Sniffen, Allan B. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Allan B. Sniffen enlisted in the military during World War I, and served with the 68th Artillery Cavalry of the 1st Battalion of the American Expeditionary Forces.
Much of Allan Sniffen's enlisted time was spent in forts in New York and Virginia, studying to be a field clerk. Upon completion of his training, Sniffen was awarded the title of sergeant major and worked in a field office until September 1918, when he received orders to go abroad. In France he learned to use high caliber weapons, such as a 155 mm Howitzer.
In addition to showing the need for resourcefulness during wartime, Allan Sniffen's letters highlight the continual presence of danger. In a letter dated April 11, 1918, Sniffen documents the actions of a renegade sergeant at Fort Wright who, before killing himself, critically wounded five men and killed two. Another describes an air raid just as his convoy arrived in London. Although it is unknown when Sgt. Major Sniffen returned to the United States, it is apparent that he was not wounded in these or other events.