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On offer is a super, fascinating group of 14 manuscript letters handwritten by Wiley J. Woolford writing from Station Hospital Scott Field Belleville Illinois to his aunt Miss Mary Woodford of Sparta Illinois. The 1927 letters give the sense that Wiley was the 'black sheep' of the family and had a reputation for causing trouble or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Casual research finds that he and six other men pleaded guilty to drunken charges in Benton Harbor. He was stationed at Station Hospital on a charge of desertion that almost got him a dishonorable discharge but he was found not guilty. Many of the people in his hometown were supposedly gossiping and rumor mongering which he condemns in his letters. Wiley also hits his Aunt up for money and is looking for a way out of the army. His last letter is intriguing because it seems that his Aunt has decided not to have anymore contact with him. Here are some snippets: "September 8th, 1927. My Dear Aunt, A few lines to let you know that I got your letter and sure was glad to get it for I was beginning to think you had forgotten to write anymore. I was just getting ready to come down to find out what was the reason you hadn't answered……Oh yes be sure and try to let me know a few days before you come up so I won't be busy on that day. Tell Mrs. Crawford that my friend Mac is still here and is well but as I have chosen a different pardner now. I don't pay much attention to him for as I have found out by watching him that he isn't much good. So it isn't a very good policy to associate with them kind to much for it will lead to no good. I have got it in my head that I am going to go straight from now on and no one is going to change me. I'm feeling better now than I have for a long time. Am gaining in health and also in weight. Have no desire to drink and carouse around anymore like I did before joining the army…..Good Bye, Answer soon and tell me all of the late city news. From Wiley." "November 14th, 1927 Dearest Aunt,……This sure is some awful miserable old world is it not? If it is no better in the here after it sure will be awful won't it. But as for being any worse that would be almost impossible though there isn't any use of giving up yet for there is always light after darkness. So I still am living in great hopes there is still a chance for me if I try hard enough. I am still young enough yet to give this old world a good try out don't you think so if I can keep the devil from getting the best of me. Most everybody thinks Scott Field is an awful fine place and they all tell me that I am in the best outfit in the whole field. Though you see that isn't the idea I had when joining the army for my idea was of getting into a place so I could get some good schooling right away without wasting so much time. But as it happened I just got into the wrong outfit. Instead of coming here I should have went to that aviator school up here at Chanute Field Illinois by now I could have had six months towards being a good pilot and also a good mechanic along with it. So you see why I am so discouraged don't you. Oh well a person can never tell. I might hit on a streak of luck yet but never in the army for I don't like any kind of army life no difference what shape or form it would be impossible for me to get used to it for as it is not my kind of life. It I had of only known it soon enough. There is a good training school up here near Chicago where I could have got a good mechanical education and also flying license after six months time and if a person hasn't got the money up there…….Good Bye from your boy Wiley." "December 26th, 1927 Dear Aunt, How are you feeling today? Hope you are well. As I am feeling kind of blue right now myself. But I guess you have forgotten all about me by now haven't you? For as I know you don't care if I am at home or some where else do you. I am feeling so bad. I cannot even write very good. Sure feel awful bad. So be sure you have already got the great news about me being at Blair Friday evening. That darn deputy of Sparta Illinois come down and got me. But of course you have got the news long before now. It sure was some fine Christmas to me but I am in hopes that I won't get very much out of it….Guess as there is no use of writing anymore. So I will close for this time. Good Bye from Wiley." "February 1st, 1928 My Dear Aunt, How are you feeling today? Am hoping that these few lines find you feeling in the very best of good health, ha ha. I sure have some great news to tell you, ha Ha. I got tired yesterday. Oh say I just must have a good laugh and who wouldn't laugh. I didn't get my thing. Oh my god do tell some of my so called Blair friends that I was not found gently of desertion. Oh how glad they would have been. Oh yes how I do want to give them the big laugh ha ha. They thought, oh how they thought, I would get found guilty of desertion and sent to prison for along term and then have to take a dishonorable discharge. Oh how they did want me to bring an awful disgrace upon your name but just to think my own smooth speaking and my good attorneys did clear me. And oh, my God I am almost crazy with great delight and joy. Oh it is too bad it is so near mail time. I will have to close but don't forget I will get to be down there to tell you all of it before long. I am one of the most lucky fellows that ever did walk on legs. Old deputy sheriff the one that caught me was at my trial as a witness with a big front on him. I mean he had his chest thrown out big, Oh so big, ha ha. Yes old Leiner sure is some deputy alright. I made him out a big liar three times on the stand. Oh gee I did look him right square in the eye and didn't even speak. He didn't get one cent of his reward for apprehending me or as they say, catching me. He went back to Sparta feeling badly beaten, ha ha, ha, ha, ha. I have to laugh. Say please just present this letter to some of my so called friends and tell them a very intelligent young lawyer that is me, W. Woolford, wrote this. I will be down home soon again to get to step around very proud with my uniform on….Your boy, Wiley." "February 13th, 1928 My Dear Aunt, Well just how are you feeling today?.....I sure did have some good laugh too believe me and why wouldn't I laugh. I suppose in the first place that some of those Blair Town box setters and porch holders would feel very bad when they found out that they didn't find me guilty of desertion. Oh, but how awful bad disappointed they must have been weren't they? Ha Ha. It sure makes me laugh and why not? Oh yes, just to think how awful well pleased they would have been if I would have got a dishonorable discharge of course it would have been a disgrace to the both of us wouldn't it?.....They will all have to give me big credit for being smart enough to get out of this trouble, ha ha. You don't need to be afraid to show any of them this letter for it is the truth, don't' forget to write. Answer soon, your boy Wiley." Overall the group is G+.; Manuscript; 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, WILEY J. WOOLFORD, STATION HOSPITAL SCOTT FIELD BELLEVILLE ILLINOIS, BAD BOYS, TROUBLEMAKERS, HOOLIGANS, COURTS MARTIAL, MARY WOODFORD, SPARTA ILLINOIS, ARMY DESERTION, GENDER STUDIES, MEN'S STUDIES, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, antiquité, contrat, vélin, document, manuscrit, papier Antike, Brief, Pergament, Dokument, Manuskript, Papier oggetto d'antiquariato, atto, velina, documento, manoscritto, carta antigüedad, hecho, vitela, documento, manuscrito, Papel,



Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, All, 20th Century Ephemera,


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0001962

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Wiley J. Woolford Station Hospital Scott Field Belleville Illinois Bad Boys TROUBLEMAKERS HOOLIGANS Courts Martial Mary Woodford Sparta Illinois