“Maybe Africa should never have been called the Dark Continent; I find it nice here and wish you could see the wild flowers.” An artillery soldier in April 1943, during the drive to capture Tunisia.
“To hear their piteous crys for help God forbid that I shall ever beholde sutch a sight again it was a great victory on our side to profette us nothing we followed them to Chattanooga & there let them reinforce…” A cavalry soldier, writing home from Tunnel Hill, Georgia, February 14, 1864.
“This German house is in good condition – compared to the average.” From an infantry lieutenant who has crossed the Rhine in late winter 1945, writing home with a drawing of a bomb-wrecked cottage.
“As I sit here, in the little shack on the edge of the Army parking lot I am guarding, I can see four old women huddled up against a bombed-out building not a hundred feet away.” A young American soldier, in Italy, on Thanksgiving Day, 1945.
Please read these letters and more on The Letter Project, http://jwlbooks.com/category/the-letter-project/ .
Peace, death, destruction, and remarkable empathy for the people whom they have defeated – these letters from soldiers tell us more about our parents and ancestors and ourselves than any headline news story of the battles of Kasserine Pass or Missionary Ridge or the victor’s tales of occupying a defeated land. They and the thousands of letters between our soldiers and the home front are the only source of a history that we are losing. If you have one or two letters from your parents or grandparents or your own letters, consider sharing them with the rest of us. They are easy to upload on the site or you can send a copy to me at Jlondon@texas.net . They are a window into our experience, history that is not found in headlines and history that is in danger of being lost. Thank you so much. — Jack