Mother visiting her son, the fallen soldier.

Amanda Gustafva Svensdotter was born in Denmark December 19, 1871. She is noted in the Swedish Church books together with her sister, Hilda Vilhelmina Olsdotter, also born in Denmark. They are noted to live with their mother, Christina, but father unknown.

They are taken care of, which I translate into some kind of Poor relief, “fattigvården”, in the small parish of Göteryd, Kronobergs County in Sweden.

The small daughters doesn’t have the correct papers and I can imagine it must be hard to grow up in these conditions. Amanda later became Amanda Gustava Olson.

Amanda worked as a maid in different families in Kronobergs and Kristianstads Counties during her time in Sweden, and in 1895 she gives birth to a son, Oscar Sigfrid, who is born in February 27, 1895 in Västra Broby parish, Kristianstads county, Sweden. His father is also unknown, so in this family the mother and the son doesn’t knew who their fathers were.

There is a note in the church book that Oscar, before his first birthday, is taken care of his foster parents Asserina Nilsdotter and Nils Nilsson, already in October 29th, 1895.

Amanda left Sweden for North America in April, 1904, and later on became Amanda Erickson when she became married to Enoch William Erickson, from Uppland County in Sweden.

Oscar grew up together with his foster parents in the parish where he was born, Västra Broby in Kristianstads county. There is a note about his service within the Swedish Army, in the Crown Prince Cavalry, K7. Oscar left Sweden for North America in September 1912, which means that he was quite young when he did some kind of service in the Swedish Army.

In North America Oscar was drafted early in 1917. I have not yet found the registration form from the Draft, but some documents says that he was drafted right after the declaration of War. He lived in Chicago, Illinois, during his time in the states. He joined the 23rd Infantry Regiment in the 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces, and went over to France.

The first unit from the 2nd Division, AEF went over already in June 1917 and the last unit arrived in March 1918. Oscar probably arrived quite early within that time frame. the 1st and 3rd Battalions took over the line from Bouresches to Le Thiolet, in the Chateau Thierry area, relieving the Marines. These two battalions attacked late in the afternoon June 6th, gaining their objective with heavy losses.

Oscar had at this time the rank of 1st sergeant. Oscar was killed in action June 8th, 1918 in that area. He was buried in in some different places but later moved to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.

The documents above shows a photo which is assumed to be Oscar Anderson. He looks quite young, and it can be from his period in the Swedish Army. The photo is found under his name at findmygrave.com, but his date of birth was from another Oscar Anderson.

The other documents describes his casualty card, where his mother’s name is mentioned on the back side of the card, Amanda Erickson. The last documents describes the situation when his body was exhumed from some old graves and later on moved to his final resting place.

The documents contains some very interesting information.

His mother Amanda was invited to participate on a Mother’s Pilgrimage trip to France in 1929, to be able to visit her sons grave. The next of Kin were offered to apply for a trip to Europe and were also asked if they wanted the body of their soldier to be left in Europe or transported to US. Amanda and her new husband must have chosen to let thye body of Oscar stay in Europe, and she took the offer of going on a pilgrimage trip to Europe, which she later on did in 1930.

Below you can look through some of the documents connected to that trip. They are really interesting to read and gives you a good picture of how well the US government took care of the realtives to the soldiers.

These types of documents are not scanned for every soldier who fell for the AEF, but the National Archive has scanned some of those soldiers who has a surname that begins with an “A”. I hope they will be able to scan more documents as these files gives you a very good picture of how the process was regarding the burials of the soldiers and how their relatives later on acted within the situations

I have a few more soldiers in my database who have those scanned documents and I will try to tell you some other small stories in the future.

Some documents mention that Amanda was born in the landscape of Småland, Sweden, but the church books says Denmark, and that is probably correct.

Amanda died in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois in September 11, 1941.

May Amanda and Oscar rest in peace.

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