Post Card from Legionnaire Charles Sweeny (to Mom)

Here is an interesting bit of history that I acquired via eBay last week…an actual post card written by Charles S. Sweeny while he was serving in France with the French Foreign Legion in WWI, to his mother in Spokane, Washington.  There is no date but I presume that it must have been late 1914 or very early 1915; well before the Second Battle of Champagne which took place from 25 September – 6 November 1915.   During this offensive, on September 28th, a newly promoted 2nd Lieutenant Sweeny was shot through his left lung by a German machine gun and evacuated to a military hospital.  Most of his friends thought he was a walking dead man.  It took him over five months to recover and he was eventually able to travel home to the United States for three months leave before heading back to France and the rest of the war.  He would eventually become a Captain in the Foreign Legion before transferring to aviation.

His amazing biography is fodder for several more posts here but for now I wanted to share the post card and some interesting pictures of him found on a web site called Ancient Faces.

SweenyPostCard_1 SweenyPostCard_2

Darling little Mother,

I have written you five or six times in the last month but I hardly think you have received the letters.  The postal service has been very irregular from the camp where we have been.  I hope you receive this but I hardly think yhou will.  I am very very well never been better in my life – we are now very close to the first line in thei battle that sems without end.  I am doing my duty as I see it but taking no useless chances so do not worry about me.  It is all in the luck and I think mine is good this year.  We are doing very well, the life is not too hard and the spirit and moral are wonderful.  We are sure to win with such men.  Eva writes me that she hears from you frequently and that you are very very kind.  We are both very grateful to you and Father. Love to all from your loving son         Charles.

The following pictures show his family, Sweeny posing with some Foreign Legion friends (he is the tall guy in both), in a hospital bed and a couple of shots of him in February of 1916 when he was sailing home on the French Liner Lafayette after recovering from his wound.



About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
This entry was posted in Famous Legionnaires, History. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Post Card from Legionnaire Charles Sweeny (to Mom)

  1. Rich says:

    Hi Jack, The 2/2 arrived in Vertus at 10h30 on Monday, October 19th, 1914, and moved out on the morning of the 20th. The card is postmarked October 20th, so Sweeny either wrote it on the 19th or early on the 20th. Other Legionnaires of the 2/2 mailed postcards that morning. It was their last opportunity to get mail out before moving up to the front lines for their baptême du feu. Two days later, at Verzenay, they began taking their first casualties. All the best, Rich


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