Vast war letter collection shows sacrifice

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By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press

ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — A private collection of 90,000 war letters to and from soldiers fighting in U.S. conflicts from the American Revolution to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be permanently housed in Southern California.

Chapman University in Orange will open a new Center for American War Letters this fall after private collector Andrew Carroll chose the institution to house correspondence he has collected for the past 15 years.

Carroll begins a nationwide tour this week to seek out more war letters from the front lines and home front.

He began collecting the correspondence in earnest in 1998 after writing Dear Abby to solicit donations from former soldiers and their families and descendants.

Chapman hopes to help Carroll scan the letters and create traveling exhibits and classroom materials about them.

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