Michigan collection  1759-1947
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains about 100 letters and postcards that Second Lieutenant Lewis Douglas Lacy, a master engineer, wrote to his family while serving in the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I. Lacy was deployed to France around July 1917. He wrote regular letters about his experiences overseas, which included service on the front line and at the army's general headquarters.

The Correspondence series is comprised of Lewis Lacy's letters to his mother and sister, who lived in Webster Groves, Missouri. His first letters describe his experiences traveling through Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., and traveling overseas to England in the summer of 1917. While stationed in England in early August, Lacy participated in a large parade in London (August 15, 1917). After his arrival in France, he described the country, complained about censorship restrictions, and discussed his experiences, including service on the front line in November and December 1917. While at the front, he mentioned a recent successful push by the Allied military forces, and shared his pleasure at having helped capture German positions. In early 1918, Lacy was transferred to general headquarters, and he was promoted to second lieutenant in July 1918; his mother received a formal notice of the promotion (July 10, 1918). After the armistice in November 1918, Lacy wrote about life in Neufchâteau, France, where he was stationed until around April 1919. He then traveled to Brest, where he wrote his last letter on March 23, 1919. The final item is a letter that a soldier named "Bob" wrote to Lewis Lacy from Walter Reed Hospital on June 9, 1919, providing news of mutual military acquaintances.

The collection's Printed Items include a card encouraging French victory loans, German and French currency (2 bills), and a copy of the Windy City Echo, the 13th Engineers Regiment's newspaper (December 13, 1918).

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