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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Albert John Carpenter's diary October 12, 1918. Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (122.00.00)
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Albert John Carpenter's diary October 12, 1918. Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (122.00.00)
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Albert John Carpenter

Albert Carpenter enlisted in the 36th Division of the 142nd Infantry as a nineteen-year-old student. Carpenter served in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France during the final days of the war. As a soldier in the trenches along the Hindenberg Line, he experienced the gassings, mud, and bloodshed for which the war is infamous. In a series of short but vivid entries, his diary chronicles a single month, October 1918, which he calls "the most eventful month of [my] life." On this page of his diary, Carpenter describes enduring a gas attack: "My lungs very soar [sic] and throughing [sic] up blood."

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