Whitfield-Barnett correspondence  1917-1921
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of 36 letters that Harry L. Langnecker wrote to his wife while serving at the U.S. Naval Base Hospital No. 2 in France during World War I. He commented on his work at a spa, internal politics within his unit, and other aspects of his daily life.

Thirty-five of Langnecker's letters (dated March 28, 1918, to October 22, 1918), bear numbers between 7 and 55, apparently comprising part of a series. He wrote most frequently about his duties, which included overseeing a spa and performing surgical operations; he often provided anecdotes about his relationships and interactions with co-workers. Several letters pertain to Langnecker's relationship with his wife, and he discouraged her from attempting to join him in France (July 21, 1918). Langnecker mentioned visits to "Castle Brahau." Though he focused on life at the hospital, he shared his negative opinions of Belgian citizens (April 6, 1918) and nurses (August 31, 1918), and he discussed the potential consequences of women remaining in the workforce after the war (September 23, 1918). Two of Langnecker's letters have enclosures: a newspaper clipping with a photograph of William Sowden Sims and an advertisement. Langnecker drew a diagram of his bedroom in his letter of October 16, 1918.

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