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Brown University World War I correspondence

Scope & content

Consists primarily of letters, dating from 1917 to 1918, written by 274 Brown University students, alumni, and faculty serving in the American Expeditionary Forces or the Young Men's Christian Association during World War I. Correspondents include enlisted men, officers, chaplains, and civilians. The letters include descriptions of billets, military camps and forts in the United States and Europe, transportation, food and other rations. Other subjects include training, promotions, being wounded and subsequent recuperation, movements of batteries, conditions in France, and the attitudes of the French and Italian people about the war. Many of the men express lonliness and are anxious for letters and for news of the activities of other Brown University men. Letters were written in France, England, Germany, and Italy; as well as while individuals were in transit to Europe. In most cases there are one to three letters from each correspondent. A series of thirty-two letters dating from Oct. 1917 to Dec. 1918, written by McDonald Low Edinger, Battery B, 103rd Field Artillery, give a long term view of the war as observed in France. Two letters from a YMCA chaplain, Theodore F. Cullen, describe service men's attitudes toward the YMCA staff and Woodrow Wilson's visit to Paris after the 1918 Armistice. There are a few letters describing conditions in China written by Harvey Gladding Denham, a Standard Oil employee.

There are also some letters from parents who were reporting on their sons' activities