Somewhere near Gironville, 5/19/1918

Envelope Trench Art - Back Side

Envelope Trench Art - Front Side

4 A.M.


Dear Em


Yesterday was a perfect summer day, and one that never could be equaled in the States especially at this time of year. By all appearances now it is going to be just as good a day today. OH. Em if you only knew how much we appreciate this sun, and dry weather. Those of us that have got by all winter and Spring with out a trip to the hospital, can excuse all the tough weather that has followed us ever since stepping on to foreign soil, after experiencing such balmy days as the last few have been.


I wish you could hear these birds sing outside this dugout, and see the sun just rising between two hills just to our right, which are held by the Boshe. To sum it all up Em, it is a beautiful Summer morning, with peace and quiet every where. Yesterday morning was the same until old Sol got about an hour high and then, the same old fire works began, airships began to buzz over head, the big drums began to roll, and another day of modern science was well started.


It was pretty quiet “out front” last night but right here Id better can this stuff before I go too far with it. They have started. Two seventy sevens from across the way have been hurled over landing in a town. More will follow these two, other batteries will pick it up and then the usual days work will be in full swing. Our birds still continue their twitter though and I guess the only thing that would stop them would be a regular barrage (during which a fellow would do well to hear himself sing let alone listen to nature). Many a morning Ive stood sat or layed waiting for this barrage (just at dawn) the sound of which reminds me of all the snare and base drums, explosions and fire works that Greater Boston could muster, and all going at once. But some dry land and a little sun, a fag now and then, and we should worry.


We have been on some part of the line continually now since Feb. 7/18 with the exception of the few days that was taken to march that seventy or eighty miles to our training base, and loaded into trucks on our arrival and landed here. We are due for a furlough or a rest soon for to date the last leave that any of us have been lucky enough to get was that last Sat. & Sunday I got from Westfield, and the last time I was home. Well we didn’t come over here for pleasure and Im as contented as one could wish to be, but I thought I’d mention this in answer to questions asked as to whether Id received my furlough as yet. We are over here for business (no Border stuff understand) and any one that comes over with any thing else as their object is going to be mistaken badly.


We are getting the assurance that every one “over there” are doing their bit and every thing possibly for us. I got ahold of a Boston Post of “some weeks back” and the accounts of the big parade and the wonderful “come through spirit” of America, for the Third Liberty Loan was very interesting and also incouraging for us fellows that are “over here” and nead backing now. But to change the subject Em – I received two fine letters from you last night bearing the dates April 23, and 25 and was very glad to hear that you are all well. You opened up the first by saying that it was pretty near the close of a perfect day, and your discription of the kids playing ball and piggy is a scene I can well picture, and would appreciate could I witness it. If you think you’re filling all your letters with explaining about your new job, what in the world must be thought of the contents of mine. It shows that we are both interested in our work and surely in each other by writing very often regardless of what we say.


Glad to hear that Zella is with you, for Im sure she makes it pleasant and also glad that you have such pleasant surrounding to work in. There must sure be some close to Mary now, and tell her Em I wish her luck. Ha. So the kids fight yet, and Old George is the go between. It would be good if we had an Old George in this World Affair wouldnt it? I suppose Nellie, the husband, (Charlie is it?) Old George and the kids do present some wonderful sights these warm spring evenings, with their graphophone going. Has he got those flags in his possession yet, or doesn’t he display them now?


Bully for Napolean! We could use him to good advantage Em if we had him with us right on this sector. Look Em, you know how the farmers in Maine used to rig up scare crows, stick them out in a cornfield, and how these scare crows would answer the purpose of protecting said young corn from being dug up by said crows. Well we have some listening posts in “No Man’s Land,” from which valuable information is some times obtained. You see we would stick young speedy out there, and old Fritz thinking it an old Yankee trick (to draw their attention from some where else) would laugh at it and leave said it unmolested. Of coarse our first problem would be to teach him (not to see every thing understand) but to remember and explain all he did see. It wouldn’t cost the government much for cloths either. So much for speedy, he is just as you say though Em, a great help to his mother and the neighbors. I thought that sugar refinery would cut off quit a little of the view, but it is nice to be able to see the Naval Hospital yet.


Well Em I suppose it is getting warm over there now, and I can say right here that as I write it gets hotter and noisier. I can picture Pa trotting off to bed when there is nothing else to do, and look Em don’t forget to put a screen in his window for if the mosquitoes there are as active as they are here, they will pester him to death. Between mosquitoes (as large as horse flys) and cooties (almost as large) our days work is pretty well cut out for us. Im with you Em in wishing Madge out of the place she is now in and hope that before long she will be.


Following up you letter I will say yes, the 104th did have quite a tough time of it and came through pretty well too. One young fellow, Alpen by name who was in “my old company” Co. K, was knocked off in this jam and a few of the others wounded. I thank Adeline for her kind regards and tell her I was asking for her the next time you see her. Lillian also. Same to the Hollands. Im pretty sure Harry will be over here any way but then he may think different. Good luck to him. I thank Zella for her best wishes, and I hope you all spend a pleasant and enjoyable 17th (OO La La).


The reason for the different colored ink that made up the letters of Mar. 14, and 30th that you speak of in your letter of April 25 was in compliance with that common sense saying “Get what you can no matter what it is.” I’ve written one letter with as much as three different pens, in which was different colored ink. The fancy designs I made on some of my letters was done while there was absolutly nothing else to do. Trench stuff you see.


It is news to me to hear that Boston’s Own has not left yet, for we heard that they were already on their way to France long ago. When they do get here we will probably never see them for they may be placed many miles from this division. As for them making it possible for us to get some rest, I rather it would make all the more work for the Hun with us still at it until the whole dirty business is cleaned up. Just like Lena when she is cleaning house or doing anything, “Everybody up and doing and stuck until its done.” OH you Lena! Lena playing solitaire, Pa reading the paper, your getting ready for bed, Bert working until nine oclock. That old song “I wonder how the Old Folks are at home” means nothing to me on receipt of your letters for I know all about them after reading the contents.


As for Harry giving up the chance to go to England to train, I think he failed to use good judgment for that is where he would get some real good training. I bet your some class in your new rig. Well Em Im going to stop not because I have nothing more to say or because this is all the paper I can scrape up, but because I feel as though Ive said enough. So with love to all I close




Samuel E. Avery Hdq. Co. 103rd Inf. A.E.F.



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