Reference Department librarian Jodie Steelman Wilson has researched and transcribed a set of World War I correspondence in our collection and has begun to add new material to our existing collection. If you have anything to contribute to the ongoing project documenting Indiana's World War I heritage or any questions about our effort, please contact Ms. Wilson at 765-362-2242 ext. 117 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In the early 1960s, the Crawfordsville District Public Library received the war-related correspondence of Mrs. Cordelia (Brenneman) Thompson who lived in Cherry Grove, six miles north of Crawfordsville. The letters in the collection were mainly written by Mrs. Thompson's two brothers, Amos and Roy Brenneman, who served during World War I. One additional letter was written by James Harley Barton, a local resident and friend of the Thompsons. Finally, a few letters from the War Department were also found in the collection.
Amos Brenneman was born July 13, 1898, died February 9, 1956, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Sheffield, Alabama. He served in the Company C, 167th U.S. Infantry, served overseas, and was injured in combat at Croix Rouge Farm in France on July 26, 1918. His nine letters extend from July 22, 1917 to January 17, 1919. Amos Brenneman remained in the military after the war, eventually achieving the rank of Master Sergeant.
Roy Brenneman was born December 12, 1894, died October 8, 1961, and is buried in the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery. He spent the majority, if not the entire war, at Fort Dade, Florida. His letters indicate that he may have served in the Coastal Artillery Corp, Company 1; however, less specific information could be determined from his letters. Roy's six letters date from November 11, 1917 to September 2, 1918.
James Harley Barton was born August 30, 1898 in Linden, and died June 7, 1957. He is buried in the Linden Cemetery. Barton was a family friend of the Thompsons from Linden who also served in the war. Barton originally enlisted from Crawfordsville's Company C, 2nd Indiana Infantry Regiment, later transferring to the 150th Field Artillery. Barton wrote just one of the letters in the collection. His single letter was written September 18, 1917 from Camp Mills, New York, the final stop before a soldier's arrival in Europe.