Attala County, Mississippi

         


The Star-Herald, Kosciusko, Miss.,Nov. 15, 1979

HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS

Letter Relives '18 Veterans Day

By Joyce W. Sanders   This week's column is being written on Veterans Day 1979. I have just finished reading a letter written on November 12, 1918, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by my father, Lillion Kirkland Williams.
  The stationery is red, white and blue with the American Flag in the upper left hand corner. "With the Colors" in the center and YMCA inscribed on a red triangle in the right hand corner.
  Quoting: "How are you since the World's War has come to an end? I am well as usual, only I'm sleep. Stayed up late last night celebrating down in the city. Oh, goodness, I never saw such a celebration in my life. The streets were just one mass of living souls. No traffic of any kind. There were all kinds of sights to be seen; some crying for joy, some laughing, others hollowing. The girls gave us a shower of face powder. We would take the can of powder away from them and give them a shower of powder. All stores were closed with a sign: Gone to the Kaiser's Funeral'. Some had 'The Kaiser wanted more territory, so we gave him HELL'.

  "The girls (some 200) from the camp Travis Laundry came through town singing, 'The Kaiser has gone to Hell, why should we give a damn?' They put face paint all over our face; some of the boys used 'smut'. You never saw such a sight in all your life.
  "Well, since the war has come to an end, I can near see the time when I'll be safe at home again. There was a group of boys drafted which arrived last night. They were honorably discharged this morning and sent home. I think I will be at home by January 1st, if not before."
  My father goes to grieve for his brother, Pearl Verna Williams, and his child who had both died in the fly epidemic. They were buried in the same grave, as nerly every person was either sick or dead and no one able to dig graves fast enough to fill the need. "Yes, it was terrible the way Pearl went. But thank God for a few Christians. The way I see it, the life of a Christian was set forth in poor old John Ballard. He did all he could. If people would only read their Bibles, we would not have a need of wars and the such, as we have these days."

  "Yes, influenza is the same thing as the LaGrippe wa in 79 and 80. When it came from France, it received the French name, LaGrippe. This time it came by way of Spain and has the spanish influenza name. There have been about 20 cases here. We lost but one case out of our company, and he was home on furlough."
  This letter was written several years before I was born. When it recently came into my hands, I felt as if I had tryly gotten a message from the "other side". The rest of the letter is just messages to the home folks, but on the bottom of each page is printed: "Help Your Country by Saving. Write on BOTH sides of This Paper."
  Next week the column will continue with the descendants of William Cannon Lewis. Also to those persons who have contacted me on the DuBards, corrections and additions will be made before the Family Sheets go on file in the Attala County Library.

copyright © 1979, Joyce W. Sanders. All rights reserved.


The above article appeared, as noted, in the November 15, 1979 Star-Herald, Kosciusko, Ms. It is republished here with the knowledge and consent of Joyce W. Sanders.


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