Montgomery, Alabama: [circa 1917].
Softcover. Oblong folio. Measuring 15" x 11". String tied pages lacking the boards with 150 sepia-toned or black and white photographs measuring between 1.5" x 3.5" and 3" x 5.5", with captions on the verso of the images. Pages have some edgewear and a few removed images thus very good with near fine photographs.
A photo album kept by a soldier training at Camp Sheridan near Montgomery, Alabama during World War I. The soldier was part of the 37th “Buckeye” Division, Battery “B” and captured life, training, and sports at the camp. Each photo is numbered and a corresponding caption is written on the verso, one of which reads, “you learn many trades in the army;” and another reads, “kitchen police.” Men are seen washing dishes at makeshift outdoor facilities, during inspections, and doing calisthenics. A photo captioned “on the march” shows a man wearing a gas mask. Other images include trenches, lines of horses, and artillery. The company went to a nearby town which is labeled “Coon Town” in the captions where the compiler photographed a young African-American boy. He also captured photos of men playing football, boxing, and pole vaulting for health, as well as to pass the time. The 37th Division was raised from the Ohio National guard and departed training camp for France to serve at the Meuse-Argonne Front. A decorated unit, they were the first American Division to be given the honor to start an offensive, and served as part of the 147th U.S. Infantry.
A wonderful collection of WWI-era photographs that show the training of a decorated unit through the lens of a better than average amateur photographer.