From Priscilla to Madaline, 11/18/1918

Kings Park, N.Y.

Nov. 18, 1918

My dear friend-

I received your letter Saturday evening and I really cannot express in words how shocked and grieved I was to hear of Joe’s death.  It seemed to come so suddenly that I can hardly realize it to be true.  I feel that there must have been a mistake made and that we will hear that he is still alive.  As you say, there is some consolation in knowing that he died a hero and that will help us to bear our sorrows as bravely as he gave his life.

I have always written to Joe regularly and especially since he has been “Over there” and have had a letter, sometimes two or three every week until Sept 14th which was the last I received and in which he enclosed a very pretty little handkerchief.

I sent him a photo of myself Nov. 3rd because he had been asking for one so often and I thought it reach him by Christmas.

If you should learn any details as to Joe’s death, I should deeply appreciate hearing from you.

With sincere sympathy, believe me to be

Very sincerely yours,

Priscilla

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

From Priscilla, 11/10/1918

Kings Park, N.Y.

Nov. 10. 1918

My dearest Joe-

Well how are you?  I have been watching every mail for a letter from you.  I do wish you could drop me a few lines, so I shall be convinced that you are well and safe.  Goodness, New York just went crazy last Tuesday, when the papers announced “Germany Quits”.  Every factory and shop closed at 12 o’clock, peopled paraded for hours.  Then next day that papers contradicted it.  Isn’t it just wonderful if its really true, I am so anxious for it to end.  Aren’t you?  Joe dear, have you received my letters, and I sent you a picture of myself last week?  Only the picture makes me look so much older than twenty.  Nevertheless you will be able to see some likeness anyway.

How are you making out with French?  Can you speak any yet?  Don’t forget, I want to take lessons from you when you come home.

The “Spanish Flu” seems to be getting hold of every one in K.P. there are nearly two hundred cases it seems to be increasing rather than decreasing.  Lets hope you boys wont contract it over there.

I was going over to see your sister the other day, but didn’t get a chance to do it.  I suppose you get many letters from her.  But I bet she can’t be any more anxious to see her big brother come home that I am and I surely hope it will be soon.

Joe dear, I don’t know what else I can write you as things are very much the same as ever.  No news only excitement over the Kaiser quitting.

Although I cannot get time to write you as often as I would my thoughts are ever of you.  I am always wondering if you are well and safe.  The 27th Div. is royally praised for its good work.  Every time I see anything about the 27th or 105-6-7 Infs I always wonder what part you took in the victory.

Well Joe, I must close as I am so sleepy, please dear boy, write me when you can.  Goodnight and God bless and keep you safe.

Yours with lots and lots of love.

Perce

[Editor's Note: This letter was "Returned To Sender" and never received by Joe.  The back of the envelope is marked with “Deceased.  Verified Casualty Section. Central Records Office”.  There is a handwritten date on the front – 4/28/19. Priscilla kept the letter as a memento of her love.]

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

Postcard from Somewhere in France, 9/20/1918

Sept 20th, 1918

Mr & Mrs John J O’Farrell

Jeffry Avenue

Jamaica

L.I, N.Y.

U.S.A.

Dearest sister Mad

Am feeling fine and dandy.  Love to you all back home.

Brother Joe

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

Postcard from Somewhere in France, 9/20/1918

Sept 20, 1918

Master Robert E. O’Farrell

Jeffry Avenue

Jamaica, L.I.

NY USA

Dear Bob.

Am feeling fine and dandy.  Only hoping you are enjoying the best of health.

Uncle Joe

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

Somewhere near Doullens, 9/20/1918

September 20th, 1918

Dear sister Madeline-

Am receiving mail from you and Anna regularly sometimes three times a week but am sorry to say that it was impossible for me to write you in almost one week on account of divisional movements.  Am going to ask you again did pa receive the thirty two dollar money order and the check for $150.  You see dear sister my worries are of home only but of course in order to stop home worries I’ve got to bring myself home to you all.  But still remember dear sister my chances are very good in coming back safe theirfore I have nothing to worry about except you all back home.  My thoughts are for you all back home and feel safe in saying that you are all enjoying the best of health that is according to your letters.

My health is great but I’ve got a felon on my first finger of my left hand and lose a few hours sleep each night and at times courses me much pain.  By the time this letter reaches you  I expect to have my hand back to working order.  The weather has been very poor in past days as it has done nothing but rain.  Sometime times for hours and sometimes all day.  I am sending a few post cards under separate cover.

Guess I will close for now, will write again tomorrow,

I am.

Your Brother

Joe

Corporal Joe. Maus

105 US. Inf. Co A

American E. F.

A.P.O. 748

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

Somewhere near Doullens, 9/15/1918

Somewhere in France

Sept. 15th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

Today being sunday and nothing to do but sit around and enjoy the good weather today.  It seems unusual to have good weather as for the past month it has done nothing but rain almost continuously day and night.  I received mail again today from both you and Anna and I surely do feel fine to receive mail especially when I’m so far away from you all.  Our Yanky boys are doing wonders at their sector and believe me Sis I figure if we have a late winter this war is going to finish and the Allied Troops on top.  The reason I would like to see the winter come in late is to allow the allied army to continue their pushing and not allow Jerry to rest for the more we push the weaker Jerry’s army gets.  In my time over here I have seen many German prisoners and if I couldn’t lick at least five why I think I’m a weakling.  I’ve seen prisoners from 17 to 65 years old and a worse lot of men could not be seen in the world.  A german soldier’s uniform varies in color but not in quality their torn and patched and always dirted.  The average german soldier very seldom shaves and from their appearance I judge they spend many weeks in the line while the Allied troops very seldom spend more than eight days in the line.

Well dear sister I’m going to let you in on a secret if you promise not tell a single one well I’ve grown a mustache and its great.  Its one of these short Charlie Chaplins and honestly it looks neat.  It makes me look so much older but why worry.

Guess I will close now and tell pa that my moral is best ever.

I am

Your Brother

Joe

Corporal J. Maus

105 Inf Co A. U.S.A.

American E.F

A.P.O. 748

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

Somewhere near Doullens, 9/14/1918

Somewhere in France

Sept 14th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

Received mail from both you and Anna and surely was pleased to receive same.  My mail is coming in very regular but I regret very much to see that you and Anna’s mail is delayed or held up.  We got paid yesterday and I received 106 francs but last night I got foolish and played poker and won 500 francs.  Of course dear sister it was only for past time and this past time has netted me this amount,  I know you will forgive me for this and as soon as I can get a money order I am going to send home $100 for pa.  By the way did you receive my last money order for $32?  Tonight I bought practically everything I needed 12 razor blades, 3 towels, one box of face soap 3 cakes in a box, shaving soap and cream, tooth brush, tooth paste, fruit candy, cigarettes.  and last of all but not least one good meal consisting of six eggs, mash potatoes and one bottle of Guinness stout.

I have everything now except one suit of warm underwear and I am going to put in a request to our major for underwear is too expensive for me to buy over hear.

Guess I will close now and will write again tomorrow.

I am

Your Brother

Joe

Corporal Joseph Maus

105 U. S. Inf. Co A.

American E. F.

A.P.O. 748

Love and kisses to you all.

Joe

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

Somewhere near Doullens, 9/11/1918

Somewhere in France

September 11th, 1918

Dear sister Madaline:

Nothing much to write about except that I am in the best of health and enjoying my rest while in our rest camp.  In todays mail I received five letter from you dated July 30, 31 Aug 1, 5 +7.  I also received your cable gram while at the front and honestly it surely did make me feel fine.  At first I was afraid to open it but courage then came. I thought at first it might be ill luck from home but when I saw “Love from home” you can imagine how happy I was.  Since my stay in france quite a few of my friends have been faithful to me by writing me quite often but one girl that I am about to refer to is the young girl from Glendale.  I think you remember the short blond girl her name is Anna Westrich.  I invited her up to see you for I think you will take a liking to her.  I am going to try and persuade her to pay you a visit.  Priscilla has written twice every week since I have been away.  Has she been up to see you since I’ve been away.

Guess I will close now and write again tomorrow.  I am.

Your Brother

Joe

Corp. J. Maus

105 U.S. Inf. Co A.

American E. F.

A.P.O 748

Love to you all.

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

Postcard from Somewhere in France, 9/10/1918

I am well.

I have received your telegram.

Letter follows at first opportunity.

I have received letter from you lately.

Joseph Maus

Sept 10, 1918

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

Somewhere near Doullens, 9/8/1918

Somewhere in France

Dearest sister Madaline

I haven’t written you in such a terrible long time it looks as if I have forgotten you but it isn’t so the reason was on account of being in the line.  I spent fourteen long days in the line and therefore you see my letter is going to be long and interesting.  Well dear sister after you read what I have to say you will notice that it was not only my praying but also yours and the gift of god.  God surely was with me and I can honestly say that I am the luckiest man on two feet to be where I am today.  Of course dear sister a man when writing gets an opportunity to exaggerate things but everything I am writing is so true that it would be impossible to exaggerate a single thing.

Well we started for the support line on a bright moonlight night in which we stayed for a short time.  We then advanced to the front line for a few nights.  Heres where my first experience on patrolling comes in.  After spending one night in the front line I was told to report to company Hdqs.  After doing so I was ordered to go out on patrol in “No Mans Land” to go out and get a prisoner.  Of course dear sister you understand the predicament I was in to go out never before being out their and capturing a prisoner for information.  I reported that same night and our platoon Lieutenant and myself went out as far as Jerries Bob Wire which was about 120 yards away from our trench and eighty yards from Jerries.  We ran into a few Jerry patrols but did not battle them as they out numbered us.  I will say dear sister that I held myself fairly well but my throat was a bit dry this showed a bit of nervousness but we returned back to our lines safe.  The night we hit the front line it started raining until we came out yesterday.

After resting the next day I was ordered to go out on patrol again that night but my objective was different.  I forgot to say on my first patrol I did not get my objective but on my second I did.  My second objective was to get the exact location of Jerries trenches.  After crawling for about 180 yds 20 yds away from Jerries line I drew a small map of Jerries trenches for about 100 yds.  Now dear sister after doing a bit in the front line our division went over the top advancing and capturing a big hill.  That day they advanced 300 yds.  While out on my second patrol my feeling was this way well I don’t give a rap I’m just as safe here as if I were home although I wasn’t but returned back safe.

Well the next day we went over the top this being my first time over and we advanced 800 yards capturing many prisoners.  After holding our new position Jerry counter attacked and me having charge of a machine gun my men got two Jerries and you ought to see the dammed beasts hit the dust.  Their counter attack was unsuccessful.  After getting relieved we moved to the support and Jerry sent over a barrage and heres where your prayers and every one homes who is praying for my safety was answered.  We were in our trench and for one hour and fifteen minutes shells as high as nine inch fell near and around us and for that length of time I held the rosary in my hands and said prayers constantly for that length of time. Now dear sister after going throw all this I can vouch if I get back home safe I’m going to live thats is home first and my church shall be my second home.

Well dear sister I haven’t rested as yet since I came out of the trenches and being that  its getting kinder late I guess I will stop and continue in the morning.  Now about cooties every man is pretty well cootied up and my body is covered with nothing but cootie bites but as soon as I get a good wash and a new set of clothes Mr cootie will then vanish.

Our troops are doing wonders and from what I know this war will be over soon as Jerry is on the run.  The whole allied troops have and are still advancing on the entire front and Jerry surely be back at his own front very shortly.  It is rumored that we get paid today.  Did pa receive my money order yet?   Is pa receiving his monthly allotment regularly.

I guess I will close now with love and kisses for you all.

I am

Your Brother

Joe

I received your cable gram.  Thanks very much.  Joe

Corporal Joseph MAus

105 U. S Inf. Co. A

American E. F.

A.P.O. 748

[Note: This letter contains reminiscence of experiences during the Ypres-Lys Offensive]

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

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