From Camp Lee to the Great War: Episode 46 [April 26, 1918]

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"I was at the remount station yesterday and helped bring back 26 more mules. There were quite a few hit their meat house against mother earth before we got back..." In his thirty-third 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's always glad to get mail from home. It's been seven months since he left West Virginia. Les is sorry to hear that Jim [Riggle] got hurt riding his horse. The army would teach him to ride. He brought 26 more mules to camp. A few died on the way. More rookies arrived and were assigned as helpers to the "old wagoners" like Les. Ed Fisher wrote Les that Oliver Moss has a "Ford machine" [car] now. Les wants to know what has become of Charles Gettings. He once again promises to come home on a pass. Minnie does not need to record that will. Les might be going back to Dutch Gap. He asks Minnie to excuse his mistakes because he can't see very well. A few days before Les sent his letter, on April 21, 1918, Germany's flying ace Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) was shot down and killed in a dogfight over France by the British, who bury him with honors. Elsewhere on April 26, the German Spring 1918 Offensive continued and the Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge was underway as the first Italian troops were close to arriving on the French front. Dutch hurdler Fanny Blankers-Koen, was born, and would win an Olympic gold medal 30 years hence. 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-third letter from Camp Lee, dated 100 years ago today, April 26, 1918. Digital scans and a transcript of Lester Scott's April 26, 1918 letter can be viewed at: http://www.archivingwheeling.org/blog/from-camp-lee-to-the-great-war-april-26-1918-pocast Credits: "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: "True to the Flag March," United States Marine Band, 1922, courtesy Library of Congress: www.loc.gov/item/00694039/ 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.

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