Letter July 18, 1918 from David Eichel to ___ Langman




Letter July 18, 1918 from David Eichel to ___ Langman




Letter regarding detention as C.O.


WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas


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.










FT. L., JULY 18, 1918

My dear Langman:

The excursionists reached here, Monday, at 3:30 P.M., after a trip that was at once pleasant and unpleasant. The ride in itself was novel and fascinating, well calculated to make one forget its serious nature and significance. Yet despite the beautiful and inspiring landscape, despite our own efforts to create an atmosphere of levity and pleasure everyone showed unmistable signs of intense stress. Drawn and haggard faces were strictly the prevailing fashion. The great concern of all appeared to be the [illegible word] uncertain nature of their reception at the Fort. There was a feeling of genuine relief when our travles were terminated. At last we were to be confronted with realities and realities are hardly as terrible as vague uncertainties.

Thus far our treatment here has been beyond reproach. We have been accorded all the priveleges we had had at Upton. We are quartered

in a red brick barrack which bids well to prove fairly comfortable just as soon as we have grown accustomed to our new surroundings. We have found our food vastly superior to that at camp. We have already been interviewed by the Corp.[?] in charge, a very broad-minded and liberal chap. He seems to understand our position thoroughly, hence very little misunderstanding is likely to arise between us.

What is to result from our sudden transfer here is a matter of pure speculation. The commission is probably to call at Leavenworth and perhaps make a more liberal offer to us.. Objectors from other camps in the East were already here when we arrived. Most of them are prepared to take farm work provided they have the privilege of choosing their employers and arranging their terms.

My brother and 3 others were held over at Camp Upton. I suppose he is to be court- martialed for having refused to submit to vaccination and inocculation, after having been ordered to do so by Maj. Gen. Bell. The parting with him was the most distressing feature of our transfer here, for besides being brothers, we had been/were inseperable companions. But of course this seperation was to be expected sooner or later…hence I am perfectly reconciled to it.

Our mail is subjected to a thorough censorship here, but at least they have the decency and honesty to tell us so.

In fact they are actually displeased at this task and have even suggested that we warn any of our friends who may feel inclined to denounce the gov’t because of our position – that such attitude is not to be tolerated. I have not written to Eddie and I [illegible word] we leave the matter of advising him as to my whereabouts and welfare in your kind hands. Please give him my regards.

Sincerely yours
Dave Eichel


Eichel, David, “Letter July 18, 1918 from David Eichel to ___ Langman ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed May 27, 2022, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/22.

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