Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, January 25, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.
[January 25, 1918]
I have acted miserably about writing you this week but I thought we were leaving every day. The order came down for us to weigh all our baggage on Wednesday and of all the hurry and scurry you ever saw we made it. On top of getting myself ready had to help Pete; he got an order to go along at the last minute. He didn't have the required allotment of clothes and we had to run around to the Q.M. and the Ordnance Depots and buy and carry all morning. I went along with him because he didn't know which red string to unwind to get quick action. I had already been around and could show him. After we'd done all that torn up our tents, packed our grips, etc., the order came that we'd not go for thirty days. I think they are keeping us here to get an opportunity to give some of us an efficiency test and send us home. You'll be glad to hear that of course for that may mean me at any time.
I have been working from reveille to taps every day doing an artillery officers job sometimes two of them and running the canteen besides. The canteen closes Feb. 1, thank heaven and I won't have so much to do. I have thought of you every day and all day but the jumping around was so strenuous that I simply couldn't write. I am writing this at six thirty in the morning in order to get it off on a special so you can get it Sunday. We are beginning to appreciate what a real war means. Some of the men were of the opinion that we are on a grand picnic. They are beginning to see that we are not. I am going to lay off Sunday and tell you all about things because the Star (the disloyal sheet) has published most of it anyway. I am always thinking of you and wishing I was with you. Write when and as often as you can because one line is cheering.