The Summerton 60

Senator Hollings writes regular op-ed pieces on issues that concern him. Following is one he sent out today, which we want to share with our followers.

~ Herb Hartsook

The Summerton 60

An Op-Ed by former
U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings


Senator Hollings

When President Obama and Congressman John Lewis visited the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on its 50th Anniversary, many in the press and media hailed Selma as the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.  The Civil Rights Movement began fifteen years earlier when Levi Pearson fixed up a discarded school bus and went with Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, a teacher at Scott’s Branch, to the Clarendon County School Board for gasoline money.  White children were bused to school in Clarendon County, SC, but black children had to walk.  Roderick W. Elliott, Chairman of the Clarendon County School board, told DeLaine: “White folks own property, pay taxes and provide money for buses.  Black folks don’t own property, pay no taxes and there is no money for black children.”  James M. Hinton, Chairman of the NAACP, told DeLaine that if he could get twenty-five plaintiffs, they would get “that Washington lawyer” Thurgood Marshall to bring a class action.  Instead of twenty-five, some seventy-six plaintiffs signed up – most from Summerton, SC.


The Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine

The plaintiff Harry Briggs, an African American, owned a filling station while his wife worked as a maid.  When the Board realized that Marshall was on the case, the Board retained Robert McC. Figg, who was considered the best attorney practicing in the federal courts in SC.  Upon the filing of Briggs vs. Elliott, all hell broke loose.  Pearson lost white customers for timber that he cut and the bank cut his credit.  White customers stopped coming to Briggs’ station, and finally losing it, he had to move to Florida to make a living.  Maids that signed the complaint lost their jobs.  Black farmers were refused seed and had to travel to Columbia for seed.  DeLaine lost his job at Scott’s Branch, and twice at night vigilantes drove by and shot up his home.  On the second occasion, DeLaine fired at the car’s tires so he could identify the assailants.  For this, DeLaine was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.  Then on October 10, 1951, DeLaine’s home was burned down.  The church moved Reverend DeLaine twenty miles away to Lake City, SC.  DeLaine was given a new church, but before long his Lake City church was burned.  Shortly afterward, when Reverend DeLaine heard that a mob was coming to lynch him, he escaped out of the back door of his home, went across two fields to a highway where he caught a ride to Charlotte and then to New York – never to return to South Carolina.  At the time, his son, Joseph A. DeLaine, Jr., was in the U.S. Army in Korea.  All kinds of pressure was brought to bear on the plaintiffs to remove their names from the complaint, but sixty refused – the Summerton 60.


Judge Waties Waring

Briggs vs. Elliott came before a Three Judge Court which held two-to-one that it was bound by the Plessy “separate but equal” decision.  Judge Waties Waring filed a brilliant dissent that the Supreme Court later followed in its decision of Brown vs. Board of Education.  After his dissent, Waring received death threats, which caused him to leave Charleston, move to New York, never to return except for his funeral.

Briggs was the first Civil Rights case to reach the Supreme Court, and Thurgood Marshall considered it the most important.  Briggs was consolidated with challenges from Kansas, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.  Governor James F. Byrnes enlisted John W. Davis to represent South Carolina.  Davis had argued a hundred cases before the Supreme Court and Byrnes, a former Supreme Court Justice, wanted to make sure that South Carolina won.  On appeal, Governor Byrnes sent me with Figg to Washington because I had chaired the committee that wrote the sales tax equalizing school facilities.  When Figg checked at the Court, we learned that the case Brown vs. Board of Education was moved ahead of Briggs.  The secondary schools in Kansas were integrated but the primary schools were still segregated.  Kansas was submitting the Brown case without argument.  Figg called Byrnes, who called the Governor of Kansas, to send a lawyer to argue Brown.  Byrnes had served on the Supreme Court with Chief Justice Fred Vinson and told me that he expected South Carolina to win.  But Vinson died in September 1953 and President Eisenhower appointed former Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice.  Thurgood Marshall and Judge Waties Waring commenced Civil Rights Law when the Supreme Court in Brown vs. The Board of Education reversed Plessy vs. Ferguson on May 17, 1954.


Thurgood Marshall, Chief Counsel for the NAACP (photo: Library of Congress)

In November, 1956, The Supreme Court ruled in the Montgomery, Alabama, case that segregated bus seating was unconstitutional.  When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on December 21, 1956, she had The Supreme Court on her side.  The Supreme Court was not on the side of the Summerton 60 during their four years of hell.  Instead of losing their seats, the Summerton 60 lost their jobs, their homes, and their churches.  Because of the Summerton 60, the doctrine of “all men are created equal” in The Declaration of Independence was enshrined in the Constitution of the United States; Rosa Parks could keep her seat; freedom riders could ride; Martin Luther King could march; John Lewis could be elected to Congress and Barrack Obama could be elected President.

Clarendon plaque

Commemorative plaque at Scott’s Branch High School, Clarendon County

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Road Map of Justice: Judge Robert W. Hemphill


Judge Hemphill

Robert Witherspoon Hemphill (1915-1983) was a towering figure in South Carolina during his life.  He represented South Carolina’s Fifth District in the United States Congress from 1957 to 1964, when he ascended to a federal judgeship on the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.  A distinguished and sometimes intimidating jurist, Hemphill was noted for his keen opinions and strong work ethic.  Hemphill took senior status in 1980 and continued to hear cases until his death.  Shortly thereafter, his staff boxed up the entire contents of his office for the South Caroliniana Library, and his papers were transferred to South Carolina Political Collections on the department’s founding in 1991.

road map

The road map

We received everything that was in his office, including the contents of his desk.  To this day, I use his scissors and ruler.  Having arranged and described the Hemphill collection, one aspect of his nature impressed me deeply: his devotion to his friends.  He seems to have taken time every day to pen short notes to friends, particularly if they were ill or had some other difficulty.  An avid outdoorsman, he routinely commented on the good “fellowship” he had enjoyed on hunting and fishing trips.

Recently, we received an Esso road map from Lyles Glenn, once Judge Hemphill’s clerk.  Judge Hemphill had traced on the map the route he traveled between Spartanburg, Rock Hill, and Columbia, cities in which he routinely held court, and Richmond, Virginia.  As Lyles recounted, “This road map is the one which Judge Hemphill frequently cited to attorneys who unsuccessfully argued motions or other matters which came before his court.  In other words, ‘if you don’t like the ruling you are welcome to appeal it; here’s the map, and here’s the route to Richmond (i.e., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals)’.”

Hemphill road map

The Road to Richmond

For more on this fascinating figure, please read the description of our Hemphill Collection and view the finding aid.

 ~ Herb Hartsook

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SCPC Celebrates Women’s History Month

I was once asked why I wanted to dedicate my career to the papers of “old, fat, bald” men. The question took me aback because SCPC’s collections contain rich materials documenting women in America, and I feel particularly close to a number of our women donors. And even the papers of Fritz Hollings, Bryan Dorn, Olin Johnston, etc., all include voluminous materials reflecting the concerns of female constituents and a variety of issues impacting on the lives of women in America.

League and Hollings

League President Keller Bumgardner (right) and Board member Claire Randall with the recently-elected Senator Fritz Hollings in 1967

SCPC is happy to celebrate Women’s History Month with two small exhibits in the Hollings Library’s Brittain Gallery.

The larger case showcases the papers of the League of Women Voters of South Carolina. This large archives documents the League’s founding, growth, and programming and is one of our core holdings. As I often comment, if you research almost any topic of importance—local, state or national—you will need to study the League’s papers. There is almost nothing about government or society that the League doesn’t address in some form. In addition to the state League, our holdings also document local leagues throughout the state and the work of League leaders. Given our shared interest in good government, many League leaders have become friends.

Against the Tide

Keyserling’s memoir, Against the Tide: One Woman’s Political Struggle

A second case is devoted to the papers of Harriet Keyserling and Liz Patterson. Mrs. Keyserling (1922-2010) came to public service only after rearing her children. The self-proclaimed “New York Jewish liberal,” represented Beaufort County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1977 until her retirement in 1993. Her memoir provides wonderful insights into her life experiences and the workings of government. The collection itself, at 48 feet, is a particularly large collection for a state legislator. It reflects Keyserling’s deep interest in the arts, education, and nuclear energy and waste.

Patterson and Mann

Liz Patterson and Congressman James Mann speak with a constituent

Elizabeth “Liz” Johnston Patterson (b. 1939) grew up in the public eye as the daughter of former governor and U.S. Senator Olin Johnston. Like her father, she has enjoyed a life in public service. The Columbia College graduate worked with the Peace Corps, Vista, and Head Start, before joining the staff of S.C. Congressman James Mann in 1969. She won election to Spartanburg County Council in 1975, served in the state Senate beginning in 1980, and represented the Fourth District in Congress from 1987 to 1993, where she won a reputation as a strong fiscal conservative.

Both Keyserling and Patterson became good friends and have been wonderful donors—accessible, friendly, and eager to share their papers with the public.

I can’t imagine an SCPC focused solely on men in government. I believe history shows that we will be served best when more women have leadership roles in government.

~ Herb Hartsook

Note: For more on Liz Patterson, you may read an oral history interview with her here.

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Some Brief Reflections: Relationships with Donors

This is very self-indulgent, but I recently went through a stack of my own photos, and thought to share some, reflecting on the people I have had the pleasure to serve over the years.  Following are some favorites, in approximate chronological order.  I don’t regret losing weight but I’d love to have some hair back.

HH001 with Fritz & Peatsy Hollings, April 2000The ever elegant Peatsy Hollings with the Senator.  Many Hollings staffers refer to Hollings as “the Boss,” and that is how I always think of him;

HH002 with Isadore LourieIsadore Lourie, in almost every photo I’ve ever seen, he was smiling;

HH003 with Floyd SpenceFloyd Spence pledged his papers the day we first contacted him;

HH004 with John West, May 2000John West often recalled his early life on the farm, where he worked from dawn to dusk, or as he phrased it, “from can’t see to can’t see;”

HH006 with Wm WestmorelandDean of Libraries George Terry asked me to solicit General William Westmoreland’s papers.  Five years later, I had a great adventure in bringing the collection to the Caroliniana;

HH005 with Bryan Dorn, 2004For years, Steve Griffith and I visited Bryan Dorn each year, just before Christmas;

HH008 with Carroll Campbell, March 2004I met Carroll Campbell after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  When Dean of Libraries Paul Willis and I visited his home to pick up his papers, Gov. Campbell helped load our van.  When I objected to him carrying the heavy boxes, Mrs. Campbell accurately noted “Well, he’s the most fit.”  And it was true;

HH007 with John SprattJohn and Jane Spratt have proven to be ideal donors.  Here I am twisting his arm hoping he will pledge his papers to SCPC.

Herb Hartsook

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“I refuse to take it personally”: On the Popularity of the U.S. Congress

I have spent the bulk of my career documenting contemporary government and politics.  First as a graduate assistant during the late 1970s at the University of Michigan where I processed the papers of the Michigan Republican Party.  I take great pride in my association with legislators including Butler Derrick, Bryan Dorn, Jim Edwards, Lindsey Graham, Fritz Hollings, John Spratt and John West.  But, I also sometimes shudder at the antics of our nation’s leaders.  So, it was with great delight that I read remarks by Don Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office.  Don is one of the finest oral historians I have encountered and a fount of information on the Senate.

Don Ritchie

Senate Historian Don Ritchie doing one of his many appearances on C-SPAN

During a recent panel on congressional history presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, Ritchie noted, “Congress registers as the least popular branch of the federal government. Even at its highest levels, right after Watergate, Congress was well regarded by only 40 percent of the population. In recent years that approval rate has dipped below 10 percent—down below used car salesmen and just ahead of telemarketers.


Nicholas Longworth in 1912

But this is nothing new. Back in 1925, Representative Nicholas Longworth—for whom one of the three House office buildings was named—commented that during the 20 years he had served, members of Congress had been “attacked, denounced, despised, hunted, harried, blamed, looked down upon, excoriated, and flayed. I refuse to take it personally,” he said. “I have looked into history. . . .We were unpopular when John Quincy Adams was a congressman. We were unpopular when Henry Clay was a congressman. We have always been unpopular. From the beginning of the Republic, it has been the duty of every free-born voter to look down upon us, and the duty of every free-born humorist to make jokes at us.”

Herb Hartsook

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Roll In With Olin


Senator Olin Johnston with his wife Gladys and daughter Liz in 1957

Political campaigns require a great deal from candidates.  They have to have the “fire in the belly” to withstand the rigors of a contested election and use all manner of “tools” to reach out to voters.  These might consist of meet and greets, door-to-door solicitation, clever advertising, yard signs, billboards, and recently, robo-calling.  Music has long been an effective tool used well by many campaigners.

“Roll In With Olin” was the campaign song used by U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnston, whose papers formed the University’s first major congressional collection when they were received in 1965 shortly after the Senator’s death.

The catchy song was written by Jimmy McHugh (1894–1969) a prolific songwriter active from the 1920s to the 1950s.  His songs were recorded by artists including Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, and Frank Sinatra.

Liz Patterson

Liz Johnston (Patterson) campaigned for her father at the fair in Anderson, SC.

Daughter Liz Patterson recalls that the piece was so popular, it even played on the jukeboxes at the beach.  She recounts that Johnston’s connection to McHugh came through a relation who had moved to Hollywood.

We believe this recording was issued during Johnston’s final reelection campaign of 1962, when he turned back challenges by then-Governor Fritz Hollings in the Democratic primary, and Republican Bill Workman in the general election.

Please click below to hear two versions of this short campaign ditty.  Listen along as the song encourages voters to support “the tried and true . . . man who will fight for you.”

By Herb Hartsook

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SCPC Holiday Schedule

holly border topSCPC will be open on Monday, December 22nd,

and will then close for the Christmas break. 

We will be open for business again beginning

Friday, January 2nd.

Enjoy your holidays!

holly border bottom

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Goldwater Nomination Speeches from the 1960 Republican National Convention (Arizona State University)

Arizona State University Libraries holds the Barry Goldwater papers.  Rob Spindler and his excellent staff at their department of Archives and Special Collections, at our request, recently digitized NBC’s coverage of speeches made at the 1960 Republican National Convention nominating Goldwater for President.


Barry Goldwater (LIFE magazine)

Viewers will enjoy commentators Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and hear seconding speeches by Gov. Paul Fannin of Arizona, Cong. Bruce Alger of Texas, our own Gregory D. Shorey, Roy Houck of South Dakota, and Cong. John Rhodes of Arizona.  Finally, they will hear a stirring speech by Goldwater as he withdrew his name in favor of Richard Nixon.

Goldwater’s powerful speech presents a strong case for the conservative wing of the Party.  The newscasters noted that South Carolina and Arizona delegates “seemed to lead” the Goldwater demonstration on the Convention floor.  In his dynamic seconding speech, Shorey called Goldwater, “the most courageous legislator of our time.”

The hour long program can be seen at this link

Contributed by Herb Hartsook

Check out our other posts celebrating the 50th anniversary of Goldwater’s 1964 campaign here, here, and here.

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Goodbye, Lori

Lori and her piles (processing the Hollings Papers)

Lori and her piles (processing a collection)

Lori Schwartz, SCPC’s longtime Special Projects Archivist, will leave us in December to join the staff of the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Criss Library as the Chuck Hagel Archivist.  Hagel is the 24th and current U.S. Secretary of Defense.  The Republican Hagel has served as Secretary since 2013.  Previously, he represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate from 1997 to 2009. He won two Purple Hearts in Vietnam as an infantry squad leader, then entered into a successful career in business, where his accomplishments included  co-founding Vanguard Cellular.  His collection currently chiefly documents his two terms in the Senate.


hollings and lori

Senator Hollings and Lori at his book signing in 2008

Lori worked for SCPC for three years as a graduate assistant and was then hired as our fourth and final Hollings Papers Project Archivist in 2004.  She completed the processing of the Hollings Collection and assisted the Senator with research for his book, Making Government Work.  She also created the digital publication, Fritz Hollings: In His Own Words, a selection of some 200 documents consisting of 800 pages from the Hollings papers that has become the model for our In Their Own Words series.  In the process, she clearly became Hollings’ favorite archivist, whom he termed his “little lady.”

Dorothy and Lori inspecting the Hollings Library Reading Room prior to the big move in 2010

Dorothy and Lori having a little fun inspecting the Hollings Library prior to the big move in 2010.  Photo by Tucky Taylor.

Among her other accomplishments, Lori planned and supervised the 2010 move of SCPC from the Pearle Warehouse to the Hollings Library.  Thanks to her careful planning and diligence, this immense project proceeded flawlessly.  Some will point to her co-creation of SCPC’s Cheese Day celebration as her greatest contribution to the Library.  Cheese Day has grown almost every year and has spread to other repositories as former graduate students mentored by Lori have found employment through the profession.

Lori will be sorely missed and we wish her well in her new position.

Lori's favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012 L-R: Dorothy, Kate, Caitlin, Virginia, Lori, Katharine, Laura plus Herb on the couch

Lori’s favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012

Lori's favorite photo of SCPC staff, circa 2012 L-R: Dorothy, Kate, Caitlin, Virginia, Lori, Katharine, Laura plus Herb on the couch

Both photos by Kathy Dowell for USC Libraries

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An Evocative Letter from the Trenches of World War I

SCPC is receiving papers of Sarah Leverette, a 1943 graduate of the USC School of Law who served as Law Librarian from 1947 to 1972 and who has been a leader in the South Carolina League of Voters for over fifty years.  An inspirational figure, she currently works as a realtor and continues to serve the League of Women Voters as a staunch voice for good government.  “Fritz” Hollings remembers Sarah with great fondness, noting he’ll never forget her for coming in early every day during the 1945 Christmas holiday to open the law library so that he and other students, many WWII vets, could study.

Grandfather Leverette WWI Photo

In the course of this work, I have gotten to know Steve Casey, Sarah’s nephew.  Many families are lucky to have one member who serves as the family historian and Steve is a most able historian for his extended family and he is generously sharing much of his family’s history with the University.   Among the treasures we recently received was a typescript of the following letter written from the trenches of France by Sarah’s father, Steve’s grandfather, Doughboy Stephen Ernest Leverette.  It is among the most evocative and moving wartime letters I have read.  A German offensive launched on July 15 began the Second Battle of the Marne and was to be Germany’s final push of the Great War.  It resulted in a major Allied victory.   For their steadfast performance during the attack on Allied lines, Leverette’s Division, the 3rd, earned the nickname “The Rock of the Marne.”

                                             France, Aug’st 20. 1918.

My Dear Wife and Babies:

    ​After two and one-half months of hard fighting at the front, we have at last been moved back for a few weeks rest. We have been on the front continually since June 1st with an occasional rest of only a day or two, but always in range of the German guns. It is impossible to tell you what we passed through during the last big drive in which the Americans played such an important part, especially our regiment. On July 16th the Germans sent over the greatest barrage of artillery fire in the history of the war, followed by an attack on our lines and succeeded in breaking through the lines held by the French. They crossed the [Marne] river, gaining a foot hold on our side. It was our regiment which checked this — the greatest drive of the war. We pushed them back across the river and drove them for about 25 miles. For this work our regimental flag is to be decorated with the Croix de Guerre, being the first American regiment in France to receive this honor. Of course we suffered many casualties. I am the only officer left in our company, all others either killed or wounded. I have been in command of the company since July 22nd, when our captain was killed and have been recommended for a captaincy by our battalion commander. I am enclosing copies of special orders from our commanding general complimenting our regiment for its work. Each officer in the regiment received a copy. While our losses were heavy, the enemy losses were much heavier. On either side of the river their dead were piled in heaps, while the river was full of floating bodies and ran red with their life blood. Its useless to say we suffered many hardships and had many tough experiences on this drive. I lost all my equipment, in fact everything I had. My only earthly possessions now are the clothes I have on. Guess you’ll think I have no chance of losing them when I tell you that I haven’t had them off in three weeks. I’m sure the kiddies will think “Daddy” is disgraced when they hear that I haven’t had a bath in so long. I slept with my shoes off last night for the first time in 16 nights. We don’t mind small matters like this so long as the Huns are on the run — and we’ve certainly got ’em going. I was in the drive from start to finish and came through without a scratch. I can never explain how I got through, unless it was by the prayers of you people back home. Its fierce to face German artillery, machine gun fire and gas, all of which we get in abundance, but rest assured the Americans have got the grit to stand it. I’ll never forget how our men went into this drive. Few if any of them had ever faced a gun, yet they went up like veterans and those who live to get back hom[e] deserve the best there is in the United States and I’m sure will get it.

    We are now 30 miles behind the lines, yet on July 22nd, the Germans were within 200 yards of where I am now writing. Although we were sent back here for a much needed rest. I have days of work ahead in straightening out company records as to killed, gassed, wounded, missing, etc., besides much other work I can’t explain. In my exhausted condition, I am in bad shape to take up the task of mental work which awaits me. 

    In addition to my other work, I have to censor all letters. Some nights when I am so dead tired and have to read hundreds of letters, I come to the conclusion that every man in my company must have two or three wives and two or three sweethearts. Its a great pleasure — no matter how tired– to read the beautiful letters the boys write to their mothers, which shows the kind of stuff a fellow is made of I also very often run across very nice things indeed they say about me whether or not they say these things just because they know I’ll read the letters, I can’t say, any way it looks good. 

    How I wish you people at home could see some of the battlefields of France. The desolation and destruction are awful. Also wish you could see some of the wonderful battles in the air. I have witnessed many. Sometimes as many as ten and twelve machines are engaged in a battle and its a most thrilling and awe-inspiring sight to see the daring aviators make their dives and dips after one anothe[r] — their machine guns firing hundreds of shots a minute and each trying to get advantage of the other. You often see them shot to pieces and come crashing to earth. 

    The sector where we have been fighting has been one of open warfare altogether. Our front lines were only fifty to 100 yards from the enemy. We couldn’t show our selves at all in the daytime as a rifle would pick us off, consequently our moving was all done at night. During the day we would crawl on our stomachs or stay in our little dugouts. During a battle the big guns boom so loud it makes the little infantry rifles sound like popguns. They get to firing so fast its just one continual roar. Men can shout right in your ears, but you can’t hear a sound. It makes your head feel like you had taken about a peck of quinine. To sleep we would just lay down on the ground and roll up in our blankets. When the big shells would explode near us it would turn us completely over. 

Patrick Military Institute Commencement 1888    It is a most beautiful sight to be back among the big guns and see them open up on the Germans. You can see them fire, then see them hit on German soil and as they explode acres and acres of ground are literally torn up, to say nothing of the Huns.

    This war is a great game and all the more fascinating because of the great danger. You soon become accustomed to the din and roar — and danger too. With shells falling all around me the other day, I actually caught myself singing that old son[g]; “I Love to Tell The Story.”

    I met a French sergeant the other day who told me many of his experiences. He said on one occasion in Belgium, when they pushed the Germans back, he found a little girl about six years old nailed to a door, and just a few yard[s] further on they came to a young girl with ten bayonet wounds in her body. This fellow’s wife and little girl were captured in this German drive. He got letters from his wife up to 1916, but has heard nothing from her since. Although only 31 years old, his hair is white:

    One of the most inspiring sights to the American boys is to see these brave French women patiently toiling from day to day – doing their bit to help win the war. Many of them have lost their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons — still they don’t give up. They are not only working in the shops, cafes, offices, etc., but you see women of refinement and culture working in the fields. Well the “half has not yet been told” but I must stop. Please say to the many friends who have written me such nice letters, that I have appreciated and enjoyed them more than I can say, but it’s impossible for me to answer all of them now. Nothing helps us so much as cheerful letters from home, unless its the Red Cross and Y. M. C. A. They are doing a grand work — follow us right up and do everything in their power for our comfort. Many a Red Cross nurse and Y. M. C. A worker will have stars in their crowns for the wonderful things they are doing for us. 

    Much love to you and all the babies. 


First Lieut. Co. D, 38th Inft. 3rd Div.

–Blog post contributed by Herb Hartsook

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