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Date Original

1918 August 11


Letter from Pvt. J. Harrell Burke in France during World War I to his mother in Wynne, Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

Jasper Harrell Burke served as a clerk for the Army Mechanical Repair Shops, American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I from January 1918 to June 1919. He enlisted as a private and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant by May 1919.


Verneiul France
August 11, 1918
Dearest Mama:
Well Sunday is getting
so it comes pretty regular these
days. Once every seven days,
something strange but never
the less it is so.
This morning we had
an inspection by the Colonel
and five other officers. All of
our government issued stuff
had to be on our bed laid out
nice and neat, so we all
got up early this morning
with that in view, we got
our breakfast and then began
to prepair [sic] for it. I have made
me a box to keep my belong [sic] in
had all surpulus [sic] winter wear
right in the bottom of that box
and it was unpack everything
in the box to get that stuff
then after inspection it was all
to pack up again. Just about
the time I had finished putting
all of my belongings away I
heard a sergeant [sic] hollow to the
sargeant of our company that
he wanted three men. A word
to the wise was sufficient
I left. Grabbed off an American
Magazine and off with my
self to the woods up untill [sic]
dinner time. One of the
boys asks me what my hurry
was but I didn't have time
just then to stop and tell him.
I have just about come to
the conclusion that the barracks
is a bad place for a Buck Private
to lay around very long at a time
for if there are any details
or any Kitchen Police (K.P.) look out
they will get him. I think
it was KP. they were looking
for this morning.
This week has passed without
bringing us anything but
papers & Magazines, while we
appreciate them we would rather
see letters. I guess they will
pour next week tho. [sic]
There is being [sic] a big Baseball
game staged on the M.T.R.P.
Baseball ground this afternoon
I was down to the river
again this week one evening
it was after it had rained several
days and "G." that water was
some cold. One of the boys
who sleep next to me by
name Frank Gettles wanted
me to go down this afternoon
but I decided I had better write
as time for writting [sic] personal
letters gets pretty scarce during
the wee.
On my way thru [sic] the woods
this afternoon to my present
place of setting I found several
vines of Blackberries. There
were a good many berries on
them but most of them were
green. I found a few ripe, and
one of the few was sure some
size. oh. about the size of the
end of my thumb. My thumb
isn't so small as my finers that
particular berry must have been
made for me for it was down
under a leaf and the breeze turned
the leaf up just in time for me
to see it. The few that I did
get were sure gentle reminders
of home.
I struck it luck [sic] a couple
of times this week. There is
a woman that brings Sweet
milk to our barracks. I bought
a pint of it one afternoon so
I could have it for breakfast and
it happened they had oatmeal
for breakfast, I had some
sugar and the milk. Had a
real dish of oatmeal. Buy it
for 25 centesimi or about 5 cents.
She come pretty regular so I think
I will continue to have milk for
Breakfast. With Love to all,
correct address - Your Sincere Son
Pvt J Harrell Burke
Motor Transport Reconstruction Park
Headquarters Company
A.P.P. 772 - A.E.F.
I sent you a piece of Fancy work yesterday (a home scene)

Physical Description

Letter, 5 pages, 8" x 10.5"


World War I; War; Soldiers; Family; Correspondence; Military life


Harrell Burke

Geographical Area





MS.000074, Box 1, Folder 7, Item 3

Resource Type



J. Harrell Burke papers, MS.000074


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, Harrell Burke to his mother, 1918 August 11, J. Harrell Burke papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Additional Content

Finding aid for J. Harrell Burke Papers

Letter, Harrell Burke to his mother, 1918 August 11