Thursday, March 7, 2013

Somewhere in France | Oct. 2, 1918

November 24, 1918

Dearest Muver:

Will please excuse my seeming neglect to write, but we have been on the road for some time, and when on the move you are busy preparing to leave, then comes the trip, and then the bustle of getting settled again. As that all takes time, we have been pretty busy for some time lately, and hence my not writing. In the future, Muver, please don’t worry if you don’t receive a letter for a week or so, for from now on we will be more or less mobile at all times, and writing is hardly possible. Excuse this scrawl, as my hands are cold as blue blazes and it’s work pushing the pencil.

U. S. Field Artillery in Chateau-Thierry. U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph.
We are in billets again in the funniest old village you ever could imagine; up on a hill overlooking a beautiful river valley. The village is nothing but a maze of funny old crooked alleys. Of course, there are no lights here at night and finding your own particular barn in the pitch dark is quite some stunt. Seven of us, six corporals and one sergeant, have a very nifty little place in the loft of an old house and are more comfortable than could be expected. The old quilt is still with me and doing noble service, for nights are cold up here farther north, and it beats six army blankets. The valley below us I still untouched by German hands except prisoners who work in the fields here, so it is still very beautiful. I have seen some valleys that were not so pretty, but these French are a wonderful race, and when the Germans have been pushed back, they are going right back building up. I passed thru Chateau Thierry one day and you have read about that. Well, business goes on and the people are all back again putting on new roofs and building their broken wall.

We received mail when we arrived here and I got a huge group, which pleased me more than a real meal. That is saying quite a lot. If I get permission, I am going to send bill a German helmet, as they are quite plentiful, some graves having as many as five or six at a time.

We have a great time, yelling at prisoners, telling them the war is soon going to be over—all over Germany. They only stare, for I guess they are past emotions. Poor suckers, they were shoved into it, and most of them are done fighting for the rest of their lives.

I surely enjoyed all of your letters, and Muver, I surely am proud to know you are doing your bit so finely. We passed thru towns and were treated fine, so I am happy in the knowledge that Cincy is doing her part, as always. Altho, Muver, if you print any more letters and distribute them in church, I fear my correspondence will be in the future ----------.

I am well and happy. Bon jour, Mon Cherie. The castle I spoke about in that letter was in Lamur, where the big officer’s school is here.

Well, Muver, the time for mess is nigh, so heaps of love to all and tell them to keep on writing, for that surely makes one happy boy.


Corp. Edward H. Shields
Battery E, 136th F.A.

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