Letter from Cornelius Kollock to his mother on wound received in Bordeaux, France, 14 November 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 14 November 1918, he briefly mentions the combat fighting.  He relates how he received a “little souvenir” in the form of a bullet “in the fleshy part of the left leg above the knee.”  At the time of his letter, he is recuperating in Bordeaux, France.  He expresses a strong desire to return to his regiment once healed.  He closes by reassuring this mother that “there are no bones broken, no arteries cut. Only a hole straight through.”


Kollock, Cornelius, to mother from Bordeaux, France, 14 November 1918.  Cornelius Kollock Papers, folder14.  South Caroliniana Library, Columbia, South Carolina.



Nov. 14th 1918

Dear Mama: -

            Well the great fight is over, and has ended about as I thought it would all at once.  Our outfit was in at the death, and were making a drive up to the last minute but I didn’t see it.  I got a little souvenir at 4 p.m. Nov. 10.  A bullet in the fleshy part of the left leg above the knee.  And am now in a base hospital near Bordeaux, France.  I am feeling fine, and think that I will be up and around, in a little while if they don’t send me back to the states before that time, as they are not going to keep the wounded that can be moved over here long.  But I hope I wont have to go, yet (That sounds funny) but I know you will know what I mean.  I want to go back with my Regiment, and I think I will.

            Now don’t worry about me as I know I will get along fine, there are no bones broken, no arteries cut. Only a hole straight through.  You can still address my mail to the Regiment as I expect I will be out of here when you get this.

                                    With love for all



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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