Union County WWI Veterans - Letters Home

Copyright 1999 Janine M. Bork

Earnest - Last Name Not Known





Perry R. DUKE and Corp. Seth BAILEY





Harry HALL

Henry HESS




Charlie R. KELLEY - Red Cross Letter



Charles F. SMITH


Walker W. THOMAS


Arthur WICKS

James H. YORK

Camp Mills

Aug. 9, 1918
Long Island

Dear Mother and Father:
Well how is all the folks and dear old home? I'm feeling fine and having it easy since I got here. But oh my the heat, I'm about 25 miles from New York City. The seond day I got here was the hottest day ever known in New York. I was over six days and nights on the train. I came through the state you used to live in Indiana, but it was after night. How is everybody there by now? I got your letter and Eunice's too last night. And one from Lawrence yesterday morning. He said he liked it down there. Well when you read this letter you will know your boy is on the water for France or England. I do not know which. I don't know no more than you do if I'll ever return or not, but I'm going to do my best. I'll get a Gearman while he's getting me, so don't worry for I feel safe. Elmer Simonis will travel with me. And several boys from my home town will travel with me. I don't know if you can read this, for it is so hot a fellow can't hardly write, I have seen some pretty places. I didn't think there ever were such places. California is nothing but dry hills, what I saw of it. I just looked outside and I can see 15 airplanes in the air. They look like a bunch of chicken hawks.

I've had a nice little ride on a boat. They sure ride easy, but wait until I get on the transport!

Well this might be the last letter you get from me for a long time, but don't forget to keep on writing to me.

Tell everybody hello for me.
I am going to do my best.
Your son, Ernest.
Good Bye.

North Powder News, Saturday
August 17, 1918

(If anyone has an idea who this is, I'd like to identify him.)

The following letter, on printed letterhead as noted, and signed "Sgt. Seth T. Bailey has been received here.

On active Service with the American Expenditionary Force,
June 26th, 1918.

I have been going to write from time to time, but for many reasons have been putting it off.

Do you know that the News finds me every week. No matter where I go or what happens, the North Powder News drifts through to me. I appreciate it too. Although I hear from North Powder quite often I am always glad to get the paper. You see we havn't forgotten that little town after doing so many weeks guard duty there. Many of the boys who were with me there are gone. There are only 8 or 9 of the old bunch left.

It was but recently that we were all called together as a unit once more. So of course we are working hard preparing the regiment for that which is to come. It has come already to many of use, but we have yet to go in as a regiment. And that isn't many weeks off.

Germany is fighting for the last straw but we happen to have the biggest end of it and are standing on solid ground to boot.

North Powder News, Saturday
July 27, 1918


France, Aug. 5th, 1918
Your letter of July 1st just reached me. Mighty glad to have it, I assure you, and to know that you give me some thought way over here from God's country.

The little paper comes along as usual, no matter where I am, even following me up troat where I am now. The last one I received had been forwarded two or three times from as many different places in France.

After all one must go thro' something like this to know just how sweet life is. I never quite knew. But life is to be loved after all, and a peaceful life is a mighty sweet one. Here one sees more lives blasted from this earth in one hour than any one doctor living has lost during a lifetime by bad practice. In everyday life lives come into this world and go out of it. But here they go out with none coming in. And so it has been for four long years. Most of us never realized what war is until some of us found ourselves face to face with it in the land called France. Of course one doesn't stop to think about it only at idle moments. While the fight is on a man's life it is only a big of fuel for the flame. Men may fall on all sides of you, and still you see nothing only the enemy in front of you.

But its all necessary. We must sacrifice now to make the world free from unnecessary sacrifice in the future. Peace will come by the sword. And the sword it is to the hilt. We Americans crossed the ocean to help bring peace to the world. We're doing it too.

Today I am on rear guard duty hence this letter. Had I got the long straw this morning might be doing something else that I would like very much to be doing. But as it is, I must take my turn. Personly I'd like to be in the first wave every day and every night till it's over. It does me heaps of good, after all has been said and done, to show those Germans who and what we are. We are champions of Liberty, the papers proclaim us, which is absolutely correct, but at present we are champions of the western trout.

Day before yesterday Soisons fell. Yesterday and the day before, we, the Americans, captured many villages and took over 9000 prisoners. By this time no doubt, considering this morning's fighting that number has been increased by several hundred.

We are in the center of the big advance. The Germans have thrown their best troops in directly in front of us, but on we go! Of course this does not mean that Germany is defeated, s they will eventually stop us, that is to be expected. It does mean, however, that the war has been shortened several months.

No, Germany can never win but she has discovered that fact to late. And when I say "She has discovered etc." I do not mean the people of Germany themselves. And they too must know ere long. Returning soldiers do not usually have still tongues. The truth will out in Germany as every one is anxious about the Americans. Infact they're worried. And why shouldn't they be?

What I have seen of the Americans in action will cause me to bless the day I was born in American. He knows no fear. He is cool headed in a pinch and uses his brain. We have individual action in or army without relying on someone else's brain who is higher up. All in all he's a man respectful of all womankind, as fair to an enemy as the enemy is to fair to him and can beat the other fellow at his own game any time he is given a chance. I do not say all this because I myself am an American with the expeditionary forces and see myself as others might see me. No-Never! I am speaking as an eye witness, only, and seeing only those comrades of mine. I am speaking of the human product that only freedom and liberty alone can give birth to.

Well we are sending out a firing squad to pay some soldiers their last respect. Duty calls and I must hasten to close.

P.S. News just came down the line that we have taken Fismes so that means another good advance today.
Sgt. Seth Baily.

North Powder News, Saturday
August 31, 1918

Word From Our Soldier Boys

Camp Kelly, San Antonio, Texas.
June 28, 1917

Mr. H.A. Boyle,
North Powder, Oregon

Friend Harley:
I suspect you will be somewhat surprise to hear from me, but I will try and write you a few lines anyhow. You will have to excuse this pencil as my pen is dry.

This is some country down here. It gets awfully hot here thru the day but it is always cool at night. We are only 80 miles from the Gulf so we get the ocean breeze every day. It hasn't rained for about six weeks. The crops are beginning to suffer some. I am stationed at Camp Kelly, about 7 miles from San Antonio. This camp is a new Aviation Field. It has just been started since the first of the year. The government intends to make this the largest aviation center in the world. They have about 100 machines here now. They are building steel hangars for them just as fast as they can. These machines here are just school machines. They have no war planes here at present.

It is no uncommon sight to see 12 and more planes in the air at the same time.

There are between 8,000 and 10,000 men here at this camp for aviators alone. All the men for the other branches of the service are stationed on the other side of San Antonio. I was sure some surprised to hear that Earl McMurren could not pass the examination. Have any of the other fellows joined the army or navy yet.?

Oscar Gorham and myself are still in the same company. We have been assigned to the 30th Aero Squadron. We will probably be sent to Panama to train. Do not know for sure.

We do not have so very much to do. We have to drill 4 hours per day, and nearly all the rest of the time we have to ourselves.

We have a regular baseball team in our company. We have cleaned up everything in camp. We have a game scheduled with the San Antonio State League team for the 4th of July. Have you fellows been playing any ball?

If any of the fellows are in danger of being drafted, I would advise them to join right away while they can choose which ever branch of the service they want. Because when the draft starts they will be put in the Infantry and the drafted men are sure going to get the worst end of it all of the time.

We are getting good wages now, $30.00 per mongth and board and clothes.

I would like to be at home but I have never regretted joining the army.

I will have to close for this time as it is drill time. Will write more next time.

Give my regards to all of the fellows. If you ever have time I would sure like to hear from you.

I am as ever your friend,
Camp Kelly,
San Antonio, Texas
Provisional Aviation School Squadron.

North Powder News, Saturday
July 7, 1917


The letters below to Miss Mary A. Thomas of Cove are interesting. One from Belan, France, among other matters says:
"It seems nice to get ltters from my folks, Yours found me well and glad you were the same. I pulled through the battle all O.K. and did not get a scratch. I am glad it is stopped and I guess everybody else is.

I don't know when I will be back to the U.S.A. but when I get back i sure will be there. It's raining here today; we had some snow but it is gone. We are drilling some yet. We live in billets and we sure keep them clean and fixed up neat. Co. F. has the neatest little billets of the regiment. Tell Joe to write to me. I love to hear from anyone over there an get ready for drill. From your loving uncle.

Co. F, 324th Infantry. A.P.O.
791. American E.F. Belau, France.

North Powder News, Saturday
March 29, 1919

John Dahlstrom writes to subscribe for the "News" and says-
"Am now at the Benson Polytechnic School and like it fine. Am taking general mechanical training.

There is a large building, has only been built one year and is modern and up to date in every respect.

There are 309 students here. Every movement is conducted in military order. We have military drill one hour each day. I belong to the band so I do not get much of the military drill. The band has its own little drills yet, but I drink after we are broke in we will get plenty of drilling. The band consists of 28 pieces.

We have not received our regular uniforms yet, but we have our mechanics uniforms, blue overalls, blue jumper and a white cap.

We have all kinds of amusements here, games of all kinds boxing, wrestling and good entertaining of all kinds such as singing and good music. People come up from town and entertain us and it sure is nice. All the people here treat us fine.

The weather here is perfect. Has rained just a little since I came.

North Powder News, Saturday
June 29, 1918

Another Soldier Boys Letter and a Comment

The following article I am writing in response to the request of the Post Y.M.C.A. Fort McDowell, Cal., that some of the boys write of their experiences to their home town paper.

I will try and describe in a concise manner my few experiences since I joined the colors.

The first thing that impressed me was the jolly and anxious to be on the move spirit of the thousands of young men who have volunteered their services, and if necessary their lives to uphold the honor of good old Uncle Sam.

On arrival we were received in a coureous manner and escorted to the Receiving Barracks, issued our military regalia and assigned to our different brances. I must confess it was a comical sight to see the boys trying on their uniforms. We were a sight to behold for several days until we accustomed ourselves to our new conditions.

We arise at 5:50 A.M. and all file into the Mess Hall and you can picture four thousand young men in one large room, the pangs of hunger gripping each one and the noise of clattering dishes.

Lunch at 12 noon and dinner at 5 P.M.

As I write I can hear in the distance the strains of a patriotic air played by a military band, and I tell you boys it makes the red blood course through your veins and renews hpeful anticipations of an early journey across the water to do your part to uphold our country.

There are different amusements here for the benefit of the boys, such as moving pictures, vaudeville shows, baseball, etc. The Post Y.M.C.A. is certainly doing a world of good. It furnishes writing paper, free pool and billiards, piano, etc. and in the evening the boys congregate, some writing home to mother, father sweetheart and others singing about the piano, each one with a contented countenance. It is a place where the boys can meet and exchange happiness and sorrows as well as becoming better acquainted.

Since joining the colors I have felt contented, and for the boys on the outside who are carefree, I will say, you will all feel like me and not be afraid to look the world in the face with a smile and say, "I have done my duty."

Hoping this will touch the heart of some young man who may be lying back and letting some other fellow take his place, I am.
Gratefully yours,
Perry R. Duke.


Having been requested after reading the above letter, to write my opinion as plainly as possible, of what I expect our nation to accomplish, from the present world conflict after it will have consummed thousands, maybe millions-of young men such as has left his inherent spirit of "onward and upward" stamped on the face of his manuscripte, I have the following to offer:
We will gain experience, possibly we will become a world power. We will gain no territory of importance; we will not, however, gain one-tenth as much as we will lose in men and money and ships.

But the war must be fought; Democracy must leave its marks on that land of carnage; America must speak now or never. We must have men-men of fighting blood, men like the above recruit.

But reader, those men must be treated fair; they should know, in a minor way, just what is before them. I am a soldier of two years service in the U.S. Army, having served in Mexico and elsewhere. Although I have seen little of real war itself, I am quite sure Sherman was right when he spoke those three words of historical value. "War is hell".

Corp. Seth Bailey.

North Powder News, Saturday
October 13, 1917

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Estracts from a letter from John Gilkison.

We get our pay O.K. every month.

Each troop has a mes shack. It is kitchen and dining room and we eat just the same as if we were at home only we have to wash our knife, fork, spoon and cup the kitchen police wash the rest of the dishes. I have been on K.P. twice since I enlisted.

We get plenty of dish towels; make them out of flour sacks.

I don't think htere are over four or five housewive in the troop. The boys like them fine.

I got a snap shot the other day dressed the way we stand retreat. I will send one with this letter. I don't know when we will leave Columbus, but they can't start across any too soon to suit me.

I havn't had any border patrol yet. You see each troop takes turn and patrols it a month, I guess we will get it about Sept.

I don't know when we will be moved away from here, there has been some talk that we will be out of here before long but I don't know whether there is anything to it or not. I wish they would move us. We all want to go across.
Your son,

North Powder News, Saturday
August 31, 1918

On a printed letter bearing the words "United States Marine Corps" and with his own name underneath in small letters, Norris E. Gilkison writes to his mother, under date of June 10 and 18 as follows: "I have made quite a jump since I wrote you last, I'm located at Galveston, Texas for the time being. I sure enjoyed the trip wounderful. I saw a great deal I never dreamed about. Talk about hot weather. I sure saw some in Southern Clif. in the Imperial valley. I suppose you have heard of it. While we were at Tuscson Arizona the Red Cross treated us to ice tea, candy and soda pop. I want to tell the world that this is a revl town. The commander took us up to the Y.M.C.A. and let us take a nice plung. It was fine too. We arrived at my destination yesterday, adn what I mean, we worked too. We had to put up our own tents and build a regular camp for about 350 men, so you see its no small job. We were hurried away from Mare Island with about 24 hours notice.

June 18: I am feeling fairly well for a newcomer into a new and hotter climate. it sure is hot down here, take it from me. About all you have to do is to prepare the food and set it out in the sun to cook. Say! I've seen it rain for the first time since I left North Powder, the morning we arrived here.

We don't mind the heat so much if we only had good water and plenty of it. We don't get hardly any and what we do get isn't hardly fit to drink. And we have still another hardship, the mosquitos are so thick down here that we have to have netting over our bunk's at nights. I'll be shooting away good amunition for Uncle Sam in a few days, he's going to teach me to be an expert rifleman. Hope he does.

There is lots of shooting on the range here. 120 men shoot at 24 targets at intervals of about 5 minutes each. Guess you had begun to think I had forgotten home when I told you not to write until you heard from me again, but we couldn't write on the train and let you know where we were going, so I had to wait until we landed in camp. Write soon and often as it takes a long time to get here.

Your Marine Boy.

North Powder News, Saturday
June 29, 1918

Oct. 17
North Carolina

Dear Old Friends:
No doubt this will be a surprise to you but you will know that at least my mind sometimes wanders back to N.P. Any way I am enjoying the best of health; getting plento of work, plenty to eat and like the country fine. I enlisted April 15th in Fresno in E troop 1st California, Cavelry, transferred on June ?9th to the Quartermaster Corps as baker. Took a course in the Bakers' school in Monterey Ca. was at Monterey until August 18, then sent to Frisco then to camp Fremont. Palo Alto Cal. and on Aug. 28th started for Camp Green Charlotte in a tour of 40,000 and we have over 22,000 troops here so you see when they get to town it sure does crowd the streets. We are only allowed to go to town Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, and evenings from 9 to ten. It is 3 miles from camp to town. Parts of the camp has street car service, but the rest has auto busses.

Everybody in camp seems anxious to go across, which we expect about the first of the year. Our Company of 98 men subscribed for $6,400 of Liberty Loan Bonds. Our Captain started it off with $2,000 individual. The former sum does not include that. I have $1,000.

We are baking about 20,600 pounds daily. Our one Company bakes for all the camp. It is quite a sight to see the mule teams line up for bread every day.

We are to have a big day tomorrow in honor of the Liberty Loan. All the camp is to parade the streets, with 7 bands, in military formation.

Saturday, Lee Caldwell and Company D, 1st Oregon Cavelry, of which he is Captain, is to give a Wild West Show something which none of the Southerners have ever seen. The gate receipts are to go to buy Liberty Bonds.

Well, there is no more that is of interest so will close. With best regards to all, I am sincerely your friend.
H.C. Green
Bakery Co. No. 324,
Camp Green N.C.

North Powder News, Saturday
November 2, 1917
Also in November 8, 1917 paper

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A postal card bearing good tidings and with the gracious superscription, "Olin's mother" is acknowledge and reads as follows: "We rec'd a telegram last evening (June 22) saying the ship L'Espagne, on which Olin sailed had arrived safely in Bordeaux, France. Sincerely, Mrs. W.J. Hadley."

North Powder News, Saturday
June 29, 1918


A letter signed by Olin C. Hadley and dated June 29th says,
France and Paris are beautiful. The Boches have given us air raids for the past three nights. Think of rolling out of a warm bed and beating it for the cellar. I have been feeding soldiers and refugees the past week."

North Powder News, Saturday
July 27, 1918

Mr. B.F. Evans,
North Powder, Oregon
Dear Friend: Am on my way to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas. Left Vancouver last night. It will take 6 days to make the trip. At least that is what they gave us rations for. Like the army life fine. Am in charge of a bunch of boys. Will write more later.

Harry (Hall) Dec. 9th California (On the train.)

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Jonesboro, Arkansas, May 1918

Dear Folks:
Our ride has been fine so far, we have just got out of the Ozark mountains through which we have been riding all morning, and beginning to get down in the country where the people say well 'How is you all, we all is fine' and the coons are almost as numerous as the whites.

While winding up the Snake in Idaho my mind ran back to childhood days, I would certainly liked to have just went up to Rexburg after arriving at Pocatello. If the Idaho country around Burley is anything like Minedoka and the towns through there I cannot understand why people should desire to leave such a state as our dear old Oregon.

While at Pocatello some of the boys that are musicians played and the rest danced on the R.R. platform, the girls being plentiful.

We left there in the night, and when we awoke in the night, and when we awoke we found ourselves in the Rockies. The country between Green River and Cheyenne in Whyoming is about the same as one sees pictured in the wild and wooley west films-and this country is sure wild and wooley, it would almost be too lonesome for coyotes. The large cattle and sheep ranches dotted here and there where it is not too dry and the towns seem to be dropped down from a clear sky, no support except these ranches and a few large coal mines. Another thing that was noticable here was the long snow sheds to prevent blockades From Cheyenne to Denver. It is certainly a wonderful country, especially from Greely to Denver. The large sugar beet and canning factories, the large lumber yards and fine farms all highly improved point to prosperity.

Denver was on the hum with its smelters and factories but they were having a labor strike, the worst place in the world for that, guess. We left Denver in the night and woke up on the Great Plains of Kansas where all you can see is miles and miles of rolling country, the farms being principally corn fields; the buildings are very poor. We, of course, passed through Kansas City and ___between the stock yards and factories of the Swift & Co. and Cudahy packing plants, also by several furniture mfg. concerns and some wonderful grain elevators and across the river to Kansas City, Mo. which is somewhat larger than Portland and is certainly a live city. We took in as much as possible, being there from about 7:30 to 11:30 P.M. and when we woke this (Friday) morning, we found ourselves in the Ozark Mountains of which you have heard so much where ignorance is bliss and all is romance. The little villages dotted along the R.R. and the distant houses or huts you can see all along in these mountains, or what we would call hills, practically no schools anywhere.

Henry (Hess)

North Powder News, Saturday
May 25, 1918

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Marine Barracks
Mare Island
June 19, 1918
Vallejo Calif.

Dear Mother and Father,
Well we are all three at the applicants Barracks, have been here since Sun and will soon be in the dentinsion Barracks. it seems like I had always been here every body seems the same way. While we were in Portland we sure had some time .one evening we got on a gasoline lanch and went down the Willammate river about 5 miles to what is called Oaks Park, and while we were in Portland there was a moving picture of a battle in France showing the fight the Marines were in. We got to go to it free as we were enlisted. Going up in the balcony we came very nearly getting lost winding round. There is a ballgame going on today between the Marines and the Navy. Eugene is over watching it, but Howard and I are writing People com every day. There is a bunch just making their beds now.
California is different from what I thought it would be, but I like it fine just the same.

We have seen Ray Graham and Earl McMurran

My Barracks will soon be changed probably tomorrow.

Your son,
Lloyd Hobbs

North Powder News, Saturday
June 29, 1918

July 1st, 1918

Dear Papa: This is the first day I've had off since I last wrote, and we're going to get busy again tomorrow morn. Just finished a 450 rnd trip with 3 1/2 ton Packs d trucks loaded with supplies. I see now where we truck drivers are going to have a big job on our hands. France is sure a pretty country but I'd hate to liver here with the French. They have some funny customs. All the kids are regular beggars and you nearly have to use force to keep them away from you. The people are awful polite and do their best to talk with us, but we have to talk with motions. There is any amount of girls and it is a fellows own fault if he can't get him one.

I wish I had a good history of France now as it sure would be interesting after passing through some of these historic places. We have passed a good many old buildings and some castles. One we passed looked to be 700 or 800 years old, had all fallen down but you could see that at one time it was a large building. The towns are not at all like those in the U.S., all stone houses, narrow streets, some streets just wide enough for our trucks to pass thru, and main streets at that.

The making of wine is a great industry here. About half the crops are grapes. Grow a good deal of rye, some wheat and vegetables. You see very few people driving cars here and what they have are about 1912 modles. Their main way of traveling is in two wheeled buggies, pulled by a small broncho not much larger than a good sized dog. They also use dogs for pulling carts. I have my camera here, it is a little broken up, but I think I can fix it and if I can get a chance to buy some films I'll sure get some fine pictures.

You can see the French has great expectations of us, they treat us fine everywhere, would throw flowers to us along on the trip.

In one of the towns we passed thru I get the surpise of my life in running across Archie. I was leading my truck when he walked up to me and spoke to me; I didn't recognize him for nearly a minute. Believe me he was sure glad to see me. There had been a good many motor trains passing thru, and he had been looking for me. I wasn't expecting to run across him so soon. I hated to leave him so soon. Only had about an hour's visit when we had to move on. It sure makes a fellow feel good to run across some old friend or relation so far from home. Archie gave me all kinds of eating stuff, tobacco, etc. and took me up to a fine wine shop the first thing. Well I guess I've written most of the news I'm allowed to write, so will close.

Allan Huddleson, Co F of 5th Division,
Motor Sp Train, American E.F.

North Powder News, Saturday
August 17, 1918

Mr. John Dahlstrom,
North Powder, Oregon.

Dear Friend;
Have been sworn in at Portland and am bound for the island in about 5 hours. I like it fine. There are 27 of us going tonight. Will write soon, Fred (Kanautz)
December 12th.

North Powder News Saturday
December 15, 1917

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Red Cross
U.S. Base Hospital 24.
Limoges, France, July 8, 1918

Dear Mrs. Kelley:
Before you got my first letter telling you of the illness of your son, Private Chrlie R., Kelley, Battery F Fith F.A., you must have received the news of his death. I know you will want to know anything I can tell you about his illness but there is not very much to tell.

As you probably know, since about May 26th, 1918, your son was in the "Horse Line" where they care for the horses of the battery; the various groups take turns at this duty.

I have just been talking with Private Elmer Lyon of the same battery who said there were about 100 men on the horse line and that the life was very pleasant. They were quartered in little lean-totents in the woods and were well fed. Apparently your son began to feel ill toward the end of May; for a few days he would feel ill then well for a few days then ill again. He was in quarters a week before going to a field hospital, and entered this hospital about the end of June very sick with Bright's disease. There was very little that could be done for him; he died about 6:45 in the afternoon, July 6th. I asked the nurse if he suffered much. She said," He suffered of course' but he suffered like a soldier. He had been at the front eight months and was well disciplined; he did not complain and was always patient.

He was buried with military honors on Sunday afternoon in the little American graveyard just outside the French cemetery on top of a high hill looking over great stretches of grassy or wooded hills with a blue line of mountains in the distance-a most lovely spot. He is the eighth American to be buried there-seven soldiers and one nurse. There were a good many of his compnay and nurses at the funeral and they planted some pink geraniums and hydrangeas on the grave. I will try to take a photograph of the grave and send it to you.

There are two other men from you son's Battery in the hospital, both of whom were good friends of his, Elmer Lyon and Ralph Hussey. They went to see him a number of times during his illness. Lyon says, "Kelley was a fine fellow, you bet your life he was," and Hussey ads that he was considered on of their best gunners.

Even though he did not die of wounds your son had the enormous satisfaction of being in the fight. He had a chance and a good one to do what he came over to do and for that we must be thankful.

Sincerely yours,
Visitor for Home Communication
Service American Red Cross.

North Powder News, Saturday
October 12, 1918

Writes Home Folks
From Camp Lewis

Camp Lewis, Wash.,
Oct. 30, 1918

Dear Mother, Father and Little One:
Well here I am still in the hospital, where I've been since the 17th. I hope to go back to the Battery soon, though I think I just lost a stripe by having to come to the hospital, and always will think if I'd stayed well I would have been made a sergeant the 2st, which is tomorrow. I may never make it, but whenever you get sick you're sick, that's all. I am able to walk around a little now and have been for three days but am awfully weak yet.

I got some letters the other day and a box of gum and candy. The gum hit the spot but, sorry to say, the candy was so dry that it wasn't very good. i appreciate it just the same. I don't see why I don't get any more mail and it is really lonesome without it but I guess they figure mail isn't important to a sick man.

Nellie knit and sent me two pairs of socks; they were fine. It will soon be three weeks since I saw her and as camp is on quarantine, goodness knows how much longer it may be.

My shoulders hurt so I will stop for the present.

This is Nov. 1st, and as a result of being in the hospital I didn't get my money this month, but I got about twelve letters, one from Nellie, one from May and the rest from you folks. I certainly do think Hope's letters beat anything I ever saw. She surely does fine. I am awfully proud of her. I say mother, though I am in the hospital 16 days now, there is no reason why I shouldn't have written home before this nor is there any reason why I shouldn't have written before I got here. I am worthless and lazy is all. I am just killing time here, learning and accomplishing absolutely nothing. I've probably lost my chance for another stripe and as they may transfer my battery I may yet be left behind although I've been out of bed for a long time. I have to go back part of every day. My shoulders hurt like the devil every since I allowed them to hold their weight five minutes. My lungs aren't right, my head is dizzy and I can hardly walk up and down stairs, I'm so weak. I eat like a horse, and smoke pretty regular now, though for two weeks I couldn't even do that. I got the box of store candy today, also a box from Winnie. I also got the stamps. All of them hit the spot. The stamps may come real handy if I stay in the hospital, for I'm out of money. I've been spending quite a bit while in the hospital. Goodness, I'm lonesome though not quite so lonesome as I was before I got these letters. It is three weeks tomorrow since I went to town last to see Nellie. I wrote to her since and told her to write to me at the hospital. She didn't write, so guess she never got the letter.

My shoulds are hurting like - so I'll close this letter and sign them before going to bed for the night.

I am with Love Your Own Son and Brother HARLY A. NEWCOMB.
Yes, Daddy, do write when you can. Every little thing helps.
Your own son. H.A.N.

North Powder News, Saturday
November 16, 1918

From Earl R. Sanders

I am writing on a hillside in the shade of some bushes somewhere in France. It certainly is pretty scenery. The country and people are so different here from home. I hae an awful time trying to talk to the girls. One came by just now and we tried to talk to each other but it was mostly by motions. I wish I could talk French. To want to talke to some pretty girl and don't know how. Tuff! Didn't have that trouble in England.

From all reports the war is very much in our favor. The French are driving the Germans back ever day.

North Powder News, Saturday
October 12, 1918

Charles F. Smith Writes
Interesting Letter

October 9, 1918

Dear Sister:
I will write you to let you know that I am still among the living. I haven't heard from any of the folks since I landed in France. I have got three letters, one from Bessie Gilkison, one from Eulebia Worthy and the other from George Gardner.

I sure have been moved around some since I landed here. I suppose that is to be reagem. I haven't got any more mail. I have lost all trace of the boys altogether. I don't know where any of them are now; they are sure scattered around. I am with a new bunch altogether.

Charlse F. Smith
Co. F. 306th Inf. A.E.F.

North Powder News, Saturday
Novemer 16, 1918

Paul G. Stevens Tells of Life in the Navy.

The News is in receipt of the following letter from Paul G. Stevens, a former resident of North Powder.-Mr. Stevens writes of his experiences in the navy which may be of interest to his friends here:
New York City.
May 21, 1919
North Powder News. Dear Sid-
Have just arrived from oversease duty (U.S. Navy) in France, England and Ireland. I am a former resident of North Powder and once worked in the office of The News, and have lots of friends and relatives in and around North Powder, who perhaps would be interested to know of my whereabouts.

I have been on duty lately at a destroyer base in Queenstown, Ireland. And by the way, I can't say that I would recommend Ireland as a good place to spend a lifetime and am glad indeed to be back in the U.S.

I enlisted in Kansas City, Mo., April 6, 1917, the day war was declared, just having been discharged from the army at the end of the Mexican trouble.

Now after serving in the army and navy I am convinced that I was not born to fit a uniform, and at the present am stationed at the receiving ship, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in the capacity of "landsman for civilians."

Am very sorry to say that I cannot at once make my future home in Oregon on account of family and business interests in the middle west, but for a short time will make my home in Waukegan, Illinois, 412 Belvidere St., and would be very glad to hear from any of my friends who care to write. Yours very truly,
Paul G. Stevens.

North Powder News, Saturday
June 7, 1919


The letters below to Miss Mary A. Thomas of Cove are interesting.

Agrifeville, France,
Feb. 13, 1919.

Cousin Mary:
your most welcom letters of Jan. 11 and 16 received. Many thanks for pictures. I sure was surprised when I opened your letter and saw a nice, fair American girl's picture. I am sending it home, so I will have it as we can't carry anything with us when we go through the cleaning plant before we start for home. I have nearly a thousand kodak pictures that have collected since I came over. We are having nice weather here now; is cool of nights but days are warm and the grain fields are all green.

The natives are getting up their next year's wood. They cut all the willows, tie them up in bundles every so many years, and they grow up again. Wood and trees are scarce and there are very few that can afford coal.

I don't believe we will eave here for at least six months as we have a great deal of supplies to move and still more coming over. I would sure like to visit your Cherry Fair but guess I will be in France then. I am called to Saumer, so will close hoping to hear from you often. You will notice I have a new address.

Your loving cousin,
PRVT. 1 Class, Walker W. Thomas
Co; 4 Trans Corps 14th
Grand Division, A.P.O. 735
France Am. E.F.

North Powder News, Saturday
March 29, 1919

Somewhere in France.
November 19th '17.

Dear John:
Many times since I have been in this country I have thought about Clover Creek and have envied the people of that peaceful little valley. Your paper tells about the poverty and the destruction in france, but to you, it is far away and seems almost unreal. You have plenty to eat and soft beds. Do you ever think that these people have very little to eat except some black bread and that fuel is so scarce _____ poor. They even burn the leaves and all the twigs.

When the first American casualty list comes in, you will begin to realize what the United States is up against.

We have been here now about three months and have seen much of this beautiful country for we have not stayed long in one place.

There was little trouble in crossing the Atlantic. We were pursued by some subs, but by the aid of a storm, a fog and the skillful manouvering of our ship, we escaped them. We saw England and admired the well kept farms, the neat brick houses, the fat cattle, but most of all we liked the English candy called toffee there. They gave us a rousing welcome and showed us London with its famous places of interest. I attended a service at St. Paul's and wandered through the passages of Westminister Abby. The most pleasure, tho, was to climb upon a bus and jolt along the streets, waving at all the girls. I fell in love with all of them, of course, and almost felt like crying when I had to leave. There were so many of them, and as there are no men left we were much appreciated. My greatest trouble was in getting enough to eat. Five times did I eat on that day, and I was hungry when I reached the camp. One is allowed only so much at each hote; so I ate at five of them, one after the other.

In our passage across the channel nearly everone was seasick. Am glad to say I was not. Men lay everywhere and in heaps. A storm was raging and the ship pitched like a bucking broncho. What a mess there was when the dawn showed the shores of France.

Now as I sit in my bunk and write this by candlelight the trip is almost forgotten and the present is what counts.

We are in France and are helping these people win back their homeland. We are paying back some of the debt we owe to LaFayette and those Frenchmen who helped us win our Liberty.

This is a beautiful country. Every acre cultivated, nothing wasted. There are no able bodied men left to do the work, none but women, old men, cripples and Chinese. Women do most of the work, plowing, handling lumber, trucking etc. Most of the country around here is in grapes which makes wine plentiful and cheap.

Thanksgiving will soon be here and Gen. Pershing says we are to have turkey and mince pie. If I ever get back to the Estas Unis I am going to live with the chickens and keep mince pie in my pajama pockets so that when I awake and imagine I am in this shell swept land the feel of the pie will prove it only a dream.

My address is somewhat lengthy, but letters do get here. Try it on an envelope sometime. Pri. Cecil T. Thompson, Co. F. 18th Eng. Ry., U.S. Army Post Office No. 705, France via New York.

North Powder News, Saturday
December 15, 1917

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The writer quotes the balance of this widely published poem describing Texas which ends.
"The heat in the summer is a hundred and ten,
Too hot for the devil and too hot for men.
The wild boar roams through the wild chaparal,
It's a hell of a place for a hell.

Springer is back from a furlough, but he didn't bring back the eats like I did last January. Those eats Bernice sent were gret. Gee! things from home taste good. Another fellow recd a box from his sister in the same mail. We sure had some feed on sweet stuff, and I'm in training, too, for a long distance run to come off the last of May. Every night I go for a long run.

We had a bit of excitement in camp Wednesday night. A prisoner escaped from the post blockade. He had a fifteen year sentence so took a chance. He hasn't been captured yet, but is having a fight for his life. The cavalry has been after him. Well it sure is good to hear of your improvement, Mother. Keep the good work going. I'm O.K.

Arthur Wicks

North Powder News, Saturday
June 11, 1918

In a letter addressed to his partner, Ben F. Evans, Mr. York further says: Was very busy yesterday (July 20th) getting ready to fire a few shots from a big 14" rifle, but we didn't fire this morning as the fog hung over the bay pretty nearly all day and they didn't want to take a chance. I am on powder duty, or powder monkey or something. Believe me, the powder they use for one of thos boys, you don't pick it up and run away with it. It is in a sack about 6-12 feet long and weighs 479 pounds. We had to fill them, then get them round and lace the sacks up tight then put them in an airtight cylinder. When we fire we have to take them out and put them on a long tray with handles for four men and take them out and shove them in the gun. I didn't get to cock the canon, but I helped to swab it out. Guess I'm some guy, eh?

We have most of our overseas equipment; shelter tent, rifle, belt, canteen, bayonet, pouch, etc.

We can see Catalina Island from the barracks window. They say it is 26 miles away. Have never seen any place like better than Eastern Oregon, altho it is nice here.
3rd C.A.C. Ft. McArthur,
San Pedro, California.