Sergeant Meyers Slater
a Letter from WWI

Researched by Lisa Slaski

The Morning Herald, Gloversville, NY, 7 Aug 1918

Says Red Cross is Best Friend

Sergt. Meyers Slater Tells How the Boys Over There Appreciate What Organization Has Done for Them.

The following letter describing some of the conditions in France as viewed by Sergeant Meyers E. Slater of the Sixth Engineers' Supply train, who has been in the service for the past eighteen years, was received yesterday by his brother, James E. Slater, 12 Bleecker street, this city. The brothers saw service in the Philippines together at two different times and were in the service together for six years, the former now being in France and the latter living here has caught the spirit from his brother's letters and intends to re-enter the service at the earliest possible moment. The letter, dated July 17th, "somewhere in France," follows:

Dear Brother:

I received your letter the other day and was mighty glad to hear from you so make haste to answer this for it may be the last that you will receive as things are not going as easy now as they were when we put in those six years of service together. Sherman said that war was hell, but believe me hell is not in it with this. I am getting more like a woodchuck every succeeding day as every time that "Jerry" sends over one of his big ones I simply fall into my little dugout until things clear up.

The other night there was a little piece of work to do outside the train and there was a call for volunteers and every man in the company stepped forward to take part in the affair. The work which we accomplished will live as long as there is a history of the United States, when it becomes known what we did, and God certainly must have been with us as we came through with flying colors.

The other day "Jerry" fed us on gas throught the day but none of the company feel any the worse for it as our gas masks are our best freinds on such occasions and we always have them handy for such attacks.

Yesterday two Boche planes attacked and downed two of our large observation balloons, one of the observers being killed and the other landing safely with his parachute. The two Boches were downed by our planes before they could get back to their camps.

There is one thing I want you to do, brother, and that is every time that you have an opportunity I want you to tell the people working for the Red Cross and the members of the Red Cross that everyone of the boys here think of them every minute in the day and every day throughout the month. We pray for them and no one can never say too much about the work which they are doing over here. They are near us the most of the time, supplying us with chocolate, tobacco and everything we could wish for. We never look at our sweaters but were thinking of them constantly and of the many other things which the Red Cross does for us.

As a last word brother, I guess I will tell you about the weather which is never too hot or too cold, but seems to be just right for all kinds of work. All the men, myself included, are in better health than they have ever been and I weigh more than ever before.


Meyers E. Slater was born about May 1868 (might be 1866 or 1867) in Johnstown, Fulton County, NY, a son of Joseph and Sarah Van Duesen Slater (Sarah's maiden name is from her son, James' marriage record to Cecilia Peterson).

He enlisted on 13 Apr 1901 at Syracuse, NY, for the Spanish-American War age the age of 32 years and 11 months old. He was a glove-cutter at the time of enlistment. He had brown eyes, black hair, fair complexion and was 6 foot and 1 inch tall.

He re-enlisted after the end of his 3 year committment in 1904.

His brother, James Edward Slater, was born 28 Mar 1879 in Johnstown and also enlisted on 13 Apr 1901 at Syracues, NY for the Spanish-American War at the age of 22. He was also a glove-cutter. His eyes were blue, hair dark brown, fair complexion and he was 5 foot 7 inches tall. It appears that he also re-enlisted after his 3 year committment. On 2 Nov 1910, he was again residing in Johnstown and working as a deliveryman when he married Cecilia Peterson. Cecelia died in 1924 and James remarried to Bertha Dixon in 1925 I haven't found any indication that he re-enlisted for WWI, but nothing to say that he didn't do so either.


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