Somewhere in the Neptune Sector, 10/16/1918

Dear Em,


First of all please excuse the condition of this letter. If you could see me now you would wonder how in world I could write. There is no time like the present, and it pleased me so to get a letter from you yesterday dated Sept 17 that I just can’t help begging this paper and starting an answer to it. This old trusty mess pan again does its duty as a desk.


We hit this place yesterday after moving from the place I last wrote. It has been raining now for two or three days, and considering the fact that we are living in these pop tents I can honestly say that Im fairly dry and comfortable, and above all feeling great. Im writing now for one can never tell when he may get another chance for we are on the move and expect to go into action again very soon. The drive continues regardless of the rain but it will only tend to bring about the end sooner.


Yes my rest in the hospital did me the world of good and I hope I can go through the rest of this jam all right. I supose the old veterans that have returned are pretty well thought of and they deserve it let me tell you. They are pretty fortunate to enjoy a taste of civilization again expecially the home brand. I supose it is getting kind of cold over there now and let me tell you Im not welcoming the coming winter any too much. Last year we were billeted in Towns but this year it will be out under the stars in any old hole and glad to get that.


Glad to here that Pa still enjoys his night out once in a while as your letter states. I guess it was kind of tough on Tom to have to return to his ship after his furlough. What you never had you never miss you know. I hear the boys all speak of receiving word from home about that new disease that is spreading around. One fellow said that they have closed up all places of public amusement to try and check it. I hope that none of you folks come in contact with it for I understand it is very disagreeable for a few days.


I received a letter from Mrs Holland some time ago which I have since answered. She wrote a very nice letter and said that of late I haden’t been writing very often. I tried to tell her, as I will tell you here that it is almost imposible at times to write much, and when I do write it is home, which is leaving it to you to tell the news.


Saw some Boston American and Posts latly and they sure do print some big headlines on the battles. We are all waiting to get a glance of a Boston Paper bearing the date of Sept. 13-14. The latest news we have is that the President is leaving it to Gen. Foch to deside the new peace offer. At the rate he is going now he will too. From here we can hear some of our peace answers to the Boshe going over now in steel and powder. They’re getting peace alright. The peace that he had all maped out for us.


Well Em I hope this finds you all well. Walter Davis is O.K. if you should happen to see Emma, and tell her he is as jolly as ever. Lufkin is in the hospital. Batty Coyne’s bunch is near here some where now and Im looking up some of the old timers all the time but can’t seem to connect. Best regards to Aunt Madge and the rest. Heard from the boss the other day and learned that three of the fellows have been wounded but out of thirteen that left the shop none are yet represented by a gold star. Blue is good enough for me. Closing the same



S. E. Avery #69762, Hdq Co. 103rd Inf. Am. Ex. Forces.



[Ed. Note: Pictured above is the very “Blue Star” or Service Banner which Sam here refers to being displayed at the “shop” (Bristol Patent Leather Co.). This is a rare version of the Banner in the form of a full-sized flag which honors the group of employees who answered the call to arms. The final number of stars was actually 15, each one representing a specific man. Sam’s star is believed to be the first one which is furthest to the left or top (depending on which way the banner was displayed) as he was “first to the colors” having been in the service since 1912. Ultimately 5 of the stars were altered into white, indicating those who eventually died in war service.]


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

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Readers:
    Please refer to the page “Sam’s References Explained” for an entry on the Service Flags displayed with blue and gold stars on the Home Front. The blue star represented loved ones serving in harm’s way, the gold star represented those killed in action. Understandably, a blue star was good enough for Sam. Also see a reference entry for the Spanish Flu which is the “new disease” Sam and the boys hear is spreading around the United States.


  2. Pip pip Sam!, I’ve heard about a particularly nasty flu which has been doing the rounds. Thinking you have enough to cope with already, I hope the bugs leave you alone. Perhaps they will focus their attentions on the hun?

  3. Hi Myscha:
    Unfortunately the Flu did finally catch up to the 26th Division during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and took its share of casualties among all ranks. Happily, Sam was spared from it although his system was undoubtedly still compromised by the gassing he had previously received. However, his family back in Boston was also very much in harms way during September-November 1918. It’s hard to imagine the carnage that this disease caused in such a short period of time. Please refer to the page “Sam’s References Explained” for more information.

    Best Regards,

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