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Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze

Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

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LETTERS HOME

Judson W. Dennis; Sergeant, Company L, 119th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces

March 18, 1892 ~ October 17, 1918

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.

August 17, 1918 France

My dear Mother-

How are you all by now? I'm well and getting along just fine. I have been on the front and just come back to the rest camp for rest. I haven't heard from you all in nearly three weeks. I'm real anxious to hear from you all- when you don't hear from me when you think you ought to don't be uneasy about me. I will write you ever chance I have. I would like to hear from you all ever week- I got twelve letters while I was at the front. You can't have any idea how glad we chaps are when we get a letter from the land of the free.

Have you all ever sold my tobacco yet? How does old Annie look now or has Tom sold her yet? And have you ever rec'd my bonds yet? If you haven't I guess you will get them in a short time. I wrote Tom to deposit them in the bank when they came. I want him to get my business together for me and get it in to money for me and I told him he may use it if he needs it, and just keep the amount together for I will need it if I ever return, and if I never return, you and him will get it, and listen. My next pay day I think I will send $100 home and you can add it to my account.

Well I will not have time to write much this time. I will write you again soon. I have some more letters to write. Listen, when you write you may write what you wish to and as much as you want to. Some seem to think you all could not write but so much, but that is a mistake. Your mail is not censored. Our mail is censored. So tell me all the news when you write, and tell the folks around to think of me once and awhile by writing me a few lines. Just a word or two from them will be highly appreciated. Tell them we little chaps get awful lonesome "over here" and a good word or two would cheer us so much. Of course the little French girls are very pretty and show us a real nice time, but we can't forget the girls at home.

How is little Hazel and Helen? How I wish I could see them. Tom said he was going to have their pictures made and send me one. Don't let him forget it.

How is Minnie? I hope she is in good health by now. Tell my friends I have many souveneirs collected to bring back home and I will bring them some too.

Give my best regards to all.

Your son,
Cpl. J.W.D.

....next letter

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information on The Olive Tree Genealogy pages, all transcriptions are subject to human error, and researchers should always check the original source of any list.

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