WW1 1917 USA XMAS letter soldier Camp Meade MD to PA, Camp Song sheet

$40.00 CAD

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Letter written by Elwood Deysher 9th Co. 154th Depot Brigade to his parents in Oley Berks Co.  PA describing in detail the Xmas celebrations in the Camp. Included with the latter is a 2-sided flyer titled: CAMP SONGS of the United States Army and Navy. There are records of a Thomas Deysher (brother?) being recognized for bravery in action.

Camp Meade, training camp for 79th Div.  First inducted men reported Sept, 16-30, 1917, There were multiple deaths from influenza in 1917.

Written on YMCA paper. Front of each page has flag, YMCA logo and ‘With the Colors’. At bottom ‘Help our country by saving write on both sides of this paper’.

8-page letter

9th Co. 154th Depot Brigade
Camp Meade Md
Fri Dec 28, 1917
My Dear Parents,
…inform you how I celebrated Xmas. On Monday we did no drilling, but we were detailed to prepare the barracks and mess hall with holiday trimmings. We went out in the woods and brought in evergreen trees, pine trees, and holly in big heaps. This was used to decorate our quarters. Owing to our quarantine, our officers arranged a social for us in the mess hall on Monday evening. The hall was beautifully decorated and holly wreathed. The program consisted of vocal and instrumental music, songs, speeches, recitations, dancing and boxing. It was all company talent and for the amusement  of the 9th Company only.
After the entertainment, refreshments were served to each fellow, which consisted of lemonade, hot coffee, cigarettes, candies, cakes (iced) and apples. This was all provided for us by our officers. So you see how kindly we are treated. After the “setout” the boys went at dancing again and danced until late. At 11:30 PM I went to bed and never got awake until the next morning at 7am.  But in the meanwhile Santa Claus had been busy in camp.
In the foreroom every soldier in camp was given a Xmas present by the Red Cross Society. My gift, which was one of the best, was a beautiful long gray knitted woollen muffler.
At 1PM we had our big dinner. It consisted of roast turkey, filling, dressing, fried sweet potatoes, red beets, celery, cranberry sauce, bread, coffee, oranges, and mixed nuts.  Although I am a small eater(?) I managed to eat an extra large meal. We had all we could eat and to spare. I had 3 servings of turkey which was delicious. We also had hot mince pies (with rum) and a barrel of sweet cider.  So you see we had quite a merry making.  Parcel post packages came in for the boys in huge quantities, also my package of clothes. In spite of of the fact that the boys were unable to go home for Xmas, due to the kind treatment in camp, and the many remembrances from home, they seemed real happy.

…on Saturday Sec. of War Baker was here in camp and reviewed the troops. Our company was to be part of the review but due to the quarantine we were not able to do so.
Recently orders came to prepare some of the company for transfer, but I was not supposed to go along. However the order was changed and the entire battalion is supposed to leave, which includes companies 9,10,11, and 12. We have all been equipped only we do no know when we will leave or where we will go to. Now don’t worry over this as it is nothing serious. There is a rumor out that we are supposed
to go somewhere for guard duty….
I am corporal of the guard and have 12 men under me for whom I am responsible…
I hear certain things about you (mother) which you shouldn’t do. According to Paul’s letter you have the organ closed, and worst of all I hear you don’t go to church anymore. Now you need to not carry on or, because in the first place, it will not alter circumstances, and secondly it is not necessary as I doubt whether we fellows will ever see actual service…Now don’t carry on and worry over me and make yourself sick about this war. You ought to be glad that you can give two sons for this cause...I am engaged in a just cause. When you stop and think of the women who have been ravished, and the thousands of starving babies, I am sure your heart ill be glad that you were able to contribute towards avenging wronged womanhood.
P.S. On Monday evening at midnight the colored fellows went thru camp singing carols and songs. Along towards morning I was roused by their singing outside our barracks the old familiar hymn 'Will there be any stars in my Crown' and several others…Am also enclosing several circulars for your leisure which are distributed down here


Song sheet from Evening and Sunday Star, Washington D.C. 'Pack up your Troubles', 'Over there',...


Postmarked  ‘BALTIMORE MD DEC 29 1917 MEADE BRANCH’. One cent and 2 cent Washington stamps, 2 cent detached

YMCA envelope with part of back missing. Song sheet toned.