November 28, 1918 – Letter to Robert’s mother:
November 28, 18
Fresnes-en Meuse, France
Thanksgiving Day, I hope that all of you have as many things to thank God for as I have. The big thing is our victory over the Boshie and there are so many more, that we can not begin to name them all.
I try to write my letters to each one of the family in turn but they are for the whole family. Then I write to Helen + Bess extra when I have paper and the time.
I was made happy today by receiving a nice box from my cousin Agnes. She is Aunt Aggie’s and Uncle George’s oldest daughter. They sure have been nice to me and I hope I can arrange to go there, before going back to the States.
I got a letter from Helen yesterday. She thinks she is smart using a lot of big words. At last her education is beginning to do her some good.
I got a nice box a couple of days ago from Swift through their Paris branch and have a card saying that there is a box on the way from their London branch. I am well taken care of in that line. I am the only one in the company that gets boxes.
This being a holiday, we have no drill. I am glad for it is awfully wet and muddy. Tomorrow we are going to play war. We are going to capture the city of St. Mihiel. Just to keep in training. It will be a very elaborate problem and a lot of fun. It will be just like real only without the gas and shells and machine guns.
We hear a lot of talk about passing in review before Pres. Wilson and the duke and duchess of Luxembourg. We also hear a lot about going home, but I don’t see how we can go very soon.
I do not know what we are to have for dinner today but I do not think there will be any change from the usual program.
Father Hart who used to be at St. Marks is our chaplain. He holds Catholic services once in a while but I never go. We have another chaplain who is protestant but I have seen him only once. He held one service and I went to it.
Mother I can take care of Elinore alright. We do not need any money from either the Wests or Denzines. She has about five hundred dollars in the bank and I earned it myself so do not worry. Also we do not owe anyone, one cent. I can get a job in the U.S. any time and what is more I can hold it down.
I see three old French women outside looking over the ruins. I suppose they are wondering what they had done to deserve the punishment they have received. Nevertheless they seem cheerful and always say “Bon jour Monsieur.”
I have a little French friend. The one I got acquainted with while on leave. I got a letter from him the other day. He said he was going to the U.S. as soon as he was through school. He is about fourteen or fifteen. His father is a colonel in the French army.
Well Mother I can think of no more news, so I guess I will shave before dinner. Love to all, your obedient son,
Merry Christmas to all.
Well, this letter certainly took a turn when Robert hit page 5. In the few letters he was receiving, there must have been pretty clear indications from his family that they still thought he had made a huge mistake and would struggle after returning home.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.