Veterans History Project Service Summary:

  • War or Conflict: World War, 1914-1918
  • Branch of Service: Army
  • Unit of Service: 59th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Command
  • Location of Service: Fort Hamilton; France
  • Highest Rank: Corporal

View full service history

"I will be glad when this big fuss is over, and we have 'Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.'" (Letter to mother, 8/2/1918)

A Military Policeman serving with the Army’s 59th Artillery, Corporal William James Bean arrived in France in April, 1918. In his correspondence with his wife and mother, he reassures them that "he has never felt better in all his life," but longs to be able to return to his home state of New York. Like many doughboys in their letters home, he comments frequently on the customs of the French people and their reactions to the war. Noting their resilience and gratitude to the American soldiers, he explains that the French civilians "all take off their hats to ‘Old Glory,’ as they see it passing by."

[ Photo Album ]

More Resources

[ Honorable discharge from the United States Army and Enlistment Record [1/30/1919] ]
[ Postcard telling his mother that William James Bean is safe at port of debarkation [undated] ]
[ Postcard telling his mother that William James Bean arrived safely overseas [undated] ]
[ Letter to wife and mother [12/18/1917] ]
[ Letter to mother [12/21/1917] ]
[ Letter to mother [12/24/1917] ]

Show more resources (18)

[ Letter to mother [1/20/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [3/21/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [4/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [4/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother with dried flower [5/12/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [8/2/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [11/11/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [11/24/1918] ]
[ Letter to mother [1/14/1919] ]
[ Postcard to wife [1/13/1919] ]
[ Christmas card, "America's Stars at Sea" [11/18/1918] ]
[ Christmas card, "Old Nick's here with greetings to you while we're raising Nick with the Huns" [11/18/1918] ]
[ Christmas card, "From France, where we fight for peace" [11/18/1918] ]
[ Christmas card, "Although I'm many miles away, My heart's at home this Christmas day" [11/18/1918] ]
[ Christmas card, "Distance is nothing but miles" [11/18/1918] ]
[ Biography of William James Bean ]
[ Newsclipping, "Safe in France with 59th Artillery" ]
[ Ship's newsletter, "Published Daily on Board the Battleship New Hampshire" ]

About this Item

Title

  • William James Bean Collection

Names

  • Bean, Richard
  • Bean, William James

State of Birth

  • NY

Home State

  • NY

Headings

  • -  Bean, William James
  • -  World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal Narratives
  • -  United States. Army.

Repository

  • Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Gender

  • Male

Status

  • Veteran

Service History

  • World War, 1914-1918

    • Branch of Service: Army
    • Unit of Service: 59th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Command
    • Location of Service: Fort Hamilton; France
    • Highest Rank: Corporal
    • Dates of Service: 1917-1919
    • Entrance into Service: Drafted
    • Military Status: Veteran

Materials

  • Manuscript: Correspondence [15 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 1917 - 1919)
  • Photograph: Original photographic print [3 items] -- Portrait (collected 1918 - 1919)
  • Manuscript: Biography [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected unknown)
  • Manuscript: Clippings [1 item] -- Typewritten document (collected 1918)
  • Manuscript: Military papers (orders, personnel/201 files, etc) [3 items] -- Mixed (handwritten and typewritten documents) (collected 01/30/1919)
  • Manuscript: Periodicals [14 items] -- Typewritten document (collected 01/1919)

Collection Number

  • AFC/2001/001/24749

Cite as

  • William James Bean Collection (AFC/2001/001/24749), Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

Using VHP Material in Publication or Exhibition

The Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service. The Veterans History Project Collection includes oral histories along with documentary materials such as original letters, diaries, photographs, and memoirs.

Veterans and interviewers contribute these materials to the Library for scholarly and educational purposes, retaining any copyright they may hold. Therefore, permission must be obtained before using the interview or other materials in exhibition or publication. Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these materials should contact the Veterans History Project for assistance.

As a publicly supported institution, the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item from the Library’s collections and for securing any necessary permissions rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Please contact us with questions.

Obtaining Copies of VHP Materials

In order for VHP materials to be duplicated, we must receive written permission from the interviewee for you to obtain a copy of the recording unless the proposed use is limited to personal use, research, or other uses permissible by copyright law. If the interviewee is deceased, their next-of-kin may grant written permission.

Please contact VHP for assistance if you need to contact a veteran for permission to use their materials in exhibition or publication, or if you have received permission from the veteran and need access to high-resolution copies of VHP collection materials.

Citing VHP Materials

Please use the following formats when citing Veterans History Project materials (substituting the appropriate name and collection ID number).

Materials as a whole:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Manuscript material:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Memoirs (MS02), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Transcript (MS04), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Correspondence (MS01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Recording:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Audio recording (SR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Video recording (MV01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Photograph:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH01), photographer unknown, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Photographs (PH03-PH14), Ralph Williams photographer, Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Computer file:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Computer file (CF01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Artifact:

  • John P. Snodgrass (AFC 2001/001/xxxx), Artifact (AR01), Veterans History Project Collection, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Bean, Richard, and William James Bean. William James Bean Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.24749/.

APA citation style:

Bean, R. & Bean, W. J. (1917) William James Bean Collection. [Personal Narrative] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.24749/.

MLA citation style:

Bean, Richard, and William James Bean. William James Bean Collection. 1917. Personal Narrative. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc2001001.24749/>.