This letter was written from Altenahr, a small town west of the Rhine between
Bonn and Koblenz. George describes his last battle before the armistice.
Dear Mother, Father, Bros & Sisters
Just got back from mess have been squirming around all day and finally settled
down to write you another letter. Mama the last letter I wrote was at calmus
Luxembourg and have got a number of postcards in the meantime. We are now at
Altinahr Germany which is our destination so I understand. How long we will be here I do not know, but don't think it will be so very long.
Our mail had
been delayed on the trip and just received a number of letters a few days
ago from you and the kids also 2 pkgs of newspapers. Am awful glad you
are in good health. It is to bad papa has to work so hard when he is not
feeling well, but say the war is over and that enough to make anybody to
feel well. I have not rec a letter from you since the Armastice was
signed, but just know everybody went well in K.C. The last front we were
on was at Verdon
mostly in the Argonne Forest. We had been driving the
Germans until they had retreated nearly to Sedan a good many miles.
We thought for a while they had gone on back to Germany it took so long
to catch up with them. Everything seemed so peaceful until one eve we
pulled into Boulson a small French town. They seen us pulling over the
road and hiding on one side of the town and that night they opened up
their guns on us all that night they fired at the town, the men had to
get the horses off the line and take em away from town and up over the
hill and stood up all night in the rain sleeping on the wet ground etc.
Believe me they were hitting all around us, which seemed like a warm
reception just before the Armastice was signed. Our Div was relieved
at Boulson France close to "sedan" the historic town where France met
her fate in one of the wars in the past. We went back to Harricourt and
was there only a few day when news was rec that Germany
had quit. It
seemed unbelievable at first. The German soldiers were just as happy
as us it seemed, for at night our boys would burn a box of powder which
would light up the skies, then in return German soldiers on the other side
would do likewise, celebrating the end. It was quite a relief to get a good
nights sleep, without having to get up and hunt shelter from some
German bombing machine. We were notified at Harricourt that our Div
was picked to be used as occupation troops
on the Rhine and that we
were to drive overland to Coblenz. We started on the morning of Nov - 14
and reached this town on the 16 day of Dec which is little over a month.
It seems strange to be mixed up right among people who only a short time
ago your life would not be worth a cent. A great many of the German
soldiers have returned home from the war all they can say is well we
have lost. In several of the towns we passed through we met soldiers
who had fought against our Div on
several of the fronts. One of them
oporated the gun which fired on us at Boulson. The German people have
not got much it seems. Such stuff as soap coffee etc are not obtainable
anywhere. Flour is very scarce their bread is made from whole wheat and
looks like ginger bread. The scenery around here is very beautiful you
can see from the cards. Altinahr I understand was a summer resort.
Our Regiment are all billeted in houses hotels etc. I am staying in a
room with an other corporal and
two sargeants. We have two beds and
have things fixed up pretty nifty. The old Dutch girl makes up the
bed in the morning cause I don't want to learn how to make up a bed ha!
Mama I might tell you that we landed at Brest France when we came over,
went to Greer France, then to Luneville in Alsace Lorraine, from there
to the Champagne from there to Chatteau Thirrey, Chalons Toul Front, was
at St Michel Verdon and several other places. It seems funny
never written, but I guess he never rec my letters. I wrote him several
times and told in the letters that you have been writing him often, also
how everybody was at home. Mama I am certainly glad you got the $100
and hope the $45 money order is not lost. Did you ever get the German
Helmet? Let me know if you are rec the $10 a month depending money!
I sent Aunt Mialy a card or two and wrote a letter some time ago.
Here it is ony 6 days until Christmas and then N.Y. no doubt
be fixing for a big feed. Some of the Xmas pkgs have come in already
and I am watching closely for mine you bet. Well mama there is little more
to write I have been sitting here looking at that soft bed for it is
somewhat different from hard boards, and cold ground. Will write Ely
Alice and the kids soon. Tell papa not to work too hard, and pull the wish
bone of that chicken for me. Will close now. Wish you all best wishes
on the New Year.
Your Son and Bro
George W. Anderson
117 Amm Tr.