Five Months at Camp Devens, 1918

Part of the “1918 Four-brad Bundle”

With America’s entry into World War I in April 1917 a massive mobilization of troops was initiated. Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, was one of the training facilities used for this purpose. Religious support for the troops-in-training was provided, and Earl C. Davis spent five months at Camp Devens (November 1917 through March 1918) in this service.

Included here is correspondence concerning this time and a report Earl Davis wrote about the time, “Five Months at Camp Devens.”

Unfortunately, the correspondence is only that received by Earl Davis. None of his letters have been found. The correspondence includes several letters from Samuel Eliot, then President of the American Unitarian Association, and a letter with accounting details for Earl Davis’ reimbursement from Elmer Forbes, then Secretary of the Department of Community Service for the American Unitarian Association.

Here are the letters from Samuel Eliot:


Here is the letter and accounting details from Elmer Forbes. Note the hand-written addendum with its comment about Germany’s Kaiser:


Here is a scan of Earl Davis’ report, “Five Months at Camp Devens:”


And, finally, here is a transcription of Earl Davis’ report: