The Center for American War Letters (CAWL) at Chapman University has a massive collection of every American conflict / war, beginning with handwritten messages composed during the American Revolutionary War in the 18th century and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st century. The majority are personal letters to friends and family on the home front, but there are others, all of which provide a wonderful insight to the struggles of the soldiers.
During the American Civil War (1860-1865) most the soldiers could read and write and if they couldn’t they had a buddy write letters for them to send home. So that war period alone, there were millions of letters written and then saved by descendants.
The Center hopes to expand this collection to include as many letters as possible. They will be safeguarded and preserved for future generations and historians. These letters were of the times, eye witness accounts of what happened, where and especially of ordinary events in the military.
If you do have military letters to doante, here is the address:
The Center for American War Letters
c/o Char Williams – SMC
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
Phone (714) 997-6815
Photos: March 1777 – American Revolution, those who helped write letters, envelope from June 1864, and soldiers wrote home.< Return To Blog