Friday, July 4, 2014

Växjö and Småland in Wold War 1 part 2

World WarVäxjö and Småland, part 2

A man from  Kristdala  in the U.S. Army

Although Sweden by its neutrality never became directly involved in the fighting in the First World War was still Swedes who fought in the war. The largest group was probably the Swedish emigrants who emigrated to the United States and that more or less voluntarily  joined the U.S. Army.

Among them was Carl Edward Carlsson 1891-1985 from Kristdala in Kalmar County. Carl Edward
emigrated in 1912 to America where he settled in the vicinity of Oneida, Illinois.
In April 1917 the United States declared war on Germany, and in December against Austria-Hungary.
In June 1917  Carl Edward  was drafted along with many other young men.Just  before
midsummer 1918, they were sent to  Camp Grant near Rockford, Illinois.
The new Military Service Act in the U.S. in 1917 obliged even those who have begun the application process to become a citizen to stand at  the army's disposal. Carl Edward became  a  U.S. citizen Aug. 1, 1918 while at Camp Grant. Not everyone in Rockford's neighborhood wanted to join the army in June 1917 120 Swedes were arrested in Rockford for conscientious objection.
Carl Edwards company were  after a short time training   went to New York and then on to Liverpool and from England by boat to Bordaux to join the rest of the American Expeditionary Force In France
Parts of Carl Edwards field equipment helmet, canteen, knapsack, etc.


The trip to the front in France  was undertaken in cattle cars. Carl Edwards Companywere quartered in a farmhouse soon the  the Spanish flu broke  out and most of the men fell ill.Carl Edward and the few other healthy soldiers escaped the disease but were sent  to the front to fill in the gaps after the armys losses .The fighting  at the front was hard and  after a week, there were only 76 men  of 265 left in the company  the rest were dead or wounded. Overall  Carl Edward spend 4 times at the front the total days spend fighting was 28 . He served mainly in the  28th Infantry Division.
After the hard battles  General Pershing called  the division for his "Iron Division" .
Papers relating Carl Edwards time in the field and pictures of him in uniform.


After the Armistice in  November 11th  1918 the  U.S. troops to stayed  another 6 months in France In n March 1919 Carl Edward and his  company was  located in Bagneux. The demobilization took place outside Le Mans and on  May 1th  the  return journey by boat  to Philadelphia began , The final demobilization. took place May 17 at Camp Dix, New Jersey
Below Carl Edward and his comrades in the 28th  Infantry Division in Bagneux in March 1919

After his return from the war Carl Edward decided to visit his family in Sweden  His passport application  is  dated October 8th  1919. December 6th he sailed from New York  to Sweden.
He later returned to U.S A  and stayed there until the early 1930 thies  when he definitely returned to Sweden, where he married and had two daughters, He died in 1985.Towards the end of his life he wrote down his  experiences in t World War 1.

 Carl Edwards daughters have put their  father's belongings to Kulturparken Småland s disposal  for the  exhibition. The picture below shows Carl Edward Carlsons  daughters Irene Enoksson and Ingrid Kronvall along with the CEO of Kulturparken Småland  Lennart Johansson.

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