Pvt. Brigner’s Personal Papers

Booklets, Pamphlets, and Printed Material of Historical Interest

This section contains scans of some of my Grandfather’s belongings, which my Father had passed along to me, a long time ago.

Admittedly, as a kid I had not paid very much attention to these musty and now fragile documents.  When I recently pulled them out to review for this project, I was delighted to discover that Private Brigner had annotated and written notes on some of their pages, all those years ago.  This was a very exciting find, indeed. 

His notations also helped to identify places where he had been, as well as the town in which his cousin Charles had been posted during the Occupation.


Of the Riviera Leave Area

A clever name for the pamphlet published by the AEF YMCA for our boys on leave in the French Riviera area.

Dated March 17, 1919, this must have been when Private Brigner took his.

Museum of Oceanography & Aquarium of Monaco

An illustrated Guide

If the date of the Leaves publication is any indication, Private Brigner was in the Riviera and Monaco area in the spring of 1919.  According to one of his postcards, he stayed in the Astoria Hotel in Menton, France while there.

This is the cover of the Monaco Aquarium’s tour booklet that was among Private Brigner’s things. There are no marks or notes in its pages, so I have not yet decided if I will scan it in its entirety.

The Rhine and its Legends

Provided by the American YMCA, this booklet covered the many sites to see along the Rhein River.  On page 4, Private Brigner wrote:

Exes signify different views in this book that I have seen.  Adam.

On its back page, he had penned a note before mailing this home to his sister Anna:

“Anna you may read this book but take care of it.  haven’t time to write any this Eve. as am going to a show.  will write letter in few days.  also take good care of this map of the Rhine.  will mark an X on spots of different places where have been on boat trips + other places.  I think Charles Brigner has started home.  I wrote him a letter over week ago an haven’t recd ans. yet.  bye bye ans. soon.”

– Brother Adam O. Brigner

King George V – Letter to Soldiers of the United States

Upon disembarking in the UK, soldiers were given this facsimile letter from the King of England, welcoming them in their stand beside the Allied armies.  This letter supposedly was a favorite souvenir among the Doughboys.  It originally came with an envelope, but Private Brigner’s has long since been lost.

He had this tucked in the pages of his History of the Third Division book.

AEF Combat Divisions

Insignia and History

My Father had shown this  to me when I was a child; I had always assumed it was his from the Korean War.  Perhaps it was the Third Army insignia on the cover that gave me that impression, as I had seen his Korean-era Army portrait with the same Third Army patch on his sleeve.  It wasn’t until recently when I was going through these things that I realized this booklet actually belonged to my Grandfather, and was dated from 1919.

Like practically all of the publications and materials I have from this time period, it was printed in Andernach, Germany, during the Occupation.  Another trait these works seem to have in common is that the titles always seem to be quite lengthy and unwieldy, and this pocket reference is no exception:

Insignias of Combat and Replacement Divisions of the A. E. F. 1917 – 1919

The Rhine

From Cologne to Mayence

When fully extended, this foldout map is nearly 6′ long by 10″ wide.  It is the map Private Brigner mentioned in the note he wrote to his sister Anna on the back pages of The Rhine and its Legends

Like that booklet, he had marked all the areas he had visited along the river with a little “X.”

Of special note is the town of Bendorf, upriver and on the opposite bank from Andernach.  On the map, Private Brigner had written “Where Chas. B is.” 

His cousin Charles Brigner was stationed only a short distance away…