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Maurice Biggers World War I Collection, 1868, 1918-1919

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-2021-040

Content Description

This collection contains items that belonged to Maurice W. Biggers (1892-1962), who lived in Union and Mecklenburg counties before and after his service overseas in World War I. The bulk of the collection is dated 1918-1919 during his active military duty. Items in this date range include Biggers’ uniform (hat, shirt, jacket, pants, and bag), wartime journal, historic photographs, and historic postcards. The main outlier is a leather wallet with two receipts that date back to 1868 after the Civil War era. Materials are in good condition.


  • Outlier
  • 1918 - 1919

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction. The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to duplicate or publish material from this collection must be obtained from the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Biographical / Historical

Maurice W. Biggers was born to Elam R. and Jane Bost Biggers of Union County on October 8, 1892. Biggers received his education from both Erskine College and the University of North Carolina. After receiving this education, he became a principal for schools in Union County.

Biggers also served our country in World War I, first in France as a machine gunner and later in Germany in the Army of Occupation. On August 31, 1918, he arrived at Camp Merritt in New Jersey. From there the soldiers hiked 15 miles along the Hudson River where they sailed on small boats to Hoboken, New Jersey. On September 3, 1918, they boarded USS Maui and set sail the following day. After nine days of travel, the men saw land along the Bay of Biscay, and eventually landed at St. Nazaire, France on September 14, 1918. Biggers wrote that the men spied on submarines during the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

While in France he assisted in routing the Germans from the Argonne Forest during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. On September 29, 1918, Biggers wrote that they heard the “first sound of the big guns on front”. On the night of October 4, 1918, Biggers’ troop suffered 1 fatality and 12 wounded soldiers as they made heavy contact with German troops in Charpentry, France. Several weeks later on October 31, 1918, Biggers wrote, “the Allies put over a big barrage … and ceased at 12 noon. Captured twenty-two thousand prisoners.” On November 11, 1918, an armistice ceased further militaristic action. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive is considered as one of the events that contributed to the end of World War I.

A letter included in the collection reveals that after the signing of the armistice in November 1918, Biggers was transferred to the Third Army. He served in Germany in the Army of Occupation, where he was “in charge of schools.” In his wartime journal, there is detailed description of the machine guns he used and interesting descriptions of German markets, art, and culture.

In 1919, Biggers returned to the United States and again immersed himself in the teaching profession. As a resident of Matthews, North Carolina, Mr. Biggers married Hattie E. Stevens on July 20, 1928. He also became largely connected with the Post Office Department and served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Matthews. He was a member of the American Legion Post No. 225. He valued his faith as well, as demonstrated through his membership of the Board of Stewards of the First Methodist Church in Charlotte, NC. Maurice Biggers died on January 13, 1962, and is buried in Union County, North Carolina.

Also included in this collection is official documentation submitted by Biggers proving his relation to Captain Daniel Little, a Revolutionary War veteran. There is supplemental genealogical information relating to the Little family in the form of newspaper articles and handwritten notes.


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Language of Materials



Maurice W. Biggers (1892-1962), a resident of Union and Mecklenburg counties, served in World War I in both France and Germany from 1918-1919. He was a machinegunner in France during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and later moved to Germany where he was “in charge of schools” for the military. In 1919 he returned stateside, where he played a large role in the field of education as a principal and educator. He further invested in his community through dedicated service in the Post Office Department, Bank of Matthews, and First Methodist Church.

This collection contains Maurice W. Biggers’ World War I uniform, wartime journal, historic postcards, genealogical materials tracing the Little family, a leather wallet with two receipts from 1868, and miscellaneous family photographs. Materials are dated 1868, 1918-1919 and in good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room by Jean Wren (in honor of her sister, Anne Morrison Stephens), July 2018.

Related Materials




Biggers, Maurice W. North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Biggers, Maurice W. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Biggers, Maurice W. Personal Wartime Journal, 1918.

Biggers, Maurice W. Year: 1940; Census Place: Charlotte, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Roll: m-t0627-02942; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 60-31C.

Maurice Biggers World War I Collection, 1868, 1918-1919. Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

"The Meuse‐Argonne Offensive." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. (July 29, 2018).

Condition Description

Uniform and photographs need to be properly preserved and housed, but all materials are in good condition.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of this collection was completed by Sydney Carroll.

Maurice Biggers World War I Collection, 1868, 1918-1919
In Progress
Sydney Carroll
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Repository

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library-Main
310 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202 USA