Letters from World War I

Alice Stevanus to her son US Army Cook Harry Stevanus

Refer to caption
The markings on the envelope indicate that the letter was to be returned to the sender and a handwritten note redirected it to the “wounded” Harry Stevanus.
Courtesy Larry Bodes


Courtesy Larry Bodes

A telegram reported Harry Stevanus as missing in action. His parents soon received an update by mail—Stevanus had been hospitalized. Most of his company had been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner in the Second Battle of the Marne. Doctors amputated his leg and injuries to an arm were extensive. His mother sent prayers but this letter did not reach him—likely due to a mix-up with the address. The family continued to send encouragement throughout his long recovery.

two pages of a handwritten letter


August 24 1918

Mrs. Frank Stevanus Meyersdale Pa Route 2 Box 125

My dear beloved Hero i will rite and send a fiew lines some where in this wide world o good where i dont know but hope and pray that you will receive it and it will be of some comfort to you Harry i have wrote 3 times a week to you ever since you left and i dont beleive that you received anny mail what thew [page break] dow with your mail god only knows i have received 2 letters from you since you left the last one was wrote on the 20 of June oh my dear child how are you may god have mersey and on you through this trying our that you can get well again and come home dear Harry you are not alone mother's spiriet is with you day and night not a moment are you alone god is with me in [page break] my prayers and saved you from the cruel fo god was with you all the way and o darling my heart goes out with all the dear boys o god have mersy on them Those that has gave their noble lives may they rest in peace and those that are mamed and wonded oho my dear child may god have mersy and heal them strong and well fore i know it was for a good cause and will never be forgotten [page break] dear Harry cheer up and be happy i know you have done your best and hope you can soon return safe and be at home again may god help and strenthen all the dear boys that they will conquer and gain the victory i pray that God is with them that cared for you and saved you, dear life i gess you will hear from your wife as she received your letter a week ago and sent me a coppy of it i just received it she is not with me she is staying in Meyersdale [page break] dear harry rite me a letter and tell me where you are and how you are getting along if you cant rite get someone to rite for you harry i gess nearly all your compny is german prisoners may god be with them that they will soon be released from that cruel prisson Harry Co C has 21 Killed five wonded and 4 officers and 164 men missing i gess you know more than i do [page break] about the boys hope that they will all come together again and come home may god be with you is my prayer hoping to hear from you soon and that your are getting well and strong with love and best wishes to dear harry from Mother dad and all

[Envelope] [Postmark] Meyersdale PA Aug 24 1918 11am

[Address] Mr Harry L Stevanus Co C 110 inf [crossed-out in original] Center de fractures RP 208 France in care LIEUT DE FONTULNIY

[Marked] RETURN TO SENDER Dead Letter Division P.E.S. C.P.O. A.E.F.

[Handwritten postal redirection note] C.P.O. Tours Wounded 9/24/18 RSP H.J. Scott Capt.

My Fellow Soldiers