War Service Bureau
personal correspondence from the Rutgers College War Service Bureau

Conklin, Sherman Lindsley

edited by Alissa Renales, Juan Martinez Aviles, Elijah McDaniel, Steven Mai

Mss: Manuscript pageshttps://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3MC92RK

Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, November 25, 1917

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Rutgers College
New Brunswick N. J.

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Sherman L. Conklin, ‘16 is with the Government Ambulance in France. His latest sent address is S.S.U 17 — Convoi Automobiles — Paris, France

He is at the front, with the French Army — “somewhere in France”


, Newark

Various to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, June 17, 1918

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S.S.U.NO. 635

June 17th 1918.

My dear Mrs. :

We, the members of whose privilege it has been to work with for many happy months, desire to convey to you our deepest sympathy. To have known Sherman was to have loved him, and this we all did and,we think, he returned our affection, so that we also have suffered a great loss. Sherman’s unfailing good nature, his ready sympathy and his eagerness to be always doing something for someone else, were to us all. In all the time we have known “Cub”, as we called him, not one of us ever heard him say one word in anger noe [sic] express even one unkind thought of anyone. Indeed, the memory of his great heart and larger nature will always remain one of our most cherished possessions.

Our sorrow and our loss are too great to be conveyed in words, but we want you to know how much we loved Sherman, and that we can never forget him. We shall be always guided by the example he set us, and when we most miss him, we shall try to remember that his call found him ready and unafraid to answer, and that he gave his life in the greatest work of this great cause, the relief of pain and torture.

If we could be of any service at all to you, please let us know.


Ethelbert D. Warfield, Jr. R.B.Johnson, James W.D.Seymour,
William A.Edwards, Albert L.Gandy, James F.Hunter, Berbard A. Bridget
Chas.M.Peck, John K. Tellien, Hugh Ward Lutz,
James Palmer, William W. McCarthy Carleton Day Wright,
John V.Ward,Jr., Edmund J. Coolidge, John C. Farmer, Samuel Bernstein,
Chester McArthur, C. Hayne Walton, Charles S. Richardson,
Guy C.Bishop, Walter G. Garritt, William H.Richards,
Gouverneur Smyth, Edwin W. Gheer, Charles H. Christian, J. DeWitt Toll, Jr.,
W.B. Wood, Lewis W. Mustard,Jr., William P. Church, James F. Hunter, J.P Fletcher


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Howard W.Vander Voorth, J.P. Fletcher, Joaquin B. Calvo.
1st Lieut. B. K Niftel.
John M. Nazel,(in hospital),
Sidney M.Eddy, " "
Herbert Harvey, " "
Robert Ogden, (in Officers' School).

Do not return

Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, n.d.

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Woman's Board of Foreign Missions,
Mrs. John W. Conklin,
247 Belleville Ave., Newark, N.J.

My dear Annie —

For Aberdeen [?] Maryland He
has a Captain’s Commission!
Lovingly [?]
EJC Thank you so much — It is beautiful. I donot see how any other color could be any prettier, and I shall use it daily. Our latest excitement is the news from Sherman — He was near a comrade whose coat was on fire — (saturated with gasolene) and Sherman caught him and tried to beat the fire with his hands. They tell me he succeeded in saving the man’s life, but was badly burned — They were both taken to the Hospital & have the best of care — but of course Sherman cannot write with bandaged

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hands — The new treatment spraying with wax seems almost miraculous in its effects. Both boys are getting well — the other one was more seriously burned on chest Sherman will have one scar on cheek and one between eyebrows — The officer who wrote home said: “We are everlastingly proud of him” The French general has given him a Croix de Guerre with a silver star which means “divisional citation” Yesterdays letter said the other man had taken a turn for the better — The dressing of the burns has been very painful — but I am so grateful that eyes are saved. Herbert Burlings engagement is announced to Mayone Kelly of Chatham — Jay started [?] today

J. B. Pelletier to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, August 5, 1918

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August 5, 1918.


It is a Catholic Chaplain attached to the who addresses these lines these lines to you. Kindly pardon me; but I thought you might be happy to know that he who writes you this was with your son when the shell exploded.

I liked very much, so serious a nature and so artistic a soul. We were rapidly becoming friends in spite of the fact that our acquaintance was so recent. Your son, Madam was very conjenial [sic] to me.

We happened upon one another before , in the forest not far from . We were chatting peacefully in spite of the shells that were exploding around us. Alas! It was to be our last conversation. A shell fell in our midst and several men were struck, among them your dear son. After the first shock, I went to him, made the sign of the cross upon his forehead as a last benediction and repeated a prayer in the name of his mother. Your son, Madam, was as though he slept.

Some of the men unfortunately were wounded: two of our surgeons. After having carried these off with the assistance of Bridget, a friend of Herman’s, I returned I did my utmost to bring the body of our poor comrade to his American friends who buried him at .

These particulars, Madam, may be of

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interest to you.

Permit a Catholic priest to express to you, Madam, his feelings of sincere condolence. May God be with you in your great sorrow.

Kindly accept, Madam, the assurance of my deep and religious respect.


, S.J.

Charles Peck to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, August 16, 1918

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Aug. 16, 1918

My dear Mrs. Conklin,—

I cannot express my regard for the bravery of you have sacrificed so much more than a mere physical life. I know appreciates it with all the vividness of his present understanding.

Nothing could have been nearer to Sherman’s desire concerning, if necessary, than were the actual circumstances. He was waiting for his load of wounded at our farthest post in front of the village of , a little north of the . At the time he was speaking to a French priest who is attached to one of the regiments. The shell struck in the midst of the little group killing Sherman instantly and wounding several others. He died as he had wished with a smile on his lips, and for the lives of the men who fall. The body was laid at rest the next day in the little village cemetery of and the spot is marked with a cross. The French Catholic mass was read while cannon roared in the valley at one side and shrapnel burst over the other side.

Our hearts are all with you in your great sacrifice, tho’ we can express our sympathy only in clumsy words.

Very sincerely yours,

Elisabeth W. Conklin to Earl Reed Silvers, September 12, 1918

Newark, N.J.

Sept. 12, 1918.

Mr. ,

New Brunswick, N.J.

My dear Mr. Silvers,

The original of the above came to Mother in this morning’s mail, and I am hurrying it at once to you, if you can and care to, include it with the letters Mother has already sent. I am also enclosing the original of a letter from the priest to whom Sherman was speaking at the time. As I am unfamiliar with

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French, I dare not copy it. Of course you realize how very precious this letter is to us, and I know you will not let it go out of your hands, and will return it at once to us, please. And may I ask that you have it translated very accurately please, for in the article the “Home News”, — “blessè” was carelessly translated to from“blessed”!!

Yours sincerely,


P.S. If you cannot use the enclosed snap [?] shot taken the day before, please return it at once to us, in the enclosed envelope.

E. W. Conklin

Earl Reed Silvers to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, September 3, 1918

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September 3,1918.

Mrs. J. W. Conklin,
Newark, N.J.

Dear Mrs. Conklin,

We are anxious to have Sherman’s picture in the October issue of the together with a full account of his life and death. We shall be very grateful if you will send us a photograph of him; also whatever details you may have about his death. perhaps a letter or two from his comrades, or a letter from Sherman himself. Everything will be well taken care of and returned to you undamaged within a week of its receipt.

Sherman’s death was a big shock to his many friends at the college. His life was so full of promise that it seemed wrong, somehow, to have it cut off so abruptly. But it must be a world of comfort to you to have hod such a son. I am sure that he died with a smile on his lips, and with the knowledge that he had not made so splendid a sacrifice in vain. We Rutgers men are very proud of him.

Very sincerely yours,

Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, September 9, 1918

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Glastonbury, Conn. Sept 9. 1918

My dear Mr , —

I am very sorry for this delay, but I have not been home and your letter has just reached me — I will send at once this evening or tomorrow morning, a photograph of Sherman — with copies of letters from the section

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and from him. I cannot get them together just now in time for this mail — but will send them within twenty four hours. I know your time is limited if you need copy for the October number. I have sent to the D.U. Quarterly for a copy of the June issue containing

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six poems by Sherman. It is to come to you direct.

I cannot think of Sherman as gone. He has not gone for I know he is very near me all the time.

Yours very sincerely

Elizabeth J Conklin

Newark, N.J.

Earl Reed Silvers to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, September 27, 1918

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September 27 1 9 1 8

Mrs. J. W. Conklin
Newark, N.J.

My dear Mrs. Conklin:

Owing to the unusual pressure of business accompanying the opening of college I have been unable to have the enclosed letter translated until now. I am, however, sending you a translation which was made by Professor Hauch of our faculty. Thank you very much for your kindness in sending it to us.

Very sincerely yours,


Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, October 4, 1918

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My dear Mr.

Thank you for the letter & translation from the French Priest.—

Will you send us at least one dozen copies of the Alumni Quarterly and let us know the cost? If before Oct. 12 — at . After that my address will be

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Thanking you for your kindness, I am
Yours sincerely

Elizabeth J Conklin

October 12 ‘4’ 1918

Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, October 6, 1918

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October 6. 1918

My dear Mr.

I am sorry to trouble you — but can you return the photograph used in making the cut? It’s the only one I have of that kind. & it would take some time to replace it —

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth J Conklin

I am leaving for Texas on the 12’ but mail sent to 313 Summer Ave, Newark will reach me

Earl Reed Silvers to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, October 10, 1918

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October 10 1 9 1 8

Mrs. Elizabeth J. Conklin,
Newark,N. J.

My dear Mrs. Conklin:

I am sending you under seperate cover Sherman’s picture. I am sorry that I have not returned it sooner but it has been necessary to hold it in order to have the cut made.

Very sincerely yours,

Earl Reed Silvers to Elisabeth W. Conklin, January 2, 1919

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January 2,1919

313 Summer Avenue
Newark, N.J.

My dear Miss Conklin:—

Thank you very much for your letter of December 22nd enclosing check for $4.00 for the Alumni Quarterlies which were sent you. I hope you do not mind, but I am returning your check. It is very good of you to send it but the Alumni Quarterly is at present self—supporting and we are only too glad to be able to serve in sending to Sherman’s family copies of the magazine containing his ‘In Memoriam’ article. It is very little that we can do but I trust we can do that much for him.

I am rather at a loss as to how to answer definetely your question about securing copies of the . If you will give me allitle time I shall try to find out the best way in which we may gather together all of Sherman’s writings. I shall try very hard to find some way which will not necessitate yur coming to New Brunswick and doing the work yourself and shall write you just as soon as I can conveniently arrange things.

Under seperate cover is going six copies of the Quarterly to Miss Ellen C. Hovey.

Very sincerely yours,

Elizabeth J. Lindsley to Earl Reed Silvers, January 24, 1919

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135 East French Place
San Antonio

January 24, 1919

My dear Mr.

It was very kind to let us have all of those copies of the Quarterly, and I cannot half thank you — I feel as if I should not ask for any more copies without paying for them — There are so

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many of Sherman’s friends, who would not see the Quarterly to whom I want to send copies — I am thinking of the men in his Ambulance Section in France, and of others.

Would it be possible for us to have more copies? I will be so glad to pay for them

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with kind regards & thanks for your great kindness, and memories of hearing of happy hours Sherman spent with [?]

I am
yours sincerely
Sherman's mother

Elizabeth J Conklin

Earl Reed Silvers to Elizabeth J. Lindsley, January 31, 1919

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January 31, 1919

Mrs.Elizabeth J. Conklin

San Antonia, Texas

Dear Mrs. Conklin;—

I would gladly send you fifty copies of the October issue of the Quarterly if we had them, but calls have been so frequent and many that there are only twenty left. For college records and filing purposes, we should really have more than that number.

I think, however, that by dropping a line to a few of Sherman’s classmates, I can gather a few extra copies together. Under separate cover I am mailing you six.

Please do not bother about their cost. I am very sorry that I cannot send you a great many more.

Just as soon as things are straightened out here at the college, I shall take up the matter of collecting . What a splendid tribute to him appeared in the current Christian Intelligencer.

Sincerely yours,