Courtesy Marilyn Thornton, Thornton Family Collection
Correspondence helped sustain families in many ways. Clarine Payne composed a short note for her uncle Edgar. She gave updates from home about the family and an endearing report on the dog and her thirteenth birthday. Inquiring after her uncle Robert, she hoped Edgar would send him her love. Edgar and his brother Robert had been drafted along with their brother-in-law Albert. Edgar had deployed to France in April with the 155th Depot Brigade, which served as replacement troops for the 369th, a segregated African-American regiment.
August 30, 1918
My Dear unkel edgar just and few lines to let you hear from me I am Well so fare and true hope you are the same Wend Did you see unkel Robert how was he Wend you saw him grandmother is Well all the little ones and aunt sarah unkel [line crossed out in original] it is turning [illegible] [page break] today when you see Robert you ples give my love to him and tell him to be a good man and look to the lord to hope him and you all so the dog is fat as a butter ball mother was down home and I have not seen the horse as i can not tell you noting about her I have [illegible] [illegible] I wish you all was in [illegible] word [illegible] unkel edgar my birthday was the fourteen I was [page break] 13 teen years old the fort teen Jimie sends love to you and Robert Wend you see him and he seds he to will be the edgar send love and told me to tell you that grandmother made him and little start Well I mauch harry up and get to the mail box it is all most mail time Well I mauch close the few lines with much love to you and Robert you [page break] my mail to Leesburg Va good by From Clarine Payne to Mr James E Thornton in France