Date Original

1918 November 13


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


[Page 1] Verneuil, France
Nov. 13, 1918
Dearest mama,
A very fine morning.
I have just gotten thru
shaving and am feeling
fine. This morning the
sun is shining bright and
the weather is rather chilly.
Old Jack frost made his
appearance last night and left
a coat of white on most
everything. In all it seems
as if it were the beginning
of a perfect day. I mentioned
to the Sargeant early this
morning that it would
be a fine day to kill "Hogs."
[Page 2] we got the news that Germany had
signed the Armistice. We recieved
the news in the afternoon about
three o'clock, when it went into the
machine shop the boys just turned
the electricity of their machines
and grabbed a hammer and began
to beat on a piece of iron. At the
same time there came a message
to a French ladie, who is doing
some kind of work in there, that
her son had been killed at the front.
A case of joy and happiness
coming at once. The real
racket did not start untill
5 p.m. when the shops closed.
And then the real noise started.
Men hollowering, whistling, singing,
Cyrenes on autos shrieked, horns were blown
American engines whistled and the
French engines with their pop-
corn whistles blew, oh, and
everything. There is a different
atmosphere around here now.
One of the first questions that
[Page 3] was asked by the boys, was,
When do we go home? We
are all wanting to know.
That will be the topic from
now on. The general oppinion
seems to be some where
between sixty and ninty days
of course no one knows
One of these American
souvinir hunters (as the French
have called us), found one
last week to his sorrow.
There was a shell come in,
in some salvage parts, he
gets hold of it and preceeds
to begin to fix it up, puts
it in a vice and begins to
file away on it, hadn't been
[Page 4] filing long untill there
was an explosion. When the
make and dust cleared away
he was leaned against the
side of the house, several
cuts in his chest and face
and a couple of his fingers
gone. They carried him to
the hospital and when
they got thru fixing his
hand up. I have been told
he had a little finger left.
And then a day or so after
that one of the boys got
hit in the head with a
hammer (acidently) and had
a couple of stitches taken in
the wound. Who said
[Page 5] We wasn't having action
back here? These things don't happen every day only very seldom. Not very often tho
Mama I put on a pair of those
woolen sox you sent me last
Feb. Put them on Saturday night.
They sure did feel good. I got five
new pair from supply office this
afternoon. I recieved thhe 4 pair
of light weight one's you sent
me. But don't believe I will
ever use them over here. They
will keep.
I received a letter from
Lucille telling me there has
been a hospital in the Burke
vacinity lately. I am sure glad
to know that they are all well
again or practically so. I had
began to think for the last day or
two some one was sick for there
had been a couple of big mails and
I didn't get your regular letter.
But that's all OK for I know you
have been busy as busy could
[Page 6] Yesterday after breakfast I
Happened along just in
time to see the last act
of a hog killing. First
they tied the hog down then
propped its mouth open with
a large stick and then
stuck it, without ever shooting
or knocking it in the head.
The tiling and sticking was
done when I got there, if it
hadn't have been I would
have been gone when it
come off. That's the French
way I guess.
Mama, I never heard
such racket in all my life,
made by humans, as here
was Monday evening when
[Page 7] I sure heard a fine lecture
at the Y. Sunday night by
a Dr. McCalough of Penn.
who was a Presbyterian
preacher before he entered
the "Y" work. He lectured
on the war its tactics
and principals and ended
with a short scripture sermon.
With lots of love I am, Your son,
Pvt. J. Harrell Burke
M.R.S. 302 Co. 2
M.T.C., A.P.O. 772
Am E.F.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"


World War I, 1914-1918


Jasper Harrell Burke

Geographical Area





MS.000074, Box 1, Folder 10


J. Harrell Burke papers, MS.000074


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Burke letter about the Armistice, J. Harrell Burke papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Burke letter about the Armistice