Friday, October 11, 2013

Four Generations of Military Mail

I have some letters to share.
Letters that reveal the history of my family ancestry.
Letters reflecting the history of the United States of America.

This is a letter dated 1865,
written by a soldier from the 5th NJ regiment during the Civil War.
He was my great, great grandfather, James M. Welch.
He served the duration of the war
and was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.

This is a letter dated 1918 
written by a sailor on the USS Chicago during World War I. 
He was my grandfather, Milnor W. Newcomb
He served the duration of the war. 

This is a letter dated 1943 
written by a Sailor on an LST during World War II. 
He was my father, Rowland M. Newcomb.
The holes represent the work of a censor.
He served the duration of the war. 
His ship was bombed during a landing, 
but most survived. 

And finally, this is a postcard (to me and my sister) dated 1970 
written by a naval officer on the USS Bordelon during the Vietnam War.
He is my brother, Stephen R. Newcomb
He served his enlistment time and 
remained in the Naval Reserves for most of his adult life. 

I also have an ancestor who was killed during the 
American Revolutionary War. 
There were no letters home at that time. 
The earliest ancestor I have in America, 
immigrated on the Mayflower. 
(My lineage has been officially documented 
by the Daughters of the America Revolution.)

I now have a son-in-law serving in the US Navy. 
He has undergone schooling and 
is currently en route to where he will be stationed in Virginia. 
His wife will keep his letters. 
post signature
Come along....The Party's Here
And be sure to Get Social.  I love bumping into my friends in cyberspace too!


MadSnapper said...

these are amazing, i have only one letter, written by my grandfather to me when i was born in 1944... the letters from my brother in Vietnam it never occurred to me to keep them. i am sure my mother did but i don't remember seeing them, they might be in the family hope chest my niece has. Daddy's grandfather died at Shiloh. we are not documented and now i am wondering if that is why i love mutt dogs and have never owned a pedigreed anything.. hugs from mutt madsnapper

Wayne said...

I've spent many hours on my family history, so this gives me goosebumps. It's so cool you have these!!!

Ruth Kelly said...

Talking about all kinds of letters - I have kept all of the letters that my daughter wrote me while she was serving a mission in Ireland back in 2000 - can't bear to part with them. I can see her surprise after I am gone and she finds the letters.

Out on the prairie said...

Lots of fun, it offers one a chance to examine the personal side of people we may not have met.

Nancy said...

I think it's wonderful that the receipants of these letters recognized their value and kept them for future generations...Obviously your family values the principals our country was founded on and chose to serve to defend its freedom....Thank you for sharing this today as it is an encouragement in a day of great turmoil in this country....

Molly said...

My husband can also trace his family history back to the Mayflower!

These are wonderful slices of history, the thing that really stuck out for me is how neat the handwriting is in the first one


Mersad said...

Such interesting pieces. I think it's quite remarkable that you have these letters and postcards after so many years. I know a lot of people who lost valuable treasures like them. And that censoring part is very interesting too. They literally cut into the paper.

Mersad Donko Photography

Kerry said...

Wow, they really did read everybody's outgoing mail on your father's ship. Imagine going through all those letters and snipping out individual lines.
These are wonderful historic keepsakes, how lucky you are to have them.

GingerV said...

This is wonderful. I know an attorney that has letters like these matted and framed (hermetically sealed?) and they are beautiful works of art.

Unknown said...

For sure handwriting is a lot art. The art of knowing the soul of someone. I have been making all my Christmas gifts for my family for several years. Someone's comment about framing old letters gave me an idea for something different this year. Love the photo of the postcards.

Pauline said...

That's a fantastic post, Rebecca - and so aptly titled. Even if you had no other documentation about your family, you would have a rich history in those letters and postcards alone. And the tradition continues - that is so cool!

DawnTreader said...

I have quite a few old letters and postcards saved, none as old as that first one of yours though. (But several postcards from the early 1900s.)

Jama said...

It's a piece of history here! great post, I'm impressed!