How are you all coming? I'm O.K. How did your crops do this year? I got into a regular nest of Hoosiers here in Co. H. There is a lot of them from Camp Taylor. They all ask about the same thing "How do the people back in the states like the war news, and how do they feel about it." The first night I stayed here they were all talking at once asking that same question. I told them they put out papers with headlines 3 inches high telling about the successes of the allied army, and everyone was cheerful as a wren. I didn't lie any, either, did I? I asked a bunch of them how they would like to be back in the states and they all said at once "H___ No, Not me, etc." There aren't many but what would like to come back for a visit, but they are all anxious to see the thing through.
There's not a race of people on earth that thinks as little of danger when there's sport up as an American, I guess.
The boys all laughed when they heard about the new draft age law. That sure is the limit. Some of them braves who are so anxious to go if they were not too old, may have the pleasure of doing so now. I guess Roe is done gone long ago to see if the newspapers lie about the war, ha! If the poor fish was here just one week, he would see how big a fool he was and be more anxious to get back than he was to get over here, ha! He would be like the guy who was asked if a shell ever bursted close to him. He says, "Man, man, one busted right in my face." And what did you do, he was asked. He says, "Say, I done exactly 2 miles in 5 minutes." Ha!
I like army life here a lot better than in the states. We have a lot better eats here than in the states. I guess we got some real cooks here. We even got cake for supper tonight. If anything like that had happened at Washington Barracks or any other camp I was in, I'd have fainted dead away, eh! We got light biscuits and jam, and a lot of extras Sunday P.M.
Well, just look up a town named LaRochelle, France, and you got me located. Rest easy, I'm not on the front. Maybe never will be but if I ever do, you can worry about the Dutch, not me. Ha!
This is not a training camp here like you may suppose. The heading of this letter says "active service" and take it from me, the man who printed that is right with a capital R.
The government furnishes us tobacco here. They issue it every 2 weeks, I think it is. Our old Uncle is a real gent! I know everything we get comes from the states. However, Uncle Sam's Pulman accommodations are rather limited here. You know the papers said they hauled soldiers in stock cars. Well, I rode a box car but what does a soldier care if they hauled him in a flat car. We don't expect to be hauled around in cushions with pillows at our backs.
How do the people back there like the new draft law? I see by the Stars & Stripes that it has gone to the president for his signature so, of course, it will be a law. But don't fool yourself by thinking they need all them men to send over here, for it stands to reason that Germany can't stand up always under the licking she is getting now. The longer she stands from now on, the worse they will get it for the allies are getting stronger while Germany is bound to be weakening. So if the Kaiser would do the right thing he'd give up now and save a lot of lives. He'd come out ahead for the terms will be the same any way for him whether it takes 10 days or 10 years.
Say, I ran across a fellow from Burlington, Iowa that I saw on Christmas 4 years ago. He knew all my Ft. Madison folks,, also one from Minnesota. A fellow can see most anyone here from any state. I've seen lots of Illinois boys but none I knew. I'd like to hear from Bill and Harley. What branch of service is Harley in? Did Bill pass the examination?
Don't put LaRochelle on the envelope. Just put Co. H 35th Engineers, A.P.O. 735, American E.F. France.
Well, I must close. I haven't heard from anyone since I left D.C. but some of the boys who came got some mail so I suppose I'll get some in a few days. Answer soon and tell me all the news. As ever your son,