This is another letter written by my great-great aunt about six months after the US declared war on Germany.
Of particular interest is the fact that Ell wrote this letter from a house (pictured below) only a few blocks from where I lived when I first moved to New York seventy-eight years later.
Postmark: Brooklyn, NY
October 3, 1917, 7:30 PM
Addressed to: Mr. J.J. Gildea
#49, Luz. Co.
362 Greene Ave., Brooklyn, NY
My dear Jim,
Lonesome yet? So far this week has been quite stren(u)ous. Sunday, Anna and I went to Mass and came right over here expecting to see Bill* before he left. Well, we got here and Bill was not to leave until Monday. We got up Monday morning and were down at Sheepshead Bay at 10 o'clock (for those who don't know Brooklyn geography, even by train this is quite a schlep - JH). At four o'clock, the company he belonged to, left. Imagine me all that time without a bite to eat. We went to a small restaurant and all they had was hot coffee, everything else sold out, so we had the coffee and it helped some. It was a good thing Bill was in Co. B. because he was in the second train load. There were twelve companys(sic) and the last left at six thirty. The poor fellows must have been tired. The last company remarked that the first co. would be in France before they left Brooklyn.
They are going to Spartansburg, S.C. Charlie** has not been home for two nights and Aunt Mary*** is afraid that probably he has gone. Because they won't know when they are going. Will be sent right off without any warning. Only some of his clothes are here. Aunt Mary is keeping up fine.
Monday night, Helen (Cousin Helen McBride) and I went to a movie. Yesterday Mae (great Uncle Pete's wife?) and I were over to Pete's. Stayed for supper and came back by way of Mame's.
Mame has a very nice smoking set for you. A genuine mahogany stand with the glass ash tray, match box holder & two cigar holders. It stands beside your chair when smoking. Some class. No more saucers or papers for your cigar ashes. She said just a little remembrance for your kindness to mother. It's supposed to be a surprise.
This morning, Mae & I were down town to the stores and this afternoon we are going to Cecil's. Tomorrow aft. I am going over to Mame's to see a Red Cross Parade and, in the evening, to Mamie's sewing circle at a girl friend's house. Friday I expect to go to Pete's (I am assuming this refers to her brother Peter who lived in either Jersey City or Sunnyside, NY at the time-IHH) to stay over Sunday and then I will come back and spend the rest of my time at Mame's. Mamie Mc has a nice little apartment and very nice furniture. She is getting dinner ready now. Some cook. She's a joke. Haven't sent a postcard yet but will get some today. Jim (since she has just referred to Mamie Mc, I believe the Jim here is Jim Anderson, who was Mary McBride's husband - IHH) just got up. We let him get his own supper Mon. & Tues. night and have designs on tonight and tomorrow night. Good natured skate.
Haven't heard from you yet.
Will close with lots of love from your darling.
Don't want any money yet.
*Bill - a reference to her cousin William McBride, who is also mentioned in the previous letter.
**Charlie - this is her cousin, Charles McBride, a veteran of WW1 also.
***Aunt Mary - Mary McBride, Sarah Ruddy's sister, and mother to Charles, William, Mary (Mame McBride Anderson) and Helen.
There was also a daughter Susie, but so far no mention of her in any of the letters.