Eastman - Fenwick Family Papers, 1860-1980

Edward G. Fenwick Letter, 18 August 1917


Saturday Aug. 18, 1917
11 days out on Boar
US, Transport San Jancinto

Dearest momsie,

Now to beat the old censor as this is my only chance. Am sending this letter to be posted in the States by a gunner on board our transport.

Now to get down to facts. Where are we? It is 7P.M. [not?] and were ^are about 48 hours from port. Haven’t seen anything of a submarine although we are in the most

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dangerous zone now. Namely off the coast of Spain. Now that I have told you this much I will begin at the beginning and tell you all everything.

Sunday night Aug 5 we were ordered to be ready to go at 10 o’clock Monday morning. Monday came and nothing happened except that we got payed $30. In the evening a truck came and took our barrack ^bags away. We were ordered to sleep in our clothes. At eleven o’ clock the sarge came around and

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woke each of us up. We knew then what was going to happen. We folded our cots and took them to the quartermaster’s dep’t. which was underneath our stalls. Then with our packs on our shoulders we marched to the mess hall and got hot coffee, ham sandwiches and oranges. Our “Lu” told each of us to put 2 in our haversack as we might be hungry in the morning. After that we were marched out of the main gate and down the street about half a block

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to the R.R. yard. You remember where Cousin Heriot parked his car? Well right across from there. They had a very long train of 12 or fifteen cars waiting for us. We marched on and in about 5 minutes time we were off.

There was all kind of surmising as to what part we were going to or just what was going to happen to us. We passed the Bethlem Steel Works so knew that we were going north.  Our only fear was that they were taking

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us to some fort or island off New York to wait for a chance to shoot us across. Shackelford [Tolly?] and I got a seat together and had a fine time unitl about 1: 30 especially as Folly had a bottle of grape juice. When I woke up next morning (it was 4:10) we were just pulling into Jersey City. I saw a man coming along the track so scribbled the card I guess you got.

Before we got on the train Major Devereux (that

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isn’t the way he spells his name) came up to my four and told us that we were going across on a fine ship the largest in the world. Naturally we thought of the “Fatherland.” That is why I thought so and put it on the card.

We got off out in Jersey City and were taken on board a ferry. We thought sure then that we were going to Governor’s Island. Well, we started up North River and pretty soon the

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Our boat used to run between New York and New Orleans in peace times. She is the second fastest boat in the fleet being good for about 16 knots and is the flag ship.

We were all speculating on whether there was a chance of our being taken on boar immediately when sure enough we made toward the dock. Almost before we knew it we were on board and leaning over the railing. We went aboard about 9 o’clock and pulled out at noon. We went

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Fenwick, Edward G. Correspondence World War, 1914-1918 [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh85148236];Correspondence [info:lc/authorities/subjects/sh99001943] This image is subject to copyright. Unauthorized use of the images in the Local History Photograph Collections of the Arlington Community Archives is prohibited. 60-5-1-7A East Falls Church 1917 Letters