(Stationery is YMCA On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Force)

Asques, France

March 14, 1919

Dear Mother:

Yesterday was your birthday and today is Allie's. This is the time I set to get home, but am quite a ways from there now. But I am on my road. If I ever get out of these mountains, I will be along the line some time in plenty time to celebrate my own birthday.

We have a pretty country to wait in here and some nice people to associate with, but we also have plenty beer, vin blanc and vin rouge. In fact, most any sort of drink you would care to sample, eh! The beer is pretty good, but the vin (wine) is absolutely par bon (no good) ha! Ha! The other Bugler knows all about it, ha! I put him to bed last night and blowed taps over him, ha! I guess he must have got pretty well along because he bursted his bugle. I don't think he did it blowing "Call to Quarters." Ha!

I guess we will get out of here when our ship comes. We won't have far to go. We just march down to the river, crawl on a ferry, and go out to sea and get on the transport. It is only a 5 minute walk to the river. I have a place down over the river to go to play calls for the soldiers that sleep at the foot of the bluff in an old flour mill and some other out buildings between the river and the bluff. The bluff is so steep that they have stairways up it and I have a sort of lookout above the head of the stairs about a hundred feet above the river. You ought to hear that old Bugle echo and roll through the hills and over the river. "Call to Quarters" is a regular screecher of a call and comes at 9 PM, and things are pretty still by that time in a French town. I can hear myself play half the call from the mountains on the other side of the river.

There is another American Army camp at the foot of the bluff on the other side of the river. Also one still farther back in the mountains behind us yet. There is just one camp here, just us Co. B, No. 93.

I get to go to bed at 10 PM and get up at 6 AM. Six AM comes before daylight here. I get up and slip my shoes on, then beat it out to the cook shed and get out in the little pit in front of one of the ovens to put my leggings on. It is always warm there and also light. The cooks get up at 4:30 AM and have a whooping fire going when I roll out. We have a few U.S. lanterns here but I guess we can't get oil or something. Anyway they are hardly ever used except on certain occasions. We can get mutton tallow candles from the French or the paraffin candles from the U.S. canteens or commissary.

It isn't cold here, only a little damp and chilly of mornings up on top of these mountains. We have some of the best cooks with us that the 35th can produce, so we are being pretty well fed. Eats were pretty scarce for the first few days on account of not having stove room to cook for us all, and also because the supply truck didn't get around often enough. But our First Lieut. is a guy that will bring home the bacon if Uncle Sam has got any, ha! So we are pretty sure of plenty to eat until we sail. Then we will hang our heads over the rail and feed it to the fish, ha!

My old buddy Rich is still in LaRochelle in Co. H. I bet he is one homesick boy. I don't have time to get homesick. I have a bill of calls about like the Saturday Blade and have to blow them in three different places. And since I am being around these headquarters I have to keep primped up and shaved with shoes shined. For we got a Lieut. that knows how to tell you to clean up.

Well I guess I must close this as it will soon be time to start the music. As ever your son,

Bugler Lawrence McCoy
93 Co. 21 Grand Division
Transportation Corps
Bordeaux Embark. Camp
APO 705, AEF