Katherine Truesdell Schumacher’s new book Letters from a Doughboy: the Wartime Experiences of Robert Doan Truesdell in World War I (RIT Press, 2019) documents Corporal Robert Doan Truesdell’s letters to home, personalizing the harsh realities of a war that ended a century ago.
The letters capture the perspective of an American soldier who witnesses the killing fields of Belgium and France, and the great cities of Paris and London.
In the years after World War I, Robert Truesdell never spoke of his war experience, but he wrote more than 100 letters to his parents describing the details of his life in the service. The letters span a period of time starting with his arrival in the Fall of 1917 at Camp Wadsworth, South Carolina and concluding with his participation in the Victory March up Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1919. After Truesdell’s death, his daughter discovered the letters and carefully transcribed each one. The letters are accompanied by commentary on the First World War.
Katherine Truesdell Schumacher grew up in Binghamton, NY She earned a B.A. from Indiana University and M.A. from Cornell University. She taught English courses at Rochester Institute of Technology for many years and, in 1997, became Writing Director in its College of Liberal Arts. Now retired, she continues her community service in the arts, education, and healthcare fields. She lives in Rochester.
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