Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Wallace, Fred, 1900-1957; Wallace, Madge Gates, 1862-1952; Wallace, George Porterfield, 1892-1963; Gates, George Porterfield, 1835-1918; Higinbotham, John J., 1898-1957

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, July 14, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Somewhere in France July 14, 1918

Dear Bess:

I wrote you several letters from the last town I was in and told you how I came back to the regiment, am a captain, and a lot of things like that. Now some other censor has decided that we should not have mentioned places and I am much afraid all that mail is destroyed. Someday they will get the things all straightened out.

Your letters of the fourteenth and nineteenth of June were here at camp when I arrived and you may be sure I am most happy to get them. You couldn't possibly write me a silly letter. I am disappointed that you should think of tearing up one, they are so very valuable. We work like thunder and cuss the things we have to do sometimes, especially when some chappie who's been to school since the war began and has never seen a man or a horse tries to make things clear and easy for us, when along comes a letter from home saying we are heroes and puffing us all up until we don't have a worry in the world but to make good and win the war.

We moved from our billets at the beautiful old French town I told you of and are now at a large artillery camp with the whole brigade. We are going to shoot every day for a while and then we hope to shoot some Huns.

You've no idea how sorry I am to hear of your mother's illness and I most sincerely hope you have succeeded in making her well again. I should certainly like to see Fred washing dishes. I bet he can't do it any better than I can. Your cornbread, I know, would be the finest to be had, as would anything else you'd make. I wish I could only have a hunk of it. We get plenty to eat but of course it's not like your and mother's cooking. I hope your grandfather is much better now, and that by the time you read this letter you won't have a think to worry about but how quickly I'll be home to march down the aisle with you.

I am a Battery commander now. They made me captain of Battery D after letting me serve as adjutant of the second battalion for thirty days and try to teach the other officers what I'd learned at artillery school. No, the school you mentioned was not the one I went to. That one was an officers' training camp like Funston. Ours was a high school for artillery officers. Tell George that little Higginbotham is in my Battery. I have the Irish Catholic Battery but they seem to like me pretty well and I am satisfied that, if I don't blow up with too many worries, I'll have a good Battery. I hope the best in the brigade. The one that does the best work here gets to fire the first shot of the brigade at the Hun. I shall do my very best to win the honor, although I may fail to get it as there is hot competition.

You've no idea the experience I'm getting. I've been most everything and done most everything in this man's army since August 5 and now I have attained my one ambition, to be a Battery commander. If I can only make good at it, I can hold my head up anyway the rest of my days.

I'd give most anything to see you. I hope also that Hindes prophecy is true. But of course we can't come home until we do a thorough job over here. Please keep writing and remember I love you always.


Capt. Harry S. Truman Bat D, 129 F.A. American E.F.

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