(LaRochelle, France)

Oct 8 & 9, 1918

Dear Father:

Glad to know you are all well. I have been in the hospital; just got out Saturday. Am feeling pretty fair but not real good yet. I had a little touch of the "grip". We don't have any winter here. I guess just icy rain, mud, and say, dark nights! I don't believe it gets this dark in the states.

Whoa! The band's going good-bye tonight (Oct 9th). We had a concert last night. It's pretty nice to have music in a rough and tumble life like this. Well, this is just after supper. I hid about a quart of pork and beans, and two light biscuits, two slices of bread and all the Karo I wanted, and a big cup of coffee. So you see, I'm not liable to starve soon, ha! No, I'm feeling fine tonight.

Tell Bill to go to it. If he has to be a cook, be a good one and learn the business. Tell Homer he will land right with me if he isn't right careful. He is on my trail right now, ha! He chose the Engineers when he sent in his questionnaire and if there's anything the Engineers can't do, I don't know what it is. There isn't many things they don't get a trial at. It's a changeable job life. Just the kind of a life for Grover Chitwood. Ha! Ha! He always liked to change jobs every few days.

Yes, I'll say the Yanks are giving them a dose of the real medicine. It would make a fellow sling dirt like a Joree to dig trenches as fast as they are going now. I guess it won't be long till the Huns will pin their ears straight back and make the high dive for Berlin. The Kaiser will have a very serious time finding an empty cellar to hide in when all his soldiers get back with him. I guess the world has its eyes on Pershing and his army. The Germans say the Americans are bloodthirsty. I guess they have good reasons for believing it. Glad to know you have a good wheat crop back in the states. That's as hard a lick as the Kaiser could possibly get. Every grain of wheat is a pill for the Kaiser.

I'll bet Wardie is some man riding the horses around. He will make a good Cavalry man some time, tell him. Why doesn't Allie and Bessie and Isaac write their letters bigger. Tell Wardie that Co. H has a cat, too, for a pet. He stays right with us, too. Glad to hear about the crib. 64 cents a pound is a good big price, too.

Yes, I wish you could shake my duds a time or two tonight. You'd be 300 francs to the good, ha! Ha! I wish I had some of your old Hillside. I'll bet I'd make the black spit fog. These Dutch would have to wear goggles if Pershing's boys got a hold of a carload of old Kentucky natural leaf like that.

Well, I don't know if I could whip the Kaiser or not, but one thing sure, I've already helped to whip him a little. He hollered twice so he would have time to get his breath, but he has done so much deviltry that we simply gotta whip him a little more. I am wondering if we can tell when we've gave him all he needs. I expect the Kaiser has had the same thoughts and is probably wondering the same thing but he should worry. All he did was just start something he couldn't stop. Lots of fellows do that and they always get just what the Kaiser is going to get.

Well, Its still raining. I think I'll be sprouting fins and scales pretty soon. I'm going to join some show under the name of the "Mud Hen" or "Human Mole" when I get back.

We had a bunch of negro soldiers put on the boxing gloves and give us a battle royal the other night. They sure pulled off a real one. One fellow quit and put up his hands but got too excited and forgot to keep them up. Some fellow landed on him. He was too badly surprised to know just how it all happened. His feet were clear up in the air when his back connected with the floor. He just propped up on one elbow and watched the game like he had never been in it. Say, I sure laughed some.

Well I guess I'd better close for this time. Oh, yes, I see lots of strange things. Everything is strange and odd. I can't tell you much for the most important things I would want to write are too closely connected with military affairs to be told. I can tell you all about it someday when it won't do any harm. Of course, you are on your own honor to keep anything still that you might know. Of course, back there you would almost feel like laughing if someone told you that German spies were trying to get information through the parents and families of soldiers at the front, but that's exactly why we are censored - to stop that very source of information. One soldier here could write just a single line that, if the Germans knew it, they could use to advantage to destroy the whole regiment.

We get a calling and a lecture every once in awhile for loose talk and some of us need it pretty often. It's up to us to keep still, not only for the good of the country but for our own good. A loose word might slip a pill under a fellow's hide that he never would get well of.

Well, write every chance you get and I'll do the same. As ever your son,

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

Look out for change in address. Always write it like I have at the end of letter.


Oct 9, 1918