April 1, 1919
I have been putting off writing for so long I am almost ashamed to start again. This is the longest I've went without writing home since I've been in the Army. But you see, we have just got kind of acquainted here and these people are more like somebody. We have lots of friends (We means I and the company barber; we chum together). We have made friends with the grocery woman and her hired girl and all of their friends. They think we are just about it, so today comes orders for us to go to Jenecourt to run some sort of delouser for a week or so, then we come home. So we told the madam at the store we were to leave here Thursday (that's April 3) and she says "oh, I hate to see you good boys leave. We have loved you two very well." She says, "There was lots of soldiers passed through here but none as nice as you." Ha! That was some compliment, wasn't it! Well, I've seen lots of French people, too, but none I liked like I like these around here, and none I hated to leave until now. But I'm ready to go home anytime.
Harley was in Bordeaux the 2nd of March, and the 11th he was at Cerons, which is only about 15 miles from here. I just found out where he was just a few minutes before the order came for us to go to Jenecourt. His last letter was dated March 11, but had been to LaRochelle and Bordeaux and all over before I got it.
I went up to the orderly room to see the Lieutenant about getting a leave and go see him, but met the Top Sergeant and he says we're going to leave here Thursday. So if we go to Jenecourt to stay any length of time, and he doesn't beat me on the ship, I'm going to see him. For I will be where I can walk over to his place then for I know it can't be over 6 or 8 miles from Jenecourt. You see, his division, the 82nd, and my division, the 21st, are both in here in and around Bordeaux, and its been nip and tuck between the officers of both divisions which would sail first. I couldn't take sides either way for I want to see Harley get home as well as myself. But if we have to handle the docks and delouser and the 82nd beats us to it, then I will see him for our company will have to handle the whole bunch of them. I will watch for old Co. A, 325 Infantry until I see Zeke!
Well, I haven't went to school much of late and I have a school of my own with three pupils. I don't know whether either one of them will ever get so they can play anything or not. I am doing all the bugling myself at present and walking to Cadillac 3 ½ miles and back every A.M., then hold school in the afternoon for these guys here. I got one guy so he can play a little at Retreat with me. If I play loud enough to almost drown him out, he sounds all right, ha!
Tonight I play for a dance. Did you ever hear of the like of a guy using an Army bugle to play for a dance? Well, I was down there the other night with my bugle and their musician played out. The Captain was on the floor with a Jane all ready so I thought being that he was a military man, I'd give him some military music. So I cut loose on a little waltz we used at Guard Mount and you'd ought to have seen that Captain shake a leg. Say, he was right there with the goods and so was his Jane, believe me! If he gets on the floor this night, I'll play him one that will make him pat his moccasins and you tell 'em!
We have a fiddler in the company, too, and he keeps his fiddle right with him. We are going to have a fine time while we are sailing. I won't be seasick, I don't think. I was OK coming over.
Well, I must close for this time as it is getting dark here and candles don't make much light. I despise to write by candle light for they're always flipping and fluttering every time you get your breath.
We sure do get the eats here. I've been so full for a week I can't get my breath; rice pudding, jam, molasses, candy, figs, prunes, eggs, chocolate and oranges. Everything imaginable. Some of it I bought. Sometimes I eat at some French home and, gosh, I never imagined I had anything like this coming to me in the Army.
I'm plumb disappointed in the people at LaRochelle. If they had been this nice with us, we would have had a real home there. Well, I must close. Will write more soon. As ever your son,
(Editors Note: This is the last letter found in the package. Lawrence did make it home in time for his birthday in May. He always laughed about missing the homecoming parade in Indianapolis because he was in such a hurry to get home to see Ida, but Ida had gone to Indianapolis to see him in the parade so they missed seeing each other until the next day! They were married October 20, 1919, and spent the next 63 years together.)