Friday, November 11, 2011


Loraine Wilson, a young woman from Lancaster Wisconsin, made the following entries in her Carroll College Scrapbook during World War One

     I SHALL NEVER FORGET WHEN I HEARD THE HORRIBLE NEWS – April 1917.  I was not reconciled to the fact that the U.S. should enter (I saw my mistake later) but I never forget how terrible I thought it was when Niles Bean was joyous over the fact that we had made the declaration.   I couldn’t understand it.  I was – then at Major Palmers.  Soon training started and I could never describe the strange scenes of the boys building upon the campus.  Many of those fellows went across – some did not return.
     “Our object now, as then, is to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the life of the
     world as against selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and
     self governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action which will
     henceforth insure the observance of those principles.

     Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is involved, and the
     freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies in the existence of
     autocratic governments backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their    will, not by the will of their people.  We have seen the last of neutrality in such circumstances.”
The President’s war message – an extraordinary piece of literature.  A man little understood but great nevertheless.
FALL OF 1918
     The war still going – the worst fighting of all I remember, so fearful it was that we did not know from one day to the next what terrible defeat the press would report.  I cannot look at these pictures without very vivid memories of those boys.  For them we didn’t know how soon these fellows would have to go.
That is perhaps the reason there was such a menacing sound in the bugle call which brought them together before Main Hall in the evening, many times around sunset, or later at dusk.  The black uncertainty ahead was perhaps the reason there was a feeling of – almost – fear, a very uncomfortable feeling as we could hear the rhythmic scuffle of pebbles along the road in the campus (I don’t know if there can be a rhythmic scuffle but I know what I mean anyway).  I shall never forget the sound of their marching along the pebbles road.  They did not know how soon they had to go!  
But on November 11th, after the most shameful fighting the world has ever witnessed, we heard of the armistice.  People went crazy – they celebrated in peculiar and it seems to me inconsistent ways.  At night we went out to the barracks and had a sort of celebration.  I remember R.W.H (Robert Hayes who became her husband) that night.  Aside from College Day it was my first memory of him.
     What a pity that such men as Rupert Brooke, Alan Seeger, Joyce Kilmer should have perished in the war – Brooke – another Lord Byron.  Among his poems the most beautiful I believe is the one starting “If I should die, think only this of me-----.”

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