THROUGH his treasure trove of letters, some
as developed as eight to 10 pages, the details
of camp life and preparing for war emerge
in vivid pictures. In his letters during this eight
months of intensive training, Edward’s exception-al
character and integrity emerge.
SEPT. 26, 1917
This from a three-page letter from Camp Sevier was written front
and back on “Army and Navy Young Men’s Christian Association”
stationery on Sept. 26, 1917, and was addressed to his father.
“You have probably heard that Lt. Wilbur Dosher has been transferred to our
company. He has taken charge of the drilling and believe me, he works us. I have been
detailed as the non-com of our company to attend the school for company instructors of
physical exercise and have to ride about two miles every morning on my horse to the school, take
an hour and a half of physical and bayonet drill, ride back, unsaddle, groom, water and feed my horse
and then I get my own dinner from 12 to 1 and then it’s back to work till 5:30 so by night, I’m usually
rather tired, but I seem to thrive on it for I’ve gained five pounds and am getting as hard as nails...”
INTERSPERSED in his correspondence are deep gratitude for the weekly letters and frequent boxes
of delicacies sent from home. Edward expressed fondness for cakes and other favorite food and drink,
a blanket and pillow, or a welcomed article of clothing, including hand-knitted socks.
SEPT. 26, 1917
Later in the same letter.
“I received the sweater and box that Mama and Mary sent, also the cig’s. that you sent by Mrs. Gause. Many thanks for
them all — enjoyed them immensely. Tell Sue, Mary and John that I certainly enjoyed their letters, and am so glad to see
that the boys have been improved so physically. Tell them to keep it up — it’s the greatest thing a man can do for himself.
I am so anxious for them both to go to a good military school, for the value of a military training cannot possibly be mea-sured.
As a disciplinary and physical factor, the training is invaluable, and it teaches a boy to become a true leader of men,
and that, in my opinion, is a rare and great accomplishment. I know it is a very unpleasant subject, but if anything should
happen to me, and I shouldn’t come back, I don’t think that my insurance money could be put to a better use than to give
them both a thorough military education.”
Below: U.S. Mili-tary
March 16th, 1918.
RICHARDS FILM SERVICE/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION