Ben Byrnes collection of Ermon Stewart WWI letters
2010.036

Summary Information

Repository
The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Creator - Author
Stewart, Ermon
Title
Ben Byrnes collection of Ermon Stewart WWI letters
ID
2010.036
Date [inclusive]
1918-1920
Extent
0.25 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
Very good.
Language
English
Language
These materials are in English.

Preferred Citation note

Ben Byrnes collection of Ermon Stewart WWI letters, 1918-1920. Coll No. 2010.036. McFarlin Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. University of Tulsa.

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Scope and Contents note

Ermon Stewart died of influenza which he contracted on the ship while being transported to England. The collection includes Ermon's letters to his mother, a letter from Aunt Maggie to Kate Stewart (his mother), a letter from Kate Stewart to Ermon Stewart, and documentation (concerning his death, his persoanal effects, burial, war risk insurance, and re-burial) from the War Department, American Red Cross, American Legion, Treasury Department, and the American Expeditionary Forces Knights of Columbus.

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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 Unpublished manuscripts are under copyright.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

Purchase

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Byrnes, Ben
  • Stewart, Ermon

Subject(s)

  • Special Collections -- Manuscripts -- Stewart, Ermon
  • World War I Collection.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Correspondence.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Death and burial
  • World War, 1914-1918.

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Collection Inventory

 2010.036.1.1 Letter 1918 April 22   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, with a rectangular section of the upper left corner of the first sheet cut out, 3 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, As I was not able to get over Sunday I will write a few lines although everything is going on about the same with me....Will get over to see you as soon as the roads get better...."

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 2010.036.1.2 Letter 1918 May 19   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...our bunks are on the floor in a long circular hallway and if there are many here it is pretty noisy...If any mail comes for me you may post it in another envelope and send the address [sic] below: Private Ermon Stewart, New York University Training Camp, University Heights, N.Y...."

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 2010.036.1.3 Letter 1918 May 25   Handwritten and signed letter in pencil, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....We look for letters every day but most of the time we are disappointed. I like it here quite well but it is no regular army life. I am writing this letter lying on the floor and am using pencil because my pen has gone dry...."

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 2010.036.1.4 Letter 1918 June 8   Handwritten and signed letter in pencil, from Ermon Steward to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....I thought there would not be much for me to do Saturday afternoon or Sunday so was going to answer some letters. But one of the fellows was going to Brooklyn Saturday afternoon to see an aunt of his and asked me to go along....We have pretty hot weather for drilling or anything else...."

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 2010.036.1.5 Letter 1918 June 14   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....the food is not anything extra but there is plenty of it. It is usually eggs and cereal in the morning, meat soup and potatoes at noon and frankfirtters [sic] and beans for supper. We get a change once in a while...."

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 2010.036.1.6 Letter 1918 June 16   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Bob Stewart (Ermon's brother) to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

Dear Mother, I have just written a few lines to Ermon and will try and write a few to you....I went on an excursion to Kingston Point today on the boat. While waiting for the boat to come back I saw Ernest Ford and his wife down there...."

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 2010.036.1.7 Letter 1918 June 22   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....Have had nothing to do since 2:15 this after noon. I usually go somewhere but to-day I hve stayed around the camp all day. It is pretty quiet here tonight as nearly all of the soldiers have gone out...."

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 2010.036.1.8 Letter 1918 July 19   Handwritten and signed letter in ink from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....I weighed myself the other night and found that I weighed 152 lbs. That is the most that I have ever weighed. Last week I received a box of cookies from Abbie and they are not gone yet but they are certainly good...."

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 2010.036.1.9 Letter 1918 July 1   Handwritten and signed letter in blue ink from Aunt Maggie to Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"My Dear Kate, You would have enjoyed being here Sunday visiting with your boys, but you will be very glad to have them home next Sunday....I am glad the dead do not know what is transpiring on this earth...."

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 2010.036.1.10 Letter 1918 July 7   Handwritten and signed letter in ink from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, I am afraid I will have to leave here without a chance of coming to see you....I don't know why it was but no one got passes last Sunday for overnight at all. This week we don't get passes because they are expecting a call to go at any time....

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 2010.036.1.11 Letter 1918 July 17   Handwritten and signed lettert in ink from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheeets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, Well I had to leave New York without coming home and have gone farther away than I expected...We left New York Saturday afternoon and did not get here [Fort Leavenworth, KS] until Tuesday morning....don't let this stop you from answering as I am crazy to hear news from home...."

General note

Ermon Stewart's Fort Leavenworth address: Private Ermon Stewart, 15th Service Company Signal Corps, Barracks 45A, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

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 2010.036.1.12 Letter circa 1918 July 20   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheets with envelope.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, Just a few lines now to say that I think I will be here for a few days anyway...I don't get any New York papers out here but the last paper I saw read as though things were going pretty good for us on the other side. I think we will be gaining from now on...."

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 2010.036.1.13 Letter 1918 July 21   Handwritten and signed letter in ink from Bob [Stewart] to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...Mrs. Loun and Addie have gone out to East Durham for a few days and Harold and I are keeping house....I had a card from Ermon Friday giving me his new address and have just written him today...."

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 2010.036.1.14 Letter 1918 August 4   Handwritten and signed letter on YMCA letterhead notepaper, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...All last week I did not get any mail and I was beginning to think everyone had deserted me....This afternoon I have to go on guard that means 24 hours in the guardhouse except when we are [off] duty. We are on duty 2 hours and off 4 hours as long as we are in the guard...."

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 2010.036.1.15 Letter 1918 August 12   Handwritten and signed letter on Camp Fort Leavenworth, Kansas letterhead, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 2 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...I had a letter from Willis Fox. I like to get letters from Durham people for then I know nearly all that is going on....I can't tell you very much that is new because we are getting the same thing nearly every day. Saturday we were reviewed by the commander...."

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 2010.036.1.16 Letter 1918 August 21   Handwritten and signed letter on Community House for Soldiers and Civilians letterhead, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....I can't tell you much of anything new as things are going on about the same as usual...Last Friday we went for a ten mile hike and it was so hot that when I weighed myself that night I had lost three pounds but i have got it all back...I am writing this in the community house at Leavenworth and it is pretty noisey...."

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 2010.036.1.17 Letter 1918 August    Handwritten and signed letter on Signal Corps letterhead notepaper, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother....Well this is another hot day and the thermometer registers 105 in the shade....Sometimes I hear that we may stay here sometime and again that we may leave any time so it is pretty uncertain...."

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 2010.036.1.18 Letter 1918 August 29   Handwritten and signed letter on Signal Corps letterhead notepaper, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, Things have changed since I wrote to you last night. This morning one of the fellows here in my barricks came down with Scarlet Fever and we are now all under quarantine. I am afraid now that our batallion will leave without us...."

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 2010.036.1.19 Letter 1918 September 1   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...Remember now that I will expect you to keep up good courage no matter what happens. Nothing can prevent my going across and it will be much easier for me if I can be sure that your are trying your best to be cheerful and hopeful for I am sure everything will turn out all right in the end...."

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 2010.036.1.20 Letter 1918 September 6   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, I am now out of quaranteen...for the case was not as serious as they thought...two or three weeks ago one of the fellows in my barricks came down with measles and I talked with hiimn after he had all broken out but did not get them. You know I always said I was immune from disease and it begins to look as though it was so...."

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 2010.036.1.21 Letter 1918 September 8   Handwritten and signed letter on Community House for Soldiers and Civilians letterhead, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, I will write you once more from Leavenworth but I think it will be the last time. I am sending you to-day a box with my things in...."

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 2010.036.1.22 Letter 1918 September 10   Handwritten letter on YMCA letterhead notepaperl, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, I am writing you these few ones on the train to let you know that I have left Leavenworth and am coming back east somewhere...."

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 2010.036.1.23 Letter 1918 September 19   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Bob [Stewart] to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...I had a letter from Ermon a few days ago and he was then in Camp Merritt, N.J. but very likely you have heard from him by this time. It is likely that he will be going across now soon...."

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 2010.036.1.24 Letter 1918 September    Handwritten and signed letter on YMCA letterhead notepaper, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet. The specific date Ermon wrote on the letter was redacted with blue waxy pencil and the letter is stamped with Military Mail Censor 16 stamp.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother, Just a few linies to say that I am now on board ship and bound for some place on the other side...Now, please try to deep in mind that it cannot be for long that I will be away and it will be much easier for you. Everything looks encouraging for us and when we have won you will be glad that I had a part...."

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 2010.036.1.25 Letter Sometime 1918 September   Handwritten and signed letter on YMCA letterhead notepaper, from Ermon Stewart to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Mother...This is my second day out on the ocean and we are having fine weather...We find it pretty warm in our quarters but it is pretty nice up on deck. We will probably be ten or twelve days on this trip so if you do not hear from me for some time you will know why....look on the bright side and hope for the best. It will soon be all over and it will be so much easier for you if you can only look at it that way...."

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 2010.036.1.26 Postcard 1918 September or October   Soldiers' Mail /American Red Cross Canteen Service postcard addressed to Mrs. Kate Stewart, but handwriting does not appear to be that of Ermon Stewart.

Scope and Contents note

Preprinted card reads: "The ship on which I sailed has arrived safely overseas. Name: ["Ermon Stewart" pencilled in] Organization: ["10th Depot Batallion Signal Corps" pencilled in]. American Expeditionary Forces."

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 2010.036.1.27 Letter 1918 October 13   Handwritten and signed letter in ink from Elsie [cousin] to Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"Dear Kate...I do miss hearing from Ermon it just seemed as if we could not let him go across without seeing him but things look so encouraging now that I am in hope it won't be long before the war will end..."

General note

At the time of this letter, Ermon Stewart's mother and family had not yet been informed of his death from pneumonia as a complication of influenza which he contracted on board his transport ship overseas.

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 2010.036.1.28 Letter 1918 October 20   Handwritten and signed letter in ink, from Mrs. Kate Stewart to Ermon Stewart, 3 sheets.

Scope and Contents note

My Dear Ermon, It has seemed such a long time since I have heard from you...How little did I think when you left home that morning that I would not see you again before you went across, but you seemed to be one of the unlucky ones....Will Bear is dead also Claude Goff both dying I think of pneumonia...I hope you will not get it...."

General note

At the time of this letter, Ermon Stewart's mother and family had not yet been informed of his death from pneumonia as a complication of influenza which he contracted on board his transport ship overseas.

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 2010.036.1.29 Letter 1918 January 9   Typed and signed letter on American Red Cross letterhead, from the Captain of the American Red Cross Home Commuication Service to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

"My dear Mrs. Stewart, Owing to circumstances over which we have had no control in consequence of the abnormal conditions due to the prevailing epidemic of influenza during the past few months, we are very sorry that we have been unable to write you earlier, regarding the death of your son, Ermon Stewart. He was admitted into the American Red Cross Military Hospital, No. 4 Mossley Hill, Liverpool, from the S.S. Lapland on the 30 September, 1918, suffering from pneumonia, and died there on the 7th October 1918, at 6:40 p.m.....

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 2010.036.1.30 Documents circa 1920   Mimeographed bulletin 10-C-W from the War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General, Graves Registration Service, 3p. Mimeographed Memorandum Supplemantary to Paragraph 12, Bulletin 10-C-W, 2p. 15 Jan 1920. Typed memorandum from the War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army (Cemeterial Division) to "The relatives of our dead". Subject: Participation of patriotic societies in funerals. Typed memorandum from the War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army (Cemeterial Division) to "The relativesof our dead." Subject: Participation of patriotic societies in funerals. This copy, stamped "Over" at the bottom of the memo, has an added supplemental on verso regarding the Jewish Welfare Board. "Concerning Return of Bodies of American Soldiers Who Died Abroad. A Letter of the Secretary of War to Hon. J.W. Wadsworth, Jr. (Chairman, Committee on Military Affiars, US Senate)." US government publication, 1920.

Scope and Contents note

Graves Registration Service bulletin 10-C-W: Information for the Friends of Our Dead. Bulletin provides an overview of the the Service, circumstance of death, the exact location of a grave, changes in grave location, flowers, flags, monuments, inscriptions, Jewish grave markers, etc. Paragraph 12 concerning the return of bodies has been crossed out in blue wax pencil.

Supplement to Paragraph 12 explains the conditions and procedures involved in the return of bodies to the US.

Quartermaster General memorandum concerns the American Legion and the American Red Cross and their desire to assist any aid and comfort to the relatives of soldiers who have died in Europe. The supplemental to the memo addresses the Jewish Welfare Board and its desire to also be of assistance.

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 2010.036.1.31 Letters and document 1919 January - February 

Letters   Typed and signed letter from H.C. Houlihan (Deputy Commissioner - Compensation), Treasury Department, Bureau of War Risk Insurance to Madam [Mrs. Kate Stewart], 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

Deputy Commissioner H.C. Houlihan's letters to Mrs. Kate Stewart (beneficiary of Ermon Stewart's insurance) to advise her regarding compensation and insurance procedures. 25 Jan, 30 Jan, 5 Feb 1919.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from H.C. Houlihan (Acting Deputy Commissioner of Compensation) to Mrs. Kate White Stewart, 1 sheet. Typed supplemental from Chief, Effects Bureau, Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, NJ, attached.

Scope and Contents note

Deputy Commissioner H.C. Houlihan's letters to Mrs. Kate Stewart (beneficiary of Ermon Stewart's insurance) to advise her regarding compensation and insurance procedures. 25 Jan, 30 Jan, 5 Feb 1919.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from H.C. Houlihan, Deputy Commissioner - Compensation, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

Deputy Commissioner H.C. Houlihan's letters to Mrs. Kate Stewart (beneficiary of Ermon Stewart's insurance) to advise her regarding compensation and insurance procedures. 25 Jan, 30 Jan, 5 Feb 1919.

Notice   Published Notice, US Veterans Bureau.

Scope and Contents note

Deputy Commissioner H.C. Houlihan's letters to Mrs. Kate Stewart (beneficiary of Ermon Stewart's insurance) to advise her regarding compensation and insurance procedures. 25 Jan, 30 Jan, 5 Feb 1919.

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 2010.036.1.32 Letters 

Letter 1919 February 10   Typed and signed letter from William R. Castle, Jr., Director, The American Red Cross Bureau of Communication, to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

American Red Cross relays it condolences and offers its assistance.

Letters 1919 March 1   Typed and signed letter from T. Francis Moran, General Agent, National Life Insurance Company, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

National Life Insurance Company acknowledges the receipt of proofs of death and settlement of claim.

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 2010.036.1.33 Letters and documents 1919 April - May 

Letter 1919 April 9   Carbon copy typed letter from [the sister of Ermon Stewart] to the Auditor, War Department, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

Ermon Stewart's sister inquires as to the possibility of back pay owed to her deceased brother.

Letter 1919 April 16   Typed and signed letter from Jamor John A. Nelson, War Department, Quartermaster Corps, to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

War Deparment, Effects Bureau advises Mrs. Kate Stewart as to the shipping of Ermon Stewart's personal effects.

Form letter 1919 April 24   Typed-in completed form from the War Department, Effects Quartermaster, Port of Embarkation, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1sheet. Supplement attached.

Form 1919 May 22   Typed-in completed form from the War Department, Office of the Chief of Staff, Purchase Storage and Traffic Division, Transportaion Branch (Effects Bureau), to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet.

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 2010.036.1.34 Letters and document 1919 May - December   Carbon copy typed receipts from the Treasury Department, Office of the Auditor for the War Department.

Scope and Contents note

Letter 1919 May 30   Typed and signed letter from American Expeditionary Forces Knights of Columbus (Commissioner for British Isles) to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet with envelope.

Scope and Contents note

The AEF Knights of Columbus offer their condolences and inform Mrs. Stewart of the placement of a wreath on the grave of her son, Ermon Stewart. They include a facsimile card of the grave's inscription.

Photocopied document 1919 October 14   Photocopy of a Burials in Permanent Cemeteries document.

Scope and Contents note

Burials document notes the cemetery location, place of death, grave marking, etc.

Statement 1919 July 17   Carbon copy typed and initialed statement from the Treasury Department, Office of the Auditor for the War Department.

Scope and Contents note

Treasury Department pays Mrs. Kate Stewart for soldier's pay that was found due amounting to $39.10 and for cash in her son's possession in the amount of $7.14. 17 Jul, 12 Dec 1919.

Statement   Carbon copy typed and initialed statement from the Treasury Department, Office of the Auditor for the War Department.

Scope and Contents note

Statement of account of back soldier's pay in the amount of $39.10 and an additional $7.14 that was in Earl James's possession at the time of his death.

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 2010.036.1.35 Letters and documents 1920 April - September 

Letter   Typed and signed letter from Russell G. Creviston, Director, The American Legion, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

The American Legion addresses the confusion and misuse of their organization's name with regard to the French Memorial Certificates and the proper procedure for obtaining one. 15 Apr, 28 Jul 1920.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from the War Deparment, Office of the Director of Purchase and Storage, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet. Photocopy of a file copy of this letter.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Photocopied documents   Photocopies of War Department, Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army Graves Registration Service file documents, 3p.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from Percy R. Monson, Director, The American Legion, to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from Captain Louis H. Buisch, 'war Department Cemeterial Division, to Mrs. Kate Stewart, 1 sheet. Photocopy of same.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Photocopied memo   Photocopy of a memo to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1p.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Photocopied document   Photocopy of Special Order No. 64 from Headquarters, Army Transport Service, 1p.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

Letter   Typed and signed letter from R.H. Hallett, Assistant Director, Treasury Department Bueaur of War Risk Insurance (Compensation and Claims Division) to Mrs. Kate M. Stewart, 1 sheet. Typed voucher attached.

Scope and Contents note

Letters and documents from the War Department concern the removal of Ermon Stewart's remains from a Everton Cemetery in Liverpool and their return to the United States, including a government burial voucher for re-burial expenses.

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