"Please write and tell Cleo Good Bye for me...Well Boss, all I can say is, Good Bye and Good Luck..."
In his thirty-sixth letter home from Camp Lee, Virginia, to his sister Minnie Riggle, US Army Wagoner (mule team driver) Lester Scott, a World War I soldier from Wheeling, West Virginia, says he weighs 172 pounds. Dutch is in good spirits and nearly as heavy as Les. The boys are in good spirits. He sends best regards to every one of his friends, to Minnie and Jim, to Dad, and to Cleo [link to Cleo Episode]. It's clear that Les knows he's going to France soon. He tells Minnie she should not worry about him. He'll be alright. She will hear from him before too long.
Elsewhere on the same day, Arabs successfully attack the Ottoman Turks near Abu Naam, and the British armed mercantile cruiser "Moldavia", carrying American troops, was torpedoed and sunk, killing 56. Costa Rica declared war on Germany in an effort to gain favor from Woodrow Wilson for its new leader who had taken power after a coup. The gesture was ineffective.
Lester Scott was drafted in 1917 and trained at Camp Lee, where so many Wheeling soldiers were trained. And, like so many of his Ohio Valley comrades, he served in the 314th Field Artillery Supply Company, Battery “A,” 80th (Blue Ridge) Division in France. This is his thirty-sixth letter from Camp Lee, dated 100 years ago today, May 23, 1918.
Digital scans and a transcript of Lester Scott's May 23, 1918 letter can be viewed at: http://www.archivingwheeling.org/blog/from-camp-lee-to-the-great-war-may-23-1918-podcast
"From Camp Lee to the Great War: The letters of Lester Scott and Charles Riggle" is brought to you by http://archivingwheeling.org in partnership with the Ohio County Public Library (http://www.ohiocountylibrary.org) and the WALS Foundation (http://walswheeling.com).
Jeremy Richter is the voice of Lester Scott. The letters of Lester Scott and Charles Riggle were transcribed by Jon-Erik Gilot. This podcast was edited and written by Sean Duffy, audio edited by Erin Rothenbuehler.
Music: "Hail Columbia ; Star Spangled Banner," 1914, courtesy Library of Congress: www.loc.gov/item/ihas.100010368/
Many thanks to Marjorie Richey for sharing family letters and the stories of her uncles, Lester Scott and Charles “Dutch” Riggle, WWI soldiers from West Virginia.