MA 55




2.0 linear feet (1 oversize box)


Ward Bradley Bates was a second lieutenant of field artillery in the army during World War I, serving from 1915 to 1917. The collection consists of Lt. Bates’ World War I scrapbook, which includes his orders transferring him from camp to camp as well as numerous photographs and maps depicting his travels and time in theatre.

Historical Note

Lt. Bates was born in Yankton, South Dakota February 17, 1895. His father was U.S. Deputy Surveyor, Charles Homer Bates, who surveyed the border between South Dakota and North Dakota from 1891-1892.Ward Bates attended the State University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He was enlisted in the Army National Guard from December 1, 1912 to December 1. 1915, when he was honorably discharged. Prior the United States entrance in the First World War, Bates re-enlisted and eventually sought out an officer’s commission, which he was granted on August 15, 1917. Bates served as part of the large U.S. force descending on Europe known as the American Expeditionary Force. (A.E.F.) Bates served as a second lieutenant of field artillery and traveled the United States with other newly commissioned officers. Bates was honorably discharged August 1, 1919. After the war, Bates moved to California and met his wife Eunice Morey Wolcott. They had one child, Nancy Farley. Bates died October 21, 1946.

Content Notes

This collection consists of a leather-bound scrapbook belonging to 2nd Lt. Ward B. Bates and contains 139 documents, seventy-two maps, 263 photographs, and eighty-one picture postcards. The photographs cover Bates’ time in training at his various duty stations. Some of the photographs include Bates and other officers enjoying their time on liberty before heading to the battlefield. Battlefield images are those taken by Bates as well as the personal pictures of Major Joseph Mills Hansen who was the Chief Historian of the A.E.F. Some photographs depict those dead after an assault. Documents include an assortment of U.S. Service Club membership cards and also Officer Club membership cards. The scrapbook holds Bates’ honorable discharge paper from the Army National Guard. There are also numerous copies of various orders passed down to the many officers of field artillery. All orders pertained to the movement of the newly commissioned officers, including Bates. Orders came down from the War Department and would give time and place of the new duty station. Bates traveled from Ft. Dodge, Iowa, to Ft. Snelling, Minnesota. Other duty stations included Camp Logan of Houston, Texas and Camp Jackson of Columbia, South Carolina. General Order No. 23 in particular deals with Bates division once they reached Paris, France and how they were to go about setting up camp, care of personnel and supplies, and interaction with locals. There are also many newspaper clippings that document the events of World War I.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

Ask Us!

If you have questions or would like to schedule a visit, please let us know.

Registration Form





South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.