Menil la Tour: March 3, 1919. 13 pages, written on rectos only; American YMCA American expeditionary Force letter head printed in red and blue; previous fold; original censored envelope addressed to Mrs. William B. Ballou of Seattle, Washington, postmarked and censored; about fine.
A quite rich in detail account of both the author's experience on the front in France as well as his unhappy childhood growing up with an absent mother and abusive, alcoholic father. Of the front he writes:
"We have been pretty busy lately but everybody's mind is on getting back to gods [sic] country so we haven't much ambition to do our work properly. I can't say as I felt my time had come when I was at the front but once or twice while lying on the ground awaiting a shell to land I tried to imagine how it would feel to have my leg or arm blown off by the shell. One does not realize the power and danger of those high explosive shells until he has seen the effects of a few of them." Of Paris, Monte Carlo, French girls and landscape the author is less impressed, claiming that "from Brest to this place it all looked about the same". An interesting juxtaposition of the tedium and fear of warfare during the Great War on the front in north-eastern France. Item #595