Earl Johnson Papers, 1918-1919

Manuscript Collection #234

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Earl Johnson Papers
    Creator: Johnson, Earl
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1918-1919) including letters, diaries, training experiences, combat in Europe, War experiences.
    Extent: 0.044 Cubic feet, 2 items, 2 volumes , correspondence, diaries.
  • Description

    The diaries cover the entire military career of Sergeant Johnson from enlistment to discharge. The first diary begins March 21, 1918, and runs through Johnson's departure from Camp Sevier, S.C., for Hoboken, N.J. (April 30, 1918). The first entry in this volume supplies background information regarding enlistment and training prior to that date. The second diary begins with his departure from Hoboken for France and ends with his return to the United States (March 10, 1919).

    In the first diary Johnson relates his experiences of enlisting in the army, his training experiences at Camp Sevier, S.C., and the routine of camp life. The diary also includes an interesting account of a trip to the range, his role as a scout, efforts to avoid officers, and the confusion in an army command. The diary concludes with his anticipation of combat in Europe.

    The second volume begins with camp life at Camp Merritt, N.J., and tells of his experiences crossing the Atlantic on THE GEORGE WASHINGTON. Upon arrival in Europe Johnson was stationed at "Pontanezen Barracks."

    While in France, Johnson describes the camp life, trips to French towns, the role of the Y.M.C.A. in Europe, and the orientation classes. He also reflects his experiences in combat, moving to the front, air raids, bombardment, trench life, gas alerts, and the German retreat from the Argonne Forest. In the latter part of October "peace rumors" became a major part of the diary.

    After Armistice (November 11, 1918), Johnson tells of enrolling in artillery school, and describes camp life, camp parties, and their waiting to go home. The diary concludes March 10, 1919, on the SANTA TERRESA somewhere on the Atlantic.

    Correspondence in the collection consists of two letters from Johnson to members of his family. These describe camp life on the front, the German retreat at the Argonne Forest, and casualties as a result of enemy fire.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Sergeant Earl Johnson of Raleigh, N.C., participated in World War I as a member of the 113th Field Artillery. He enlisted in September, 1917, and underwent training at Camp Sevier, S.C., before departing via Camp Merritt, N.J., for France. Johnson arrived in Brest, France, May 18, 1918, and served on the Western Front until the war ended. For the next 50 years, Mr. Johnson was a partner in the insurance and surety bond firm of Moore & Johnson in Raleigh.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    July 17, 1973, 2 items; Letters (1918)

    October 4, 1973, 2 volumes; Diaries (1918-1919). Loaned for copying by Mr. Earl Johnson, Raleigh, N.C.

    Acquisition Information

    Loaned by Mr. Earl Johnson

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Earl Johnson Papers (#234), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processed by C. Joyner, October 1973

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

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Sensitive Materials Statement

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection, without the consent of those individuals, may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which East Carolina University assumes no responsibility.

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