Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Ed Cronin Papers, 1943-1944

Finding aid created by
Marvin Brandwin, April 2002, and Meg Hixon, February 2012

Summary Information
Title: Ed Cronin papers
Creator: Cronin, Margaret
Inclusive dates: 1943-1944
Extent: 20 items
This collection contains 19 letters written to Margaret Cronin of Queens, New York, by her husband and brother while they served in the United States Army during the Second World War, and one letter to Mark Cronin from Private Murray R. Baxley. Ed Cronin, Margaret's husband, wrote 17 letters, in which he described his loneliness while in training at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, and his court martial and punishment for an unspecified act. The other soldiers wrote of life in England and in the Bronx Area Station Hospital.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1998. M-3460.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


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:

Ed Cronin Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Ed Cronin and his wife Margaret lived in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, during the early years of World War II. He joined the United States Army before May 1943, and served with a medical supply unit at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, until October, when he joined the 74th General Hospital. He entered the Army as a private, was promoted to private first class in October 1943, though he lost this rank after undergoing a court martial for an unknown offense in mid-February 1944. He and Margaret had at least one daughter, Patricia, born in late October or early November 1943, and he had at least two sisters, Mabel and Grace. Margaret's brother Richard served in England during the war.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 19 letters written to Margaret Cronin of Queens, New York, by her husband and brother while they served in the United States Army during the Second World War, and one letter to Mark Cronin from Private Murray R. Baxley. Margaret's husband Ed wrote 17 letters to her between September 25, 1943, and February 24, 1944, while stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; there, he served with a medical supply unit and, after October 1943, the 74th General Hospital. He described his life on the military base and mentioned specific books he had read, movies he had watched, and radio programs he had heard, which included a show presented by Bob Hope (September 22, 1943). More frequently, he discussed his listlessness and loneliness, and expressed his love for his wife and newborn daughter, Patricia, who lived in Long Island City, Queens. In later letters, he also voiced his concern for his mother's health, especially her recently revealed heart condition. In February 1944, two letters concern his time spent in a "stockade" for an unnamed offense, as well as the resulting court martial, punishment (a 60-day restriction and $18 fine), and repentance (February 11, 1944 and February 18, 1944). In his final letters, Ed complained of increased censorship and mentioned his unit's recent move to a classified location.

The collection also holds two letters written to Margaret by her brother Richard, who served "somewhere in England" during the late summer and early fall of 1943. On August 6, 1943, he mentioned his newly born daughter, Anne Marie (b. June 28, 1943), and described some sightseeing done in London. In his letter of September 14, 1943, Richard shared his longing to return to Astoria, Queens, as well as his reactions to recent family news, particularly to their mother's employment and to a recent proliferation of nieces and nephews. Private Murray R. Baxley wrote to "Miss Mark Cronin" on October 19, 1944, while recovering from malaria in the Bronx Area Station Hospital. He retracted his earlier declaration of love for a woman in Worcester, and requested a future meeting with Mark.

Subject Terms

    • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--United States.
    • Fort Jackson (Columbia, S.C.)
    • London (England)--Description and travel.
    • Long Island City (New York, N.Y.)
    • Separation (Psychology)
    • United States. Army. General Hospital, 74th.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Censorship--United States.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    • Baxley, Murray R.
    • Cronin, Ed.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   7, World War II Small Collections  
    Ed Cronin papers [series]
    Folders   7-8  
     May 15, 1943-October 19, 1944