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A Group of Interesting Letters From Our
Soldier Boys. *
Mr. S. B. Mays Writes H
ter, Miss Madge Ma;
At the Front,
My Dear Sister:
I find it a hard job to write
of you as I am not sure whi
of letters you like to receive,
the letters I have seen copied
erican newpapers are the ki
which the fellows tell what a
picnic they are on and all th;
dope." Although I am sure i
wanting any of my letters pul
I believe that is the kind of let
of you want to get from over
I find it hard to express just i
want to say, when writing abo
life over here and after readin
of my own letters over I find
too doleful and Fm sure that V
any worse off than the writer c
I do not believe there is a
American soldier in France whc
not want with all his heart tc
over here until Germany is thor
ly whipped but still every 01
those soldiers is looking forwa
the time to come when he ca
back to those States which they
all learned to love so well. In th;
?peet the feeling is unanimou;
if Borne of my letters seem a
home-sicky dc not think that I
gotten my fill before my time.
I could go to some length an<
you some horrible things that I
seen with my own eyes. I have
?en who were so badly shot up
their own friends could not recoj
them, men whose faces were lac
?d with bayonet cuts and any 1
ber of such incidents but I do no
liere that you care to hear of
things. I, myself, have been sp
from such things but I have
?hells fall so close to me that
high explosives used would tl
stones, clods of dirt, sticks anc
manner of debris around me. On
oecasion I had a rather large piec
kit me squarely upon the head,
is happened to be my lucky day
was only a clod of dirt instead 1
rock or piece of the shell and I <
got a headache and a rather h
lump on my head instead of a wo
stripe. One gets so used to it all 1
the bursting of shell begins to si
and sound natural anJ as strange
it may sound, it is real interest
Of course business always picks
when the shells begin to fall i
your very midst but as long as t
are a couple of hundred yards a\
it is great sport to watch them
? have about gotten so that they
?ot give me the shaky feeling t
they did at first and I would not i
natural if I could not hear a few
ing over to let the Dutch know t
Uncle Sam is still on the job and 1
asleep at the switch.
Who could help being proud tl
he is one of this greatest-of-all-tin
army? I wish that I could tell y
what a great thing it is. I am lati
of the opinion that to view it in
greatest light one must look at
from behind the lines instead
from the front line trenches and
have had the opporutnity to see
little of it from both places. I z
?ot wanting to take any of the ju:
ly due credit from the Dough bo
for they have met the great Prussi;
Guards and demonstrated to t
world that they are better and bra
?r fighters. But I am wandering ai
will go back to the other theme.
When I go out tomorrow I will si
United States railroads built by Ar
erican soldiers with American mat
rial with an American engine ar
box cars, see all kinds of automobil
from America from twelve cylindi
closed cars to worn out Fords ar
every kind of truck that you can in
agine. Today we had steak that wi
raised in the West, killed in Chicag
and shipped from Nw York along wit
everything else that we ate. The
there are any number of other sue
things that I could mention. I som?
times wonder if there is any mater
al in the world that does not com
from the U. S. A. About the onl
thing that you haven't is a war rag
ing in your front yard and you do no
want that. It sometimes seems fun
?y to me that the firing line does no
.xtend all around the world as i
seems unreasonable to think of ?
place where there is peace. It seem
that all this is a part of the world'
arrangement and will go on forever
As for my personal experiences, .
have been into places that were oe
copied by the German army for foui
years and have seen old men, womer
and children that had been prisoners
.f war since the start. They are novs
seing led back to their homes and
."ear ones by the hand of your UN
CLE SAM. I have slept in the open
in what was one of France's beauti
ful valleys, later held by the Ger
jnans, still later known as No Man's
Land but now being protected by
the greatest of all armies. I have fed
say stock on forage that was raised
(by the French civilian population
and stored up for the use of the Ger
man army. For meal at least I have
eaten some cabbage that was raised
by the Boche (this, however, is the
only horse feed or cabbage that I
have had which did not come from
the States), besides a number of
other such experiences but I am rea
dy to stop my little pilgrimages into
i captured territory as soon as the war
is over and come back to the U. S. A.
I hope that my letter has not been
j boring although I'll have to admit
?that it is rather wabbly and shaky
as well as rather scatter-brained and
disconnected. You see I have "kind
er" followed my own musing: tonight.
It is easy to lie awake at night and
with probably nothing over you ex
cept a rain-coat, watch the stars and
the shells play together while you
are planning a letter you will write
home on the morrow. Oh, you can
then think of a great many thrilling
and interesting things to say and
make a fine letter out of the amus
ing little things that will mix so well
with the little newsy items that are
also passing through vacant space at
the same time, but on the next day
after you have ridden through the
rain for several hours and dodged
a few shells that seem hell-bent, you
find that by the time you get to camp
and start your letter you have for
gotten most of it and can't expresa
October 1, 1918.
My letter was rather suddenly
stopped the other night at eleven
thirty by an order that sent me out
with the company in short order. I
laid the letter down as I knew I could
not get a chance to finish it on the
trip and will now pick it up again.
We left about one o'clock at night
and got back about midnight last
night without stopping for more than
an hour's time. Incidentally I visited
the worst shot to pieces town that I
have had the opportunity of seeing.
It was so badly torn down that there
were not more than two or three walls
standing in the place.
I was in rather a good piece of
luck the other day and got a good
hot bath, something that is rather a
novelty. It was my first since a swim
in a rather well know river that is a
little too famous to mention the name
of, about six weeks or more ago.
?There is very little doubt that I will
be in dire need of another one long
before I can get it.
I think, or rather am sure that Ar
thur Tompkins is near where I am
now but I haven't been able to run
across him as yet. I would like to see
him but to look for any one is out of
the question. It is just luck when you
get to see a friend.
We were quartered in a little place
the other day when the Germans got
lits range and threw about thirty
?shells into it in short order. In some
?miraculous way none of our men
were killed although I do not see how
jail of them escaped. A few men in
^sorne other outfits that were also
?there, got killed. That is the most
awful kind of death. To be quite a
few miles behind the lines and appar
ently safe, not looking for anything
to happen and too far away to fight
back when Fritz opens up on you
with one of his long range guns.
We haven't as yet been able to see
any of the papers about the election.
I am in hopes that it won't be long
now before we can get some papers
telling all the dope.
I hope to be able to go to some of
the places in France that one would
like to visit before the winter is over
although it seems a long time off.
I do not seem to be in a very good
writing mood and am rather sleepy
headed so will close for this time. I
'write my letters to all three of you
and will send my love to all of you
together. Write to me often, as I
have all of you constantly in my
mand and am looking forward to the
time when I can see all of you again.
Mrs. Sam Agner Receives Let
ter From Her Son in France
October 21, 1918 I
My Dear Mother:
How are you all feeling today? I
hope you are well. I am feeling fine
today. It has been raining today over
here but it is fair now. I suppose you
all are having some pretty weather
in which to pick cotton.
The letter you wrote on the 4th of
September I received and was so
glad to hear from you all. I'm so
glad you all are getting a good pri?e
for cotton. Well, how is Grandpapa
getting along? Also Brother Ed and
his family. Tell them all "Howdy"
for me. I hope it won't be long before
I can see you all again.
Well, Mother, I am still going
somewhere through France. If I keep
on going I will get to see it all.
Mother, had you ever thought
about where I was on the 21st of Oc
tober last year?
I will close for this time. You must
write and tell me alLthe news. With
many good wishes and lots of love.
Your loving son,
John E. Agner.
Co. L. 321 Inf. A. p. 0. no. 791.
Frank Reese Writes His Father
Mr. J. W. Reese.
At the Front,
October 20, 1918
I will now try and answer your
letter I received some time ago. I
hope this letter will find you and all
well and getting along fine. I have
been sick but am getting along O. K.
You asked me to write you a good
interesting letter so I will do my best.
After leaving our camp in South
Carolina we got to the port of embar
kation and went on board ship. Then
my greatest experience of life began.
We were on board 17 days and when
we had been out about 8 days I be
came sea-sick and of course I had to
help feed the fish. I got to work in
the sh'V bake shop as you know that
you cant' keep a cook out of the kit
chen and a cook that has good sense
won't go hungry. Well, I didn't any
We arrived in port, an English
port at that, about four o'clock in
the afternoon of the 17th day of our
voyage. We went to rest camp and
spent the night, leaving there the
next day. We went by rail to another
English rest camp. Now, Papa, when
I say by rail, I mean that we travel
led over a sure enough railroad, but
entirely a different kind to the ones
you find in America. When you get
into the coach you are locked in and
there is no aisle. You have to stay in j
the compartment you are in. There I
is just room for eight men to sit up '
in a compartment and there are about :
five compartments to a car. We tra
velled all day crowded that way to
the other rest camp. There we unload
ed and stayed about five or six days
England is a very pretty country
but I will take America for mine.
I saw one of the oldest cathedrals in
the country there. Its foundation was
laid in the 11th century and it was
completed in the 14th. Some of the
finest roads and most beautiful scen
ery in the world will be found there.
While I was there I was out walking
one day and met a mighty nice old
gentleman. I was taken into his home
and had tea with him. His name is
Mr. Henry Tanner. It was there that
I got my dog. It is a registered Eng
lish Retriever. He was just a 'pup
but is now a big dog and my best
friend. I named him Sammie because
that is what we are called. Major
Marchant named him but I think ev
ery boy in my company wanted to
name him "English Kid."
I had better leave England or I
won't get into the war at all in
France. We left England and went
aboard ship for France. We crossed
the channel and landed in France the
next morning. We went to another
rest camp and stayed over night, leav
ing there by rail to a training camp.
The trains in France are just -the
same as the trains in Englanu. We 1
travelled three days on this trip and
then we went into some barracks
said to have been built in the time j
of Napoleon, the Conqueror. We ;
trained there for actual war for two
months then we were shipped out to
This is where I can't tell you every
thing I have seen but I will do my
best Before leaving for the front
we were put in fighting form. We j
did not have any great amount of lug- j
gage. We had to go into dog tents ;
and live in the woods. We could not ;
have lights at night so we just had to j
wait and see what our duties were, j
I We could hear the guns from the 1
front very plainly now. This is where
I was under shell fire the first time, j
Of course I did not have to go but
I wanted to see all of the excitement
and I did see and hear the greatest
thing in my life-a real battle. There j
were more guns fired in this battle ;
I believe than there were in the |
whole Civil war. It seemed as if the \
world were on fire. The knees of the i
men will get shaky under that kind
of shell fire but it doesn't bother you
long for that is all in the game over
here. After the battle we visited what
was at one time No Man's Land.
From that day on I have been at
the front. I have been under shell fire
five times. At one time shell were
bursting all around me but we served
dinner right on a3 if we were at
Camp Sevier and not a gun within
100 miles of us.
Say, Papa, it just takes grit and
the American spirit to fight in this
war and plenty of it. So you see these
Untrained American Farmers (as
Fritz calls us) are just giving the
boches hell anl a plenty of it. The
boys of '61 and '65 don't know any
thing about war.
Well, you can see how the allies
are fighting when you know how they
are talking peace. They are betting
50 to 1 that we will be in the States
by the 4th of July. I hope so anyway.
The season is now upon us when sporting goods ap
peal to our people. At this time of the year, after the
harvest is practically over, men v/ho are sportively in
clined give some time to recreation, and very properly
sc. We want them to know that we can supply every
wish. . If we haven't got what you want we will get it
on short notice.
In guns we have a large assortment of Parker lw-16
and 20 gauge, La C. Smith and Ithica guns. Come in
to see them.
We also have a large stock of Legging, Hunting Coats
and Gun Cases. We have a complete stock of Bicycles,
Bicycle Tires, Automobile Tires and Tubes, Hand Horns
and Electric Horns, Weed chains and Red-O-Skid chains.
Make your wishes known to us. We can supply them
with dependable goods at reasonable prices.
Stewart & Kernaghan
I am now living in a German dugout
that Fritz occupied for four years
but we have them now.
Oh, yes. I have a fox for a pet
now. I will have a menagerie when
I get home, I guess.
Well, Papa ,1 will have to quit for
this time. Hoping to be home before
long. Give my best regards to all my
old friends, Nick and Pete. Tell Mr.
Townsend to look for me back soon.
Get Joe and George to write to me.
Kiss Mama, Sister and May for me.
Tell Dr. Cothran that I can sure
nurse the sick, lame and lazy when
I get back.
Say, tell me what cotton is bring
ing. Write soon and send me the
Edgefield papers every week. Give
Uncle Jack my love and best regards.
Look for a German helmet for I am
going to send one home with this let
ter. As ever,
Cook Frank B. Reece,
Co. G. 105 Ammunition Train.
American Expeditionary Force.
(Continued on page Six.)
Letter From Tee Bailey to the
Editor of The Advertiser.
Camp Hill, Va., November 16.
Dear Mr. Mims:
Twill take great pleasure in writ
ing you just a few lines to let you
know I haven't forgoten you. This
leaves me feeling .fine. I am having
a good time here but could enjoy it
better in old Edgefield.
I certainly hope we boys can soon
be at home as the war is over. I an
anxious to get home. We thought
last Monday that we would go aeross. ?
We stayed on the ship all day ready
to go but at last got orders to get off.
I think thert were some proud hearts
among those boys, too. I did not mind
going across to fight but I don't want .
to go now if I can get out of it hon
Well, wt are under quarantine
yet, as wt have been for a long time
but I guess it is for our good. Earl'
Hammond received one of your pa
pers this week. We certainly were
glad to get it and it made us feel so
good. I am sorry to know that one
of my true friends has left the world.
Fertilizers for Grain
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