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The Art of Cards & Letters : Military Mail Call

Military Mail Call

Mail remains a critical morale booster for military personnel. The specter of death magnifies the separation between family and friends and has led many to pour heart and soul into wartime correspondence.

Remember to Write that letter home

Video Clip: Missing You - Letters from Wartime

"We have moved so often that letters couldn't find us. Write often, and I will run the risk of getting the letters."

— Hermon Clarke, a Union soldier encamped at Bermuda Hundred in the South, to his father, June 23, 1864

V-mail cover

In 1942 the U.S. postal service began offering military personnel and civilians the choice of using V-mail letters. Microfilmed letters helped the military save precious cargo space.

1918 draft card

Image (at left): Of course, the mail did not always bring good news to potential military personnel. This postcard was sent to remind a draftee that he was due to report for his physical.

"That's when I miss you the most darling. At night when everything is still & quiet. On the nights that I sit up alone I can feel you very close to me."

— Lieutenant Emery to his sweetheart, Audrey Taylor, July 6, 1944

Censored Letter

Soldier's Mail Free mark

Military censors crossed out, and sometimes snipped out, sections of letters, including references to a soldier's location or plans.

Related Links:

A Nation Divided exhibit

Curriculum Guide, "We were There: Letters from the Battle Front"

Write a Letter activity

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