This collection (59 items) is primarily made up of letters and telegrams that Thomas E. Snook sent to his parents in New York City from July 12, 1916-May 24, 1919, pertaining to his service as a United States Army engineer. Snook wrote 5 letters to his parents about his military training in Plattsburg, New York, in July 1916; he commented on drill, marches, his fellow soldiers, and his diet. From July 1917-June 1918, he described his training with the 306th Engineer Regiment in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Washington, D.C.; and Camp Jackson, South Carolina. He was promoted to captain during this period. Snook's letters concern training exercises, unit organization and reorganization, a quarantine, and preparations for embarkation. In his letter of June 13, 1917, he mentioned his intention to marry Virginia Wright.
From August 1918-May 1919, but mostly after the Armistice, Snook discussed his experiences in France. Though he occasionally heard artillery fire, he later reported that he had not participated directly in combat, telling his family about the engineers' role during the final months of the fighting. After the war, he wrote about his interactions with French citizens and the Americans' efforts during and after the war. His letters of June 3, 1918, and April 12, 1919, contain lists of American casualties, and his letter of December 15, 1918, has a list of all of the items that he carried on his person. In addition to Snook's correspondence, the collection contains a small number of letters from his father and one letter to his mother from S. T. Bennett, another soldier serving in France (September 22, 1918).