A Nine-Year-Old Boy’s Memories of World War I

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A Nine-Year-Old Boy’s Memories of World War I

by Floyd Waldrep
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 1: Spring 1997

"The soldiers unloaded from the train like a colony of ants and invaded the watermelon patch like soldiers in battle."

Everyone was talking about a troop train coming, and that bothered me. I knew it should be a secret. After all, a German spy might be lurking nearby. I knew this train was important because the government was paying a man five dollars a day to guard the railroads in Red Bay, Alabama, the only water stop between Corinth, Mississippi, and Haleyville, Alabama. This proved to me (and I was to be ten years old the middle of September) that it wasn’t safe for everyone to know that this train was loaded with American troops.