Somewhere in the lines near Mamelle Trench, 11/5/1918

[Along the captured Kriemhilde Line]

Dear Em,

 

This is just to let you know that I am still O.K. and enjoying the latest news fully as much as you folks. Isn’t it great what? Of coarse more and much better news has been received there by the time you read this, for things seem to be developing very fast now, and the end is only a matter of time. The latest news that we have received is that Austria has signed the Allied terms, and England has spanked a few more of their “Kamarads” and releaved them of a few of their destructive toys, or cannon.

 

What seems to worry us boys over here the most is the epidemic that is raging over there, for in letters every one gets this is mentioned and Ive seen more than one poor chap that has lost either a mother, sister or wife. It was only today that one of the boys in the company received a letter stating that his mother and youngest sister had both died the same day from this same disease. Beleive me this is tough news for the fellows, and what makes it worse is the fact that there are others in all there families that are subject to the same thing, and this fact plays on the boy’s mind. As in another case in the company this chap hadn’t received a word from home for quite a while and he was afraid some thing was up. His brother who is in the Navy happened to be home and it was him that sent the sad news.

 

Write often and say that you are all O.K. for although I feel pretty confident that you folks will escape this seige, you never can tell you know. I think of Madge and the Coynes and the rest when I hear of these cases and I do hope every one will come out all right. There are very very few cases here and up until now there has only been one man in the company (and it is no small company) that has been sent to the hospital with it. He has since returned in the best of health. This shows that it is at home that our worries centre. So much for the flue, may they soon master it.

 

As for me, why its just the same thing day after day, waiting for the end. The outfit is still in the lines and I am still where I sent my last letter from. I hear that the old outfit is handy by but I can’t seem to find either of the Coynes. Will probably run into them soon. Id like to be with you and help eat that Thanksgiving Dinner this year but never mind there are more coming. I don’t get any news from Henry and his family latly and I trust that they are all well.

 

As usual this is all Ive got to say, but if I get as good news from you from now on (if nothing else) Ill be very easy. Is all the paper hung yet. I can picture Lena and her sleeves rolled up while this is going on. Also Bert moving that piano. How far is the stove from the ash barrell Pa? Feeling that I am beginning to get wise I guess Ill close.

 

Regards to all

 

Sam.

Samuel E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces.

 

© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Readers:
    Please visit the page “Sam’s References Explained” for an entry referencing the Spanish Flu of 1918.

    Sam’s mention of spanking a few “Kamerads” is a grim reference to what became the preferred practice of shooting German troops claiming to surrender because frequently it was merely a pretext to ambush the Allied soldiers when attempting to take custody: In the “Yankee” Division’s experience during offensive operations, it was common for a small group of German soldiers to shout “kamerad” or “surrender” and thereby lead American troops into a cross-fire or throw grenades at them when in close quarters. The Americans then adopted the necessary tactic of shooting German soldiers on sight who did not have their arms fully extended above their heads when offering to surrender.

    Regards,
    REL

  2. This post is included at History Carnival #92. http://www.emintelligencer.org.uk/2010/11/01/a-bumper-harvest-of-history-its-history-carnival-no-92/


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