Friday, March 20, 2009
Letter 139 ~ February 18, 1919
I write my mother Hattie for the last time from Nitro, West Virginia.
Addressed to Mrs. Hattie P. Griffing, Manhattan, KS
Nitro, West Virginia
[Tuesday] February 18, 1919
This morning we took a hike thru a part of the plant called Area “M” which we have just taken over to guard and where new posts are posted. They took us thru these to show us the posts. They are mounted posts. The rider is armed with a Colt 45 and rides 4 hours and is off eight. This part of the plant is to be used for the storage of a certain kind of acid, which is a very high explosive. New posts are being added nearly all the time as the U.S. Guards are being discharged. It takes over sixty privates to form a guard now so one man only misses one guard. When some of us are discharged, the rest may have to go on every time we mount guard. I am glad I am not one to be left.
It has been rather cold here lately and Sunday it snowed. I was on guard Saturday but I had the post that is in one of the office buildings guarding a safe so I wasn’t out in the cold at all. The fellows that had to ride for four hours got pretty cold, I tell you.
The “Y.W.C.A.” girls gave a valentine party last Thursday night. We had a pretty good time, but believe me, a fellow doing guard duty in this place earns and deserves all the fun he can find.
We had our physical examinations about a week ago, which they always give before discharging. One sergeant came down with appendicitis shortly after and two other fellows came down with the mumps so we are to be re-examined tomorrow. I guess they thot it wasn’t thorough enough. I would hate to have to go to the hospital for anything now that my discharge is so near.
The other day I turned in my equipment and extra clothing – all but my rifle and belt, so it looks as tho I would be getting out of here in the course of a week.
Well, there isn’t any news so I will say goodbye. I expect this is the last letter you will get from me. Love, -- Ward