Feb 17th, 1918

(Postmarked February 18th, 1918)

My dear Brother:-

So you are out of jail at last: I was so pleased when I heard of John’s card saying you were back at the barracks. I’ve thought of you all day and wished I could see what you were doing – I’ll bet it seemed good to be at liberty to go around with the other boys. We’ve all been rejoicing ever since we knew you were out. Only be careful – don’t try to keep going until you drop. I think I know you – you won’t ask them to go easy with you, no matter how weak you are as long as you can keep going. But you MUST be careful – there’s no one down there to look after you but your self – and you know we can’t spare you – you are the “hub” which keeps us all together.

Well Arthur (our man) moved yesterday and I suppose we will have a new man tomorrow. Ransom went after him today and he went back with the team so he could move tomorrow. The man’s name is Dave Ballard and he certainly LOOKS more civilized than our last man did. Charlie Wright knows him and he says he is a good man – we’ll hope so any way.

Bessie says Ed wrote to you today so I suppose he has told you all the “measles” news.

Now, when are you coming home. I can’t be satisfied with a 36 hour leave and you can just tell the officers so. They have had you for five months and they can surely spare you to me for two or three days – they MUST. When a particularly bright day comes I think, “I wish Myron was here today”: when we play one of the best pieces on the Sonora I think “Myron would like to hear that” — O I tell you we are all “Just a-wearying for you. All the time a-feeling blue, thinking of you, wondering when You’ll be coming home again. Restless, don’t know what to do. Just a-wearying for you.”

Ransom is joining the Masons. Is that the right way to say it? Any way he took the first degree last Mon. night and he has been studying since for the next degree. He had to go down to Everett Bristol’s last Wed. to learn a part of his “lesson” so I went down to spend the day with Mrs. B. I had a splendid visit and when I got home I found a letter from you so it was a “Red Letter” day for me. I think Manuel Goldberg deserves at least a note of thanks from the Whittemore family for our letters from you would probably have been few and far between if it hadn’t been for him.

The Red Cross is organizing Junior Auxiliaries – or trying to – in all the schools of the state. We are to have one in our school and our four children have joined. They are to sew for the Belgian children, knit squares for an afghan and hat water bottle covers. The boys are to make gun wipes and candles. Did you ever see any of the candles? I haven’t, but have heard about them. They are made of newspaper rolled up and soaked in melted paraffin – they are for use in the trenches and it is said there is heat enough in one of shoes to boil a cup of tea. I guess it is going to be necessary for all of us to do our parts. I wish I could find time to do Red Cross work and am gong to try to if I ever get may family all served up – if I ever do.

We are learning to make war bread and to do without nearly so much pie and cake. I presume we will be all the better for it. I shall try to make some maple sugar when the season opens although I said once I’d never make any more – it is so much work to boil it on the kitchen stove.

Ransom’s cows are doing finely now. He is milking 19 and getting almost six cans a day, has several milking over 40 lbs. a day. Bert got a pure bred bull calf of Ransom a short time ago.

Mr. And Mrs. Ralph Smith are rejoicing over the arrival of a daughter – came last Tue. night. You see it’s war times and the population must be increased.

Well I guess I’ll stop and have some ice cream – the first we’ve made in a long time. I guess you’ll have some new boys down there soon – I understand the last of the first draft will be sent the 28th.

Well here’s hoping we’ll see you before VERY long. Tell them you’ve GOT to come home.


Notes: I am assuming that Myron got drafted. The first draft was held July 20, 1917. Myron was prime age to go first. This letter indicates that he entered Camp Devens in August of 1917 about one month after the draft.

I have no idea who Manuel Goldberg was.