Date Original

1918 October 13


In this letter, Clark discusses the training he is doing in artillery school, providing a look at the intensive preparation a soldier received. He also discusses the Spanish influenza situation in the camp, providing details on the sick and the precautions taken.

Biographical/Historical Note

Benjamin Franklin Clark was born in Enders, Arkansas, and taught school in Vilonia, Arkansas, prior to being drafted in 1918. His service during World War I included training at Camp Pike (Pulaski County, Arkansas) and Camp Taylor (Kentucky). Clark was honorably discharged November 28, 1918, and returned to teaching. During the war years, he corresponded regularly with Flora Hamilton of Enders.


19th Tr. Btry. F.A.C.O.T.S.
Camp Zachary Taylor Ky
Oct. 13, 1918
Dear Flora:
The nice birthday
remembrance was received yesterday
and you cannot know how much
I appreciate them.
It is pretty warm here now and
I will not need the Helmet just now
but no doubt it will render splendid
service before this is over, and
the Wristlets will be needed soon.
I appreciate them more for the
spirit in which they are given
and because they are made with
your own hands. A present like
that means a lot of time as well
as expense has been sacrificed.
Please accept my heartfelt thanks.
I shall celebrate my birthday
tomorrow I guess by working as
many hours as I am years old,
and that will sure take nearly
all day.
This has been another hard
week's work and I came off
to the Y to keep from having
to work at the Barracks, so
I could write to you. =3=
You know I have ridden horseback
all my life and how I'm learning
now to ride on a wooden horse.
We have to do all kinds of stunts
on them. Before I came here
I would have thought it
cases from my battery.
There were 90 deaths in the
forty eight hours ending friday
evening, many officers among
them. There have been three
deaths from my battery. About
forty five are in the Hospital.
Some of the first who took it are
getting well now and coming back.
I feel lucky that I have not had
it yet but there is plenty of chances
for me to get it yet.
The reason so many are dying is
that there are not enough doctors nor
nurses at the hospital nor enough
room either. They are using ordinary
barracks and it is no wonder the
death rate is so high.
Guess it must look like real summer
with so many flowers blooming
now. I don't know why that should
be. I see some flowers in bloom
here yet.
Guess you are in Sunday School
now. I would give anything
to be there to. Guess I think
about home too much to get
along well with my work as a
Soldier but I can'

Physical Description

5 pages, 6" x 9"


War; Correspondence


Benjamin Clark

Geographical Area

Camp Zachary Taylor (Ky.); Enders, Faulkner County (Ark.)




MS.000581, Box 2, File 86

Resource Type



Clark-Hamilton papers, MS.000581


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, Benjamin Clark, Camp Taylor, KY to Flora Hamilton, Clark-Hamilton papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History


This letter is a great account of the training American soldiers were receiving prior to sailing for France, and for describing the atmosphere in the training camps. He also provides details of the Spanish influenza epidemic that swept through the county in the fall of 1918. While this incident tends to become a footnote in the overall story of the war, Clark provides amazing detail of his experiences with it within the camp. - Lauren Jarvis


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Letter, Benjamin Clark, Camp Taylor, KY to Flora Hamilton