I received the Plattsmouth Journal O.K. and was sure glad to receive it.
Well I guess that it is a good thing that I joined as I see that I would of have had to went anyhow and I sure would rather be in the navy than in the army. I see in your last letter that you are figuring on joining the navy. It isnt a bad idea to join if you like to wear white suits and wash them every day and another thing they sure give you a lot of clothes when you arrive into camp. But you have got to pay for part of them yourself.
The bill is eighty-one dollars and forty-eight cents and the government stands sixty dollars and you stand the rest. But dont come this way unless you like cold weather as the nights here are sure cold. We sleep in tents and it is sure cold in them especially in the morning when we get up as we all are almost frozen, talk about a persons teeth chattering, they sure do here.
I thought that when they sent me out here that we were going into a warm climate, but it seems just like going to the north pole.
Well I guess I will have to close for this time as it is bed time. Give my kindest regards to everybody I know. From your brother,
JOSEPH JOHN KOUBEK
U.S. Navy Station,
D. Comp. Company A 6,
San Francisco, California
I will take time to answer your letter I received some time ago. I am fine and dandy, hope this finds you all the same. I am in the hospital, but nothing much the matter with me, so dont worry. Do you hear from Albert very often. I suppose he is having a good time. Well if he is, he is better off than I am. I suppose you have heard the news. If not you will soon. I dont think I will ever see the lines any more. How is everything at home. Tell everybody hello for me. I am going to get certified at 11:00 oclock. Do you ever see Ray Ellege. If you do, tell him hello for me. I think if nothing happens, I will be back before long. Do you get much news about the war. We have quite a lot of news over here. Well this is all for this time. From George to Mother and all. Answer as soon as you get this.
GEORGE F. KEARNES.
Co. 1, 168th Inf., Am. E. F. France.
From Peter Kratachnil
Somewhere in France.
Dear Father and Mother:
Well, I am at a place where I can sit down and write you a letter. Must say we had a fine trip coming across and sure saw some beautiful scenery in England and also here in France. The towns in England are about a couple or three miles apart and all of the houses and buildings are of stone with stone and straw roofs, and the streets are very narrow. The trains are also very small. A passenger coach is about half the size of ours and they have about six doors on each side. The locomotives are small but very cute.
We are at the present time living in fine quarters and getting three fine meals a day, so we are living like kings. The French people think the world and all of the boys from the states and sure treat us fine. Sure, I am getting to be some Frenchman. Ha! Ha! Say pa, did you get the insurance premium yet? And also the Liberty Bonds.
The weather here at present is sure fine and warm. Well I guess this is all I can write about so I will have to quit. With regards to all of the folks and hope to hear from you real often, so will close with lots of love, from your son. - CORPORAL PETER KRATACHNIL. Address Hqr. Co., 127 F.A. Band, Amer. Ex. Forces, France.
Plattsmouth Journal, July 8, 1918
A LETTER FROM FRANK MILLER.
Dear Mother: -
The boys had the time of their life on the way down here, as we got into Falls city we were starting to eat dinner and as they were eating a new bunch of fellows took our seats, and we had to stand up. They looked like pretty husky, so we didnt bother them but I didnt want to have trouble so let it pass over some of the boys in other bunches tried to tell me something of army life. Just leave it to me, I will get by if there is any-show at all. Ha Ha. The Red Cross served us at Topeka, Kansas, with lunch and good hot coffee and I will sure tell the world it sure braced the boys up and a fellow wouldnt hardly believe it was the same outfit that rolled into town. I kindly forget to tell you about the joke on the bunch as they got into Kansas City. The expected to get a drink, but they held us over there and wouldnt allow no one to go to town and there was a sore bunch, but it didnt take them long to get over it. Ha, Ha. The boys are fine and dandy and there are sure a husky lot when this bunch starts out, the Kaiser will say who thought that bunch would come over her. Ha, Ha, Ha. We all got into camp at about 10:30 in the night and the best part of it the sergeant met us at the station and we walked just about two or three blocks and beds and blankets all ready, but the best part of it, we had our cold shower baths some of us, but laugh, I thought I would die. Bill Brinkman says, gee, this is sure life, but he wouldnt get into the cold water. The funniest part was I heard reveille first, and as I jumped out I woke the whole crowd and then we all washed up and went up and had breakfast and it was just like being at old Camp Cody, Deming, N.M., again, but it will never look like the old camp to me as theyre all wooden barracks and we are right up in the second story from where I set there is hills. The camp is hemmed in by a row of hills or rather encircled by a chain of hills rather, that is like it, I think. I think the cabin on the hill is General Woods home. It is some place. I may try to get in as a stenographer, I dont know yet. Ha Ha. There are about four thousand new rookies in here like myself that came in the last two days. The old 41 infantry is down here, but they are rather blue, because they cant get on over and do there [sic] bit. I think they are all determined in the camp now. Ha, Ha. This is fine down here, compared to Camp Cody. I havent saw much sand to mount to anything, but I hope it is as good as this so far, but I havent saw it all yet.
It would tickle the bunch of citizens from home if they could step in and see how well satisfied the boys are here, especially Bill Brinkman, he is sitting over there, talking and laughing, but he dont want to talk about Plattsmouth this morning. I think he has made up his mind to stick around, maybe he can get on steady and I hope he can. Tell Mrs.Cotner I havent had a chance to pick any gooseberries, as I spoke of at the station. I feel more at home here than when I was an enlisted man. The boys are more jollier, the people do all the can for you and I will never forget the good time we had the night before we went away. The Fort Riley bunch from Plattsmouth were disappointed when the rest of them got off at Camp Funston and if any of them write, I sure want to keep track of some of the Plattsmouth boys and if they leave I would like to keep in touch with them. They have a lot of Negroes stationed here and they are driving teams and one thing and the other, but they are stationed by themselves, so it is so much the better. The interurban runs right past the barracks and into Manhattan. Everybody got the habit this morning, they are writing home. The captain said that about in four days they would assign us to a company, but at the present time we havent no outfit yet, so all we have to do is just stick around and do the best we can. I think I will write as much as I can this time as I have plenty of time with no end of a real jolly good time. There is Everett Ward sitting over there with smiles all over his face, he is using all of the paper the Y.M.C.A. has, so dont be alarmed if there isnt no news in this letter. Here it is about chow time. I am as hungry as a bear, but I suppose I can stand a little while longer and then some. Tell everybody around there that I know hello and that this is the life I hope Libershal sends some more. I am glad to see them all come, there is always room for another good man. Well I will bring this to a close, hoping and trusting this reaches you in the near future, I remain,
FRANK A.J. MILLER,
Camp Funston, Kans.
Plattsmouth Journal, December 16, 1918
SEES MANY PLATTSMOUTH BOYS
John Miller Writing From France Tells of Seeing Nebraska Boys There.
From Saturdays Daily.
It is no doubt a great pleasure to run across one of the boys whom you have known back here, when you are in a foreign country. It is like a bit of sunshine on a dark day. John P. Miller writes of his meeting friends in France:
France, Nov. 6th
I received your letter of Oct. 3rd, and was very glad to hear from you. I am getting along good and hope this finds you the same. I also received Myrtles letter o.k. and please tell her I was glad to hear from her. I have been pretty busy for the past few days. The boys sure have got the Dutch on the run, and almost in their own ground. I do not think it will last much longer from the way it looks now. I have a had [sic] a great plenty to suit me. If I have good luck it will not be long before I will be back home I saw Louis Lamphear, and one of George McDaniels cousins, and Skip Dalton, they are getting along pretty good, and everything is getting along pretty good just now. Roy Holly and Ed Neil are here. I had a letter from Jesse Baskus [Bashus?]. Tell all the friends hello for me.
JOHN P. MILLER
Plattsmouth Journal, Thursday, June 12, 1919
JOHN MILLER IS HOME FROM THE WAR ZONE
RETURNED YESTERDAY FROM A LONG TIME SPENT IN OVERSEA SERVICE.
DISCHARGED AT CAMP DODGE
And Made Straight Tracks for the old Town Sailed from Brest May 18th Landed 27th.
From Wednesdays Daily.
John Miller, who went from here into the service nearly two years ago, and who within six weeks after his departure was on his way to France, and in less than eight weeks after leaving Camp Funston, was fighting in the trenches, arrived home late yesterday after having been discharged at Camp Dodge the day before.
Mr. Miller wears decorations for service on three great battlefronts, having seen service in an equal number of the big battles of the late world war. He was pretty much over the battle-torn regions of France, in Luxumburg [sic] and after the signing of the armistice saw much of Germany as well. He traveled up and down the Rhine river and saw lots of peculiar and interesting sights.
John says that for a time war may have some attraction, but he has seen all of army life he cares to and is sure glad to get back to [unclear] the grandest and best place in the world, and to Plattsmouth a town that possesses more attraction to him than all the cities of the European countries. He says that he had a good time all the while he was away, but has had a plenty. At the present time the government is offering some pretty liberal inducements for discharged soldiers to re-enlist, but as enlistments are for a three year period, with overseas service promised, he found it not temptation to re-enlist.
Mr. Miller will make his home in Plattsmouth for the present, resting up a bit before he seeks employment.
Plattsmouth Journal, November 4, 1918
LETTER FROM WM. ANDREWS
Somewhere in France
October 1, 1918
Dear Home Folks and All:
I will write you a few lines to let you know I am well and feeling fine and enjoying life pretty well. The army is some life if you dont weaken. We are up pretty close to the front. We are close enough to hear the guns going off and I guess we will move again pretty soon from the looks of things and what I can hear. I have not saw [sic] any of the boys from home over here yet so far. I sure would like to see some of them and have a good talk with them. How is Sis getting along. I hope she gets along as well as I did and get able to get back home all O.K. I got a letter from Jude yesterday and I have to write her a letter tonight. Has Sandy moved to Omaha yet or is he at home yet. Is Mable and Ruby still there with you? Tell them all hello for me and everybody in good old Plattsmouth. I got a card from Luther Pickett the other day and was sure glad to hear from him. It sure is lots of company to hear from home. Tell Tulens hello for me. I wish you could send me some cigarettes, for we can not get them at all over here. Nothing but French cigarettes and they are so strong you can not smoke them. Mother if you can send me some cigarettes get a couple of cartons and send them to me. Well I guess I will have to close for tonight. They are making so much noise, I cant write, so I will say good night, and will close for tonight. So goodbye for now. Answer soon. You can put this in the paper and tell them all hello. Answer soon.
PVT. WM. ANDREWS
Address: 93 610, Field Hospital, Co. 40, 6th Sanitary Train, Amer. Exped. Forces, France, via N.Y.
Plattsmouth Journal, December 23, 1918
[ Ralph Allens letter appeared with Henry Lamphaers letter on this date]
Ralph Allen Writes "Dads" Letter
Dear Dad, Mother and All:
Sunday evening, still at the hospital, but feel fine. Well they tell us not to write where we have been and the battles we were in, but I do not think the red Cross has paper enough for all that.
The last front I was on was Verdun and the Argone [sic], and where some of the hardest fighting took place of any place in the war. Before the Armistice was signed we had them out in the open and running, and many down on their knees begging for mercy, others had thrown their guns and helmets away and were running like jack rabbits. The hardest battle we were in was at Chateau Thierry, you know all about that so I do not need tell you, only to recall what Sherman said, "War was Hell," but let me tell you he did not know anything about war then, it has changed so.
We had just taken a town on the Toul [sic] sector, about the size of Plattsmouth when the civilians came out of their cellars, and crawled out from under their house, the women coming and kissing our hands and crying for joy, while the old gray headed men would hobble around and hollow for Americans. If you did not watch them they would cut buttons off your clothes for souvenirs. The Red Cross has set today for "Dads Xmas Letters."
I am sending you a map of the Mihial drive, the dotted lines where we started, and the heavy link where we stopped, and I want to say, we did not stop because we could not go any farther, but because we had orders not to go farther then. I believe we could have taken them to Mets. the way we had them going. We were three days making the drive, we had told around we were going to make the drive on the 15th but pulled it off on the 18th, and this surprised the helmies. We hiked about 5 miles the night before in the rain, and went into the trenches at about midnight at Breassette [sic] ; we had some good artillery behind us, the 151 Minnesota light, the 150 Indiana heavy, some French Naval guns 16 and 18 inches, all of them opened up at one oclock, and kept up the bombardment until five in the morning, when they lifted the barrage and "Over the Top" we went. The Germans had held the trenches since the beginning of the war, and that was to be an active front. There was a large hill two miles from the line of the German side. It was called Mt. Sank, the French tried to take the hill in 1915; they took the hill and held it twenty minutes and lost 35,000, and then fell back. That did not sound right to us, but the French told it themselves for an absolute fact.
We and the 167 infantry, the Alabama boys took the hill and had the "Botche" going down the other side by ten oclock. When we got over the hill we believed what the French had said, for we found piles of bones, French helmets and rifles scattered everywhere. Then, the evening of the 14th of September, we took the little town of Bine, advanced about a mile, then dug in for the night. This is where we stopped, and held the line. About 12 oclock that night the cooks seat us up a feed, boiled beef, potatoes, and bread and coffee, and say, you ought to have seen us eat. We held that line for about seven or eight days and were relieved by the 83 brigade. Went back then, and got some new clothes, a bath and a pay day, and had a few days to ourselves and then went to the Verdun front,, where we stayed until the finish. Well I suppose you are tired of reading war news by now. I know I am tired of writing it and I will ring off. I wrote Wayne a letter today. I was talking to a fellow out of the 100th engineers that was down at Deming, N. Mex., he told me that 137th artillery had just come over, so I addressed it over here.
If I knew just where they were I would try and get a pass and go see them. Well I will close now with the same address, wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
RALPH H. ALLEN
Plattsmouth Journal, December 16, 1918
CHARLES LAHODA WRITES FROM FRANCE
Written Two Days After the Signing of the Armistice, To His Sister
From Fridays Daily
France, Nov. 13
How is everyone at home. I am well and hope you are all the same. Everybody is happy over here now. The next time you write, let me know how much corn you got this year. I think I will get my mail in a short time now. Take good care of the dogs, for I might be home before the hunting season is over. How is mother, is she well? Tell her she will have to make me some biscuits when I get back. I have not had any since I left. How is little Jimmie, is he well and is he catching any fish. There are wild hogs here where the French go out and shoot, they make good meat. I ran some off through the woods.
The French celebrated here the 11th, every bell in France was ringing, and so was I and had a big head the next morning. It is cold here, this morning there was some ice in the water. Is Caroline still at the laundry. I bet the people are happy back there now. I just saw a fellow who looked like Joe, in fact I thought it was him for a while. Are you going to have any hogs to butcher this winter. I will close now. Tell everybody hello for me.
Address: Co. E, 355th Inf. Am. E. F., France
JOSEPH LAHODA WRITES HOME
Camp Lee, Ga., Dec. 4th
How are you all. I am fine. We are having fine weather here. I suppose you are having it rather cold, I understand they do not have it cold here at all. Does Jimmie go to school. Tell him to be a good boy. How is mother, be sure and take god [sic] care of her. I have not heard from Charlie for some time, but suppose he is pretty busy over there now. I am first cook now, and have 180 to cook for, we did have 350 for a while. How would you like to cook for 180. Well this will be all for this time.
Good bye for now,