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Excerpts

The original spelling and punctuation usage have been retained in order to more fully present the writers’ style and wording. Due to the frequency of the non-standard language and grammar, the notation [sic] has not been inserted.

Most of these letters are under copyright. For more information, please contact the Legacy Project, http://www.warletters.com.


Excerpt from letter by
Union Surgeon Silas Ingham to His Friend Henry Kellogg

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Hospital 152 Regt NYS Vols
Stevensburg V.a.
Feb 1st 1864

My Dear Friend . . .

Although your health is poor, I am glad to learn that you do not feel to murmer and complain, as many do, and that both Religion and Patriotism still burn in your bosom, and may God in great mercy still continue to help you & yours shall be my earnest prayer. Capt Kellogg is looking very well at present, better than when he first returned. The Captain & myself returned from Washington together, we met at the Depo. . . .

As long as God gives me my health as good as it is now, I shall remain and do all in my power for the sick and wounded soldiers, to make them comfortable and happy, while engaged in this glorious cause. – The Army feel greatly encouraged, and many are reenlisting, and in fact we all feel more & more Patriotick. This wicked Rebelion, with the will of God and the continued faithfulness of His children, will soon crumble. I do think that the providence of God has much to do with this source struggle of His children, to sustain this Glorious Government, and may we as a Nation, bow down in humble submission and thank and adore His holy name for His great mercy continued unto us.

I hope and pray that Slavery may be entirely bloted  out at the close of this War, for I think this war has all grown out of, that wicked Institution Slavery, and it has been a dark spot upon our Nation.- I shall be happy to hear from you at all times.

Respectfully I am
Your Obt Servant
S A Ingham Surgeon
152 Regt NYV


Excerpt from letter by
Confederate Lieutenant William Steele to Annie McFarland

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Fisherville [Virginia]
Dec 26 [18]64

My Darling Annie . . .

. . . I see you always wait to accumulate several letters before you deign a reply I notice you speak of receiving my letter of the 15th but do not mention the one of the 12th in which I asked your advice on a matter that concerns me deeply. You will excuse me for reminding you of this little thing when I tell you the only pleasure I now see is in perusing your very precious letters. . . . I sometimes almost despair of this cruel war ending. I think we have just now arrived at the crisis when it requires every man to exert himself, to land us safely it will not do to look back our motto must be onward it is true the future looks dark and gloomy, but I trust in a higher power than that of man to carry us through safely our soldiers are very much discouraged and say they will not stand another campaign and it will require those who see the great importance of the contest to exert themselves to keep them to their posts in this our hour of trial. I cant  allow myself to think of subjugation the bare idea makes me shudder not upon my own account but for those I love more than myself. I feel that I could never look you in the face - but we will not allow ourselves to think of impossibilities. The raid which stopped us from going to West Va was met and repulsed near Gordonsville our troops have all returned and quiet reigns once more. . . .

Truly yours
Will


Excerpt from postcard by
Clarence (in the 37th Infantry Division) to His Sweetheart Marie

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

[Postmarked Camp] Sheridan Branch, Montgomery, Ala.
Oct 10 1917

[Addressed to]
Miss Marie Reese
825 ½ N. Main St.
Findlay Ohio

Rec your letters on Mond. but nothing to day . . . heard from no one but you . . . . CR


Excerpt from letter by
Ed (in the 36th Infantry Division) to His Mother, Father and Sister

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Friday Evening – 5.15 [p.m.]
Flogny, France.
Feb. 22nd 1919.

My dearest Mother, Father & Sister; . . .

Now we all try to be in good humor the majority of the time, and we try to look on the bright side of this featureless life. But there are so many; discouraging things, so many unnecessary causes for the “home sickness blues.” Just for instance; we are here, the war has been over for four months, and no one knows a thing about going home, or if we go at all. Naturally, we cant all go home at once, but one thing, that could be given is a schedule, when the respective divisions do go. . . . I read a “nice” little article in the paper the other day, where a “Captain”, remarked the A.E.F. were not anxious to be immediately mustered out. That the majority have more “spending” money than they did, and plenty to eat, and a nice place to sleep. Oh! Ye Gods and little fishes! Did you ever feel like you just would like to be given an opportunity to talk? Well I and 1,999,999 more here would like to. I wonder what Soda fountain he worked at, in the states? They better cut off his conyac supply. Theres coming a date – and it wont be long.

I am going on a special leave to Nice (pronounced Niece) the latter part of this month. . . . As soon as I get back I am going to put in a special leave to Paris. This time I am going to see everything that is there (and leave some things a lone, that are there. “Thats me all over, Mable”

We had a show last night (very scarce) in which featured a eight reel Metro picture titled “My own United States. In several places, the statue of liberty was shown, and I dont know what will happen, when the boys actually see the lady herself. Why you never heard so much yelling in your life. . . .

Thanking you all for you undeserved attention I am faithfully your own devoted son
Ed.


Excerpt from letter by
Naval Officer William McKinley to His Wife

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

In the office
8:30 PM
Sat. Jan. 23, 1943

My darling Mid:

How is my girl friend tonite? And how is my little sonny boy too? Fine and dandy I hope. . . .

I read a few lines the other day which ran along a vein of recent thoughts in my head. I have been trying to abolish from my mind the following: fear, worry, impatience, anger, intolerance, hate, selfishness, and doubt, and to substitute in their place courage, activity, tolerance, love, compassion, friendliness, generosity, and justice. . . . I also learned from Atelia Compton and a few ideas of my own that to raise Curtis to be a great man I must do certain things; and with your help we shall do these together for him. I have made a list of ten things as follows: 1. Teach him to pray and worship God. 2. Maintain a happy home. 3. Make him our first responsibility (you have always done this). 4. Obtain his confidence in all things. 5. Explain every action that affects him. 6. Never laugh at or take his ideas lightly. 7. Participate in his interests; work with him (learn to do everything he is attempting). 8. Teach him the value of money and to assume responsibility. 9. Teach him hard work but lastly and never to work just for money. 10. Teach him to read, widely; and wisely. What do you think of these? I hope you do not think me silly to be thinking along such lines. I believe Curt has the “stuff” to be a really great man someday and we must give him every chance. Perhaps I should add to the above that we should never lie to him or represent an untruth and teach him to be absolutely honest in all his doings. . . .

Good night my Sweetheart.
Yours William

Hello Sonny – How about writing your daddy another letter? I’d like a picture of a steam shovel and a big engine too; so get busy little man! Daddy


Excerpt from letter by
Seaman Robert Perz to His Wife Marion

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Naval Air Station
Pasco, Washington
Sun. Dec. 24, [19]44

Darling,

It’s Christmas Eve and I know all of you are gathered about in the living room with smiles on your faces, but I’ve got tears in my eyes as I sit here writing this letter. I feel sick to my stomach, and very, very unhappy. I love you Marion, and God only knows how much I miss you.

One the other hand, I have reason to rejoice. My name has been removed from the sea draft, and I wont have to go for a while. Perhaps not for sometime. Why it was removed, I do not know. Probably because I haven’t got two years of shore duty. . . .

God has been kind to me, giving me a wife like you, and son like Dennis, and he has probably taken me off that sea draft and I thank him for that. It has not snowed here, so we have no White Christmas. . . . Are all of you enjoying a White Xmas back home? I hope it has been a pleasant one for all of you. . . .

I love you
Bob


Excerpt from letter by
Second Lieutenant Joseph “Pat” Patteeuw to Katherine Netting

Courtesy of Conrad John Netting IV

4th Fighter Group
England
July 9th, 1944

Dear Katherine,

I knew that I would be hearing from you and have been waiting for your letter. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t been looking forward to writing to you as I have to, for I had intended to write a long while back.

A man is just a mere human being, Katy, and if I seem crude or untactful, I’m sorry. You asked for whatever news I could tell you, and I’m afraid it’s all bad. Con was on a strafing mission and when he went down on a German truck, he didn’t pull up soon enough. His ship crashed and he never got out of it. I’m sorry, Katherine, but I don’t think it is wise to build up your hopes.

I took care of all his belongings and anything that was perishable or senseless to send back, I kept. He asked me to do that a long time ago in case something did happen. . . .

Respectfully Yours,
Pat


Excerpt from letter by
Corporal Robert Easterbrook to His Parents

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Yokohama, Japan
(12:00 Noon) 12 Sept. [19]45

Dear Mom & Dad: -

I don’t imagine you could ever guess where I am as I write this letter. At present, I’m sitting in a chair about 3 ft. from the bedside of the ex-Premier of Japan – Hideki Tojo.

We were on duty last night, in Surgery – when he arrived at approximately 9:40 P.M. - & I’ve never seen so much “brass”, correspondents, & photographers in my life. From Lieut. Gen. Eichelberger (C.O. of 8th Army), on down to a smattering of Lieut. Colonels. And when Capt. Speelberger (attending physician) shoved the stethoscope in my hand & said to check him every 5 minutes, . . . .

It’s almost 1 o’clock & time to check him. Back in a few minutes.

1:15 P.M.

Two nurses just arrived from the 42nd Gen. Hosp. (which hasn’t set up yet.). Everyone (including the C.O.) is pretty well griped at this – as after 18 months over here, taking care of about every type of case imaginable without nurses – they sent some in expressly for the purpose of taking care of Tojo! Oh well – such is the Army!

The Col. Just came in & asked me to get things ready for a whole blood transfusion at 2 o’clock. One of the boys in the outfit has the same blood type & is donating a pint. Must go for now. Back later. . . .

4:25 P.M.

Phew, that was nice! He developed a severe chill & pain in the heart & wound from the blood given him. It was a little questionable there for awhile but he came out of it O.K. (damit). You know it’s funny to be taking care of someone, & not knowing whether you want him to live or not.

Well folks, it’s almost time for my relief; so I’ll close off for now, take another check on him & call it a day.

Love,
Bob . . .


Excerpt from letter by
Paul to His Wife and Family

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

February 20, 1951
Korea

My Dearest Wife & Family,

Just a line to let you know I have been wounded and am in the hospital in Japan. I was shot through the right thigh with a single sniper bullet; . . . . I am thankful to be alive.

We had to break up a road block near Hakchon where 300 Chinese were supposed to have been dug in; they had a regiment of the 3rd division cut off and we had to make contact with them without delay. Everything was thrown at them before the infantry try and tanks went in – planes, artillery, and mortars in big doses. Then the 3rd Bn. Went in with “L” Co. on tanks. I was on a tank about 8 minutes -- then I was hit. . . . I screamed at them to stop the tank so I could get off and crawl into a ditch . . . . Taylor of my squad also got wounded while helping to carry me out. After Taylor got hit there was not enough men to carry me, so they dropped me and said they would send help or come back with more help. I lay there for a short while and then dragged myself about ten yards to a little better cover, and I lay there til well after dark. . . .

. . . I saw some guys walking around against the dim light of the sky. I yelled for help again, and they started toward me; they had long fixed bayonets, and by their . . . [Line or more of text is missing from the original letter.] . . . a Chinese medic came and put a fresh bandage on my leg and put me in a litter. I was carried into the one house that was left standing where they made a warm fire and covered me up as best they could. My wet clothes made it very difficult for me to get warm but I am sure that what they did for me saved my life.

American artillery and mortar shells were landing in the general area all night long. They (the Chinese) left about 2:00 o’clock . . . .

I waited until about one o’clock in the afternoon and a G.I. patrol came in to give the village the once-over. I opened the door and yelled for help. This time they heard me and found me. I thanked God! In less than 5 minutes I had a drink of water, a morphine shot, a cigarette, and a fresh bandage on my leg, and a litter jeep on the way to pick me up. . . .

Well, I am going to close for now, my darling, and will try to write again tomorrow. I think it would be proper and fitting if you would let as many of the family and friends as possible read this letter.

I love you and have an idea that I will be seeing you soon.

Love to all,
Paul
P.S. What’s left of the squad would still like to have your cookies!


Excerpt from letter by
Young Daughter to Her Father (in the 366th Supply Squadron, U.S. Air Force)

Courtesy of Andrew Carroll / The Legacy Project

Feb. 5, 1968
Seguin, Texas

Dear Daddy,

Just writing to answer your letter we received today. It's nice to hear that your doing fine. Can you hear all the shooting and the bombing of the war? If you do I bet you get scared!! But I hope It doesn't go over there in Da Nang. Thanks To God your doing fine. As for us we're in the best-of-health. Mom always got worried every time they would say about Saigon, in the news. How's the job? How do you like it washing your clothes and on Sunday's? Do you ever go out? As for news over here not very much but Tia Dolores got a new car it's a 1966 Chevrolet Impala it's color outside is white as for the inside it's black it has bucket seats it's pretty. They plan to go to Ohio, this summer. Daddy, Jr is getting engaged with Mary. But Jr has to talk to Mary's father & mother. Tio Flavio put a new telephone. Tio said, that he doesn't get very many calls. He only goes in Sundays. In one Sunday he made $3.00. But I don't know how many calls he got. . . .

Your daughter, . . .