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Ruth Backof Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 46]

Identifier: DOC MSS 46

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters from American soldiers and sailors in World War I to their friends and families at home. Although there are no descriptions of combat, the servicemen provide vivid pictures of war-torn France, their daily duties, their feelings about the war and their military service, their longing to return to "God's country," and their appreciation of civilian home-front activities in support of the men overseas.

The American recipients of the letters were Ruth Backof and Ella Rehnberg, American girls on the World War I home front.  Ruth Backof was living in St. Louis while Ellen Rehnberg was in Chicago. It is not clear what relationship, if any, existed between the Backof and Rehnberg families.  Ruth and her family received letters between 1917 and 1919 from her cousins Lester J. Backof and Fred A. and L. (Leon) R. Wise, as well as from Walter Shuka and Ray O. Williams. These last correspondents appear to have been servicemen to whom Ruth undertook to write in a spirit of patriotic friendship. The letters to Ella Rehnberg in Chicago are from her cousin, Elmer Rehnberg.


  • 1917-1919



0.50 Linear Feet

114 items other_unmapped

Language of Materials



This collection consists entirely of letters to Ruth Backof and Ella Rehnberg.  They are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the soldier.


Ruth Backof Manuscript Collection [DOC MSS 46]DOC MSS 46
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Repository Details

Part of the Saint Louis University Archives Repository

Pius XII Memorial Library
3650 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis Missouri 63108 United States