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St. Louis 12th Engineers Regiment Collection: World War I

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Identifier: P0389

Title: St. Louis 12th Engineers Regiment Collection: World War I


The St. Louis 12th Engineers Regiment Collection contains 303 indexed snapshots of the 12th Engineers tour of duty in Europe during World War I. It includes 30 official Signal Corps photos, mostly views of rail facilities, and several unindexed group and individual portraits and news clips. The Twelfth Engineer Regiment of the United States Army was largely composed of men from St. Louis region, but there were other members who came from other regions of the U.S. because St. Louis was chosen as a national headquarters for an army regiment of engineers. They assembled and trained at Camp Gaillard by the Chain of Rocks Bridge, along the bank of the Mississippi River. The regiment mobilized in St. Louis in June 1917 and embarked for Foreign Service on July 28, 1917. They returned to the U.S. on April 27, 1919 for demobilization and mustered out (discharged) at Camp Funston on May 16, 1919. The regiment was known to be one of the first to land in France and was believed to be the first American unit that was fired at by the opposing side during World War I. John A. Laird of St. Louis commanded the regiment as Lieutenant Colonel. President of the Mississippi River Commission, Colonel Curtis McD. Townsend was appointed for initial command during recruitment at Camp Gaillard. The army engineer group also performed praiseworthy railway work in Europe.

The album contains an index which names and details the photographs. The image number corresponds with this list and some images are missing from the larger collection.

History of the Twelfth Engineers, a detailed, in-depth record of the works and achievements of the regiment was published in 1919. This publication was a collaborative effort by members of the Twelfth Engineers to preserve an accurate history of their regiment. Many of the photographs from the collection album also appear in this historical publication, often with enhanced details. The original of the book publication is held by the Cornell University Library.

Rights: UND


Dates: 1917- ca. 1921

Type(s): Album

Maker/Creator: St. Louis 12th Engineer's Regiment

Subjects: World War, 1914-1918


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