The Loss of Pier No. 4


Creator: Biggs, Charles Rupert
Date(s): undated
Call Number: MSS 0097, Item 0003
Language: Materials entirely in English.
Abstract: Short account of activities at a World War I cargo operation located at "Southern Railroad pier No. 4".
Physical Description: 1 volume 20 cm
Source: Gift of the Biggs Family, 1972.
Processing: Processed and encoded by Evan Echols, February 2012. Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical and Historical Notes

Charles Rupert Biggs was a US Navy Storekeeper who served in the Wilmington Area during the First World War. A graduate of Princeton and Michigan Law School, he was admitted to the Delaware bar during or shortly before 1917.


Information derived from collection.

Scope and Content Note

This short, narrative account of activities at a World War I cargo operation located at "Southern Railroad pier No. 4" was written by US Navy Storekeeper Charles Rupert Biggs.

This handwritten account was created by Charles Biggs, a naval pay clerk in the Wilmington, Delaware, are during World War I. Biggs' account was written in an acerbic tone, and the narrative was presented in the form of a classical Greek drama, complete with cast list (including himself), and chorus. He described each cast member, with especial (harsh description) reserved for Pay Clerk Moss of North Carolina. The story related involved the acquisition of Southern Railroad pier No. 4 by the United States Navy and Biggs' trip to the pier.

The Navy gained possession of the pier after sending seven thousand submarine net buoys to the pier, "with the assumption that possession is 9/10s of the law." Biggs, along with another clerk and his superior officer, was sent to oversee operations at the pier. Much of the short narrative regarding this "trip to the pier" dealt with the behavior of Paymaster Caroran (his superior officer), who was, according to Biggs, unpleasant to work with if one was a subordinate and whose attitude demoralized the entire outfit.

Using these materials

Shelving Summary

  • Item 0003: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

MSS 0097, Item 0003, Charles Rupert Biggs, The Loss of Pier No. 4, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0097 Diaries, Journals, and Ships' Logs collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Container List

The Loss of Pier No. 4, undated 1 volume 1 volume Item 0003

Names & Subjects