A Wartime Romance?

   Posted by: rring   in Americana, oppotunities for research

ww I lettersWe recently acquired a small archive of forty-three (43) WWI-era letters from enlisted Ohio native John Burkin to his wife Evelyn between August and December 1918.

John (or Jack, as he often refers to himself) was recruited by the army in the summer of 1918 and sent to Fort Slocum in New York to await orders, then to Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama, where he made First Sergeant and wrote to his wife Evelyn nearly every day.

“The higher I can get in military circles, the greater chance of having my Evie near. They don’t pay attention to a Private, he is the dog who does the work.”

His letters home speak candidly of the longing most soldiers felt during the uncertain times at the end of the Great War. Camp life was training, waiting, and loneliness. “I am so sad I can hardly talk. There are a great number of soldiers in camp here. They are coming in and going out continually. We are right on the shore and have a fine view but to hell with the views. There is only one that would look good to me.”

Although never shipped overseas, his anxiety about the possibility can be seen throughout the letters.

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