Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

William II, German Emperor, 1859-1941

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, November 5, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Somewhere in France

November 5, 1918

Dear Bess:

I am trying to keep up the record and write you every day or at least every other day while I have the chance, because if we take a fool notion to go on another drive there's no telling how often I can write. I don't know if I told you or not but we marched every night for twenty-two nights straight in September and then some over into October and it was a hard proposition to write, especially when there was nothing to write on and no place to get anything.

I am still sitting down in a position, sending over a few shells occasionally and receiving a few. My sleeping apartment is practically bomb proof, so I sleep soundly and well—unless there's gas, and I've almost gotten so I can sleep with a gas mask on. Next time I send you a picture it will be with a gas mask on and then you'll be disappointed sure enough.

That helmet picture was a dickens of a looking thing but I thought perhaps you'd like to see what I looked like as a real fightin' man. It was taken in a little town at the foot of the Vosges Mountains where I got some jelly custard from a French woman that tasted exactly like United States. I'll never forget that place.

I wish you would send me a Kodak of yourself. I have your picture in my pocket now you sent me to Doniphan and it sure makes me homesick sometimes when I look at it. Here's hoping I'll see the original before Easter. I dreamed last night I was going down Delaware. It was a disappointment to wake up and see the same old iron shack and rock pile over me I tell you.

I was censoring letters today when I ran across this sentence by one of my best sergeants. He said that he and the Battery had been in some very tight places and came out all right but that they had a captain that could take them to h—l and bring them all back. I nearly blew up. He didn't know I was going to read it, I guess, because I make my second lieutenants censor all the mail but they got behind. I took it for a compliment anyway.

A rumor, which I hope is so, says K. Bill has abdicated. I hope so because we won't have to dodge shells much longer if he has.

Keep writing for I can't get too many letters. I love you

Always, Harry