November 10, 2013

Honoring Those Who Served

By Maegen Cook, Digital Collections Assistant

On November 10, 1918, Paul F. Craig of Hilger, Montana, died in France. A private in the U.S. Army, the 25-year-old was killed in action that day—one day before the armistice on November 11. A record of his service to the country is available on his military enlistment card, part of the Montana Adjutant General's Office Records 1889-1959 (RS 223). The Historical Society is pleased to announce that all Montana military enlistment cards are being digitized and added to the Montana Memory Project website. Cards for the Spanish-American War and World War I are online now. Cards for World War II are currently being added. Along with Montana men, women who served as nurses in WWI and in any capacity in WWII are included.
World War I enlistment card for Paul Craig of Hilger. All Montana enlistment cards
are being digitized and added to the Montana Memory Project.

The great advantage of digitizing the cards is that they are now keyword-searchable. Enter a person's name or hometown and retrieve every card on which that term appears.

On Veterans Day, people around the country will pause to remember those who have served, both past and present. Some may be persuaded to revisit their family history, curious to see if they have a veteran in the family. In that way, from these seemingly dry, fact-filled records, whole stories unfold.

* A note about the "detention camp" to which Pvt. Craig was temporarily assigned. Craig was not in any trouble. The camp's location simply made it a convenient embarkation point for American troops headed to Europe. Thousands of soldiers passed through it.