Somewhere in France (Miller)
Somewhere In France
Nov. 25, 1918.
Dear Folks at Home:
I received your letter and all the rest of them, will answer all just as soon as I get envelopes.
Well, war is over and I am altogether yet and expect to remain this way until I get back across the old Missouri river.
How is everything back there? I expect to be there by the last of January or sooner, and the first six weeks after I get there I am not going to do anything except eat and sleep, so you had better begin to draw extra rations as I can eat just twice as much as when I left. You remember what I used to do.
Well, they say we can tell somthing about the war now. My first battle was at Soissons, where we captured Sempigny and Noyon, that was my first long hike. We left a little town 1½ miles from Compiegne, we started at 5 p.m. and hiked until 8:30 the next morning, the kitchen never caught us until 4:30 that night. We had beef hash for supper then hiked about 6 kilometers and slept by a battery of our artillery, and stayed that day and then went up in support that night. The next morning we went forward under shell fire. The first shell that hit anywhere near was just a little ways from the next squad; one fellow rolled over and I thought, one man less in the army, but as soon as the shell exploded he got up and beat it to the rest. I decided that he was just dodging shrapnel, it was not long until I learned to do likewise, but it took considerable longer to learn that the whine of machine gun bullets was a warning to keep down.
We stopped that morning behind a hill for awhile and then continued our advance. We only got about 300 yards when the Boche started to throw a barrage on us. It was to the holes for everyone. I got in a little hole about 18 inches deep and laid there for two hours when the barrage stopped. A couple of other fellows and I started out and found the rest of the company. We stopped a little to eat. The wounded men began to come in, so I got that down pretty well, then a Boche airplane came over and located us, I was laying in a hole with five Frenchmen. A hole struck the road and a piece came along and took a chunk out of my left leg just below the knee. Two of the medical men got wounded. The guns lest up for about ten minutes then started again with 77 and six inch gas shells. The shelling stopped about sunset and supper came up. It was a pretty fair mess. Then we got orders to dig in for the night and that is what am going to do now.
Pvt. A. E. Miller,
Co. H, 128th Inf.,
A.P.O. 734, A.E.F.