Camp Forrest – Georgia

September 1st, 1918

Camp Forrest – Georgia

This letter was written by Guy Dennis Martin (age 31) while on active duty with the United States Army during World War I.  The letter is written to his wife Hemme Naratte Backlund Martin (age 31) who has just moved to Glendale, Arizona with their child Lloydine Della Martin (age 5).

These letters describe life at Camp Forrest in the Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia area.

Camp Forrest, Ga
Sept 1st 1918.

Dear Sweetheart:

Yours of the 26th came today and with it the X.  Money looks so good to me now that I danced with joy.  I bought me the kit roll that I needed for $3.50 and have $6.50 left which is a small fortune in the army (“The Democratic Army”).  Nearly everyone who came at the time I did is broke but it is an awful feeling I assure you.

Yes, dear heart, it is hell that there has to be “huns” but they must be downed and that cannot be done if people hang back.  It is hard to sit here in the Y and  realize that I am being trained to kill people.  Will feel more so tomorrow as we are to get our rifles then.  They say it takes at least two weeks to get a new rifle entirely clean.  Rifle inspection is very rigid as you might imagine.

My feet are itching to move but I do wish I could be there to help you with the heavy packing for I know you need me.  You would die laughing to see the men trying to find small articles in their barracks bag.  The “needle in the haystack” has nothing on a barracks bag.  Oh yes!  I did a fine big washing this morning consisting of 1 pr. trousers, 2 suits BVD’s, 2 pr. socks, 8 hdkfs, 1 pr. leggins and 3 towels.  Pretty good for a beginner eh.  The clothes do not get white for me though as we have no way of boiling them or bluing.

The clipping you sent to me is of interest as Camp Greenleaf joins Camp Forrest.  Think I will look up Capt. Thomas if I have a chance before leaving here.  Expect to be called to O.T.C. any minute now.  However, one can never tell just what is going to happen in the Army.  You ask me if I am not glad I made the step.  Yes, more so than ever now that the new 18 to 40 draft is on.  I would hate to be there when the 40 & 45 year old colts were going to the army.  Don’t forget to send on Cooley & Fischer.  I’m still looking for them, also several others.

I hope you have a place to stay by this time, when you get to Peoria.  You two “war widows” ought to get along finely.

Dear Girlie, I want you so very much & also, I want to thank you for the beautiful present I bought today.

Lots of love “A million kisses” to Lover.  Guy

Notes:

Lloydine Della Martin (age 5), Hemme and Guy’s daughter is “Lover” and the second “war widow”.  Cooley & Fischer are friends of Guy from (or still in) Arizona.  Guy enlisted and expects these men to enlist too.   The “X” refers to a $10 bill sent by Hemme to Guy.  “O.T.C.” refers to Officers Training Corps, not unlike the O.C.S. (Officer Candidate School) program that replaced it.

The letter is addressed to “Mrs. G.D. Martin – Winkelman, Arizona”.  Postage is a 3c. George Washington marble bust stamp.  It is postmarked “Military Branch – Chattanooga, Tenn – Sep 2 1918”.  The return address is “Guy D. Martin – Company F, 311 Engineers – Camp Forrest, Georgia”.  The post office department forwarded the letter to “C.E. Lewis – Route 2 – Glendale, Arizona”.  Guy thought Hemme was moving to Peoria, Arizona, not Glendale.

2012.02.06 – 04:52.