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Title ALS, 2, by N.T. Cissue(?), U.S.S. Paysandu, to his sister; written & sent from Admiral Benson Service Club, 816 Washington St., Hoboken; Feb 17, 1919; March 5, 1919.
Object Name Letter
Catalog Number 2013.005.0160
Collection Hoboken Societies & Organizations Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a Friend of the Museum.
Scope & Content Two holographic Hoboken letters by N.T. Cissue(?) of the U.S.S. Paysandu to his sister, Mrs. J.W. Pearce, Georgetown, Ohio; sent from Admiral Benson Service Club, 816 Washington St., Hoboken; Feb 17, 1919; March 5, 1919.

Writer was in U.S. Navy and recently re-assigned to U.S.S. Paysandu (it was only in naval service from late January to late June of 1919) from the U.S.S. Edgar F. Luckenbach, both troop transports ship used for transatlantic return of U.S. Army forces from Europe after World War I. Both operated in Hoboken in its role as a Port of Debarkation.

The first letter is a rant about the conditions of the ship, naval life, general hardships including pay and expresses thoughts about desertion. Since he discusses having to go "9 blocks to eat chow 3 times a day" it would consistent that the ship was at a pier near Newark or First Street in Hoboken and that he had to travel to the Admiral Benson Club at 816 Washington which would have been nine blocks away from that pier area.

The second letter has a more relaxed tone as the ship ("boat" as he calls it) has become more seaworthy; it is about to depart (its maiden trip as a U.S. Navy vessel) for Brest, France.

Letter 1: three pages on lined stationery of Admiral Benson Service Club ("National Catholic Service Club for All Men in the Service"; National Catholic War Council), dated February 17, 1919. With: original Admiral Benson Club imprinted envelope; postmarked Hoboken Feb. 17, 1919.

Letter 2: three pages on lined stationery of Visitors House, Camp Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla. ("National Catholic Service Club for All Men in the Service"; National Catholic War Council), dated March 5, 1919. With: original Admiral Benson Club imprinted envelope; postmarked Hoboken March 6, 1919.

The second letter on stationery of organization under the umbrella of the National Catholic Service Club would seem to show the organization's thrift in sending outdated stationery to a still functioning organization for use.

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Ships
Military
Social & Personal Activity
War
U.S. Navy



Notes Archives 2013.005.0160

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Letter 1; Admiral Benson Service Club stationery
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Admiral Benson Service Club
816 Washington Street
Hoboken, N.J.

Hoboken, N.J.
Feb. 17, 1919

Dearest Sis

Your letter came a few days ago and of course was very welcome and along with your letter came the word to pack bags & hammocks for transfer well I did and along with 14 other sailors we were transferred to the U.S.S. Paysandu and I thought the Edgar F. [this was the USS Edgar F. Luckenbach which served as a troop transport ship in 1918-1919] was a madhouse honestly it was home compared to what I have now for this boat just came in commission and is an old German passenger & cargo boat and of all of the sweet smelling places well this boat is the worst of all for it has been interned somewhere in S. America [Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center: Uruguayan passenger - cargo ship, formerly the German Bahia of 1898] for the last 3 years and everything shut all the time besides that there is no heat, no water and no quarters for the crew and we have to work just the same and walk about 9 blocks to eat cold chow 3 times a day or do without and still people wonder why sailors dessert [sic - desert] the Navy. Of course, the Red Cross is doing all they can for us but all the executive officers would have to do is say one word and we would get subsistence money but he won't say it for he gets his and we get to die with the pneumonia or the "flu" if we don't freeze before it happens, well it's just like this if something don't happen real soon this boy is surely going to dessert for when you have to sell your clothes to get money to sleep & eat decent after paying 2 prices for them in the Navy and only getting $35.90 for month well it's just too dog gone much for me.

Had a letter from Thelma just the day before yours came telling me about going to visit you and it surely pleased me for I'm mightly glad you two are on good terms and that she is doing the right thing now and I am writing her to-day.

Well, honey, that's all for to-day except that honorable discharge seems farther away than every but you can't even tell just what might happen where I am concerned, but you wrote to me just the same.

Tell Betty Lou that her Uncle is surely in hard luck but that I lover her just as much and to be a good baby for my sakes. Tell Billy howdy and keep lots of love for yourself from

Your Bud
N.T.

U.S.S. Paysandu
New York City
c/o P.M.

[end letter 1]

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envelope addressed to:

Mrs. J.W. Pearce
Georgetown, Ohio

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pencil note on envelope front presumably by recipient:
Transferred to U.S.S. Paysandu
Very discouraged

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Letter 2; Visitors House, Camp Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla. stationery
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Hoboken, N.J.
March 5, 1919

[penciled note by recipient: 23 yrs old.]

Dearest Sis:

Am sailing Sunday A.M. Mar. 9 on my birthday, for Brest, France and altho I would asmuch rather go back to Marseilles or even to Italy but you know I haven't any say about that so I guess it will be Brest.

Haven't heard from Thelma yet and I would certainly like to have a letter from her before I leave and maybe I will but it looks doubtful so far.

The boat is getting better right along now but I still miss the old Edgar F. and all the old bunch that was on it. Did I tell you that it sailed last Sunday morning.

Altho it's raining to-night the weather for the last week has been good and you wouldn't hardly know the old boat with it's new coat of war color paint (slate color) and all the boat look funny after being camouflaged so long but they aren't half so much trouble to paint now.

Was up to a dance for about 30 minutes to-night but didn't dance any as I am out of date now and don't care learn how all over again. Are they " Shaking the Chimney " [cataloger's note: probably a 1919 dance known commonly as Shaking the Shimmy or Chemise - it was popularized in 1919 on Broadway and the writer was in New York] there now. You know that's the latest dance and it's about 3 months old at at that. It's some dance all right.

Well, honey that's all to-night but I don't know when I will be back but I guess it will be warm enough for Coney Island and I will be able to tell you about it in my next letter. I hope so anyway and I almost forgot that we are scheduled to go into dry dock in France and if we do this boy is going to see Paris or die.

Tell Billy howdy and so long for me and love Betty Lou for about an hour for her old uncle N.T. and tell her may be I will come to see her when I get back with luck and with lots of love to my dearest Sister I am

Her Sailing Bro. N.T.

U.S.S. Paysandu
c/o P.M. N.Y.C.

[end letter 2]

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envelope addressed to:

Mrs. J.W. Pearce
Georgetown, Ohio

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pencil note on envelope front presumably by recipient:
Sailed for
Brest, France
on Mar 9th
23rd birthday.

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Date 1919
Year Range from 1919
Year Range to 1919
Search Terms U.S.S. Edgar F. Luckenbach
U.S.S. Paysandu
Admiral Benson Service Club
816 Washington St.
World War I
Port of Debarkation
U.S. Navy
Caption letter 1, pg [1]: Admiral Benson Service Club, Feb. 17, 1919
Imagefile 214\20130050160.TIF
Classification Ships
Military
Social & Personal Activity
War
U.S. Navy