Dec. 15, 1918

                                                                        Bendorf Germany
Dear Mother, Dad & Sis:-
This is one day when I am going to write a letter and I think it can be mailed in the near future. None of my letters that I have written since the war[,] have started [been mailed yet] as we have had no out going mail on this big trip. There is a lot that I want to tell you so I’ll start a way back. The first letter I wrote you may sound sort of blue as I was still sick[1]. About half the company was sick and a lot went to the hospital but a lot of us managed to stick it out on the trip and now we are here. I am feeling fine today and have been for some time. We have had really a wonderful trip through Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany. We crossed the Rhine yesterday afternoon (Dec 14) about 4:30. We are stationed at present in a real nice little city with good bunks to sleep in in upstairs rooms of buildings in the main part of the city and real street cars go by all the time. Reminds one sort of home. We are beginning to be civilized now. The other day were all taken to a big bath house for a bath and I put on new socks, underwear, shirt & trousers and felt like a human being. It was the first real bath I had had since Oct. 27[2] except for sponge baths from a bucket of water. Oct 27 to Dec 13 is some time. Today I got a hair cut in a Dutch barber shop and we have a good place to keep clean so we are setting on the world. Also got my ingersoll[3] watch fixed.
We got one months pay the other day, the first we have had. Only $7.50 and I owed half of it and it is all gone now. I bought a bunch of post cards to bring home with me. Also bought this paper. We have no YMCA.
            Your last letter was wonderful. The one written at the close of the war. I am so dreadful sorry that no mail has started home from me but it has been impossible as no mail has been sent. I know you will feel uneasy until you get these letters which will come all at once. If there was any way I could cable you I sure would, but someday you will get this and someday I will be home and that will be the great day.
            Did I never tell you that I am in the second division[4] which is one of the three crack[5] divisions as well as one of the divisions picked for the army of occupation. We hope to be relieved and sent home but I don’t know if there is any chance.
            No I never got the letter with gum [censored]

[1] Harry does not clearly state it, but it appears he had the Spanish Flu and didn’t want to worry the family.
[2] November 1, 1918 - After pausing to regroup and resupply, Allied armies resume their eastward march as the U.S. 1st Army and newly formed U.S. 2nd Army attack remaining German positions along the Meuse River near southern Belgium.
[3] Ingersoll found lasting fame with its Yankee one-dollar timepiece (“The watch that made the dollar famous”); it sold over 50 million of them between 1895 and 1918.
[4] “The 2nd Division, 25,000 men strong, contained a brigade of regular Marines and a brigade of volunteer army troops.” Zachary Kent. World War I The War to End Wars. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1994.
[5] crack (krak), adj. of superior excellence. Webster's Approved Dictionary, 
The World Publishing Company, 1954, Cleveland and New York

No comments:

Post a Comment