Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Alvin Artie Gregg, World War I soldier

Item Description Bookbag Share

July 4th, 1918

Over here

 

Dear Mother & Father & Brother & Lois

 

How is everything at home, we are fine here the weather is fine, but a little cool today. We have not done anything today played ball this morning and beat too we always do. thats the way we feel about this war, I recieved a letter from you alright and was glad to get it, now you dont need to worry about me getting me one of these girls over here for they dont look good to me, not near like some I know there one in particular. ha! ha! well I got a letter you wrote about selling the car I am glad of that. take good care of Prince for me, I would rather have him than a car not so much expense. well now write often good by. from your loving Son,

 

Pvt Alvin A. Gregg.

Co. L. 353. inft 89th Div.

 

copy

 

[Page 2]

 

NATIONAL WAR WORK COUNCIL

ARMY AND NAVY

YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS

 

“WITH THE COLORS”

 

July 14, 1918.

 

Somewhere in France,-

 

Dear Mother, Father & Bro, & Lois.

 

I will write to you this evening we are having a good time I am feeling fine and as fat as a pig.

 

I got a letter from Henry he told me where he was and how he was getting along he is fine but I cant find it on the map. Tell Louis there is wild hogs in this Country or rather wild Boars. I got your letter the one that had Louises letter in and the one with Noras letter in. How is Prince is he fat yet, How is the crops I hope they are fine

 

[Page 3]

 

for when I come home this winter I want to see every thing look nice if possible. The Americans are gaining ground yet it looks good to me. Well I will quit for this time ans soon From your Loving Son Alvin.

 

Pvt Alvin A Gregg.

Co. L, 353 Inf.

A Po O. 761

American Expeditionary Force

 

[Page 4]

 

Aug 14,- 1918. [Stamp over date appears to read “CENSORED BY BA (?) Smith LIEUT. INF. ORC]

 

Over here,-

 

My Dear Mother, Father, Bro & Lois,

 

I am fine and dandy. I saw Arthur Martin last night he is cooking for the officers he is fat as he ever was and feeling fine it sure is fine to see your friends and have a talk with them I have not seen the Smith boys for about a month I dont know where they are. I have been made

 

[Page 5]

 

a first Class Private that means a little more money, I am gunner how does that sound, ha! ha!

 

We are having a good time work pretty harde at times but that dont count. Have been on guard last night and today. Well now for something els how is everything at home how did the crop thrash out I hope pretty good. I got the letter that you was telling me about cousin. I am sorry he is doing that way I expected it though but not so soon. Why dont Uncle

 

[Page 6]

 

sell the car, that would stop some of it. does he go to Iola as much as he did. We are having fine weather here it is not so offle hot here, cool of nights I sure will have lots to tell you when I get home that I cant write. I sure am glad that Louis is not old enough to be caught in the draft. Tell Theo I wrote to her about two weeks ago ask her if she got it

 

[Page 7]

 

I havent heard from Ethel for a long time I get letters from you almost every time we get mail that sounds better dont it.

 

We have one of the best little Corprals he is a small man but he is just as good as if he was big I expect better.

 

Well I will close for now my address is the same as it was.

 

From your loving Son

Pvt Alvin. A. Gregg.

 

[Page 8]

 

July 28 – 1918

 

Somewhere in France,

 

Dear Mother & Father & Brother & Lois

 

I will write to you I am feeling fine, much better than when I left home. this country agrees with me or the Army me. this country is quite a bit like Idaho. both in climate and looks, hilly with timber, so it looks quite a bit like home used to be. Well how is everything at home, I suppose the wheat and oats are cut and thrashed by now. how is Prince fat I hope are they still drilling for oil at uncle Johns place. here in France they are just cutting their wheat.

 

I have not seen Arthur Martin but once since we landed I dont know where he is, nor Archie and the other Smith boy either. Riley McKinney is in my Co I see him every day he is getting along fine. and just like a brother to me, in fact all the Co are just fine boys, I should sure hate to leave this Co now. well good by from your loving Son, Alvin

 

Pvt Alvin A. Gregg. Co L. 353. inft 89th Div

 

[Page 9]

 

Sep, 4, 1918,-

 

Somewhere over here,

 

Dear Mother, Father & Bro, & Lois

 

I will write you a frew lines I am feeling fine sure enough now. I am in the front line now it is not so awful bad here. I wish I could see you and have a nice little talk. I have to keep my pistol on me all the time for one dont know what minute he will need it. How did the wheat and oats come out I hope

 

[Page 10]

good have you found out about the place yet. They treat me nice here where I am at they fetch my meals to me, dont think there is something the matter for there is not, If I could only explain. Well I must close how is Verl. Ans Soon From Alvin

the same address.

 

Pvt Alvin A Gregg,

Co. L, 353 Inf.

A P. O. 761

American E.F. [Same “CENSORED BY” stamp as on page 4 is stamped over signature]

 

[Page 11]

 

[Logo – AMERICAN YMCA]

 

ON ACTIVE SERVICE

WITH THE

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

 

Sep 5, 1918

 

My Dear Mother, Father Bro, & Lois,

 

Well we are back for a rest now we are all feeling good except tired. I was just talking with Riley McKinney he is feeling fine and he sure looks good to so you can send word to his folks what I said it will do them good he is a scout and a good one to. We did not have our clothes off for fourteen days it wasnt so bad even at that. You ask Theo if she ever got my letters I wrote

 

[Page 12]

 

to her I would like to hear from all of them it does one good. I got a letter from the Valey people it sure was good. Tell Brother I would sure like to be there to day I would whip him for it is his Birthday. I havent seen Archie Smith only once since we landed I dont know where he is at. I havent seen Ugen Smith either I sure would like to see them. I seen Arthur once about three weeks ago he is

 

[Page 13]

 

[Logo – AMERICAN YMCA]

 

ON ACTIVE SERVICE

WITH THE

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

 

feeling fine cooking for Officers some guy! ha! ha! easy. What is the matter with Ethel and Aunt Minnie I have not heard from them for a long time. Well I will close for now hoping to hear from you soon From Your Son Pvt Alvin A Gregg.

Co L, 353 Inf

A.P.O. 761

American Ex. F.

 

[Stamped “CENSORED BY BA (?) Smith LIEUT. INF. ORC]

 

[Page 14]

 

Sep 20,- 1918

 

ON ACTIVE SERVICE

WITH THE

AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

 

NAME

Pvt Alvin A Gregg

CO L 353. Inf

A.P.O. 761

Amer. Ex. F.

 

Dear Mother & all

 

How is Everybody at home. I am feeling fine. I am in a town we have captured. We have been over

 

[Page 15]

 

AMERICAN RED CROSS

 

__________________ 19

 

the top once. it makes a fellow feel just like getting more Germans dont be worried about us we

 

[Page 16]

 

will be home some day. this winter I think it is uncertain.

 

I have the best fellows in my team there is three fellows in a team one fellow by the name of Miller we are together all the time he sure is a dandy good fellow we have

 

[Page 17]

 

lots of fun and the other ones name is Ashenhurst a good boy with us most of the time.

 

I guess I will close for now

 

from your loving Son.

 

Pvt Alvin A. Gregg

Co. L. 353 Inf.

A.P.O. 761

American. Ex. F.

 

[Page 18]

 

Base Hospital no 82.

Oct 9,- 1918

somewhere in France.

 

Dear Mother & Father & Louis & Lois

 

I have been in here over a week, am feeling better was gassed a little not bad, it was mustard gass, I think I will be able to go back to the Company in a month or so, they dont let their gass patients go to work very soon, the mustard gass burns, Well the papers read good and I guess the most of it is true. How is Verl Hockett getting along did they let him go home. How are they getting along at uncle John Greggs I hope all right, Did Aunt Cor Cain get my letter, tell her I said for her to write a long letter, I know she will write a good one, When did you go to church last, I have’nt went for a long time for I have’nt been where there was any.

 

We were in a drive – and then went back to the front and wsa there when they sent me down here. I dont know where the Co. is at now I think they have moved. Tell Brother he

 

over

 

[Page 19]

 

ought to see this little rig they have here to clean up the trash it is a two wheeled cart with a little mule or rather a burrow, it is smaller than that little team at Iola.

 

Well I expect I will get some mail one of these days I wrote to the Company to send any letters here. have you been getting my letters lately.

 

Well I must stop for today, write soon, and dont worry I will be alright again in a few days.

 

from Your loving Son, Alvin, to all.

 

Pvt A. A. Gregg,

Co L. 353 inf 89th Div.

 

Copy

 

[Page 20]

 

Base Hospital

Oct 16th 1918

 

Dear Folks

 

I am getting better how is everyone at home, I hope all are well, I have not had any letters for a long time none since I came here. My I will be glad when I get back to the Co. some may like it here, but I dont. I would rather be with the Co. rather have more excitement than this, well I have not been to church for so long, nothing here but Catholics and I dont understand their way. when have you went last. I wish I were there we would sure

 

[Page 21]

 

go wouldent we. when I get home we will all go regular wont we, how is everything there is the stock doing pretty well. I hope so.

 

well this is all good by

 

from your loving Son, Alvin

 

Pvt Alvin A. Gregg.

Co L, 353, inft 89th Div

 

copy

 

[Page 22]

 

Oct 26th 1918,

 

Base Hospital,

 

Dear Folks,

 

Well I have been moved to another place am getting along pretty good. It is raining here most of the time it is offle muddy here I dont know when I will get back to my Co I think within a month or so. so I expect

 

[Page 23]

 

you had better write back to my Co. for I will be there by the time I could get an answer from you. I havent any mail since I left the co. that has been a month ago. How is every thing at home, have you sold any of the stock yet. I dont know about

 

[Page 24]

 

getting home this winter I dont hardly beloieve we will get back for I think it will last till spring now, I hope not though.

 

How is old Prince is he fat and feeling fine I hope so.

 

Well I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon, or rather to get back to my co.

 

Well good By From Alvin your Son

 

[Page 25]

 

Pvt Alvin A Gregg.

Co. L. 363 Inf.

A.P.O. 761,

Amer. Ex. F.

 

P.S. Just any thing something good to eat or ware for Xmas. did you get the money I sent home,

 

By, By,

 

[Page 26]

 

Pvt Alvin A Gregg.

Co. L. 353 Inf.

A.P.O. 761

Amer. Ex. F.

 

Nov,- 7th 1918.

 

Well I am feeling fine again am out of the Hospital think I will be back to the Co. in a week or so, Well I think the war is about finished everything has gave up but the Germans and the report came in here last night that

 

[Page 27]

 

they had quit fighting and were in full retreat on all fronts if that is so Peace will be in a few days we all hope so any way and I know every body there hopes so, How did Edith get I often think of her, I did not do her right before I left by not going to see her, But then

 

[Page 28]

 

meaby I will be home some day and then I can right everything. How is Uncile Johns getting along is Clark still there. How is Flossie is she better or not I Floyd Cain still home or did he have to leave. What is

 

How did the Oats

 

[Page 29]

 

thrash out. I wish I was there to help put in Alfafa and plow. It is offle muddy here now and rains about half of the times so it is disagrable most of the time

 

Well I will close for this time hoping to hear from you soon,

 

From your loving Son Alvin.

 

[Page 30]

 

Nov 21,- 1918.

 

Co. L. 353 Inf.

A.P.O. 761

Amer. Ex. F.

 

this is the first letter after he got to the Company since he left the Hospital

 

Dear Folks,

 

Well here I am back at the Co, and am sure glad of it, I am feeling fine and I sure hope every one there is well, I havent felt better for a long time. Well I guess the war is over everything but signing the peace

 

[Page 31]

 

and that will be before long I think there is nothing else for the Germans to do. I have got a big hand full of letters. sure was glad to get them.

 

Well I will close for now

 

From your Son

 

Pvt Alvin A Gregg.

Co. L 353 Inf,

A.P.O. 761

Amer. Ex. F.

 

[Page 32]

 

Carlyle Kan.

Dec 22nd 1918.

 

Mr William E. Connelly,

 

I see in the Star you want the relatives of the soldiers to send Photo’s and give a sketch of their boy hood life. Perhaps our boys experience wont help you any as I dont know but very little of the particulars of what has happened since he went over to France, he has been very particular not to write anything that could in any way be complained of. but I will send you what I have. if they are no help to you, you dont need to put them in your book.

 

Alvin A. Gregg, son of Jesse And Elma Hockett Gregg, was born the 5th of July 1894, in Allen Co. Kan. ten miles northeast of Iola at the Henry Hockett farm,- when he was three years old his parents took him and went west into British

 

[Page 33]

 

2

 

Columbia, then back into Wash. and finally into Ida. 43 miles northeast of Spokane along the Northern Pacific Railway. Alvin at this time was 5 years old, and he lived there till he was 18 years old, during the time he was there he went through many hardships and much trouble, the summer he was eight years old he and his brother just older fell and trimmed up the trees, and cut fifty cord of wood into cord wood length, they were too small to use the maul to split it, but they sawed every stick of it during their six weeks vacation of school, when Alvin was ten years old his Brother and Sister older than him both died and left him alone accept a five months old Brother, of course Alvin was very

[Page 34]

 

3

 

lonely, but he proved hisself a manly boy. he helped his Father and when he was 14 years old he went to a logging camp and earned $80.00 helping saw logs for the mill during vacation, will say here the schools in the country were in the Spring and fall, so the summer and during the worst part of winter they had vacation, but after Alvin was 14 years old he was always busy at work. when he was 18 in the spring of 1913 we came back to Kansas where Alvin has lived with his parents every since between Iola and Carlyle. he has worked on the farm till in May 1917 when he learned tool dressing for drilling rigs. but he turned all he earned over to his mother to help run the work of farming. he was called into the service the

 

[Page 35]

 

4

 

27th of April, 1918. from Iola, and went to Camp Funston where he was put into the 89th Division 353 inft., Co L, and May 28th he was in New York, and the first days in June they sailed, and landed in France the 16 of June.

 

Now I will send some of his letters you can tell all I know yet, of what has took place, he was gassed with mustard gass, the 27 of Sept, and was in the Hospital till the 6 of Nov. as near as we can learn, I will send his picture we have some taken in his uniform, when he returns I think he will

 

[Page 36]

 

5

 

have some taken in his uniform and no doubt can tell much that would be of interest if it could be put in print. Please when you get through with the Photo if possible I would like for it to be returned,

 

Yours Respectfully

 

Mr & Mrs Jesse Gregg.

Carlyle Kan.

 

 

 

 

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2021 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.