168th Infantry WWI Letter Somewhere in France Dec. 19, 1917

This letter was written by a soldier in France during WW1, who was with Company E 168th Infantry. It was written December 19, 1917. From the letter:

“Somewhere in France”
My dear Ernest,

Here we are alive and kicking, principally the latter. We are quartered here in a little old French village. Buildings all of stone all in more or less stages of decay. It’s really quite picturesque to see the peasants running around in their wooden boots and women doing most of the work. Pretty near every family have some cows, a few chickens and a horse or two. The dwelling place in one side of a building and the barn on the other (we live in the barn). There is no “Y” here and am writing this in a little sort of cafĂ© where we occasionally take on a little “red ink” tho we are not imbibing very freely as everybody is broke not having been paid as yet. There are 8 in the quarters I am in and we cluster around our little fire place at night as stoves are almost an unknown quantity in this village. I think there are 3 or 4 in the village.
   We are starting in this week on some fairly heavy work to sort get hardened up for times to come. You can imagine what sort of work when I tell you I feel like a “wop”. I like it O.K. however I am feeling pretty good tho it does five a person an ungodly appetite. Tell cousin Mary that scarf and helmet are sure doing service as it’s at most like Iowa in regards to weather. If she is still knitting tell her I can use all the wool socks she can manufacture. Gi9ve my regards to the boys and much love to all the folks.

Yours, Paul 

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