Somewhere near Vaudesson, 2/19/1918

Same dug out.


Dear Em.


Having got possesion of a little ink, a stub of a candle and some writing paper (the Lord only knows where the envelope is coming from) I write. I received your very welcome letter of Jan. 20-18, also one from Sadie, the letters you wrote Sunday when Babe was playing the piano, the victrola was going and Pa was enjoying it all. Say Em, you talk about old people finding consolation in reading the Bible. Here is an old man and your letters has it on anything for consolation I tell you.


I suppose by this time you have got the letter I sent stating that we are away up here in the front line holding a section of the line of trenches with the French. Yes Em America is in it now and forever if Germany chooses to look at it that way. This trench life is all that it has been cracked up to be and we havent seen much wet weather latly either. The sector that we are on you have no doubt read of very often I know I have. Two of the boys have already been knoked off and more wounded. (Don’t tell any of the draft boys this) We hear that “Boston’s Own” are in France now and are going to occuppy the town we left before our move up here. If this is true they will go into a nice little town beleive me. We never expect to see this dear little village again for it is too far away from the front to move us to. We expect to stay here about twenty more days before being pulled out for a rest, and then in again for another period.


Ive been very buisy all day writing on Co. work and say Em you talk about coal-less days. My fingers are feel-less and if you liken my feet unto yours when yours are cold you’ll have it. Yes we have quite a lot of paper work in the trenches, while the big shells, machine guns awhirl over head and the air ships buzz, fight, and observe. First you here a whistle that sounds louder and louder, then a bang. Air fights are an hourly occurance, and say the boys are cleaver that drive these machines. Talk about your Beechy stunts, he is dead. The thrill of this, and the big Jack Johnson have all worn off now.


By the way Em Im fine and have been ever since my first real sleep which was Sunday night. Do you remember those two pairs of big heavy socks I bought away back when I was called out. Well Em they are the most sensible thing I ever bought in my life. My feet are cold understand but I can imagine what they would be with the issue sock. This little candle is burning very fast and it is a race as to who will finish first the light or me. Living in the ground no fires and very few candles. This is the life, this is the life, (it has come to be the life for me). Im far from liking it, but its the best weve got.


Im going to try to send Madge a line, but she is all I guess outside of you folks at home there. Its funny to here you mention the picture and having a few more left I thought Id send them along, before I loose them. Some lose what? Id like to put these fingers down your neck now, I bet you’d go over the top to get at me. Well Em such is life up to the present and here is hoping that the future is as good as the past has been. We are in for some tough times but Ill pull through all right as I always have. Im in the best of health which is half the game to start with.


Does Lena bite her finger nails now. Tell her I havent got any. Hoping this finds you all very comfortable (I can appreciate it) I think Ill close for the present. It is neadless for me to mention them all by name but I think of every one back there and I want you to remmember me to them. Yours truly.


1st Sgt. Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf. 26 Div. A.E.F.


Now for an envelope.


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

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Readers:
    Please refer to the page “Sam’s References Explained” for entries referencing “Boston’s Own 301st Infantry” and “Jack Johnson.”


  2. Well, I guess you found an envelope at least. I was reading some lines by one of the war correspondents a few days ago and he was pretty straight about some of the stuff going on over there.
    Keep your head down, and take care of the lads under you and never forget that your country is waiting to welcome you back when all this ghastly business is over.

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