Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Brigel Family Correspondence, 1942-1944

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Brigel family correspondence
Creator: Brigel family
Inclusive dates: 1942-1944
Extent: 6 items
This collection contains six letters and postcards written by brothers Cornelius L. and Anthony J. Brigel to their families during their service in World War II. The brothers wrote about their life in the army, and sent greetings to their loved ones at home.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1997. M-3359.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Brigel Family Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Leopold Brigel, a German immigrant, and his wife Johannah lived in Columbus, Ohio, in the early 20th century. They had three children: Cornelius L., Anthony J. (1907-1975), and Catherine. Cornelius, who signed himself "Neil," lived in Columbus with his wife Ada at the beginning of World War II. He joined the United States Army and spent time at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, and Camp Roberts, California; by 1944, he had been moved to a veterans' hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Anthony became a sergeant during the war, and served in the 758th Railway Shop Battalion.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains six letters and postcards written by brothers Cornelius L. and Anthony J. Brigel to their families during their service in World War II. Cornelius wrote the first three letters to his wife Ada, and described his arrival at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, in two postcards from December 1942. He mentioned trading in his civilian clothing and receiving a vaccination, and promised a friend: "I get to Germany, I will get Hitler's mustache and use it for a shoe brush" (December 19, 1942). In his third letter, written on stationery from Camp Roberts, California, he described a trip to Santa Barbara, California, while on 36 hours' leave (February 8, 1943).

Anthony composed two letters to his "Brother and Sister" from his post with the 758th Railway Shop Battalion, then stationed in India. He wrote about his disappointment with his St. Patrick's Day celebrations (March 17, 1944) and offered his condolences for a family member's death, via a v-mail message (May 26, 1944). A final postcard, addressed to Cornelius and postmarked Detroit, Michigan, announced the birth of a baby girl, signed by "Pink" (October 29, 1944).

Subject Terms

    • Camp Roberts (Calif.)
    • Fort Thomas (Ky.)
    • Santa Barbara (Calif.)--Description and travel.
    • United States. Army--History--World War, 1939-1945.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States. Army. Railway Shop Battalion, 758th.
    • United States--History--1939-1945.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    • Brigel, Anthony J., 1907-1975.
    • Brigel, Cornelius L.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Postcards.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   9, World War II Small Collections Folder   4
    Brigel family correspondence,  December 19, 1942-October 29, 1944 [series]