1918-9-28 – France

Stationery: plain 8 ½ by 11 typing paper

Somewhere in France, Sept. 28, 19

Dear Olive:

I have not written you for almost a week, simply because it was impossible to send them even though I could write them. You know also the difficulty of writing when one is travelling. We left our training camp and are now in action in the realities of bellicose conditions. It hardly seems possible that we are here, but the roar of our heavy guns a few miles away tells us we are near that line that you see from time to time in your maps—called the Hindenberg Line.

We are billeted in a town where all the inhabitants have been driven out; many of the buildings are destroyed. Large holes in the sides of them tell us that the Boches at one time were not far distant.

A part of our regiment is already in action, while a part is in readiness. I am about five miles back of the lines at regimental headquarters. We saw a number of German prisoners pass yesterday evening shortly after our arrival here. We had to foot and ride a distance of twenty miles after leaving the trains. We were a tired lot but you would be surprised at the way I stood it when I had not been accustomed to much hiking. I stood it better than many of the others who are used to hikes.

 I have been very busy trying to get mailing connections established. We always try to get mail out as soon as possible. It will be some time ere we get mail direct from the states, since the mailing authorities must be informed as to our location.

Our trip here on the train was a pleasant one—I enjoyed it all the way. I am getting so I can sleep most any place and under any noise . Noise used to bother me so,–but not much now.

There was a French observation balloon downed this morning in the distance. It could be plainly seen from here—We could see the shells bursting in the air while the Germans were shooting at it. They did not get the observer, as soon as the balloon caught fire he manipulated his parachute and grounded safely.

We slept in our pup tents last evening, but managed to get under cover this evening. We have a fire place in one corner and I am writing by candle light. We are in an old house. This town was previously occupied by French soldiers. I see signs over the door “Cave 25 Hommes” which means a cave for 25 men. You would think this is an American country since American soldiers are more numerous than French. There are some negroes stationed here. It rained here most of the night. The roads are not so bad here in town since they were good before the war. The roads toward the front are very good, piked most all the way, and that is quite a help in getting supplies to the front.

You have closed your first month of school and I have never heard from you since a week before school began. hope you are well. I am.

Affectionately yours,

Clyde.

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