Rumsey Bissell Marston WWI Letters
2010.022

Summary Information

Repository
The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Marston, Rumsey Bissell , 1895-1964
Title
Rumsey Bissell Marston WWI Letters
ID
2010.022
Date [inclusive]
1918-1919
Extent
20.0 Items
Language
English
Language
These materials are in English.

Preferred Citation note

Rumsey Bissell Marston WWI letters, 1918-1919. Coll No. 2010.022. McFarlin Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. University of Tulsa.

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Biographical/Historical note

Rumsey Bissell Marston was born April 1, 1893 in Edith, Virginia. In 1918 Marston was the principal at Ashland High School in Virginia before he was stationed at Camp Lee in Virginia. He served in the infantry of the National Army in WWI and eventually earned the rank of Sergeant. After WWI he resided in West Virginia and worked for the state education association. He died October 1964.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection contains twelve letters written by Rumsey Bissell Marston just prior to and during his deployment to France and Great Britain during WWI to his father, mother, brother and sisters. Additional items in the collection are: his military service record, a photograph, a drawing, and the envelopes in which the letters were sent.

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Arrangement note

Letters are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives 2013 September

McFarlin Library
University of Tulsa
2933 E. 6th St
Tulsa, OK, 74104-3123
918-631-2496
Marc-carlson@utulsa.edu

Access

This material is open for research use by any registered reader.

Use and Copyright

This material is owned by the University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections. Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright. Therefore, permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from both the repository and the copyright holder.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was purchased from Ben Byrnes in March 2010.

Processing Information note

This collection was originally processed by Courtney Taylor as a class project at an unknown date. Rehousing and additional finding aid information was added by Amy Ziegler in June 2011.

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Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

  • Armed Forces.
  • United States. Army. Infantry Division, 80th.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Correspondence.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- France.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- United States.

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Collection Inventory

 2010.022.1.1 Letter 1918 January 12   Typed and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston (Principal, Ashland High School) to his sister (Ethel Lee Marston), written on a full-sized sheet of Ashland High School letterhead. Pencil sketch of a "scheme of [runs] for bayonet training" on a separate full-sized sheet of blank paper. Addressed and postmarked envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Sister: Saturday morning is here. I am feeling pretty good and for a sort of expression I am writing to you....I understand the fellows are expecting to leave Camp Lee for France by February 15...."

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 2010.022.1.2 Letter Saturday evening   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Dad (W.F. Marston), written in ink on 318th Infantry Regiment letterhead note paper.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Dad: I have been very sorry to know you have had the mumps. Down here they are not out of the ordinarty and unless the exceptional is true I imagine I shall myself become acquainted through experience with your own present and recent suffering....I am myself doing fine. My [arm] is practically O.K. again and I am eating heavy and sleeping better than for many a day...If the work does not prove too heavy I shalll be glad indeed that I got into the army for my work back at Ashland, following [on] my college work, was wearing me to a frazzle in so far as my body was concerned. I am a green back private now and I my be one always but if I can stand the pace I ought not to remain one...."

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 2010.022.1.3 Letter 1918 May 14   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Dad (W.F. Marston), written in ink on 318th Infantry Regiment letterhead note paper.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Dad: Yours in today. I am including two stamps already pasted but unused...Go to the range in the morning at 4; remain until 8 in the evening - busy here until 11 at night.. During the day hike 6 or 7 miles, shooting a gun about 80 or 90 times - kicks like a mule....Do not worry bout coming down or about Mamma's [coming]. Of course I should be glad to see you; but may be I couldn't for the quarantine has tightened to take in the whole regiment and now it is strictly enforced."

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 2010.022.1.4 Letter 1918 June 16   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Dad (W.F. Marston), written in pencil on dark tan-colored note paper, 2 sheets; addressed and postmarked envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Dad: I have been wondering whether my allotment of $15 per month has been coming to you. If not let me know and I will speak to my captain who will help arrange the matter...The country is interesting, but I do not know that I should go to any great trouble to see it - at least making a trip from home here for that purpose. Our impression of the country will however scarcely be a just one because of the peculiar conditions surrounding us...."

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 2010.022.1.5 Letter 1918 June 23   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Mother (Mrs. W.F. Marston), written in pencil on dark tan-colored note paper, 1 sheet. Addressed and postmarked envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Mother: We have had the day to ourselves and so I have spent a large part of the time walkinig about. Galloway [a male friend or relative] is not far away and we are together often. All of us are in good health; the fellows say I do not look like I did when I cam to the [army] being now more full in the face and of course much stronger...Do not worry about anything. We are well located and the time is passing in a not unpleasant way...."

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 2010.022.1.6 Letter 1918 October 20   Handwrtten and signed letter from Runsey B. Marston to his Mother, Dad & family, written in pencil on light tan-colored notepapers, 3 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Mother, Dad & All: I am glad to be able to write to you to-day...There are others who write no so much as I. One thing for you to remember is this: letters or no letters from me you need not worry for I to become ill or otherwise I shall be in good hands and honest word will be given to you frequently by the government....So take my letters for their face value and be happy and thankful for everything....I am, therefore, anxious that you remember me in prayer. This is the one big thing that the whole world can do for me - bigger, better act than any act I may myself do here in forewarding the struggle to an early and a victorious end...."

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 2010.022.1.7 Letter 1918 October 20   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his sisters, written in pencil on light tan-colored note paper, 1 sheet. Addressed and postmarked envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Sisters: To-day offers me an opportunity I have wanted for a long time - an opportunity to prepare a little message for you....Both of you are just beginning to come into your real estate. While your work may be hard, still your income and what is more to be desired, your opportunity to become acquainted with all the good and the instructive things Washington city-life offers. These will outweigh your difficulties and in the new viewpoint you will gain, you will count your hard-working hours to be so many blessings in diguise...."

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 2010.022.1.8 Letter 1919 February 4   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Dad (W.F. Marston), written in ink on YMCA American Expeditionary Forces letterhead lined note paper, 7 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Dad: How are all of you these days? Sometimes I imagine your work must ba hanging heavily on your hands but I am very anxious that you will not let it be so, that you will, if possible, take your vacations more frequently than you have in the past few years....I dare say you would hardly recognize me because of the change this life has brought to me....I draw now $44 per month sergeant's pay; deducting insurance and allotment I have something over twenty dollars left me, which is a plenty, to be sure...."

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 2010.022.1.9 Letter 1919 April 13   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his father (W.F. Marston), written in ink on YCA American Expeditionary Forces letterhead lined note paper, 3 sheets. Addressed and postmarked envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Father: On the 6th I left Dublin. Until to-morrow morning, when I head for Edinberg, I shall be here. I have been in and about Glasgow [Scotland] for about a week. The Y is doing a big work here, affording to all men of the allied forces lodging and meals at a very small expense....I find the English to be deeply and sincerely interested in the League of Nations idea. Will it go through?...."

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 2010.022.1.10 Letter 1919 April 16   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Father (W.F. Marston), written in ink on YMCA American Expeditionary Forces letterhead lined note paper, 3 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Father: Perhaps I ought to address my letter to Mamma but both of you will understand that the two of you are always together in my thoughts....My spiritual state is not, as is often the case, of the soundest - I mean to say that I have lately become addicted to periods of 'the blues' in a mild, harless sort of way, so that I am more anxious daily 'to shake hands with you' and pass the time away spinning yarns about plans for 'next year'. When I left Dublin, 6th or 7th of the month, I had the idea that I was running away from the disease but it perserveres...."

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 2010.022.1.11 Letter 1919 April 22   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Father (W.F. Marston), written in ink on light tan-colored note paper, 2 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Father: To-day when I returned I found perhaps a half hundred letters waiting to be opened....Gallaway is home...Tell him I am worse off than he. I've got to stay over here and without a wound chevron, too, to come back. One of his legs is good again. In the other certain nerve centers were broken and he is without the use of the foot...."

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 2010.022.1.12 Letter 1919 June 3   Handwritten and signed letter from Rumsey B. Marston to his Mother (Mrs. W.F. Marston), written in ink on light tan-colored note paper, 3 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Mamma:....Before I came to England I visited the battalion dentist. He filled mine and cleaned all within two or three hours. In the army the doctors while good are rough; their motto is 'good [work] in the briefest time possible'. After I came here [Dublin] I had my front tooth replaced, the one broken last summer eating hard tack...."

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 2010.022.1.13 Envelopes August   2 handwritten addressed and postmarked envelopes without contents.

Scope and Contents note

First envelope is addressed to Mr. W.F. Marston, the other is addressed to Mr. & Mrs. W.F. Marston. Both bear the YMCA American Expeditionary Forces logo.

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 2010.022.1.14 Military records Undated   Photocopies of War History Commission, State of Virginia military service records for Rumsey Bissell Marston and a photocopy of Marston's registration card.

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 2010.022.1.15 Photograph Undated   10 x 5.1 cm Sepia-toned studio portrait, trimmed down to a rough oval shape.

Scope and Contents note

Image of the head of a young woman with short hair.

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