Historical New Hampshire, Volume 70, No. 2, Fall 2017
This 80-page, richly illustrated magazine offers readers a comprehensive overview of New Hampshire during the First World War, covering both the home front and the fighting front. An introduction by MIT Professor Christopher Capozzola sets New Hampshire’s wartime experiences in the larger context of this period in American history. Capozzola is the author of Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of Modern America, a book that argues how profoundly the First World War shaped American life. That idea is supported by the articles in this magazine about the war’s impact on the Granite State.
The magazine’s primary article, “Under a Foreign Flag: Concord Men in Foreign Service during World War I,” was written by independent historian Byron O. Champlin and presents the harrowing stories of New Hampshire men who served with foreign military forces, primarily between 1914 and 1917 before America entered the fray. Thousands of Americans felt duty-bound to volunteer for the Canadian, British, French, Italian, and even German military during these years. Champlin’s work to document the service of the “boys” from Concord provides a window into wartime experiences that few Americans shared, as the men confronted devastating trench battles, gas attacks, and all the horrors of mechanized warfare in some of the war’s fiercest battles, such as the Second Battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915.
New Hampshire’s contributions to the war effort did not end with the Concord boys, though. A series of 15 essays in this special issue covers many facets of the Granite State during this period, from colorful characters like the purple-cloaked relief worker Sister Beatrice to the implacable politician George Higgins Moses who was determined to keep America out of the League of Nations in the postwar world. In large and small ways, people from New Hampshire played an outsized role in helping shape the conflict on European battlefields, in the halls of Congress, and in American living rooms.
Editors: Robert W. Bermudes Jr. and Elizabeth Dubrulle
Illustrations Coordinator: Joan E. Desmarais