This collection (66 items) is primarily made up of letters that Clarence V. Wherley sent to his wife Sara during World War I. The correspondence includes 42 original letters and 23 contemporary copies of these letters; 21 of the copies accompany the original items, and 2 have no extant original. The final item is a letter from A. E. Wherley to Sara, his daughter-in-law, about Clarence's return home, with an enclosed newspaper clipping (June 2, 1919).
Clarence V. Wherley's letters to his wife Sara, dated July 22, 1918-May 15, 1919, cover the entirety of his time in France, where he served with the 313th Infantry, Company H. Wherley discussed his daily activities, which included drills, marches, and office work, and shared his optimism about an Allied victory. His letters contain few direct references to the fighting, though he mentioned dodging snipers, exploding discovered German ordnance, and traveling from "Hell" to "Heaven." Wherley spent some time in a convalescent center and expressed his joy at returning to his regiment afterward. He described the French villages and scenery he encountered during marches, and his visit to Nice and Monte Carlo in early 1919. His letters also refer to lice inspections, the influenza epidemic, and a lack of correspondence from home. Enclosures include a Christmas card from the 79th Division (January 19, 1919); a printed poem by S. Ralph Harlow, entitled "Your Answer?" (February 18, 1919); a typed history of the insignia of the 79th Division (February 24, 1919); and a copy of The Lorraine Cross, the 79th Division's newsletter (March 26, 1919, enclosed in letter dated April 3, 1919).