Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Wallace, Madge Gates, 1862-1952; Lee, Jay M., 1873-1945; Noland, Mary Ethel, 1883-1971; Noland, Nellie, 1881-1958; Gates, Marvin H., 1876-1972; Miles, John L., 1878-1961; Sermon, Roger T., 1891-1950; Marks, Ted, b. 1882; Salisbury, Spencer, 1887-1967; Pat

Letter from Harry S. Truman to Bess Wallace, December 19, 1918. Family, Business, and Personal Affairs Papers - Family Correspondence File.

Still near Verdun, Camp La Baholle

December 19, 1918

Dear Bess:

This day is a banner day sure enough. Your letters of Nov 24 & 26 came and I am entirely cured of a case of grippe I was endeavoring to have. Those are two grand letters and I am so happy to get them. You are right about my not getting all your letters but I am certainly thankful for what I do get. Your mother is very flattering when she says I write a good letter. I write in order to get letters and if mine happen to appear interesting because they come from France I'm that much more pleased. I appreciate the compliment anyway. Some time back I wrote you a great long winded account of all my doings since leaving Coetquidon. Mr. Lee says he wants to get some of the facts to go into his history of 129th but I don't think they would hardly be worth putting in do you? My hair is not any whiter than it's always been except for a few grey hairs around the edge and they are not visible unless you look closely. I think I told the Nolands in one of my letters to them that my experience in moving up front that first night of the drive when it took me 12 hours to go a kilometer and a half was enough to give me a set of grey hairs. I don't think I have anymore than I've had for the last two years, but my hair is thicker so the helmet must have done it good. I sincerely wish I could have gone to Platte with you and also to the show. There's a good time coming though and I hope not so far away.

We have rumors of going to Hunland and rumors of going to Brest and rumors of staying where we are 'till peace is signed. I told you I'd signed up for "full & immediate" separation from the army. We call ourselves the F & Is and we kid the life out of those who signed up to stay in. But will all probably come home together. Major Gates, Maj. Miles, Sermon, Marks, McGee, the Colonel & myself are all F & Is. Salisbury, Allen, Patterson, Dancy signed up to stay in. The rest signed up for the reserve. I can't see what on earth any man with initiative and a mind of his own want to be in the army in peace times for. You've always got some old fossil above you whose slightest whim is law and who generally hasn't a grain of horse sense. For my part I want to be where I can cuss 'em all I please when I please and you can bet there are some in this man's army who are going to get cussed and more if they fool around me when I get out. I'd give my right arm to be on the military affairs committee of the House. It's not an impossibility is it? You've no idea how the attitude changed when there was no more chance of promotion. It's right laughable sometimes. I got a lot of new horses today which don't look much like going home. I'd about as soon be in Coblenz or Cologne as in this mud hole. If I can find it I am going to send you a copy of a poem called "Sunny France" it's a peach.

You've no idea how I appreciated the Christmas card from all the family. I wish I could send them each one but I can't. Remember me to all of them especially your mother and wish them each a Merry Christmas for me. And keep on writing.

Yours always Harry.

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


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