November 3, 1918
Dear Brother Bill [William Wode]:
How is everybody Over There to-day, old scout. Received two of your letters; one each, June and July; and also your picture which Sis had sent; they sure are good. I am glad to hear that you are back on your feet again and to hear you were home again to see the folks.
Well, bill, we were right in it the last couple of months; two big battles; but I got through them O. K. The first one was on the Champagne, and the second, Chatteau Thierry. Boy, she was open fire right; we got them on the run and gave them plenty; although we were under heavy shell fire. I never thought I had to dig my own hole, but here is one place I did, or got into the nearest shell hole. Machine guns were just sweeping us; and believe me, I dug with my nose sometimes; even the enemy planes would fly over us and drop bombs or turn their machine guns at us; but we are still in the land of the living. We got them out of a couple of towns; they left so fast, we could see them beating it over the hills; they didn’t have time to bury their dead. One time we had to wade a creek; a French river up to our waist and over. They tried to hold us there, but we run them without artillery until ours caught up to us again. We were without food for three days and little water, as it was bad to drink. We have gone through lots of hardships, but that’s to be expected.
Well, Bill, we are back of the lines for a rest and some more training; we have some new men. Last week before we were on the move, I took several good swims in the river; the water was pretty cold.
I haven’t met any of the boys as yet from home, but I hope some day I will. George and I were in Gay Paree for two days, and believe me, kid, we had some good time. We had two months pay coming, but it wasn’t our luck to get it; but we had a little besides what dad had sent in some of his letters; and the girls club at the factory (Globe Soap Company), sent seven and a half; boy, we had some good time. We stayed in the finest hotels and ate the best of everything.
We had an alarm one night of Sirens, blowing over the city as the enemy planes were near and everybody running for safety; but we stood on the Boulevard, listening; it sounded like New Year’s eve. Broadway is a mere spec to Paree. She is lively all night long, but all lights are out except the taxies.
Well, Brother, we are having fine hot weather. I am going to try to have my picture taken again when I find a place, hoping you are all well as I am O. K. Regards to all.
Corp. Louis H. WodeCo. H—116th Inf.