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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 On the evening of the 8th day of October, 1864, there met on Princesses dock, Liverpool, twenty-seven men. They were nearly unacquainted with each other, and knew nothing of their destination. All were officers of the Confederate navy, by commission or warrant, and each had his distinct order to report to this place at the same hour. My commission was that of assistant surgeon.
Note: by Dr. F. J. McNulty  9211 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam Second day home.

Spent the day visiting family friends and relatives (including in-laws, shudder ). They made me feel pretty welcome (lots of WW2 vets). Glad to see me -- thanked me for my service, etc.
Note: by Craig E. Thompson   7486 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Revolutionary War CARLISLE, May 1st, 1781.-
The Pennsylvania Line, after the revolt and discharge of the men, last winter, were reduced to six regiments; the officers ordered to different towns within the State to recruit. An appomtment of ensign in the 7th had been obtained for me in August last; the 7th and 4th were incorporated, and under command of Lt.Col. Comt. William Butler, rendezvoused at this place-companies now about half full.
  11547 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II June 6, 1944
Several planes have passed over us, C-47's Which too - Paratroop's in. As far as you can see there are L.S.Ts. & L.C. Vs. Two Planes were shot down, Unidentified. Lot of A.A. fire ahead. Everything has been quiet for past two hours Searchlights on Beach at 045.
Note: by Seaman 3rd Class George A. Wehrle, aboard the heavy cruiser USS TUSCALOOSA  9637 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II April 29, 1945

Dear Mom,
This is the beginning of that long letter I promised you many moons ago. Today's Sunday and for the first time in the same period of time I've been to church--if you call the grassy section of a pig pen a church.
  7963 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  9193 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War II I was a medic attached to 2nd platoon, C Battery, of the 225th during my entire tour of duty in Europe. When we were in the field, there was half of C Battery (117 men) that I would visit in their positions on a daily basis. I was their primary health-care provider. I would travel on a three-quarter-ton truck that carried rations and water to each searchlight/radar section every day to make my rounds. From June 1944 to December 1945 we moved from Omaha beach in France to Neubiberg in Germany. During this entire time, I never treated someone who was wounded by the enemy. This was a good thing.
Note: by Robert J. King  10234 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War We remained in camp near Chattanooga till about the last of August. The Tennessee river being the line between the two armies the picket lines of each army were posted on the opposite banks of that stream. I remember having been ordered one morning to take my company and post them as pickets on the river bank just below the city.
Note: by Captain W.P. Howell, 25th Alabama, Company I  10003 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam In the early morning darkness of 6 May, the NVA retaliated with an intensive rocket and mortar barrage, followed by a massive 95th Regiment pincer grand assault against 2 sides of the base an hour later. LZ Carolyn's garrison was reduced by the absence of several line companies on patrol, and the withering defensive fires of the battalion's COMPANY C and E were unable to prevent the onrushing battalions from storming through the wire and into the LZ from both directions.
Note: by Tom Lane  10583 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  9716 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I ON May 31st, 1916, the Grand Fleet and the High Sea Fleet fought the action which has become known as the Battle of Jutland. The despatch describing the battle, as published some weeks later, was not quite in its original form as written by me. After a conference held at the Admiralty, early in June, modifications were made : some of them because it was considered that certain passages might convey useful information to the enemy, and others because it was thought to be undesirable to draw attention to certain features of British design.
Note: by Admiral John Rushworth Jellicoe  8922 Reads  Printer-friendly page



World War I I really believe that I am after all a coward for I don't like patrolling...The battalion who alternates with us here have lost three officers (or rather two officers and an NCO) on this business in front of my trenches. Let me try to picture what it is like. I am asked to take out an 'officer's patrol' of seven men; duties - get out to the position of the German listening post (we know it), wait for their patrol and 'scupper' it; also discover what work is being done in their trenches.
Note: by Second Lieutenant H E Cooper, Royal Warwickshire Regiment   11705 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Civil War Near Sharpsburg, MD, September 29, 1862 I have the honor to report the following as some of the results of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam: At South Mountain our loss was 443 killed, 1,806 wounded, and 76 missing; total, 2,325. At Antietam our loss was 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded, and 1,043 missing total, 12,469. Total loss in the two battles, 14,794.
Note: by Major General George McClellan  8914 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  15756 Reads  Printer-friendly page



Vietnam At Det 1, we were flying missions that melted into each other and in retrospect, in another theater, would have been considered "medal" material on nearly a daily basis. We on the other hand, only knew we were doing a job to the best of our ability, under often hazardous conditions, with the ultimate goal of always being there and getting our "Brother Warriors" out of trouble safely so they could go home to their loved ones.
Note: by Michael W. Dobson  10019 Reads  Printer-friendly page

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This Day in History
1813: U.S. troops under James Wilkinson siege the Spanish-held city of Mobile in the future state of Alabama.

1858: At the Battle of Azimghur, the Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists.

1861: President Lincoln mobilizes the Federal army.

1917: British forces defeat the Germans at the battle of Arras.

1940: French and British troops land at Narvik, Norway.

1944: The Soviet Red Army occupies Tarnopol, one of the principal cities of Eastern Galicia, across the former Polish border.

1948: Arab forces are defeated in battle with Israeli forces.

1952: President Harry Truman signs the official Japanese peace treaty.

1970: As part of the third phase of U.S. troop withdrawals announced by President Nixon, the 1st Infantry Division departs Vietnam.

1971: North Vietnamese troops ambush a company of Delta Raiders from the 101st Airborne Division near Fire Support Base Bastogne in Vietnam. The American troops were on a rescue mission.