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About this collection

These images of celebration at the end of World War 1 are taken from a scrapbook in the Conrad S. Babcock Papers. The papers are housed in the Archives & Special Collections Department of Santa Clara University. For a complete description of this collection, visit our finding aid at the Online Archive of California. The photographs feature such people as General John J. "Blackjack" Pershing, General Ferdinand Foch, the Kings of England and Spain, Queens Mary and Alexandra, and the Prince of Wales, amid sites in Paris, New York, and Washington, DC.

 

The physical collection

The Conrad S. Babcock Papers, circa 1877-1941 (bulk 1898-1918), document Babcock’s service in the U.S. Army from 1894-1937. The bulk of the collection consists of Babcock’s memoirs detailing his military service at home, in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War and in France during the final months of World War I. The memoirs also document the rapid transformation in size, wartime tactics and weaponry taking place in the military at the turn of the century. Included are handwritten and typed drafts of his memoirs; letters from the War Department documenting his military service; battlefield maps; a typed memorandum written by John Breckinridge when he was a Captain in the 5th Cavalry; a photograph album documenting the end of World War I; and photographs of the 22nd Infantry in Montana in the late 19th century.

 

Conrad S. Babcock

Conrad S. Babcock was born on February 26, 1876. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1894. After graduating from West Point in 1898, he served the first of two terms in the Philippines during the Philippine-American War, returning to the United States in 1901. While in the United States, Babcock was stationed at numerous bases around the country, providing relief duty in San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and patrolling the borderlands of Yuma, Arizona during the Mexican Revolution.

Babcock onboard the troopship Leviatan

 

 

 

 

In 1917, Babcock was sent to France, where he led three different infantry regiments in battle during the final months of World War I. Over the course of his career, Conrad S. Babcock earned two Silver Star citations and a Distinguished Service Medal. Upon his retirement in 1937, Babcock began writing about his military service. His memoirs describe a rapidly growing army undergoing a dramatic shift in wartime tactics and weaponry. An edited version of his writings, Reminiscences of Conrad S. Babcock: The Old U.S. Army and the New, 1898-1918, was published in 2012. Though he retired as a Colonel in 1937, Babcock was advanced to Brigadier General on the retired list in 1940. He died in 1950 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

 
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