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Recruitment and Camp Perry

The Ohio National Guard unit in Marion was called to mobilize at its armory on July 15, 1917. Orders were issued to recruit to a strength of 150 men. On August 13, the 4th Ohio was ordered to assemble at Camp Perry, Ohio near Sandusky.

Its not known if Grandpa was already a member of the Ohio National Guard of if he had just enlisted as a result of WWI. Since he says that they are "getting new clothes... a whole new outfit," that would lead us to believe that he already had a uniform that was not new.

Camp Perry, Ohio
Aug 14, 1917

Dear Folks,

We got here yesterday at 4 o'clock and have been busy every since. We got our tents up before dark. We get our new clothes tomorrow, a whole new outfit. Everybody was surprised by our coming up here. We are about five miles from town. There is a co. store here you can buy tobacco and most everything you want. We had review tonight but didn't drill any today. Don't know how long we will be here. They have everything fixed up pretty well now. There is nobody here but the 4th regiment and I guess that is all that is going to be here. I think we will go south when we get all our stuff. We are only about 15 min. walk from the lake and it is a good place to bathe. You can wade out a half a mile or more with out getting over your head. When you write address it to:
Mess kit utensils & a screw driver for the M1903 rifle from Grandpa's effects

Austin D. Boyd
Co. D 4th O. Inf.
Camp Perry, Ohio

Well I guess this is all for now. Will write when I can. Your son

Having been at Camp Perry for a week, we can assume that things have settled down to routine and now the rumors are starting about where they are going next. As usual, the rumors are wrong.

Camp Perry, Ohio, Aug 30, '17

Dear Folks,

Well how are you? I am allright. It has been pretty wet here the last few days but it is drying off now. I got a letter from Edna and Cary both this week. I think we will leave here in a week or so. That Rev. Holiday that used to preach at the Methodist Church is our Chaplain and he is postmaster also. The grub is pretty good but not too plenty sometimes. I haven't heard from Mollie yet but I wrote her a week ago Sunday. They have changed our regiment from the 4th O. to the 166th U.S. Inf. so address your letters that way after this but be sure to put Co. D. on it as some of it is lost anyway. There are some of the boys I knew in Mt. Gilead in Co. A from Cardington. I got 2 suits of under clothes, another shirt, 3 pair of shoes, a poncho, a new mess kit, a cot, 2 blankets, a straw tick, and will get a lot more stuff before we are done with our outfit. We are to get 2 wool suits and 2 suits of underclothes and more socks and shoes, hats, gloves, and so on. We get a shelter half and a haver sack and I don't know what all yet that we take right with us when ever we move camp. I am going to send some money home next payday if we ever get another one. Well I guess this is about all.

Your son,
A.D. Boyd

This letter like many that will come, reflect his concern for his parents financial situation. He is sending money home for them. His father being a retired farmer would have no real income, and Grandpa being the youngest child and still living at home, is basically supporting his parents. His father did run a "truck garden" (a large garden big enough to have things to sell - truck to market).

On September 7, the newly formed 166th infantry moved by train to Camp Mills on Long Island, New York.