Guide to the Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection
1883-1964

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: McAlexander, Ulysses Grant, 1864-1936
Title: Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection
Dates: 1883-1964 ( inclusive )
1883-1940 ( bulk )
Quantity: 3 cubic feet
Collection Number: Consult repository.
Summary: The Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection documents McAlexander's military activities, particularly his involvement in the Second Battle of the Marne in France in July 1918, his training at West Point and his years as commandant of cadets at Oregon Agricultural College.
Repository: Oregon State University
University Archives

121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-4501
Phone: 541-737-2165
Email: archives@oregonstate.edu
Web: http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/archives

Languages: Materials in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

Military hero known as the Rock of the Marne, McAlexander served as Commandant of Cadets at Oregon Agricultural College from 1907 to 1911 and again from 1915 to 1916.

Major-General Ulysses Grant McAlexander was born 30 August 1864 at Dundas, Minnesota and graduated from West Point in 1887. He served at Fort Meade in the Dakota Territory and Fort Custer and Fort Missoula, Montana. McAlexander fought in Cuba during the Spanish American War and served in the Phillipines from 1900 to 1907.

In 1907, he was appointed Commandant of Cadets and Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Oregon Agricultural College. He was greatly admired by the students and the 1912 Orange was dedicated to him. The armory, built in 1911, was also dedicated to him and in 1971 was renamed the McAlexander Fieldhouse.

In July 1918, Colonel McAlexander commanded the greatly outnumbered 38th U.S. Infantry Regiment against German forces at the second Battle of the Marne, for which he was promoted to Brigadier General, awarded many military honors, and became known as the "Rock of the Marne".

McAlexander retired from the Army in 1924 and chose Newport, Oregon as his home. Oregon State Agricultural College conferred an honorary doctorate upon him in 1930. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1934 Republican gubernatorial primary election. McAlexander died at his home in Portland, Oregon, on 18 September 1936 and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Content Description

Series 1 includes items from McAlexander's student days at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Series 2 pertains to World War I and the history of the 38th regiment and includes of a typed manuscript by McAlexander about the Battle of the Marne. Series 3 contains correspondence and other materials pertaining to McAlexander's service at Oregon Agricultural College and various gifts to the college. Series 4 contains several published military histories, including McAlexander's 1905 History of the Thirteenth Regiment.

Series 5 is a scrapbook that contains photographs of McAlexander, clippings, his military identification and passports, and other memorabilia. Series 6 consists of commissions, citations, certificates and awards received by McAlexander, primarily for his military service. Series 7 consists of two charcoal drawings of McAlexander, one of them made in Paris. Series 8 consists of McAlexander's military medals. Series 9 includes newspapers and magazines collected by or about McAlexander, including 16 months of The Stars and Stripes (Feb. 1918- June 1919) and a 1919 VFW newspaper titled Rock of the Marne.

Series 10 consists of military maps pertaining to the Battle of the Marne. Series 11 includes photographs of Fort Missoula, Montana (1889), the presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross to McAlexander, portraits of McAlexander, and the 38th Infantry boxing team (1942).

Use of the Collection

Preferred Citation :  

Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Organized into eleven series.

Custodial History :  

Part of the collection was transferred to the University Archives from the former Horner Museum in July 1996. Included was a drawing and several maps of the Battle of the Marne, several published military histories, various citations and certificates, and McAlexander's West Point account ledger folio. Many artifacts donated by McAlexander or his family remain a part of the Horner Collection.

Related Materials :  

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Records (RG 58) include records from McAlexander's years as Commandant of Cadets at Oregon Agricultural College. The Memorabilia Collection file on McAlexander (MC - McAlexander, Ulysses Grant) contains biographical information, a list of his commissions and citations, clippings and other articles, and a map showing the location of his grave site in the Arlington National Cemetery. Harriet's Collection #908 (U. G. McAlexander) includes photographs of a troop transport ship in Tampa, June 1898; the bronze bust of McAlexander; a Memorial Union display case with McAlexander artifacts (1939); and a painting made of McAlexander in 1918 in Paris. Photographs of McAlexander in the Military Photographic Collection (P 2) include portraits, on horseback, and with his wife.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  West Point Records, 1883-1887
Container(s)
Description
Box
1 Appointment to the U.S. Military Academy, July 1883
1 Account ledger folio, 1883
1 Civil Engineering Textbook [partial], 1886
1 Map drawn while a cadet, 1884
3 Map drawn while a cadet, undated
apx 20x24 in.

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Series II:  World War I and 38th Infantry Regiment History, 1918-1939
Container(s)
Description
Box
1 "Rock of the Marne" by Ulysses G. McAlexander
typescript - 2 original copies, 1 photocopy
1 List of Casualties
1 Brief History of the 38th Infantry
1 Historical Data on the "Rock of the Marne", 1918-1939
1 Historical Records, 1918-1939
2 folders
3 Copy of inscription, "Le Rocher de la Marne," possibly used in Memorial Union exhibit
apx 20x24 in.
3 "Remembering" rotogravure section with photographs of McAlaxander. Oregon Sunday Journal, Feb. 4, 1940
apx 20x24 in.

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Series III:  Correspondence, 1911-1964
Container(s)
Description
Box
2 Clippings and correspondence, 1911-1964
2 Souvenir Program of the 146th Anniversary of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, 1921
2 Correspondence Regarding Bronze Bust and Other Gifts to Oregon State College, 1934-1937

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Series IV:  Published Volumes, 1905-1928
Container(s)
Description
Box
2 Illustrated book, Zwischen Maas und Mosel (Between the Maas and Moselle Rivers), ca. 1918
Published military histories
Box
2 History of the Thirteenth Regiment, United States Infantry, U.G. McAlexander, 1905
2 The Story of the Thirty-Eighth, C.E. Lovejoy, 1919
2 History of the 18th U.S. Infantry First Division, 1812-1919, Ben H. Chastaine, 1919
2 "Rock of the Marne: A Narration of the Military Exploits of Gen. Ulysses Grant McAlexander at the Second Battle of the Marne", compiled and edited by Frank M. Fretwell
2 A Guide to the Military History of the World War, 1914-1918, Thomas G. Frothingham, 1921
2 Rank and File: True Stories of the Great War, Theodore Roosevelt, 1928

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Series V:  Scrapbook
Container(s)
Description
Box
7 Scrapbook and loose items - photographs, clippings, documents, ca. 1910-1940
apx 12x17 in.

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Series VI:  Commissions, honors, citations and certificates, 1887-1931
Container(s)
Description
Box
3 Diploma, U.S. Military Academy, 11 June 1887
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as 2nd Lieutenant, 25th Regiment of Infantry, 23 January 1888
apx 20x24 in.
3 Certificate admitting to practice of law in Montana, 2 June 1891
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as 1st Lieutenant of Infantry, 23 August 1894
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers, with the rank of Captain, 23 May 1898
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Captain of Infantry, 13 April 1899
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Captain of Infantry, 26 December 1899
apx 20x24 in.
3 Companion of the First Class of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, 31 August 1904
apx 20x24 in.
3 Certificate of completion, U.S. Army War College, 1906-1907
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Major of Infantry, 2 February 1911
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry, 27 July 1916
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Colonel of Infantry, 12 June 1917
apx 20x24 in.
3 Citation, Distinguished Service Cross, U.S. Army, 7 December 1918
apx 20x24 in.
3 Citation for distinguished and exceptional gallantry, U.S. Army, 27 March 1919
apx 20x24 in.
3 La Croce al Merito di Guerra, by the Italian government, 14 April 1919
apx 20x24 in.
3 Citation à l'Ordre de l'Armée for exceptional courage at Jaulgonne, France (Battle of the Marne), 8 May 1919
apx 20x24 in.
3 La Décoration d'Officer de l'Ordre National de la Légion d'honneur, Republic of France, 29 May 1919
apx 20x24 in.
3 Accolade of the New chivalry of Humanity for service "with honor in the World War and was wounded in action," United States, ca. 1919
apx 20x24 in.
3 Certificate of completion, General Staff College, 1920
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Brigadier General, 16 July 1920
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Brigadier General, 27 April 1921
apx 20x24 in.
3 Croix de Guerre, Republic of France, 12 April 1924
apx 20x24 in.
3 Commission as Major General, 21 July 1924
apx 20x24 in.
3 Distinguished Service Medal for Exceptionally Meritorious and Distinguished Services, 10 November 1925
apx 20x24 in.
3 Distinguished Service Cross for Extraordinary Heroism, 14 November 1925
apx 20x24 in.
3 Silver Star for gallantry in action against Spanish forces at Santiago, Cuba in July 1898, 12 April 1927
apx 20x24 in.
3 Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, Oregon State Agricultural College, 2 June 1930
apx 20x24 in.
3 Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America, 28 November 1931
apx 20x24 in.

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Series VII:  Drawings, 1919 and undated
Container(s)
Description
Box
3 Charcoal sketch of McAlexander made in Paris, 1919
apx 20x24 in.
4 Charcoal drawing of McAlexander
apx 23x31 in.

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Series VIII:  Military Service Medals [framed]
apx 20x24 in.
Container(s)

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Series IX:  Newspapers and Magazines, 1911-1919
Container(s)
Description
Box
3 Bound volume of The Stars and Stripes, printed in France, Feb. 8, 1918 to June 13, 1919
apx 20x24 in.
Map Case
* Telegram Magazine, with cover article "Major U.G. McAlexander, USA, Commandant of the OAC Cadet Corps , 8 April 1911
Map Case
* Rock of the Marne newspaper issued by VFW Post no. 138, 17 May 1919, 31 May 1919 & 21 June 1919

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Series X:  Military Maps, 1918 and undated
Container(s)
Description
Box
4 Hand colored map of the Second Battle of the Marne, by Robinson Murray [verified by McAlexander in 1920 and 1922], ca. 1918
apx 23x31 in.
4 Locations of U.S. forces at the Second Battle of the Marne [5 photostatic copies]
apx 23x31 in.
roll-box
5 Three aerial photos of the Marne River region, ca. 1918
roll-box
5 Photos of German battle maps [2 maps]
roll-box
5 French and American telephone lines in the Marne area, ca. June 1918
roll-box
5 French battle maps, June 1918 [2 maps]
roll-box
5 Topographical markings near the Marne River, ca. 1918
roll-box
5 Troop movements?, ca. 1918
Map Case
* Map showing boundaries of the 1st and 2nd armies, 29 Aug. - 11 Nov. 1918

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Series XI:  Photographs, 1889-1942
Container(s)
Description
Box
8 Fort Missoula, Montana, Battalion, 25th Infantry, ca. 1889
8 Officers quarters, Fort Missoula, Montana, winter, ca. 1889
8 Presentation of Distinguished Service Cross to McAlexander
6 photos
8 Portrait photo
2 originals and 2 copies of the same
Box
8 9 Map of the Battle of the Marne [print and nitrate negative]
8 38th Infantry Boxing Team, 1942
2 photos
8 Award presentation, boxing

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Subjects

    • Corporate Names :
    • Oregon Agricultural College. Cadet Corps.
    • United States Military Academy.
    • United States. Infantry. 38th Regiment--History.
    • Geographical Names :
    • Fort Missoula (Mont.)
    • Subject Terms :
    • Marne, 2nd Battle of the, France, 1918.
    • Military history, Modern--20th century.
    • World War, 1914-1918--Campaigns--France.
    • World War, 1914-1918--History.
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Awards.
    • Military commissions.
    • Military maps.
    • Photographs.
    • Scrapbooks.
    • Titles within the Collection :
    • History of the Thirteenth Regiment United States Infantry.
    • Rank and file.
    • Rock of the Marne.
    • Story of the Thirty-eighth.
      • Other Creators :
      • Chastaine, Ben-Hur.
      • Fretwell, Frank M.
      • Lovejoy, Clarence E. (Clarence Earle), 1894-1974.
      • Roosevelt, Theodore, 1887-1944.

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