Sunday, July 31, 2016

Courting Miss Nora - Sept. 27, 1917



My grandparents Wiley Thomas "W.T." Snyder and Nora McNeil met in their native Wilkes County.  He had picked her out and was waiting for her to become old enough to marry.   But then he was drafted when Nora was 16.  These are the letters he wrote to court her.  They married one month after he was discharged from the Army.

I will post every war letter that I have.  Clearly, some letters are missing.  Tom’s first letter was September 27, 1917.  There is a five-month gap until the second letter on March 2, 1918.  

Spelling was not standardized until the 20th century.  Tom signs his name Snider sometimes and Snyder other times.  His spelling is sometimes creative yet it is easy to understand his meaning.

Following his original letters, I've transcribed each page.  I corrected some spelling and punctuation for clarity.  My notations are in [square brackets].

-------------
  [The first letter was postmarked Sep 29, 1917, Columbia, S.C., Jackson Branch.]

                    Miss Nora McNiell
                           Millers Creek
                                    N.C.

                            Sept 27, 1917

Hello!  Miss Nora.

How are you living?  I guess you can imagine how I am living.  I am at Camp Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina, I am sorry to say.  I am liking all right so far.  You’re going to have my picture made and I will send you one.  You know I will look good in my uniform suit.  The camps are seven miles long and five miles wide and one quarter of mile from the care line.  And believe me they sure is some soldier boys here too.  I wish you could see us in the

[page 2]
fields drilling it the whole eight miles sq.  And see bout ten thousand soldier boys in there drilling.  It sure does look good.  You ought to come down and see us drill.  It would be a show to you.  I am ‘bout to get struck on mighty pretty little girl down here from Columbia town.  I am coming up on the first furlough get and I will come to see you and your sister before I go back but now don’t you and John be married before I come. Ha.Tell him I am still alive. Ha.

[page 3]

Address is
Co. D. 321st Inf.
Camp Jackson
S.C.

Say Miss Nora, be a good girl. Live good life.  Marry a good Husband and make good Wife.

Tell your Father I am much same boy now and at service.  Wish he here.  He would open his eyes.  I get the blues sometimes and get with some the boys and get to singing and I am
all right.  So write me a line and tell me the news at Millers Creek.                      
(over)

[page 4]

I will haft to close.  I would like to write more but I have got to go to the Y.M.C.A. yet tonight. It not for wish you was here to go with me.  So I will close as I am in a hurry.

         Sincerely   W. T. Snider

        P. S.
          Excuse all bad ritting and take all mistakes for good luck. Be a good girl. By.

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