World War I News, 1917-1919
from the Denison Review
Letters to Home from Crawford County People Serving in WWI
July, 1918 - August, 1918
Percy Cavett (Denison Review 7-10-1918)
Percy Cavett With Reserves -
Percy Cavett, son of Mr. and Mrs. N. P. Cavett Now with the Reserves -
Company Kept on the Move-
Shells Sound Like "Ala-Bam" -
Boys From Down in Alabama Say Singing of Shells Remind Them of Home.
The following letter dated June 9, has been received by Mrs. N. P. Cavett from her son, Percy, who is now located with Company B., 168th Inf., France. Percy was one of the Denison boys who enlisted in Company B and was located at Ida Grove last summer. He was one of the few boys chosen from that camp to accompany the Rainbow Division to France. Denison friends will enjoy reading of his experiences "over there."
June 9, 1918,
My Dear Mother,
Well, this is Sunday and as I have plenty of time I will write you a letter. I received your letter of May 20, and the one from Elsie dated May 16, last night, so I will make this letter a long one and answer all the letters I have received from you all recently. I received a long letter from Percy Duncan the other day. He is feeling fine but said he would like to hear from us quite often and would like to see us once in a while but as he is with another outfit the chances are very small. We have a fine camp here. It is in the woods; not the same one, however, that I spoke of before.
We have not done anything since we came here but must be ready at all times to move. We are what are called reserves and may be called at any time, but we seldom stay in one place very long. We keep moving at least once a week, so you see we are travelers proper and never have a home very long, thus we cannot accumulate very much but travel as light as possible as we have to carry all we have and a lot that belongs to Uncle Sam. That is why we do not have anything but what is absolutely necessary.
Can you imagine one carrying all he has and has had for four months, on his back and marching for about ten miles at a time? But a fellow in the army doesn't use or need much. I saw Bill Wearmouth the other night and we was getting ready to go up to the front line and is feeling fine. We received the Review and Bulletin the other night but I don't remember the date on them. I am sending our Regimental paper, you can get more things out of it that will interest you. I hope you will soon receive the "Stars and Stripes" paper I mentioned before. We have not had any rain here for so long and the sun is rather strong. The roads are very dusty but the gardens and fields look fine.
It is the kind of weather that France is noted for. It is not like we had when we first came up in this part of France in February. I know just how Elder feels. There was a fellow in our Company at Ida Grove (and he is still with us) who would get a high fever every time he was vaccinated or got a shot in the arm and his knee would stiffen and he would be quite sick. Just abut the time he would be getting better, he would get another shot and to bed he would go.
He was that way until we reached New York, but now sickness never bothers him and he has not been sick a day and feels good and stands the picks as well as the best. He felt worried about it too and wished he had never enlisted but now he is glad he did. I know of other fellows who were affected by the shots in the arm, but when they are all taken they never have any more trouble. I expect that will be the way with Elder, so tell his folks not to worry ...(missing rest of letter)
Private Jos. M. Bieser (Denison Review 7-10-1918)
...... (missing 1st part of letter) have a fairly good time and keep out of mischief while here. I have seen a lot of France since leaving the United States and have had an easy time of it for the last month outside of some awfully tiresome riders and a little work fixing up camps. I hope everything is o.k. on the farm and that you folks raise lots of things to eat, because I'm sure eating my head off over here and they don't seem to grow much here except some grapes for wine.
We are camped in a very pretty spot just now, right near a deep swimming hole and we have a dandy place to do our washing. It's funny to try and make the people here understand you and we furnish a lot of excitement for them I guess. Although things (anything in the "eats line) are awfully high and scarce here, we manage to get along and are pretty well satisfied with everything. Have plenty of tobacco and toiled stuff on hand so consider myself lucky. Wish I could eat a good old Iowa dinner though once in a while. I will try and write a more interesting letter next time.
As I have not studied out the censoring system much yet and don't know just what we can write, I hope this will do for this time . I am as well as I possibly could be and a long way from the firing line, so don't worry about me.
Your very good friend, Private Jos. M. Bieser, Co. D. 43rd Engineers via New York.
Sid Bonney (Denison Review July 10, 1918)
Up in Aeroplane Great Sensation -
Sid Bonney, in France, Writes of His Experience in an Aeroplane with German Shooting at Him. -
He Sails Among the Clouds -
In the Air for Half an Hour but it Seemed Like a Week -
Would Like Aeroplane Service -
Dr. and Mrs. A. F. Bonney recently received the following letter from their son,
Lieut. H. S. Bonney,
France, May 26, 1918
Well, at least I have went and done it. I have been up in an aeroplane and so now all that is left for me in the way of thrills is to go down in a submarine and perhaps before this thing is over I shall have done that little this also. I will admit that there are some things in this world that make a noise like a great sensation, but if you want to have the greatest experience in your young life, that you ever had, just go up in an aeroplane in war time and so over some front line trenches, and I will gamble that all the things that you ever got to do in the past will fade away into the dim distant past and be forgotten but that trip will stay with you for some time. I went out to the aviation field yesterday (Sunday) and was looking for some American aviators who are there to see if I might get a little trip up in the air.
None of them were at home and I was about to give up in disgust when I met a French pilot who said he was going out for a little reconnaissance trip over the lines and would be pleased to take me with him if I cared to go. Did I care to go? On, no that was all a mistake! We went over to the tent and the mechanics were tuning up the machine which was a two-seated Spad. 250 h.p. and capable of 140 miles an hour. I put on a pair of goggles and climbed into the rear seat. The day being very warm no extra clothing was needed. The pilot cautioned me not to touch anything then got into the seat in front, when the mechanic turned the engine over. We stood still perhaps a couple of minutes while the motor was warming up and then the pilot gave the signal to let us loose and we started over the field.
It was like riding in a wheel barrow, over the roughest ground possible, and all at once the bumping stopped and I looked over the side and the ground was dropping away from us at a great rate. I did not have a sensation of rising, but one rather of the ground slipping out from under me and falling away. We circled around over the camp at about 700 meters (2300 feet) and then turned east towards the trenches on a steady upward climb. As we would approach something the pilot would call my attention to it and then bank the machine a little so that I could get a good view as we went over it. It seemed almost no time at all to me until he pointed ahead and there were the reserve trenches of our men twisting and turning in all directions over the country.
The trenches did not appear to be dug into the ground but rather to be built out of it and to have a lot of little round, black dots moving around in them. As we passed over our trenches, we began to climb again and in a few minutes were over No-Man's land which looked like a big chocolate cake that had the small pox. Barbed wire was a brown smear on the ground and through my glasses I could just make out that it was a set of entanglements. We were sailing along as nice as could be over the hun's home when all at once I heard a funny "thud" to the right and the black ball of smoke in the air about one hundred yards to one side and above us. As I looked another one popped and then I knew what they were ...
(missing the rest of letter)
Ira Lee, Arion (Denison Review 7-10-1918 )
The following letter has been received from Ira Lee:
June 3, 1918
We arrived safe and sound. We sure did have some fine time coming over. The country I have passed through is about the prettiest I ever saw. I didn't get sick at all on the boat only one day I felt dizzy but got over it. My address is the same only put A. E. F. on instead of the name of a camp. Well, mother, I do not know of anything more because I want this to reach you. From your loving son. Write as soon as this is received.
Private Ira Lee, Co. C 103 Signal Corps, Field Battalion, A. E. F. via New York.
Raleigh Winey, Deloit (Denison Review 7-17-1918 )
Winey Bros. Both in the Service -
Raleigh Winey Writes Parents From France and Merril Winey Writes from Camp Dodge -
Crows Remind One of Iowa -
Merrill Witnesses the Hanging of the Three Negro Soldiers at Camp Dodge -
To be Remembered. -
The following two letters written by the Winey brothers of Deloit will be of interest to the many friends of the Winey family who are readers of the Review. One was written by Private Raleigh Winey, whose safe arrival in France was noted in the Review of last week, while the other comes from his brother, Merrill Winey, a member of Co. C, 351st infantry, Camp Dodge.
Somewhere in France.
June 14, 1918
Will try and write you a few lines tonight to let you know I am still all o.k. We are having fine weather here. It is not very warm for this time of the year. It gets light here about 3 o'clock in the morning and doesn't get dark until 10 at night. This is a pretty country, all the houses are made of cement or stone and there are lots of trees. The only thing that looks like town is the crows and there are lots of them here.
Did you get my card I sent you saying that I had arrived safely in France? I expect the folks have received my letter by this time. Expect it will be the fourth of July by the time you get this letter. I have not received any mail since I have been here, but we expect to get mail in a few days. I would like to get the county papers but we cannot get second class here from the U. S. A. Tell Clarence I would like to have some of his Prince Albert. Cannot get any over here. I know he would send me some but it would do no good for it never would get here.
I have a great time trying to talk to French people and learn to make change in their money. Say, do you know where Glen Dunbar is, and Jack Better and the rest of the boys? I suppose they are all over here by this time. And is Merrill at home yet? Suppose he has his watermelons planted by this time. I expect you are busy with your chickens, and did you get that hawk you told me about in your last letter? Well, there is not much news to write about tonight. Would like to tell you what I am doing over here but the censor would take it out. But don't worry about me. I am still o.k., feel fine and I hope this letter finds everybody at home the same. Will close for this time. Write again soon.
With love to all. Private Raleigh Winey, Co. 1, 131st Inf. A. E. F.
Merril Winey, Deloit (Denison Review 7-17-1918 )
July 5, 1918
Thought I would write you a letter to let you know I am fine and dandy. Plenty to eat and lots of it. Sure had some fine dinner yesterday, good enough for the president to sit down to. Been drilling pretty hard. Sure makes a fellow sweat these hot days, but am making it fine so far. Don't know how long I will be here. May leave in two weeks the way they talk. One never knows till you get the order. Have not been assigned to any permanent company as yet but I am in the 351st infantry so far.
Will let you know if I am moved, so if you write it will follow me up. Don't worry about me, I will make it some way. A men is all right here. Everything he wants. Of course he has to buy lots of things such as tobacco, candy and his soap and towels and such stuff as that. Takes lots of money if he wants to spend it. A fellow has lots to learn here. Saw those three negroes hanged this morning. There were about 10,00 soldiers who witnessed the execution. It was a lesson long to be remembered. Will write more next time. Getting about time for bed so tell them hello for me and write soon.
Private Merril Winey, Co. C, 351 at Infantry
George Greder (Denison Review 7-17-1918)
From George Greder - Miss Alice Greder, who resides at Buck Grove, sends the Review a letter from Her cousin, George Greder, who is a member of headquarters Company, 325th Infantry, now serving in France. The letter follows:
June 6, 1918.
It seems a long time since I have heard from or seen you, although it has only been a couple of months. I suppose that the summer work is on full blast back there, Isn't it? I had a letter from Stella saying that you are having a very dry spring. The letter was a month old of course, which can hardly be avoided considering the distance we are away from home. Has Joe left for the training camp yet? I suppose I'll see him over here someday. We had a fine trip over the water, spent a few days in England and then came on over here.
England and France both are very beautiful places I think. This army stuff is the same old dope every day, nothing much new. News here is scarcer than hens' teeth. Well, I think I've said about all there is to say so had better close before I say too much. A letter addressed to me at headquarters company, 325th Infantry, will reach me all right and I sure do want to hear from you. Give my best regards to your folks and answer soon.
As ever, your cousin, George.
Raymond Garrison (Denison Review 7-17-1918)
From Raymond Garrison -
The following is an extract from a letter received by Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Garrison from their grandson, Raymond E. Garrison, a member of the Hospital Unit K of Council Bluffs, commanded by Major Macree. Raymond has been in France since last January and is now, as will be seen by his letter, on the extreme front line.
Zone of Advance,
Jun 27, 1918
"Well, I am only a short distance from the front at this writing and can hear the guns booming almost constantly. We travel here by truck and in 36 hours after we arrived we had everything in the hospital arranged and were receiving patients and that certainly is quite a record. We only receive surgical cases and after proper attention and all necessary surgical operations are performed, we send them farther back, so as to give room for others who are needing immediate attention.
We never hold a patient here more than 48 hours at the most. We are supposed to accommodate 200 patients but have had more than that number many times and believe me, we have been working day and night. We had a little excitement here the other night when some German planes came over and our anti-air craft guns opened upon them. I jumped out of bed in record time, and donned my tin hat. It was interesting while it lasted but our guns quickly drove the enemy planes away and not a bomb was dropped on us. As I understand it, quite a number of Denison boys are near me and I have been watching closely, but so far have not been able to find any of them.
Next month I get my gold chevron which I wear on my left sleeve and each chevron indicates six months foreign service. When one is wounded he is entitled to the same kind only wears it on his right sleeve and we boys are not anxious to get to wear one on that side, but we must take what comes to us whether we like it or not, and I assure you we have no time nor inclination to worry, as our work occupies our entire time and attention. It might truthfully be said that "It's all day in the day time and there is not night over here."
Raymond E. Garrison, Unit K
Frank Brogan , Vail (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Frank Brogan, Camp Forrest -
Mrs. T. M. Brogan of near Vail, had handed the Review two letters, one recently received from her son, Frank, who left a few weeks ago for Camp Gordon, Ga., and one from her nephew Louis Brogan, who is in active service in France. For the benefit of their friends who will be interested in hearing from them, we are pleased to publish the letters below:
Camp Gordon, Georgia,
August 4, 1918
Well this is Sunday and it is raining here a little. It was very warm yesterday but no warmer than at home and the nights are cool so we sleep well. We are having good "eats" here. We get up a 5:15 every morning except Sunday when we get up at 6:15. Have breakfast at 6 and Sundays at 7, dinner at 12:00 and supper at 5:50. I am full-fledged soldier now - I got my suit this forenoon. We got one pair shoes, four pair socks, two pair drawers, three undershirts, one pair pants, one shirt, a comb and brush, soap and a cloth bag to keep your clothes in. Just fifty of the men got their outfits this morning and some more will go up this afternoon.
This is a big camp and Camp Dodge is small compared to it. There are three camps in all and the part we are in is the newest. It is scattered all over and is about 15 miles square. This is where a great battle was fought during the Civil War, and there are lots of old cannons around and monuments to the generals and captains. You can see where trees have been shot off and some of the bullets are in the trees yet. When I get out of quarantine, I am going to go through the park. Yesterday I hauled coal, but it was not very hard as they were small loads and there were two or three of us to a wagon. We went about seven miles after it. I saw some German prisoners who were shoveling coal. I guess this will be all for the present. I have changed my address so you can tell anyone who wants to write.
Frank Brogan, 5th Eng. Recruit Bo. Camp Forrest, Ga.
Louis Brogan, (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Louis Brogan, France.
Active Service, A. E. F.
June 27, 1918,
Received your letter a few days ago and sure was glad to hear from you and that you are all well. It sure is hot here the last few days. I was up to the dentist this morning and had a tooth pulled. I hardly knew when he pulled it. Am having one filled. He is certainly a good dentist. We have turned in our campaign hats and have been issued overseas caps. Some cap. I don't like them very well this hot weather but they will be o.k. this winter.
Of course, I don't figure on staying over here this winter for I hope old Kaiser Bill will be up a tree by that time. The Americans are sure handing it to them now. There are some German and Austrian prisoners in this camp. They say they'd rather be here than starving over in Germany. One of them says he lives in Cleveland, Ohio and was over there on a visit when the war broke out and was forced to fight. Over here we don't even have to buy smoking tobacco, as the government gives us four packs for ten days, or chewing instead. The U. S. soldiers can buy tobacco and jam cheaper here at the U. S. Commissary than they could in the states - I just got one can of preserved pears and one of apples, each containing one pound and fourteen ounces for 32 cents for both.
I have a Grade I good conduct pass and can go anywhere when not on duty. I was down to a town of about "000 population Sunday and had a regular big feed. You ought to have been there. I had baked chicken, noodle soup, French fried potatoes, strawberries, bread and grape wine. The French never drink tea or coffee, just beer or wine instead. I don't think it will be very long until we are all home or I hope it isn't so very long. Well, I guess I will close and go to mess. Hoping to hear from you soon I am, Your nephew,
Louis Brogan, Battery A, 304 Field Artillery, Am. Ex. Forces, France.
Burness Boslough , Denison (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Burness Boslough, France. Burness Boslough, one of our Denison boys who is in the thickest of the fight over there with the 168th Inf. Has written a most interesting account of his recent experience by being gassed. He is recovering nicely, however, and is loud in his praises of the work of the Red Cross. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Boslough, are in receipt of the following letter which they kindly offer us for publication.
July 18, 1918
Dear Folks at Home.
No doubt you will know this long before you get this letter but I hope you haven't worried much. I have just come out of one of the worst hells the earth can produce and I guess I am now in Heaven. Thank goodness there are such people as doctors, nurses and the boys that make up the hospital units. Their work is just wonderful and the Red Cross girls who give us papers to read, orangeade, oranges and smokes. After I was in the base hospital just eight hours, they gave us bags of toilet articles, candy writing paper and other useful things.
I lost everything in that line, all I had left was what was in my pockets. The only place I was hit was in the sleeve of my coat, on my right arm. It took a piece out about the size of your hand. But what I got worse was gas. Oh-it made me sick. I have felt the effects of it quite badly up until today, but am now feeling and getting along fine. I will no doubt be back with my company before you get this letter. You have probably read about the attack in the papers. I had a nice, long letter written to you just about four hours before the thing started but do not have the slightest idea where it is now. You may get it and you may not. With love to all,
Corp. B. Boslough, Hdqs. Co. 168th Inf., Am. E. F., via New York.
Ed Flahive (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
July 2, 1918,
Dear Father and All:
It has been a long time since I've written you but have been on the move for the last month or so - was ahead of the company billeting N. C. O. so could not write any letters. A year ago yesterday I was called into service and have spent seven months on this side. I do not think it will be another year, at least I hope not. We are in a pretty part of France now. Everybody seemed to be prosperous before the war but you can't judge now for they have seen lots of hardships.
At the starting of the war the Germans were in this town for two weeks. We are out of the range of the big guns now. You would be as tickled as I am if you heard nothing but the roar of the big guns for over three months but by the looks of things we are to move soon, maybe tonight. We do all our moving after dark. I thought we were coming back for a rest, but there is not much rest to it, have been drilling every day. Have a lot of new men out of the National army and they sure need the drill. There are lots of aeroplanes around here. They go on bombarding raids almost every night. Will close now. Let me know how everybody is. I have never been better. Don't think it will be as long between letters from now on.
Love to all. Corp. Ed. Flahive.
Ed Flahive (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Have a few minutes to spare now. Am only a few miles away from where I wrote you last. You have heard of the stone wall the Germans ran up against, well, that is where we are stationed. You do not think much of your clothes in this country. You hear a shell coming and the next thing you know you are lying flat in mud or water because the closer you hug the ground, the better off you are. I sure can hit Mother Earth hard and fast now. I hear it's reported a shell hit at my feet and didn't explode.
Don't know about that but have been knocked down by the concussion of one and that isn't the most pleasant feeling in the world although I didn't get a scratch out of it. Some country around here - all lime rock. You can sit down but looks as if you had sat in a bag of flour. I had to make allotment out new. Don't know why the first wasn't good but you'll get it all in one big check soon. Worked all night on reserve trenches and missed breakfast and dinner so you see I had a good sleep. Didn't get to finish this so will now for more reason than one. Have a little slip to go with this that will cause you to go down in your pocket for a little money, but I need the cigarettes.
At present we are not able to get any and everybody is about crazy for want of tobacco. If I had only known Luke Weeks was here I could have looked him up because the 23rd Engineers relieved the sector we just left. I may be able to see Omer Murray. He is in the 32nd just back of us. Last night at 2 o'clock the gas alarm was given but no gas - must have been gasing some close batteries. It's funny about the gas alarm. You never have to call anyone twice but other times it is hard to get us all up at once.
We just received a carload of home papers. First ones for 2 months. Sure seemed good. They have us all duped out wrong about May 27th battle but they write such good stuff we will let it go at that. Raining tonight and can sleep sound with no fear of gas as long as it rains. One good thing for me, I have seen some of the effect.
Your Son, Love to all, Corp. Ed Flahive.
Frank Hansohn , Deloit (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Frank Hansohn, Camp Gordon-Fred Hansohn, a prominent farmer living near Deloit, has handed the Review a letter which he recently received from his son, William who is stationed at Camp Gordon, Ga. The letter follows:
July 8, 1918.
We arrived here safe and sound this morning at 6 o'clock and are settled down pretty well. I sent you several cards on the way down and I hope you got them. This is sure a fine place, as much as I have seen of it. It is pretty warm out in the sun but there is lots of shade. The barracks have not be examined yet, but will be tomorrow, I think.
We saw some fine country on the trip down, but Crawford county has them all beaten in crops. I am with a bund of boys from Denison and others are not very far away but some are in a different camp. There was quite a bunch on the train and 412 men were from Crawford and Harrison counties. I am sending my address but don't know how soon it may be changed. I will write later when I can do it more comfortably as now I am lying on my cot and writing.
Your son, Private Wm. F. C. Hansohn, Co. I., 4th Repl. Regt., Camp Gordon, Ga.
Foster Hain , (Denison Review 8-14-1918 )
Foster Hain - Camp Gordon. The Review is in receipt of the following letter from Foster Hain, who left Denison July 26th in company with 215 young men from Crawford county, and is now stationed at Camp Gordon, Ga. One of the newspapers in last week's issue reported that Mr. Hain had been returned on account of physical disabilities and this letter will serve to correct the error.
Camp Gordon, Ga.
Editor, Denison Review:
On Friday July 26th, I left Denison for Camp Gordon, Ga. Where I am still stationed. This is my first experience in military service and as far as I have advanced in training. I sure like it fine and the farther I advance, I will take more liking to the army life. We have a fine, clean, sanitary camp, good eats, no person could wish for better. I am in the best of health at present and hope by good health continues. I would like to see old Denison again.
Yours sincerely, Foster L. Hain, Co. 1 4th Repl. Regt. Camp Gordon, Ga.
Lafe Bond, (Denison Review 8-14-1918)
Lafe Bond, Jefferson Barracks: The following letter was received by Dr. L. L. Bond of this city, from his grandson, Lafe H. Bond, who recently enlisted at Morningside, Iowa, and is now stationed at Jefferson Barracks, Mo.:
Aug. 8, 1918
My Dear Folks:
Here I am and it is fine. I passed the exams today and one of the men said mine was a fine examination. We leave here Saturday for I don't know where and we expect to be in France by November. Isn't that fine? I think I will get in the artillery- that is my favorite. I have taken out $10,000 life insurance at $6.50 per month for my mother. Mother didn't shed a tea when I left. I am so glad my folks have the good old spirit, for that is what puts fight into a man. Mother is a great woman. The mothers are the great heroes of the day. Gee, we sure get fine food and plenty of it.
For dinner we had beans, potatoes, beef, cabbage, pickles, white bread, peach pie and ice cold water. It was good enough for a prince. The boys here are a good-natured lot and are anxious to crowd the Huns. Say but I think the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. are great. We have lots of fun here and the drill with the thermometer at 108 degrees is play for us. We took two shots and some of the boys fainted because the injection in the shoulder is very strong. I will write again when I get to a new camp which will perhaps be in the south and I will expect to hear from you.
Your loving grandson, Lafe.
Sid Bonney, Buck Grove ( Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Sid Bonney, France - Dr. and Mrs. A. F. Bonney of Buck Grove, on Monday, received the following letter from their son, Lieut. H. S. Bonney in France. Extracts from the German paper alluded to in it will be given next week.
July 25, 1918
Well, I guess I have some horseshoe or rabbit's foot stuck onto me and no mistake, as I am still in the ring after what one might call five days of excitement and believe me, it was some excitement. As you have seen in the papers, we started over the top at daylight for a merry feast of getting huns and it was merry and no mistake. We caught them by surprise and before 7:30 a.m. the prisoners were coming back in bunches and there were all kinds of them, from common soldiers to high rank officers, and they were all dirty and hungry, as we spoiled their breakfast.
I went over the ground where we hit them first and in many a hole you could see a hun sitting with a spoon in one hand and his mess kit in the other and a nice clean, round hole through his tin hat. Others were still wrapped in their blankets where they had been asleep and still others were in dugouts where they will stay for some time, as it is easier to blow in the entrance to a dugout than to take out a hundred huns and bury them. I stood on a hill about 800 yards behind the front line the second day of the battle and watched our men go out after the hun. First, there was only the scream of going and coming shells, and now and then a burst nearer than the rest.
Suddenly a flare went up from where our men lay and the whole earth shook with the shock of the explosion as the batteries put down the barrage. Then a thin line raised out of the ground and advanced toward where the barrage was hitting. In a minute or so another rocket went up and the barrage jumped ahead fifty or so yards and the next line raised up and followed the first, then the smoke and dust shut out the view and all that could be seen was a black cloud of smoke cut and torn by red flashes of the bursting shell of the barrage. In a few minutes another rocket went up, telling us they had reached their objective and the batteries stopped as suddenly as they had begun.
The silence was as hard on the ears as the previous crash and roar had been and then the major spoke: "Twenty minutes and 400 meters (1332 feet) gained. Damn neat work." Then to the right a rocket calling for the barrage went up and the thing was replace again. All day and night the guns kept up their fire and only ceased to move forward and take it up again. Batteries of 75s would come down the road at a gallop, swing out to the side, take off the horses, and in five minutes they were firing again. Not a sign of cover or emplacement, but gun battery after gun battery firing from the open and the huns going toward Germany as fast as they could get there. After life in the trenches that battle was really a relief.
Of course the air was filled with bullets from every class of weapon, shells fell at times so thick that one burst could not be told from another, but there was the great and glorious feeling of going forward and the tune our men picked out as "Goodbye Broadway, Hello France." Can you beat that for a song to go into battle with? I have heard and read many times of the huns using dumdum bullets but never had any proof of it until now. I have sent two that messed up the plaster on the side of wall where I stood and you may tell the world for me that when anyone says the hun has not used the dumdum bullet and does not use them, that the man who says so is a liar from the word go, and that the hun DOES use them. Perhaps not often, but nevertheless, he uses them.
Oh yes, it makes our men like them all the more - NOT. The boche complains that we are not fair fighters as we put too much ferocity into our attacks. Too bad isn't it that the Americans won't walk up, slap his wrist and say "Tag?" We captured everything from live huns to 210 cannons and I had the pleasure of firing several hundred shots from one of the captured ...(missing part of letter).. can get someone to translate it for you. Well, I guess this is all as I must hit the hay.
Love to all, Sid.
Frank C. King , Denison (Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Frank C. King - France - Mrs. Hattie King of this city has recently received several letters from her son, Frank, who has been in France since June and recently has "enjoyed" the experience of trench life. Below we publish the letter in parts
July 24, 1918
I am writing to let you know that I am well and I hope that you are all the same. I just received two letters from you today dated June 20th and 21st and I surely was glad to get them. I am feeling fine except my eyes which bother me some, but I am going to have them treated soon. I was not seasick on the trip over but it sure was lonesome with nothing to see but water.
We have been in the trenches already but are back drifting at present and having a fine time. I go to town once in a while. I am not cooking now and have not been doing so for about a month. I wish you would send me the Denison Review so that I could see the news. I sure wish I was home but think I will be close to there by Christmas, as that is what we all think. I will close hoping to hear from you again soon.
Your son, Frank C. King, Co. M, 137th Inf. American, E. F.
Sgt. Grover Tucker, (Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Sgt. Grover Tucker, France - Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Tucker have kindly handed on the following letter from their son, Grover, who is with the 168th Infantry. He reports having seen some Denison boys recently.
July 31, 1918
It has been quite awhile since I have written to you, but we have been doing some fast traveling the last two weeks and this is the first chance I have had to write. I haven't received any mail from home for over a month and when one doesn't get any mail they begin to feel like they are forgotten. The boys sure have been getting lots of mail lately, but I haven't been one of the lucky ones.
I am still as well as ever and so are the other boys from home. I am sending you a boche helmet with this letter. I hope you get it all right. I saw Lieut. Paul Boylan yesterday. He is an aviator now. It sure seemed good to see someone from home. Frank Wilken is with me here now but Burness Boslough is in the hospital. He is all right but has not come back yet. I saw the Eiffel tower when we were going through the outskirts of Paris on the train. It was a fine trip but we did not get to stop anyplace. Well, this is all for the present but don't forget to write and tell me all the news.
Your son, Sgt. Grover Tucker, Hdq. Co. 168th Inf., Amer. E. F.
Harold Norman, (Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Navy Club House, New York,
Aug. 19, 1918
Dear Ones at Home:
I wrote you a letter about three days ago telling you that I was home again and then I promised a letter to follow shortly. This is the letter and I apologize for not writing sooner as I know you were earnestly and expectingly waiting for this one. You are happy, no doubt, that I am back again and thank God for His omnipresence in guiding me safely home, but your happiness is no great than mine for to be home again, to be with the people you love, fills my soul with happiness. You will see from the heading that I am in New York. This was to be our home port, but we had to proceed to Baltimore, Md. And so I was granted a five-day furlough and am visiting the dear people in New York that I met while I was stationed here at the naval hospital.
My trip was none too pleasant and I hope the next trip will be more pleasing. First we left on a Saturday, a little late, and expecting to catch a convoy, but we traveled for a week and were nearly half the way across but we did not meet the convoy. We did meet a battleship and we were ordered to turn around and proceed to Halifax to wait for the next convoy. At Halifax we stayed about ten days and left with an English and American convoy. When we neared the war zone the U. S. destroyers met us and it was very comforting.
One night I had helped the baker and I was turning in when I heard two distinct rumbles and the ship quivered. I knew it was depth charges. I ran out on deck to see if I could see anything, but it was so dark I returned immediately to bed. I had just gotten in bed when the general alarm bell rang and I was out again on deck. This time the ship was making twists and turns and I noticed a white wake about fifty yards off and I was rather frightened. I experienced a feeling of dread, a feeling as though you were waiting to be torpedoed and there was nowhere to go.
The next afternoon the destroyer dropped about eighteen depth bombs and although it is hard to say whether they really destroyed any submarines or not, it is dubious. The only manner of ascertaining whether or not a submarine is destroyed is to notice if any debris, oil, or air bubbles come up from the approximate portion of where they thought of sighting the submarines. This time they saw oil and debris on the water at the place so we are quite satisfied in the report of the sinking of the submarine....
( rest of letter is missing.)
Clement Welch, (Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Camp Gordon, Georgia,
Aug. 20, 1918
My dear Naeve:
While acting as corporal of the guard today, I bought the Atlantic Journal and read the publicity item I gave the reported concerning your telegram which you so kindly sent and for which I thank you. I sent it to you under separate cover. Gail Carey was detailed in a clerical position up to Headquarters and has been transferred so he was not present at the banquet, so as toastmaster, I read your message during our evening program. I certainly opened the eyes of some officers from other states and particularly the native southerners.
I got away big and several higher officers came up and personally congratulated me upon the toast program. I am not to go overseas with the boys when they go shortly. My captain has recommended me to the Officers Training Camp, which opens September 1st and lasts until Christmas. I am to go before an examining board within a few days in order to gain admittance. If I am sent and graduate I will be commissioned a second lieutenant about Christmas time and will then be granted a fifteen-day leave of absence and will be up home.
Have done more physical labor in the last three weeks than I did in ten years in civilian life. Imagine drilling eight hours a day in a hot Georgia sun, as hot as you folks had in Iowa a few weeks ago. What pleased me most is that I stood it as well as the farmer boys who have been plowing corn all summer. However, I sweat through my clothing each day and looked as if someone had turned a host on me after each drill. I am shaping up fine, having lost fifteen (15) pounds of fat in three weeks. The big front is rapidly passing and I never felt better in my life, and when I harden I will be like an ox. With kindest regards to all my friends and those in the bank and who hang around the bank as well as yourself and Roy,
I am, Yours sincerely, Clement J. Welch, Co. K, 12th Bn. Repl. Reg, Camp Gordon, Ga.
Frank Podey, (Denison Review 8-28-1918)
Frank Podey, Camp Gordon, Mrs. R. D. Abbot, of Vail, received the following letter from her brother, Frank, who is stationed at Camp Gordon, Ga., which she has handed us for publication for the interest of his many friends,
August 21, 1918
I received your letter the other day but didn't have time to write until tonight. I am fine and hope this will find you all the same. I suppose you are all working hard up there. The weather is not so hot here now but suppose it will get hot again. The nights are real cool and I sure can sleep. Last night tho was a little too cool. I'd like to get out of camp a little so I could see some of the country, as all we see around here is men and rocks and trees. I sent my suitcase home tonight and I put a pennant of Camp Gordon in it so I can remember old Gordon when I get back. I was appointed as one of the corporals yesterday afternoon. I am up at the Y.M.C.A. tonight and as it is about time for the movies to start and lights to go out, I'd better quit for this time.
Answer soon, Your brother, Frank.
Transcribed by Melba McDowell