(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
PVT. E. R. WIRT. LETTER #5 7-5-1918
M.G.G. 302 INF.
ARMY AND NAVY
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION YMCA
"WITH THE COLORS"
On a Transport
I told you in the letter I wrote
at time of sailing that I would write
every day and send the whole. I have
but find that kind says the same
thing over so I will sum it up
in one letter. In a number of ways
has this voyage appealed to me. It
certainly seems as some of the fellows
say as though we would never get
up that hill to the horizon. Most
of my time I have put in on deck
first for the reason that I love to
watch the water and the other
is that the air in quarters is
stuffy. Room is not the most
plentiful comodity on board though
to carry this many men, a feller
canít kick. Sometimes the mess
has not ben extra good. (A feller
canít etc") know where that expression
comes from. The spirit the crowd
TO THE WRITER: SAVE BY WRITING ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS PAPER
TO THE FOLKS AT HOME: SAVE FOOD, BUY LIBERTY BONDS AND WAR SAVINGS STAMPS
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Edward Wirt wrote this letter on one of his first days aboard the transport that was taking him from America to England. His unit, the 302nd Infantry Regiment of the 76th Division, was one of the first to be shipped overseas. The conditions aboard the transport were crowded and stuffy. Beyond those discomforts, though, the largest concern about crossing the Atlantic was the presence of German submarines. Germany used submarines, a new tool of war, very effectively in World War I. By October, 1917 it had sunk more than 8 million tons of shipping. But the British instituted the convoy system (large groups of merchant ships protected by destroyers) and by the time of this letter, the threat had substantially lessened. On the last page of this letter Wirt refers to a censor: to prevent sensitive information from leaking out, censors, usually junior officers attached to the unit, had to read every piece of outgoing mail and cut out offending words or sentences.
There are ninety letters from Mr. Wirt to Miss Bartlett in the PVMA collection; twelve of them are reproduced here.
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WWI letter to Emily Gladys Bartlett
| author Edward Roswell Wirt (1891-1942)
| date Jul 5, 1918
| location Atlantic Ocean
| height 9.0"
| width 6.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L01.013
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