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Union Neb.
Nov. 6th 1918
Wed. 4:30 p.m.

Dear Friend Gene: Your letter of Oct. 15th reached me today, was glad to know you were able to write. I hope your many other letters have reached you by this time.

          Miss O’Donnell is the only High School teacher at Union that was there when we gratuated [sic]. Crozier & Anderson still teach Adeline Bischof from Neb. City teaches grammar room. A Miss Whitford from Arlington Neb. Is the Supt. And a Miss Holgard teaches English course. Bill Banning, Upton & Mc Carthy are on school board.

          Election is over. Think everything went Rep. This year for a change. Todd was running for float rep. again & Bill Banning for Lt. Governor. We haven’t heard for sure they were defeated.

          Gene we are all anxious to know how badly you were hurt, and if you shall be alright soon. No one around here knows for sure and you are such a brave lad that you don’t even tell us how you are.

          Did you know Vivian Everett was married. She married Geo. Rhodes from Howe Neb.

          Robert Roddy is in France, also Clyde Lynde. His address is Battery F, 75th Artillery C.A.C. A.E.F. It might be possible you could see him by writing.

          The Spanish Flu has certainly been sweeping thro the country. Sherman Austin had it the worst around here. Schools were closed and Union school is the only one opened now.          

          Mama talked to Grace Applegate today. They were all well. She also had a letter from Clee this wk. They had escaped the Flu this far.

          Luty is still at Washington, D.C. Durwood is at O.T.S. [Officer Training School] but probably won’t be there much longer.

          The newspapers report wonderful success in France and I certainly am proud of it. And believe Germany can’t hold out much longer. We will get thro husking corn this week if weather & men hold out. Everyone is getting thro so early this year.

          Forest Frans has never been wounded that I know of. He & Kemp Frans were both real sick & left in England, but they are well & I think in France now as that Forest wrote home telling about seeing Frank Mead, Frank Wolfe & several of the Union boys. Almand Taylor is in France. Think he drives a car.

          Gene if you’ll send us a permit we would be glad to send you anything you want. You know we get more sugar now so could make candy. Please don’t hesitate as we are more than anxious to do what little we can do.

          Conditions here are much better than about the sugar and flour.

          There isn’t anything going on here at all on acc’t of the Flu. It is real bad at Neb. City.

          Ed Fahrlander was home for a few days last week, also Emil. He weighs 201 lbs. so is some fleshy soldier. All of the Swans except Mr. Swan had Flu. All of Austins except Mary & Mr. A had it. Roy came home from Calif. Lemuel Barritt went to Omaha to S.A.T., he just got to drill 2 days & they sent him home as he registered in June so was too old. John Pearsley & Ralph Everett are up to Lincoln to S.A.T.C. John had Flu but guess he is getting along O.K. Wm Mueller is up there and was awful sick but is much better now.

          Dorothy is staying in Union now so its pretty lonesome here for me, although Dad has been keeping me real busy. Have helped herd cattle, make corn cribs and most anything else that is to be done. Learned more the last few weeks that I’ll be on farm than in several years before.

          Gene, I would be glad to hear from you anytime and I trust you are much improved by this time. Don’t forget to send the permit if you want me to send anything.

Your Friend:

Elma M. Hall

Union, Neb.

Nov. 15, 1918

Friday 7:20 P.M.

Dear Friend Gene:

          Hurrah, I hear you are back in the States and I’m mighty glad for your sake and your Mother’s. I hope you have escaped the Flu. Namoui [Naomi] Mougey came down with it today at Union Schools. She had a high fever all day yesterday so guess the rest of the kids are certainly exposed.

          Durwood [Lynde, Elma’s fiancé] was commissioned Wednesday so of course I feel mighty proud of him. He was 5th in the list of 122 that graduated so guess he got a good grade.

          I have been working at the bank all day making out receits for the United Work Fund. Will have to go back tomorrow. Union certainly is a dead place. No excitement whatsoever. Ellis Larue is about the only young person I saw. Angie & Fannie McCarroll were back working in the bank.

          I suppose you hear [sic] about Ross Jay. He died with the Flu and was brot back here & buried last Wednesday.

          We have our sale a week from today. I’ll sent [sic] you one of the bills. Maybe it would help pass away a little of the time by reading it. We expect to move some time after 1st of Dec. Haven’t just decided yet.

          Luty is still at Washington D.C. He is certainly tired of that hole.

          What did you do to help celebrate peace Monday. Union put on a big parade School children, Red Cross etc. Mrs. Sim Upton drove old Queen in parade. Had a sheet over horse with big Red Crosses on it. Then we all met down in front of Frans store. Had speaking by Mr. Todd, prayer by Rev. Morrison of ME church, then Crede Harris, Ward Cheney, Rev. Thorn, gave talks and Little Helen Graves sang a couple of songs. Also school. Just as that was over a train load of soldiers went thru Union so every one went down to train. We also burned the Kaiser.

          At Nehawka they burned the Kaiser, made a lot of those Pro-Germans dance around the fire so close that it burned them, and also make speeches. Guess they celebrated about right.

          We are anxious to hear about the battles you were in and about your illness if you are permitted to tell us. Have heard so many different things so am anxious to know.

          I have a girl friend that married a soldier. Al Cox at Hampton Va. I don’t know if that is very far from you or not. She lived at Lincoln. Think maybe she knows your mother. She is Winnie McIntyres niece.

          Nettie Stanton is still teaching school this year over here at Sciota. Mary has a position of some kind in Omaha now.

          Edith Frans is working in at Frans Store this week. She isn’t teaching this year.

          We are anxious to hear from Jessie. Haven’t heard from her since the first of the week.

          What is Paul’s [Applegate, Gene’s older brother] address. We want to send him a card for Xmas. I hope you’ll be well soon and can come home. You surely will get your mail now.

Your Friend,

Elma M. Hall

Am sending you a few old Platts. Papers.



Plattsmouth Journal, December 30, 1918

SEES SURRENDER OF GERMAN SHIPS


From Friday's Daily.

          J.V. Rotter of the Northern Wyoming Oil Co. force, received the following letter last week from his son, who is on the U.S.S. Texas:

U.S.S. Texas, Nov. 22, 1918

          Dear Father: I am writing you this letter to let you know that the censorship rules are abolished so I can tell you a lot of news. We left New York January 30 and arrived at the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland on February 11. We laid there a couple of months and chased around in the North Sea for the Germans a few times, then came to Rosyth Bay, Scotland, where we now are.

          We went out with the British fleet at 4 a.m. Thursday and general quarters sounded at 8:30 a.m. We stood by to received the German fleet but it had previously ar(smeared text of 4 words) surrender which they did. They were fourteen first-class ships (eight battleships and six battle cruisers), eight line cruisers and fifty destroyers; they also surrendered 150 submarines.

          We came back running alongside of their line of ships at about 5,000 yards distance when we got into the Firth of Forth we then closed in to about 2,000 yards, and we got a very good view of the captured ships. They were pretty good ships, believe me, and I bet they hated to give them up. Of course it was only about half their battleships but we got the best ships of the whole bunch.

          Now about our fleet. The British Grand Fleet has about eight squadrons of dreadnaughts and three squadrons of battle cruisers. There are five ships in our squadron the New York (the flagship) Texas, Arkansas, Wyoming and Florida. I could tell you the names of the British ships but it would take up too much space. The Queen Elizabeth is the flagship of the fleet. Admiral Reatty is the British Admiral and High Sealord.

          The fleet has been reviewed twice by the king and queen of England. The last time was the day before we took over the German ships. We were also reviewed by the king and queen of Belgium at the same time as first reviewed by King George. We went to Norway to convoy duty in April and sighted several subs which we promptly fired on. We have sighted subs nearly every time we were out because we are not far form the German Naval Base.

          Well Dad, I guess I will close and tell you the rest when I get back.

Your loving son,
JOSEPH A. ROTTER
U.S.S. Texas

Plattsmouth Journal, about October, 1918

SOLDIERS LETTER FROM FRANCE


FRED H. RUTHERFORD WRITES VERY INTERESTINGLY FORM THE WESTERN FRONT.
From Monday's Daily.

          Fred Rutherford who left here more than a year ago, is in France, where he is the head cook for the company, with which he is stationed; he is seeing France as it really is and writes the following letter to his mother Mrs. John H. Rutherford:

France, Sept. 25, 1918

          Dear Mother: I will drop you a few lines, telling you I am well and enjoying the best of health. Army life is some life as long as one has his health, but sure he is out of luck if he is sick. It rains over here every-other-day, or night, just as it happens to be. They say it has been dry here just two weeks ago, when it began to rain, but I do not think it ever has been dry here.

          The people over here have a funny way of doing their farm work, and this is a place you never see a buggy, but all two wheel carts. They also have a little two-for-a-nickel railroad. It is an endless amount of amusement to talk to, what few of these people can talk English, many of them cannot understand it at all. When I wish to purchase anything, I just hold out my hand and allow them to take what money they want.

          There are about fifteen hundred German prisoners in this camp, and they are kept working on the railroads. Many of them said they did not get enough to eat and surrendered to the American army in order to get something to eat. They are mostly mere boys. the airplanes are thick, often seeing a dozen at a time in the sky.

With love to all,
FRED H. RUTHERFORD
Address: Cook U.S.A., Am.E.F.(American Expiditionary Force), 335 F.A. France.

Plattsmouth Journal, January 9, 1919

WILLIAM REED WRITES HOME FROM FRANCE


TELLS OF EXPERIENCE GOING OVER THE SEA ON THE TRANSPORT WAS GREAT.
PASSED THROUGH ENGLAND ON WAY.
Thinks France Looks Strange In Comparison to the Bigness Of America.

Sunday, December 1, 1918

          Dear Mother: Will write you a few lines to let you know I am well and arrived safely overseas. I got sea sick the first two days, but I wasn't very sick; fed the fish a couple of times. We were 11 days sailing across and was on the ship 13 days. We got on at New York, November 11th, and got on this side November 24th. Our ship was not alone. There were 8 other ships that came across with us. We had lots of hiking after we got to England. We came across from New York to Liverpool and then hiked about one mile to the train, road about two days, then we got off and hiked about two miles to a camp and stayed all night.

          Then the next morning we hiked back to the train and went to another town and took a ship across the English Channel. Then we hiked to another camp with those heavy packs on our backs. It was about three miles and they sure seemed like days and long ones too. Then we stayed there all night and the next day we took a freight train to this town where we are now. We rode in box cars, 33 of us in one car and the cars are about half as large as the ones in the states. So you can imagine how crowded we were. We are in a camp close to a town by the name of Bordeaux.

          I don't know how long we will be over here. They seem to think we won't be here very long. I hope not anyway. They got food enough to last 10 days at this camp, so I guess we will be here 10 days anyway. We haven't done any work yet, don't know whether we will or not. It has rained every day since we got here. It is clear this afternoon. It isn't very cold here. Well there is some nice looking country and nice big towns. Did you get the letter and picture I sent from Camp Upton? Well I think the war is all over with. They are sending lots of the boys home already.

          Well I am enjoying good health and hope you folks are all well. I won't write to Florence I don't suppose. So when you write to her, you tell her the news. If I don't write to you any more, you don't need to worry. Because I don't like to write over here. Well I will close with lots of love to all. Good-bye.

From your son,
WILLIAM READ(SIC)


(Postcard Greeting)

         Dear Gene - We wish you all kinds of Thanks-giving luck and that you can eat all of the turkey you can possibly hold. Everyone is fine around here. Only 2 cases of "flu" now. Had a light snow. Hope you are much better now and that we will see you soon again.
M/M B? Roddy, Baby John

(Postcard Greeting)

          Hello Julian: How are you getting along. I rec. a letter from Clee the other day and she wants to knit me a pair of sock, but I can't wear them and it won't be cold enough for them anyway. I saw your name in the casualty list as severely wounded this was in Brooklyn paper dated Aug. 10. I hope you are O.K. by this time if you get a (illegible) end can meet me in London or in Dublin. I will be there but were not allowed to go to Paris. if you need cigarettes, candy, money, or Anything let me know. R. B. R.

R. B. Roddy
U.S. Naval Air Station Wexford Ireland
C/O GPO LONDON

          (Bernard Roddy died in February, 1919. Cause of death was tuberculosis of the bowels.)

ARMY AND NAVY
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
"WITH THE COLORS"

U.S.N.R.R.
Caldwell, N.J.

          Dear Friend Eugene: Got your address today from home and glad to here (sic) you are back to the U.S.A. once more only wish you could have come to N.Y. City. Am shure you would have hit a much better time as I think this is about the best place I have hit yet. Norfolk is a dead town for a uniform man. If there is any shard of you coming up this way be shure and let me know. There is a fine summer hotel about 4 mi. from here that is supposed to be for soldiers to recuperate the gov has charge of it. It is said to be one of the best in the country.

          Got a letter from Bernard yesterday he is in a hospital and must be sick form the way his writing looked. Said he would be on his but in about 2 weeks. he did not say what was wrong with him. The girls are down with the flu at home and very sick. All the cooks are on one week restricted liberty for not sweeping the floor the first time. I have had any thing on me. Talk about girls, well Newark is so far ahead of any place I have seen yet. They are not in the race at all. Will write more next time. Guess I have to go to bed. Hoping to hear from you in the near future with best wishes

Eugene Roddy



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