November 21, 2017 – “The Speed of Progress”

Welcome back, everyone! Hopefully, the weekend was an enjoyable one for those returning to this humble blog. There are a couple of reminders to re-announce in regards to this week before moving on to the topic at hand. Due to the UCF library closure for Thanksgiving Weekend, there will be be no weekly review this weekend either. Instead, the final weekly review will be next weekend along with the Internship Showcase on December 1, 2017. Also, for all my fellow Knights, the library will be closed from December 16, 2017 to January 2, 2018 ( Keep that in mind as the semester closes. That is all the announcements for the moment, but this blog will post any updates should more come. Now, on to today’s events!

Over the weekend, library had sent notifications that the request for Peter Bertram’s The Southern Cross of Honor: Historical Notes and Trial List of Varieties had finally arrived through the interlibrary loan system and this morning, volumes 73-75 of The Minutes of the Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy had arrived as well. Both texts were retrieved before heading to the archives. As copies of the pages from the texts were being printed, Mr. Ogreten brought great news regarding information of the owner of WWI medals: his date of birth, date of death, the date of enlistment, date of discharge, the units he served with, etc. had been sent over by the donor. This helped tremendously in tracking down resources regarding his service.

After adding the copied excerpts of Bertram’s book (a tremendous asset for anyone wanting to research the history of the Southern Cross of Honor) to the Processed File for the UDC Medal Collection, a disheartening discovery was made while perusing the thick text of the Minutes volumes. There was little information regarding the development of the Vietnam Cross of Military Service, aside from the first presentation of the cross at the Seventy-Fifth Convention in 1968. There was a curious mention of the “Viet Nam” Crosses in the Seventy-Third Minutes, but nothing else. The more shocking evidence was that volumes for the 1964 and 1965 conventions are not available anywhere. For the sake of the research, the decision may have to come down to cutting losses at that end. It is painful to type that conclusion as the hope was to provide a concise resource for researchers to gain information of the medals. Hopefully, this will not be the case for the WWII Cross or the Korean Cross. However, the speed of progress picked up in regards of the World War I medals.

Mr. Ogreten was able to contact the donor, a relative of the owner of the medals, and retrieve valuable information regarding the veteran. Among the information was a photograph of the man in question in his uniform. A processed file was created where records regarding the e-mail exchanges, the data collected, and the medal history will be stored. However, the request for Paul H. Till’s The Military Awards of the Empire State remains pending and an official name for the collection has yet to be decided. Still, strides were made as information of his unit history became clear.

The veteran belonged to 165th Infantry Regiment (not to be confused with the 165th Infantry Brigade) of the 42 Division of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I and had served alongside his fellow New York citizens until 1919. The regiment was then reorganized to its former designation of the 69th Infantry Regiment in 1921, now part of the New York National Guard. That small amount of information made big strides as it matched with the medal history and filled in some gaps. But, the information could only go so far and, while strides were made, the progress was once more at a standstill.

That is it for today, hopefully more great news will come soon. However, that will have to be next week as Thanksgiving is just days away. Have a thankful heart for the blessings that have been given this year, everyone, and enjoy catching up with loved ones before stuffing faces with food! Stay safe and come back next weekend! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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