Stephen Atwood papers  1803-1853
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Clarence E. Burt papers contain 18 letters and postcards and 2 ephemera items pertaining to Burt's service in the United States Army during World War I. He wrote to his aunt and uncle, Addie and Charles H. Mosher of New Bedford, Massachusetts, about his experiences in France in 1918.

The Correspondence series comprises the bulk of the collection. Burt's letters and postcards pertain to his military service between June 1918 and December 1918. He discussed his voyage to France, expressed his love for Paris, and recorded his impressions of local towns, which were almost devoid of able-bodied men of fighting age. In August 1918, Burt spent roughly two weeks in a hospital devoted to bone and joint injuries after spraining his ankle in a shell hole. After returning to his surgical work on the front lines, he described conditions in his dugout, which had been taken from the Germans only days before: rats and lice kept him company in the "underworld cage" and he watched as men marched past him "to certain death" (October 20, 1918). Burt also reported the constant bombardment and seeing French villages destroyed by war. Pleased by Germany's capitulation, he hoped the peace terms would "wipe Germany off the map," and mentioned German atrocities and rotting horse carcasses (November 24, 1918). Despite his negative experiences, his letter of November 24, 1918, reveals his satisfaction with his ability to "do my share" by lessening the pain of injured soldiers.

The Ephemera series contains a printed program for a Thanksgiving Day Matinée for wounded soldiers, presented by the Red Cross (November 28, 1918), and an undated French pamphlet advertising Monte Carlo (undated).

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