Pennsylvania, France: 1918-1919.
Unbound. A collection of 14 letters, 13 of which are sent from France, by Corporal (later Sergeant) Herbert C. Lohrman and his brother George R. Lohrman to their family while they were both serving with the 316th Infantry Company K during the First World War. The letters are very good with small tears from opening and some age-toning. All the letters are written on attractive printed letterheads and still have their envelopes with a variety of censor and postal markings.
The Lohrman family were farmers in Macungie, Pennsylvania whose family originated in Scandinavia and were among the original settlers of the township of Macungie. When the brothers went to war in 1918 they left behind their mother and two sisters to run the farm. A letter from Herbert in August of 1918 reads, “we had a few days train ride through France before we came to the town where we were to stay. I am staring at a farm house I sleep in the barn I have a good place to sleep it is not like home but cannot expect more.” He continues, “the other night I helped the farmer to unload a load of hay I told him that I was a farmer before I came in the army (haha) some farmer.” He ends this letter with “write real often it makes a fellow feel more like home if he gets a letter every week from home.” Many of the letters contain advice to their sisters on running the farm in their absence. One letter reads, “I was glad to hear that the potatoes are very nice and that the crop was good. Keep enough for yourself and for planting and the rest you can sell or keep them until later, so do as you think best…keep things in good shape until Herbert and I come home.” Later in the letters George revealed he was wounded in the foot on the 10th of November, the second to last day of fighting and writes from a hospital in France. “I am feeling fine with the exception of my left foot as I was unfortunate on the 10th of Nov. the second last day of fighting. I am in a hospital and certainly must say that they are very kind to me and also have good eats.” George’s last letter is from a hospital in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in February of 1919. Herbert’s final letter is from March of 1919 and reads, “gee I was glad to hear that George is back in the states.”
A modest but interesting collection of letters from the end of World War I written by two Pennsylvania Farmers.