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Ernst E. Freienmuth First World War correspondence

 Collection — Box: WWI 4, Folder: 7
Identifier: 2017-612-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains fourty-three written correspondences from Private Ernst E. Freienmuth, American Expeditionary Force, during the First World War. The majority of the letters were addressed to his mother, Louisa Marie Ernst Freienmuth, but one letter each was addressed to his brother Emil Jacob, and his father Jacob. In his letters, he writes about his voyages between France and England, criticizing the two countries militaries and compares them to one another and the United States', the outcomes of his hunting trips, wanting his family to send newspapers from home, his regiment's success playing sports against other American regiments, the changing weather, inquiring about the family mill and how his brother enjoys high school, assuring his parents of his continued safety but informing them that he has taken "out $5000.00 worth of life insurance" on himself, hoping for a nice Christmas, looking forward to furlough, meeting with German prisoners of war and being surprised that "Quite a number of [them] can speak English + one of them is a Yale Uni graduate", receiving care packages, commenting on soldiers going AWOL, meeting Generals John Pershing and Newton Baker, vowing to write more, having to cancel his furlough "on account of the Ger. offensive", expecting a grand Fourth of July celebration, asking what his mother "think[s] of the Americans as fighters", exploring old buildings and ruins dotted across the French countryside, anticipating the coming end of the War and eating "Xmas dinner of 1919 in the states", asking when his father will retire, being gladdened by the War's end, telling his family his whereabouts over the previous sixteen months and "Have been trying to get out of here ever since", and finally arriving at a military base and returning home to the United States.


  • Majority of material found within 1916 October 19-1919 April 30

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

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. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Private Ernst Edward Freienmuth, American Expeditionary Force was born in Tonganoxie, Kansas on 12 December 1894. He attended and graduated from the Tonganoxie High School in 1912. In 1917, he joined the AEF with Company D, 16th Engineers Regiment, and was stationed throughout England and France until 1919. After returning to the United States, Ernst worked in a laboratory. He married his first wife, Beatrice F. Fedderson, on 26 June 1926. The two later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Ernst worked as a salesman and a government clerk for Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Fedderson died in 1941 and Ernst remarried to Helen E. Grotenrath on 1 July 1944. Between his two marriages, he had no children. Ernst died on 1 December 1980 due to complications from cerebral arteriosclerosis.


.08 Linear feet (1 folder)


This collection contains fourty-three written correspondences from Pvt. Ernst E. Freienmuth, AEF, mostly to his mother, Louisa Marie Ernst Freienmuth, during the First World War.


This collection is arranged by material type, author, and date.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sandra Scott.

Physical Description

All but four of the letters still accompany their original envelopes, but many of the envelopes are severely damaged and are at risk of falling apart.

Legal Status

Donor retains any copyright and related rights. For more information, consult original donation form.
Finding Aid for the Ernst E. Freienmuth First World War correspondence
Lee Feldman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States