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

Oct 26, 1918

Dear Father:

Received your letter a few days ago but didn't have time to answer. I have a pretty good idea how busy you are this time of year. Would like to be around to help you out but guess I'll have to manure a few spots about 3x7 feet square over here, ha! Ha!

Well, there is going to be some wriggling done in Germany now before she will fight it out. She sees where she is going to get one H of a good mauling. I guess it takes about half of the Kaiser's army to keep the Yankees interested. I saw a joke in the paper where the Major asked a Captain why he didn't hold his company back and not let them advance too far ahead of the others, and the Captain says, "How do you expect me to hold them back when the whole German army can't! Ha!

Well, I don't know if you will ever get to knock off any Huns or not. The last age limit in the draft didn't fall very many years short of your size at that, believe me. But you've got two pretty fair representatives over here and just trust it to us to settle accounts with Fritz.

I guess Harley is over here by now and I probably have been within a hundred feet of him for all I know. I'll just say this. He is the kind that gets through ok, little wiry devil, quick as a weasel. Fritz will have to get up with the chickens to get anything on him, and if one ever does they had better sign peace before I hear of it or I'll be in Berlin looking for a man with a big black moustach with a rifle on my back and an automatic on each hip, a belt full of knives and a brick in each hand, dragging 40 feet of rope. Yes, and for fear I find him in his bomb proof shell, guess I'd better include a little nitroglycerine and a drill press. I guess that's spreading it some, isn't it? Well, I think it will all be over in a few months. Wilson sure done a good job of telling them what they could count on and they just got one of two things to do now. That is throw down her guns and quit now or take a good killing and surrender anyway, so it's either the devil or the deep.

Well, it can't last always. It's going to close some time and in our favor, too. I don't know as I will be any great hero after it's over but at the same time, it's a battle in the Transportation Corps, too. A battle that you don't read about in big, 3 inch letters in red ink, but it's hard fighting sometimes when the rain is coming down in streams like it is 9 days and nights out of 10. It is muddy and dark all day and simply black at night. Still, I can't say I don't like it for it's necessary that I should be here. If it wasn't necessary, I'd be ready to quit "toots weet" as Frenchie says.

Well, the U.S.A. will never be able to remove all traces of herself from France, never in a million years. France is going to be more up-to-date in agricultural methods by the U.S. coming here than she ever would in 1,000 years under her own methods. Here are two things I've seen on French farms: J.I. Case tractors and triple gang plows, disks, harrows and Deering binders by the lot. I don't think this is telling stories out of school if such things find their way to French farms. Why, the enemy has no kick coming as they had a chance to buy of the U.S.A., too, if they hadn't spoiled it and I suppose a fellow could find lots of machinery in Germany with a "made in U.S.A." on it.

Well, I sure am glad you all had good crops this year. Just keep it up. Take your time and figure on what you can do next year and build the place up till it will look like a well of water in the desert to the side of everybody else around you. That's what I started to do and still have the very brightest of hopes of helping to do it yet. You know 3 years ago next spring we didn't have anything, only the farm, and we have more than that by quite a ways now.

I don't begrudge the time it will take to win the war. We had it to do now or else let them take the whole world and finally put them all against us. Just think what it would have meant for Germany to have got the English, French and Japanese Fleet. Why, they could have done the very same thing to us (and would have done it, too) that we're going to do to them. Our congressmen and president saw it all and was just a little too wise for Germany. Yet Germany says the Americans are of low intelligence, half civilized, bloodthirsty, etc. The main drag is that Germany is afraid of the Americans for they fight with anything from a 45 automatic to an 8 gauge shotgun, ha!

Well, this old world is sure in an uproar nowadays. It sure will be a quiet time if the war does stop, and stop all this uproar. Well, I guess I'd better quit and send this before I get so much it will overload the ship. Write soon, tell me all the news. As ever your son,

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