Woodward, known by his friends as “Hod,” was born on August 21, 1878 to Walter M. and Ellen N. Woodward in Franklin, New Hampshire. At the time these letters were written, Woodward’s family lived in or near Benton Harbor, Michigan. Most of the letters are addressed to his mother, but were meant for the entire family.

Woodward’s letters traced his military career from training in Minnesota to the Philippines to his return journey to San Francisco. He was stationed in the Philippine Islands from late 1899 until early 1901, serving as a corporal in Company C of the 45th Regiment U.S. Volunteer Infantry from Michigan.

The collection consists of thirty-two letters written by a U.S. soldier during the Philippine Insurrection. The letters—the first dated September 28, 1899 and the last March 17, 1901—detail a soldier’s life in the Philippine’s during the bloody guerrilla war. This collection also contains biographical information, including obituaries of Woodward and his wife Bertha.