Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Whitfield-Barnett Correspondence, 1917-1921

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2012

Summary Information
Title: Whitfield-Barnett correspondence
Creator: Whitfield, Tacey Barnett
Inclusive dates: 1917-1921
Extent: 42 items
Abstract:
This collection is made up of 42 letters that Robin Whitfield wrote to his girlfriend and future wife, Tacey Barnett of Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee, from 1917-1921. He wrote of his experiences at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and Brest, France, during World War I, and commented on his life in Clarksville after the war.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994. M-3061.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Whitfield-Barnett Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Robin Whitfield was born on February 16, 1890. He joined the United States Army around June 1918, and trained at Camp Dodge, Iowa, until September 1918. He was a member of the 804th Pioneer Infantry Regiment, an African American regiment. In the summer of 1919, Whitfield was stationed at Camp President Lincoln in Brest, France. After his return home, he married Tacey Barnett, who lived in Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee. Robin Whitfield died on March 16, 1948.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of 42 letters that Robin Whitfield wrote to his girlfriend and future wife, Tacey Barnett of Clarksville and Nashville, Tennessee, from 1917-1921. He wrote of his experiences at Camp Dodge, Iowa, and Brest, France, during World War I, and commented on his life in Clarksville after the war.

Whitfield wrote 2 letters from Clarksville in 1917; 17 letters and postcards from Camp Dodge, Iowa, from June 1918-August 1918; 1 letter from Camp Upton, New York, in September 1918; 1 letter from Camp President Lincoln in Brest, France, in June 1919; 2 postcards immediately after his return to the United States in late 1919; and 17 letters from Clarksville from April 1920-September 1921. Two additional letters from Clarksville are undated. At Camp Dodge, Whitfield joined the 804th Pioneer Infantry Regiment, an African American unit. He commented occasionally on the attractiveness of local women (August 14, 1918) and about his fondness for the shooting range (September 20, 1918), but most often he discussed his social activities and his relationship with Barnett. After his return to Clarksville, he continued to write about their relationship and upcoming visits. The collection's postcards include a photographic postcard depicting trench warfare ([July 8, 1918]), a photographic postcard showing Camp Dodge ([July 22, 1918]), 2 postcards with short poems about friendships and relationships ([July 30, 1918] and [October 28, 1919]), and one postcard bearing a logo from the YMCA Troop Train Service ([October 9, 1919]).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • African American soldiers.
    • Brest (France)
    • Camp Dodge (Iowa)
    • Camp Upton (N.Y.)
    • Clarksville (Tenn.)
    • United States. Army. Pioneer Infantry Regiment, 804th.
    • World War, 1914-1918--United States.
    • World War, 1914-1918--Women.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Camp Dodge (Iowa)
    • World War, 1914-1918--Trench warfare.
    Contributors:
    • Whitfield, Robin, 1890-1948.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Photographic postcards.
    • Postcards.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   5, World War I Small Collections  
    Whitfield-Barnett correspondence [series]
    Folders   1-6  
     October 9, 1917-September 6, 1921, and  undated