After a long march through France, Belgium, and Luxembourg and into
Germany, George's unit occupied Kreuzberg, a crossroads town between
Bonn and Koblenz and about 30 kilometers west of the Rhine. Modern maps
show a wooded area with low hills and numerous "camping-platzen". This
corresponds well with George's experiences, as related in this letter.
Here are some pictures from Kreuzberg,
taken on a visit in May 2003.
Jan – 27 1919
Dear Mother Father Bros &Sisters
Thought I would write you a few lines this afternoon, most all the fellows
in the Co are on pass to Coblenz and the nearby towns which leaves only a
few men in the Co for duty. I have the gaurd today and probably will go
on the next passes issued. The last time I wrote you mama we were at
Altinahr but have since moved to this town just a few kil away. The
French Mortar Battery were formally here but good luck hit em they were
sent homeward bound. Our Co is the only outfit in this town now and our
Lieut has the whole say so. The people have certain orders they must
follow from the Amer Army. we have three patrols which walk the streets
night & day. The people up until recently were not allowed on the
streets after 10 p.m. and are not allowed to hold any meetings or
congregate in places. All families must have tacked
on the inside of the
front door the names and occupations of all persons living in the house.
If a German soldieris caught in town or anyplace he is arrested &
tried. There is a great many ex soldiers here who have been through the
war and discharged or run off.
Mama I rec a letter from Willie about a week ago, he is about
40 mi from here. When I get a pass I will go and see him. He came over
the same route as us and passed through this town. I wrote him a letter
and told him where we were at, so he might come over if he got time. Why,
if I had known he was in the 5th Marines 2nd Div I could have met him
when we were on the front. The 5th Marines passed right by our place
when we were on the Aragoun and he was at St Michiel when our Div was on
the same front. The latest talk here is about going home. The rumer
has spread that we leave on the 2nd of Feb bui a great many dates have
been set and none have come true so a person
never knows. The 26th Div
which came over just before us is leaving I understand so by rights we
should leave shortly after them. Most of the men are quartered in
barracks, they are pretty swell, a few of us are staying up town in the
hotels and houses. I have a pretty good room with a swell bed dresser etc.
as far as living is concerned it is pretty good but it sure gets monotonous
just sticking over here. The weather has been pretty chilly lately and
have been getting a little snow now & then. It gets pretty cold in this
part of the country but the germans who live here say this is the mildest
winter in years. Mama I have been rec your letters right along also have
several from Eliz. & Alice. I was certainly surprized to hear Alice
& Edith were in bed with the Influenza and hope by now they are well. The
N.Y. Harold was full of talk about the Influenza in the U.S. but I
didn't think much about it until I heard we had two cases at home. It
certainly must be awful
the way people are dying from it. A person must
be carful until it is stamped out. The xmas pkg you sent has not
reached here yet, there is a great many who have not rec theirs so I expect it
is just lost in transit somewhere. I rec GB's pkg it was a swell
box and have some of the stuff yet. Are you still getting the allotments,
they should be coming pretty reg now. There is little more to write.
I hope this finds you in good health again mama also papa and the kids.
Dan must be some bouncur[?] but I am training to put on a 5 round bout
with him so he had better look out. If you will send Grandma's address
I will write her, I lost all the addresses which I was keeping. Call
to quarters has blown. It is 9 P.M. will close now.
With love to you all