Somewhere near Gironville, 5/9/1918

Dear Em,


After about four days of sunshine and extra fine weather it has again dampened up and I suppose we are in for another spell of usual rain and mud. (Sey la Guerre.) Your letter of April 7th was very interesting and altho Ive received one bearing a much later date the one of the seventh contained news that was new to me. That must have been some parade alright, but there is going to be one better. “The Victory Day.” “One where we all join in.” Of coarse Ive got no idea as to when this will be. You can never always sometimes tell you know. White Plains. The mothers and wives section of that parade sure was some impressive Ill bet.

"Reading Their Shirts" by Baldridge, 1918


I am very well and tho we are still where we were there is absolutly nothing doing of any note. It is just one of those long days when every thing is quiet and the clouds hang very low. A day when our very close friends make themselves the centre of attraction and start us in our reading lessons. Speaking of the flag is a reminder, that the other day while at one of these readings I in some way stepped on the watch getting out of it very lucky with only a broken crystal. There was an old watch kicking around from which I took the crystal casing and all, taped same to the watch and it is as good as ever until I can get some place where I can get the right thing. As for the chain, Ive discontinued using it in this place and it is with the rest of my sole belongings Left hand shirt pocket. I wish there was some thing I could write that I thought would interest you, but you see there is nothing.


Your discription of what you and the rest happen to be doing as you write your letters, presents a picture as plain as if it was in front of me, and pleases me very much. May you and the “Bunch” enjoy many a pleasant trip to the Beach this summer. Hope Aunt Madge is lucky in her new move, for from what you say it would be a good one. How is the piano and the ice chest? I suppose Katherine has got something planted in the yard by this time. Tell her I wish her the best of luck. Best regards to all



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



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

[Editor’s Note: The “reading lessons” with close friends refers to cootie hunts or “shirt hunts” which became a form of warm-weather recreation for troops while at rest, involving the close scrutiny of garments for lice in order to pick them off by hand. “Left hand shirt pocket” refers to the common location where troops kept their personal effects for recovery in the event they were killed or seriously wounded.]