mstrpth

World War I letter

15 posts in this topic

a friend of mine sent this to me. It was a letter her grandfather wrote to his dad. Thought it was neat.

 

 

 

The following letter was written by Wyatt C. Jackson, 1891-1968, of Sycamore, Cheatham County to his father, Andrew Perry Jackson, 1856- 1929)

 

France, November 24, 1918

 

My Dear, Dear Old Daddy;

Well, I know you are writing me a good letter today, and I sure am looking forward to the time when it gets here, for my letters from home mean so much to me. Since the censorship has been practically lifted, we can write things of interest to you people.

We left the U.S., August 5 on His Majesty’s ship, Acqutania, the second largest boat afloat. It was some boat and we had a grand and glorious trip. We sailed several days, without seeing land, were in one pretty bad storm (which made some of us pretty sick for a while and caused us to feed the fishes a few times) but sighted the Irish coast on the morning of the sixth day.

On the night of August 15, we took a U.S. ship for LaHarve, France. We pulled out a little piece from the shore and stayed there till it got good and dark then started the perilous journey across the English channel, where the submarines did so much damage. We had about 10 little submarine chasers with us, and when we had gone about half way across away in the wee small hours of the night, the ‘subs’ got after us. There were three of them and you never saw such a sight. Our ship and everyone of the chasers began to throw their searchlights in every direction, and the chasers did some work, dropping depth bombs and we got by ok, and landed next morning after daylight.

On the morning of the 17th, we left LeHarve for somewhere in France, and after riding 56 hours, packed like sardines in cattle cars and box cars, we landed in Homaire. It was a beautiful country through which we had passed, and in spite of our packed condition, we saw many pretty sights. When we got off at Tomaire about 50 of us were left to guard the trains that night. Next day we went out about 14 kilometers to Dye (no, don’t be distressed, it’s only the little village), where we billeted for a month in stables and attics and various places. I fixed myself a good bed in a stable loft and we enjoyed our stay in the loft and we enjoyed our stay in the quaint little town.

Soon box cars carried us up into the Vosges Mountains. We detrained at Brugeres, hiked out a piece and billeted for the night. Next day we started on a big hike for the front with our full equipment, 90 pounds and all we possessed on our backs. All these hikes were made at night to escape observation by airplanes, and we lay around billets during the day. I shall never forget the first sight of this hike. We went along the road several miles then came to a beautiful little lake, where we halted, ate supper just at dark, then watched the moon creep over the mountain top. We soon reached Raon that night. This town was occupied by the Germans for 19 days in 1915, and was almost destroyed when they were driven. This is on the border of the Alsace sector. I crossed over into Alsace a tme or two. The next night we went up to the front in the so-called quiet sector, but it is where one of the hardest battles of the war was fought, lasting fourteen days in 1915. There are graves everywhere, both French and Germans. This was beautiful country, but is now so shell torn and riddled that it is horrible looking. The night we went in, Fritz shelled the road on which we were traveling but caused us no losses.

I was in the front line trenches several days this time. Our front line trench was very close to the Germans, in some places, 60 yards, and at no point over 150 yards from them. At the 60 yard point they were above up on the hillside. This was a very particular point, and we were the first American company to relieve the French here. Part of the time our company was in this sector, I was in the reserve with my platoon on the next hill. We had a little shack here in the loveliest spot. We had dugouts, deep holes and pits dug out in the mountain side and the warfare was mostly between snipes but the Germans would turn their machine guns loose on us once in a while, and the artillery played on quite a bit. I tell you, Dad, it is a wonderful feeling, you have when those big ‘whiz-bang’ began coming over. The airplanes were pretty active too, and our anti-craft guns would bring one down once in a while.

Dad, I wish you could see the roads here, they are the finest you ever saw, I wish we had such a system in the U.S.A., especially Cheatham County. A road here better then our Hyde’s Ferry Pike is called a ‘trail,’ the roads are splendid. You never see a bad one except a new one across country.
They say Paris is lit up now and looks like the Paris of old. I hope to see it before I go, I only passed through the outskirts coming over.

Give my dearest love to each member of the family. Your true and devoted son,

Wyatt C. Jackson

Ashley P likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neat.  My great grandfather fought in WWI with Seargent York.  Someone in my family has all the letters he wrote back to his family here.


JohnC likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope they preserve that history. It seems so much is being lost and the history revisionists are reinterpreting things deliberately wrong too often these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope they preserve that history. It seems so much is being lost and the history revisionists are reinterpreting things deliberately wrong too often these days.

Just yesterday I had my first visit to a grave site of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.(!)  While I TOTALLY respect the Medal and it's honorees, this Medal was awarded in 2001 to a Civil War veteran.   I question the views of people in 2001 that can award a medal that was not awarded in 1864.    Andrew Jackson Smith.

Edited by Ashley P
JohnC likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something my Mom's cousin put on facebook not too long ago about my great grandfather.

 

TBT A little Early
I was looking for an old photo this morning and I found an old folded clipping from a newspaper. It was a letter to the Editor written by my Aunt Mary in 1984. She had seen a death notice for Sergeant Yorks wife and it triggered her memories of her Father, (my Grandfather) George Stone. The photo of Granddaddy was made about 1918.

My father George Stone served alongside Sergeant Alvin C York in the Argonne Forest in France in 1917 and 1918. After the war Daddy told his family many exciting War stories. One favorite story was about Sergeant York single handedly capturing over 100 enemy soldiers with his rifle and one handgun. He was picking off enemy soldiers who had Machine guns and were shooting at him. They had already killed many of his fellow soldiers. He felt at home in the hilly woodland of the forest and he used the same methods he had learned back home when shooting Turkeys and Squirrels in the Hills of Tennessee.

The enemy soldiers thought they were surrounded by a whole army. Their head Officer eventually surrendered toYork. As Sergeant York marched the captured enemy soldiers out of the woods he forced them to pick up and carry wounded soldiers for medical help. Daddy said, "You should have seen the look on their faces when they found out there was only one man who had captured them." 

Daddy and Sergeant York were lucky and in their later years they were able to visit with each other and had a good time reminiscing about the war. My father never went to movies but he did go to see the movie "Sergeant York."

In his later years a man came through Nashville and criticized the statue of Sergeant York, saying that the Springfield rifle was a mistake, that it was not used during World War I. Well, Daddy said that they did use the Springfield rifle and he told the story about walking into a town in France and there were several piles of rifles on the ground and they were told they could take any they wanted. He and Sergeant York both picked up Springfield rifles.

It was sad to see these old folks pass from our lives. They left us a great heritage as they instilled in us a love of God, love of Country and pride in being a Tennessean. 

Thank you Mary for these memories of our much loved sweet old Grandfather. He was a loving husband, father, teacher, Football coach, High School principal and Church Leader. I don't ever remember him raising his voice to the Grandchildren. Hard to think of him living this past life as a War Hero.

 

 

1902849_4582844065661_430126735785543559

JohnC, mstrpth, Kpate and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something my Mom's cousin put on facebook not too long ago about my great grandfather.

 

 

1902849_4582844065661_430126735785543559

Thanks for sharing that! I really enjoyed reading it. :love:

You should find a way to preserve that history for your kids. :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gaining more and more interest in the family history stuff as I get older.  My mom tells me that my Great Grandfather (story above) stayed in Europe after the war to go to School (College) and also taught some in a school over there.  After that he settled here in Nashville (Inglewood) and raised a family of 4 kids.  I think he was originally from the Westmoreland or Lafayette area.


 


My Mothers aunt Mary, who wrote the letter to the editor above.  Her husband was a medic in the Army in WW2 and was on Iwo-Jima and saw the famous flag raising scene happen in person.   He is still very active in reunions with his remaining fellow soldiers, he has lots of interesting stories.  They live in Hermitage.


JohnC likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gaining more and more interest in the family history stuff as I get older.  My mom tells me that my Great Grandfather (story above) stayed in Europe after the war to go to School (College) and also taught some in a school over there.  After that he settled here in Nashville (Inglewood) and raised a family of 4 kids.  I think he was originally from the Westmoreland or Lafayette area.

 

My Mothers aunt Mary, who wrote the letter to the editor above.  Her husband was a medic in the Army in WW2 and was on Iwo-Jima and saw the famous flag raising scene happen in person.   He is still very active in reunions with his remaining fellow soldiers, he has lots of interesting stories.  They live in Hermitage.

About five years ago this time I met a funeral home director who was lining us pallbearers up and used military-ish motions and then said "back when I was in the Marines."  I asked when he was in the Marines and he said either 1944 or WWII.  I asked  if you don't mind me asking, where did you serve....Iwo Jima he said.  I got to thank him and shake his hand...the old guy was a short, suit full of energy with a firm handshake.  He died a couple years ago.

 

I got to talk to my dad's cousin who served in the south pacific and got his stories on video 2.5 years ago....he's still kickin' at 90, was sharp as a tack then.  These guys (and their history) are soon to be gone, so Mike, get a camera and go interview your Iwo medic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... Mike, get a camera and go interview your Iwo medic!

 

My mom gave me a stack of letters written by past family members.  Her uncle, who was the Medic at Iwo Jima above, wrote a 4 page life history including a couple chapters about his war experience.  After Iwo jima He was in Hawaii training for an invasion of Japan, but they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and he never had to go.  He talks about a relative who, in the civil war, was hit by shrapnel in the battle of Nashville fighting for the confederates.  And another that was with General Custer at Little Big Horn, but he was sent  to get reinforcements and when he came back the battle was over.

 

If you follow any of the Sargent York history there is quite a bit of arguing about what rifle Sgt. York used.  Most historical reports say he would have used an Enfield 1917 rifle because the french had surplus of them and everyone fighting in France was issued one.  But the statue at the State capitol is of him with a Springfield.  Some famous historian came to Nashville and talked about how the statue was wrong.  York's diary tells how he didn't like the Enfield rifle and wanted his M1903 sprinfield back around the time he was issued it.  Apparently my great grandfather says that at some point they came upon a pile of Springfield's in one cities they traveled through and they were told to take one if they wanted and my great grandfather said York took one.  Wikipedia says he used the Enfield in the Argonne forest battle, my great grandfather said different.

 

There is also lot's of geneology from my Grandmothers mothers family (Futrell) from West TN near Jackson.  The spelling of the last names changed a bit over the years, but the info dates back to the first family member in the US.  It says it was a John Futror (first spelling of it) who came to Virginia in 1636 on the ship Bonaventure from Ireland.

 

The only other "war" related info there is that I am related to a Nathan Futrell.  There is a historical marker somewhere on I-24 in KY in the LBL area about him.  He was the youngest drummer boy in the revolutionary war.  He is burried about 75 yards from that marker and there is an explanation of TVA taking the land for a project where he was burried so they had to relocate him.

mstrpth and Ashley P like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/14/2015 at 6:41 PM, Mike said:

Something my Mom's cousin put on facebook not too long ago about my great grandfather.

 

 

1902849_4582844065661_430126735785543559

Looks like the picture above dissapeared.  But here it is again.

1902849_4582844065661_4301267357855435593_n.jpg

 

My grandmothers health is declining and we have had to move her in to an alzheimers care facility.  Yesterday we were cleaning out her house and I found this jacket. It's the same style and I would have to assume it's the same one he was wearing in the picture above.

IMG_4020.JPG

IMG_4021.JPG

IMG_4022.JPG

I'm going to be the caretaker of it now.  I need to figure out the proper way to store something like this.  That picture was taken in 1918, so this is got to be 100 years old or very close.

Cody, JohnC, mstrpth and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.