Letters Home From Soldiers During World War I is going to be a regular weekly feature in celebration of the centennial of the United States entering World War I
From Tyler Daily Courier-Times, October 9, 1917:
Troup Soldier Writes Interesting Letter
Following letter in the Troup Banner from a soldier boy from Troup will be read with interest by all who have sons or brothers in the army that is going to lick the Kaiser:
I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps May 23, 1917, at Ft. Worth and left the 25th for Houston where I took my second examination. I stayed there until Sunday and then I left for Port Royal, S.C. I left Houston with six other Texas boys. We got into New Orleans Sunday night and changed cars for Atlanta, Ga over the L. & N. Ry and we got there Monday. As soon as we got there, we had to go the U.S.M.C. Recruiting station to report. One of the boys that was with us had charge of us. We ate at the Cambell House where we joined some more boys. This made 31 in all and we look in the city and saw where the big fire was that destroyed part of the city. We left there Tuesday morning over the Ga. Central R.R. with a corporal. We had a special car and it was decorated with flags and had large one at the rear. I saw Stone Mountain where a battle was fought in the Civil War and I saw many other interesting places and the scenery is just grand. We changed cars at August, Ga., for Port Royal, S.C. with a sergeant in charge. Arrived at Port Royal, S.C. about seven o’clock where we were met by a U.S.M.C. boat that carried us to Paris Island to the quarantine station. We were met by a large crowd of boys that had come in the day before and had not been sworn in. I was sworn in June for four years with U.S. Marine Corps. I was then assigned to a company with Sergeant Boyle in change, the Drill commanded. We stayed at the quarantine station ten days and then we moved to the maneuvering grounds about six miles away. We had to work hard at the quarantine station as there was practically nothing there. We had to stay in tents and eat and sleep on the ground.
There were twenty companies with seventy men to a company. We stayed there about two weeks and then we went to the new barracks. We were certainly glad to get to leave there. Everything was more convenient here. We had bunk houses to stay in, and good beds and a mess hall to eat in and lots of good things to eat.
We were not allowed to go to Port Royal or go to the other side of the island. We wouldn’t have had time to have gone had we been allowed as we were kept busy all the time. The government had a free picture show every night and we went to that but had to be back in bed by nine.
We had to clean up, fill in ditches and make a parade and drill ground. We stayed on the Rifle range several weeks where we were trained in shooting. I won a medal and two dollars extra per month. I made 228 points out of 300. Some of the boys in our company made sharp shooters and experts.
Nearly all the boys are from the north. One of the Lieutenants here is from Henderson and I found him by his A & M watch fob.
We are on the Potomac river and just a few miles from Washington. I have been there several times and have seen the White House and Capitol and many other interesting places there.
The Y.M.C.A. and Red Cross are doing a great work in this way. The Y.M.C.A. have put up two buildings here and they are furnished with writing material, magazines and papers. The Red Cross sent part of my company knitted sweaters, socks, wristlets, hoods, and the Navy League at Pittsburg sent us sweaters, socks and wristlets.
Im’s expecting to leave any time for France. I will have three months training over there and then we will be ready to march to the front. Every one of us are anxious to get over these and do our best in helping in win the war, but it is hard to leave this “Dear Old U.S.” I’m going across with the intention of fighting to the end and then return to old Smith county.
How is everybody?
Private H. C. Murph.
84th Co. 6th Reg., Quantico, Va.
Henry Clyde Murph was born on April 28, 1897, in Arp, Smith County, Texas. His father was James Henry Murph and his mother was Ada Jarvis Murph. He enlisted as a Marine on June 2, 1917 at Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. His discharge from the military came April 26, 1919 at Houston, Harris County, Texas. He married Carrie Mae Irwin on August 20, 1919 in Smith County, Texas. They had two children during their marriage. He died on July 19, 1972, in Houston, Harris County, Texas, at the age of 75.
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