Camp Kearny, California, October 8, 1918

Camp Kearny, California
October 8, 1918

Hello Maude –

Your sweet letter recd a few days ago and I will now ans some.

Pardon me, dearie, for not doing so at an earlier date as I have not been feeling very good. Sure enjoyed your letter and will try and answer them sooner after this.

You ask me for my picture, you shall have it, but I hope you will recover from the shock in due time to ans my letter at an early date. So now if I do not get an early reply I shall take it for granted that you was disappointed with it.

Remember I’m just crazy to get another one from you, but don’t suppose I’ll ever get it now after sending mine.

Well how’s weather out there. Kinda chilly here now and trying hard to rain.

Yesterday I was on a pass but did not have a good time. Couldn’t even go to a show on account of this influenza. Stayed an hour and a half over time, so may get restricted to quarters for a couple of weeks. Gee whiz, I do not know what to write about. News is scarce out here now.

By the way, what do you think of this peace we hear about in the papers?Wouldn’t it be great if peace were declared pretty soon? Guess we’re in here for about six months after the war is ended so you can reckon how we do look for the end. I don’t think this peace is going to amount to much? And really I do not figure on getting out of the Army for another year.

Gee, I hope I’m badly mistaken, however.

Well, I guess some more of the boys here will be going across before long, tho. They may never see active service. Hope I’m one of them, as I sure would like to move from Camp Kearny.

See you are enjoying some hot weather out there. Not so here, nice and cool, and trying hard to rain. Thanks for sending me those names. I will write to them. This Alice Bingham I am writing to her now.

Skip this.
Well I will send you a picture but I hope you will recover…

Guess its about time I quit as I’m starting to write the same thing again. Well, really I got to be doing something, the boys want candy and tobacco, so guess it’s up to me to make a canteen trip.

Will try and do better next time and now I’m going to quit.

As Ever Yours,
Theodore Larson
Please ans soon.

Poor Private Larson. I mean, I go from wanting to punch him in the nuts to feeling sorry for him; he’s not even a good liar. Flu? Can’t enjoy a show…but stayed out past curfew? Really! But since Sylvan wasn’t writing many letters during this time (or if so, they haven’t survived), I suppose she was willing to write him all the same.


Brooklyn Naval Yard, October 1, 1918

Brooklyn, NY
October 1, 1918

My dearest Maude,

Yours recd this evening and here goes for an answer rite away. Pretty good for me, eh?

You must be having the same cold weather that we are having. We are sure getting enuf. It is clear but cold. At nites on watch, I nearly freeze. I see where my B.U.H.’s  come off when we go to sea. I had to stand watch at the brig Sun. nite 8-12 and Mon morning 8-12. They had some pretty bad prisoners and as there are no bars we stood with automatic pistols loaded and ready to get instantly. I had the flap on my holster back and I sure would have plugged any lad that tried coming thru that door. If a prisoner escapes we who are on guard have to serve his time out so you can see I was taking no chances.

We took them out for exercise and chow the next day and I walked with one hand on my gun all the time. Nearly froze, too, standing out there because it wasn’t very cold at 8 and I didn’t take my coat.

Our chief came back from his furlough this morning and he says he will soon get us a ship and then off for France or some other country.

Well dear, I am glad that you decided to forgive me for not coming home on my furlough and believe me I will be willing to risk “getting mine” when I get a chance to come see you.

Rollo sure must have had some job herding turkey in the rain. I don’t know what’s the matter with the little nut, he never writes to me any more. The folks say there is another Rollo Moore formerly of Pullman now in Camp in NY. Maybe he is getting the letters I write to the kid.

No doubt I would think Fern a doll if I should see her. It’s no question to me where she gets her looks, why from her aunt, of course. I pity any more little kid that ever has me for an uncle and expects to get any looks from me.

I think you look pretty good in that picture, tho a trifle peeved but I would much rather it had been me standing with you instead of Hugh. I bet I would have made you smile.

You say it must be nice to be popular. Well I bet if I were around there, I would show you just how nice it really is to be really popular with.

Yes, that is Ord Hamilton with me in that picture and he sure is a good skate, too. He is going to be married the third of this month. I wish I had a dollar for every hundred miles I have rode around with him. I would have enuf to have a lot of fun on, all rite.

I am buying a Liberty Bond. I will have #12.50 a month kept out of my wages for four months. I thot I should do all I could to help win this war.

I have my album about all fixed up now. I guess you know whose pictures are in it mostly. Yours of course. I may send it home for the folks to keep before I start out as there is always a chance of course of being sunk and losing your stuff.

That sure must have been a darned kid in Bovill that looked like me.

What do you want me to send you from France? One of these days you will be getting a letter postmarked France. Any way, I hope so. Well as usual my darned pen went dry so will have to finish with a common pen.

I thot Hugh Queener was going to enlist. Why didn’t he? Do you know its a year the 26th this month since I enlisted, or rather as we say, “shipped into the outfit.” So one fourth of my time is done whether the war ends or not but I don’t believe there will be any war in a year from now, do you?

Well, dear, I can’t think of much to write. It seems like things are just the same here. I sure will be glad when I see the Statute of Liberty getting small, away off but I know I will be a lot gladder to see it coming back. Any way, I know I was last time. A fellow likes to make tirps but the old U.S.A. Is a might good place to come back to, all rite.

Well, I guess I will have to call this a job for now. Here’s loping to hear from you again soon.

As ever yours with lots of love,

There is a jazz band playing up in the auditorium. Make me wish you were here and we could shake our feet a little.


New York City, September 26, 1918

New York City
Sept. 26, 1918

My Dearest Maudy —

I received five letters from you last night and was sure glad to get them. Some of them were wrote in June but they was welcome for I sure like to hear from my dear girl. You see I don’t have much time to write for we are only in port four or five days at a time and there is lots of work to do in that. Write whenever you can. I am on watch at present and writing on my knee and it is hard work.

What did Hugh try to get in to, the Army or Navy? I doubt it made him mad.

I had to knock off and go take a message down to the Captain. I get to write about a minute at a time and am in a hurry.

I got a letter from Dick last night and he is fine and dandy.

I do not suppose you will here from me for a long time for I am leaving for about six months in France but I will write when I get there and when I come back I will try and come and see you. You talk about you would like to see me. How about I would give a whole lot to see you. I would jump for four or five days to get a chance to see you.

Who is teaching school in Harvard this year?

Say, you tell Ruby I fell for her and her tooth. Tell her Hugh might help it but  I believe Dick is the best for he has lots of instruction on first aid.

I must close for this time.
From your loving Clark.

P.S. Send my mail to the Navy YMCA 167 Sand St. Brooklyn for I don’t know my address.
Ans soon.


France, September 16, 1918 (“I am writing this letter on my hat”)

September 16, 1918

Miss Maude Canfield
Harvard, Idaho

Dear Maude,

I received your letter the other day and was sure glad to hear from you and to hear that you have been having a good time and all of you are well for this leave me fine and dandy at the present time.

Well, Maude, we have been running around here for the last two months and have been having a pretty interesting time and it is sure good sport. I will tell you all about it when I get to the States.

You say in your letter that your sister was working in the garden and you cannot drive a team. Well, Maude, when I get back in Harvard I will learn you how.

I am glad to hear that you are knitting for the Red Cross for they are sure doing good things over here for all of the soldiers. When you send the sweater to the Red Cross you want to put your name on it and I might be lucky enough to get it and I would sure like to get a sweater made by you, Maude.

I got a letter a week ago from my brother Harold and he say that he was going with your little sister. He sure must be some boy for that was the way with me when I was his age. I was having a new girl every day but I am out of luck now. Ha ha.

I am glad to hear that you had a good time when you was out camping this summer. I would sure like to been with you so I could have a good time for I have not found any girls here in France that could talk English and I cannot get onto their lingo myself. But I sure would like to talk French for there are lost of pretty girls over here and I bet a feller sure could have a good time.

Maude, are the boys that was in Harvard when you wrote me your last letter are going to enlist in the Canadian Army? Did they live in Harvard, Idaho when I was up to see my father? Well they sure will see a lot more over here in France & England than they will see in States & Canada but I like it a lot better over there than here.

Well I guess I will close for this time hoping that this letter will find you well. Be sure to write me soon, Maude, for I like to hear from you. I have received all your letters but one so that is not too bad for the way it has gone but I am sorr[y] that I did not get.

Yours as ever,
Bill Gunton

Pvt A. W. Gunton
Reg. #2137633 1. Platoon
A Company, 29th Battan

PS: Excuse my bad writing for this time, Maude, for I am writing this letter on my hat. Ha Ha.


Harvard, Idaho, September 11, 1918

Harvard, Idaho
Sept. 11, 1918

Dear Maud[e],

I received your letter a few days ago. You said to answer it by return mail.  I’m sure that I would have done so, but listen, I’ve been awful busy.

So don’t get peeved. I helped your father thrash and have been helping Jack.

Went to the show twice Saturday and Monday night and hauled timber last night, so you know I’ve been busy.

I know that you’ve been busy.

We got the pictures and you are the only one that can take a good picture. I will send them to you. I know that you want to see how they look. Some of them weren’t very good. We only got part of them. We will have to have some more taken when you get back.

When are you coming back? You don’t know how we miss you. I wanted to send this up on the noon train but I didn’t get up in time. I’ve got to work tonight so I think I’ll go back to bed. You know I’m always sleepy.

I don’t know whether you can read my writing or not. I don’t believe I could make it out after it gets cold.

I am too nervous to write today but couldn’t put this off any longer.

Well I think by the time you make this out, you will be ready to rest for a while. So I will ring off for now.

Hope you will like the pictures. You needn’t wait as long to answer as I did. Get me?

Well, don’t work too hard. Tell them hello.

Your F,