Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2004.60.4
Object Name Correspondence, personal
Accession number 2004.60
Description Correspondence, personal. Approx. 95 letters, with envelopes, dating from March 1917 to March 1923 to and from Sgt. Phillip Franklin Kent, HQ Base Section no. 1, St. Nazaire, France; Casual (Replacement) Depot no. 42, Coblenz, Germany-American Forces in Germany (AFIG); Casual Co. no. 4, Ft. Slocum, NY; Co. B, 4th Provisional Bn., Camp Meade, MD, with family members in LaCrosse, WI and Chicago, IL. Kent works as a personnel clerk (sergeant) at the 3rd Army casual or replacement depot.

Topics include: dated July, 1919, asking Kent if he will be mustered out soon or has to serve his full 3 years; dated April, 1919, Kent arriving at Jefferson Barracks; undated maybe May, 1919, Kent at Camp Meade, Maryland, got his spiral leggings and overalls; dated June 28, 1919, bells ringing proclaiming signing of Versailles Treaty; July 6, 1919, big celebration in LaCrosse for returned soldiers and sailors, commenting on Germans' reaction to the Versailles Treaty; August 13, 1919, to Kent, mentions race riots (in Chicago) and railway strikes throughout U.S.; September 2, 1919, mentions that the Army employs "frog girls" to work in the offices and pay them more than soldiers but don't do as much work as the soldiers; sending German prisoners home; thinking that Turkey may act up and then be sent there to fight; December 14, 1919, Kent mentions be a witness in a desertion case for a soldier in the 6th field artillery; November, 1919, many references to activities and uses of the YMCA and Salvation Army facilities, German women working at the YMCA; November 27, 1919, mentions US soldiers involved in a Polish relief expedition, treating patients, many of them Jews, for lice, mentions very cold temperatures, food shortage, civil war going on; December 9, 1919, mentions Germans wanting to go to the U.S.; December 9, 1919 in French from Kent's friend Desire Cognot;

January 20, 1920 mentions ships "Powhatan" and "Pocahontas" carrying mail; January 23, 1920, mentions the Germans are not starving and are doing better than the French, mentions hearing that Congress didn't ratify the Versailles Treaty that included the League of Nations provision, mentions Polish civil war and Kent says "I'm with them" and that he would like to go to Silesia; references to value of German marks to dollars; April 4, 1920, mentions a huge U.S. flag flying over Fortress Ehrenbreitstein; April 22, 1920, mentions French occupying Frankfurt because of "trouble" infers that to be Bolshevik actions; April 30, 1920, mentions German prisoners detailed to clean rooms but Kent does his own, wishing that the U.S. Senate would ratify the Peace Treaty or do something to end hostilities with Germany, comparing Coblenz to LaCrosse; June 30, 1920, mentions going on a 5 mile hike to the rifle range, firing a Springfield rifle, making out strength reports; July 17, 1920, mentions conference at Spa; September, 1920, letter home Kent mentions not being able to walk around the German town with his German girl by order of MPs;

March 29, 1921, mentions that Kent was a pall bearer for the funeral of a soldier who killed himself, he was shell shocked, German civilians uncovered their heads when his casket passed which they don't do for British or French soldiers; May 5, 1921, mentions processing 300 passports for wives of 300 men who are returning to U.S., lower enlisted ranks are being sent home first, staff sergeants or higher staying; June 15, 1921, Kent mentions may be "busted" to a lower rank as all temporary and surplus non-commissioned officers will be, which should speed up his return to the U.S., Kent mentions that Germany is in good shape to pay reparations and that the Allies' demands should have been harder; June 14, 1921, mentions reorganization of personnel, Kent wants to stay until he knows what his grade will be for the money; July 21, 1921 Kent mentions he will be coming home in September and maybe discharged, Inter Allied athletic games, especially boxing, the Americans always "clean up" on the other Allied soldiers, a new American bar at the sergeants' club with Coco-Cola; August 2, 1921, mentions Bonus bills; August 17, 1921, mentions U.S. servicemen marrying German women with children and then being shipped home, Kent won't be coming home; August 19, 1921, mentions using German prisoners to clean his room; August 28, 1921 mentions peace being signed; September 30, 1921, mentions Pershing being at the club, Pershing will be visiting the French Unknown soldier to place a Medal of Honor; October 24, 1921 and December 5, 1921, mentions economic conditions, value of the German mark to the dollar, inflation of German mark;

February 14, 1922, Kent mentions he will sail on the USAT Cantigny and he will be posted to Ft. Slocum, NY; March 16, 1922, mentions that when the 5th Infantry Regiment left, half of Coblenz bid them farewell and that "it didn't look like an enemy army leaving but (as if) seeing their own soldiers off"; February 21, 1922, Coblenz, Germany, mentions being a patient, sick with sore throat, therefore missing transport home; March 30, 1922, Ft. Slocum, NY, returning to the U.S. sailing aboard the Cambrian(?), mentions conditions of quarters, talks about wanting to go home, buy civilian clothes; April 3, 1922, Ft. Slocum, NY mentions prices of clothing items compared to German prices.

People Kent, Phillip Franklin