Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Manhattan, Kansas
October 29, 1918
Well I have gotten back to [Detention Camp] No. 2 & have gotten my barracks bag & am all settled. There are only six in this tent. It is a brand new tent & has a good stove in it. One of the men has a little pine table & I am writing at it now. It sure is swell here after what we have been [living] in for the last two weeks. A truck load of new winter clothing drove up in from of headquarters this P.M. so probably we will be issued our new clothing tomorrow. It looks like awful poor stuff compared to what was issued a year or two ago. Every man from the 26th Company packed up & was hauled out on trucks this evening. I don’t know where they went but I imagine it was down to [Camp] Funston. I hear that this company is likely to do the same next Tuesday.
Johnny Clarke told me tonight that while I was gone, my name was called for a transfer. I would have been placed in the Signal Corps and would have been stationed at Ft. Leavenworth for training. About 18 of the boys are up for transfer tonight to go into the aviation. Either one of these corps would suit me lots better than the infantry.
I got two letters from you today. You asked about the proper way to address my letters. The correct way is Pvt. so and so. We never use Mr. in the army. I know because I have heard men called for it. It is perfectly alright not to use any title at all just as you did in your last letter because it is a civilian letter. But in a strictly military letter, the military title is required & no civilian title goes. The letters will come any way they are addressed & as that is what you want & the letters are what I want, so don’t worry about how to address them.
Say Minnie, I want to apologize to you & your folks for not saying goodbye. They must have thot I did not appreciate staying there, but I thot of course that I would be back Sunday evening & I could say goodbye then. And too, [your brother] Lester put himself out to come down & get me. I felt sort of bad when I left home because things hadn’t been kept up on account of Willis’ sickness. Things sure looked neglected, but of course it couldn’t be helped & we can be thankful it wasn’t any worse. The weather is so good now. I expect he will get out pretty soon.
I wonder what you folks on College Hill will do for Halloween? I sure wish I could go to a house party again on Halloween like we used to. Remember that Halloween at Hartley’s? I do. I feel just swell tonight & hope all my loved ones do the same. Goodnight. -- Ward
- John W. and Elizabeth Hartley lived in a farmhouse close to the Griffing’s on College Hill. They had three daughters and one son, all younger than Ward and Willis.