Abigail Miller Allison Ong

World War 1 lasted from 1914 to 1918, it brought us new technology for war (machine guns, tanks, gases, and trench warfare) and removed United States isolationist tactics.

Biography

Abigail Miller was born October 28th 1899 in Jamestown, Virginia. She was the child to John and Carol Miller. Before the war Abigail helped take care of her younger siblings whilst her mother attended secret women activist meetings. Abigail and her boyfriend, Joseph, spent most of their free time together, taking walks though town and playing with her siblings. At just the age of 18, Abigail was sent over seas to assist those of who were injured during the war. The oldest of six, Abigail was caring, responsible and ambitious. She was one of the many nurses sent to Germany. Abigail was praised by her peers, even though she was the youngest, her medical skills were the best on the field. Her compassion and determination never failed to save an injured solider. Joseph and her father, were soldiers drafted in Austria-Hungary. Her father was her biggest influence, his bravery and strength drove her to work hard every single day. At home Abigail's mother worked daily in a clothing factory and her 13 year old brother, John Jr, watched after their 4 other siblings Gale, Judah, Abraham, Mary, and Ann.

Abigail and the other nurses wishing luck to a recently healed solider. (From left to right: Hannah, June, Mary, Susan, Abigail, and Ann).

Dearest mother,

It's been some time since we've last seen one another. I miss you and the little one's so much. The last time I've actually heard your voice was the night you told me that America was no longer neutral and that we had joined this great war, that was the night before I was told i needed to leave to come here, Germany. The country is beautiful, I just wish there wasn't such a tragic fight happening. Somehow I would still describe this land as elegant. Perhaps if there wasn't such a tragic fight it would even more memorizing. I must tell you that the soldiers have now adopted a new technique in defense to the Germans. It's called "Trench Warfare", Maybe you've seen it in the news, but they've dug out large, long holes in the ground, trenches, and hid in them to avoid enemy's shots. I have to say it's rather inventive. Since the technique has been developed I've had to take care of little soldiers suffering from gunshot wounds. Speaking of gunshots, have you heard about the new development in guns? Machine Guns, they're called. They're quite bulky, however, they work much faster than they used to. It no longer takes minutes to reload and shoot again, its a quick process and the machine can shoot several rounds per minute. The wounds from them are horrific unfortunately. We've lost several to the effects, but the soldiers who do make it to the nursing stations have been saved quickly. Recovery as usual takes days and for some even weeks. How's everything at home? Have you still been meeting with the activist ladies? Also, how's the factory? Send my love to the kids!

Please write back,

Abigail

John Miller's (Abigail's father) World War 1 uniform jacket.

Abigail,

Mother's been so busy with work, she's asked me to write you. It's good to hear from you. Nothing has been the same since you left us. Unfortunately we have heard about Machine Guns and I regret to be the one to inform you, but farther has passed due to one. It's terrible that there weren't any nurses in Austria as good as you. I can never forgive whoever had let our father slip in between their fingers. Besides the grief we've all been feeling as of late, the little ones remain as happy as ever, they are enjoying school and have even made some friends with mother's activist group's kids. Speaking of which, yes, mother still attends her ladies group. Each week she leaves me with all of their kids and all of the older kids, including me, watch after the smaller ones. I've even got a girlfriend, Abigail! Her name is Elizabeth, she's my age and her mother is friends with ours. Mother tells me to inform you that the factory is striving and that she's even made some uniforms for soldiers in war. She also says that you should look out for the uniforms she's made, however I doubt you'd be able to tell which ones she's made, especially since they're all the same. We're you aware of the propaganda posters posted all around town? Most of them are negative and promote Germans as non-human and hold fair amounts of prejudice to them. I find them quite hysterical, however mother believes them to be rude and unnecessary. I don't understand how she finds that to be true when they're the reason why you aren't home and our father has passed. However, she remains adamant to the opposition to war. Also, we've had to ration our food. According to the propaganda posters we're meant to save our food for the soldiers. It's a payment to their duties. Anyway, mother sends her love. As do the little ones.

Your brother,

John

Abigail and June examining soldiers who've just recovered from gunshot wounds.

My Love,

I've just received news of my father's death. I've talked to you more recently than my mother and you were on base with him, yet you did not inform me. Besides that, I'm writing to tell you that I miss you dearly. It's neared a year since I've last seen you and heard your voice. I miss taking our walks around town--How I wish this war didn't exist. Why did it even start in the first place? My brother tells me that around town there are several propaganda posters displaying prejudice against Germans. The hypocrisy fills me with anger, the Espionage Act was passed to rid the US of negative speech about itself, but it seems truly unfair that negative speech about other countries is encouraged. Have you seen any in Austria against America?

Love,

Abigail

Propaganda poster about rationing food for soldiers, saved for Abigail by John.

Abigail,

I apologize, but I was unaware of your father's pass. If I had known, my love, of course I would have told you as soon as I could. I'm sorry for your loss, your father was a wonderful man. The last time I'd seen him was a couple of days after our draft. Other than then, I've not seen him. I'll ask around if there's anything left I can sent you in remembrance. To answer your question, I believe we joined the war because of the Zimmerman telegram. The US became very territorial over their land and feared that Germany would have too much power, if they were not able to win the War. I see why you would be angry about the posters however, they reinforce who the real enemy is. Germany started this war and brought us into it. Also, I've not been anywhere where a poster could be hung, so I am not sure if there are any propaganda posters here, however I can assume that there are. I miss you.

I love you,

Joseph

Joseph and his fellow soldiers. (From left to right: Jacob, Abel, Adam, James, and Joseph).

Wilson's Fourteen Points

President Wilson and his Fourteen Points

President Woodrow Wilson Issued his Fourteen Points as a peace plan for the repercussions of the great war. Wilson addresses these points through what he hoped to be victory over central powers. He hoped that these proposals would be embraced by enemy nations and end the war.

1. Open diplomacy.

Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

2. Freedom of the seas.

Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

3. Removal of economic barriers.

The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

4. Reduction of armaments.

Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

5. Adjustment of colonial claims.

A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

6. Conquered territories in Russia.

The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest coöperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

7. Preservation of Belgian sovereignty.

Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

8. Restoration of French territory.

All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

9. Redrawing of Italian frontiers.

A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

10. Division of Austria-Hungary.

The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.

11. Redrawing of Balkan boundaries.

Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

12. Limitations on Turkey.

The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

13. Establishment of an independent Poland.

An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

The last of the Fourteen Points was another broad issue and the particular favorite of Wilson:

14. Association of nations.

A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

The French and British, However were not particularly pleased by this plan. They both felt The impact of German militarism far more than the US and they felt that they needed to take further steps to preclude more aggression from Germany. They ended up agreeing with the points after a couple of modifications. Which were:

1. The delegates would not be committed to accepting a provision guaranteeing freedom of the seas (Point 2) — a measure demanded by Britain.

2. The French insisted that the provision having to do with German evacuation from French territory (Point 8) be interpreted to allow for the collection of compensation (reparations) for civilian damages incurred in the war.

A bullet shell Abigail collected because it was the first one she'd ever seen.

Treaty of Versailles and The League of Nations

The last year in progress!

Treaty Discussion

JUNE 1919: The Treaty that is to end the war between the allied powers and Germany has just been signed! It has been exactly 5 Years since archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. The treaty placed territorial, military, and economic provisions on Germany, which has lead to their defeat. The document is 15 parts and 440 articles and reset German borders as well as assigns them to their liability to the reparation of the war.

A few points in the Treaty include: That all German property in places other than their own will be taken, Germany must cede all war material to allies, German compulsory military service will be abolished, Germany may not have access to new technology (machine guns, tanks, poisonous gasses, and large warship), Germany may not station troops on the left border of Rhine, and the German military is not to Excess 100,000 men.

The League of Nations

In light of the backlash from the Treaty of Versailles, it has been agreed that the League of Nations be formed, to clean up the the gap that's been formed. This league is meant to bring the world back together after this great war. First proposed by President Wilson and his Fourteen Points for peace in Europe. The US, however, was never included.

The success of the League lead to 200,000 freed slaves, After the League attacked Slave traders in Africa, it returned 1/2 prisoners of war. The LON helped to prevent the spread of leprosy and malaria. It halted the sale of drugs by shutting down four companies and regulated opium. Lastly, it organized a conference to discuss solutions to prevent future collapse and sent experts to Austria and Hungary, which are now separate territories

Its been a great year wrapping up the war and healing our nation!

Abigail and Susan in their uniforms.

Dear Diary,

As I look back on these last years I can only think of how tragic it has been. We as a nation have lost several and created a lot of damage. I regret the war as I have lost two of my most dear, father and Joseph. Thankfully, I've come home to my mother and siblings and find that they have not felt the effects of the war that I have. The only bruise they've been burdened with is the loss of father. This war I feel was unnecessary, just as my mother does. Though we've lost many I know that those overseas are not our enemies. I know that it was our doing as we entered the war. I just feel that I've received the short end of the stick because of the many people I've seen put themselves in danger and risk their lives . I know I've saved many, but I also know the damage will remain permanent, both physical and emotional for the soldiers. Reading the recent articles in the paper gives me hope. The recent development that has been made with the League of nations inspires me. I see that soon we will all be together and no one will longer loathe those in Germany, as they realize that they we're fighting for just the same reason. Perhaps they will all find common ground as they discover that everyone was fighting for their country. The only thing I can say that is worth missing about the war is how many lives I've saved and the gratitude and joy I felt each time someone was healed by my hands and able to get back out on the fighting field.

Abigail

The flag that Abigail took from the nursing station when the news was heard she'd be going home.
Photo of Abigail and Joseph, taken when Joseph was drafted.
Abigail's nurse cap, worn most days when healing.

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