Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Wallace, Fred, 1900-1957; Bostian, William, 1887-1985; Sands, Irving H.

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, November 15, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Somewhere in France

November 15, 1918

Dear Bess:

Your good letter of October 26 came today and you of course can guess how happy I am to get it. I am enclosing the forty cents for the very nice things you said to me. Being written with red ink reminds me of a letter I censored for one of my Irishmen the other day. He started out with blue ink and ran out so he said well here goes with a little blood and went on and finished his letter with red ink. I suppose his girl thought he really used blood. A letter from you written with charcoal, chalk, or clay would be fine enough to send me into the seventh heaven. I don't care what they're written with long as I get them.

I am very glad that Pike Sands holds no malice for my having busted him. You know it is the hardest job a man ever undertook to be absolutely square and just to 194 men when you have good ones and bad ones (very few bad), smart ones and dull ones. I love 'em all and if anybody wants a fight or a quarrel with me he can get it suddenly and all he wants if he says anything derogatory about my Battery or one of my men. I wouldn't trade off the "orneriest" one I've got for any other whole Battery. While I'm not a braggart I believe I can take my outfit and beat any other one in the A.E.F., shooting or doing any other kind of Battery work (every Battery commander in the regiment says the same thing). I recommended one of my kids to go to West Point and he was one out of seven in the A.E.F. to go. I was as proud of him as if I had done it myself.

You know I have succeeded in doing what it was my greatest ambition to do at the beginning of the war. That is to take a Battery through as Battery commander and not lose a man. We fired some ten thousand or twelve thousand rounds at Heinie and were shelled ourselves time and again but never did the Hun score a hit on me.

There are rumors rife that we will go to Germany to do police and rioting duty. I'd rather go home but if your Uncle Samuel needs us in Germany, to Germany we'll go and be as happy as we can. We got in on the last drive and fired up to the last hour and I suppose that is the reason they'll send us if they do. Shall I bring you some German spoons and tableware or just some plain loot in the form of graft money? I hope they give me Coblenz or Cologne to hold down; there should be a good opportunity for a rising young captain with an itching palm, shouldn't there?

I can't remember when I was ever taking any beauty sleep unless it was some time when I'd been up for 60 or 65 hours and was probably sleeping the next twenty four. I have done that several times. Once I was up so long I thought I never would want to go to bed anymore. The Major made me and I felt better after 24 hours of sleep. I hope Bill Bostian has a good time and I wish I was in his place, except that I'd like to bring the Battery home now that it has gone through the war with me. I hope to ride a prancing steed down Grand Ave. at the head of D Bty, the fourth in the column when the last parade before the muster out is made. I dreamed last night that I was trying to exchange a 100 franc note for real money in a Kansas City bank. It was a disappointment when I found I wasn't there.

I got a letter from Fred today and shall proceed to answer it. Please keep writing to one who always thinks of you.

Always, Harry

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


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