Governor Carl Milliken
Governor Carl Milliken

Record of Deaths - Word War
Record of Deaths - Word War (Transcript, PDF)

World War I Resources at the Maine State Archives

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917 with a declaration of war from President Woodrow Wilson.  Even before this, the likelihood of American involvement was beginning to increase, and the State of Maine began to take action.  The National Guard was actively recruiting, and after President Wilson’s address to Congress on April 2, 1917, many Mainers enlisted.  By summer, the Maine National Guard was called into Federal service, and many of those people then became part of the 103rd Infantry Regiment, part of the 26th Division which was more famously known as the Yankee Division.  The Governor and Legislature also took action, with the Legislature passing laws that benefitted those who had enlisted and later establishing aid to those soldiers. 

Listed below are the types of documents the Archives holds which can assist in researching World War I, as well as external links to other resources.

Adjutant General’s Correspondence:
The Adjutant General’s office kept a significant collection of its ingoing and outgoing correspondence dating back to the beginning of the State in 1820.  There is a significant collection of correspondence from the World War I era that is arranged by subject.

Personnel Records:
This record series contains records such as the muster rolls for various regiments in the Maine National Guard, but also the enlistment papers and discharges for the men and women who enlisted in the National Guard.  The enlistment papers often provide personal information about the soldier, and the discharges feature information such as the length of time served and the major battles the soldier was involved in.

The Legislature was not in session while Maine was involved in the war, but it was just finishing up a session in April of 1917 when President Wilson declared war.  There were several laws and resolves passed during this time related to the war effort and the Maine people who were undoubtedly going to be involved in the war.

The Archives does not hold the records of Governor Carl Milliken, who served as governor during World War I.  However, several records related to the Executive Branch do still survive in the Archives.  These include the records of the Executive Council, who acted as the Governor’s advisors.  The Governor’s proclamations also are held by the Archives, and there are several related to World War I.

Other records:
There are several other types of records for studying Maine and World War I.  There are a few lists of people who died which also list the next of kin, which can be helpful if researching the genealogy of the soldiers.  Following the war the soldiers were able to apply for the Victory Medal and a large collection of those applications survives at the Archives.  The registration cards for the draft still exist at the Archives, as do many of the guidelines which show the process for how the registration occurred in the State.  There are undoubtedly other records in hidden collections, so it is always worth contacting the Archives to see if there might be other records available.

External resources: