization records there. In fact, regional archives tend to have few military records. Most can be found in the Washington area or in St. Louis. I believe that's because the structure of the military makes it difficult to apportion record series according to a geographical scheme.

                             

                            Finally, the National Archives wasn't established until the 1930s.  Most records created by the military, like the rest of the federal government, are not permanent. The Camp Dodge records you seek may have been temporary records, or may have been destroyed before NARA's founding. The latter fate befell a lot of records that genealogists and historians would love to have today.

                             

                            Wish I had a good solution for tracing the other two men. My personal strategy would be to research their lives, hoping to find a clue as to their unit(s).

                             

                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                          Newbie

                          Michael,

                          I have been to St. Louis in person. They only had final payment vouchers, which I stated in my original question.

                          Thanks,

                          Tina

                          • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                            Alan Walker Scout

                            Dear Ms. Beaird,

                             

                            Because this is a public forum in which National Archives staff participate in a spirit of good will, good faith, and good conscience, we ask that all questions and comments be directed to the subject at hand, and not toward any individuals.

                             

                            It was in that spirit that Ms. Cox-Paul assisted you regarding your question about Camp Dodge records, and to regard the results she obtained as "suspicious" could be interpreted as a personal criticism. We are certain that you meant no offense.

                             

                            The staff of the National Archives, in all of our facilities around the country, are helping the public every day: in person; via phone, email, and letter; and now, in this new way. As a librarian yourself, you can understand how one's reputation depends upon their efforts to provide the best possible service.

                             

                            We thank you for your understanding, and wish you the best of luck in your research.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Where do I find demobilization record for Camp Dodge, IA for 1919?
                              Daria Labinsky Adventurer

                              I'm not sure if these are applicable to your specific individuals, but the National Archives at St. Louis also has Discharge from Draft records (NAID 5752997). These reports were used to track the discharge of recent Army inductees who were still in training at the time of the Armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918. These forms originated with the local draft boards, but include subsequent indorsements by the Commanding Officer of the mobilization camp issuing discharge certificates and by the Disbursing Quartermaster for payment of final wages.These one-page reports generally contain an individual's name, serial number, civilian occupation, residence, date of birth, place of birth, name of nearest relative, physical description, dates of service, wages paid, and the name and address of the Selective Service Local Board that processed the form.

                               

                              Information to request a search of these records is the same as that in my other reply.