Back to top

Search Constraints

Start Over You searched for: Subjects Army spouses. Remove constraint Subjects: Army spouses.
Number of results to display per page
View results as:

Search Results


Bernard J. Davis letters, 1944-1945 (majority within 1945)

10 items

This collection is made up of letters that Sergeant Bernard J. Davis sent to his wife while serving in the United States Army's 249th Port Company during World War II. Writing from various locations in the Pacific and from Manila, Philippines, Davis commented on his experiences in the army and on the growth of his son.

This collection is made up of 10 letters that Sergeant Bernard J. Davis sent to his wife and their young son, also named Bernard, while serving in the United States Army's 249th Port Company during World War II. Davis responded to news from home, particularly regarding young his son's growth and activities, and expressed his desire to reunite with his family. His letters occasionally include references to his army experiences, such as the rationing of cigarettes (March 25, 1945), Philippine children's efforts to find food (May 27, 1945), and the recreation centers where American soldiers could obtain foods from home (July 28, 1945). Davis wrote 2 letters home after the war ended, eagerly anticipating his return to the United States but encouraging his wife not to get her hopes up for his quick return.


Eliza O. Perkins Burke papers, 1846-1867

60 items

Eliza O. Perkins Burke's letters and papers document the life of a military officer's wife before and during the Civil War, and her friendships with fellow military wives.

Most of these letters are addressed to Eliza Perkins Burke, excepting a handful written to Mary, an invitation to Capt. Perkins to play billiards, and a certificate of merit presented to Edward while he was at St. Louis University. This is a scattered, spotty correspondence, but there are a couple cohering elements. Many of the women writing to Eliza were also married to military men. They had become friends on Sullivan's Island, while their husbands, many of whom were in the 3rd Artillery, were stationed at Fort Moultrie in the 1830s and early 1840s. The Civil War is another theme around which several of these letters cluster, although only one letter is from an actual soldier. The other coherent grouping is a series of six letters from Rosalie Smith, who was trying to obtain a divorce and chafing under the necessity of depending on her sister's husband for financial support.

The letters from fellow military wives show how close the women had become while together on the island, and there is a sense, especially during and after the Civil War, that these friendships were doubly valuable because they reminded the women of better times. Many of the wives did not see each other again after leaving Fort Moultrie, or only enjoyed infrequent visits. Although they only wrote to each other occasionally, they expressed great nostalgia for the time shared on Sullivan's Island. Often a milestone -- birth, death, or wedding -- prompted the letter, and the author often described her children's progress.

Judith Chiffelle, who had probably been on Sullivan's Island with her brother Thomas, was an anomaly. While the rest of the women were married to military men, Judith was single. She taught school in Baltimore and was raising her dead sister's children while their father ran his business in St. Louis. She wrote, "this I know will astonish you. I like to be an independent old maid, I will never marry. I have taken an oath to live single for my dear childrens' sake" (1854 December 17). Two years later her tone is less triumphant: "what a change a few years make in our life -- I struggling along trying to make a living hard work & keeping school " (1857 February 2). She admits that she would "long ago have laid down this weary head" had it not been for the children.

The Civil War era letters include one from Caroline Carson, a southern woman who suffered multiple hardships. Her husband died, "the plantation was sold according to his directions," and then her father's house, where she had stored her possessions, was burned: "Everything I had in the world was burnt up -- Books and pictures, china, glass linen all my little effects which I valued, and hoped someday to get around me again" (1862 February 4). "I hope in this horrid war no thing of the kind will happen to you," she continued. Another letter, from a northern lady, shows the less direct effect the war had on women who were not in the midst of the fighting. Rather than wondering where to live, Annie Eustace pondered what to wear: "in this time of our country's great troubles, we should think of something else, beside dress and party giving . . . I spend very little time and thought about fine dress, and making a show; I have lost all taste for such things (1862 May 6). There is also one letter from Eliza's soldiering nephew David P. Hancock while he was at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York, recovering from a wound and anxious to get back to the field (1862 May 12).

The other clutch of letters is certainly the most intriguing one. Rosalie Smith was living, along with her mother, at her sister Ann Eustace's house in Dixon, Illinois. Rosalie bridled at having to depend on Judge Eustace, whose wealth had been severely reduced by the depression of 1857, but she saw no alternative until her brother Joe returned from Mexico with funds. In response to Eliza's suggestion that she get married, Rosalie wrote, rather obliquely, "this would be a long story and probably uninteresting on paper, but should I ever see you, I will give you some of my reasons for remaining in 'meditation free'" (1859 November 30). By the next year, Rosalie's reasons for resisting her reliance on her brother-in-law had increased: "Judge Eustace's relatives have always annoyed me by reports of our entire dependence on him, making things at times, very disagreeable to all" (1860 October 27). This letter also alludes to a Mr. Sheridan, who was apparently Rosalie's husband, whom she now wished to divorce. She was worried that he would "use every effort to annoy, and keep me bound; money only, will be the great lever by which it can be accomplished." She moved to Chicago with her sister's family, and she happily discovered that "a residence of two years, will grant me a divorce, provided Sheridan does not make application to live with or support me; so on this account too, I am anxious to keep quiet, that he may not know where I am, to molest me" (1860 December 3).


Lawrence Nash collection, 1942-1945 (majority within 1944-1945)

16 items

The Lawrence Nash collection is made up of letters and other items pertaining to Nash's service in the United States Army during World War II. Nash received letters about his draft status from the Selective Service System and later wrote to his wife Shirley about his experiences in western Europe during the final months of the war.

The Lawrence Nash collection is made up of 16 items pertaining to Nash's service in the United States Army during World War II. Nash, a sergeant, received 2 letters from the Selective Service in 1942, and wrote 12 letters to his wife Shirley from Europe in 1944 and 1945. The remaining items are a handkerchief and military newsletters.

The Selective Service System sent letters to Lawrence R. Nash ("Larry") in Rochester, New York, on October 1, 1942, and October 26, 1942, about his classification and selection for induction on November 10, 1942. From August 16, 1944-June 8, 1945, Nash wrote 12 letters to his wife Shirley in Syracuse, New York, including 6 written in March 1945 and 2 written after V-E Day. Nash discussed their separation, his hopes for a quick end to the war, and his experiences in England, France, Luxembourg, and Germany, where he spent some time in foxholes. Though he wrote little of military life, Nash mentioned the age of German prisoners, who, by the spring of 1945, were mostly "old men" (March 16, 1945).

His postwar letters refer to his plans to travel to Paris and his desire to return home. A woven handkerchief is enclosed in an envelope postmarked December 8, 1944, and two newsletters (clipped together) contain notes on Allied progress in Europe ("I & E News Bulletin," January 23, 1945) and a poem about "The Soldiers Who Sit" ("The Snowball," February 9, 1945).


Robert Pate correspondence, 1942-1945 (majority within 1944-1945)

35 items

This collection is made up of letters that Robert Pate wrote to his wife Fern about his United States Army service in Wyoming, the Hawaiian Islands, and Saipan during World War II, as well as a newsletter. Most of Pate's correspondence concerns his love for Fern and their relationship.

The Robert Pate correspondence is made up of 34 letters that Pate wrote to his wife Fern while serving in the United States Army during World War II, and a newsletter. Pate wrote 4 letters from Fort F. E. Warren, Wyoming (November 29, 1942-January 25, 1943); 5 letters from Oahu, Hawaii (February 21, 1944-April 21, 1944); and 25 letters from the Pacific Theater, mainly Saipan ([June 28, 1944]; November 12, 1944-September 20, 1945). Pate's love letters primarily concern his romantic feelings for his wife and his thoughts about their relationship. He expressed his doubts about Fern's fidelity to him in a letter of January 25, 1943, but later chastised himself for his feelings of jealousy; he also discussed his own needs, though he assured his fidelity to his wife. He briefly referred to his living conditions, health, and optimism about the war, and encouraged Fern not to worry about his safety. The collection includes an issue of The Daily Target, a newsletter for United States servicemen in the Mariana Islands (May 25, 1945). The newsletter contains articles, one-panel comics, photographs, and a map of Allied progress in the Pacific.


Stewart Frederick Laurent papers, 1907-1947 (majority within 1918-1919)

0.5 linear feet

This collection is mainly comprised of letters that Sergeant Stewart F. Laurent wrote to his wife and other family members while serving in France during World War I. The collection also includes documents, postcards, photographs, and ephemera.

This collection (0.5 linear feet) is mainly comprised of letters that Sergeant Stewart F. Laurent wrote to his wife and other family members while serving in France during World War I. The collection also includes documents, postcards, photographs, and ephemera.

The Correspondence series (67 items) contains 65 letters that Laurent wrote about his service in France from March 10, 1918-May 18, 1919; 1 letter that he wrote on January 10, 1918; and 1 letter by other military personnel confirming Laurent's good record as an automobile driver (April 30, 1918). Laurent most frequently wrote to his wife Alice, discussing their separation and anticipating their life together after the war. In other letters to Alice and to his mother, aunt, uncle, and siblings, he described his travels around the French countryside and reported military rumors, particularly those related to the end of the war. He vacationed at Aix-les-Bains in September 1918 and was stationed in Abainville and Haussimont after the Armistice; he also visited Nice and Paris. On Thanksgiving Day, 1918, after the relaxation of censorship requirements, he recounted his passage to France on the USS President Lincoln and enclosed a dinner menu from the journey. Other enclosures include a photographic postcard; snapshots of Laurent, other soldiers, tanks, and places in France; a booklet celebrating Mother's Day; and a political cartoon of an American soldier awaiting his return home. In 2 letters from March 1919, Laurent drew pictures of artillery shells that had been turned into vases.

The Postcards series (11 items) is divided into 3 groups. Stewart F. Laurent sent 3 postcards to his wife Alice between January 8, 1919, and February 17, 1919, of which 2 show the interior and exterior of the Château de Valençay; the third informs Alice of her husband's reassignment to Haussimont, France. The second group of postcards depicts soldiers and scenes from Paris, France, during World War I. The final group of 4 postcards pertains to the Laurents' candy store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1940s.

Items in the Documents series (9 items) mostly relate to Stewart Laurent's military service, including 4 items about his discharge (May 1919), a Treasury Department document about the War Risk Insurance Act and related financial allotments (undated), and instructions for troops sailing from the United States to France onboard the USS President Lincoln [February 1918]. Three items, 2 of which are dated November 18, 1914, concern the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Printed Items and Ephemera (15 items) pertain to Stewart F. Laurent's military service and personal life. A 1908 program for an event at Glenolden Grammar School and an unidentified photograph from 1907 are enclosed with an invitation to Laurent's wedding. The remaining items are from the World War I era, including 2 newsletters about the French Riviera in the spring of 1919, a group of ticket stubs with a parody song ("Silver Threads Among the Black"), Laurent's pay book, a program for a variety performance in Aix-les-Bains, and 3 booklets: a guide to the French Riviera, a history of and guide to Paris, and a soldier's French phrasebook. This collection also includes 2 realia items: a string of beads and a private's chevron.