Infantry 1st Lieutenant WWI Letter France Nov. 9, 1918


This letter was written by a 1st Lieutenant, who was in the Infantry, in France, just  two days before Armistice, during the closing days of WWI. From the letter……

  We are now back resting in a small French village. Real rest too. Haven’t’ done a darn thing and don’t think will have to for a while, as we are due a rest, not a so called rest. Received our mail, the first we had received in about six weeks and are due to get another batch. Received your letters of Spt. 8, 18, 22, 24, 26, 30, Oct. 6 and 8 and a box of cigars. Now you must bet I was a happy boy. Every letter was appreciated and the cigars could not have reached me at a more opportune time, as there are none to be bought near here. Had a most delightful time smoking and reading, and they were such nice letters too.
   Was a complete surprise, the cigars, as you had no order giving permission to mail them, and was a near miracle they ever reached me. Don’t try it again as near4ly impossible to get a package through even with an order. Am enjoying a “Tampa Six” and writing.
   Rambled around South Georgia a little and know something of the sand and can appreciate your Auto troubles. Think from the sand and roads you are doing just fine, and as for house keeping know you have it down pat and would give a great deal just to drop in on your home, eat supper with you and your friend and do about three or four hours rapid fire talking. Wouldn’t be necessary for it to be a Sunday dinner, just your ordinary every day meal would be all that could want. Guess now though you are at school once more. How does it feel? Would certainly like to see you in your khaki uniform, though have a pretty good mental picture. Now just bet the six county agents, each with a car, let Sylvania wake up did you, well don’t believe you could have enjoyed it more than I would have.
   Talking about Country Fairs, know you must be having a hard time getting exhibits etc, but you have such a good time at the Fair mingling with friends, making new friends, etc. and see your efforts rewarded by a successful four, well it’s great, there’s no place like the county, the county fair etc. And you help with the registering of the new draft too, well if you are not the busiest party I know of, but if you had a record of the humorous incidents would be quite a list and interesting as know the kind of people you had to deal with.
    As to my dug out, well the war we have been fighting lately is out of the dug out territory and don’t stop long enough to dig any, just little fox holes where we are temporarily held up. Haven’t seen a dug out for quite a bit, been living in woods, fox holes, on hill sides, etc. We are not permitted to carry a Kodak, though occasionally some one is seen with one even though it is against orders, but they claim can hardly ever get the pictures developed as we move so often, never at one place long enough to do anything. Haven’t’ any at the present could send you, but if peace is declared we will then be in position to take all kinds of pictures, though two of my best friends, who had been in the Co. all the time, were killed.
   Certainly glad you enjoyed the candy, and would have rather  been present then to have been any where else in the world, and as for thanks you could not possibly have appreciated it more than I did the cigars, and as have been rather “bold” in a few of my letters might just as well tell you that would have saluted you, without first asking permission, the way the French would have deemed proper, a kiss.
   Now we have been away from where we could get mail, have the usual communication with Hq. and are just getting back, we were either near the front as reserves, support or front line and did not have an opportunity to get the card entitling us to a Xmas package, and I think one would be too late so am not sending any either to home or to you, but I appreciate your gift just the same, and after reading why you want to send me something, I just stopped, smoked, and reflected. Who couldn’t fight, who couldn’t give his best when there is such a little girl as that backing him up. You will never be able to know how I appreciated your request , and the ring of sincerity it gave, and does me more good than any gift could.
   Ever since we have been in this part of France, in fact ever we have been over here, except the first two months, we have had the YMCA with us. Where we could get American supplies, and the YMCA, there is always one with the reg., and most of the time are with each Bn., goes right with us, moves when we move, always carrying the articles the American Doughboy desires, giving to him free writing paper and envelopes, sends his money home for him, furnishes him amusements, supplying him with athletic equipment, balls, bats, gloves, footballs, basket balls, etc. and their work in having supplies at hand that the soldier wants and furnishing amusements, acting as banker as club room, as friend have lightened the arduous life of campaigning in a country where American articles and supplies and amusements can be had no where else, considerably. There is nothing that helps him more than to be able to go to the “Y” at any time he wants to, he knows he is always welcome there and can meet and chat with his friends. The Y is something in common with all soldiers, and they appreciate it’s efforts.
   Enclosed herewith find a picture of yours truly, was made along the middle of Sept. just before we pulled out to be up in and around the big show.
   Am getting along all right, enjoying our rest, haven’t had a leave ye, but the rest is so are as I am concerned nearly as good. We smoke, read, eat, map experiences of the recent fighting and have a real nice time.
   With best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, a pleasant stay at Athens, a Happy Xmas, an enjoyable visit to Carnesville.

With much love,
 

No comments: