Tri-Counties Genealogy &
History by Joyce M. Tice
|Our Tri-County World War One
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Letters will be added to this page from newspapers and from guest submissions.
If you have some to offer, type them up and send them to Joyce.
FROM HARRY KELLEY
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
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The following is a letter to Mrs. Warren Kelley, from her son, Harry
Manoncourt, France, Nov. 24, 1918.
Dear Mother and All:
Today is “Dad’s” day, but I am not able to have the pleasure of writing
to him; so I am going to write to you. Am going to write a few things
which heretofore have been forbidden by the censor.
On August 16 at 9 a.m. I embarked on the French steamship “Niagara”
at Pier no 57, New York harbor. Before noon we were sailing smoothly
out of New York harbor. Excellent weather made our trip across the
Atlantic very pleasant. Twelve or more boats went with us for four
days, when they turned directions and sailed for England. For a number
of days we were traveling alone. Our ship had four guns with expert
gunners aboard. We were told to go to our bunks if we heard the guns
fire, and if we heard the siren blow, to come on deck with life belts.
We were required to have our life belts with us at all times whenever we
left our bunks to go about the ship. Also we had daily life boat
drill. Every man was told what to do in case a submarine should attack
us. However, none showed themselves and as we were sailing far into
the Bay of Biscay we were greeted by the sight of an American sub-chaser.
At the same time our old “Niagara” hoisted “Old Glory” – A glorious deafening
shout was heard from all on deck. Oh! But I was proud to be an American.
I would not have taken $1,000 for my happiness at the moment. We
were then allowed to go about without our life belts.
On the evening of August 27 we arrived at Bordeaux, France. On
the morning following we left the boat and marched to Camp Genicart, about
four miles from Bordeaux. This camp was called a rest camp, but we
were busy with our work since we had to prepare pay-rolls, etc. On
August 31 we marched from Genicart to the railroad station at Bordeaux
and were given our “Pullman Cars”, which were box cars, marked “8 chevaux,
40 homme,” meaning that the car could carry 8 hourses or 40 men.
Altho this mode of conveyance was not so comfortable as our Pullman cars
from Waco, Texas, to Hoboken, N.J., we all enjoyed the experience and everybody
was happy. On September 2, at 3 p.m., we arrived at the rail head
of the 15th area at Pacey Sur Amoucon. About 8 a.m. we marched to
a little town (Newspaper Clipping ends)
FROM JOSEPH A. COOK
The following is a letter received from private Joseph A. Cook by his
mother, Mrs. J. M. Cook, of Covington, R. F. D. 2:
July 27, 1918
I am well and happy. We just came back from the front for a rest
and some drill. I am sorry I have not written for eight weeks, but
it can’t be helped. I have seen some of the most beautiful country
I ever saw here in France. When we are in the trenches the Y. M.
C. A. and Red Cross give us candy and tobacco in plenty. I received
a letter from Leon Templeton the other day, and it did me good. It
has rained most every day lately. The fellows in the company are
all nice fellows. I am a better and cleaner fellow than when I enlisted
and hope to live a better life from now on. I close with love and
ask God to help you all. Will be pleased to have all friends write
to me. Good night.
Pvt. JOSEPH A. COOK,
82 C. 6th Regiment, U. S. Marines, A. E. F.
Letter from “Over Seas”
Mr. And Mrs. A. H Vosburg have received the following letter from
one of the soldiers who was a member of the party which passed through
this boro last summer with the motor trucks, and who were so royally entertained
by the citizens of Mansfield. This boy was the only Pennsylvanian
in the bunch, and he is now in France with the company, but he says they
all have fond memories of Mansfield and its people. The letter follows:
“Over Seas”, September 28, 1918
Mr. And Mrs. Vosburg,
The outfit that spent one Good Night with the people of Mansfield
are many miles away by this time, but many a time the boys mention about
the way the people of your town treated us.
We arrived “Over Here” in fine shape, with very few of the boys
getting sea sick. Riding on Army trucks has gotten us accustomed
to rocky riding.
Will be doing the same kind of work here as we were doing in
U. S. for months back, so expect to see lots of this country. Well
write you an interesting letter before many weeks, as am expecting to be
all around this country.
Your Pa. Friend,
James Earl Willison
Co. F, 309 Supply Train,
American Expeditionary Forces,
W. S. S.
Wellsboro Agitator, July 3, 1918, p.2
A Soldier's Letter
George Lietka Finds France Pleasant and the Girls Pretty
Well, we have found sunny France at last, and it is as hot as late
July at home, and we sweat very freely. I cannot tell you much about our
trip over here coming from the trenches. We saw some of the finest scenery
and farming county to be found anywhere in France or elsewhere as well
as pretty girls to make it all more interesting. I think it is about as
nice a country as I have ever seen.
Everything is green and the flowers and crops are in their prime. I
have seen fields of ripening barley four feet high and luxuriant fields
of clover almost ready to harvest. We were in another rest camp, quite
a distance from here, where we were right in town and sleeping on hay in
a barn. there was a fine garden adjoining and it looked very tempting to
Everything is very quiet in this camp. Out company is billeted on a
farm near a small town, the buildings forming a square and the barnyard
in the center, the common arrangement in these parts. It makes a very comfortable
place. There is lots of straw to sleep on and we have plenty to eat of
good quality and a chance to get all the fresh milk we want at seven cents
a quart - American money.
It may not seem so much of a rest camp to you when I tell you that
we are on the go all day till 6 p.m.; but we have our full night's sleep
and that is worth a lot. I am well and hope this finds you all the same.
With love, Private George A. Lietka
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 11/13/2003
By Joyce M. Tice
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