Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Foch, Ferdinand, 1851-1929; Wallace, Frank Gates, 1887-1960

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

Somewhere in France

Nov. 20, 1918

Dear Bess:

Your letters of the 19th and 23rd of October came last night and as usual I had a fit of joy. If you want me to I shall take great pleasure in knocking Dr. Wilson's block off when I get home. I can lick a sack of wildcats in no time if they cause you any worry. I reckon though it's a dentist's privilege to make things as unpleasant as possible for his clients because if he doesn't they don't think he has earned his money. I am glad you liked me cable. I sent you another the other day after the war was over. You know in order to send a cable it is necessary to have it censored and stamped and then taken to a cable office or French Post Office. Only about twice since I've been in France have I been situated so I could send one. The combatants on the line don't enjoy all the conveniences of the S.O.S. The S.O.S. is where all the schools and things are. I was not smart enough to get sent to one, therefore I couldn't cable as often as I would otherwise have done. I am very glad that I was lucky enough and boneheaded enough to go through with the battery and I hope I am lucky enough to bring that same shamrock battery home. Marshall Foch was in our adjoining town yesterday opening up the cathedral. Had I have known it I should have been present and saluted him. I am hoping to see him before we get sent home although I wouldn't miss the boat just to see him. It is my earnest hope and also my guess that we won't get sent to Deutschland. I prefer to see America first. Although if they take a notion to send us over there I shall go as willingly as anyone and do my bit as policeman if not as willingly at least as well as I have a soldier.

I saw a clipping from the Star describing our advance in the Argonne. It was exactly correct and the towns named were ones I was in. The things the writer told of I saw happen in several cases. My battery was the farthest advanced battery in the drive for one day and I was up ahead of the infantry line at least once that day. I am very glad it is over but I wouldn't have missed being in the drive that made the Hun howl for peace for anything. I would also like to see Cologne or Coblenz but as I said above I'd rather see America first. I am very much afraid that the roses I sent you made from German 77 shells will be confiscated as France wants all the brass. I am hoping they'll arrive though. One of them was made in Dusseldorf and the other at Essen and both of them were shot at Verdun.

Here's hoping that Frank is well and that everyone is happy as we are at the end of things. Keep writing.

Yours always


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

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