March 27, 1919 – Letter to Robert’s mother:
It seems I told you a little too soon that you should stop writing to me, for I have received no mail for a week, but I’ll leave France soon so I did not miss it far. However I will be lonesome without any mail. The latest dope out is that we leave here Apr. 2nd for Brest (If the spook that started this dope had made it Apr. 1 I would have known it was untrue).
We had our final inspection today out of the sand in the rain. The S.O.S. inspectors are very important appearing and hold these field inspections holy. Rain or no rain. Of course our blankets etc. are wet + filled with sand. The lieut said if we had any cooties they would not bite tonight because their eyes would be filled with sand + they couldn’t find us. But I am rid of them now. I change underwear twice a week + boil the suit I take off just to make sure. They have a good bath house here. It is a hot shower that can bathe 1,000 men in four hours. They have to turn on cold water to drive us out.
Our Major has been made a Lieut Colonel and I am very glad for he is a fine man.
They say that the 35th will parade at St. Louis + Kansas City for two days on our return but I may not be held for this.
Since we got our typho inoculations we have had little to do but tomorrow I guess we will work on the roads in camp again. Just to kill time.
The address that you sent me for Gilbert is Reg. Sup. Sgt. Hdq. Co. Regimental Supply Sgts. are always in the Supply Co., as far as I know. Perhaps that is the reason why he did not receive my two (2) letters. At least he has not answered.
The thought has come to me lately that perhaps you expect me to come home loaded with German helmets etc. For some reason or other the doughboys who have lots of chance to get such junk won’t be bothered with it. We never get the fever. The other branches of the service go wild over the stuff and will no doubt flood the U.S. with it. Signal men, railway engineers etc. will pay a hundred dollars for a Bosh helmet that I wouldn’t carry ten feet.
Lately we have been buying canned peaches + caned milk and eating them before going to bed. Pretty swell after one year of prunes and dried apples.
I cut out a picture of a big steaming hot boiled ham in color from a Post + put it up on the bulletin board. It was down in the morning. I guess someone saw it + went crazy + tried to eat it.
Most of the men were in bed from the typho shot yesterday but I didn’t miss any meals.
Well Mother I must get my bunk made before taps. The S.O.S. won’t allow any lights after taps.
Love from your loving son, Rob.
Will be home about May 15. R.
Hard to track down a “picture of a big steaming hot boiled ham in color from a Post,” but you can get the idea pretty easily. Robert’s pre-war employer, Swift, was famous for their delicious-looking print ads:
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.