(Addressed to Mrs. James McCoy, Trevlac, Ind., Brown Co. U.S.A.)
(Censored by Lt. H.B. Gaither, Engineers A.E.F.)

LaRochelle, France

Dear Mother:

Will write you a few lines today to let you know I am still up and going. We sure have some times over here. We were unloading some cars down the line the other day, some of these little Frenchies that hold about 4 bushels of potatoes. They are some cars. We would get out about 7 or 8 of them and shove them around like baby carriages, switch them any old place we wanted them and unload a car in about 25 or 30 minutes.

I dreamed of being at the Sugar Camp last night with Wardie, getting things out of the water for him. The water was sparkling clear. I ran so fast that I certainly was going some. I was sore when I waked up for not getting a drink while I was there. The water here is pure, I guess, but it doesn't taste like U.S.A. water.

I suppose you folks like the kind of war news you are getting now. That's the kind you will continue to get, too, till the stuff is all off with Germany. It doesn't look possible that a fellow could see as many soldiers as I've seen in the last month and a half and not see any he knew. I've watched the faces for Harley. I hope he gets to come across for awhile anyway. He would certainly see a time over here. He could always think of more to say about odd things than any fellow I ever saw and there are plenty of odd things over here. The French never drive a team side by side, it's always one horse right ahead of the other, with shafts in everything and only two big 4 inch (tire) wheels. The driver walks and drives the lead horse, with a whip sometimes. He has lines, but he drives the lead horse. Makes no difference if he has two or six and shafts about the size of a cross tie. There are very few automobiles and no buggies, only some old open top residenters.

In a speech, a very prominent Frenchman made here, he says "We French think all you Americans are millionnaires." Ha! I changed a $10.00 bill the other day and got a roll of french money as big as my leg. Ha! I had to laugh when I saw the roll he laid out to me. But the people are pretty friendly, but would rather receive than give. They have a pretty high opinion of our fighting ability, even the German prisoners complain that the U.S.A. has stirred up the fighting on quiet sectors.

I would like to have Bill McCoy's address. I would try to locate him if he is anyways near here. He is in the quartermaster corps I think.

Well, I must close. I can't write worth a cent here. How are you and all the rest? Coming now, I guess I am ok. I weigh 162 ½. My right ankle is sore most of the time. I don't know what makes it stay sore. I haven't sprained it since the hike to Annapolis, Maryland. The left one, which has always been on the bum, hasn't turned over for some time. The right one don't bother me about walking, just is sore of mornings.

Here is a letter I started to write and got notice to move before I got it done. This what moving done for it. I haven't got time to write much so will send it anyway. I am going to see about what I can write and what not to write so maybe I can tell you where I am and what I am doing. Write soon. As ever your son,

Lawrence Mc

Second letter in same envelope

LaRochelle, France

Dear Mother:

Will answer your letter received today noon. Had just finished dinner and the 1st Sergeant came around and says "There's a registered letter at the A.P.O. for you." Well, I wasn't long gone to the army post office! I carried the mail right lively for once!

No, it doesn't seem far back home. Seems like I can almost see the Statue of Liberty at N.Y. when I look out over the old black Atlantic. The water is always its highest no difference where you are, if on land it looks like a big hill away off and if in a ship, it looks like you're down in a hole with water all around. It's not so bad when you get used to it. I won't mind it so much on the return trip. We won't have the submarines to fight going back.

Yes, I guess there's lots of people over here I know, but I'll never see them over here. Regiment after regiment I've watch soldiers by the blooeys representing nearly every branch of the service and nary a one did I know. Say, I wish I could just tell you what a big crowd of men it takes to make even one tenth of a million. It sure does take a lot of them, and eats, say, maybe you think they can't hide a lot of grub. We all have plenty, too, and clothing is the hardest article to get over here. They think if you got an oil suit and hip boots, you're all set. They are right to a certain extent for that's something a fellow needs, but it isn't everything for things have to be done over here. No night gets too dark and rainy, or any day too bad, nor mud too deep for things to go. Someday the 35th Engineers are going to be heard from but there will be a mite unmentioned till the war is over.

No, I never got that package you sent to Washington DC to me. Never will, I guess, but U.S. furnishes such things over here. I would have liked to've got them but, no matter, war will soon be over and we will all be back. Glad to know Ira sent my things home. I'll bet the chickens keep the music going.

No, there isn't much big farming being done over here. There's lots of small farms here but no Indiana farms by a long ways. I will write you a letter a little later for what you asked. I haven't time tonight. I won't write much. I ought not to for if I do, the censor will get it and cut the letter all up getting it out. But what a fellow don't know don't bother him bad. Well I must close. As ever your son,

Pvt. Lawrence McCoy
Co. H 35th Reg. T.C.
American E.F.