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Letters - 1918

Letters sent home, together with their envelopes, have been scanned and saved as PDFs. Or, if you wish to read them in text format in one file.

January 12

Recourt France Jan. 12 - 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I'm in the best of health and hope to continue so and also hope that this letter reaches you and finds you also in the best of health. Well now for a little real news, there were many rumors floating around that we were going home and at last we got the real news that we are really going home. We leave this town about Saturday Jan. 18 and we go to a big camp to get re-equipped and that will take a few weeks and I figure that we will hit the good old U.S. about the middle of Feb. but we don't know when. All the news we got so far was leaving here and going to Le Mans to be equiped [sic] and that is all, and that's enough, our stay in France is very short and I think I will spend Easter at home. Say I haven't had a letter from you or anybody for about two months there is a big delay somewhere and when the mail does come in we will get "boku" of it. (very much) How is everything at home, I'm anxious to know. I think I'll close now with love and kisses to all. I remain your loving son, who is always thinking of you. XXXXX Dan. Regards to everybody.[C C Foster 2nd Lt. Inf.]

January 30

Somewhere in France Jan. 20 - 1918 Dear Folks. Can let you know that I'm feeling fine and hope you are likewise. Last week I received five letters from you. I think that is the reason why I didn't hear from you for so long. I took out an insurance policy for ($10.000) ten thousand dollars, it sounds like a bunch of money, well it is but it costs me a little over six dollars a month, and that is pretty cheap for an insurance of that amount of money. In case something happens to me you will get the money, so much every month until it is paid up; but don't worry no Boche will get me as long as I can use my two hands. After the war is over I can change it to any kind of an insurance policy. I want or I can drop it and lose what money I paid in for it. Some cold in New York I'll say, it was pretty cold here to[o] but it is getting warmer, winter lasts about one month here. The weather is getting fine too[,] the sun shines every day like in the states. I also received three letters from grandma last week but I have not got the package yet. The next letter you write let it be along one. I'll close now expecting more mail from you soon. Regards to you all. Dan. I received the box from my boss, some candy and a dandy sweater.

March 23

Somewhere in France 3/23/18 Dear Folks: Just a few lines which I have time to let you know that we are on our last stretch to camp and in about a week we will be there, and from there on I'll write every week. I received the letter that you sent and the second box and believe me the chocolates were great and American cigarettes are to[o]. Don't worry about me even if letters are scarce, we have no time to write and I'm writing this while I'm in the station waiting for a train; pretty soon you will get letters once and twice a week. We are having dandy weather now, just like summer in the states. Yes, I still get letters from my girl in No. Chelmsford she likes me very much. Sometime when we get settled down I will have my picture taken and send you some. I got another letter from my boss and he wants me to send him my picture, the girls also want on so I'll send them all one. Dora, I wish I had a picture of Mother and Father and you Ida and Annie send me one if you can. The State of Mass is not giving the ten dollars a month any more. The government will send you $15.00 every month, when I get home I will have quite a roll. I'll close now with love and kisses from your loving son. Dan XXXXX P.S. Send me Louis Kessler's address, and Annie Gross' address. I'll be 20 years old April 5.

April 01

Somewhere in France: April 1 - 1918 Dear Folks: Can let you know that I am well hope to continue so. I have had a little trouble with my feet, we were on a hike and i got a big blister and I had to go to a hospital to get it fixed up, but I'm well now and I will be back with my company in a short time. Don't worry about me even if letters are scarce in the last month or so I could hardly find time to write but you will hear from me more often from now on. Well I want to write you some good news which you have already hear (I think), the division I'm in has been in the trenches and I came out of it without a scratch. I tell you I have had some exciting thrills but nothing happened to me, nobody in our company was hurt. I guess it will be a long time before we go in again. I supposed the papers in America are writing all about the German drive, I guess it will be like the rest of their drives, they make a good start and lose it in a short time. We are a great ways from where this drive is so don't let it worry you a bit. Send the mail to the company. I'll be back soon, I've been away from them for about two weeks. When a soldier is over here six months he gets a gold chevron on his left sleeve, in a few more weeks I'll be over here six months and will get a stripe. I haven't had any money for three months and don't know when I'll get paid. I haven't had any mail from you for about three weeks and when I get to the company I'll get it all. How is everything and everybody at home are Dora and Ida working I supposed father is working. I tell you the Y.M.C.A. and the Red Cross are doing wonderful [sic] service over here, the Y.M.C.A. was giving us hot coffee in the trenches and believe me thats what you want on a cold night, the Red Cross gives us cigarettes, writing paper and every other thing a soldier needs. They are a great help to us. I cannot think of anything more to write so I'll have to close with love and kisses to you all. Dan Give my regards to everybody I know P.S. Please send me some razor blades for an Everady Safety Razor. I cannot get any over here. Mother, I wish you could send me a small sponge cake, wrap it around with wax paper. XXXXXXXXXX

[O.K. 2nd Lt. Alex H Winberg Inf. ORC.]

April 18

Somewhere in France April 18 - 1918 Dear Parents: Well I'm out of the hospital now and am back with the company again. When I came back I found out that they were out of the trenches only a few days but went in again and this time I went with them. The Germans must of seen us for they began dropping shells all around us and we all went into our dugouts. The bombardment lasted about an hour before it let up, nobody was hurt we were in bomb proof dugouts. I received two letters from you yesterday and three from grandma, I was sorry to hear about Charlie, what is the matter with him[?] I hope i get that cake and choclates [sic] soon. The Germans tried several times to break through our lines but they were thrown back with heavy losses, and they used their best troops to do it. We got lots of prisoners too. The Americans outfought them in every way. Well we are out of the trenches now and I hear that we are going to a rest camp. Don't worry about me even if letters are scarce because it's hard to find time to write when on the move. Regards to all my friends. Dan

[HL Hemingway 2nd Lt.]

May 29

May 29, 1918 Dear Folks: Just received two letters from you and was glad to hear from you, it was almost two weeks since we received any mail, the mail is very slow in coming to us these days. In one of the letters I found a money order for $10.00, no doubt the money will come in handy, but we just got two months pay a few days ago, do don't send any more of them. I was glad to hear that you are all working and everybody at home are feeling O.K. I am writing this letter from my dugout in the trenches, a few shells just flew over but landed way in the rear. I saw an air battle yesterday and three German planes were brought down. I guess it was about the fiftieth air fight since I've been in France. The weather here has been great within the last two weeks no rain hardly, and the sun shines every day, I hope it keeps up. No I wasn't wounded, I only had a big blister on my foot when I went to the hospital, if I was wounded you would be notified by the war department. Well I haven't much more to write so I'll close hoping to hear from you soon. I remain your loving son who is always thinking of you. Dan. I sent Annie a letter last week.

June 20

June 20, 1918 Dear Folks: No doubt you are wondering why I'm not writing but we have been expecting to move any day and I thought I would wait until we got to another town so finally I got a little time off to write a few lines. We have been relived and are a short ways behind the lines taken it easy and I hear that this [censored]. We will have a good long rest way in back of the lines with nothing to worry over. It didn't surprise me any to hear that Louis Kessler is over here in France it's a wonder he didn't come over sooner. I supposed you are reading how the Americans are kicking the stuffing out of the Germans well believe me the old Hun is losing courage he is afraid to fight now, there won't be anything left of them pretty soon. The American has proven a better man than the German. All the German is good for is in pulling the "Kamerad" stuff but the Americans give them a ...or a knife for it. We have had wonderful weather for about a month but it has started to rain again and it looks as though it wasn't ever going to let up. Two of my friends were killed the other day but they belonged to another outfit. I saw several fellows that used to be in the old company and believe me it seemed good to see them again like meeting a long lost brother or something like that and I heard that my old captain is fighting where the big drive is on and he is a game old man. I'll bet he is give the Boche "hell". Well I have to close now, I hope you send what I asked for in the last letters. Answer soon, I send my best regards to you all also to the people around. From your loving son who is always thinking of you. Send me the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

[OK F. M. Zink 2nd Lt. Inf.]

July 03

July 3, 1918 Dear Parents: Just a few lines to let you know that I am feeling well and hope to continue so. I received a letter from you dated June 1. It was the first letter that I received from you for about a month. The mail has been coming in very slow I hope it picks up and receive mail more often. I have been slack in writing, we haven't anything to write it's always the same thing as you know we cannot write everything we want. We have been relieved at last but we are not in our rest camp yet, but we have travel[l]ed almost across France. I received the first pictures that you sent me but not the Red Cross pictures but when this letter reaches you I will have them. I have dreamt of home many times and talked to you all but we are many miles apart and I have hope of seeing you again, I hope its pretty quick. Its about time we got relieved we have been on the go ever since February and have had some tough scraps and if we are not entitled to a rest nobody is, you probably read about this division, do you read much about my regiment in the New York papers? we are having wonderful weather now, France is a dandy place in summer pretty scenery, but the fall, winter and spring it rains and rains and all the mud in the world is over here, I guess. We are getting good food, plenty of fresh air and not much work so there is no kick coming. I cannot send you any souvenirs until I get to a rest camp, then I can get a pass to a big town and buy some soveniers, but I'll send you some. I'll also try and have my picture taken. Please send me all that I asked for in my previous letters as I need the stuff. Do you get much mail from grandma, I'll bet she worries a lot, because I know how she was when I was there. I'll drop Kessler a letter soon, I wrote him a letter about two months ago but haven't heard from him yet, do you get any mail from him[?]. I send you all my best regards also the people around that I know. I hope I get more mail from you. Corp. Daniel Douger P.S. Do you still get $14.00 a month from Washington you are supposed to get it until the war ends. XXXXX I would like to have some pictures from Mother & Father & Annie. The following is what I need that I cannot get over here. Eveready Razor Blades Williams Shaving Sticks 3 in 1 gum oil. send me two 25 cent bottles. Three in One is the name of the oil.

[TH Hemingway 2nd Lt.]

July 11

July 11, 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I am alive and well and hope to continue so. I received 12 letters last night and two were from you. I was glad to hear from you, the first mail for about two weeks. At last I received the picture of Dora and Ida and believe me its a dandy, who is the fellow in it[?] It[']s funny how rumors do travel, I have not been wounded yet and if I was you would get word from Washington, so don't let that worry you a bit. I write as often as I can but we are constantly on the move and hardly find time to write only in our spare moments. We all thought that we were going to a rest camp but instead we are on another front now. You say that the woman who lives over you, also has a son in France, he probably is not in the trenches if he writes all that mail home. I['m] glad Charlie came back and is working again, I hope he don't go away again. I'm sorry to hear that the sickness you once had still bothers you, but I'm glad to hear that your going to Lowell because you know how the old folks are. I received a letter from Miss Baldwin and I'm going to answer it to-day. I received the money you sent me last May and I answered back didn't you get the letter I also asked for different things that I needed over here. I have never been in a place that I could have my picture taken, but when I do I'll send you some also some souvenirs but it may take a long time before I ever get to such a place. I also got mail from Mr. Fine and Annie also from Mr. Lowenstein. I'll close now with love and kisses to all. Best regards. Dan XXXXXX Dear Sister Annie: Every time I write a letter home I write to you as well as Mother, Father and Sisters and don't think for a minute that I'm forgetting you, because I'm not. I think of you as often as do the others. Good bye. Dan XXXXX

August 03

Aug. 3, 1918 Dear Folks: You probably are worrying a lot because you haven't heard from me for a long a time but we were in the big drive and we never had time to write any letters. You must of heard about the allied drive that started in July well the Germans are going yet. We were in a hot place and when they saw us coming they certainly opened up a hot machine gun fire, but thank God the[y] are a rotten shot. The bullets were flying all around me but I was lucky not one struck me, and we kept on going until the Boche retreated. There were me[n] wounded on my right and left but I was never touched. I never even thought of the bullets and shells that were flying all I was thinking of was getting on top of the hill which we did. We drove the Germans off. The next day we continued one advanced but we couldn't find no Germans. The next day we were fighting all day and we certainly beat the Germans and drove them off another hill. We have been relieved and expect to go back for a rest, it is just six months since we have been in the line without a rest. I had a close shave the first day we got orders to lay down because the Germans were sweeping the ground w[ith] machine gun fire and I and my squad were in a wheat field and the Huns had an eye on us and he peppered us with bullets and one hit the top of my helmet and wounded two men on my right. They were coming close to everybody and some got hit but we didn't mind it, all we wanted to do was to kill the Boche and we did. I cannot write to[o] much about it but someday when this is over and I get back safe I'll tell you all about it. It looks as though the war was going to end this year but no one knows, but we all hope so. How is everybody at home feeling in health[?] How's Sarah, she was lucky to know the address or she would of been lost. In the next letter I write I'll write a list of things that I need. I'll close now with best regards to everybody, love and kisses to all. Your son Dan

August 20

Aug 20, 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I am well and happy and am certainly enjoying life. At the present time we are many many miles behind the firing line, and I think this will be our rest camp. We are a few miles from a fair sized city so if pay day comes, I'll buy you some souvenirs and will have my picture taken. We expect to get ten day passes soon and when we do believe me I'll have a good time. I wrote Louis Kessler a letter last week but I don't expect to hear from him for about a month anyway. I know know where he or his outfit are. How is Sarah getting along. She must be having a wonderful time. Poor grandma she must be lonesome. I have received all the pictures that you sent me. Do you get the $15.00 every month from the government? I haven't much to write just at present, I'll write more later. The reason I haven't written for so long is we were moving and the Y.M.C.A. didn't have paper with them, but they have all kinds of it now. Regards to all. Dan XXXXXXX

Corp. Daniel Douger Co. K. 104 U.S. Inf. American E. F.

October 14

October 14, 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I'm feeling fine, and am getting along O.K. I haven't much time to write because we are on the move so much, we land in one place and about get set when we have to move again. There is a lot of talk about peace these days but its hard telling how it will end. I think we will have peace pretty soon because the Allies are driving on all fronts and the Germans are retreating and pretty soon they will be back on German territory. As I write this letter I'm looking out of my tent and I see an old battlefield and the ruins of where a town once stood, and the fields and hills are a mass of shell holes, no doubt there was heavy fighting done here early in the war. The U.S. is going to allow each soldier a Christmas package to be sent to him free. They have issued the coupon and I have filled it out and you paste it on the package. The Red Cross will furnish the package and as Dora belongs to the Red Cross she can get one. Here is what I want you to send me. Some good American chocolate and a few soft lead pencils. The package will be 9 inches by 4 by 3 and must not weight more than three pounds, so fill the package full of chocolates and a few pencils. I haven't much to write at present, only I received the pictures that father sent me and I was more than glad to see them, now I wish mother would send me one. I also received the paper you sent me. Dora might get a fountain pen from the place she works at and send that also. No more news. I'll write again soon, regards to everybody.

Corp. Daniel Douger Co. K. 104 U.S. Inf. American E.F.

November 07

Nov. 7, 1918 Dear Parents: I am still waiting to hear from you. I guess the mail must travel slow. Hows things in the states. How did grandma feel when she heard I was in France, because you know what she is. How is everybody at home. I am feeling fine and I am in the best of health, the food we get is the same as we got when we were in the states and you know we couldn't kick, for everything is good here. We drill every day now no more hanging around doing nothing, and believe me we are better off to[o], because when a fellow does nothing all day he feels more tired than if he did a hard days work, and we like to do something. The weather here is rotten, allways [sic] raining, we only had one or two good days since we have been here but it is the raining season. I saw Gordon the other day and we were glad to see each other. Well I'll close now hoping to hear from you soon and hoping I get what I asked you for in the last letter. I remain. Dan Regards to all

[HL Hemingway 2nd Lt. 104 Inf.]

About one week before we left Westfield I sent you a picture of the company and the other day I got it back. I'll have to keep it now until I come back to the U.S.

December 02

France Dec. 2 - 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I'm feeling fine and hope to continue so and hope that when this letter reaches you it finds you all well. We are in about middle part of France now, we are drilling every day but we live in nice warm comfortable barracks and get plenty of good eats. There are many rumors around that we will be home for Christmas, I hope its [sic] true but I don't think it will come out so. There is no telling when we will get home but it won't be long I can assume you that. You know that everybody cannot come home at once, it takes time because there are so many over here and in due time this division will be sailing to Gods country. Of course we were about the second division over here and seen lots of severe fighting and it is a division that could be depended upon, and maybe you think that we ought to come home first but I don't think it would do to send home any of the "good divisions"until at least peace is declared. Maybe you think that I don't want to come home, well I can tell you, I do, and am sore because we won't be the first ones home; when I do come home I'll be there day and night I don't think I'll want to go out at all. I read the paper the other day "The Stars and Stripes" and it said that the first divisions to go home are the 76th, 30th and 27th. well you know Louis Kessler is in the 27th Division and came over about last spring I guess, and it looks as though he was to beat me home. I'm over here about six months or so longer than him. I wish him luck and hope his wounded knee don't trouble him any. Did you receive the Christmas slip I sent you? I asked to be reduced to a private and as soon as the order comes through I will be a private again. I'll tell you why when I get home. Oh, I forgot to tell you about Thanksgiving that we had the government couldn't give us turkeys this year so we had a good substitute here is the bill of fare - Roast Pig - Mashed Potatoes - Pickles - Bread - Butter - Onions - Coffee - "Beer" - Cake - Prune Pie - Candy - Nuts. Believe me we had some feed we were filled up to the gills. We had also an entertainment. The Brigadier General spoke to us also, this was the best day that we saw since last Christmas. Now we all hope to eat our Christmas dinner at home. I received four letters from grandma in one days, one grom you and four from Charlie. I haven't written him for quite a while so I will have to drop him a letter. I'll have to close now hoping to hear from you soon. Regards to everyone from your loving son. "Pvt" Daniel Douger Co.K. 104th U.S. Inf. American E.F

December 15

Recourt, Frances Haute Marne Dec. 15 - 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few lines to let you know that I'm feeling fine and hope you are the same. Did you ever receive the Christmas coupon that I sent you? I haven't had a letter from you for quite some time, we haven't been getting much mail lately but it will pick up again. I read in the paper that there was a subway train wreck in Brooklyn and there were many killed. Tell me just where it happened. One minute we hear that we are going home, the next minute we hear that we're going to Germany, so there you are, which [sic] can you believe? I'm willing to parade on Fifth Ave. anyday now, they cannot get me home soon enought to please me. Have you heard from Louis Kessler lately, I heard from him only once. I wrote Gordon a letter but haven't heard from him yet. Do you hear anything about this division in New York? Do you get the $15.00 every month from the government answer this because I would like to know? You always ask me if I ever bought a Liberty Bond, well I did and its all paid for since May, did you ever get the Bond? Well I haven't much to write now so I'll close with love and kisses to all, from your loving son. Dan Regards to Annie and her husband and child, also to Hyman Fine.

Page last edited: Saturday, February 11, 2017 (EB)

WWI Events - 1918

Dates Events
1.8 Woodrow Wilson outlines his Fourteen Points
Feb-Sep Allied forces occupy the Jordan Rift Valley
2.9 Central Powers signed protectorate treaty with the Ukrainian People's Republic as part of Brest-Litovsk negotiations
2.18-3.3 Operation Faustschlag, last offensive on Eastern Front; at Brest-Litovsk, Leon Trotsky signs the peace treaty with Germany, which moves troops to the Western Front
1918-1919 March 1918, beginning of first of 3 pandemic waves of mutated H1N1 virus. "Spanish Flu", aided by movements of military personnel and conditions around the world, would kill at least 50 million and perhaps up to 100 million people.
3.7 German artillery bombard the Americans at Rouge Bouquet
3.8-3.13 Battle of Tell 'Asur and Battle of Bakhmach
3.21–4.5 German Spring Offensive
3.21-4.2 First Transjordan attack on Amman
3.23–8.7 Artillery bombardment of Paris
3.26 French Marshall Ferdinand Foch is appointed Supreme Commander of all Allied forces
4.7-4.29 Second phase of the Spring Offensive, results are disappointing for the Germans
5.7 Treaty of Bucharest between Romania and Central Powers (never ratified)
5.10-5.11 Battle of Kaniow
5.21-5.29 Ottomans invade Armenia, Battles of Sardarabad, Abaran and Karakilisa
5.27–6.6 Third Battle of the Aisne, German advance is halted
5.28 Battle of Cantigny
5.29-5.31 Battle of Skra-di-Legen
6.1-6.26 Battle of Belleau Wood, part of the German Spring Offensive
6.8 Action of Arsuf
6-10 Germany interferes in the Caucuses
6.9–6.12 Operation Gneisenau (Battle of Matz), despite substantial territorial gains, Germans do not achieve strategic goals
6.13–6.23 Second Battle of the Piave, Austro-Hungarian offensive repelled
6.30 Battle of Moreuil Wood
7.15–8.6 Second Battle of the Marne - last German offensive on the Western Front; Germans are counterattacked by the French
7.17 Tsar and his family shot by the Bolsheviks
7.18 Battle of Chateau-Thierry, a phase of the Second Battle of the Marne
8.8-11.11 Hundred Days Offensive, last offensive on the Western Front
8.8–8.12 Battle of Amiens, first phase of the Hundred Days Offensive
8.9-8.12 Battle of Montdidier
8.13-9.3 Battle of San Matteo
8.17-8.29 Second Battle of Noyon, a phase of the Hundred Days Offensive
8.21-9.3 Third battle of the Somme, a phase of the Hundred Days Offensive
8.26-9.14 Battle of Baku, last Turkish offensive of the war
8.31-9.3 Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, a phase of the Second Battle of the Somme
9.12-9.19 Battle of Havrincourt, Battle of Saint-Mihiel, Battle of Vauxaillon, and Battle of Epehy: phases of the Hundred Days Offensive
9.14-9.29 Vardar Offensive, final offensive on the Balkan Front
9.15 French and Serbs break through the Bulgarian lines at Dobro Polje
9.18–9.19 Third Battle of Doiran (Vardar Offensive), Bulgarians halt British and Greek advance
9.18–10.17 Allies break through the German Hindenburg Line
9.19–9.25 British conquer Palestine
9.26–11.11 Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the final phase of the Hundred Days Offensive
9.26-10.1 British enter Damascus
9.29-10.10 Battle of St. Quentin Canal, a phase of the Hundred Days Offensive.
9.30 Bulgaria signs armistice with Allies
Battle of Saint-Thierry (initial phase of Meuse-Argonne Offensive)
10.3-10.27 Pursuit to Haritan.
Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge
10.8-10.10 Second Battle of Cambrai
10.14-10.17 Battle of Montfaucon
10.14-10.19 Battle of Courtrai, closing phase of the Hundred Days offensive
10.15 Battle of Mont-D'Origny
10.17-10.26 Battle of the Selle
10.20 Germany suspends submarine warfare; Battle of Lys and Escaut; Battle of Serre
10.23-10.30 Battle of Sharqat
10.24–11.4 Battle of Vittorio Veneto, Austro-Hungarians routed and Italians enter Trent and land at Triest
10.24-10.28 Second Battle of Monte Grappa, beginning phase of Vittorio Veneto
10.25 Battle of Aleppo
10.29 Wilhelm Groener replaces Erich Ludendorff as Hindenburg's deputy; Germany's Hochseeflotte mutinies; State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs proclaimed
10.30 The Ottoman Empire signs the Armistice of Mudros
11.1-11.2 Battle of Chesne, Battle of Valenciennes
11.3 Austria-Hungary signs the armistice with Italy
11.4 Battle of the Sambre
11.6-11.11 Advance to the Meuse
11.9 Germany: Kaiser William II abdicates, republic proclaimed
11.10 Austria-Hungary: Kaiser Charles I abdicates
11.11 At 6 am, Germany signs the Armistice of Compiègne. End of fighting at 11 a.m.; Poland proclaimed
11.12 Austria proclaimed a republic
11.14 Czechoslovakia proclaimed a republic; German U-boats interned; 3 days after the armistice, fighting ends in the East African theater
11.21 Germany's Hochseeflotte surrendered to the United Kingdom
11.22 The Germans evacuate Luxembourg
11.25 General von Lettow-Vorbeck formally surrenders his undefeated army at Abercorn in present-day Zambia
11.27 The Germans evacuate Belgium
12.1 Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes proclaimed


"The war was 90 percent boredom, 8 percent work and worry, and 2 percent terror"