Letters Home: Oppie Ross

The home folks looked forward to letters from their boys in the armed forces – not just moms and dads, but editors, too.  The Skidmore News printed this letter from Oppie Ross in its January 24, 1918 edition on page 6:

From Oppie Ross

Chickamaunga Park, Ga., Jan. 16.

The Skidmore News and Friends:

I will endeavor after so long a time to write to you again.  It has been snowing here all morning and is raining this afternoon.

We get Wednesday and Saturday afternoons off each week for a holiday.  We drill 5 days a week and rest two.

I am now transferred to the 16th machine gun battalion.  We have a gun that shoots 480 times per minute.

I thank the Red Cross for the comfort kit I received Xmas.  I received a nice big box from Mr. and Mrs. Will Davenport last week which contained a nice cake and some home made candy.

We are under orders to leave here at any time.  We have to get a pass to go down town and then it is only good for 12 hours.

I notice by the Maryville Tribune where a number of the boys are drafted.

I weighed 150 pounds when I enlisted in the army and last Sunday I stepped on the scales in my shirt sleeves and pulled it down to 180 pounds, so you see the setting up exercises agree with any man, at least it does with me.

We have been practicing throwing hand grenades.

Well I expect I had better conclude as I have written too much now, so I will close by thanking you for the News.

Your friend,

Oppie H. Ross.

Co. D., 16th M. G. Bn. care 54th U. S. Inf., Chatanooga, Tenn.