Lester Scott to his sister, Minnie Riggle: “I would start to France today if could…”
In his fourth letter home from Camp Lee to his sister Minnie Riggle, US Army Wagoner (mule team driver) Lester Scott, a World War I soldier from Wheeling, West Virginia, describes, somewhat boastfully, the details of his rather filling dinner, his eagerness to be sent to France to the war, and his prowess at guard duty. He tells Minnie about how much her brother-in-law, Dutch (Charles Riggle), enjoys being at camp. He then talks about buying liberty bonds, asks how the corn cutting is going, and compares the weather back home to what he expects in Virginia, where there “are no hills to break the wind.” While the other men are homesick, Lester declares himself “very well contented.”
Lester Scott was drafted in 1917 and trained at Camp Lee, where so many Wheeling soldiers, including Charles “Dutch” Riggle, the brother of his sister Minnie’s husband James, were trained. And, like so many of his Ohio Valley comrades, he served in the 314th Field Artillery Supply Company, Battery “A,” 80th (Blue Ridge) Division in France. This is his fourth letter from Camp Lee, dated 100 years ago today, October 21, 1917.