Army records indicate that the 117th Ammunition Train was stationed
at Glonville, Dept. Meurthe-et-Moselle,
(lat. 48°28.5' N., lon. 6°41.5' E.),
about 4km northwest of Baccarat
from March 31 to June 20, 1918. |
At the time of the armistice, and probably during much of 1918,
the front was located about 15km to the
northeast, on the other side of the river Meurthe.
Somewhere in France
April 9 1918
Dear Mother Father Bros & Sisters,
Just came down to the Y.M. to write you a few more lines.
It is nearly mess time and I have been waiting all morning at
the barber chair to get a hair cut and shave. Since I wrote last
mama we have been moving around a great deal. We are billeted
in a small village close to the front. Since the war has been
going on it has left the place almost deserted only for a few
old people who keep a few cows & chickens for their living.
The town is in range of the German guns & aeroplanes and I
don't blame the people for leaving. It has been raining the past
few days and made things awful muddy and when I say muddy believe
me it is muddy mud! The natives live in the same place with the
livestock only for a petition that separates
them. They throw the manure out it the steet and the smell would
remind you of the sweet essence of a barnyard. Once in a while
a pig or hog will get loose and run in the wrong door and get
into the house here comes an old woman chasing em out the front
door with a stick plodding along with wooden shoes, it would
remind you of old Dutch cleaner. This has nothing to do with us
and all goes with the war I guess. Our food is good and every
body seems to make himself at home even in a barn. surrounding this
village is part of the old battle grounds and part of the trenches and
barb wire entanglement are still here. We have been under fire several
times now and came out pretty lucky. I was up on the front yesterday
althought it was very quiet. Most all the fighting takes place at
night and when the batteries open up
on a barrage fire or a bombardment you can almost read a newspaper as
far back as five miles from the lines. The French are certainly
game fighters and experts with their artillery as anyone would tell
you who has fought along with them and the Huns are not bad/giving
the devil his dues/ The longer a fellow stays away from the U.S. the
better he likes the States, but there is very few fellows that would
rather go home than stay and finish the war, when he finds out what
is going on and what he is really fighting for. Well mama I hope this
finds you fairing well and healthy. I know I am a slacker when it comes
to writing, for I believe you have been writing more often! I
got Elizabeth letter today and was glad to hear Richard received
a raise that will help matters along a bit. Rich should be piece of a
machinist by now I hope.
It seems it is about time papa was putting in the garden if he has
not already built that big brick house on the corner. ha!
no doubt it keeps him busy making ends meet the way prices are now.
Well mama I will have to close for this time. please excuse this fancy
paper and good scribbling. my stationary is in my barracks bag in
some other town, and the Y.M. has run out of paper so that the reason.
Give all the kids my regards.
P.S. I wish you send a couple of good towels and some violet face powder
for after shaving. These seem to be scarce.
These seem to be scarce.