Sidney Gardner MacMillan Private Papers
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MacMillan's letters to his parents and to his sister, Eleanor MacMillan, illuminate the tedium of army life as well as its discomforts. Forced to muster for an inspection of the Third Division by General John J. Pershing, MacMillan wrote that he had never been so "completely frozen through in my life."[Letter dated 9 March 1919] He found the Germans, whom he called "Dutch," [from Deutch] far more agreeable than the French, whom he felt exploited the American soldiers. "The Dutch have to treat us right or we put them in jail. ...Considering that France is ...stricken and shell torn it is not justified in taking it out on the soldiers that kept the Hun out of their wonderful Paris." [Letter dated 25 March, 1919]
MacMillan was a lively observer and an eloquent correspondent; he was also very homesick for his family and for his young wife, Cynthia Polk Roundtree. His desire to be discharged and to return home is a recurring thread in the letters written after the Armistice of 1918. He found the routine of army life, with its training schools and apparently aimless troop movements burdens to be endured with a cheerful although sometimes ironic spirit, as he wrote on 8 March 1919, "When I take my army to the Fiji Islands I'm not going to have them riding around in box cars." MacMillan ultimately was mustered out of the army and returned to Wilmington, North Carolina. He died 8 April 1967.
Mrs. Sydney Gardiner MacMillan (Cynthia Polk Rountree) is recognized as a member of the North Carolina Society Colonial Dames in the Supplement To Register North Carolina Society Colonial Dames 1927; Compiled by Anne Thornton Spence Bellamy; entry no. 909; pg. 5.
Note written by Patricia McGee
0.21 Linear Feet (Contains 1 document box)
- Sidney Gardner MacMillan Private Papers
- Special Collections Staff
- 1997 March 18
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