September 22, 1918

Dear Dad, Mother & Sis:-
Another week has rolled by and I will continue my one sided conversation with you all.  You all used to say I did about all the talking and I sure am now.  Still no mail.  Confound the luck.  I wonder if you are getting my letters.  If not we sure are having a great time jabbering at each other like a long distance telephone on a stormy day only a heap worse.  Gee how I wish I could tell you all I would like to.  It was not so bad last winter when I was out in New Mexico cause then I could write and tell you all I was doing and you could write back.  I recon our mail will blow on before long.  Some of the fellows have been getting some. 
The last two weeks sure have been busy ones for us.  It’s all over now.  The first period of service at the front for me.  We are back in a little town now for a sort of rest and a chance to clean up, sleep up and get fed up again.[1]  None of our company got hurt in this trip.  Every body is sort of tired and all “cootied up”[2].  Tom and his outfit went over the top.[3]  I was up the afternoon of the morning they went over and he told me all about [it].  We saw a heap of boche prisoners brought back.  Plenty of shells were busting around us at [the] time.  One fellow who was in our old battery at Camp Jackson was killed.  He was in another company of the Amunition Train.  Tom said one hit near the edge of the trench he was in and blame near buried him with dirt when it caved in.  
You would not think that anything in war could be interesting but the areoplane fights really are wonderful to watch.  No bird can pull off the stunts they do.  It really looks like a lot of birds twisting around in the air spitting smoke at each other.  They are hard to hit because they go so fast.  Some of them get it too.  
We are now stationed in a real pretty little village.  Sleeping in atticks, hay mows and the like.  Up to now I did not think much of the French people but the people here are bright clean people.  The town is clean too which is more than I can say for any other village I have seen.  The people seem most as pleasant and intelligent as the English.  And this is a heap prettier country than any we have been in before.  Perhaps it seems so because it is not full of trenches and shell holes.

Shell hole
© Harry Faris 2010

Boy heck.  I hear the village church bell ringing.  I think I will quit and hunt up Greer and go to church and see what it is like.  I was out on a trip this morning & did not get back till after dinner.  Have been inside of a real church just twice since I joined the army.
            Oceans of love,


[1] “As the war ground on, the fighting forces in the trenches faced a bizarre existence.  Soldiers were rotated in and out of the front lines, sometimes going to the countryside, where they bathed, rested, ate well…Then, back in the trenches, they were faced with the misery of mud, slugs, frogs, rodents, lice, and often utter boredom.”  Kathlyn Gay and Martin Gay. World War I . New York: Twenty-First Century Books, 1995.
[2] "Cooties", in the World War One sense of the word, were tiny little bugs that lived in the seams of uniforms for that unlucky multitude who lived in the trenches.
[3] Over the top – Once the artillery bombardment had pounded the enemy’s defenses, the infantry climbed out of the trenches and advanced toward enemy lines… Gaps in the defensive line were filled by highly mobile machine gunners. Against them a soldier armed with only a rifle and bayonet and laden with heavy equipment was an easy target. Simon Adams. Eyewitness WORLD WAR I. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2001.

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