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1 CHARLES BUCKLEY 1918 ORIGINAL WORLD WAR I MANUSCRIPT LETTERS BY AN AMERICAN INFANTRY HERO: FIGHTING THE KAISER FROM THE TRENCHES WHILE LOSING A HAND BUT REFUSING TO WORRY THE FOLKS BACK HOME
FRANCE TO BILLERICA MASSACHUSETTS 1918 Good+ Manuscript 
On offer is an outstanding, original, grouping of three [3] World War I, manuscript letters, handwritten in France between January and June 1918 by Charles Buckley, of Company G of the 104th Infantry. Buckley had first arrived in France with the 26th Division in the autumn of 1917. He participated in heavy fighting in April and May of 1918. During that time his regiment became the first regiment in the history of the United States Army to receive a unit citation of the French Croix de Guerre. In May 1918 Buckley lost his left hand when it was blown off by a German grenade during an attack on an American trench. There is excellent content in these letters, including a super explanation about the deterioration of the German and French armies, and another about his duties as a rifle grenadier. He was severely wounded in May, and there is some content about that as well. The earliest letter in this grouping was written in late January 1918: "We have a large carrier on the end of the rifle and we put on grenades, 1 in at a time, and put a cartridge in the rifle and shoot it off and it sets some kind of a fuse off the grenade and it flies out of the rifle and you can see it travel through the air and when it comes from about 3 feet from the ground it explodes and it kills within ten feet of it and it can tear up the ground some." He goes on to explain that in the trenches it will not be his job to go in the first line, but to remain the second line and fire over the heads of the men in the first line. This letter was written at about the time that the 104th Infantry Regiment entered the trenches for the first time. The second letter was written on 23rd May 1918, three days after he had been wounded. It's a very strange letter. He describes his wound as a "small scratch on my left arm", although his hand had been instantly blown off as he had reached for a grenade, hoping to throw it back out of the trench. [It was not until late July, when he had returned to the United States, that he revealed the severity of his wound to his parents.] He writes in this letter that he has been at the base hospital for 3 days, and that "I feel just as good as ever." "You have nothing to worry about because I will be all fixed up in a couple of days." Obviously this stoic warrior did not wish to worry his parents. The final letter was written on June 5th. There is excellent content about the war: "Well Dad it is fine weather over here now and the Boches are getting a bad beating. They are putting all they got up on this drive. They are gaining about a mile or two a day and they are losing hundreds of men doing it, and as soon as they stop will the British, French, and Americans counterattack and drive them back where they start from... The States are sending over a lot of men now and I guess it will be up to the Americans to win the war now, because the French are all in and it is the same on the other side, because when we would capture any Germans they all say that they cannot stand it much longer, and they also said that they are putting all their strength in the drive they are pulling off now." Included in the grouping also is a 1945 Commissary Sales Store card from Camp Edwards Massachusetts, issued to Buckley as a Disabled Veteran. Overall VG. 
Price: 885.99 USD
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