Exhibit highlights delivery of mail to service members

Published: Monday, May 12, 2014 at 09:42 AM.

In 1864, Rachel Walters wrote to her husband David: “I have got me a new cloak and hat at last. The cloak cost six dollars and seventy five cents and hat cost 2.80 cts I would not mind wearing them if you was here to see me wear them but as it is I do not feel right for the soldiers wives here have the name of spending all that their husbands send them for finery and I am determined that I will not do that.”

An Army nurse, in 1943, sent a letter home: “We’ve sung and resung all the old songs that we can remember the words to and the other songs we just hum the melody.” She then asks her sister to send along phonograph needles and the words to “Star Dust,” “Make Believe” and “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.”

Craig Raimey, marketing and communications manager at Tryon Palace, said the display is especially important in the New Bern area.

“You’ve got to keep in mind that here we’ve got a very strong military presence … you have a lot of people that live here who have very strong ties to the military,” he said. “A lot of those people know what it’s like first hand to be deployed, to receive letters, mail, packages while they’re overseas. It gives those people a tactile connection to home.”

Hours at the Duffy Exhibit Hall are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Bill Hand is a reporter and photographer for the Sun Journal.

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