Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Boxley, Fred A., 1877-1936; Foch, Ferdinand, 1851-1929

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, November 10, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Somewhere in France

November 10, 1918

Dear Bess:

I got a letter today from Boxley and one from Joe Bielsford who was our auditor in Morgan and Company, and none from you. I am disappointed as a kid who didn't get any candy but I know that Uncle Sam's mail and not you are to blame and maybe I'll get one or two or three tomorrow. I am still holding down a place in a quiet sector and I'm getting fat on it. Also that helmet is not going to make me bald headed, at least I don't think so.

The Hun is yelling for peace like a stuck hog and I hope old daddy Foch makes him yell louder yet or throttles him one. Throttling would be too easy. When you see some of the things those birds did and then hear them put up the talk they do for peace it doesn't impress you at all. A complete and thorough threshing is all they've got coming and take my word they are getting it and getting it right.

This has been a beautiful Sunday. The sun shining and as warm as summer. It sure made me wish for Lizzie and five gallons of gas with her nose pointed down Blue Ridge Blvd and me stepping on the throttle to get there quickly. I wonder how long it will be before we do any riding down that road. Easter? Maybe if not sooner. Heine seems to be about finished. Just to make the day interesting one of their planes came over and shot down one of our sausage balloons and came near getting shot down himself. I shot away about 500 rounds of high explosive shells myself. Not at the plane but at some Hun machine gun about seven miles away. I don't know if I hit them but I have hopes as I laid the guns very carefully. A Hun plane dropped some bombs not far from my back yard last night and sort of shook things up. They made him run home in a hurry too. There is a big railroad gun about a kilometer behind me that shoots about every fifteen minutes and I heard one of the boys remark that "There goes another rolling kitchen over to pulverize Jerry." The projectile makes a noise like a wagon going down the road when it goes through the air, so the remark was very good.

I have been censoring letters today and it is some job. I had no idea that there were so many accomplished liars in any organization on earth as I have in mine. They are eternally trying to get by the censor with some big tale of their heroism and accomplishments in this war and they do it too, sometimes, especially if they put in something nice about their commanding officer and the part he took in the tale. Usually though I have to tear 'em up or send them back when they tell too much or stretch the truth even beyond literary license. Some of them write very good and very interesting letters and some of them do not. It is a job to censor them and when my lieutenants get too far behind I help them out.

I hope the base censor doesn't laugh at mine as I sometimes have to at theirs.

Hope I get that letter tomorrow. Also hope the Hun signs the peace agreement. Write as often as you can to one who thinks of you,

Always, Harry

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