Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Wallace, Madge Gates, 1862-1952; Truman, Martha Ellen, 1852-1947; Truman, Mary Jane, 1889-1978

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

Sunday, August 4, 1918

Dear Bess:

Your letter of July 7 and one dated way back in April came yesterday and of course I was very happy and granted lots of favors to the battery. I told the mail orderlie if he did not get me an Independence post marked letter he needn't come around me for the day. You should have seen him smile when he found one. Immediately asked for a pass – and got it.

The communique of today is sure a grand one and I am only scared to death the Dutch will get everlastingly licked before D Battery gets to unload a volley at them.

I shall be happy if I can only get to order my battery to fire one volley at the Hun if I get court martialed the next day. You know that would be something really worthwhile. An infantry man can only shoot one bullet at a time with his little pop gun but I can give one command to my Irish battery and put 848 bullets on the way at once.

You must think I'm clean gone dizzy sure enough talking about what "me and my battery" can do continually but if my running of the thing turns out to be a success I shall be the proudest person on earth.

We have figured problems and fired imaginary barrages and such things until we can hardly think of anything else. I take the battery out tomorrow to shoot things up again and I am hoping for good luck to stay by me until it is over because the Inspector General is going to look us over and see if we can hit the target. If we pass I have an idea that we will be allowed to take our batteries up when we go.

Your dream came near being fulfilled today. If I hadn't been a battery commander they would in all probability have sent me home as an instructor. I hope they don't do it until I have earned a gold service stripe and have seen the front much as I would like to be home. I'd be forever apologizing for not having gotten to the front.

I am surely very glad to hear that your mother is better and I sincerely hope you have no more sickness or worry. Please don't worry about me because I have every reason to think that I'll safely return. My 194 men think right well of me and they are not going to let any Dutchman run away with me and there isn't a shell made that can crack my tin hat. Besides we may not even arrive on the front until it's a sure thing.

I hope you got to make the trip home to see mamma and Mary. The horse is out there and Mary says he is a Dandy. I am glad he is for the Colonel simply made me a present of him.

I don't understand why you have not received any mail from me because I had written at least once weekly and lots of times twice and three times. There was a box headed censor at Angers where we were when I returned to the regiment and he did not understand that the General Order allowed me to mention places in the SOS and I imagine that he destroyed a lot of my very best spasms. I was living at a beautiful little wayside inn and was acting battalion Ajt. (thought I was a real one) and I wrote you a great many letters, even sent you some picture postcards of the old Cathedral and other places. This camp is further from the front than that but I am afraid to tell you where because it might meet the same fate.

Be sure and write as often as you can because I am always happy when your letters come. I wish I could see you oh how I wish it.

Yours always,


Harry S. Truman Capt. 129 FA American E.F.

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