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Letters to Home

These letters come from various collections of personal narratives written home to families and to members of the Dartmouth community, including President Hopkins, Herbert Faulkner West 1922, Harold Goddard Rugg 1906, Maud French and James Moreau Brown 1939.

Click on each image to see the entire letter.

Paul Caravatt's October 1943 letter to Associate Librarian Harold Goddard Rugg

Paul Caravattg letter to Harold RuggDear Harold,

Yes, I'm in Colorado. I am now attending Colorado School of Mines. It is under the Army Specialized Training Program now, but they do have a few civilians.

We take seven subjects, a total of 26 hours a week, and then have 23 hours of study hall. It isn't too bad, but it does not compare in the least to Dartmouth, but then I guess every Dartmouth man gets prejudiced once he's been there. I still contend I'm going back after the war.

To hear Paul's interview: Paul Caravatt

John Gustafson's August 1945 letter to Associate Librarian Harold Goddard Rugg

August 1945 Letter to RuggDear Mr. Rugg,

This letter is a little late in getting off, but I hope you will excuse the delay.  I wish I had some way I could properly show you the appreciation I feel for the wonderful hospitality you showed to me on my recent visit to Hanover.  I can truthfully say that it was the most enjoyable part of my whole leave.  My heart and soul are with Dartmouth wherever I may be, as it is with the majority of Dartmouth men all over the world.  To be able to get back for a few days was ample reward for the nine months spent away learning the art of war and going through the paces for the Marine Corps....

To hear John's interview: John Gustafson

Harry Hampton's February 1945 letter to President Hopkins

February 1945 Letter to HopkinsDear President Hopkins:

In some small way, and very hastily, I would like to express my personal gratitude for your greetings to Dartmouth Men in the Armed Services.

Tonight, here on the western bank of the Roer River, planes have been passing overhead for a full thirty minutes on their way to blast the Reich.  Buzz bombs and Screaming Mimis make futile, but bothersome replies.  In this blasted out German farmhouse, where I am seated among men of my platoon, it's good to know that somewhere, somehow, somebody is pointing us out from this immense and deadly struggle to say a personal "hello" to us as men of Dartmouth...

To hear Harry's interview: Harry Hampton

Malcolm McLane's June 1945 letter to his family

June 1945 Letter to familyDear Clan,

It's three o'clock, Tuesday morning, June 6, 1944.  Someone is shaking you in your blanket roll, but you're too sleepy to get up for you didn't get to bed until midnight and it was after one before the talking quieted down and you got to sleep.  Then the bright light goes on in your face, and you remember what you were told in that three-hour long, secret briefing last night, "Today is D-Day!"

You tumble out as best you can, put on extra socks and heavy shoes from force of habit, for some day you have to walk back.  There's some hot coffee and an egg in the mess tent, then you pile into jeeps and trucks and hurry to the line, where the ground crews have already been warming up the planes....

To hear Malcolm's interview: Malcolm McLane

Andrew Wood's December 1941 letter to his family following the attack on Pearl Harbor

December 1941 Letter to family December 1941 Letter to family, p2 December 1941 Letter to family, p3

Dear Mother and Dad,

It is really beginning to look like winter here; I have just come from an Accounting class during which the snow really started coming in a flurry that darkened the sky to a blacker hue than is often seen, but only a few stray flakes can be seen now, and they are of the small kind which seem to drift up as much as down.

Everything seems to be going on about as usual despite the current war excitement.  I was in the Library Sunday afternoon when the rumors started flying with regard to an attack on Pearl Harbor; I passed them on to a fellow whose home is in Honolulu, and he replied that such a thing was entirely impossible because of the great distance of Hawaii from Japan...