Letters from Mr. Frank Schaeffer, Hdg. Batt #1 M.F.H., Camp Greenleaf Annex, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. to Mr. Joe T. Schaeffer (his brother) at 217 42nd Street, Newport News, VA and to Mrs. Geo G. Schaeffer, 419 Washington Street, Henderson, KY. One letter is from a Mrs. Lange to Mr. Joe Schaeffer. To view photos of the actual letters click on the "postmarked" date.

Postmarked May 4, 1918 2-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

Three page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper (photo included):

Fort Olgethorpe, Ga.
May 4 - 1918

Dear Bro-:-

Your letter received a few days ago, would have answered sooner but am kept very busy now, in the last few days my mail has numbered up to 8 letters which this is just the third one I have answered.

Went to town last Wednesday night with Fred Osley, we went to a K. C. dance but not knowing the crowd didn't enjoy ourselves like if knowing the girls.

I am sending a picture of our office force so you can see what it looks like, I don't think it good of us.

I haven't been able to see Clyde yet, but tomorrow I am going to look him up. We can get a pass from our captain or order rather for a horse to ride, and I can ride over to see him.

My girl from Etown sent me a box this week with good eats. She also sent a suvoiner from Indiana, a small beer glass with imitation beer in it.

I wrote aunt Kate last week but haven't received an answer yet from them.

I think in a few weeks the company's under this battalion will go to Texas. They are attached to the seventh division, the battalion ins't attached to any division but they can send it if they want to, so I really can't tell how long I may be here. Chances for staying here are just as bright as leaving.

One of our companys left this week for Camp Merritt or Hoboken, that beens * oversea duty. Their place was filled with Co L. which I use to be in.

If you want to drop Fred a few lines just address it in care of Camp GreenLeaf Annex post office and he will get it.

The days here are hot as hell and the nights or cool enough for three blankets, overcoat and shelter tent spread over you.

News is scarce here but will try and write more next time.

PS. Going to write to Edna and Miss Minnie all in one letter cutting down expenses.


* I would guess this word is supposed to be means, but it is definitely a "b"eens.

Postmarked May 13, 1918 6-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

One page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
May 13 -18.

Dear Bro:-

I am droping you a few lines to let you know that by the time you receive this letter I will be on my way to Hoboken for overseas duty.

They are taking two-hundred medical men out of this battalion and two-thousand out of this camp. I am going with the intension of coming back alive.

I am not going to write this news home until the last minutes. The only reason I hate to go is because I know how hard mama will take it. But she might know that I would have to go by being in the army. After arriving will write you and send my address.

Frank -
Don't write to me until you hear from me.

Postmarked May 15, 1918 10-PM Chattanooga, Tenn

One page letter typed on plain paper:

Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.
May 14_ 1918

Dear Brother:

I wrote just a little to quick the other day, they were going to take two_hundred from this battalion and in order to get the number the office force was put in, later on an order came asking for only one_hundred fifty_eight so that let us out.

If you haven't wrote home about it do not say anything when you write for I had not sent word home yet aboutgoing. If we don not go when the seventh division goes that will mean we stay here for the summer, here is hoping we stay.

Mildred sent me Laura Fowlers address the other day, I wrote her a letter stating that I would be in Chattanooga next saturday, she wrote and said she would be aufully glad to see me, so I am going to try her and see if she is putting anything out besides hot air.

Joe give my address to Anna and tell her to give it to Clyde so he can try to find me, I have tried several times to locate him but have not been successful yet.

While in town next saturday I intend to have my picture taken, they will be about the size of those I made at home. when they are finished I will send you one by mail.

Your brother,

(signed) Frank Schaeffer

Postmarked May 27, 1918 2-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

Three page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Chickamauga Park, Ga.
May 26 - 18

Dear Brother:-

Your letter received a few days ago and have been busy with rosters for the two-hundred men that is going out, is the reason for not answering.

I am sending you one of my pictures which I had made last week. They cost me eight dollars a dozen, just about like the ones had made at home for four and half.

It is hard to say what I will do after going over, we may be put on the outgoing list tomorrow and we may stay here the duration of the war.

Was out to see Laura Fowler one Saturday night, but didn't try anything. After I get paid off I intend to go in one night through the week to see her. I have almost went broke this month, my pictures put a crip in my pocket book.

We were transferred to the Motor Sanitary Units, but still doing the same work and in the same place. All of the battalions are assigned to the Motor Sanitary Units.

Believe me it certainly does get hot here in this camp, but the nights are cool and fine sleeping. There is a cold water shower house in front of our tents and we go under it every before going to bed.

Mildred wrote and told me that Marion Duncan had died. There will be some more money for old Dr. Graham to spend for booze.

I suppose you get to see a lot of soldiers and sailors in Newport News. A private hasn't much chance in Chattanooga because this is an officers training camp and they keep that place warm. As you know the girls fall for officers before they will privates.

All of the boy's here in the office are going to be made privates first class, which will mean three more dollars a month.

Well this is about all for this time will try and be more prompt next time.
I remain the same.

Postmarked June 6, 1918 2-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

Three page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Chickamauga Park, Ga.
June 6 - 1918

Dear Bro:-
Yours at hand and the box of candy arrived all OK, certainly did enjoy it. Don't forget me the next time your luck is running good.

Well there isn't anything much new in this camp, only a big bunch of men were sent here from Camp Taylor, we have some in our company's but do not know any of them. Several are from Evansville.

Mildred wrote a letter to me on May the 12th. I just received it a couple of days ago and in it was telling about her quiting the office, but nothing was said about her getting married.

There is going to be a big dance in Chattanooga Saturday for the soldiers. If we get paid before then I intend to go, this is the first time I have been broke for a long time. I wouldn't have went broke this month but the pictures put a crimp in my pocket-book.

The folks wrote to me and* said Louis Klee died , also May Powell, she married Carroll Dickerson had died.

Three boys to a absent without leave what we call an A.W.O.L from this battalion. They have all three now under arrest and they will be tried by a court martial which will probley give them a few years in the pen. If I can't get a furlough I would never leave on an A.W.O.L.

Well I am feeling fine, having better health now than I ever did.

I am a private first class now, it took effect June the 1st.

This will be all for the present only we had a good shower after supper which cooled things off.

Postmarked June 17, 1918 2-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

Three page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Chickamauga Park, Ga.
June 16 - 1918

Dear Brother:-
I am on duty this morning until noon, so I will drop you a few lines to let you know I am well and enjoying the best of health.

The way you spoke a while ago I thought you had sent that money to Mamma, I received a letter this week and she said she must have some money by the first of July, so if you can spare the rest of that money send it to her, she has used up the money I left with her.

Mildred and Sam have rented Mrs. Jesse Dades house on north main St.

You spoke about dancing, well last night a week ago I went to a dance in Chattanooga give at the court house, well I certainly did have some time every body seemed to have a good time.

I think I will go to town this afternoon to call on a young lady who I met at the dance.

The last letter from said you thought you would be taken out of the yards and put in the army, I don't think there is anything to that as we haven't heard anything to that effect here.

I didn't know you were Recording Secetary of the union, although as you say it is lots of trouble and still no more money for you.

I have had all of my equipment and winter clothing taken away, so that looks like I am to stay here for awhile yet.

I am about to get use to the weather here now, in the day time it hot as hell, but the nights are cool to sleep.

Well this all for this time so I will close and if you can spare more money send it to mamma,

Postmarked July 22, 1918 2-30P Chattanooga, Tenn

Four page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Chickamauga Park, Ga.
July 20 - 1918

Dear Mother,
Just received your letter and while we are not doing anything I have plenty of time to write again from this camp.

By the time you receive this letter I will be on my way, we are expected to go in the morning.

It certainly is a lots of trouble to get a company ready for shipment. They took all of our summer clothes except underwear away from us and gave winter clothing in the place. Our bag of equipment went to the train this afternoon, so that is a good sign the time is close.

I am in perfect health now and have been every since here, hoping this letter finds all well and to stay well.

If the Allies keep on pushing the Germans like they have in the last few days they will get close to Berlin and then the German's will give up, so don't worry it won't be long before it will all be over.

About my insurance, it takes time to send them, just like the allotments, but if you don't get those papers before long just write to Washington D.C., here is my number to send them if you write "808,528M.D.N.A" some number isn't it, some of the boy's here that came from Louisville camp have numbers as high as two-million, so you see how many have come into the army since I have.

Some of those boy's have only been in the service about five weeks and going over.

There was six of us in the headquarters that I was in and five of us are going over with the seventh-division, the other fellow had to go to the hospital for an operation or he would have went to. He certainly sore because he couldn't go with us.

Well I haven't much more to say this time, only that I don't feel dissatisfied of going, because this is a fine company and all of the men in it think a lots of me. One fellow is from Booneville Ind. And he is just like a brother to me.


PS. Your next letter just send with the same address as the last and they will send it to me, that way I will hear again from you before going over, ans in the next few days.

Postmarked Aug 2, 1918 6 PM Jersey City, N.J. Merritt Branch

Three page letter handwritten on YMCA Paper:

Camp Merritt, N.J.
August 2 - 1918

Dear Mother:-

Received the letter yesterday that Mildred wrote for you, was glad to hear that Ollie is better, although I didn't know she had been sick.

Got to spend about 18 hours in New York, believe me it is some place but I wouldn't want to live there. In order to get around and see everything one would have to spend about a week there and be on the go all the time.

Three of us got one dollar tickets for a show, which only cost one cent each.

I was on the go most all night, got in bed at three o'clock, up at seven still on the go seeing all I could for I had to be back in camp at twelve o'clock at noon Aug. 1st.

The trips and every thing I have seen since in the army certainly would have cost something it made on my own expense. The trip to New York was fine, everybody seems to be in a hurry and street cars flying by every second.

The woolworths building which is about seven-hundred feet high is wonderful to see.

At the soldier's and sailor's community club you are treated royal, we got our supper there which was dirt cheap and it was good.

We are expecting to most anytime from this camp, they take them away between the hours of 12 and five. Last night large bunch left for the ship.

If you have any trouble with my allotments and you write to Washington don't forget to put this number with my name, 808 528M.D.N.A


Tell Mrs. Berrer hello for me.


Postmarked Aug 9, 1918 12 M I Jersey City, N.J. Merritt Branch

Two page letter handwritten on Merritt Hall paper:

Camp Merritt, N.J.
August 8 - 1918

Dear Mother:-

Received a letter today from Mildred stating Ollie wasn't much better, I hope she will get along alright by the time you receive this letter.

I found a Henderson boy in this camp today, his name is Bohn. They live close to the cemetary. I certainly was glad to see, he just came in this morning from Louisiana.

He has been telling me about all of the boy's they have called from H-

Certainly is bad about Annie Wize about to die, but sometimes it can't be helped.

We don't know exactly yet when we will leave, it has been two weeks last night here in this camp, usely ten day's is the limit for troops to stay here.

I haven't heard from Joe for about a week, but I guess he has a letter on the way for me which I will receive in a day or so.

I haven't much to say only I am feeling fine with the exception of a cold. I swear it is hotter up here than it was in Georgia, yesterday was one of the hottest day's I ever spent, just couldn't keep cool, the sweat would pour off just as if some one had turned a hose on you.

I will write again in a day or so, but will try and write more.


Postmarked Aug 27, 1918 12 PM Evansville, IND.

Two page letter handwritten on plain paper from Mr. & Mrs. H Granger to Mr. Joe Schaeffer:

Evansville 8/26/18

Mr. Joe Schaeffer
Dear Friend
Anna was buried this morning It was certainly a sad affair and all took it very hard. Anna sure suffered during her illness and after developments in her sickness it was a blessing she died as she surely would have been an invalid the balance of her life. She surely thought a good deal of you as she spoke of you so much. While she was so very sick one of your letters came and the folks did not take it to her. Then she began to wondering why you did not write, so the folks told her about the letter and read it to her. She then asked for paper and pencil to answer it right away. She tried to write but gave it up saying she was too tired and would write you the next day. She sure had lots of friends. Yesterday was a very rainy day but the people just swarmed into the house all day and up to a late hour last night. Then she got so many beautiful flowers. With the money you sent I got a broken heart and it was a gourges piece and every one admired it. When they came to the house and Mrs. Vize saw it she broke down completely. She seems to think so much of you. I am enclosing a rose which I took from the broken heart thinking you might want it. Neither Bob Clyde or Abel got to come home to the funeral. Mrs. Vize received a letter in answer to her telegram to Bob stating he was leaving that day (Aug 24) for France or some other place to join our forces. Jerome leaves next Sunday for camp, he having enlisted. Well Joe I hope this little letter finds you in good health. Now don't forget us write when you can. All consider you a dear friend and when you come to Evansville don't fail to come and see us all.

Your Friends
Mr and Mrs H Lange*
321 Grant St

*Handwriting is hard to decipher. The rose and newspaper clipping about Anna's death are still with the letter.

August 28th, 1918 No envelope

Letter handwritten on YMCA paper:

August 28 - 1019
Field Hospital #36
American Ex. Forces, France

Dear Mother:-
Arrived safely and feel fine, didn't get sea sick at all, believe me you certainly get tired of seeing nothing but water. We had no trouble what ever with submarines.

All the way over each company would take turn in doing guard duty and lookout watch, that is watch for anything in the water.

The French people are glad to see the American boy's and they are very sociable, some of them speak a little English. I am beginning to pick up some French already, certainly wish I understood their language thoroughly.

The weather is considerable cooler here than it is at home, it also rains more often here than in America.

I have strained my eyes eversince here looking for a frame house, but as wood is so scarce they use stone to build with. They build good looking homes with the stone.

In the last letter Mildred wrote for you she said Ollie's case had developed into typhoid fever, I hope she is well and all felling fine when this letter is received. That was the last letter I received from home.

Tell Mildred she will receive a letter from me in a few day's, as this letter she will read and feel as if she had received it. Also tell Aunt Kate to look forward for a letter. Give my regards to Mrs. Berrer.

We are allowed to drink common beer and white wine, but only certain times during the day.

Well mother I will go back and tell more about the trip over, we landed last Sunday night at eight o'clock. Didn't unload until Monday morning and I certainly was glad to put my feet on dirt again.

The sea was wild only one day, so I think that is the reason we didn't get seasick.

I alway's heard of flying fish but couldn't believe it to be true, but while on the water I saw quiet a number flying close to the water.

Well mother I am going to close for this time, but you can expect to hear from me real often.

Your son-
Frank V. Schaeffer

It is marked at the bottom "OK.
Robert Stakh
Capt +H36"

Name is very hard to read


Postcard to Joe. No postmark.

Port of Embarkation, N.J.

The ship on which I sailed arrived safely.

Frank V. Schaeffer
Motor Field Hops. #36
Sanitary Main, 7th Div.
American Expeditionary Forces


The letters end here. There is a card dated after August 28th that says:

Died Oct. 12, 1918
While Serving
As an Infantryman with
American Expeditionary Forces

his draft card and a folded card that shows his cross in the cemetery.


Copyright 2002 Leigh Ann Boucher/Netta Mullin, HCH&GS