This collection (0.75 linear feet) contains over 500 letters that Captain Edward Van Winkle wrote to his wife Sama while serving in the United States Army during World War I.
The Correspondence series contains 533 letters and telegrams that Van Winkle (who signed his letters "Papa" or "Ted") sent to his wife while serving in the United States Army from September 1, 1917-June 2, 1919. Van Winkle trained at American University in Washington, D.C., and worked at the General Engineer Depot from September 1917-November 1917, when he joined the 24th Engineer Regiment. By November 1917, he had joined the 24th Engineer Regiment at Camp Dix, New Jersey, and he wrote about the regiment's preparations to head overseas in February 1918.
From February 1918-May 1919, Van Winkle was stationed in France, where he served behind the front lines. He described his quarters and his daily activities and discussed topics such as an American cemetery, German air raids, French and German soldiers, and his trips to the front to observe the fighting. After the armistice, Van Winkle traveled to Germany; he noted the disintegration of the German army, and anticipated his return home while he was stationed in France throughout early 1919. Van Winkle sometimes included sketches in his letters; one letter is written on the back of a military map of Bitburg, Germany (December 4, 1918).
The Documents, Map, Printed Items, and Poem series (12 items) contains additional material related to Edward Van Winkle's army service, including a brochure about insurance policies, a directory for the United States Army's Office of the Chief of Engineers, and a memorandum regarding Van Winkle's transfer to the 24th Engineers. The series also contains a copy of a European edition of the New York Herald from September 14, 1918, and additional newspaper clippings pertaining to the war. A program for a production by the 25th Engineers, Company F, is illustrated with a drawing of soldiers in costume, posing as the bottom halves of the letters in the word "camouflage." The final items are a manuscript song about engineers' war experiences and a manuscript map of the Leonval Camp, located in the Forêt de la Reine in eastern France.
The Photograph shows a United States soldier in uniform.
The Realia series includes a black case and canteen that belonged to Edward Van Winkle. The case holds 6 medals, 5 buttons and cufflinks, and a compass.