The quantity and detail of Henry's letters can seem to present a complete picture on first reading. The card at right from the Consolidated Military Service Records, however, is a reminder of the value of corroborative research — that is, looking at the same subject from a different source. Like the last CMSR card we sent out, it is stark in comparison with the richness of Henry's letters.
Have you spotted the detail, though, which Clerk Armstrong tells us, but Henry has not? In March, Henry was promoted to corporal.
Henry may have told his parents about the promotion in a letter which is simply not in our collection, or perhaps he relied on his brother Lute to pass it on. He may also have left it out. We know he strives to protect his parents from too much worry; he ironically admitted that in his February 24th letter to his mother.
So as he writes now from deeper within the war, read each letter a second time, between the lines. Henry tells a lot about himself in his letters, but you may learn even more.
Mike Doyle, HistorianSteve Kluskens, Curator
Milton Historical Society