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MACHINE GUN BATTALION SOLDIER’S DIARY
- World War I YMCA “Friendship Diary” and photograph of Private Arthur Jenkins of Co. A. 324th Machine Gun Battalion, 83rd Division, and Co. D, 123rd Machine Gun Battalion, 33rd Division. Jenkins was from New Milford, Ohio. The account of Jenkin’s military service begins on April 1, 1918, when he reported at Alliance, City Hall, and then again on April 2, when he reported at City Hall and took a train ride to Camp Sherman. The diary ends on March 2, 1919, when he arrived home. Jenkins diary entries are brief and all are written in pencil, the writing instrument that still accompanies the diary within a cloth pencil holder attached to the book’s cover. There are more than 50 entries in which Jenkins describes where he is and sometimes what he is carrying. The soldier is wounded on October 15, 1918, and his entry on that day states “Wounded while on guard at gun 8:30A.M. taken to vacuation hospital No. 15 at Verdun.” On November 7 he wrote: “Changed crutches for cain.” The photo is postcard size and is of 2 American soldiers—Arthur Jenkins and Ira Gilbert. The diary book itself is unique and rare. Title page is imprinted with “THE FRIENDSHIP DIARY/PRESENTED TO THE ENGLISH SPEAKING PRISONERS OF WAR BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS NORTH AMERICA. The diary is in excellent condition as is the photograph. The pencil is partially broken at the end opposite the point.