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Military Quotes

Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man.

-- General George Patton Jr

Welcome to the Patriot Files


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 Sept. 25, 1862, Antietam, MD Dear Brother, I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear that you are all well. I like here full as well as I expected. We are now encamped on the banks of the Potomac River about six miles above Harper's Ferry.
Note: letters from Sylvester Spaulding.  8543 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW On April 20, 1945 the Russians were firing artillery into and around the prison forced labor camp near Juderbog, Germany, where I was confined with a number of the privates and PFC’s. The attack including blowing down one of the fences of the compound. As a result, we decided to escape the prison encampment and work our way back to the American lines, which we accomplished in five days, walking cross-country across Germany.
Note: by Pendleton Woods  9306 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I July 20, 1918
My own beloved wife
I do not know how to start this letter. The circumstances are different from any under which I ever wrote before. I am not to post it but will leave it in my pocket, if anything happens to me someone will perhaps post it.
Note: by Company Sergeant-Major James Milne.  7896 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW Of course it had to come, Hitler had been seizing all the smaller states and threatening others. So when he marched on Poland it was the last straw, for Britain had warned him that we would not stand idly by, but would go to the aid of Poland. It was the 3rd September 1939, and I was digging air-raid shelters when I heard that we were at war with Germany; and it was only the day before, that I had received my calling up papers, so it looked as though I would be in for some excitement.
Note: by Private W.C. LAW, ( 5186223 ), 2 Gloucester Regt.  11853 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Base Hospital 27, located at Angers, France, received the first official order dated July 14, 1917, to supply Army nurses for this service. Until this time, the Medical Corps attached to hospital trains were caring for the wounded. Through Miss Blanche Rulon, chief nurse of Base Hospital 27, Edna Cooper, Grace O'Donnell and I were detailed to Hospital Train 57.
Note: Helen T. Burrey, reserve nurse, Army Nurse Corps, a graduate of St. Francis Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa., and a member of the nursing staff of U. S. Army Base Hospital No. 27, was one of the first three nurses to be assigned to hospital trains of The American Expeditionary Forces.   8895 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I was flying a UH-1 D for the 187th Assault Helicopter Company, the Blackhawks out of Tay Ninh, Vietnam in 1967. Sleep never comes easy in Vietnam, the artillery shoots H&I (harassment and interdiction) fire all night, every time one of the 8 inch guns went off, a small amount of the dust, collected from the dry season would fall off the tent roof and drift to the floor. It was the monsoon season and the cool rain had put me right to sleep.
Note: by Wayne R. "Crash" Coe, Hotel-3 Blackhawk 54, 187th Assault Helicopter Company, 67-8.  10077 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Before reaching Louvain we bivouacked near a large well-built village, and here we had the wettest and merriest evening in the whole campaign. Some of our battalion water-carriers discovered a wine-cellar in the village. On going into a cellar they noticed a stack of fagots, and guessed that they were put there with a purpose. The fagots were quickly cleared away, and behind them appeared a door.
Note: by Captain Henry Huebner  15356 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam I was on a S&D with the RFs. We were moving along a heavily vegetated canal with open rice paddies to our flanks. The VC were waiting for us and we got into a sharp firefight. It was head-on and we could not maneuver against them because of the paddies. To our front, a small finger of vegetation stuck out from Charlie's positions, so we decided to assault it in an attempt to flank them.
Note: by Don Steiner  9579 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I It was near the end of the great German bid for victory in April 1918. We left Beuvry and passed the hamlet of Le Fresnoy and crossed the bridge over the La Bassee Canal into the village of Gorre. There we struck a route past the famous Brewery to make for the open fields and the front-line trenches.
Note: by Lance-Corporal Thomas A. Owen  8072 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War About the 14th or 15th of August 1864 about 300 of us started on an expedition from Jacksonville, Florida to destroy a rebel commissary at Gainesville, Florida. We arrived there at daylight on the morning of the 16th of August 1864. Through spys the rebels heard that we were coming and 1500 of them had surrounded the city ready to fight us. They charged on us but we drove them back and held the city till three o'clock in the afternoon and looking for reinforcements every minute.
Note: by John Marshall Stewart  8188 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Coast Guard Since 1878, a group of people have left the shelter of land and rammed small boats into the angry sea with a single purpose: to save others from drowning. These rescuers have known full well they could die in the attempt. Over the years Americans have not given this group much thought. Yet the crews of the U.S. Coast Guard's small boat rescue stations Continue to push into gale-swept waters, asking only to help those "in peril on the sea."
Note: by Dennis L. Noble  15058 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I Somewhere in France, July 23, 1918
Dear Father and Mother:
I have just finished sewing on my first service stripe, the meaning of which, as you probably know, is six months in foreign service. That number "23" still clings to the Twenty-third Engineers, and is a regular epoch marker.
  8652 Reads  Printer-friendly page



POW I shall never forget the morning of March 28th, 1918, when I watched our trenches and the familiar landmarks disappear under the intense bombardment of hundreds of minenwerfers - those earthquakes in miniature. I watched and waited in a state of mental numbness or apathy, and at last the bit reserved for me hit me in the head. When I took a further interest in matters I was a prisoner.
Note: by Rifleman Victor Denham, London Rifle Brigade  14867 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Just a year earlier my friend Don and I were walking down the street checking out girls and cars like we did everyday after junior college classes.
Note: by Tim Lickness   8847 Reads  Printer-friendly page



War of 1812 York (U.C)
April 29th, 1813
My Dear Wife, It is with sincere satisfaction that I inform you of my being well after a pretty severe engagement. Our Captain has lost his leg, Lester Irvine is badly wounded and poor Hazeltine. They will I expect recover, at least I hope so. I did intend to have resigned after the engagement but now it is impossible in consequence of the wounded officers.
Note: by Ens. Thomas Warner  8001 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1270: The Seventh Crusade ends by the Treaty of Barbary.

1697: The Treaty of Ryswick ends the war between France and the Grand Alliance.

1899: Two battalions of British troops are cut off, surrounded and forced to surrender to General Petrus Jouberts Boers at Nicholsons Nek.

1918: Turkey signs an armistice with the Allies, agreeing to end hostilities at noon, October 31.

1918: The Italians capture Vittorio Veneto and rout the Austro-Hungarian army.

1941: President Roosevelt, determined to keep the United States out of the war while helping those allies already mired in it, approves $1 billion in Lend-Lease loans to the Soviet Union.

1941: The U.S. destroyer Reuben James, on convoy duty off Iceland, is sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 96 Americans.

1950: The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.

1965: Just miles from Da Nang, U.S. Marines repel an intense attack by successive waves of Viet Cong troops and kill 56 guerrillas. A search of the dead uncovered a sketch of Marine positions written on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who had been selling drinks to the Marines the previous day. This incident was indicative of the nature of a war in which even the most seemingly innocent child could be the enemy.

1970: Fighting in the five northern-most provinces comes to a virtual halt as the worst monsoon rains in six years strikes the region.