World War I Letters of Robert E. Schalles

Robert E. Schalles Letter

I have in my possession about 40 letters that my grandfather wrote home during World War I. He mentions two letters that he lost before he could send them and it is certainly possible that he wrote to people other than his family. These are not graphic letters. They do not explain in detail the violence that my grandfather must have witnessed, but the war is there: the boredom, the routine, the horror, the strangeness and the continuing attempt to grasp for normality in the midst of a catastrophic situation.

I have typed the letters out for ease of reading. If you’d like to see full size images of one of one my grandfather’s letters and the envelope it came in you may click the appropriate images located in these paragraphs.

Robert E. Schalles Envelope

My favorite letters are denoted by asterisks(*), the more asterisks the more I liked the letter. As this memorial site progresses I will be putting up more and more of his letters until all of them are available.

A note on the letters. Bold Words denote words that were printed on the stationary that my grandfather used. He often used stationary provided by the military. I have decided not to correct spelling but have also decided not to insert “[sic]” as I think it distracts from the flow of the letter. Some might say that I’m trying to hide my own typos with this strategy, but I assure you that is not my intent. If names are mentioned and I know who they are in relation to my grandfather I will provide this information in brackets [ ]. I will also note in brackets if I am unsure of what any part of a letter says because of illegible handwriting.

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