Dick Wartich writes to his buddy Elmer J. Sutters
Cote D'Or France
Dear Old Bunkie,
Now don't go into epileptic fits or something like that when you read this letter, that is because I sent one to you as I know I haven't written you a letter for some time. Too busy with Uncle Sam's affairs just now. It was here, old man, that I got my first Hun with the bayonet.
We were pressing through a thicket when this big plug-ugly Hun suddenly loomed up in front of me. It was my first hand to hand fight. I parried off his blow and had him through his throat. He went down like a log ... that was it for Jerry. He never even made a sound.
I know you would ask me if I was afraid. Now I am not going to stick my chest out and exclaim "Like hell I was" or anything of the sort. I sure was afraid, and you and any other chap would be too, but what I was afraid of most was that I would be yellow. If a fellow gets a yellow streak and backs down the other boys won't have anything to do with him and that was what I was afraid of most, of getting a yellow streak.
Your Old Friend and Comrade in Mischief,
[Signed] DicKorean Waritch
Lt. Ed Luckert
1st Lt. E dward Lukert writes to his wife, Mabel
June 18, 1918
We were all subjected to several different kinds of gas today, with and without masks. As usual, I cannot rid my clothes of the odor. It sure is horrible stuff, honey. Deadly and usually insures a slow and horrible death. There is one kind which kills quickly, Chlorine, but I do not prefer any kind or brand myself.
I had to have a photo taken today for an "Officer's Identification Book" which every officer must carry. I believe they take the book when your body is found and send the photo to the War Department. There's no danger tho. You'll have me back soon. The war cannot last forever.
Unlike the majority of other boys, i am not over here to "die" for my country. I came over to live for it, and afther I have helped make it possible for others to live in peace and happeiness, I'll be back to continue living for you. . .
Heaps of love for you wifie dear.
Note: Lukert was wounded in France, but he did return home to his wife. He spent 36 years in the Army and was a regimental commander in World War II.
|Before France: Training to Go Over the Top at|
Camp Hancock, GA
Hugh (Unidentified Soldier)
December 14, 1918
My Darling Mother, Dad and all:
The argonne; forty days with the booming of the guns, the nerve racking whine of the projectiles and the crash of the bombs ever in my ears, breathing and eating the damnable gases that have shocked the civilized world. Forty days of struggling, toiling and praying with very little food and sleep.
It was forty days of unremitting hell. In fact, the comparison is hardly fair to hell.
It rained continually from the time we got there until the time we left. The rain was finely woven and clammy as a funeral garment. It had a way of soaking through the skin, on into the body of a man until his very heart seemed to be pumping the rain water along his veins instead of blood. It would wet all the world.
God knows where the sun has gone.
Your devoted son and brother,
Pvt. Walter T. Bromich writes to his pastor
June 4, 1918
Here I sit thinking of the little church back home, wondering how you are getting along. Don't think I am down-hearted, but ever since I volunteered I've felt like a cog in a huge wheel. The cog may get smashed up, but the machine goes on. And I can't feel God is in it.
How can there be fairness in one man being maimed for life, suffering agonies, another killed instantaneously, while I get out of it safe? Does God really love us individually or does He love His purpose more? Is it better to believe he makes the innocent suffer for the guilty and that things will be squared up some day. Sounds rather calculating, doesn't it, and not a bit like the love of a Father.
What I would like to believe is that God is in this war, not as a spectator, but backing up everything that is good in us. He won't work any miracles for us because that would be helping us to do the work He has given us to do on our own. I don't know whether God goes forth with armies but I do know that He is in lots of our men or they would not do what they do.
Pvt. Walter T. Bromwich