Letters Home: Clyde Collins in New Jersey

From the February 21, 1918 Skidmore News, page 1:

From Clyde Collins.

Dumont, N. J. Feb. 12, 1918.

Dear Father and Mother: —

I am at home at present in Camp Merrett, N. J. and feeling well after taking a seventy-two hour train ride.  Starting at Camp Funston Saturday at 11 a.m. and arriving here about the same time Tuesday.

We came from Kansas City, north and east, coming through Davenport, Iowa; Moline and Chicago, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; Battle Creek and Lansing, Michigan; through St. Clair tunnel to London and by Hamilton, Canada, crossing back in U. S. at suspension bridge, Niagara Falls.  Was permitted to leave the train there and take in the falls.  As we were getting ready to climb off train a bunch of Red Cross ladies met us and gave each man a gift, consisting of candies and smoking.

After spending an hour or more in Niagara Falls we were put back aboard the train, crossed New York state to New Jersey, came through Worchester, N. Y. and two or three tunnels, along the Hudson River and the White Mountains.

This gives you a good idea of our trip from Camp Funston to our present camp.  I must admit that I enjoyed the trip very much and would have been glad to have had the time to have gone about some, in the big cities we went through.

I watched the landscape very closely as we came and none looked better to me than Northwest Missouri does for a home.  While some is nice and no doubt a lot of good farming land, but could not turn Missouri down for any I saw.

We will in a short time take a ship for France, may be here just a few days and may be here two or three weeks, as announced by a captain this evening.

We are only a short distance from New York City and Tony and I hope to get a pass to visit that place and expect we can.

I will give you my address so maybe I can get a letter from home before going across.  It is: Camp Funston Casualty Detachment, Co. 2, Camp Merritt, N. J.  So you can rush a letter when you get this.  It is very warm here at present, snow and ice melting fast, streets full of water.

We have already met one fellow from Camp Funston he came around by way of Georgia, we by Canada, some different routes.

I must close.

Sincerely, Clyde Collins.