Letters Home


First Lieut. A.M. Mauer

from Camp Hospital 26,

St. Aignon, 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 Building

Boys 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 following extracts.

St. Aignon, France, July 25th.
Dear Folks,
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 judgment.

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 little nap.

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, A.E. F.

-source: LeMars Sentinel Newspaper, LeMars, Plymouth Co., Iowa; 10 September 1918


-Submitted by Linda Ziemann
Iowa GenWeb County Coordinator, Plymouth, Monona, Sioux counties http://www.iagenweb.org
Iowa Old Press IAGenWeb Special Project Co-coordinator http://iagenweb.org/iowaoldpress/