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Supply sergeant with American Expeditionary Forces in World War I and native of Durham, N.C. Chiefly letters written by Pridgen while he was with Company M, 120th U.S. Infantry, 30th Division of American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. He was located at Camp Sevier, Greenville, S.C., and in France. Two of his notebooks read "Engineers Candidate School" and indicate he was trained in mining, field fortification, military bridges, and camouflage. They contain detailed penciled drawings which include dimensions. Collection also contains military papers, memorabilia, ephemera, and legal papers relating to Pridgen's automobile dealership.

Chiefly letters written by Pridgen to his mother, father, sister, and an occassional family friend while serving with Company M, 120th U.S. Infantry, 30th Division, commonly referred to as the "Old Hickory"Division, of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Letters of August 1917 through May 1918 primarily describe his life at Camp Sevier: meals, discipline, pay, his duties as supply sergeant, and the arrival of new conscripts. He also describes several episodes of desertion, a measles outbreak and resulting medical quarantine, and soldiers suffering from pneumonia and spinal meningitis. Other topics include occassional trips into Greenville and Spartanburg where he and other soldiers were hosted by local families, attended picture shows, including "Birth of a Nation,", and fraternized with other soldiers.

Letters of May 1918 through July 1918 describe preparations for his division's embarkation to France. He notes the transfer of his division to Camp Merritt, New Jersey and stops along the way in Washington, D.C and Philadelphia, PA where Red Cross women handed out post cards, fresh apples and cigarettes to the troops. He also describes nights out in New York City, NY and a visit to the Kinney-Duke branch of the American Tobacco Co. with other soldiers from Durham. Letters of July 1918 warn recipients of future cencorship of letters. There is also a postcard of July 1918 with an image of his division's transport ship and date of embarkation.

Letters of August 1918 through November 1918 describe active duty in France. Due to censorhip of letter content, most letters are relatively consice and his exact whereabouts are never disclosed. However, he does describe his duties behind the lines assisting a mess sergeant, transportation of food to soldiers at the front, some references to conditions, and, due to the potential presence of German aircraft, a strict lights-out policy after dark. He also briefly describes duties at the front including a nineteen day stint in the trenches and the deaths of several soldiers including a friend from Durham. He also describes coursework at an engineers training school where he completed classes on camouflage, gas, mining and pioneering, and bridging. His notebooks from these courses are present in the collection.

After the armistice his letters touch on a variety of topics including descriptions of holiday dinners in camp, his transfer out of the 30th Division, rumors surrounding which divisions will sail home first, and the influenza outbreak in the United States. After his division's transfer to Le Mans, France prior to embarkation he describes his anxiousness to return to the States, his observations of French people, attending a baseball game and his disillusionament with the Y.M.C.A., noting the arrest of two staff members for stealing money.

The collection also contains some military papers and ephemera including several General Orders, cartoon clippings from a Camp Sevier newspaper--one of which depicts Pridgen, assorted print material including a pamphlet on recent military operations, divisional shoulder patches, and a tag with Pridgen's name and division number. Also present is a small amount of legal and financial papers relating to Pridgen's automobile dealership opened after the war and assorted clippings from World War I and several documenting post-war commemorations.

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Wyatt T. Dixon papers, 1850s-1987 3.6 Linear Feet — Approx. 2700 Items

The Wyatt T. Dixon Papers span the 1850s to 1987, although the bulk of the material dates from 1918 to the 1960s. The collection consists of diaries, vintage photographs, photomechanical prints, postcards, clippings, correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, printed materials, forms, military records, leaflets, and maps. The Photographs Series comprises the largest portion of the collection. The collection documents the history of Durham, N.C., the Dixon family, activities of the United States Army, American Expeditionary Forces, 30th Division, 113th Field Artillery Unit, Battery C, from 1917 to 1919; Durham, North Carolina; and Dixon's career as a journalist.

The World War I Series chronicles the activities of the American Expeditionary Forces, 113th Field Artillery Unit, Battery C, which consisted primarily of men from Durham, N.C. Dixon's diaries chronicle the unit's movements and activities in the United States and Europe including England, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Battery C was involved in the Saint Michiel offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. The diaries describe camp life in the United States and Europe, including daily routines; camp conditions; outbreaks of measles and other medical situations; and the soldiers' personal recreational activities. The journey by ship to Europe is also described in detail, including the sale of food to the soldiers and the conditions on board. Civilian responses to the soldiers as they visited or traveled through towns and cities in America, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg are noted throughout the diaries. Dixon mentions a unit of African-American soldiers was at Mont Dore, France. There are some snapshot photographs of Battery C which Dixon probably created with his Kodak camera and some formal panoramic photographs of the entire unit. Letters written by Dixon and his family while he was in the Army are found in the Writings Series.

The Writings Series contains some personal correspondence and a diary, but the bulk of the series documents Dixon's career as a writer for newspapers published by the Durham Herald Company in Durham, N.C. In his column "How Times Do Change," Dixon described life in Durham and the surrounding area and the manner in which cityscapes and social life had changed over the past decades.

The Photographs Series consists primarily of photographs and documents social life and cityscapes in Durham, N.C. Images include buildings such as banks, businesses, cemeteries, churches, court houses, dams and power plants, hospitals, hotels and inns, plantations (abandoned), post offices, schools, and tobacco warehouses and factories. There are street scenes and aerial views. Many of these local images appear to have been collected by Dixon to illustrate his articles. Pictures of people include portraits of family members and friends, and candid scenes of groups engaged in social activities. There are images of events such as holiday celebrations and parades. Transportation, including trolleys, buses, fire fighting equipment and train depots, is also documented.

The Durham Printed Materials Series and the Miscellaneous Series include information about the City of Durham and Durham County, genealogical information about Dixon's family, and the minutes book of a social club for young men.