Letter from Wilson Ashby McElveen, Jr. to his parents, postmarked August 17, 1945


Letter from Wilson Ashby McElveen, Jr. to his parents, postmarked August 17, 1945


Letter written by McElveen, Jr. at The Citadel to his parents in Sumter, S. C.


The Citadel Archives and Museum



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Charleston (S. C.)


[Handwritten on paper with letterhead “Cadet Ashby McElveen, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.]

[Page 1]

Postmarked August 17, 1945

Dear Folks,

I know I haven’t written in about a week but I have been working hard and a lot of things have happened.

Monday when the false statement about peace came, everybody let out a yell. I am glad it didn’t come before it did because I couldn’t have gotten any studying done.

Last night when they announced peace everybody went wild with shouts. Then we had to stay in our rooms for awhile. The battleships on the Ashley were shooting flares, blaring horns and [illegible deletion] sirens and shiny shinning [sic] light that hit the clouds. We were supposed to stay in our rooms but everybody went out on the gallery and sat down. We wandered from room to room in full succession until tatoo [sic]. We had a company meeting then and our captain said we would get leave.

The only leave we got all today was to miss a class by going

[Page 2]

To Chapel. Chapel was over in about an hour so they let us have 50 minutes freedom. Our company commander then told us that General Sumerall [sic] was not going to declare a holiday until the Gov. of S.C. declared a legal holiday for the state.

It has been said on the campus that everybody is celebrating except Germany, Japan and The Citadel. There are numerous rumors about everything flying around so I can’t be too sure about anything.

I think I have found a garage, one of the boys thinks that he knows when one is about 3 blocks from here. I will find out more this week-in [sic] if we get out.

I have marked all my socks. I bought the overcoat for $22.00. I am going to have Mr. Bell to fix it next week.

[Typewritten on paper with letterhead “Cadet Ashby McElveen, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.]

[Page 1]

Friday Aug. 17

Dear Folks,

Well here I sit and I could be there with you all. I believe I could have made it home and back with the rest but I have a lot to do around here.

Mom, Pop told me about you breaking your toe. I hope that it is nothing serious and I know that you will be all right soon. I wrote you all a letter the other night but never did m ail it. I will enclose it just to prove that I did write.

Col. McMurry told us to celebrate inwardly when the news of Japans [sic] Surrender came. That is exactly what we did. The news came at seven and every body nearly went wild. We settled down in about 10 minutes and study period went on as usual except nobody studied. Two boys signed out to the library and went Awol. They found there clothes and caught them coming in. As a result all cadets are not allowed to go to the library during ESP anymore. I dont think the boys are going to be kicked out but they may.

We attended classes as usual the next morning. I was supposed to have a math test but the prof called it off until Thur. We got out of the last two classes before dinner and went to chapel. They had a pretty good service but the best part of it was that we got out in about an hour and had 50 minutes off. After dinner things went as usual but every body was scared the the boys were going to terr [sic] the barracks down that night. Nothing happened so Gen. Summerall published an order giving us today off. We lose about three hours leave tomorrow tho [sic] because the Gov. is coming down.

I went over to have my voice recorded the other afternoon but the recorer [sic] broke just as I got ready to talk into the mike.

They have rented the other three barracks to the Navy because the Navy hasn’t got room out there. There will be 1500 of the boys in blue here before another week is up. They moved about 500 of them out here yesterday. They are eating in the mess hall but we are seprerated [sic] from them. I don’t know what they are going to do out here but I sure hope we don’t have any trouble with them.

[Page 2]

Yesterday afternoon Ray, T C Williams, And I, Mr. Goggans went out and ran the obstacle course. We had a big time. Mr. Goggans wrestled with us and beat us up. Then we went over to the swimming pool. Some of the other upper classmen in our company were there and we had a ducking fight between the upperclassmen vs. the plebes. You can guess who won.

We had a real good supper last night. We had pork chops. I ate three of them. After supper Ray and I loafed around awhile and then went up town to the picture show. We saw “On Stage Everybody” and it wasn’t any good.

Pop I certainly do appreciat [sic] you letting me use the station wagon. We are going to leave it at Jimmy’s aunt’s house until we can find a place close by. I think I know where there is a place that we can rent a garage about threeblocks [sic] from here.

this part of the letter is to that yankee cook of ours.

Well Cook,

Did you have a big time up the road? I hope you did because I have missed some of that fried chicken that you said you were going to send me this summer. I know that you have not gotton [sic] biggity like some of the colored folks do when they go up there. Please take care of Mom and Pop for me while I am away. I can study a lot better knowing that you will be there looking out for mom with her broke toe. Look out for Sister too. Tell all the colored folks hello for me. It is just four weeks before I will be home so you get in practice cooking again because I am really hungry for some of your cooking.

Be good and remember your promise to me.


Well I have to take a shower now and get the mail so I will stop now..



McElveen, Wilson Ashby, Jr., “Letter from Wilson Ashby McElveen, Jr. to his parents, postmarked August 17, 1945,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed June 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1693.