Somewhere in France, 6/4/1918

June 4th 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

The weather here of late has been very good.  The days are very warm but the nights are cold.  Water our greatest need is scarce each company is only allowed so much water but the boys find enough for cooking and drinking purposes only.  Wine is very cheap and can be gotten in large quantities.  Wine is cheaper than water.  The people sell the real wine for sixty cents a quart while back home the same wine costs up to about $1.50.  Women may be seen around our camp selling bread, butter, milk and strawberries.  Most things we buy are cheap compared to what the American people charge back home.  As yet dear sister I have not been in want of anything as I have enough money to last until payday; the eats I always see that I get enough, and now for work I have done guard and other details but not as much as I thought we would have to do.

I am going to confession at 9:45 this morning as confessions are going to be heard by an American priest father Cherrie.  How is pa?  Try and write and tell me how you all feel as you know dear sister – I am just as anxious about you all as you are of me.

Must close now will write you again tomorrow, I am

Your loving Brother

Joe

Love to Bob and you all

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Safe Arrival Postcard, 6/4/1918

Somewhere in France, 6/3/1918

June 3rd 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

As yet I haven’t received any mail from you but just the same I am keeping my promise by writing you and Anna every day.  Of course you must remember dear sister that their will be a time that you will not hear from me in days perhaps weeks but if their isn’t anything in the way preventing me from writing you can rest assured that your brother will try his best to write you even though it be a few lines.  Of course the censor doesn’t permit me to tell you things that I would like to theirfore at times my letters will be short.  I am feeling fine and in the best condition and can’t wait until we advance further into our goal.

Must close now dear Sister with loads of love and kisses only to be remembered to pa and you all.

Your Brother

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere in France, 6/2/1918

Somewhere in France

Dear sister Madaline:

We arrived at our rest camp after our long and monotonous trip overseas.  This part of the country is wonderful.  For the short territory that we have covered we could see nothing but stone houses with a large farm fully cultivated.  The people here cannot speak very much english.  The children can only say Give me a cigarette for pa pa.  Hundreds of them are seen on the street asking for smokes as the American troops go bye.  It looks so funny to see young boys averaging from ten years up in long trousers smoking cigarettes.

This poor country certainly is suffering and are feeling the effects of the war.  The days here are long and the nights are very short.  It never gets dark until 10:30 PM day break is about three AM so you see this makes a soldiers working day longer.  Now dear sister about the women.  Why I say that theirs nothing like the american girl and I know many of the boys will agree with me on that.  But now about the wine + beer.  Ah but that’s the stuff that makes this country famous.

As yet I have not had the opportunity of indulging in either wine or beer but expect to as soon as our quarantine is lifted.  Although you can bet that I will not drink to access because after getting into such a good condition I do not believe in ruining in what will soon assist me in going over the top and that is my health strength and condition.  I am feeling fine and in the best condition.  Best of love to pa and tell him that I promise to write you every day.

Must close now dear sister with loads of love and kisses to you all + Bob.

I am

Your loving Brother

Joe

P.S. Am going to write Anna after mess.

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere in France, Around 6/1/1918

Dear sister Madaline:

At last our long and monotonous trip has ended very much to my delight.  We arrived over seas safe with but a few adventures.  Up to now I have been feeling fine and expect when the time comes to go into real battle in good health and high spirits.  I suppose dear sister that you all are waiting to receive mail from me but from now on I shall write you everyday or as often as possible.  Must close now dear sister with love and kisses to you all,

I am

Your loving brother

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Ashore in France, 5/30/1918

Dear Sister Madaline:

Reached over seas O.K. and am feeling fine.  Best of love to pa, my friends and relatives.  Kisses to Bob, Baby and you all.

I am

Your loving Brother

Joe

Write soon.  Always keep pa in good cheer.  Always give Bob everything he wants as he will always be a second Joe to pa and you all.

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere at Sea, 5/27/1918

May 27th 1918

At Sea

Dear Sister Madeline:

The old transport is taking the water very good.  The sea has been rough at times but not as rough as it generally gets.  Did you receive my post card?  Well we left Camp Stuart May 17th but did not leave the port until late Saturday as we got stuck the water was to shallow.  It took thirteen tugs to pull us out after being their for about ten hours.  May the 19th my birthday was spent very nicely.

Please excuse the my change of ink as I started this letter on the 23rd and ran short of ink but as long as you receive this letter through the aid of our brother sailor I don’t think it will make any difference.  All I did Sunday was to wish that I were home.  I would sit on the deck and look out to the big waves toward home and say well boys their’s no place like home.  Although the eats are great and nothing to do but sit around and every now and then see something new.  The second day out we saw one shark and just yesterday we saw three whales and a school of flying fish.  Well dear sister now the tide changes to a bit of adventure.

After messing yesterday (by the way we only get to meals a day but they are great) I happened to stop and watch the sailors boxing when the order came of a abanding ship.  Then our ship with about eight other ships 6 transports, 1 cruiser and one torpedo boat destroyer started firing.  After holding our position for about 40 minutes we were dismist.  Some say it was a submarine but I think it was nothing but a box or a log.  The Navy is not taking any chances and anything that looks like a sub is shot at.  Up to now I have taken the trip very good I haven’t had anything accept a headach and that was from sleeping down in our compartment.

Sea sickness hasn’t shown itself on our boat as yet but I suppose before the trip is over many a boy will throw his head over the railing.  I heard the captain of the ship say that we were the roughest lot of men that he ever took over.  On his other trips the hospital has at all times been filled up.  He also said all we do is get on the mess line then come back and steal bread from the bakery.  I must admit dear sister that my hand helped to steal some bread as it was so tempting and my appetite is getting the best of me.

I haven’t as yet had the opportunity of being mixed up with the cooties as some of the boys have but when it comes to sleeping with rats not those field rats but those that come from the boat and are about eighteen inches long.  They are getting to familiar with me; they only come around when I sleep.  We are due to hit the war zone tonight and our new convoys are expected to meet us.

I know dear sister that you are anxiously awaiting a letter from me theirfore I am trying this way as the sailor looks honest and theirfore I think he will carrie this letter back to U.S.Soil.  The boys just told me that we past a U.S. transport that was homeward bound.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to be home once again but be it as it may I feel that your brother will soon come back as the boys say I’ve got a huntch.  Must close now dear sister as I really do not know what else to write about.  How is pa and all the folks home.  Kisses and love to you all.  Am going to write Anna.

Your Brother

Joe

xxxxx

xxx

My identification number is 1203323.

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/16/1918

Thursday 9 PM

Newport News

May. 16. 1918.

Dear Sister Madaline:

This I think will be my last letter to you from U.S. Soil.  I sent home for $10 but up to now I did not receive it.  I have all my letters ready to send to you all stating that I arrived safe in France.  I do not mail them until I board the transport.  Our company is on guard today but some how I  missed it.  I really do not know what else to write about except that take good care of pa and Bob.

I am

Your Loving Brother

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Stewart, Virginia 5/13/1918

Co A

May 13th 1918

Dear Sister Madaline:

Sorry to see you and John leave me so soon but I suppose it was for the best.  We drilled all day today in the dust and wind and hardly enjoyed ourselves as you saw how the wind and dust flies about hear.  I had to stop writing for a few minutes as we had our over seas examination.  I think I passed aces up.  They are issuing passes to town tonight but I don’t think that I will go down tonight as I have quite some washing and writing to do before going abroad the transport.

Something funny happened today I went to the base hospital last night and I saw the doctors operating on two young fellows one for appendicites and the other fellow for broken ribs.  I had a fellow friend that is attached to the base.  It was through him that I went their to see it.  It sure was a sad case but from what the doctor told me the boys never felt it while during the operation and after.  I wrote a letter to Father Himmelreicher last night.

Must close now dear sister.  Will write you again tomorrow.

Your Brother

Joe

Your visit made a new man of me.  Am feeling fine.

Joe

© Copyright 2011 by Lanny & Patti Brown, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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