Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Paterson, Newell T., 1890-1977; Elliot, Arthur J., born 1882; Klemm, Karl D., b. 1880; Allen, Harry B.

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, July 4, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Angers France

July 4, 1918

Dear Bess:

July 4 and in France. Last 4th about this time of day 6:30 PM I was coming into your yard with a brand new uniform with a cap a crop and silver spurs. I thought I was about it as a first Lt that day having lead the first platoon of Bat. F in a Swope Park parade. Now I don't amount to a drop in a very large bucket and I'm a captain and the adjutant of a whole battalion of artillery. Things can happen pretty fast in one year. I hope the Germans will be driven to the Elbe by next 4th and I'll be home and still a captain with honor. It's hard to keep it over here. I've never worked so hard in my life just to keep from getting sent home as a bonehead. If I can only get to the front for the grand drive and the great finish I can hold my head up the rest of my days anyway and maybe feel that I tried to do my share even if I don't win any honors. Wish I could walk in on you this afternoon and get some of those tomatoes and beans and things you are working so hard to raise in your garden. We get them over here but you can't expect an army cook even if he is the best to make things taste as your mother and your sweetheart can. No it hasn't rained for a long time has been beautiful sunshiny weather until yesterday. There was a shower and I was in it. Today is a beautiful as the proverbial one in June that's so [illegible]. The regiment has been having a field meet. Foot races, jumps tugs of war and a ball game. There's a chateau close by with fine grounds. It was an ideal place for a picnic and we had a dandy band and all. I nearly ruined my voice yelling for the second Battalion officers. When we had a tug of war against the first Battalion. Had Pete for an anchor on our side and flipped a coin to see whether I'd get Col. Elliot or Col. Klemm, won Elliot and had Crenshaw, Flynn, Lawson a fine athlete from the south and a Lt in Bat F and three other husky Lieutenants. Paterson, Col Klemm, Capt McGee Major Wilson and one or two other heavies were run in on the other side. It was eight to eight. First thing we did was to put a stick in the picket line they were pulling with and give them the word to pull. The stick broke and let the whole sixteen fall in a pile Cols underneath as was intended. Then we hooked them up right and I never saw such a pull for two minutes. It was decided as a draw but our Batallion pulled em a foot and held them there. The Colonels and the Majors then went to tea given by the General to the Prefect of this district. The Major just returned and said that there was a Countess and a Dago Princess there. I left the picnic in the midst of the ball game so I could write you a letter. It was real exciting. F Bty had the lead over D Bty by runs in the 5th inning. I hope F won. I hope to send you a picture of the place where we went to school next time I write with my charming phiz in the midst of it. I am also having some postcards done in my go to h- cap Sam Brown harness and everything. Be sure and keep writing. You've no idea how I watch for them.

Yours always


Harry S. Truman Captain 129 FA Ajt 2nd Bn American E.F.

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