This list summarizes the archival materials relating to World War I at the Harry S. Truman Library. Many of these personal papers, federal records, and oral histories document the activities of Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery Regiment. Captain Harry S. Truman commanded Battery D from July 11, 1918 through the end of the war on November 11, 1918. The library has training manuals, field orders, personnel records, and personal correspondence from the war as well as correspondence and printed materials relating to postwar reunions of Battery D members and other World War I veterans.
The page numbers in brackets represent an estimate of the relevant materials in each collection.
The Truman Library has other resources relating to World War I in addition to the materials identified in this subject guide.
HARRY S. TRUMAN PAPERS
PAPERS PERTAINING TO FAMILY, BUSINESS AND PERSONAL AFFAIRS—The Family Correspondence File contains more than one hundred letters from Truman to his fiancée Bess Wallace describing his experiences during and immediately after the war. The Military File includes a notebook in which Truman recorded his personal evaluations of the men who served under him in Battery D, other handwritten notes by Truman regarding his military service, maps of the front lines, field orders, and ammunition reports. [3200 pages]
PAPERS AS U.S. SENATOR AND VICE PRESIDENT—These papers include correspondence with Senator Truman concerning the claims of World War I veterans, usually involving requests for increased pensions or disability payments, and sometimes supported by detailed accounts of military actions in which they were involved. [6400 pages]
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OTHER PERSONAL PAPERS
VERNE E. CHANEY—Contains handwritten and typed drafts of a World War I memoir focusing on Chaney’s experiences as a sergeant in Battery D, and including accounts of troop movements, daily events, and personal experiences. [125 pages]
EDWARD V. CONDON—Features postwar correspondence between Harry S. Truman and Condon, a private in Battery D, regarding their wartime experiences. [5 pages]
EDWARD P. MEISBURGER—Includes a brief history of Battery D, an official record of the 129th Field Artillery, correspondence between Meisburger and Truman, and printed materials regarding the postwar activities of Battery D veterans, their reunions, and their attendance at such events as Truman’s 1949 Inaugural and his funeral in 1972. [200 pages]
JOHN H. THACHER—Includes letters from Thacher to his law partners in Kansas City describing his experiences as an officer in the 129th Field Artillery; excerpts from the letters that were published in the Kansas City Star; and humorous cartoons depicting Captain Truman and other officers in the regiment. [50 pages]
35th DIVISION ASSOCIATION—Includes various items collected by World War I veterans: correspondence, unit histories, training manuals, rosters, maps, and printed materials. [12,000 pages]
L. CURTIS TIERNAN—Features Father Tiernan’s identity card as an Army chaplain during World War I, and his military decorations. [5 pages]
MARY JANE TRUMAN—Mary Jane Truman kept many of her brother’s World War I papers, including his commission as an officer in the U.S. Army in 1917 and military orders from the war. [100 pages]
ARTHUR W. WILSON—Includes postwar correspondence between Wilson and Truman relating to their service as officers in the 129th Field Artillery. [10 pages]
FEDERAL RECORDSRECORD GROUP 391: RECORDS OF U.S. REGULAR ARMY MOBILE UNITS: RECORDS OF BATTERY D, 129TH FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT—These records include official correspondence from Captain Truman and others regarding Battery D, equipment lists, and personnel information concerning furloughs, passes, disciplinary actions, pay, and insurance. These are photocopies of original documents in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration. [800 pages]
GROUP 407: RECORDS OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE: MILITARY PERSONNEL
FILE OF HARRY S. TRUMAN—Truman’s personnel records include
information regarding his medical evaluations, promotions, and decorations
during his service in World War I and his subsequent career as a reserve
officer. [50 pages]
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FREDERICK J. BOWMAN—Member of Battery D, 129th Field Artillery during World War I.
L. L. BUCKLEW—Associate of Harry S. Truman during World War I.
LORAIN H. CUNNINGHAM—1st Lieutenant, 129th Field Artillery during World War I.
EDWARD D. McKIM—Served under Capt. Harry S. Truman, Battery D, 129th Field Artillery Regiment, 1917-19, and, subsequently in the U.S. Army Reserve with Mr. Truman.
WOODEN—Member, Battery D, 129th Field Artillery during World