Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, June 2, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Somewhere in France June 2, 1918

Dear Bess:

This is another Sunday and it must be Saint's Day or Pope's Day or something because the bells on our church have been going since about 5:00 A.M. to the tune of an immense amount of swearing on our part. The priest or someone evidently gets up in the tower and plays a regular tune on them. The church has two bells and after beating on them drum-style for a while he comes downstairs and rings them a half-hour church-style. He's been doing that ever since 5:00 a.m. at two-hour intervals. We'd be happy to see those bells melted into cannon, I tell you. We won't have to be bothered by them for more than one Sunday more though because I fear they are going to send us to our regiment next week . I hope so for I've worked x-y=bvd until I'm plum dizzy. I've passed all the exams but one and I got 40 in it so I guess they won't send me home for inefficiency yet.

I've learned more in the last four weeks than I did in all my time in high school.

We went to a YMCA picture show the other night out on the public plaza of this village. It was evidently one of the first ever staged but it looked mighty good to us who haven't seen one in sixty days or so. The French seemed to enjoy it more than we did. When the hero took the leading lady to his heart it almost created a riot. They are the most sentimental people I ever saw. Nothing pleases them more than to see a soldier come home from the front to visit his family. The whole town turns out to see 'em meet and then turns out again to see them part; and from what I can gather they cheer and egg the principals on to do s much kissing in public as possible. They did just that way at the picture show.

There was a real American train in one of the pictures (which was a train robbery) and I'll tell you it sure looked good. My how I would like to ride in a real American Pullman with a nigger porter and everything. If these coaches over here are first class then a Pullman is AA1 and then some.

It will almost be like home to get with the regiment again not only to see all the boys but to get all our letters from home. I am sure that's where they are. It will be one grand day when they do get to us, I tell you. We are all steadily hoping every day to get a letter so keep on writing. I am still living in fine style at the Chateau with no prospects of going up front. I wish I knew something to write but I don't. If I tell you more than I have about the country the censor'd cut it out, so I can only say as always I love you.

Harry

Harry S Truman 1st Lt 129 F.A. American EF France via N.Y.