Ware Family Papers
Call number: Mss1 W2296 b
In 1917, the United States entered World War I. John and Charles Henry Maddox, two brothers from Wythe County, became involved in the war effort. Charles Henry Maddox joined the Marine Corps before the war, anticipating that the country would eventually enter the conflict. He spent time stationed in Cuba before being sent to France. Charles Henry's letters home describe his time in Cuba, his disappointment over not being sent to France sooner, and the interaction of the American Marines and the black Cuban soldiers.
John Maddox was a member of the American Expeditionary Forces and also served in France. John's letters furnish details on the fighting and insight into the life of a wounded soldier. He was gassed during the war and suffered from its ill effects and from tuberculosis for the remainder of his life. His letters from the Red Cross Public Health Service Hospital in Oteen, N.C., and Phoenix Sanitarium detail his treatment and his navigation of the government bureaucracy to receive help with his health care.
Among the correspondence that the brother sent home to their family are some unique Christmas cards produced by the YMCA for the American Expeditionary Forces. The illustrated cards include depictions of the troops and humorous pictures of the enemy (see pictures at right).
Their sister Eliza Constance "Lila" (Maddox) Ware also did her part to support the war effort. During World War I, she was appointed as a delegate to the convention for the United War Work Campaign, and she subscribed to the National Emergency Food Garden Commission newsletter. During World War II, while her sons served in the military, Lila collected records for the Virginia WWII History Commission. The Ware family papers also contain ration stamps and books attesting to the affect of the war on the home front.
For more information on these siblings and their very different war experiences, see the Ware Family collection, call number Mss1 W2296 b.
These cards were produced by the YMCA especially for the American Expeditionary Forces. Click on each image for an enlargement.
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