Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Edmund Hill Collection, 1918-1919

Finding aid created by
Stephanie DeFouw and Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Edmund Hill collection
Creator: Hill family
Inclusive dates: 1918-1919
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract:
The Edmund Hill collection (June 1918-June 1919) consists of 49 letters, 4 newspaper clippings, and 1 small Christmas card. During the time that he was in Europe as a soldier in World War I, Edmund wrote 48 letters to his parents and 1 to a friend named "Mr. Ladd." He sent letters from various cities in France, such as Calais and Bourbonne-les-Bains, to his parents in Rutherford, New Jersey. The other items also relate to Edmund's time in the army.
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: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2003. M-4293.5.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

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:

Edmund Hill Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

Edmund Baldwin Hill (b. 1891) was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, to John E. (b. 1854) and Ida F. Hill (b. 1857). During World War I, Edmund and his close friend from home, A. Dudley ("Dud") Wade (b. 1893), were part of the Intelligence Section of the 78th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. They were trained at Camp Dix, New Jersey, before their division was sent to France. Near the end of the war, they fought on the front lines in the battles of Saint-Mihiel and Argonne Forest. Edmund decided not to re-enlist after the war and instead became a writer and a broker. In 1932 he married a teacher named Winifred L. Morrow (1895-1964).


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Edmund Hill collection (June 1918-June 1919) consists of 49 letters, 4 newspaper clippings, and 1 small Christmas card. During the time that he was in Europe as a soldier in World War I, Edmund wrote 48 letters to his parents and 1 to a friend named "Mr. Ladd." He sent letters from various cities in France, such as Calais and Bourbonne-les-Bains, to his parents in Rutherford, New Jersey. The other items also relate to Edmund's time in the army.

Of the 49 letters, 48 were written to John and Ida Hill from Edmund. During the war, Edmund was not able to provide many details of its military events, because of censorship, so he wrote about the weather, letters he had received, his health, politics, and family affairs. He often mentioned his appreciation for the services provided by the YMCA and the Salvation Army. After censorship was relaxed after the war, Edmund was able to relate more of his experiences. These later letters regard the places where his division had been stationed and specifics about battles in which he had taken part, such as the Battle of Argonne Forest. His last few letters emphasize his desire to finally get home and back to civilian life.

A few of the letters contain enclosures. The letter from June 13, 1918, has a short newspaper clipping attached, which is entitled "New York is Captured, German Troops Told." Included in Edmund's letter from December 25, 1918, is a reprint of an article from the New York Herald about his division and its participation in the Battle of Argonne Forest, on which he wrote some comments. In his letter dated February 9, 1919, Edmund enclosed 2 large pencil drawings: one of his billet in Semur-en-Auxois, Côte d’Or, and the other, a field sketch of the town of Grandpré "before it was taken by the 78th Division on the last great drive of the war." He frequently used illustrated YMCA and AEF stationery.

Of the 4 newspaper clippings not attached to letters, 2 are reprints of letters Edmund wrote to his parents. One of them, dated December 28, 1918, called "A Glimpse of the Great War" is his letter from November 27, 1918, the original of which is included in this collection. The second is entitled "Soldiers' Letters." Another clipping is a reproduction of a drawing depicting a soldier with binoculars sitting in tree. The last is an article with the title "General Pershing Reviews the 78th, Bound for Home" about the awarding of the Distinguished Service Cross to members of the division. The final item is a small Christmas card with an acrostic poem written on the back.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Argonne, Battle of the, France, 1918.
    • Paris (France)--Description and travel.
    • Saint-Mihiel, Battle of, Saint-Mihiel, France, 1918.
    • Salvation Army.
    • United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
    • United States. Army. Infantry, 311th.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • World War, 1914-1918-- France.
    • YMCA.
    Contributors:
    • Hill, Edmund Baldwin, b. 1892.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Greeting cards.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Edmund Hill collection [series]
    Folder   1  
     June 7-July 14, 1918
    Folder   2  
     July 21-September 1, 1918
    Folder   3  
     September 8-October 3, 1918
    Folder   4  
     October 12-November 12, 1918
    Folder   5  
     November 20-December 29, 1918
    Folder   6  
     January 5-February 2, 1919
    Folder   7  
     February 9-March 9, 1919
    Folder   8  
     March 19-April 20, 1919
    Folder   9  
     April 26-June 19, 1919
    Folder   10  
    Newspaper clippings and Christmas card,  August 3, 1918-March 28, 1919 and  undated