Letter July 16, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel




Letter July 16, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel




WWI conscientious objection / objectors


Eichel, David


Swarthmore College Peace Collection


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Letter to Julius Eichel from David Eichel

[July 16, 1918]

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Dear Julius:

We reached this place at about 3:30 P.M. yesterday. For a short time, the prevailing atmosphere, the terrible heat and the dark uncertainty had a depressing psychological effect upon us. However when we were comfortably placed in our barracks we gradually regained our spirits are now practically normal.

The C.O's of Camp Dix, Camp Devens, and other camps preceded us. They had established, it appears, a rather inconsistent policy of standing Reveille, and retreat, of cooking their own mess and what is far worse, permitting the non-coms to eat with them. By that I don't mean to reflect upon the attitude of the latter toward us. Thus far they have treated us

royally. But to cook for them is absolutely inconsistent with our stand.

We have compromised in that we go out and answer here at R&R but do not partake of the military exercise connected with these formations.

Our barracks is a red brick building, containing lockers for our clothes, but beyond the fact that it is probably more comfortable in Winter than a Camp Upton barracks, it is hardly as airy and pleasant as our recent home. This may be an erroneous impression, which time and familiarity will correct, but thus far, this is truthfully my view.

The latrine is in the same building. This place is vastly superior to our crude Camp Upton toilet. The floor is slate, partitions between the stools and urinals, and doors to the former. The showers

too are divided off, exactly like our public showers in the city. Besides showers, we have a real home luxury and comfort -- bath tubs.

The mess-hall is also in the same building, and here too, the comparison favors this place. The tables are far more presentable in themselves, but the most striking feature is real white porcelain dishes and cups. The food is spread on the table and you help yourself. So far the meals have been excellent, far better in fact than at camp.

We know nothing concerning our privileges. I understand that we are to see the Cap. in charge soon. In the meanwhile I've decided to do nothing that might result in a misunderstanding. I expect to make my position clear when interviewed by the Cap.

It appears to me that the C.O's of other camps have all signified their willingness to accept farm work, that is with slight modifications of the order. The problem, to all intents and purposes, as far as the administration is concerned has been effectually solved. However that does not affect me in any way.

Gordon, Sam's friend his here. I understand that he has signified his willingness to do farm work or Friends' Reconstruction work, but his sincerity is questioned. He wishes to be remembered to Sam.

Write me about yourself. We are all anxious to learn what's happening to you. Numerous regards to all the boys. I hope they'll pardon me for not writing them personally. Regards & good wishes from my friends here.

As ever,

P.S. Neither Grunzig nor Wortsman's brother is here.

Co. A

1st Casual Bat.

Fort Leavenworth, Ka



Eichel, David, “Letter July 16, 1918 from David Eichel to Julius Eichel ,” Conscientious Objection & the Great War: 1914-1920, accessed October 27, 2021, https://cosandgreatwar.swarthmore.edu/items/show/86.

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