Paul J McDonnell letter to his mother Agnes (Beirn) McDonnell

Paul J McDonnell letter to his mother Agnes (Beirn) McDonnell. Posted from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Command and General Staff School

Stationed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Paul Joseph McDonnell was an instructor at the Army’s Command and General Staff School. His rank at this time was Major. Here he writes to his mother, Mary Agnes (Beirn) McDonnell, with holiday well wishes and a gift.

Letter from Paul J McDonnell to Agnes (Beirn) McDonnell, transcribed

Letter from Paul J McDonnell to Agnes (Beirn) McDonnell, transcribed

We are incredibly fortunate to have many letters written over the years by Paul Joseph McDonnell to his mother. Matching elements of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), such as the efficiency report below, with these letters helps give a flavor for the Colonel’s life as he lived it.

Paul J McDonnell Major US Army Infantry

Efficiency Report of Major McDonnell

The full provenance of these letters is undetermined.  They were passed from Marguerite (McDonnell) Cathcart, daughter of Col. McDonnell, to the current owner in 2006. How they came to be in her possession is unclear. I cannot say with certainty the collection was passed to Col. McDonnell as part of his mother’s estate. It is possible the letters were passed to Marguerite via her Aunt Helen (McDonnell) Davis instead. I hope to have this clarified early next year.

Properly citing the various military documents in our collections has become my educational focus for January.  OMPF’s, pension files, final pay vouchers among other records, all have unique considerations for proper citation. We have an amazing collection between the two families filled with interesting factual and contextual evidence. I look forward to sharing more with you…once I figure out those citations!

Rorey Cathcart

Copyright (c) 21 December 2012

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Rorey Cathcart, “On This Day: Paul Joseph McDonnell” posted 21 December 2012, I Hope To Speed, ( accessed [DD Month YYYY])