Finding Aid for the Charles C. Gifford First World War correspondence 2021.073.w.r

Frank J. López-Huerta
Center for American War Letters Archives
Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange, CA 92866

Contributing Institution: Center for American War Letters Archives
Title: Charles C. Gifford First World War correspondence
source: Gifford, Charles C., III
Creator: Gifford, Charles Conyngham, Second Lieutenant, 1895-1962
Identifier/Call Number: 2021.073.w.r
Physical Description: .04 Linear feet (4 folders)
Date (inclusive): 1917 May 13 - 1919 July 24
Date (bulk): 1917 May 3 - 1918 December 3
Abstract: This collection contains approximately 130 correspondence from 2nd Lt. Charles C. "Con" Gifford, AEF to his family written during the First World War.
Language of Material: English .
Container: WWI 17
Container: 1-4
Container: 1-4

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles C. Gifford III.

Biographical / Historical

Second Lieutenant Charles Conyngham "Con" Gifford, American Expeditionary Forces (1895-1962) was born in Newark, New Jersey to Charles Alling and Helen Conyngham Gifford. He graduated from Yale University in 1917 before joining the AEF in 1918. 2nd Lt. Gifford served with the 101st Artillery, 88th Aerosquadron in France during the First World War. Gifford married Edith Z. Ackerson in 1923, and together had Charles A. Gifford Jr., Garret A. Gifford, and Lichard C. Gifford.

Preferred Citation

[Item title / description; Box "n" / Folder "n"], Charles C. Gifford First World War correspondence (2021.073.w.r), Center for American War Letters Archives, Chapman University, CA.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Content Description

This collection contains approximately 130 correspondence from 2nd Lt. Charles C. "Con" Gifford, AEF to his family during the First World War.
Gifford wrote to his family throughout 1917 while at the Plattsburg Officer Training Camp in New York state. In a letter to his mother dated May 13, 1917 he wrote about his recent arrival and the boredom he endured at the time of writing. Ten days later, on May 23, 1917 he wrote to his mother again with a change of pace noting that he was much busier with training and duties assigned by his commander.
In a letter to his mother that is undated but left in original order placing it between a postcard dated June 30, 1917 and a letter dated July 10, Gifford informed her that he was assigned to the "1st Battery, 1st Provisional Training Regiment." He wrote about his commanding officer, Captain Moretti and described him as "one of the finest men" who was "fair and square" because "he makes you work very hard but you always have the satisfaction of knowing that your work has some end in view." He explained that artillery work "is going to be very much harder than infantry work" because it required 10 more hours per week as well as increased physical and mental workloads.
By January 9, 1918, Gifford wrote from France as he described his duties as part of the 88th aerosquadron.
A letter addressed to Gifford's father informed him that on "September 29th [1918], . . . Charles . . . was wounded by a machine gun bullet fired from the ground while he was out on an infantry reconnaissance." The writer also informed Mr. Gifford that "Maj. Brickner told me this afternoon that his leg would be normal in about two months."
This collection also contains:
  • 11-postcards with photography of Gifford's cohort during officers training and European architecture
  • 1-photograph of a service member standing in front of an airplane with text on the verso reading "Lt. Gifford: 12"
  • 5-newspaper clippings from Fall 1918 describing Gifford's leg injury sustained during an aerial infantry reconnaissance mission in France and its subsequent amputation.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Correspondence -- World War, 1914-1918
World War (1914-1918)
World War (1914-1918) -- France
Basic training (Military education)
United States -- Army -- American Expeditionary Force.
Gifford, Charles C., III