PASCHAL AND MYRTICE MYLES HARRIS COLLECTION

Manuscript MS-2010.13

1934-1981

 

SOURCE:  Jennie Harris

SIZE: 2 lf

SHELVING UNIT: 2 manuscript boxes

PROCESSING: SGH, 2011

 

HISTORICAL NOTE:

            Paschal (Pat) Malcolm Harris was born to M. Rink and Ada J. Harris in Randolph County, Alabama.  He enlisted in the Army at Fort McClellan on 24 February 1941 to serve during World War II.  According to the LaGrange Daily News, while in service in London he received the Soldier’s Medal for “his efforts in subduing a crazed solider [on] Christmas Eve,” 1943.  After the war ended he relocated to LaGrange to be with his new wife, Myrtice Myles.  Mr. Harris worked in the maintenance department at Unity Plant of Callaway and then Milliken Mills.  He passed away Sunday, 18 February 1979 at 64 years of age.

            Born to Mr. and Mrs. Ira Myles of Clay County, Alabama, Alice Myrtice Myles began work at Callaway Mills Elm City plant in March of 1941.  Later, on 11 July 1942, she married Pat Harris.  She and Mr. Harris had one son, Donald Malcolm Harris. Mr. and Mrs. Harris were both members of the United Congregational Church where she served as the nursery director for many years. She passed away on the morning of 8 June 1998 at age 81.

                   

SCOPE AND CONTENT

            The bulk of this collections is made of letters written by Paschal (Pat) M. Harris to his girl friend, fiancé and later wife during World War II.   The first letter is postmarked 1940 and was mailed from Ashland, Alabama. From there, in early 1941 the letters follow Pat to Camp Blanding, Florida. In March 1942, Pat wrote from Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  By June of 1942, the letters are post marked Camp Bowie, Texas.  Until July of 1942 the letters are addressed to Miss Myrtice Miles.  LaGrange Daily News announced the couple was married on July 11, 1942 and the next letter, post marked July 20, is addressed to Mrs. Pat Harris.   A gap in correspondence exists from September 1942 to January 25, 1943 when Mrs. Harris received a response to her request for information from the War Department. The letter confirms that Private Paschal M. Harris had been assigned to a “location unable to be disclosed”.  Throughout 1943 and 1944, correspondence slowed considerably and was mostly microfilmed V-Mail or Victory Mail.   Although the letter does not provide clues to when he would return home, the last war time letter in the collection was post marked June 11, 1945.

            After the war, Mr. and Mrs. Harris found work in cotton mills.  Working different shifts, they often left one another notes regarding such house hold duties as vacuuming and laundry or a request that the newspaper be kept until Mr. Harris returned as he had not had time to read it.  Throughout the mundane duties, however, the sweet banter that began in the war time letters continued to be a theme of their correspondence.  Many of these letters are undated and therefore are simply arranged by author. 

            The earliest of the documents is a 1934 letter written to Myrtice Miles signed Ezra Carter. Another early piece in the collection is an essay written in 1937 for Myrtice’s Junior III English class.  There are loose pages that are marked “diary” that date from around this time.  Three letters from Myrtle, Myrtice’s sister, also exist. Myrtle is occasionally discussed in the correspondence as well.  In addition, a few cards, newspaper clippings, hand written jokes and songs are found.  The final pieces in the collection are cards and a birthday party invitation mailed in the early 1980s.

 

CONTAINER LIST:

Box 1:

Folder:

1          Correspondence, 1940

2-5       Correspondence, 1941

6-12     Correspondence, 1942

13        Correspondence, 1943

14        Correspondence, 1944

14        Correspondence, 1945

 

Box 2

Folder

1-3       Undated notes from Mr. Harris

4-5       Un-mailed letters from Mr. Harris

6          Correspondence from Mrs. Harris to Mr. Harris

7          Diary Entries

8          Miscellaneous writings and clippings

9          Cards  

10        Correspondence to and from other people

 

           

 

TRACINGS:

World War II

Callaway Mills