WRITE FROM FRANCE
Plymouth County Soldiers Tell of Life At Front
See Many German Prisoners
One Tells of Being Billeted in a Historic and Picturesque Old French
Are Boosters For the Y. M. C. A. Workers
First Lieut. A.M. Mauer , who is in Camp Hospital 26, St. Aignon,
France, with the American Expeditionary Forces has written letters to
his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Mauer, recently from which we make the
St. Aignon, France, July 25th.
Well, I am permanently billeted now in an historic and picturesque old
French dwelling and am sleeping on a genuine old feather mattress with
plenty of covers over me. I room with another Lieutenant from North
Dakota, so we feel we know each other well. In another room close by is
another Lieutenant, a Dr. Fleishman from Des Moines, who is quite
jolly. He knows Dr. Fetes well.
I saw young Bernhard at Boils while I was there and he seemed very glad
to see me and I sure was glad to shake him by the hand.
We have a great deal of work over here and have to work very hard as
the dentists are not very plentiful. I am going to take some pictures
of myself and my dwelling just to show you how we live.
I can assure you all that we are sacrificing a whole lot for you people
and I know you appreciate it. So don't let anyone "kid" you into
anything different, just put their name and address down and save it
until I come home and I'll rap them a couple on the nose.
I am getting very "hard boiled" since I came over here and will
probably be hard to get along with when I get back, but I guess it will
not be so bad.
The boys are doing a few things at the front these days and betting is
2 to 1 that the war will be over in 1919. Gen'l Pershing, however, says
"Hell, Heaven or Hoboken, by Xmas this year," so you use your own
Have met a few boys from Iowa but none from home but when they are from
Iowa, it is just as good as home so I feel the same toward them as if
they were from home.
Did I tell you I saw Dr. Wright at Blois? He isn't as fat as he was but
still very healthy. He went to Paris and I do not know where he goes
from there. I am assigned here and don't think I will be moved for some
time to come. Mighty nice bunch of people here, too.
In an Aug. 4th letter Lieut. Mauer writes:
I am working like the "deuce" every day and we have no set hours so
we work until we re through or until we are all in and then take a
Just at present we are all in mourning as the old lady's cow died last
night here at our billet and she feels so bad we have to show our
sympathy. Really if you could see the way they do things here you would
laugh. Their bread is made like a doughnut about 2 feet through, hard
as a rock. You should see the way they wash. They take a flat board
like an ironing board and wet the cloth, lay it on the board and scrub
it with a scrub brush and they pat it once in awhile with a big paddle.
But I think they have you beat when it comes to gardens. This old lady
had a "peach" of a garden and a great big grape vine over a hundred
years old all over the whole house. The horse, cow, goat, chickens, dog
and cat all live in the same house we do and sometimes at night the
odor is terrific, but of course that is part of the game over here.
Address 1st Lieut. A.M. Mauer, American P. O. 727, Camp Hospital 26,
-source: LeMars Sentinel Newspaper, LeMars,
Plymouth Co., Iowa; 10 September 1918