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(collection) Paul Eliot Green Papers (#3693). Selected letters, 1917-1919
Paul Eliot Green
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Manuscripts Dept., Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Call number SHC #3693 (Manuscripts Dept., Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Goldsboro N. C.
Possibly you think I don't care about writing to all of you. If you do think that, you almost think the truth. Everything seems so far removed and foreign to the things around home that a reminder of home affairs isn't so very pleasant as one might think. I wrote papa a short note while I was up town a day or two ago. I hope he has received it. If I don't write often you may know I don't have time, or have nothing to write.
We are leaving here for Charlotte to-morrow morning--a trip of 231 miles. We shall have to travel all to-morrow afternoon and night. You may know I dread it--all. Our job will be to aid in constructing the camp for the northern troops. So far as I know we shall have to dig trenches for the water pipes, put in sewage, etc. But we needn't care--Lloyd and I. While we eat like hogs and as much, we needn't dread
"Oh, you had a good home but you left it!"
"It's mighty d--n hard,
But I tell you it's fair;
For you had a good home
And wouldn't stay there."
"I fight and I shoot,
don't give a d-- m;
For I'm a-doing nine years
For old Uncle Sam."
An many more. You can hear the fellows singing such rhymes every day. After all, everyone is somewhat of a poet.
When I was at Chapel Hill, I thought that was a rough place; but this is the roughest place on earth. The profanity of the soldiers
The drill leaders are pretty rough on you. Some of the men have fainted each day while drilling since I came. The way they bring them to their senses is to send three men for three buckets of water. Then they dash these on them and in their faces. After doing that they grab them by the collar and shove them back into ranks. One fellow drilled beside me this morning, coughing and vomiting every few minutes. After a short time, he fell out and lay in the hot sun, slobbering like steer. After they had
All the fellows are expecting to go to France. Everett asked me a few minutes ago why in the h--I wanted to study French, for I was going to be killed in France. Yes, but such as that will help me to keep straight.
I was vaccinated about an hour ago. Didn't hurt much.
Say, you needn't write until you hear from me. I shall write as soon as I can.
Love to all,
Hurriedly,The swear words were used to give you a touch of camp life. For my part, I never am going to curse. I'm going to stay straight. It will not be hard for me to do it, for all profanity and vulgarity sickens me.
Camp Greene, Aug. 11, 1917
Doubtless you think I haven't thought of you since leaving home. But I have. We have so many things to do that our time for writing is very small. We get up at 5:15 in the morning, and immediately go up to a high place in the field for our morning exercise, which consists in deep breathing, arm, head, back, neck, legs, and knee movements. Such work will soon make one strong. At 6:00 o'clock
When we finish breakfast, drill hours begin--from 7:00 till 11:30; and then back for dinner. After dinner we go back to drill, and then come in to supper at 6:00 o'clock. We don't drill
It's quite odd--unpleasant to some, too--how we sleep at night. Eight men stay in one tent--16'x16'. Each one sleeps on a separate cot. Of course, several of my tent-mates are not nice men, and accordingly I try to listen to their talk as little as possible.
Often at night five or six of the men in my tent will start snoring. And they surely do keep up a racket. Last night I listened to them until I had to laugh as much as they worried me. One fellow snored so peculiarly! The noise sounded as if he had a handful of fleas up his nose. But after all, this noisy lot bothers me very little. When bedtime comes I usually am so tired that I sleep quite soundly.
When you write, tell me all about your plans for going to school this fall.
It is time for dinner, and on that account I must close.
Love to all,
Greenville, S. C.
[18 Sept. 1917]
For some time I have wanted to write you, but owing to the fact that I have been so busy I have not been able to do so. But now we are not quite so overrun with accounts. Possibly we never shall have so much book work to do again, at least, not until we are mustered out. The men in charge of the supply department before us left the books in the worst tangle imaginable. That accounts for our having to do double duty during the last month and a half.
I received a card from Hugh tonight. He mentioned that he was coming to Greenville some time near the 18th instant, that is today. As yet I don't know whether he is here or not. At the earliest chance I am going to try to find out. If he has come or is to come I'm going to try to get him transferred to my company. He would do as well
As I mentioned in my last letter, I am liking this life as well as I could like it. Grumbling is not in my line of business, and I find that the only wise method in the army is to take whatever comes along. One most throw away his own likes and dislikes, and become a part of the big whole. Of course, it is reasonable to think that the only way for any army to be effective is to have each individual lose his individuality and become, like the atoms in a driving wheel, only a part of the machinery. But I can tell you it goes against the grain for a man to have to give himself free-heartedly and unreservedly to the Government. The only thing that keeps me sound
I am very glad to see cotton bringing such a good price. You doubtless will have a nice sum of money to put away after everything is cleared off. If you can, I wish you would put as much of my (nominally mine) cotton money in the bank as you could. I'm trying to save what I can. Seeing that the liberty bond investment was a good thing I bought one $200 bond, as I mentioned in my last letter. This is to be paid for in instalments. Of course, this isn't much, but it will help some. Have you bought any bonds? Another thing I want to mention. Please see that John gets the $60 I owe him. I should pay him out of my salary if I could, but my instalments amount to $20 per month. Now if you otherwise can't out one cent away,
We are taking special training now to make us hard. Every afternoon we have a great football game. Also boxing and baseball are required. As a result of yesterday's football game, I am limping on both legs. But I think by to-morrow I shall be O.K. We still dig trenches, build machine gun emplacements, and fortify hills with the same vim as that of a few weeks ago. In short, we try to do a little of everything.
Yesterday, our first lieutenant, Guy L. Winthrop--and by the way he is about the best friend I ever had--told me that the war department had scheduled the engineers to leave for France the
Johnson certainly wants to go home, but "He's in the army now." No passes are to be issued now except in case of "life" or deaths or something worse.
With love to all,
Your long wished-for letter came--or was awaiting me--when I came back to camp this afternoon. I enjoyed reading your short one and Gladys' long one very, very much; in fact, more than you would think. As I read about the cake --between the lines, of course--I could not doubt that the women of the world play as important part in this war, and will play, as the men. Should you believe it if I should
(The above was written beside a little branch below camp. While I was writing the bugle blew for supper and I had to quit my letter.) Now I am at the Y.M.C.A. building, situated just across the road from our tents. The house, once a school building, is full of boys in khaki writing, singing, smoking, playing checkers, the victrola, and everything else possible. On the outside a basketball game is in progress. But amid all the uproar I am as much alone as if I were out in the mountains. You have heard
Today has been the most wonderful I have had since
Why didn't you write me in regard to Hugh's leaving. Today I received the first intimation that he was compelled to go to Columbia. I was hoping against hope that he would be spared. What will papa do now? As for writing to Hugh that is out of the question until I shall be able to learn his address. I wish I knew his Co. now; there are many things I should like to talk over with him. When you write again--and may it be soon--tell me
Yes, you must come to Greenville, if you can. Doubtless I shall not be able to go to Columbia with you, but I shall be glad to see you. But listen: If papa
How good it is that papa has a son like John to rely on in this strangely unreal hour! The whirlwind of war has sucked our home in at last, but I believe each of us will live a fuller life when it's all over--say the night when we all meet again and sit down to our first meal together. If one were an atheist he almost would believe there was a power above to ask that we might be spared for such a meeting. But there shall be pleasure after pain in every act of life and --beyond. On this the Christian's Heaven is built. Sometimes this whole preparation for war, the moving soldiers, the thundering
Tell the children I am more than gratified at their studiousness. What can I buy them Xmas that will be worthy of them. Sometimes I know I have the greatest sisters in the world. One is a Mary with all that her name implies,
Cousin Flossie wrote me a beautiful letter, which I am enclosing. Please send it to Gladys as that was her request.
You don't know how much I shall appreciate your sending the watch. Please mail it carefully. My address is Camp Sevier, Greenville, 105th U. S. Engineers, Co. B.
Write me about the crop. Is papa making much corn.
Don't you think the beginning of Germany has begun. It may take a year to finish her, but I believe she's started down hill never to come up again.
Tell Erma I shall write her and send the pictures we took today as soon as soon as they're made.
Love to all,
Nov. 22, 1917
Mary's good letter came to-day and under the spell of it I'm writing home. I should write oftener, and really wish I could, but the chances for writing often are slim enough here. During day one has no time for writing, and in the night there always
As I mentioned, I am
Hugh passed here this afternoon, coming from the rifle range on the mountains. The infantry has been there at rifle practice for the last week or two, and all day long we could hear a steady roar of fire. I'm getting a good idea of what a battle means. The sound of rifle fire is enough to deafen one, not taking into consideration the heavy artillery. I haven't heard any of that yet, but I shall soon as
And another touch of real war I am getting is the gas--gas exactly like that the armies are using in Europe. A doctor from Europe is here teaching the use of the gas mask. Last week Captain Boesch appointed Sgt. Cureton and myself to attend the gas school. Of course I was pleased with the honor, small tho' it
Now think of having to wear that thing hour after hour. The most disagreeable thing about it is that the saliva gets all over one's face and clothes. My, I sometimes felt as I'd vomit, but there was no taking it off. They drilled us hour by hour with that thing on. Yesterday we took a test of chlorine gas. With the mask on you are safe. But the minute it is taken off, the gas almost suffocates you. When one is in a gas attack, at the word "gas!", he stops stock still holding his breath, while he puts the mask on. The required time to take it from the satchel and place it over the face, with the mouthpiece and nose clip adjusted perfectly is 6 seconds. Very few have been able to put it on in that time. The ability to do it comes with practice, of course. I've done it only twice so far in the required time. I shall be glad when I get out teaching other fellows how to do it.
Now for a few jerky paragraphs:
We are quarantined for an indefinite time on account of measles, pneumonia, and meningitis. Many poor boys have died, as many as six in one night. But I think I am safe from any attack. I'm trying to see after Hugh, too.
I've taken out $10,000 insurance for Caro and Erma, $5,000 each. You see there's no telling what may happen to me. This with the bonds takes nearly all my salary, but I'm wanting them to be sure of an education either way. Tell Erma and Caro I'm proud of them both. Wish I could write; too busy now.
Tell Mary I'm writing to the beautiful Miss Byrd in Greenville. Can't say how I like her tho she writes a splendid letter.
Will you send some copies of The Daily News with my stuff in them. I'm going to try to get away Xmas. Don't know. Tell Mary to leave off the turkey for Tkg. Send other.
Am working to get into officer's training school. Slim chance. Too many old men ahead of me.
105th U. S. Engineers
Mar. 14 : 18
My dear Mary:
Just a note before the other sergeants come in. For sometime I've been expecting a letter from home, but none was forthcoming it seemed during the past week. All of your
Well, we received our pay just a few minutes ago. The camp is happy tonight, and
"O the dice may roll
An' the dice may fall,
But it's each for 'isself,
An' the devil for us all."
Tonight I never was farther from believing
Now as to the
We are training hard, preparing for France now. We have direct information from Washington that we are going as soon as we get to be prepared. It is probable that we shall stay here all summer.
Love to all
Write me about the flowers, the garden, the farm, Bob and Jeff. You know --
Mar. 31, 1918
My dear Mary:
Since your school is drawing to a close, doubtless you will have more time to spend in writing letters. It's been quite a while since I received a real letter from you. But all the while I have understood the cause underlying this unpleasant result. Caro and Erma--Caro at least--have been writing pretty often of late. But they necessarily must be too busy also to get time to write as much as they would like. It's so with all of us--too busy.
To-day has been a pretty busy one for me--fooling
But work is pleasant too in some ways. I like to drill, take physical exercise, build, bridges, roads, etc.; but there is a feeling that most of all this work is wasted so far as I am concerned. It doesn't fit in the category of the things aiding in my life's aim. But, then, should one have a higher aim that that of helping win the war? Could any sacrifice be bigger than yielding one's individuality to the need of the whole? Could anyone have a bigger success in life than the giving his life
But it appears that we are to have a long wait before going to Europe--five weeks at least, I think. We've been fooled so many times about leaving that we have very little confidence in any reports concerning it. But for your benefit I'll say that we
Everything apart from tho'ts of war is very delightful here. My work is light, too light for me to rise continuing it--sketching, you know.
Hugh has just left our camp. We've been out with the Kodak for part of the afternoon. He is enjoying every hour of life as much or more than I. His going
The Byrds at Greensboro write pretty often. How good it is to hear from them--Clara especially. She is a wonder in literature. Beside me now is lying an essay on war poetry written by her. It is good. Her language is clear and strong. And hearing from the Byrds in Greenville is a double joy--although I must confess they don't write half-often enough to please me. I call on Beatrice about
Love to all,
Please don't let anyone besides yourself read this last sheet. It's too--you know.
We paraded in G-- last Thurs. Read the clipping enclosed. It has been carried around in my pocket until it's dirty.
Camp Sevier, S. C.
May 13, 1918.
My Dear Father, --
Perhaps you have been thinking that both your boys were on their way to France. I have hesitated to write during the last few days, owing to the fact that everything connected with the Engineers is so uncertain--as far as the enlisted man is concerned at the present. Even tho' I am writing now, we are still in the same state of uncertainty. None of us knows when we are to leave. But all feel we shall leave this week. For more than two weeks we have kept all our belongings packed--excepting those needed from day to day. We would have left before the infantry if we could have got cars for our horses and wagons. They are not available yet, but the railroad men are pushing their resources to the limit.
We are under the strictest quarantine imaginable--almost. During the last few weeks not a man has been allowed to leave camp excepting married men, and they only for a short time. I haven't seen Beatrice in so long that I've forgotten how she looks. This quarantine will continue until the day we leave. But I'm not miserable. There is too much to be done. I have 53 men to look after at all times--their clothing, looks, equipment--all rests upon my shoulders. The last ten days have been the hardest of my life. I have been trying to get these 53 men equipped for over-sea service. I can't stick my head out of the tent without someone's calling, "Sgt. Greene, have you got me any leggin laces?" or shoe laces, or tent pins, as the case may
And Hugh loves a soldier's life, too. I went to see him--I slipped away--the last night he was here. He was so excited over going that he couldn't be still. It was a sight to see him dressed up in his paraphernalia. First came his pack, then his rifle and bayonet, next a big belt around the chest, filled with automatic rifle ammunition, then a bell for his automatic pistol, cal. 45, and rifle ammunition. Remarking his equipment, I told him that there was no danger of a bullet's
Tell Mary the publishers have assured me that the little book will be ready by next Thursday. I have been disappointed more than a little in the progress made on it. Also tell her that Miss Byrd and I have quit writing to each other now. I'll explain when I get back from France. And tell Cousin Lilly Johnson I am sending her my love and best wishes. She appears to think I am angry with her. I remember Olla Faye Buie wanted a service flag. Tell her it's impossible for me to get away
Last night I was commander of a company of guards for the division consisting of 131 men. The reliefs had to sleep in tents that had holes in them big as cams or bigger. Now about the time I had arranged the guard on duty and the others in their sleeping quarters, it began to rain. Rain! it did--all (night). The men were wet as puppies. Some of them slept--or lay, rather--in two or three inches of water. My tent was in good condition. I felt a little tightening at my throat as one by one they crept into my tent and asked whether they might stay there. I didn't have the room, but I told them to stay. And during the night one man let his gun go off. I had to arrest him, and, to-night he is in the pen. Poor fool--but he'll live thru these little matters. During the night I had to go over the division to inspect every guard, seeing that all men were on the job. I passed by Hugh's company. Everything was as dark and silent as the grave. I stopped and thought of many things; then I went on. You can
August 25, 1918
Your letter of July 28 has just reached me. Like all the letters from home--and I've received several lately; keep writing--it was the most enjoyable feature of the day's existence. From what I gathered from your letter, the folks at home don't hear from me very often, and yet I write to them a great deal. Perhaps the censor stops them. Anyway I get pleasure from knowing I have written, but the pleasure would
You asked a few questions--and certainly you deserve to know the answers to them. Your first question was concerning
Now as to the hours I work--when and how long, I may answer all by saying that I never keep track of time. Scarcely ever can I give the name of the present day. It may be Monday;
Yes, Woodrow Wilson is a great man, a king among men, but he didn't enter the war soon enough. Decide that for yourself; I have decided for myself.
Now that I have erred by speaking of the dark side, let me retrieve myself by speaking of the bright. Germany is lost! Irrevocably lost! She realizes it! Slowly but steadily the sand of her political and economical life are running down. A short while and the last golden grain will be gone. By using slang
Honey, I don't want you to be cold and cynical towards people, but you will please me by hating with your
But there were other questions in your
You asked about my having seen old friends. No. I have seen only Hugh since I came over--saw him once a few weeks ago. But remember he is on the line with all his Green's blood crying for a German to come and face him. If the worst should happen
He looked at me with that funny smile of his and answered, "Well, it don't make much difference either way. I'm no better to be knocked off than
Since then I've thought a great deal about that statement He was right. But let's cheer up. There are heavy odds in favour of all the boys around home returning.
Let whatever will betide there is but one course. Forgetting all successes we have had or may have there is but one course. The premier of England hit it when he said, "Well done"--but--"Carry on." We are doing well now, but we must keep hammering. There is no peace. There can be no peace until
Yesterday I stood beside the grave of a daring young aviator "dead in battle." The propellor blade of the plane he loved so well marked his resting place, and on the ground was laid a small cross with its sacred burden. He was such a youthful captain! "Age 22." How many churchyards with their innumerable crosses--too many of them newly made--have I seen.
Now in closing this hurried letter let me enjoin you at home to realize the sacredness of our duty. All that we ask
As for me I'm going to give my best as all the boys are. The thought of those who fought three years for us unaided makes me consecrate anew what little strength I have for the grand cause. I'd like for you girls to write all the boys from and around Lillington over here. Make them feel that they are the pride
I'm sending you something Clara sent me from Mrs. P.--Let nobody see it. Save it for me and --
If deep within the earth I lay
And learned, old friends, that you had lost
Or quit the game for which we paid
Such bitter cost,
I feel that death would fail to hold
Me there in slumber with the dead,
Tho' drowsy poppies held their cups
Above my bed.
Love to papa, John and the rest.
Your foolish brother,
Reg. Sgt. Major
P. E. Greene, Hdqrs. Co. (etc.)
Engineer Purchasing Office,
Elysee Palace Hotel,
Paris, A.P.O. 702.
This morning I should like to write you a letter covering all my experiences in France. But such a thing is impossible now. Rather a book would be required to describe all I have seen and--done. And then the heart of the matter would be missing, I'm sure. I'd give almost anything to make you see the front just as it was, tho I don't doubt that Hugh will make it real enough when he gets back. And then, there is the experience of the training school with all its mud and rainy weather sticking in one's remembrance. After that comes Paris, this city that no one can describe or interpret. Here I am, and from the looks of things I shall be here for quite a long time. But being here is an opportunity that doesn't come often, especially at such a time as this, when every nation of the globe is represented on the streets, and the destiny of the whole human race is being decided right over there at the Quai d'Orsay. Yes, I wish I could describe Paris just as it is; but I cannot. Let me say, tho, that it appears to have forgotten that a war ever existed, or anything in the whole of life is worth while except ministering to one's own pleasure. Really it's the strangest place on the map. Every virtue can be found here, but for every virtue there are a dozen different sins. Even a Hugo couldn't explain Paris now.
What's the trouble with my mail? I haven't received a letter from home in the Lord knows when. And I think Mary has forgot my name. There is a fellow, however, who stays with me by the name of Alton Johnson. From the looks of things she knows him quite well and never will forget his name. But I suppose the poor child is worked to death and has little time for writing, except to special friends.
Alton has returned from the hospital. He's in very good health, and has nothing to do but make money. Last night he and I were talking about the chances of making money in this city, and he pulled a roll out of his pocket that would choke an elephant, while I couldn't muster a dozen francs. He's a genius at that sort of game. And I predict that some day he will be a rich man if he doesn't marry a woman who will spend it all.
By the way I have received an offer of discharge, provided I will take a job with the government over here at $125 per. But I never will agree to such a proposition. When I leave the army, it's going to be for good and eternally. I think I'll be afraid to sign a check after this.
Please take care of yourself. Write me a letter sometime.
Love to all,
January 7, 1918 
Dearest Erma: --
Early this morning before going out to drill I want to tell you that from all appearances we shall be on the way home within a few days. We are busy, very busy, now making preparations--turning over all extra clothing and equipment. And how glad we shall be to leave the everlasting rain and mud of France! And yet, there is a pang in parting from a land where so many of us first got acquainted with life. You needn't write any more until you hear from me.
Love to all,
Engineer Purchasing Office
A. P. O. 702
January 23, 1918 
Dearest Mary and Gladys: --
Now I'm going to recount fully what I've been doing, where I've been--all the news, in short, that I have gathered since I left the regiment. If in writing about Paris I shall say things that you had rather not hear, why it will just be a mistake of mine, and you'll understand.
On the night of January 17 I rolled my pack, got together all my belongings, preparatory to leaving. Madame Marteau was very kind
Then the Green generosity
As I was saying, I packed my belongings the night of the 17th. Next morning I away without saying goodbye to Lloyd or any of the boys. You know how I despise scenes of parting, and this would have been an unpleasant one. All of us had been to-gether so long and under so many conditions good and
March 30, 1919.
Last week I received a letter from you. Really I had begun to think that you had done with writing. But I know how busy you are, preparatory to finishing high school. Honey, I can't realize that my baby sister is a senior at Buie's Creek. Indeed, I can't. You remain in my memory as a little slip of a thing. And, oh, I wish that you always might remain that, yet you cannot--even as I write I realize that you are almost grown. When I was a boy I often wondered why the old mockingbirds made such a racket over their young ones when they were beginning to leave the old nest. Now I know exactly how and why. Even to-day Papa, Mary, John or I can hardly think of you as you used to stand in a chair and sing "Oh, lo-ey, he-hoey, and hush-a-by, baby" without the tears coming, you know. You know. This growing up must be endured,
In truth I have been getting beaucoup mail during the last few days. Besides the letters, I received a book from Mary entitled "The New Poetry." I have been reading this book much of late--especially is it my companion on the subway--But I'm hardly in a position yet to criticise it. Although I like its freshness, I fear there is little of worth in it. All this swarm of Vers librists, this motley crowd of discordant street musicians--are poor ragged illegitimate children of the powerful Walt Whitman--nothing else. Still, I enjoy reading these verses; their jaggedness makes them hang in your mind. There are a few spring poems (Let me change pens!) that are very good, and whenever I read them, I want to be home for the spring. Mary's letters telling about the flowers, sunny days and all that also make me want
Yes, I know that everything in the Old North State is waking to life now. I can smell the new grounds burning and see the smoke settling in the hollows. And it will not be long before the trees will be green and then the dogwoods will be blooming--and on and on. After a long time, I've learned that our farm is the prettiest place in the world. Even the Champs Elysee here in Paris with its budding acacia trees and rhododendron shrubs cannot compare with our dogwoods and grape-vined farm. The beautiful gardens all remind me of home, and I hope by the will of God to set my foot back there before many months. Do you want to see me? Do you feel my absence? Well, know this, that you don't know what it is to miss people as I miss
Volumes could not hold all I've learned in these last two months. I've walked at least a thousand miles and ridden many more. To-day I stand where kings lost their heads; to-morrow where saints were massacred. One hour I see the most marvelous creations of art; the next I see the most abject misery on earth crawling along the streets. And read! I read all the time. Day in, day out, I carry a book with me. Erma, I'm just beginning to wake up, to see what there is to be learned--and I realize that my alphabet isn't learned yet. Oh, I wish I had nothing to do but read, study, read, study, and think--and think, and go to the grave with a book in my hand.
Along with learning things, I've met some of the keenest, most wide-awake minds in the world. Particularly am I thinking of a Mademoiselle
This afternoon I took my first tea among the intellectuals as they style themselves. And what a time I had! Such talk. For once in my
Let me see if I remember who was present? First there were three elegant Frenchmen: one a member of the Russian Mission, another a sort of literary critic, and lastly a youth who is in charge of the Russian Library. Then there were the girls: Mademoiselle Boislet, her sister Cecile, her friends Jacqueline--and an (Alsatian) girl; Sgt. Pettit an old Latin teacher and long friend of Miss B's and myself.
Yes, we had a wonderful time talking of the gods and drinking chocolate. There is no danger of my forgetting this first soiree with the intellectuals, and there will be others. But I must close.
Oh, I hope I shall be home by June. Write me, honey, tell Papa and John to write. There's nothing like getting a letter from home.
Love to all,
Engineer Purchasing Office.
Paris, France, A.P.O. 702.
May 16, 1919.
Dear Papa --
To-night I've been thinking of home, and so, I must write a note. Whenever I feel the desire strongly to see everybody back there, I usually write, and then I'm reconciled to "Gay Paree" and everything she means.
As I've told you before, my work consists of helping to pay French Government bills. During these last days, business has been slowing up, and from the outlook now, it appears that we shall have finished
I'm having a pretty good time now--working at the office, playing ball, and studying. And how I enjoy the ball games in the Bois de Boulogne. We have a league here, and the team that wins the pennant is to tour the A.E.F. Now our team is going to win that pennant--sure. The captain already has made arrangements concerning our traveling. My, what a time I'm going to have--from the Mediterranean to
Perhaps I've never mentioned in my letters of the time I've spent studying engineering since I came into the Army. But how many hours I've pored over maps and tables no one knows. Since I knew nothing of engineering when I enlisted, I realized that I ough to know something about it, and at last I became a pretty good surveyor, and, I believe, construction man. Anyway I know how
And so, at last they sent me to a training camp. At Langres, but, as you know, I failed to capture a Saw Browne. Well on May 9, I--at last--was commissioned. Yes, Saw Browne, bars, salutes, "sirs" and 'tenshuns, are mine now. Really I don't know how to take it--funny feeling. One day, an enlisted man; the next an officer. Papa, for your sake I'm proud of this belated honor. If I had been a doughboy,
June 7, 1919
Dearest Gladys --
In a letter from Mary yesterday, she told me that you were home again, that you were as happy as a lark, that you had made a wonderful record in school, and that your playing was wonderful. All of which made me wild with longing to be there. Though I cannot tell you face to face, let me tell you in this letter that I
Further in her letter, Mary mentioned that everything was beautiful over there, and that the farm work was going along well enough. I'm very homesick for the beauty--tho' there is a world of beauty here--and I'm hungering for a chance to help in the farm work. Yes, I'd gladly give over my bars and saw brown for a pair of plow lines and a pair of overalls. And by honkey, it will
Mary also told me that Willie had got married. I am still in a state of surprise, but further than that, I have nothing to say.
Now come to Paris. Everything is beautiful here--at least it is to me. My work is heavy, but in the afternoons and nights I have marvelous pleasures. Now the word marvelous isn't one bit too strong. The parks, theatres, my books, and, my friend Mlle. Ronée Bourseillier
May I tell you about Mlle. Bourseillier? Just a sentence or two. She is one of the most refined, intelligent, and charming girls I've ever met--yes, the most. Educated in Paris, Berlin, and London. You may know that her conversation is interesting to me. Since she is a perfect lady, and different from most girls I've met, I cannot but enjoy every minute spent with her. 'Twould
I wish you could have been here on Memorial Day. My letter would be too long to tell of the exercises there, but you can read it in my diary some day. Mr. Wilson made a beautiful speech. Among the notables were a dozen or more peers, Marshal Foch, M. Andrew Tardieu,
Next week, I'm going to visit the
But it's time for supper. I must close.
Has papa ever heard from my liberty bonds. Months ago I wrote to the bank in N.Y. to send them to the Bank of Lillington.
I'm not saving much money now. Board, room, and laundry cost me $80 per month.