Joseph Carson papers  1917-1919 (bulk 1918-1919)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection primarily consists of letters written by Captain Joseph Carson during his service with the United States Army's Ordnance Department in France from 1918 to 1919. The first item in the collection is "Excerpts from Dr. Willard's Letter" (three typed pages) dated June 3, 1917, in which the doctor described a visit to London that included tours of several military hospitals. Carson's letters, written between his arrival in France in September 1918 and his departure for the United States in February 1919, are addressed to his mother, father, wife, and daughter, Sarah Whelen Carson (a single letter, dated November 6, 1918). He described the scenery and wrote of his work in the army, far behind the front lines. On November 6, 1918, he drew a small map of his location at a military post, and in a separate letter of the same date enclosed a photograph. In mid-November, he reflected on the armistice and on local celebrations, and looked forward to returning home early the following year. His post-armistice letters are dated from Tours, France, and include discussions of courts martial held in mid-January 1919. In addition to his outgoing correspondence, the collection holds a handful of incoming letters Carson received from his father, Hampton Lawrence Carson, and from other acquaintances, as well as a typed poem entitled "Richard C. Nevil" (November 30, 1918). Also included is a postcard to Carson's wife from Edward P. Hamilton of the 306th Field Artillery Regiment, which depicts the Palace of Fontainebleau (January 3, 1918).

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