The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.
This booklet, to be read to all officers training at Fort Dodge, Iowa, states, "There is no duty of greater inportance to any commander [...] than that which embraces proper sustinance of his men." The pamphlet goes on to explain how good food boosts morale, what a balanced diet looks like, how not to waste food, how to purchase food, and what sort of standards to which soldiers at meals, eating areas, and the kitchens themselves ought to be held. The pamphlet stresses thrift and reducing food waste, and explains how to maintain nutrition and achieve these goals with advice on things like how to tell if meat is spoiled.
HEADQUARTERS 88th DIVISION,
Camp Dodge, Iowa,
November 17, 1917.
The following will be read to all officers and non-commissioned officers of regiments and separate organizations at the first meeting of officers school after receipt of this paper: There is no duty of greater importance to any commander, be he of a company or army corps, than that which embraces the proper subsistence of his men. Beginning with the General he must guard his line of supplies at all hazards, and ending at the Company Commander, he must see that these supplies which have reached his organization are provided in sufficient quantity, good quality and properly prepared.
The value of food when served, depends upon the ability of the system to appropriate to the needs of the body and the five thousand or more heat units stored up in a ration are necessary for the laboring man. If, however, this ration is damaged by transit, wasted by the cooks or so poorly prepared that the men will not eat it, then the value quickly drops to a point at which the soldier cannot subsist or it is largely rejected by the natural processes on account of improper preparation and unfitness for assimilation.
Citation: U.S. Army, 350th Infantry Regiment, Co. G, records 1917-1919. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. BG6/.U584/350th
This chapter letter from the American Red Cross provides suggestions for activities that can be undertaken by Junior Auxiliary groups, which consists mostly of supplies needed in France that children can easily sew or knit. The list of needed items is divided into three groups by difficultly level. The first group, intended for younger children, includes items like hot water bottle covers, pillows, and knitted wash cloths. The second group, intended for older children, includes bed socks, leggings, sheets, and finished pillow cases. The third group, intended for older children working under supervision, includes more complex items like pajamas, sweaters, and under-shirts.
Finally, there is a suggestion that all of these activities are better suited for girls; boys might collect metal scraps and newspapers for money to financially support these projects, and assist through in their Boyscout activities.
AMERICAN RED CROSS
Northern Division Headquarters
202 Essex Building, Minneapolis.
Chapter Letter No 29
The requests for information concerning Junior Auxiliaries grow more numerous every day. Chapter letter No 23 outlines in sufficient detail the method of forming the new auxiliary. The next step is to map out the activities to be undertaken by the Junior Red Cross workers. The following are suggestions which might be adopted. [...] The Women's Bureau have recently sent representatives to France to study the various needs for hospital supplies and refugee clothing. These representatives come back assuring us of the very great need for the simple and useful articles, many of which can be made by the children. They bring with them a full set of models for the refugee clothing. [...] We have received positive instructions as to the need of the following articles, which we have arranged in three groups. Group one names only the things which can be made by the younger children. Group  supplies work for the older children, while the work outlined in group three had best be done under supervision.
[List of articles, in groups]
The above mentioned articles apply more particularly to the work of girls. The boys most find some means of assisting financially. [...] They can perform many acts of service for the local chapter, in fact they can help the Red Cross just as they carry on their Boy Scout service.
These few suggestions may be used until the Manual of School Activities now being prepared by National Headquarters, reaches you.
Citation: American Red Cross, Northern Division, records, 1915-1921. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. P781
"Battle Front of Fifty Miles" and "U.S. Soldiers Catch Enemy" - Rochester Daily Post and Record. November 15, 1917
On this date in 1851 the town Montezuma is founded by Orrin Smith, a steamboat captain. The town is more recognizable by its present name, Winona. This is an anonymous painting of Winona done in 1870.