Letter August 16, 1918 from David Eichel to ____ Langman




Letter August 16, 1918 from David Eichel to ____ Langman




Letter regarding treatment of categories of C.O.


WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


DG 131: Eichel Family Papers


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.










[August 15, 1918[?]]

My dear Langman

I received your letter and it was indeed a pleasure to hear from you. Allow me to assure you that my failure to write more often is in no way due to my waiting to hear from you. We have been harassed continually with so many petty nuisances that I could hardly muster enough patience for a letter.

We stayed at Leavenworth long enough to be interviewing a second time by the commission. Again I was constrained to reject their furlough offer for farm work. We were then told that we would be recommended for furlough, and if we refused we would be assigned to some non Combative branch of the service & failure to perform our duties there would be followed by courtmartial for disobedience of orders, etc. or some such charge.

According to the Boards C.O's are classified as follow

1A, 1B - sincere objectors offered farm furlough

1C - [illegible]

2 - sincere - must accept non. com. ser.

3 - Insincere " " com. service

I have been placed in class 1.A.

There were six men in class 3. On Friday Aug. 2, they were taken to the Quartermasters. A uniform was held before each man & a commissioned officer ordered him to accept it. They all refused and were straightaway placed under arrest and are now being detained at the guard-house here, for Courtmartial.

I just rec'd a letter from home notifying me that brother Julius, who has already begun his sentence at Ft. Jay.

Gov. [illegible] is already in solitary confinement for refusing to perform work in prison. I feel he would rather not perform compulsory work even in prison. He is being held incommunicado despite the fact that I disagreed with him in connect with the question of inocculation and vacination. I am compelled to confess that his was the right & consistent attitude and my personal feelings now are pride and admiration for him.

I cannot give a plausible explanation for our transfer here, unless it be to get some work out of us. Thus far I have done nothing - and must go on doing nothing so long as they insist upon holding me under

military authority.

I am sorry to learn of your difficulties & your subsequent resignation from the Ocean[?]. I hope you will succeed in [illegible] yourself in a more [illegible] environment, when you are sufficiently rested. Since Eddie is in similar circumstances I need to make it a double order of hopes & good wishes.

My regards, together with these fll " you have met, to you and Eddie -

David E.


Eichel, David, “Letter August 16, 1918 from David Eichel to ____ Langman,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed August 9, 2022, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/21.

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