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Archives Branch: Personal Papers Collections

A guide to the papers of individual Marines held by the Archives Branch.

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Clifton B. Cates at Verdun, France, April 1918Clifton B. Cates Collection (COLL/3157)

Physical Characteristics: 17 standard legal size document boxes; 3 oversize boxes; 12 linear feet

Span Dates: 1914-1969

Scope and Content: The Clifton B. Cates Collection consists of materials relating mainly to his career with the Marine Corps from enlistment through his position as Commandant. The dates of the collection range from 1914-1969. Included in this collection are letters describing his actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Mihiels, Blanc Mont, and Argonne in addition to his leadership during World War II and later his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on the military unification controversy following World War II. The majority of this correspondence is written to his mother, wife, children, and aunt and he goes into great detail on the activities of the Marines in various engagements. Manuscripts included deal with the 96th Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines in World War I. Also included is a short study on the Japanese operations against Shanghai in 1932, written while Cates was a student at Command and Staff College, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico in 1935, and a manuscript derived from his diary entitled “My First at Guadalcanal”. Of note in the Cates papers are his World War I scrapbooks that include service records, photographs, and correspondence. Also of note is the letter of apology, written by President Harry S. Truman to Cates, for the President’s use of the term “Navy’s police force” in reference to the role of the Corps in the military forces of the United States. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject headings and chronologically within each series. For all of the subject headings, some were assigned by Cates and others were imposed by the processor. Series in this collection include addresses, correspondence, scrapbooks, service records, and photographs. 

Henry Clay Cochrane, 1883Henry Clay Cochrane Collection (COLL/1)

Physical Characteristics: 44 standard legal size document boxes; 3 oversize boxes; 5 oversize folders; 23 linear feet

Span Dates: 1809-1957 

Scope and Content: The Henry Clay Cochrane Collection consists of materials relating mainly to his career with the Marine Corps and materials relating to the Cates family.  Included in this collection are diaries maintained by Cochrane, a great deal of official and personal correspondence written by and sent to him, publications, notebooks, and a collection of photographs taken by Cochrane on all his travels for the Marine Corps during the later part of the 19th century. Of particular note are the materials related to Cochrane’s travels to Gettysburg with President Lincoln which is supported by correspondence, his diary, and the publication To Gettysburg with Lincoln; his part in the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1889 supported by diaries, correspondence, photographs, and publications; his travels to Russia for the Coronation of the Czar, supported by photographs diaries, and correspondence; and his publication advocating for a reorganization of the Marine Corps. Part of the oversize collection includes newspapers collected by Cochrane from around the world. The bulk of these newspapers are dated late 19th century.  The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject headings and chronologically within each series. For all of the subject headings, some were assigned by Cochrane and others were imposed by the processor. Series in this collection include correspondence, diaries, family records, programs and invitations, and photographs.

Alfred A. Cunningham Collection (COLL/3034)

Physical Characteristics: 5 standard legal size document boxes; 1 oversize folder; 4 linear feet

Span Dates: 1898-1974

Scope and Content: The Alfred A. Cunningham Collection consists of materials relating primarily to his career with the Marine Corps and his involvement in the establishment of Marine Corps aviation. The dates of the materials range from 1898-1974. Included in this collection are clippings, correspondence, and other documents associated with the establishment of the A. A. Cunningham Award; articles; biography drafts, correspondence, and press releases associated with the Aviation Hall of Fame; biographies of Cunningham and H.M. Sanderson; clippings; correspondence from May 1912 to January 1954; aircraft trouble reports, articles, aviation detachments, aviation logs, aviation orders, information on Marine aviators, general board aviation hearings, papers, reunion reports, pamphlets, and a timeline of early Marine aviation; programs; publications of Cunningham‟s diary; correspondence, newsletters, press releases, and other documents associated with the USS Cunningham; and photographs. Of particular interest is the series of photographic material. Within this series there are numerous photographs and photo albums dealing with the Marines pre-World War I, aviation during World War I, and after. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject headings and series and chronologically within each folder. The subject headings were imposed by the processor. Series in this collection include A. A. Cunningham Award, articles, Aviation Hall of Fame, biographies, clippings, correspondence, early aviation, programs, publications, USS Cunningham, photographs, personal items, and oversized items.

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