Carl Bauder letters  1918
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of three letters written by Carl B. Bauder of the 135th Field Artillery Regiment to his friend, Lieutenant Ralph F. Henn, during his service in France with the American Expeditionary Forces in the First World War. In his first letter, Bauder discussed his duties, which included operating a machine gun against enemy airplanes; as he wrote to his friend, "we… have about completed our overseas training whence we hope we will get our crack at the Hun in the very near future" (September 8, 1918). He also attached a copy of The Endeavor Weekly, a newsletter published by Cleveland's Euclid Avenue Christian Church "for our boys in service," which encourages its readers to send a letter or card to Carl, one of five soldiers selected to receive mail. In his second letter, written on September 29, he briefly related his unit's general movements, but still felt "a long way from cleaning up the hun with our little gun." His third and longest letter (8 pages), dated November 24, 1918, recounts his military experiences in greater detail, including his specific movements since June 1918, copied from his diary. In addition to expressing his relief at the happy outcome of Ralph's recent bout of influenza, the soldier reflected at length upon his military experiences: "Though our period in active service has been comparatively short, I think I have experienced most of the things which an artilleryman ordinarily would," he wrote, and mentioned field combat, watching aerial battles, and being attacked by a submarine en route to Europe. Two of the letters are composed on YMCA stationery.

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