Letters from World War I

Private James Edgar Thornton, to his son Charles Edgar, February 15, 1918

Refer to caption
Pvt. James Edgar Thornton, father of Charles Edgar
Courtesy Marilyn Thornton, Thornton Family Collection


Courtesy Marilyn Thornton, Thornton Family Collection

While training at Fort Lee, Virginia, Private James Edgar Thornton longed to see his family. Thornton sent a special note for his young son Charles. He wished for more mail from the family and gave clear instructions when to mail a letter in order to reach him faster. The mail was no substitute for home. Just two months later he deployed to France with the 155th Depot Brigade, which served as replacement troops for the 369th, a segregated African-American regiment.

one page of a handwritten letter


Master Charles Edgar Thornton Ashburn Va better known as bunce boy

Feb 15 19 18

My Dear Sun i will take this present time to write to you as i have not wrote to you in my life sun dadie has been very sick but i am about well now and i truly hope when these few lines reaches your little hands they will find you well and little sister much better bunce tell mother i think it is time she has ancered my letter that i wrote to her last sunday bunce you tell aunt gertie i just now got her letter and will ancer it soon sun does uncle peachy come home ever night tell Johney i am going to write to him the next time and you all muss be good boys and help [page break] mother take care of little sister and dadie will bring you all some good things to eate when i come home sun here is a stamp and some paper and tell mother that i say for her to ancer this letter for you sunday and not fail to do it for i know you will get this letter by saturday night and put it in early mounday maring so i will get it as soon as i can and for her to tell me if she has got her close yet and where she got them at and tell me if she has got my money that i ask her to save for me for if she has not got it for me i cannot come home when i get out of the hospital for i have not got any money much i would ask her to send me some money but i am afride it may get lost well by by my dear sun give my love to all the chrilden and all the older ones and many kiss for mother dont for get to write from dadie

[page 2; a message for James Edgar’s wife Sarah] i dont expect we are to good yet but i wrote to you and told you to be a good girl but you did not tell me where you were a good girl or not but i know most you are sarah i got a letter from mother the other day they were all well dear has lewis ever brought your meal and flour yet if he has it will last you a long time well my dear i will close for this time i dont know any thing mare to tell you to day by by my dear sarah have you every got any bed close yet i hope you have for i want you and [page break] the chrilden to have a good place to sleep and i want to have a good place to sleep when i come home so i can injoy my self what little time i have to stay sarah maby i will be able to tell you when i am coming home the next time i write but i cannot tell you today

good by dear write soon xxx

My Fellow Soldiers