Camp Devens 1917
My dear Brother:-
Let me inform you that once more we are in quarrentine. If ever I felt like blowing off steam it is now. With my own hands to-day, I helped put up the fence around our barrack, which will keep us in for fifteen days from to-day (Sunday). Isn’t that real interesting news for me to open my letter with to-night? One case of measles came out to-day and should any more come out we shall be here until after Christmas, closed in. Oh! I just hope and pray we won’t be held here Christmas. I guess we’re hoodooed[?] all right. Thus I have presented before your observing eye, one of the extreme joys of army life. The boy that has the measles is in my squad. There are about fifty fellows from our company home on week-end pass. Oh! won't they rave when they bump into the fence to-night.
Well, I sure did enjoy myself at home Thanksgiving Day. I left Ayer last Wednesday noon and got home at three-thirty. I told mother I would not arrive until nine-thirty as I did not expect to leave here until five-thirty. But I got away at noon. You ought to see how surprised mother was when I came early. But she was so glad I came a few hours earlier. We had a nice dinner at Stella's. Bertha was there and Doris brought a girl from Perkin's Institute with her. Mother's stomach was bothering her Thanksgiving Day, and that evening before I left she was hoarsing up a little with a cold. But I got a letter from her yesterday and she said she was no worse. I swear she's overdoing at Billings'. If she can only remain well while we both are away, I will be contented. When do you come home for your vacation? I will be so glad when you get home for a few days.
I started for camp here Thursday night at ten-fifteen, and arrived in Ayer at two-A.M. Friday morning. My pass read until seven-thirty Friday morning.
I called up "Jenks" this morning to tell him I was coming to see him, but he had gone home for the day. Now I won't be able to see him for some time.
To-day for dinner we had roast turkey, mashed potatoes, beets, carrots, gravy, and bread and butter and ice cream and sponge cake. We shoveled snow and ice all morning so we did eat at dinner. To-night we had the same excluding the ice cream and cake.
We surely did have some snow storm yesterday. It snowed and rained all day and way into the night. It really is terrifically cold up here now, and I think it won't be very long before we move south. We understand we are going to Texas if any place, to do border duty. We suffer everything with the cold here mornings drilling specifically carrying a gun with a steel butt-plate.
Enclosed in this letter is something I thought you would like. It gives you a fair idea of my winter quarters. The view is taken from the hills by the main gate. A tower was built especially to take this picture.
Doris Barnard is spending this afternoon with mother, I expect. She said she was going to. Win, Doris surely is one peach-of-a-girl. She has been wonderfully good to not only me but mother, since I left home. And Win, she thinks the world of you, too. She was telling me the other day that if I was up here some Sunday while you were home, she was going to ask you to let her come up to Ayer with you, if you were coming. Just think I have been here eight weeks last Friday, now going on to nine weeks.
I was so mighty glad to hear such a glowing report of your studies. Oh! I do hope you'll keep it up.
I guess I'll close now. I hope you are well. I am fine. Remember me to Carly. Be sure and let me know when you are coming home. Lots of love to you, from
[Thanksgiving 1917 was November 29. So this letter could have been written Sunday, December 2, 1917]
[Stella is most likely Clara Estelle Dennett, his aunt.]
[Doris and Bertha would be Stella's daughters and Mort's cousins.]
[He would marry Doris Barnard in 1922.]
[Who is Jenks? Who or what is Billings]
Contents Copyright © by Charles R. Dennett.