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Eric Fisher Wood Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: May 1967

Biographical History

Eric Fisher Wood (1889-1962) was an American engineer, military officer (retiring with the rank of Brigadier General), and co-founder of the American Legion.

Born in New York City in 1889, Wood was educated in private schools and at Yale. He graduated in 1910 with a B.A. degree in economics and English and a PhD in Civil Engineering. He did post-graduate work at Columbia and at l'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. While there, he was enlisted by the American Embassy to help care for the flood of problems brought on by World War I. He served as an attaché and kept a journal which he later published as a book. Wood then enlisted in the British and French armies, winning many decorations. When America entered the war, he enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of colonel. He fought in France, and, remaining there after the war, was one of the four original founders of the American Legion (1919) and served as an officer for many years. Returning to the United States, he made architecture his career, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and became one of the nation's leading architects. He served as a National Guard Commander in Pennsylvania. At the start of World War II, he was recalled to service, serving all through the war, eventually rising to brigadier general. His oldest son, Eric Jr., was killed in action in 1944. After the war, Wood returned home and became active again, as he had before, in Pennsylvania state politics, strongly supporting the Republican party, and serving as an advisor to Nixon and Eisenhower. Wood died in 1962, leaving his wife, whom he had married in 1918, and his three surviving children.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Eric Fisher Wood Papers include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, diaries, and published material.

Correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing. Correspondence to and from others is also arranged chronologically.

Subject files consists of material on a variety of topics. The three largest subjects are the American Legion, World War I, and World War II.

American Legion material includes bulletins, a charter, correspondence, a history, American Legion magazines and newspapers, reports, speeches, and other material pertaining to the American Legion.

World War I material includes articles by Wood, photographs of Camp Sherman, correspondence, material on the 83rd and 88th Divisions, French publications, manuscripts of Wood's British service and notes on his war service.

World War II material includes clippings, correspondence, maps, notes, a manuscript by Wood, and material on German concentration camps and prisoners-of-war and displaced persons.

Other topics represented include Georgia, the National Guard, Pennsylvania state politics and Gen. Leonard Wood. The series also contains illustrations of Wood's architecture, a diary, scrapbooks, and material on such notable military figures as Winston Churchill, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and Gen. George S. Patton.

Manuscripts consists of manuscripts of articles, books, columns, newspaper articles, notes, reports, speeches, and similar items by Wood.

Published material includes circulars, lectures by Wood, magazines, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, press releases by Wood, a program, reports, and speeches. The articles, clippings, pamphlets and speeches are either by Wood, about Wood or his works, or by and about others.

Arrangement of the Collection

Incoming correspondenc is arranged alphabetically by sender, and outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by subject. Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by type and ends with manuscripts of others. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type, and further arranged chronologically where necessary.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A 1915 copy of Wood's memoirs, Note-book of an Attaché, has been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate this item.

See also the Eric Fisher Wood Family Photographs.

Subject Headings


Wood, Eric Fisher, 1889-1962.
Wood, Leonard, 1860-1927.

Corporate Bodies

American Legion.
United States. -- Army -- Officers.
United States. -- Army.


Architects -- United States.
Authors, American.
World War, 1914-1918.
World War, 1939-1945.


United States -- History, Military -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Maps (documents)
Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Eric Fisher Wood Papers.
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Eric F. Wood, 1967.

Table of Contents

Biographical material


Subject files


Published material