None of my direct ancestors have seen combat since Cornwallis sent up his white flag in 1781. My late grandfather served in the National Guard, but had the good sense to finish his stint a few months before Pearl Harbor. The letters he exchanged with his new bride testify both to his service and to a disturbing case of adolescent mushiness. Given the news that Megan Smolenyak2 passed along today, I'm glad my mother grabbed them before the Smithsonian could put them on display.
Megan reports that an exhibit is set to open at the National Postal Museum on Veteran's Day. According to a release from the museum, "War Letters: Lost and Found" will feature "original letters from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam that were lost or abandoned and then rediscovered by strangers." The exhibit was created in collaboration with Andrew Carroll, founder of the The Legacy Project.
“What makes these letters so incredible, along with the history they record, are the stories behind them,” said Carroll. “These letters were found at yard sales, in trash bins, under floorboards in homes being renovated by new owners, and even on the fields of battle. And they all would have been lost forever if some conscientious soul hadn’t ‘rescued’ them.”Visit The Legacy Project for links to other sites featuring war letters.