Letter from Oliver Kollock to his brother Cornelius Kollock regarding news at The Citadel, 1 December 1918

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Document Description:

Housed at the South Caroliniana Library, the Cornelius Kollock papers describe the experience of Cornelius Kollock, a young soldier preparing for and fighting in World War I.  In this letter dated 1 December 1918, Oliver Kollock writes to his brother Cornelius.  Attending The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, he relates to Cornelius the outcome of football games against Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, and the U.S.S. Hartford.  He describes what positions he played in the games.  Additionally, he discusses Cornelius’ wound on the last day of battle in World War I.  He states, “Your knee seems to be the unlucky place on your body.” 


Kollock, Oliver, to Cornelius from The Citadel, 1 December 1918.  Cornelius Kollock Papers, folder 10.  South Caroliniana Library, Columbia, South Carolina.


[Charleston]  The Citadel

Dec. 1, 1918

Dear Cornelius,

            Papa has just written me about your letter in which you told that you were wounded.  That certainly was some luck, to be wounded the day before Peace was declared.  I sure hope you are well or much better when this letter reaches you.  Mamma phoned me about your letter on the 30th of Nov., which made the letter come in about two weeks.  That is the quickest time yet.  I don’t suppose you have any idea when the 81st Division will come home.

            The S.A.T.C. is going to be demobilized within the next three weeks.  We just had a chance to get to running good.  We have just finished taking out our insurance and haven’t been paid off yet.  I think we will be paid off tomorrow, anyway I hope we will.

            We played two other games during the football season besides Clemson.  We played Carolina and the U.S.S. Hartford.  The Hartford lucked one touchdown on us and won 6 – 0.  We played Carolina in Orangeburg on Thanksgiving Day and neither side scored.  It rained for about a week beforehand and the field was a sea of mud and water.  To win, one team would have had to have been about twice as good as the other.  I think we would have won if the field had been dry.  There was nothing but straight football used, and mostly line play at that.  Each side ran a few end runs from kick formation but that was all.  There were three passes tried and all were incomplete except one that Carolina intercepted.

            I played left end and did the punting.  Vanny played part of the game in the backfield.  The coach put in a heavier man to run line plunges instead of keeping Vanny for passing as no passing could be done.  George Brown played full-back for Carolina and did most of the gaining for the team.

            If we are demobilized in time we will get a two weeks’ vacation at Christmas.  I wish you could get home by then but I suppose there is no hope of that. 

            Papa wrote me that Darlington High beat Columbia High 26 – 7 the day after Thanksgiving Day just as it did last year and the game was postponed.  Papa was delighted because he was able to see both the game in Orangeburg and the one in Darlington. 

            Your knee seems to be the unlucky place on your body.  You even got wounded there.  My forehead and eyebrows are my place.  I have had three cuts in my eyebrows in the last month.  In the Charleston game I split my forehead for about two inches and altogether I have five scars right in my eyebrow.

            I sure hope you will be better when this reaches you.

I am inclosing a picture of the Darlington boys.  There is one extra Jack Frost from Columbia.  The one you don’t know (I don’t suppose) is Crosland De’Louvre.  It is not a very good picture because I let some light in on the film.



                                                                 Opened & read. for

                                                              the first time April 1st 1923


Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 5-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of major domestic and foreign developments that contributed to the United States’ becoming a world power.

Indicator 5-3.6 Summarize actions by the United States that contributed to the rise of this nation as a world power, including the annexation of new territory following the Spanish-American War and the role played by the United States in the building of the Panama Canal and in World War I.


Lessons Using This Document:

Lines from Behind the Lines


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