John Hodge Bollin papers, 1918-1920
South Caroliniana Library, South Caroliniana Library
John Hodge Bollin, Jr. (1894-1950), was a member of Company M, 323rd Infantry, 81st Division and served during World War I. Bollin’s Division left Camp Sevier (near Greenville, South Carolina), on 17 July 1918, and traveled to England via New York. In letters he wrote primarily to his parents in Columbia, Bollin described his travels and the warm welcome the soldiers received in England and the paltry conditions of the French farmland. Bollin’s letters also describe battle conditions on the front line in France. Bollin was hospitalized with pneumonia for much of the last days of the war but rejoined his company in time to pen a 14 November 1918 letter discussing the end of the war. The company remained in Europe for some time after the conclusion of the war, and Bollin sent regular letters to his family detailing his recent activities and his efforts to get officially discharged and return home. These seventy-five items provide valuable insights into the daily life and conditions of the American soldiers fighting in France and England in the final months of World War I.