Edwin L. Arkins diary and scrapbook: 1918-1922
Summary Information
Title: Edwin L. Arkins diary and scrapbook
Creator: Arkins, Edwin L.
Dates: 1918-1922
Extent: 1 volume
Soldier from Hart, Mich., member of Co. C, 339th U.S. Infantry who served in the Allied intervention in Russia, 1918-1920, the "Polar Bear Expedition." Collection includes shorthand diary with newspaper clippings attached concerning the activities of the Polar Bear Expedition.
Call number: 86517 AA
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Len Coombs

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by Edwin L. Arkins, of Hart, Michigan, in 1968 (Donor no.: 4611).

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, Edwin L. Arkins diary and scrapbook, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Resident of Hart, Mich., served as a private in Co. C, 339th Infantry.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The diary consists of a shorthand original, July 1918-July 1919, and a typescript transcription by the author, and describes fighting at Seltso, Sept. 1918, work at battalion headquarters at Shenkursk, a YMCA Christmas program, the evacuation of Shenkursk, Jan. 1919, and fighting at Vistafka, Jan.-Feb. 1919. The scrapbook includes a clipping from a Shelby, Mich., newspaper containing a letter from Arkins describing his journey from the United States to Russia, the food, and the Russian people; poems about the campaign; a flyer defending British war aims in Russia; and three American Legion Weeklymagazines, 1922, containing articles about the campaign by Daniel H. Steele.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Soviet Union -- History -- Allied intervention, 1918-1920.
  • World War, 1914-1918.
  • Polar Bear Expedition.
  • Arkins, Edwin L.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Papers 1918-1922 [series]
Folder   1  
Diary July 14, 1918-April 16, 1919, Diary, April 16, 1919-July 19, 1919, Diary, transcription, July 14, 1918-July 19, 1919 and miscellaneous papers 1918-1919 (1 volume)
Diary cover, of R.E. F. Co. C, 339th Infantry, World War I [access item]
War diary taken in short hand & later transcribed in larger book July 14, 1918- April 16, 1919 [access item]
War diary taken in short hand & later transcribed in larger book April 16, 1919 - July 19, 1919 [access item]
Diary, transcribed from original diary written in shorthand, recording daily events while serving within the 339th Infantry, since leaving Camp Custer, July 14th, 1918, for Overseas Duty, until discharged, July 19th, 1919 [access item]
Newspaper clipping, "Forging ahead after Bolsheviki: E. L. Arkins writes interesting of trip from America to Russia" [access item]
Envelope and Letter from King George V of Great Britain [access item]
"In Retrospect," an unfinished poem about the 339th Infantry in Russia [access item]
Newspaper clippings, "Volunteer army to invade Russia," "Bolsheviki try to cut off U.S. men; kill 5 Yanks" [access item]
Telegram, to Wm. Atkins April 27, 1919 [access item]
Polar Bean Association publication, title page missing from the Edwin L. Arkins diary [access item]
Creation of Russia (poem) [access item]
"Honour forbids," reply letter from Milner, Secretary for War [access item]
Article in American Legion Weekly, Aug. 11, 1922, "Bushwacking before Kitza" by Dan Steele [access item]
Article in American Legion Weekly, Oct. 20, 1922 issue, "The Defense of Ust Padenga" by Dan Steele [access item]
Article in American Legion Weekly, Nov. 30, 1923 issue, "The Evacuation of Shenkursk" by Dan Steele [access item]