IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Letter Home from George Aschom

This is a transcript of a letter sent from George Aschom to his sister-in-law Anna Gander Aschom, brother Helmer Aschom and their family. For many years George Aschom and his brother Walter had a grocery store in Lansing and Helmer Aschom was a barber in Lansing.

The letter was written on stationary embossed “Knights of Columbus, Army of Occupation”

July 10, 1919
APO 710
Engers, Germany

Dear Sister Anna:

I suppose you think I am a peach for not writing to you more than I do, but lately we have been just a little more than busy and so haven’t written to hardly anyone.

The 18th of June we got orders to move to the edge of the occupied territory so as to be ready to move on thru Germany if the Dutch wouldn’t sign peace. Our orders came about three in the morning and we were all packed up and on our way by noon, but believe me we worked getting ready and then that afternoon we marched thirty-five kilometers getting to our district at about eight o’clock.

We were all out of practice in hiking so it was a hard trip for us and I guess about everyone had blistered feet and were about all in.

We pitched our shelter-tents out in a meadow and that’s where we lived until the 29th when we marched back in. It was fine living in the tents for the first five-six days and then it started to rain and rained the rest of the time we were there, so the last part was pretty wet and then it turned cold and the nite before we left we had a good frost, froze hard enough to freeze water at the kitchen. That’s pretty cool weather for the last of June.

The people here say that this is the coolest summer they have had for many years. Of course it suits us as we don’t like the heat very much.

After we got back to Engers from our trip up to the front, five of us were sent to play at the Officers Club in Mieuwied. We had a dandy little orchestra and played there for a week. The only thing was that we had to work pretty hard and played a good share of the day and then some nights we played for dances.

We were there over the fourth and say they had some celebration over here, not so much in the daytime but at night they had the finest fireworks I have ever seen, every three, four kilometers along the Rhine where the troops are stationed they had lots of fireworks and you could see them fifteen kilometers up and down the river.

I have been wondering just what kind of a celebration you had there, bet it seemed funny to celebrate again.

Say you can tell Helmer to get the new tub ready for a good bath when I get back. Not that I am so dirty as we have a fine bath house here, but I will want to try it out and maybe after a few days ride in cars a bath wouldn’t do much harm.

I had a letter from Walt from Canada and from what he says he must have had a fine time. Guess he was pretty glad to get out of the army, well I will be too but it really doesn’t seem I have been gone so long. It will be two years this month.

It was just a year ago today that I left Camp Cody to come home for a few days. Say I was happy then and I wish I was leaving for home again today.

I wonder where I will be and what I will be doing a year from today. Pretty hard to tell.

You spoke of having some nice young chicks, say you want to get them in good shape and I will help you eat them when I get back. Almost forgot what chicken tastes like.

Well I must close for this time as it is about supper time and you soon learn in the army not to run any chances of missing meals.

Say hello to everyone from me and love and kisses to the girls, Helmer and you.

Your loving brother,

P.S. Watch the papers for news of the 2nd division landing in the states.

~letter transcribed from the original & contributed to the Allamakee co. IAGenWeb site by Mary Jo Fitzgerald


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