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The Patriot Files is a Library of Congress Veterans History Project Founding Partner web site comprised of first hand accounts of military life and combat, primary source material, as well as image, video, and audio resources.

The Patriot Files also supports the largest military usenet archive, military memorial, military website archive, and military news archive online.


Civil War Headquarters Department Northeastern Virginia, Arlington, VA, August 4, 1861. Colonel:
I have the honor to submit the following report of the battle of the 21st of July, near Manassas, Va. It has been delayed till this time from the inability of the subordinate commanders to get earlier a true account of the state of their commands.
Note: by Brigadier General Irvin McDowell  12400 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War I am at present at the Soldiers Rest Home, Bangor, Me. In the Year 1865.
I enlisted July 19th 1862 in the town of Hampden, Penobscot County, State of Maine. I was then 19 years of age and consequently a minor. My parents, being loyal people, they gave their consent to my enlisting. I enlisted in Co. F, 18th Regt Maine Vol. Infantry and we were rendevouzed at the County Fair Grounds near Bangor City.
Note: Private Amos E. Hardy Enlisted July 19th 1862 in Co F.   6798 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Coast Guard Hurricanes get names and hype, but for old-fashioned natural violence it's hard to beat a classic First District northeaster-like the one that raked New England on Halloween week, mauling Coast Guard assets and writing new chapters in the history of search and rescue.
Note: by Rick Booth  11133 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Spanish American USS New York, 3 July 1898 Sir-I have the honor to make the following report upon the battle with and the destruction of the Spanish squadron, commanded by Admiral Cervera, off Santiago de Cuba, on Sunday, July 3, 1898. The enemy's vessels came out of the harbor between 9.35 and 10 AM, the head of the column appearing around Cay Smith at 9.31, and emerging from the channel five or six minutes later.
Note: by Admiral Sampson, USN  6593 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Our fireteam (Det8), was staging off the Hunderton County (LST-838) and out of the Rach Gia short strip. We had been flying combat ops between Long Xuyen and Rach Gia and had spotted about a half acre of (VC) watermelons growing on a flat spot above a village which was along a river.
Note: by Bill Rutledge  6394 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War

Bell Plains, Va.
Jan 9th, 1863
Dear Father and Sister,
I embrace another opertunity of adressing you again. I received your letter last week, it found me well. I soppose you have herd that the 19th was in the battle of Fredricksburg, we was in Franklins Left grand division, Doubleers Division, Merideths Brigade.

  5401 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea Herb and I always had the 2 1/2 ton 6x6 loaded with 18 drums of gasoline. We took it to where they told us to. We'd hang around the CP. When we heard there was a fire fight up front we knew that the medics would need the gas for the meat wagons. So that's where we'd go. We called our truck a mobile POL dump. I guess that described it pretty well. We were on the spearhead towards Pyongyang.
Note: by George Wegener  7327 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam It was November of 1968. We were in an area we called the Oregon Trail. Not sure where it was other than it was in II Corps. It was mountainous terrain -- not like the dimples sometimes called mountains in the Eastern U.S. Steep slopes, high cliffs, waterfalls, few valleys but many brush-filled ravines. More like the mountains of the Pacific Northwest -- different vegetation of course.
Note: by Craig E. Thompson   6639 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam It has been 36 years since the tet offensive of 1968 broke out. However each year since then I remember my first time under fire, and what a mess I made of it. I arrived in country in September 1967, I was an 11B primary MOS. In Cam Ranh Bay I received orders for a military intelligence unit.
Note: by Robert Ryan, 525th Military Intelligence Group  13976 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Friday, January 1 1915
Old Drill dispensed with in place of platoon drill, adopted by the Imperial Army. Mail arrives from Australia dated 4.11.1914. Troops presented with chocolates and cigarettes from the Aust. War Contingent, London.
Note: Sam Weingott, born 1892, died on active service 5th June 1915.   11677 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea Dear Mom: Well, I suppose you wonder where I am, and where I have been. I will start at the beginning. We left for Korea the 1st of July. We were the first regiment to hit there and fight. The North Koreans had about ten divisions to our one regiment. About all we could do was hit them and back up and they would get us surrounded all the time.
Note: letter from PFC Donald Luedtke, U.S. Army 24th Division.  6302 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I

1st. May. To Arras for money.

2nd. to 4th. Sunday rides around the area. New officers have arrived, including Willie Haldane who played in the school rugger team with me.

Note: by Robert Lindsay Mackay, 11th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.  7199 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Korea On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began. I listened to the news every day and when I heard my old outfit, Baker Company Fifth Marines, was in Korea fighting hard, I decided to re-enlist. Traveling to Kansas City, Missouri, to the Marine recruiting office I hoped to re-up as a sergeant. I was disappointed, for I had been involved in a car wreck and still had some cuts not fully healed.
Note: by PFC Charlie Carmin, 1st Marine Division  18161 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II March 10, '45 was my sixtieth mission. From now on I'd be eligible for rotation home. It was a happy prospect. What wasn't was a 2,000' ceiling and 5,000' thick cloud cover by no means great weather to be flying combat in. Since I'd joined the 36th Fighter Group on August 1, 1944, a lot of good friends in the Group hadn't made it as far as I had. They'd either been killed or were missing in action.
Note: by 1st. Lt. Philip N. Wright, Jr., 36th Fighter Group, 23rd Fighter Squadron, 9th Air Force  8677 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam During the month of November and the first part of December 1967 there were many indications that the enemy ws building up forces in preparation for the coming Tet Offensive in the Bong Son plains of Binh Din Province. Their major targets would be U.S. and ARVN forces and the major district capitals. Aerial reconnaissance forces of the 1st Cavalry Divisions had found many indications of this to include an enourmous Russian Ship to Shore radio on the beach.
Note: by Rigo Ordaz, 1st Bn (Mech), 50th Infantry   11282 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1862: Confederates broke through the Union lines at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill on the third day of the Seven Days Battle in Virginia.

1864: Union General William T. Sherman launches a major attack on Confederate General Joseph Johnstons army at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia.

1916: The 4th Marine Regiment defeated Dominican rebels in a stand-up bayonet attack.

1927: The U.S. Marines adopted the English bulldog as their mascot.

1940: The Germans set up two-way radio communication in their newly occupied French territory, employing their most sophisticated coding machine, Enigma, to transmit information.

1944: American forces of 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army) complete the capture of Cherbourg.

1945: On Luzon, units of the US 37th Division, part of US 1st Corps, reach Aparri, on the north coast.

1945: The American carrier USS Bunker Hill is struck by a Kamikaze plane, killing 373 men.

1950: President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea.

1950: Just two days after communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea, the United Nations Security Council approves a resolution put forward by the United States calling for armed force to repel the North Korean invaders.