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Judson W. Dennis
Sergeant, Company L, 119th Infantry
American Expeditionary Forces
March 18, 1892 ~ October 17, 1918

"So you all just pray that we little Sammies have a chance and we will do the rest. You need not worry..." Judson Dennis, Camp Merrit NJ circa 1918


Camp Merritt, New Jersey

Dear Bro. and Family-

We arrived here all o.k. We certainly did have one more nice time on our trip to New York City and the wonderful sights we saw. I could never begin to tell you. Tom, listen: don't spend another year in the south. Come to the Northern States. They are the garden spot of the world. Don't take my word for it, but come and see for yourself. Listen, if you will come through the states I came through, over the route I came to New York City, and you have seen the country and if you don't say you like the North 100%: better than the South then I will pay your expenses to New York City and back. I came though eight different states. I will tell you dome of the beautiful cities I come through. We come through Richmond, Virginia, crossed the Potomac River at Washington D. C., stayed there two hours. Then on to Baltimore, Maryland-Willmington, Del., Philadelphia, Penn., Jersey City, N. J., a city noted for its beauty, crossed the Chesapeake Bay. Also the Hudson Bay. The sights I saw on the two bays, Tom, I would not take a thousand dollars for what I saw. We crossed UNDER the Hudson River twice, went under the river. Come through Brooklyn, New York to Hoboken, New Jersey. Camp Merritt. This is a magnificent camp. A place of pleasure and rest before embarking to go abroad. We do not do a thing while we are here but rest and have a big time. The girls from New York City have a magnificent building, a Y.W.C.A. here where they give us a big reception. They sport the diamonds too, believe me, and just as common as an old shoe. They are the friendliest people I ever met. We have a pass to New York City tonight. We are expecting a grand time. Wish you, Minnie, and the kids could be with me. Tom, tomorrow. May 10, 1918. The day we have been looking forward to.

You may use my money if you need it. Tobacco money and all. I decided I would take what money I have here with me. I will let you know later about my mare.

You need not answer until you hear from me again. You know where we will be. Give all my best regards. Write to me when I get to France for I will be anxious to hear from folks at home. So you all just pray that we little Sammies have a chance and we will do the rest. You need not worry.

So goodbye to you all. Kiss the little kids for me for I love them as well as I do my own life.

Your Brother,

Corp. J. Dennis

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Judson W. Dennis was a 24 year old farm boy from Model, Tennessee in Stewart County. He was an unmarried farmer and raised tobacco on land he shared with his brother, Tom. From his letters home, we know that he owned a mare, Old Annie, of which he was very fond. We also know he had many friends and was very fond of his brother Tom and wife Minnie's two little girls, Hazel and Helen. Judson corresponded with his mother Minnie Dunlap Murphy of Granite City, IL and his brother, Thomas Milton Dennis of Tip Top, TN from the time of his departure from Tennessee in Sept. 1917 for Camp Sevier in Greenville, S.C. until days before his death in France in 1918.

Following, in chronicological order are those letters, transcribed by his great-niece, Jan Dennis Philpot. Because of the materials with which he sometimes had to write, as well as creases in the paper, it is sometime difficult to make out all he is saying. In these few cases, a ? appears where this is unclear. Following his letters is a transcription of the telegraph informing Tom of his brother's death, as well as a letter from a soldier friend of Jud's who was with him at his death.

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