Archive For Col. Llewellyn W. Oliver & Military Family

A career Army officer who was awarded both the Army DSM & the Navy Cross. Also his wife’s father and grandfather’s military photos along with things from her career as an Army wife.


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This is not an extensive military – family archive, but sufficiently plentiful in substance to tell a good story for this Army family spanning over 100 years.

The bulk of material is for Llewellyn W. Oliver, a USMA graduate, Class of 1899.

Llewellyn Oliver was born March 3, 1875, in Escanaha, Michigan. His military career, upon graduation from West Point, and was assigned to  the 7th and 8th cavalry regiments by 1901.  Was in Washington with the General Staff Corps, and then the Executive for Chief of Transportation Service (as a cavalry officer).

One interesting tour of duty was spent at the French Cavalry School at Saumur, which helped him in future assignments with the Cavalry school.

He served a good amount of time with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Instructor at the cavalry school (Department of Tactics).  He commanded the 2nd Cavalry in 1926 to ’28 (then at Fort Shafter, T.H.), later in the Philippines (Sousogon. CCC work. His last assignment before retirement was as the Chief of Staff of the Fourth Corps Area, Atlanta, Georgia. (Taken from his West Point Memorial, “It was in this position that his outstanding ability had the  opportunity to show itself. His Corps Area Commander, wrote officially of him:

“You have been outstanding as C of S. You possess a wonderful background of experience, outstanding talents as a man and soldier, but far above all that, the traits that have made your service so ideal from my point of view are your high character, your dependability and your perfect loyalty”……more. (his memorial write-up included in this lot).

Oliver was recalled to active duty in January 1941, and served as chief of Intelligence Section, Transportation Corps, War Department, remaining on duty until the regulations fixing age limits for active service required his return  to retired status. This arduous and exacting duty through long hours daily did not extend his years. (see his Efficiency Report for this period- photos).

A good portion of this archive is represented in paper and photographs of his life partner in the service, his wife, Arabella Taylor Clarke Oliver.

Her military family goes back to the American Revolution, but represented here in photos by her grandfather Henry Francis Clarke, Cadet USMA, Class of 1839, a Mexican War and Civil War veteran with brevets for the Battles of Chapultepec, Colonel as QM in Maryland Campaign of 1863, Brevet Brig. General QM in the Battle of Gettysburg, and for MGen. for faithful and meritorious service in the war. (d.-1887, as Asst. Commissary of Subsistence as colonel.   His son, (Arabella’s Brother), Joseph Taylor Clarke, USMA, 1883 – 1885.  Asst.Surgeon (in the various grades), Major in the 47th USV Infantry, 1899- 1901, Major and Surgeon USV, 1903, and retired as colonel in 1917.

A commanding General under whom he served, summed up Col. Oliver’s career, “Modesty is the greatest of all virtues. It is found in great souls only. It is such a rare thing today. You Possess it in large measure, and while it adds greatly to any real estimate that may be made of you, I feel it has handicapped you in the present-day world, wherein the second class article is too often sold by a superior system of advertising, But all such characters pass, while you have the satisfaction of knowing that nothing can mar your outstanding record.”

The Archive includes the following:

  • Small cabinet photo -oval vignette of Oliver as 2nd Lieutenant, 7th Cavalry. Circa 1900-01, taken by Harrison, Chicago.
  • 4×6 photo on larger mat, signed by photographer in pencil, “Pennell.” Oliver in service dress uniform, 8th Cavalry collar insignia Circa- 1902-05.
  • 2 small snap shots taken in the Philippines, both identified being taken at Sousogon, P.I.; “Native musicians” and “new Headquarters…”  Largest is 3.5 x 4.4 inches.
  • “List of Insurgent Rifles in the Province of Albay…”
  • Misc lot of paper items, Stamped cover from Fort McKinley, Rizal, P.I., 1909, typed note on British Army Rank, 1935 registered mail envelope with photocopied pages from an early military manual (The American Trooper’s Pocket Companion Being A Concise And Comprehensive System of Discipline For the Cavalry of the United States, By Nicholas Parsiset, 1818.), 2 typed words to military related songs.
  • Photograph taken while at the French Cavalry School at Saumur, France, Oliver in his finest spit and polished full dress uniform, Circa 1910-11, the with the 12th U.S. Cavalry.  Taken with 4 other European cavalry officers.  Superb quality image! 6 x 8 inches (photo size).
  • French document from Saumur with english translation, “Suggestions for Preserving Leather Horse Equipment.” Blind embossed stamp in upper right corner, ” H. Marquis / Saddle Maker / 39 Rue Beaurepaire / Saumur, France.”
  • 4 large panoramic views of the School of Cavalry, and other city views of Saumur. Sepia toned, 5.5 x 11 inches. In excellent condition.
  • Typed “Short History of the Sixth U.S. Cavalry, 3 pages on legal size,- Circe 1919-20,  with cut-out clipping of “Brown & White, colorbearers for the 6th Cav, at Oglethrope, Ga. 1936.
  • 1920 General Orders No. 74. War Department.  Oliver listed as Lt. Col. on General Staff eligible list.
  • Type work entitled, “Citizenship” given at July Exercise (at Cavalry School) Junction City (near Fort Riley), 1925. A five page talk on the responsibilities of citizen, covering many aspects.
  • Brief typed history of the 2nd Cavalry, 2 pages on HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY / OFFICE OF THE REGIMENTAL COMMANDER, letterhead, (Ft. Riley, Ks.) un-dated, but circa 1926-28.
  • “The Forager, 61st CavalryDivision Magazine, Vol. IV, No.4, April, 1928. Contains extracts from history of the 2nd Cavalry in France. Other articles, ads, in fine condition.
  • Chart, The Cavalry School, Department of Tactics. A one sided sheet.
  • Lot of photographs, largest 9×11″ to smallest 3×3.5″ (mounted).  Mostly of Col. and Mrs. Oliver on horseback, with their dogs, quarters, a round house (quarters) at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
  • Snapshot of Col. Oliver and Joseph Taylor Clarke in Hawaii.
  • 8×10 glossy signed, “Sincerely yours  L.W. Oliver. The colonel mounted, looks like it was taken at Fort Riley, Kansas.
  • Reference Slip, Coast Artillery School, Fort Monroe, Va., March 12, 1937 on printed research study, CAC; “Japan-Its Evolution As A World Power, by 1st Lieut. William H. Harris, C.A.C.; 13 typed page report.
  • 1941 Efficiency Report for Llewellyn W. Oliver, Executive Officer, Transportation Division, O.Q.M.G. (Performance -Superior). Typed signature of Col. D.C. Cordiner, Trans Div, Washington, D.C. July 1, 1941.
  • Large photo portrait of a 1st Corps Major General, looks familiar but can’t place him yet (id’d as “Uncle Joe”).  Cut close to mount. Size is 9 x 11 approx.  Tokyo 1948.
  • The West Point Guide Book, 29th Edition, 1900. Water stained, well illustrated with 56 pages.
  • Photo post card of VN era general “Gordon” Allen.  With notation on reverse.
  • Large wedding portrait presumably of Miss Arabella Taylor Clarke, about to become Mrs. Oliver, Circa 1900.  6.5x 11.5 image size.  Fine condition with blind embossed photographer stamp, “KAJIWARA STUDIO, ST LOUIS.”
  • Circa 1920’s portrait of Mrs. Oliver, textured paper. 6.5×8.5 images size, fine condition.
  • Large 10.5x 13.5 portrait of Arabella with new family pups. Circa late 20’s.
  • Miscellaneous lot of paper items, , Bank letter paying Arabella money from her mothers estate, envelope of paper from mid 1800s to 30’s, news clippings, etc., Silhouette, photo of family coat of arms for Fitzhugh, folder with 4 small snapshots of dogs at Hawaii, 1950’s color snap shot of the Colonel and Mrs. in front of the Partenon in Athens, Greece.
  • 8×10 glossy of Mrs. Oliver with Army medical officers; she may have been doing some volunteer work at a hospital during WWII, and a small snap shot of her at her dest, presumably the same place and time.
  • Lot of more portraits, paper, all family related, later USMA graduate?, and more.
  • A damaged print of a family relative in the Richmond Light Infantry Blues, identified as Capt. Wise, Circa 1830s.
  • Albumen photo of Captain Henry Francis Clarke (once framed), taken circa 1861. Wearing what appears to be his 51 pattern uniform with high collar. You can make out the captain’s rank in the photo. At this time he was additional aide de camp. Nice clear image. 7×9 inches.
  • Cabinet photo of Lt. Col. Clarke in Subsistence Dept. circa 1882. Once framed, and the image has a yellowish tone, but clear.
  • Grouping of photographs spanning the career of Joseph Taylor Clarke. Beginning with a nice CDV of him dated April 1883, Cabinet portrait of him taken in York, Pa, around 1890 (some damage to image),  2 similar images taken around 1895, one in overcoat and the other showing captain’s rank, and medical Maltese Cross insignia on collar (these were once framed).  2 similar cabinets circa 1899-01 when serving in the 47th USV.  RPPC of lt col on steps of quarters circa 1912.   WWI portrait of circa 1917.  7.5×8.5 inches. Fine Condition.

A great group and very representative of the periods of service for all these folks.  This material came from a collection, and this was all that could be had, meaning there was no more.

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs