(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Pvt. E. R. WIRT
Co. A. 18th M. G. BN.
ON ACTIVE SERVICE
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
Jan. 12, 1919
Two more of your letters
came today numbers 29 & 30. Now I
am beginning to catch up somewhat.
However Moore, Marothe, and Nelson
all got their first letter addressed to
them at this co. The [ ] of it is that
I wrote at Verdan sending you my
new address and they did not write
till two weeks afterward. I have spoken
of those two doubtful letters and
itt maybe that it went astray. I
am anticipating though my mail
in a day or two. I sure will
be glad to get some direct for it
will not be over two months old
as this is.
It seems funny to read of
your expecting the good new any
moment and then to have it come
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By January, 1919, when Edward Wirt wrote this letter the First World War was over. In the summer of 1918, Wirt had been reassigned to the 18th Machine Gun Battalion of the 6th Division. The 6th became known as the "Sight Seeing Sixth" because it spent most of the war marching from position to position. Fortunately, it saw little action, losing only 227 men out of the total 20,000. Successful offensives pushed Germany out of much of France from July to November, 1918. In early November, elements of the German military mutinied and the government was forced to ask for a cease-fire. On November, 8th, 1918, the warring parties signed an Armistice that ended shooting on November 11th (at 11am). On the 9th of November the German Kaiser (Emperor) abdicated (although it was not official until November 28) and a republic was proclaimed. In all the Allied countries exuberant celebrations ensued, including the "wild manifestations of joy" in the town Wirt's fiancée lived, Greenfield, Massachusetts (as noted in the local newspaper). Despite the end of hostilities much of the U.S. army remained in France awaiting a peace treaty.
There are ninety letters from Mr. Wirt to Miss Bartlett in the PVMA collection; twelve of them are reproduced here.
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WWI letter to Emily Gladys Bartlett
| author Edward Roswell Wirt (1891-1942)
| date Jan 12, 1919
| location France
| height 8.5"
| width 5.25"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L01.017
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