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Collection Title: Ainsworth (Wiley) World War I Letters

Collection Number: M426

Dates: 1918-1919

Volume: .25 cu. ft.

Provenance: Materials in this collection were donated by Robert Magee in 2000 and 2001.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Wiley Peter Ainsworth was born on February 9, 1893, in Jasper County, Mississippi. During his youth, his family moved to the Goodwater Community in Simpson County. Shortly thereafter, he went to work on Mr. David Tullos' cattle farm, and it was there that he met his future wife, Miss Celia Tullos.

Ainsworth enlisted in the Army in May 1918 and trained at Camp Pike, Arkansas, where he was assigned to Company A, 346th Infantry. On September 3, 1918, he arrived in Le Mans, France, and was assigned to a new unit -- the 329th Infantry, Headquarters Company. In October, 1918, he was reassigned to the 28th Division, 112th Infantry, Headquarters Company. In a letter written during the occupation of 1919, Ainsworth divulged that he had seen action at the Front.

He was discharged from the army in the spring of 1919, and he married Miss Celia Tullos soon thereafter. Two daughters, Sadie and Lucia, were born of the union. Ainsworth acquired more than 300 acres of farmland in Simpson County, and spent the remainder of his life as a farmer and lumberjack. He died in 1961.


Case file
Contents of the collection

Scope and Content:

This collection consists primarily of letters written by Wiley Ainsworth to Celia Tullos during his service in World War I. His letters discuss camp life, the devastation he witnessed in France, the beauty of the French countryside, and his homesickness. Also in the collection is a research paper written by history student, Robert Magee, documenting Ainsworth's experiences through his letters. In addition, there are photographs of Wiley and Celia Ainsworth. This collection would be of interest to researchers of World War I.

Other Finding Aids:

Box and Folder List
Photograph Log

Related Collections:

M425 Little (Pvt. James H.) WWI Memory Book
AM97-27 Smith (Rufus M. & Carolyn M.) WWI Collection




Ainsworth (Wiley) World War I Letters
Box and Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 Envelopes
Folder 2 Identification Cards for Wiley Ainsworth and Celia Tullos
Folder 3 Letters (May 28-June 27, 1918)
Folder 4 Letters (July 8-Sept. 29, 1918)
Folder 5 Letters (Oct. 5-Dec. 27, 1918)
Folder 6 Letters (Jan. 19-March 29, 1919)
Folder 7 Letters (April 6-May 16, 1919)
Folder 8 "Letters Home: The Experiences of a Rural Mississippi Soldier in World War I" By Robert Magee
Folder 9 Photographs

M 426
Ainsworth (Wiley) World War I Letters
Photograph Log

M426-1 Wiley Ainsworth
  5” x 7” B &W ca. 1918-1919
  (Box 1, Folder 9)
M426-2 Celia Tullos Ainsworth
  5” x 7” B &W ca.1918-1919
  (Box 1, Folder 9)



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