(Addressed to Mrs. James McCoy, Trevlac, Ind., Brown Co., U.S.A., Censored by Lt. H. Gaither; return address Pvt. L. McCoy, U.S. Army; postmark Soldiers Mail)
(Stationery American YMCA On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Forces)

Oct 27, 1918

Hello Mother:

Will try and answer your letter received a few days ago. I have been pretty busy and didn't get to answer right away. Well, I'm right up coming with the rest now, so you think I hadn't ought to get sick when I'm away from home, eh! Well, we got a Dr. closer here than you have there, so I allow as how it's you that ought to be careful and not get sick.

I have just been looking over my French dictionary for some new words I bumped into lately. They sure make you dizzy. Say, I bumped into another one a few days ago. I saw a man coming towards me in civilian clothes and motioning me to wait, so I stopped and says in my best French, "What will you have, Frenchie." And he says in plain English, "Let me bother you for a chew of tobacco." And he kept using a kind of funny English so I says, "Where did you get all that English lingo?" "Oh" he says "in England" Ha! Ha! He was an Englishman and couldn't talk much more French than I could. Well, I guess he had a right to his lingo and a right to ask me where I got mine instead of me asking him.

Well, there's every race of people on earth in France now, including two kinds of Germans - tame and wild. The tame ones are the commonest and they are tame, too. They had better stay that way or they will be good ones! Yes, I know the war will be over before this time next year and some time before if the Germans can't stand up under what they are getting. Now what are they going to do when the U.S. gets about five million men over here? Why, it will be a walkaway, that's all. Everybody believes that, even the Kaiser himself, and that's why he wants to quit.

No, I never see any of the boys. I know there is a whole regiment of them over here and I might have been within speaking distance of them for all I know but I got to keep my eyes on duty as well as myself. You see, you can't let even your mind go A.W.O.L. (absent without leave), and anyway I can do without seeing them here. What we want is to see each other in the States as quick as possible, and if staying busy will hasten the time any, why here goes No. 1!

Well, I would liked to have been at the party for Homer McCoy. We would sure have had some time and I could have made a big noise at that singing act, I know. Say, Ma, what do you know? I saw two stars last night about 10 o'clock, ha! A patch of blue almost as big as my hat. I had a notion to wake up the whole Regiment and let them all look. And say, that's not all, either. The sun shined clear out yesterday and has got bright enough this A.M. that you could pretty near see your shadow! It is getting darker now, though, rain is coming, you know. I used to read in the papers about mud and rain in France and wondered if it rained all the time. It sure puts in most of it. When it's not streaming down, it's a heavy mist falling.

Oct. 28

Well, it isn't cold here or enough to frost. I saw some garden stuff had just been set out fresh yesterday, and gardens look nice and green yet like spring. The trees look green yet but some few kinds are shedding their leaves. Oh say, I got out in the country for a few hours yesterday, I and a boy from Wanatah, Ind. We sure enjoyed the time off. They have some real pretty country, nice and level, and the most of it looks fairly well cultivated. They have a way of cutting up their land in small patches from 3 acres down and have little rows 30 or 40 yards long, where an American would be plowing half a mile without a turn. Of course, you can easily see that I don't approve of the French people's ways, but say, the English language doesn't have words to express my admiration for French courage. You don't have to go to the front lines to see brave people. We can see them here every day, women doing men's work, the very hardest of work. You would think they would be too hard worked and discouraged to laugh if you tried to make them, but every time you meet one, she is all smiles and friendliness. Some of them have lost probably all the menfolks they have in the world, but they don't quit. Everybody has his shoulder to the wheel. There is a woman does my washing for me and she never has to have any change when I pay her. She gets all she asks and more, too.

Well, I got a letter from Bertha and will try to answer it. I guess she is having a pretty lonesome time of it since Homer started firing for the C & A, ha! I write them every once in a while and call him Casey Jones. I have an idea he will be heaving coal for Casey one of these days, ha! Ha! If Buck is there, don't let her read this because she knows Casey is dead, ha! Well write soon. As ever your son,

Pvt L. McCoy, Co. H, 35 Reg T.C. AEF