NC woman looking for family of soldier who wrote 1944 letter from war

NC woman looking for family of soldier who wrote 1944 letter from war
A woman in Catawba County is searching for the family of a soldier and author of a note, dated Nov. 20, 1944, she found in a book at a thrift store. (Courtesy Laura Stotts)

NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A woman in Catawba County is searching for the family of a veteran and author of a note, dated Nov. 20, 1944, she found in a book at a thrift store.

Laura Stotts found the letter in a 1877 Webster’s Dictionary that she bought at a thrift store about two years ago. Stotts said she doesn’t remember exactly what store it was, but she thinks it may have been Fantastic Finds in Catawba County.

The handwritten note includes harrowing details about the veteran’s experience with war. It’s signed by a John H. Farmer and has two PO Box numbers – 161 and 138 – listed for the post office in Lincolnton.

A quote from the letter reads:

“Today, I went over a battlefield a few days after the battle, one thing that struck me as being most heart breaking was the sight of the personal effects of our boys who was either killed or wounded. Little things such as their toothbrushes, pocket books and pictures of mothers, fathers, sweethearts and wives – and letters from home and love one’s (sic) all were covered with their life’s blood. Scattered all over the place was the poor guys gear such as packs, ammunitions, belts, clothing and helmets and many of their helmets had dead center bullet holes in them. Also was full rations mostly ‘K’ and cigarettes, etc., etc. It really makes a fellow realize that Sherman was right, ‘war is Hell.’”

“Farmer” is a common last name in Lincoln County, but Stotts is still hoping to find a relative of the author. She emailed WBTV anchor Molly Grantham about the note and her search.

Stotts says she would love to hand the letter over to the soldier’s family. If you can help, please email Grantham at mgrantham@wbtv.com.

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