Backus Receives Disappointing News - August 19, 1917

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Backus Receives Disappointing News - August 19, 1917

By: Lori Williamson | WW1 Daybook | August 19, 2017

In a diary entry penned on August 20th, David Backus describes receiving two pieces of disappointing news. In some sense, his day was not all that unfortunate; he was not involved in any military action that day, and he and some friends were able to visit a French Blimp Camp, where Backus took a few pictures. However, Backus also received word that his application to serve in the French Officer’s Reserve Corps had been rejected, which surprised him, as he had been accepted to a similar position in the United States. More troublingly, a letter from his mother informed him that both of his brothers had been drawn into the draft. Backus’s younger brother, Romayne, and his older brother, Clinton Jr., would both serve in the war.

Backus diary page
Backus diary page
Backus diary page

Monday Aug, 20, 1917
Out 9, Cleaned up. Mr. Hayes was here for a minute, he said he would have something for me in a week or so. Yes, got a letter from him day before yesterday telling me to wait, he had me in mind. Also, got a letter rejecting my application for Officers Reserve Corps over here, after I had been accepted in the States. [...] Howard, Hill, Tommy & I walked over to Sausage Camp, very interesting & took some pictures, got one of the chap he came down in the parachots [sic] the other day, fine fellow. [...] Received letters from Mother & Joe [Lehman]. Clint & Romayne were drawn in the draft. poor little Mother. [...]

Citation: David Backus Collection. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. 123.D.10.6F