Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman, Mary Jane, 1889-1978; Miles, John L., 1878-1961; Sands, Irving H.

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, October 20, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Oct 20, 1918

Dear Bess:

This is certainly a banner day. I received four letters from you. You were still without any letters from me except one. I wrote you at the first place we were in action. That was a very tame affair compared with what we have been through since as I told you in my last letters. I am awfully sorry I could not write to you in all that last time but it was simply an impossibility. For one thing I had nothing to write with and another I could not have written a sane coherent letter if I had tried. It was the most terrific experience of my life and I hope I don't have to go through with it many more times although we are going to bust Heine if it takes us all and I don't think there is a man in the organization who wouldn't give his life to do it. Please don't worry about us or about me I should say because I am egotistical enough to think that I am your principle [sic] worry. I am very comfortably situated now in a finely furnished dugout with stoves and everything. If I am lucky we may remain a good long time. I think they are trying to let us rest up from our hard work of last month. We marched half across France and were at it every night. I lost nearly all my horses just from marching so far without getting enough rest. We are recuperating now and I hope that before long everyone will be as good as new.

For myself I am as fat and healthy as I ever was in my life and except for being a little deaf I have suffered no ill effects from the experience. Maj. Miles is not captured. None of our officers were hurt except one whom you never met. His name is Kenady and he calls it with a long a and accents that sylable. He was gassed slightly. I am glad Mrs. Sands is pleased with my treatment of Irving. I could do nothing else. Mary wrote me that she had met the Aunt of another fellow in my battery whom I just got through busting from a corporal to private. I don't think he will take to it kindly.

I haven't taken any unnecessary chances but I had to go back after my guns. No good battery commander would send anyone else after guns he'd left in position under the same circumstances I left those two. I don't claim to be a good B.C. but I have to act like one anyway. I doubt very much if I'll get to come home before the war is over, and much as I'd like to I want to see the finish. I am so pleased that I was lucky enough to get in on the drive that bade the Boche squeal for peace that I sometimes have to pinch myself to see if I am dreaming or not. It really doesn't seem possible that a common old farmer boy could take a battery in and shoot it on such a drive and I sometimes think I just dreamed it. You may be sure that we will make up for lost time when I do get home. I think of you and dream of you all the time. I dreamed no longer ago than last night that I was going to my own (& yours) wedding and I just was on the point of kissing the bride when I woke up and found myself some 4000 miles away and in a dugout. It was some disappointment I tell you. They are not sending as many officers back now as they were. There seems to be a shortage over here.

I certainly appreciated the Doniphan pictures and I'm all puffed up that you would think of having one of me enlarged. Wait till you get the postcard one of me with a helmet on. You will then see that I am fattened up again although I'll admit that I have some more gray hairs.

Keep on writing because your letters brighten the days. I'll never cease loving you.

Yours always


Harry S Truman Capt. Bty D 129 FD American E.F.

The poem about Gen. Sherman is true.

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