April 6, 1919 – Letter to Robert’s mother:
General something-or-other said to the First Army “You are on the Meuse, stay there.” That was when I was in the First and we had just started fighting on the Meuse Argonne Front. Well we stayed on the Meuse till Nov. 11th and about six months after. Till we all thought that we were doomed to die on the Meuse of old age, but at last I am on the sea and Chaplain Edwards said this morning that this was our last Sunday in France, and I am weeping no tears unless they be of joy.
We are now completely in the S.O.S.
We do not stand reville but have to get up a half hour earlier for breakfast. There are no formations but you must stay around in case there should be. When the [something] whistles three times section “D” eats and if he forgets to blow it you don’t eat at all. There are two S.O.S. guards in each barrack who open + close the windows and turnout the lights at 8 p.m. If you go a foot out of bounds there will be twenty M.P.s on you and you will get from 30 to 60 days more in France. You can only wash your face at given times. You can’t call your life your own, if you expect to go home with your outfit.
But they feed fine, give away chocolate + candy, have shows every night and lots of other things unknown till we hit the S.O.S. They even have a S.A. hut here that gives away doughnuts if you get there at 2 so you can get one by seven p.m. So far I haven’t had the courage to wait for a doughnut that long, but I do really believe that they put them out even if I haven’t seen any.
But I don’t care a bit for all the good things that they can do for me. I am mighty glad that I am still alive and all together and as near home as I am. Some of the poor boys are still in Germany, and may be there some time.
There is no news. When the war was going on there was lots to write about but news is scarce now.
No doubt you will be out at the Lake when this comes, making garden. Have you told Mrs. [something] to set a hen this year, or did you forget it.
Your loving son, Rob.
I just can’t even express how happy I am that Robert quoted Chaplain Edwards by name. I have very few opportunities left to say how much I love the Chaplain’s book, From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry. It has been invaluable during this project.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.