Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Joseph Garneau Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Joseph Garneau Papers,
Creator: Garneau, Joseph.
Inclusive dates: 1918-1919
Extent: .25 cubic foot (in 1 box)
The collection includes photographs of the Polar Bears in Archangel (Russia), part of the American North Russia Expeditionary Forces.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 40098

Access Restrictions:

Joseph Garneau Papers are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Joseph Garneau Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement is alphabetical.



Joseph Garneau was the son of Theodore Garneau of Cadillac, Michigan. He trained in Camp Custer, Michigan, while serving as a Private in Company D., 340th Infantry, Telegraph Battalion in 1918. His unit was sent to Archangel (Russia) via Camp Mills, New York, England, and France. In Russia, he was part of Company A, 339th Infantry (Polar Bears), American North Russia Expeditionary Forces. Garneau spent approximately eight months at Archangel, October 1918-June 1919. In early April 1919, Garneau was operated upon for piles. While recovering from the anesthesia, both of the backs of his legs were badly burned on a hot water bottle, prolonging his recovery. He returned to the U.S. after his unit on a hospital ship, the Kalyan, which arrived in New Jersey on June 26, 1919. Garneau returned to live in his father’s house at 212 Crippen Street, Cadillac, Michigan. He later married Della (1900-1998) and continued to live at the same address. Joseph had at least two brothers, Fred (1892-1967)?, who served in World War I, and Ted (1927-1985)?, and at least two sisters. Birth and death dates of Garneau’s wife and brothers were found in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

Collection Scope and Content Note

Most of the collection consists of photographs of the Polar Bears and Russians at Archangel. Included are views of camp, group and individual portraits of Americans and Russians, shots of surgery, and Russian women laundresses.

Garneau’s correspondence, June 25, 1918-July 12, 1919, is addressed to his family and then girlfriend, Florence. Most of the correspondence concerns his unit’s travel plans, his health, some training and social activities, and the weather. There are some descriptions of travel and living conditions and news of family and friends.

Subject Terms

    • United States. Army. Infantry, 339th--History
    • Garneau, Joseph.
    • Soviet Union--History--Allied Intervention, 1918-1920--Regimental histories.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Joseph Garneau Papers are open for research. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    (List of ) Cadillac area Men in Archangel, undated [1918-1919]
    Box   1 F   2
    Correspondence, June-September 1918
    Box   1 F   3
    Correspondence, October 1918-July 1919
    Box   1 F   4
    Envelopes, Newspaper Clippings (copies), 1918-1919
    Box   1 F   5
    Photographs, Camp, 1918-1919
    Box   1 F   6
    Photographs, Groups (Fortification), 1918-1919
    Box   1 F   7
    Photographs, Individuals (2 postcard photographs of Garneau), 1918-1919
    Box   1 F   8
    Photographs, Laundry (Women), 1918-1919
    Box   1 F   9
    Photographs, Surgery, 1918-1919