Wells, W. Gates, 1898-1964; Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948
Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, March 29, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.
Jersey City, N.J. Mar. 28, 1918
It is eleven o'clock and I've got to arise at three in order to get my goods and chattels in readiness to go on the boat, but I am going to write you one last letter on this side on the last day I can. I didn't get to see Gates because they kept me here until nearly two o'clock reading orders and instructions as to how we must act, what we must say and not say when we arrive in General Pershing's jurisdiction. About all we can write is "I am well if you are well it is well," and if we were to put that down S.V.B.E.V. they'd destroy the letter and probably hang us for spies. I don't suppose I can even say I love you, because some heartless censor would cut it out as a state secret and spoil what was on the other side. If you get any letters with strips cut out of them you'll know that is what I said and that I'm always saying it. I am awfully sorry but I didn't get to go to White's for the same reason I didn't get to see Gates. It was too late by the time I got through here to do anything whatever in town. If I'd stayed here another week I'd be writing home for money and I haven't got anything for it either—only a very uncomfortable pair of feet because of their not being well acquainted with hard pavements. Have two immense blisters, which I never had in all my Ft. Sill marching and countermarching. Bought me a Sam Brown belt today and I look real fussy in it. They're the kind that have a strap over the shoulder and a broad red leather belt in the center with loud brass trimmings. Have to carry a can of brass polish to keep it looking well. It has a hook for a saber but I never expect to wear one.
I didn't get a letter today and I'm terribly disappointed. I know its Uncle Sam's fault on the delivery and I may get it on the boat anyway. Hope so.
My new address is 129th Field Artillery Detachment, 35th Division, A.E.F. via New York. It will take two envelopes to get it all on. Wired you today and as you are reading it I'll probably be going out of Sandy Hook behind a warship.
Remember that I've always loved you and shall continue to no matter what happens, and when the Great God Ammon Ra weighs me for good and for bad I'm hoping that will be for the main and principal cause of the good outweighing. I am hoping to cable you from Berlin soon.
Yours always, Harry
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