Johnston County, NC – Letters – Charlie V. Wilkins
LETTERS FROM CHARLIE V. WILKINS – WORLD WAR I
This letter was written by my uncle, Charlie Van Wilkins, Johnston County, to his
parents, Charlie Bertie and Delia Wallace Wilkins, who lived in the Selma area of
Charlie Van Wilkins was killed in action September 29, 1918 in France during World
War I. His father was the son of Owen C. Wilkins and Rebecca Johnson. His mother was
the daughter of James Wallace and Louiza Benson.
Charlie, or Van, as the family called him, was born in Johnston County August 10, 1890.
He enlisted in the army in Durham. The family lived there for a few years, from about
1913-1919, then moved back to Johnston County and lived there for the remainder of
This first letter was written while Charlie was at Camp Sevier, SC. The Clinton and
Lee he mentions in the letter are two of his brothers
Co. M 120th Infantry
I received your letter to night. Was glad to hear from you all, but sorry to
hear that you are not well. I hope you are better by now, and I hope you can keep your
health. For you do but don’t take up with anything and everywhere. You can tell about
what to fool with. If I were there, I know we could make it anywhere, but I don’t know
where you can or not. But if you move let me know at once. My advice is to go to the
country if you can. For certain needs health now, for it is tight times. Our money is no
good much. You can’t buy anything with a dollar.
I got a letter from Clinton today. They were all well except the baby. It had a
sore mouth, but I hope it is better now. Clinton has moved to the country near Mount
Moriah. I hope he will like it. I think it is the best thing he ever did. The place you
wrote of, if it is any good, you can make a living. It might be the best thing of a place.
If Lee would go with you, you and him could make it, but I don’t suppose Lee wants to go.
“Do as you like and think best”.
I sent you a view of a section of the camp today. Hope you will get it alright. Let
me know if it gets there alright. I will tell you a little about the picture. There lives
five men in each tent, and the long buildings are the kitchens, known as “mess halls” in
the army. They are about 100 ft. long and twenty ft. wide as about two hundred and twenty
five men eat there three times a day. It takes something to eat, too- takes about ten men
to do the cooking at each one. That is only a small section of the camp. There is forty or
fifty such sections, so you know or can imagine what a camp is.
I haven’t no news to write, only I am going home in a few days, but that may be a month or
two. Just when they get to my name you know it starts with a “W” and is away down at the
last of the alphabet. But it will come sometime soon. I am looking for it anyway.
I’ll close, write soon.
This next letter was written to Charlie’s brother, Lee R. Wilkins, of Durham about a month
and a half before he was killed. The Junius he speaks of was his first cousin.
August 14, 1918
I received your letter of July 8 and was glad to hear from you all, and to know
that you were all well and Mama is improving. Hope she will soon be well again and enjoy
life once more, for she has been sick so long.
I am well and getting on just fine having a good time. Well I guess it is quite
warm over there with you all now. It is just pleasant over here. The grain is just getting
ready for harvest, and some of the wheat won’t do to cut till September so you may know it
is some later here than there.
I haven’t no news that would be of any interest to you now. By the way, I saw
Junius one night this week. He is getting on alright. Give Clinton my best wishes and luck.
I’ll close. Give my love to all and write me a long letter. Your letters are not
censored, so write and tell me all the news. Will close with love and best wishes to you
Charlie V. Wilkins
This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Iris Hill Brown
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