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Thomas I. Fitzgerald Diary

Identifier: MS-3182

  • Staff Only

This diary provides a detailed account of life in combat during World War I. The entries begin with Fitzgerald discussing the strenuous training in camp. Once in France, he provides detailed accounts of his movements. He also discusses trench warfare and the absence of open warfare, in both instances mentioning continuous shelling and machine gun fire. Fitzgerald spends much of his writing time illustrating the weight of his pack and its ability to ruin long marches. On 1918 November 11, Fitzgerald hears of the Armistice, and the war is over. His company held a divisional parade for the King and Queen of Belgium as well as General John J. Pershing. Fitzgerald returned home in June of 1919.

The diary itself is military issue. In the front there is a short translation list from French to English, as well as a metric conversion chart. Illustrations in the book allow one to readily identify an officer in the United States Army or Navy by his insignia. Fitzgerald also included an address list, a medical supply list, and a pressed flower from France in the diary.


  • 1918 - 1919

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)


This diary, written by Thomas I. Fitzgerald during World War I, documents his journey from the United States to France, his experiences on the Western Front, and his return to Tennessee.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Irby Fitzgerald was born in Trenton, Tennessee on September 11, 1891. In October 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army and was shipped to France to fight in the front lines of World War I. Following the war, he returned home to Trenton. He died in May 1984 in Nashville, Tennessee.


This collection consists of one folder.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this collection in May of 2004.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA