Date Original

1918 August 28


Burke letter writing to his mother about life in France during World War I.


[Page 1] Verneuil, France
Sept 28-, 1918
Dearest Mama
Had just begin
to think this morning
that the mail man was
going to pass me up
this week but when I
went in for chow I found
your letter on my bunk
and you can bet it was
Glad to hear of these
timely rains and I
suppose by now that the
[Page 2] ground is covered with
turnip salid. I would like
to have a good mess of turnip
salad and some good greasy
corn bread to go with it.
Corn bread wouldn't be so
bad at that now. We have every
thing but the sour milk
and we would have that
if they would notify me a
day or two a head of time.
Next time Ollie comes
to the house tell her to
laugh out loud so I can
hear her. Sid Wilkins
will be like Bob next
thing you know live in
[Page 3] town for a little while and then
it will be back to the county for
him. He will find that living in
town is not like living on his
farm. That will suit miss
Maude all OK. She stayed in town
about half of her time anyway.
When they get ready to sell their
house in town they won't find it
as easy sold as it was bought.
Am glad to know that you have
started the book I asked for and
also the knife. I haven't been getting
my literary digest very regular lately.
Well I should say our boys at the
front is doing some great work.
And yesterday and today the Bulgaria
as you have seen in the paper
are hollorring for an armistice
of 48 hours for peace negotiations
but they are going to hollower
louder still before thing is over
with. I also received a letter
from Harold H. today and
he was only eight miles from
[Page 4] the front at the time
of his writting but is a
good deal further now if
they didn't move up as
the army did. He said
the noise of the big guns
almost shook him out
of his blankets has had
several air raids near
him. He is now a 1st
Sgt. and says he has just
about as many men under
him as E.L. Burke is old
He is getting along fine
would like to see him get
to be Lt. The way I got
into Hq was that I was
working in Hq office
[Page 5] and there was a company
formed of the men that
worked there and I happened
to be one of the lucky ones.
Yes I am getting to be
some cook. Heat greace
boil water, build fires
cut bread, wash pans,
peal potatoes, dish it out
to the fellows. Heres the
good part, eat.
Yes those huns were
a little curiosity not because
they were unlike men in form
but because they represented
something of the work
of the boys at the front
and they are still capturing
[Page 6] 'em.
I don't know whether I have said
anything about your teeth or not
but I have thought about them
a lots. If I were you I wouldn't
put off having them fixed any
longer than this fall. A piece
of the shell of my tooth broke
off and I waited a week or two
before having it fixed again and
the dentist told me I should have
come as soon as it was broken and
if any more of it broke to come
just as soon as it was done or
he would be looking for me. He
is a fine young fellow.
Sometimes I get a little lonesome
but not much for I didn't run
around a great deal while I was
in Nevers. No we are not as close
to Paris as you think still further
away from the Firing line.
In the war almost a year now
[Page 7] and haven't even heard
a hostile gun fired that
pretty good. The big gun
you spoke of - Its base
is in possession of the
allies now. I think. Yes
I am now wearing a
service shevron. I don't
want to wear too many
of these for it might be
hard to tell the material
in my coat sleeve. I don't
believe there is any way
to keep me from wearing
a couple more of them
for another will be
due in January.
[Page 8] Elmer Kellogg ought to
know something about
the army he was in
it long enough before
and it seemed to make a
pretty good man of him.
Would like to get in
touch with some of the
boy that landed at the
same time Hubert did.
Wasn't he with Roger Cobb
and that bunch? Dirty
shame the way he treated
his people.
I see when you said
pail [?] the cow you made
it plural. How many
[Page 9] have you? Yes I received letter
from Lucille acknowledging receipt
of the bags. In the last letter
I wrote I enclosed a shup [?] for
papa suggeting something for
Lewis. Try to get in to R.R.
operating troops they have all
kinds of office as well as train
work to do. First of all get in
one of those schools even if he
doesn't make a lieutenancy (but I am
sure he will ) he would be on
the road for a high grade sargeant.
anyway is better than a buck
private. Fitzgerald sure does have
sometime he will get turned
some of the these days if he isn't
carefull. It continues to rain hope
it seases before Monday for
I am taking my leave Monday
night going to a place in mts
La Baurbanle. Can't go to Paris
On official business olnly.
I received two or three bunches
[Page 10] of new papers this week
and among them was
the papers of aug 11 but I didn't
find that picture you spoke
of. There were several pictures
of different camps but not
any of us. The picture of
the liberty Bell is a wonder-
ful one. Received three
Democrats, Literary Digest
July 27, and another
August number of the
American. Don't worry
about getting a Sept. no
to me. For I borrowed a
Sept. no. and read the
[Page 11] continued story that I am
interest in. It is great
story - "The Man Nobody Knew"
Not but one trouble that
is: Just as you get extra
interested - "To be continued in
next weeks issue." The story
ends in Oct. No.
Last Monday night I
walked to a town about
five miles away when
I got back I almost
had a flat "tire" - When
we started out my
ankle was a little sore
but I did not notice
[Page 12] it much but when I got up
the next morning I could hardly
straighten my foot out.
With lots of love to all I am
your son + Bro
Pvt. J. Harrell Burke
M.T.R.P. Hq Co. A PO 772
American E.F.
P.S. Clyde - dear little pal o' mine
I am counting big on you
going to school and studying
hard while I am away.
No, sport don't believe I would
care to have a deck of trail cards.
Jas. A Whitaker
Rt Lt. OMC

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"


World War I, 1914-1918


Jasper Harrell Burke

Geographical Area





MS.000074, Box 1, Folder 8


J. Harrell Burke papers, MS.000074


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter from Harrell Burke to dearest Moma, J. Harrell Burke papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter from Harrell Burke to dearest Moma