Posted in Letters, World War 1

“The sights I have saw is worth a million” and “…there will be no capturing me as a prisoner”

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[Letter from Pvt. Allen Lee Millard (“Nig”) Gooch to his family in Duncan, Arizona, written during World War I, 22 Jun or Jul 1918 at Hemptead, N.Y.  Transcribed by Dayna Gooch Jacobs. Slashes indicate page breaks. Original spelling and punctuation.]

Hemstead, N.Y.

6 p.m. Saturday 22  [Jun or Jul 1918]

Dear Parents,

Received two letters/ from you in the past/ few days and was/ awfly glad to get/ them.  I am now in/ Hemstead on a pass/ there is about a dozen/ towns alond the south/ east side of this/ Island and I have/ seen most of them/ today don’t have to/ go back to camp/ until 10 oclock tomorrow./  Oh how I wish you/ was here to see the/ sights the pretty homes/ and parks.  This is/ a wonderful place. So/ much different from the/ west and a very nice/ climate.  But give me/ cactus and the west./  We boys don’t get/ along with these people/ for they laugh/ at us when we talk/ and we can hardly/ understand them.  But/ they sure are good/ to us at that.  And/ I had rather stay here/ than in Kansas for/ the wind and sand/ never blows it s allways/ cool and nice.  Havent/  heard an more about/ moving.  But cant think/ we will go over for awhile./

Mother I think you/ will get your alotment/ next month and I/ had it sent to the/ Phoenix address so you/ had better write Cap/ to watch out for it/ or have it sent to/ you from the post/ master./

Yes you can send/ Grant my clothes if/ you like.  Poor kid./  I guess he needs them./  Yes I have written/ Sis and Bob and sent/ Cap a few cards with/ my address.  Will write/ her soon./

Well I guess Doll has/ blowed up.  I haven’t/ heard from her/ since I came here/ only letters she/ written to funston./  I got a letter from/ Jessie Sanders sayin/ Doll was not at home/ and didnt know when/ she was coming home./  Also said they expected/ her to be married/ in California the last/ of July.  Now I don’t/ know what to think/ if that hardly.  There/ is some thing wrong/ some where.  I think/ it a put up job in/ a way.  But I cant/ see why she doesn’t/  write.  For she surly/ has got my address/ and could get me a/ letter some way./  Any way she knows/ what she wants to do/ so I wont loose much/ sleep.  Of course I like/ her, and I know they/ are trying to split/ us up.  But she should/ have let me know/ she was leaving./  And if she has found/ someone else she likes/ better, he’s the guy for/ her.  This letter from/ Jessie was written the/ 13th,  I answered it with/ a very friendly letter/ and spoke of Doll/ very little.  So if they/ are working us some/ way they wont get far/ with me.  I have some/ friends in Duncan/ yet.  And if she lets/ them work her ____ well/ she isn’t the girl for/ me. I have enough to/ worry about allready./  So I will leave it all/ up to her and when I/ come back I will know/ all before goeing farther/ with her./

Now mother you/ musnt feel so/ blue and worried about/ me for if I cant be/ with you I am perfectly/ satisfied.  Am having/ a good time when I/ feel like it and the/ sights I have saw/ is worth a million./  This letter will have to/ do you all this time.  And/ I will go take in another/ town.  Tell dear old dad/ that if I get a chance/ I will go over the top/ with the same old/ smile I allways wore/ and there will be no/ capturing me as a prisoner./  We ware a tag around/ our neck that would/ identifie us if killed./

Love to all,

Chears Nig


I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

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