World War I -- Life Histories/Section 001/Elle Goode Hardeman

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A page from Hardeman's scrapbook.

Biography[edit]

Elle Goode Hardeman was born on July 17, 1883 in Atlanta, Georgia to Samuel L. Goode and Lizzie Stone[1]. During World War I, she resided in Myers Park neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, Isaac Hardeman, Jr[2]. Throughout her life, Hardeman was involved with various service-based organizations, including Daughters of the American Revolution and the Committee on Friendly Cooperation with Ex-Servicemen for the North Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs[3]. During World War I, Hardeman was the regent of the Liberty Hall Chapter of the DAR in Charlotte, which provided a variety of services to North Carolina soldiers in its sponsored regiments[4]. These regiments included the North Carolina National Guard’s 5th Company Coast Artillery and machine gun and anti-aircraft units[5]. As regent of the society, Hardeman coordinated most of the chapter’s activities, handled fundraising money, and corresponded with the officials of organizations with which the chapter dealt [6]. As the war progressed, Hardeman complied a scrapbook consisting of her correspondence with soldiers and officers in the sponsored regiments, letters from other members of the DAR, photographs, and newspaper clippings of political cartoons and articles with news of the war[7]. After the war, Hardeman continued her work for the welfare of soldiers by acting as the chair of the Committee on Friendly Cooperation with Ex-Servicemen for the North Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs[8]. Hardeman and her husband later relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where they lived during World War II[9]. Hardeman died on December 3, 1961[10].

Involvement with the Daughters of the American Revolution[edit]

History of the DAR[edit]

This DAR is a service organization that was founded in Washington, DC in October of 1890 by upper- and middle-class women who had been rejected from the Sons of the American Revolution[11]. The SAR is a comparable heritage-based organization open exclusively to men who can prove their relations to a patriot who contributed to the United States’ victory in the Revolutionary War[12]. It was the refusal of the SAR to allow women to become members that sparked the creation of the DAR, which retained the lineage-based requirements for admission as the SAR[13]. The constitution of the DAR outlines the organization’s major purposes, which are listed as: “To perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence, to promote institutions of learning so that the young and old can develop the largest capacity for performing the duties of American Citizens; and to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom and to foster true patriotism and love of country”[14]. Hardeman was able to join the DAR through her relation to John Samuel Goode and James Hamilton, who both served in the American army during the Revolutionary War[15].

Responsibilities as Regent[edit]

Hardeman became regent of the Liberty Hall Chapter of the DAR in March of 1917[16]. This position meant that she was responsible for leading chapter meetings and delegating tasks to both officers and chairwomen of committees within the chapter, using the national and state constitutions as guides[17]. As acting regent of the chapter during World War I, Hardeman was responsible for the majority of the chapter’s correspondence with military officers as well as distributing funds raised by the chapter, as evidenced by the multiple letters and bank receipts addressed to Hardeman that are preserved in the scrapbook[18]. Hardeman also compiled an annual summary of the chapter's activities in the Report of the Regent, which was published in the chapter's Year Book[19].

Wartime Service With the DAR[edit]

Sponsorships[edit]

The Liberty Hall Chapter of the DAR contributed a great deal to the war effort during Hardeman’s time as regent. The chapter acted as the sponsor of the North Carolina National Guard’s 5th Company Coast Artillery, and later added machine gun and anti-aircraft units to its patronage[20]. The 5th Company was chosen because several women of the chapter were acquainted with Sergeant Squire. V. Hooker, who was a member of the Company until his arrival in France, at which time he was transferred to the Signal Corps[21]. Hooker survived the war and was renowned was one of the greatest soldiers from Mecklenburg county to fight in France, but was killed in a train accident in 1934[22]. Despite Hooker’s transferal, Hardeman’s chapter kept on their sponsorship of the 5th Company until the end of the war, in addition to supporting wards at Oteen Hospital and a Camp Greene hospital[23]. The chapter made donations of medical supplies such as surgical shirts, cretonne bags, pneumonia braces, and first line packets to the hospitals through the Red Cross [24].

Involvement With Soldiers[edit]

Christmas letter from members of the 5th Company

A major component of Hardeman’s DAR chapter’s participation in the war effort was providing for the physical and social well being of soldiers. Hardeman’s scrapbook is filled with letters from military officers responding to inquiries about the comfort of the soldiers under their command. There are several postcards from Major Eduard Dufour, which give updates on his regiment’s activities and positions. There is also a letter from Leo Potter, a soldier in the 5th Company informing Hardeman of the regiment’s arrival in Camp Mills in Long Island, New York, and its imminent departure to France[25]. In 1917, the chapter sent “Victrola records, magazines, weekly letters, comfort bags, and bountiful boxes of eatables and gifts for Thanksgiving and Christmas” to the Company while it was stationed in Virginia[26]. The scrapbook preserves several boarding passes that inform Hardeman that the soldiers arrived safely in France, and Christmas postcards and letters from the soldiers[27]. One letter in particular sent by four officers of the 5th Company thanks the Liberty Hall Chapter for the Christmas gifts that were sent to them, stating, “…we wish to assure you that these gifts helped to make the holidays merry ones for us and we are very grateful to you for the assistance you have rendered in various ways to make our burdens lighter…”[28]. Hardeman also participated in social dances held for the benefit of the soldiers, such as the 1917 Easter Dance held by the Battle of Charlotte chapter of the DAR and the 1918 608th Aero Squadron Dance[29].

Support for Families of Soldiers[edit]

An excerpt from Mrs. L. H. Potter's letter

In total, 4,355,000 United States soldiers were mobilized during World War I[30]. These young men were at risk for being killed or wounded during battle, dying from disease, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which was known as shell shock at the time[31]. Knowing that these dangers were possible placed an enormous amount of stress on the families of the soldiers. Hardeman’s chapter of the DAR recognized the stress and worry that the families of these soldiers faced, and took efforts in order to alleviate their hardship. Hardeman’s “Report of Regent” for 1917-1918, found in the chapter’s yearbook, states that the chapter hosted a farewell reception with the mothers of the young men in the 5th Company[32]. The report also states that after the Company’s departure the chapter held monthly joint prayer meetings with the mothers of the soldiers. Hardeman was able to use the boarding passes and postcards sent from the 5th Company in France to show the mothers that their sons were alive. Hardeman exchanged letters with the mothers of soldiers. In one such letter, Mrs. L. H. Potter, the mother of Leo Potter of the 5th Company, described life at home without her son and wrote, “Your DAR chapter is engaged in a truly great work filling the social needs of the soldiers”[33]. The chapter also reached out to the families of soldiers who were killed. Hardeman included in her scrapbook a card from Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Weam, thanking the chapter for extending its sympathies[34].

Fundraising[edit]

Throughout the war, Hardeman’s chapter of the DAR was very involved with raising money for the war effort. Located in Hardeman’s scrapbook are several receipts from the First Union National Bank of Charlotte for deposits that were made in her name. The chapter became more specifically involved in fundraising by selling subscriptions for war bonds. In the scrapbook there is a letter from J. R. Purser, a sales representative from the Victory Liberty Loan, thanking Hardeman for her chapter’s work in selling twenty-three subscriptions, which totaled to $9,700[35]. The Liberty Hall Chapter also raised money in order to create a monument to the soldiers in the form of a flagpole. The DAR was known for dedicating such memorials to soldiers[36]. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Hardeman explained, “When war with Germany was declared…we proudly boasted of four military companies, but we had no flag on the Mecklenburg county courthouse[37]. The chapter succeeded in its efforts to raise enough money to build the flagpole, as shown by a May 3, 1917 letter from the plant manager of the Grinnell Automatic Sprinkler, a heating and power installations company, informing Hardeman that they would successfully be able to install the pole[38]. The flag was raised on May 20, 1917[39].

Connection to the Women's Movement[edit]

World War I coincided with the first wave of feminism, which lasted from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century and centered on gaining women’s suffrage and increasing women’s presence in the public sphere[40]. A common argument used by first-wave feminists was that women were “morally superior to men,” and that their more virtuous presence was needed to “improve public behavior and the political process"[41]. This view was a new outlook on the Victorian-era idea of the Cult of Domesticity, which expressed that women’s morally upright presences were necessary, but only in the home[42]. The DAR itself was “one of many women’s organizations founded in the Progressive Era”[43], and had arguably feminist origins due to its being founded after members had been rejected from a similar all-male organization[44]. Hardeman used the ideas of first-wave feminism to her advantage. As the regent of an all-women charity society, she was able to communicate with military officers due to the altruistic nature of her work. Several of the envelopes of the letters that Hardeman received from military officers and soldiers bear a government stamp reading “passed as censored,” indicating that Hardeman was corresponding with individuals of importance[45]. Also contained in Hardeman’s scrapbook are entry passes from Camp Greene that allowed her to visit soldiers, a privilege that was not conferred on ordinary civilians[46]. Her chapter’s work, such as the aforementioned sponsorship as soldiers and hospitals and fundraising for the war effort, fell under the realm of charitable activities, which made it socially acceptable and therefore easier to carry out.

References[edit]

  1. "Elle Goode Hardeman." Find A Grave. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=72396327>.
  2. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  3. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  4. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  5. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  6. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  7. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  8. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  9. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  10. "Elle Goode Hardeman." Find A Grave. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=72396327>.
  11. Darity, William A., ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. Print.
  12. Darity, William A., ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. Print.
  13. Darity, William A., ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. Print.
  14. Darity, William A., ed. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. Print.
  15. Daughters of the American Revolution. Lineage Book - National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Vols. 57-58. N.p.: Nabu, 1921. Print.
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  17. "Daughters of the American Revolution: Suggestions of State Regent." Atlanta Constitution [Atlanta] 4 Dec. 1921: 7. Print.
  18. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  19. Hardeman, Elle Goode. "Report of Regent." Liberty Hall Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution Year Book 1918-1919. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  20. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  21. "D.A.R. Learns Its Protege Is Killed." Charlotte Observer 1934: n. pag. Print.
  22. "D.A.R. Learns Its Protege Is Killed." Charlotte Observer 1934: n. pag. Print.
  23. "Elle Goode Hardeman, 1917-1946." UNC University Libraries. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2015. <http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hardeman,Elle_Goode.html>.
  24. Hardeman, Elle Goode. "Report of Regent." Liberty Hall Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution Year Book 1918-1919. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  25. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  26. Hardeman, Elle Goode. "Report of Regent." Liberty Hall Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution Year Book 1918-1919. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  27. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
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  29. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
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  32. Hardeman, Elle Goode. "Report of Regent." Liberty Hall Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution Year Book 1918-1919. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  33. Potter, Mrs. L.H.. Letter to Elle Goode Hardeman. 28 October 1917. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  34. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
  35. Purser, J.R.. Letter to Elle Goode Hardeman. 5 May 1919. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.
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  46. Hardeman, Elle Goode. Scrapbook of Elle Goode Hardeman. 1917-1946. Volume S-1. Elle Goode Hardeman papers, 1917-1946. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wilson Library, Chapel Hill, NC. 11 February 2015.