Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/16/1918

Thursday 9 PM

Newport News

May. 16. 1918.

Dear Sister Madaline:

This I think will be my last letter to you from U.S. Soil.  I sent home for $10 but up to now I did not receive it.  I have all my letters ready to send to you all stating that I arrived safe in France.  I do not mail them until I board the transport.  Our company is on guard today but some how I  missed it.  I really do not know what else to write about except that take good care of pa and Bob.

I am

Your Loving Brother

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/13/1918

Co A

May 13th 1918

Dear Sister Madaline:

Sorry to see you and John leave me so soon but I suppose it was for the best.  We drilled all day today in the dust and wind and hardly enjoyed ourselves as you saw how the wind and dust flies about hear.  I had to stop writing for a few minutes as we had our over seas examination.  I think I passed aces up.  They are issuing passes to town tonight but I don’t think that I will go down tonight as I have quite some washing and writing to do before going abroad the transport.

Something funny happened today I went to the base hospital last night and I saw the doctors operating on two young fellows one for appendicites and the other fellow for broken ribs.  I had a fellow friend that is attached to the base.  It was through him that I went their to see it.  It sure was a sad case but from what the doctor told me the boys never felt it while during the operation and after.  I wrote a letter to Father Himmelreicher last night.

Must close now dear sister.  Will write you again tomorrow.

Your Brother

Joe

Your visit made a new man of me.  Am feeling fine.

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/4/1918

DEAR SISTER.  EXPECT TO LEAVE SHORTLY COULDN’T PA AND JOHN OR SOME ONE COME DOWN AND SEE ME WOULD LIKE TO SEE PA IN FACT ALL  BEFORE LEAVING TRY AND ARRANGE TO HAVE THEM REACH CAMP HEAR EARLY SUNDAY  NOTIFY ME BY TELEGRAM  FEELING FINE.

BROTHER JOE.

1035 AM

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/4/1918

Co A

May 4th 1918

Dear Sister Madaline:

Left Spartanburg and arrived Newport News last night very much to my delight but sorry to think that I will not see you all before going “Over their”.  We have not received any pay as yet and think we will leave shortly without money thierfore I and going to ask for money through telegram.  That is I am going to telegram now so that when you receive this letter my telegram will have reached you before this letter.  My letter is going to be different than others as I think the censor will inspect all letters, but any way I am going to say what I think even though the censor does camaflodge some words of information.

Dear sister we are going through a hard thing when we leave this country to fight over their for freedom for this generation and the coming and this might be my last good letter that I cam write you but always remember and feel as I do that your only brother is coming back safe and is going away with high spirits.  Please notify all my folks at Astoria and friends that my stay is short and do not expect to see New York again until our point is reached.

Now dear sister when we board the ship their will be no letters going out but I am going to send you a post card with stamp placed in this manner so that you can know we are one day nearer our only delight and that is to fight the Hun no matter what kind of fighting game he puts up.  I think the 27th division will show them up.  Must close now with millions of love and kisses to you all.

Your Brother

Joe

PS:  Love to pa and cheer him up.  Tell Bob that I will soon be home safe.  My address is

105 U.S. Inf Co A

Camp Stewart

Newport News Virginia

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. 9/22/1917

Hdq. Co 103rd U.S. Inf.

 

Dear Em.

 

Here we are at this camp yet, but not a man in the whole regiment is allowed to leave camp under any consideration. We are all ready to pull out at any minute. Every thing has gone but the tents, cots and one stove, and only enough rations are drawn to feed us for one day. The tents and cots are to remain here for some one else to use I guess. Our passenger list is all made out and take it from me Em it was some job. By this list every man is checked up as he boards the boat and as he gets off on the other side. On these sheets is the man’s name, address, rank, and nearest relative or friend and their address. Then we had another form to make out, one each for every man. On these lists is a man’s whole history. I worked two days on this list alone. Any body would think that all a soldier had to do was make out and sign slips, as to when he was born, where he lives, etc.

 

They say if we are not on the boat by the first of the month we will receive no pay until Dec. because they don’t pay any soldiers in Europe only every three months. There is another job Ive got when muster for pay time comes round. And of coarse the pay roll will follow this muster roll up. You’de never dream there was so much paper work in the army. We are still handling equipment, for some of these N.H. & Vt. men were in an awful condition for clothes and mess outfits. We sure are going to be well outfitted when we leave.

 

My barrack bag is crambed full now, and yet I’ve got leggins, slickers (rain coats) trench shoes, more woolen under clothes and another blanket to find rooms for yet. We can only take a pack roll with us (on our backs understand for the barrack bag will not be seen until we land) besides an over coat two blankets, and other articles that will be needed on the boat. My field desk and typewriter is going with me and I may be able to crowd some stuff in with the typewriter, and in the desk.

 

Ive just completed tacking on a tag addressing my typewriter to my stateroom. Yes, I get a stateroom. I dont know how big it will be or how many accomidations it will have, but all men from top soldiers up are to have one of these. We are planning on doing a lot of paper work on the boat, and I guess it will break up the long, lazy hours that will be spent on our trip. Here is hoping against hope that the trip never materializes but I guess it is a happy hope. As much as Id like to go visiting Id just as soon postpone this trip until Im about 75 years of age. I think this war will be over then anyway.

 

It is very chilly and windy here to day and I guess we are in for a little colder weather. It has been very comfortable latly and Ive put in some good sleep, since I got back from my leave last week. I thank you very much for the pictures, and I think they came out very good. Has Henry called again yet? I suppose it is the last you will see of him for about another six months. I hope he shows up once in a while, and if so tell him I was asking for him. The old dust is flying around here in great shape now, and Im getting chilly sitting here writing, I’ve got a sweeter on too.

 

This is some buisy place now I tell you this is the first chance Ive had for a couple of days to write to you. At night either the oil runs out so that I cant see to write or there is such a croud in the tent talking, singing, and joking, that it is almost imposible to write and I join them to kill the night. There is some one from the old company over to see us every night. The only reason Im writing such a long letter today is because it is Saturday and all there is to do is stand inspection in the morning. The rest of the day is given over to sports (but no pass). Sunday is a holiday. They are just piling the equipment in here by the ton, and they are drawing and issuing it as fast as it comes in. I guess tomorrow (Sunday) will be used for nothing else but issuing clothing and other paraphanalia (I guess that’s the way you say it).

 

I received your letter of the 19th and as you say you want that poem. Well in looking through my desk I find that I havent even got a duplicate left. The last one that I saw I sent to Lil and I hope you are interested enough in it to meet her and have her let you read it and copy it. If you dont know her address it is Lillian Ambrose, 897 E. Broadway S. Boston. I hope you will thank her, or rather I hope Lena will thank her for her congradulations. Probably you can write and plan on meeting her in Roughan’s some Sat. night. Ive got to close now with love to all

 

Sam

 

P.S. There is a form that we can sign allotting part of our pay to some one. We are all run out of them now but when we get to France the Capt. will get some more and I will do the best I can for you. Let me know how you come out on the $10 State money.

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. 9/17/1917

Hdq. Co 103rd U.S. Inf.
Sunday

 

Dear Folks.

 

Received your letters of last and as I have a little time Im going to answer them. I just dropped a card for Pa lest than a half hour ago saying I hadn’t heard from you. This will correct me.

 

Im glad you had such a good time these last two weeks and wish it was only starting. Here Ive started a letter and as much to say as time to say it in, no more. Tell Burt I got his letter also and was very glad to hear from him.

 

It is getting kind of winterish these days, and I can even feel the night air cooling now. Tomorrow is inspection and Ive got to clean up for it. Im in the spy department of the 103rd pretty soft job now, but when I find out what Ill have to know probably it wont seem so easy.

 

Well Lena, Em, and Mary (also Burt) this is to let you know I got your letters, and as it is about all I have to say Ill close. Yours truly,

  

Sam

XX Mary

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. 9/9/1917

Hdq. Co 103rd U.S. Inf.
Sunday

 

Dear Em

 

Received all the post cards today and they did look good. I havent got anything to say only, that Im feeling tip top. It is very cold here nights and chilly here even now 5.10 P.M. It is hard telling whether we will stay here very much longer or not. All the horses and mules have been shipped (some where) the drivers have gone with them. They packed the animals on cars for a four day trip. The men have got two days rations.

 

I suppose your all burnt up like myself and I hope you and the rest feel as good as I do. We had chicken and ice cream today, but I will say that we have been feeding rotten of late. I went down town last night for a hair cut and had a feed while there. Im getting fat. That’s no kidding either. You mentioned about it being cold well youd ought to come out here and sleep in one of these tents on a cot. Im the only one in the tent that gets down to the underclothes, and OH it is fine when 5.30 comes and I have to roll out of bed. –But Im getting fat.–

 

I hear that the long passes are to be discontinued but if we get paid Im going to make one awful attempt to get home to see you folks again. Two other fellows and myself, (who were the only ones left in the tent this morning) the others being on a pass had a fine job lugging sand for the floor of our tent. Say a tub of sand is some heavy and we must have carried about 25. It was worth while though, for it makes the tent look as though it was pitched on a beach. Believe me it will feel as though it was, too in the morning. Cold. But I don’t think we’ll weaken yet.

 

Tell the Holland’s I was asking for them and that I’ll send them a letter when I find time. Ive got charge of a thousand dollars of canteen books, and it is some job keeping track of the dough when it is split up amongst 294 men. I suppose Lena has been working her head off cleaning up after the house was left, for two weeks. We are all to get two new O.D. uniforms 3 suits of heavy winter underwear, five pairs of heavy winter socks, and two pair of hob nailed shoes. Overcoats have been issued, and we are waiting now for a long cold winter.

 

I suppose Mary will be starting to go to school soon. Tell her I send her a big X every night. I know I should send Madge and Molly a card or some thing but you see I never know just when I have time. For instance since starting this letter Ive been stopped four times already to report at the head of the street or some other such junk. The old boys of K. come over every night and we have quite a reunion. We use to give them the devil and make them step around pretty lively but they seem to wish we were over them again.

 

I guess Ill stop this chatter for the present and give you a chance to do some thing that you might be more interested in. We have got to be innoculated and vaccinated very soone and that is more trouble. Some of the fellows thats had it say it leaves you very sick. I won’t weaken

 

Sam.

 

P.S. Here you have a copy of a poem written by one of the old K men after they pulled, split, and smashed our happy family all to pieces. It is the sentiment of every man. He has written another one about how us twelve sergeants stuck to Tobey even though we reduced ourselves by so doing. Let me say right here that it was an awful mistake when they broke up the best Regiment of them all.

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. 9/8/1917

Hdq. Co 103rd U.S. Inf.

 

Dear Em.

 

Tell the rest of them that I address these letters to you as one of the family and not because I don’t mean to write to the rest.

 

In looking through my old field desk I found these old pictures, taken on the border. The one in my undershirt was taken as I was cleaning my pistol. I don’t want you to think Im getting vain and picture crazy. I guess you all know that by the way I used to spend my time in the bath room. Im thinking of having one good photograph taken before we pull out of here, which is shortly by the looks of things.

 

I understand that the 101st Regiment (which was the Old Ninth) is on transports in N.Y. Harbor now. I dont suppose there is a man in this organization that knows where he is going, only that he is on his way. Of coarse as far as I know they may still be in Framingham, but from all accounts I guess they are on the go. Im ready to pull out of here in a minutes notice.

 

It sure does look like Fall here today. I sleeped fine last night, as good as I ever did in my life I guess. I don’t know what in the world I ever started this letter for, for I havent a thing to say of any importance. It at least lets you know that Im well. I suppose as soon as I mail this Ill get one from one of you and that will mean another. Well its a good habit any way, and I don’t want to get out of the habit of writing. This is some old company paper I dug up and I think it takes the ink very good.

 

One of the fellows who was on pass came back last night and said it was warm in Boston. Say ship some of it out to Westfield will you. You’de laugh to see us eating our grub this morning. We had some toasted corn flakes, two hard boiled eggs , (but they were warm) and coffee and bread. It is some job pairing an eggs on a cold morning believe me. Shake, say you should have seen us. But they are in us now so why talk. The old sun doesn’t know whether to shine or not I guess. It feels great when it comes out. I hope this cold business isn’t going to be all Ill be able to fill a letter with. Last year it was all hot if I remember rightly. There is very little sickness here now which is very incouraging.

 

All these Maine chaps are strong for foot ball, and I guess there is going to be many a fine game to watch before the snow begins to fly. An awful lot of them are Colby and other colledge men. Sunday there was a game between the M. D. and A. Co. that would have pleased Burt very much. The lieutenant that has charge of the section Im in is a Plattsburger, and his name is Frothingham. I guess Burt will remember when he played for Harvard.

 

I guess Ill call this off now. Hoping to get a pass so I can get home to see all of you I remain

 

Sam

 

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Bartlett, Westfield Mass. 9/6/1917

Hdq. Co. 103rd U.S. Inf.

 

Dear Pa.

 

Im feeling as good if not better that at any time in my life. It is getting pretty cool out this way, and it was realy cold last night. There was frost outside the tent. The sun sure does feel great today. I was out to drill for the first time since hitting this camp, and it was good, honestly. I havent heard from either of the sisters yet but I suppose they dont know my address yet. Id like to know how every thing is as soon as they get home.

 

It is a grand sight to see 250 men in one long line marching at evening parade. Its pretty. I hope this finds you well, also tell the Holland’s I was asking for them. It looks as though we stay here for some time yet. Ill try to get home after pay day. I suppose you will be making the fire very soon.

 

Sam

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Scofield Farm, Dracut Mass. 9/3/1917

Dear Em,

 

I suppose you’ll wonder at my writing from hear but when (all told) it is a short story. I got a forty eight hour leave of absence got home at 11 PM Sat. night and went to bed. Pa called me at five oclock to have some breakfast. He said he had a great feed for me. I went down and there was some beans, bread and coffee. I guess I made him late for work for he kept talking (you know him). Lil is spending two weeks vacation up hear, and I thought Id run up and see her. She saw that I was put up last night and we’ve just eaten breakfast. Ive got to catch the five oclock train tonight for Springfield so Im going to make to best of the day. I feel very sorry that I will not see you on this trip, but as I expect we’ll stay in Westfield for some time yet, I hope to see you later.

 

I got your address off a letter. I hope it right for I thought I get home before I wrote and therefore make sure. Are you folks enjoying yourself? If not why not. Pa seems to be having the time of his life, all alone. By the way, Mr. Holland gave me a great dinner Sunday. She kept pairing potatoes as Id eat them.

 

Well I know I should write more but I haven’t got much time now. Ill write when I get back to camp. Ill expect a letter from you when I get back.

 

Sam

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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