Somewhere in France, 8/12/1918

Somewhere in France

August 12th, 1918

Dear Brother John:

I received your letter some time ago but am sorry to say that I could not of answered sooner.  Of course John you realize how hard it is at times for me to write all my folks, relatives, and friends, but somehow I have been fortunate and have been able to write both Madaline and Anna almost everyday.  Isn’t it wonderful the way the Yankee Boys are treating the Huns.  Well it’s the good old Yankee blood and spirit.  It is needless for me to try and tell you any war news and I know the N.Y. papers furnish you with more news than what we boys get here.  John, my ambitions are great and many. Now that I have the experience I think I can show what stuff I am made of.  We are at our rest camp now and in a few moments I can see where I am forced to go out and get rations for the evening although its only about fifteen minutes of work.

Guess I will close now John will write soon again with love and kisses to you all, I am.

Affectionately

Joe

Corporal Jos. Maus

105. U.S. Inf Co A

American E. F.

A.P.O. 748

PS:  Did you receive my photo and long letter in which I told you everything since I left the states.

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

Somewhere in France, 8/12/1918

Somewhere in France

August 12th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

I haven’t written you in days on account of military movements.  I haven’t received mail in about one week the reason being I was suppose on account of the shortage of transportation.  I received my photo which I think is very poor but just the same I think it shows my condition, health and spirit.  I am still seeing France on a pair of hob nails that is to say I’ve seen france yes very much of france on a pair of feet.  Weve just finished having an inspection of our equippment and belongings.  The weather has been great in the past two weeks this of course is our greatest delight.  Did you receive my long letter in which I told you about my experiences from the time I left the states until the present day.

Guess I will close now only hoping to hear from you soon, I am.  Love and kisses to you all.

Your Brother

Joe

Corporal Jos. Maus

105 U.S. Inf. Co A.

American E.F.

A.P.O. 748

Censor’s Signature:  OK/ SBE

PS:  I received the stars which you sent me.  They dated from June 7th to 15th.   Joe

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

From John, Jamaica N.Y. 8/12/1918

John J. O'Farrell, Joe's brother-in-law

Jeffry Ave, Jamaica, N.Y.

12 August 1918

Dear Brother Joe:

I suppose when you get this letter you will have seen some action for according to the latest press reports the 27th Division is now at it.  We all hope and pray that nothing serious will ever occur to you, but in the moment of supreme peril think of the sacred duty you are over there to perform and I feel sure that you will measure up as a real American, the kind that Fritz is getting a taste of along the Somme.

The latest news from the front is the most encouraging we have had since the war began and I think that the superiority of American grit, daredevilness, and gameness is turning the tide; the spirit that is in the breast of an American exists no place else in the world – what our boys lack in military science is more than made up for by their grit, and the people you boys have left behind are as pleased and as proud of you as it is possible for mortal to be.

An old friend and playmate of mine, whom I had not seen for several years was killed recently on the Somme, Major James McKenna of the 165th.  His brother Bill is a captain + regimental adjutant of the same regiment, both old L.I.C boys.

Mr. Grill told me yesterday he had written you during the week but that he had not heard from you recently. I received a letter from John Wulforst a few days ago and just as I expected, he was kicking about his Army life; but you know what to expect of him, a little discipline will make a man of him.  The other brother, Al, tried to enlist in the Navy but was rejected on account of guess (?) – his good eyes.  Bill Zimmer and Ed Fisher are now “over there”, I hope that you run into them some time.

Our baseball team at the Depot defeated the Pelham Naval Team Saturday by a score of 5 to 4, some game.  Gus Sandberg played with Pelham and he is a corking good catcher.  You remember him I guess, he caught for Rochester in the International League for the past two years.  Madaline and I were pleased to hear of Lieutenant Wulfenden’s promotion and we want you to remember us to him and convey our best wishes.

If you need anything please call on me and I will endevour to get it for you.  I realize, perhaps better than anyone, what you are up against over there, but keep a stiff upper lip and think of your God and country and I feel confident that everything will right itself.  Don’t lose your nerve in a tight place for that is a most dangerous thing.

Write me when you can.  With love and kisses from Bob, Madaline, Pop & myself, I remain,

Affectionately.

John

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

Somewhere in Belgium, 8/9/1918

August 9th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

After resting all day yesterday I am now ready to do my day’s work.  The work isn’t half bad that is it isn’t hard nor do we have long hours.  The weather in the past few days are great and well is it appreciated by us boys.  In order that I might get my mail sooner we have been advised to add to our old address A.P.O. 748.  So here after if you will dear sister just add same to my old address.  Isn’t it great the way the Yankee boys are treating the Huns.  Well its the Yankee blood and spirit.  Guess I have said about all I know so I will close.  Will write again tomorrow.  Lots of love and kisses to you all.

I am

Your Brother

Joe

My address is:

Corporal Joseph Maus

Co. A. 105 U.S. Inf.

American E.F.

A.P.O. 748

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

Somewhere in Belgium, 8/8/1918

August 8th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline

Am still keeping my promise by writing you every day although the news is very scarce and non-interesting.  I think I wrote you all the news of interest in my last few letters.  I surely am a fool to get my mail mixed up the way I did with Anna’s and Priscilla’s letters.  Say it looks as if I were in real love doesn’t it.  Priscilla has been real faithful to me since I left home as she has written me at least twice a week.  She surely is a good girl and I surely think the world of her.  Do you blame me.  I am going to write to Anna, Priscilla and Wulfersts today although since I arrived in france I have yet to receive a letter from the Wulferts.

The weather in the past week has been fairly good but today its great.  The sun is shining its warm and very pleasant to rest in as today is my day of rest.  The mess is still continuing to come in good and plenty of it.  We get meat at least once a day coffee for three meals, 1 third of a loaf of bread daily, bacon once a day, oat meal & raisins once a day and bread pudding for supper and butter and jam.  My condition and health is the best yet and I really have no complaints to make.

Guess I will close now will write again tomorrow.  With love and kisses to you all, I am.

Your Brother

Joe

Corporal J. Maus

105 U.S Inf. Co. A

American E.F.

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

From Priscilla, 8/5/1918

Kings Park, L.I.

Aug 5, 1918

My dearest Joe.

I was so happy to receive your always welcome letters and two cards.  Joe dear, do you receive the letters I write you?  I write every week and you surely ought to have quite a few.  I am so glad you aren’t in the trenches and I hate to think what might happen to you when you are in them.  Every night in my prayers I always pray for you and Jim, that you both might come back to us safe and unharmed.  Yes, and I’m afraid my kid brother will have to go now, as Gen. Crowder says all men + boys from 18 to 45 must go.  You must have a great time sleeping in billets with horrible rats running around.  Your army life is no cinch is it.  Well Joe we all hope for the best + are anxiously looking forward to when our boys come home again.  Joe I am sending you a little emblem of good luck, five leaves means extra good luck, so just put it in your purse for safe keeping.

If the weather in France is any thing like its here you boys have my greatest sympathy.  Yesterday it was 102 degrees in the shade, but thank heavens it’s a little cooler today.  I wish it was winter time.

Ours boys are doing wonderful work in France, the papers give wonderful news which I follow very closely.

Joe, my cousin and I are going to take some pictures today and if they turn out half way decent I’ll send you a couple.

I am still going to school, how I wish I was finished.

Do you hear very often from any folks in Jamaica?  Have you met any of your old friends yet?  I guess chances are slim in that line.  There are three brothers from here who were scarcely a mile apart and didn’t know it until they were moved to other towns.  All the boys from here always write and ask where Jim is thinking they might run across him, but none have so far.

I want this letter to catch the next mail so I’ll close with lots + lots of love.

Yours for ever

Perce

PS:  Excepted for the duration of the war + ever after.  Get me?

Be sure + write as soon as you can.  My cousin says she is going to write to you.

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

Postcard from Somewhere in Belgium, 8/2/1918

Field Service Post Card

Addressed to:

Bob O’Farrell

Jeffry Avenue

Jamaica, L.I

NY

USA

I am well.

Letter follows at first opportunity.

Joseph Maus

August 2nd 1918

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

Somewhere in Belgium, 7/30/1918

Somewhere in Belgium

July 30th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

I received your three letters dated June 21st, 25th and 30th and believe me dear sister I am very proud to see that you have been so faithful to me in writing as often as you have.  I haven’t written you in weeks although of course it wasn’t my fault as I have been through practically everything since we left France.  You all have been constantly on my mind and my every thought is of you all back home.  I received quite a few letters from John and Anna and as soon as I reach my rest camp I promise to write you a nice long letter.  This letter that I am writing you is being written in the line where shot and shell have been and are falling all around us.  My experiences have been great and many since I came into the line some days ago.  I have been in the front line where right in front of us lied the dirty Huns front line and “no man’s land”.

Now dear sister if the censor permits I will tell you a few of my many adventures and experiences.  The trenches which we have occupied have been waist deep with mud and water and more rain showed up every day.  We rested during our rest periods in small dugouts known as “bivys”.  My first nights sleep was in a shell crater wear rats and other animals visited us both day and night.  About thirty yards to the rear of us could be seen a dead Hun who was shot just above the waist line in the rear.  I examined him personally during the day and cut one button off his coat for a souvenier [Several lines removed by Censor].

Its beyond me to tell you of the mans condition as he lies their on “No Man’s Land” but you can imagine a person lying on a field perhaps at least two weeks.  He was killed during the raid and advance of the british troops a little over two weeks ago.  The poor lad was only about sixteen or seventeen years old but looked rather large for his age.  I crossed over what is known as death valley and expect to venture over same again soon.

That’s all about the front line but now for the reserve.  We were all tired out and anxiously waiting mess time and sleeping quarters.  We rested all night and part of the day and when I awoke I found myself cootied up.  It is not very pleasant to talk about but I want you all to know about my experiences.  Our casualty list was small and I came out into the reserve in the best of condition except for a pair of water soken feet.  That’s about all of my experiences except a few things which I doubt the censor would pass on but sometime as soon as I can get details that will allow me why I will try and tell you in one of my coming letters.

I know dear sister that very shortly we will move up to the front line but I have no fear as its either me or him.  But just now its him as I have a few special bullets which I think have at least one Huns name on it and that means no blightly for him (hun) but sure death.  I have seen while looking over the parapet a few hun soldiers out on working party but as soon as we let fly with both gun and bomb you ought to of seen poor Jerry (as the english call him) run and get off.  We do our own cooking and a mixture of beans, corn beef and potatoes is nothing to strong for us.  Our rashions are great but a shortage of water is our greatest enemy.

As yet I did not receive my photos that I had taken recently but will send you one as soon as I receive it.  Oh yes I received Bob’s picture and he surely looks great.  Dear sister you know Bob and Baby are my great pride and do everything in our power to make them happy.  I know dear sister that you are and always will do everything in you power for Pa, Baby and Bob but for my sake see that Pa does not worry.  Guess I will close now as I think I have said about all I know, I am

Your Brother

Joe

P.S. Love and kisses to you all my friends.  Enclosed find button and picture card for Bob.  As yet I did not receive the stars but have a letter ready except for corrections which I will write to our paper.

Corp. Joseph Maus

105 U.S. Inf. Co A

American E.F.

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

Postcard from Somewhere in Belgium, 7/29/1918

Master Bob O’Farrell

Jeffry Avenue

Jamaica, L.I.

N.Y

USA

Dear Bob:

Isn’t this a beautiful picture of a French madamselle.  I’ve received your photo that ma sent to me you surely do look great.  I have been in the line and have been through quite a lot.  Best of luck and love to you all, I am.

Uncle Joe

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

From John, Jamaica N.Y. 7/24/1918

John J. O'Farrell, Joe's brother-in-law

Jeffry Ave, Jamaica, N.Y.

24 July 1918

Dear Brother Joe:

I neglected to write you for a couple of weeks and ought to be kicked but you will forgive me I know.

Well, at last we are getting good news and the Huns are beginning to feel something new, the American spirit of youth and rightesnous which has never yet tasted the dregs of defeat, and I feel sure that before long Fritz will be back in his own yard, a pretty well licked cur, and when this war is over, the rest of the world will look up to Uncle Sam and his boys and salute them as the saviours of the world and liberty.

John Wulforst is now down in Georgia and will be going “Over There” before long.  My old boss, Paymaster Karker, is now on duty in France and has asked me to join him if possible.  I am seriously thinking of it and will go if I can arrange things in the Navy Dept for an indefinite leave of absence; I am sure that if I get duty with him it will only be a short time before I get a commission.

This war, as I told you once before is a man’s size job and is no skylarking expedition, but I know that when the time comes to show what you are made of, you will show the true American spirit of fearlessness and will do your duty as a real American patriot.  I trust that you will distinguish yourself and earn promotion by your valor in a true Spartan manner.  Our daily thoughts and prayers are for you, that you may do your duty and that God may decree that you shall come back to us again safe and sound and a better man for having gone through the fire and seen men do things that shows the fibre of which they are made.

I will close now, dear Joe, and trust that when this letter reaches you, it will find you in good health and spirits, and ready to knock hell out of any hun that you run up against.

With love from your father, Madaline, Robert and myself, I am, as ever,

Affectionately yours,

John J.

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

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