Well Ma I’m still living and thank the good Lord the war is over.
I was over the top six times in this last big drive which ended the war, and
talk about close calls, I guess it wasn’t my time to die. I was completely
covered up twice with dirt thrown by high power shell. Got my back wrenched and
can’t hear out of my right ear.
I was taken out of battle of the veteran front, two days before the lost shot
Billie Ashley’s outfit was fighting just on the right of us and was pretty well
wiped out so I’m afraid Billie was killed but don’t know yet.
My outfit started fighting July 4th and have been at it ever since
with little rest. If you could have seen me when I came off the firing line
this last time I’m afraid you wouldn’t have known your son, my clothes all torn
and full of “cooties,” whiskers an inch long and clay and mud from top to
bottom and my helmet full of bullet holes.
I ought to be home soon.
Your son, Winnie
The people of this community will be proud to learn that Father W. L. Hart, who was pastor of Franklin, Birch Cooley and Morton parishes for seven years prior to his enlistment in service as an army chaplain, has been cited for bravery in service. We knew very well that Father Hart would not be found shirking his part and we are glad of his recognition for valiant service. The following is taken from the Minneapolis Tribune of Saturday last week:
“Father William L. Hart, for 10 years pastor of St. Marks Catholic church in St. Paul, now a chaplain with the American army in France has been cited for bravery, according to word received in St. Paul yesterday. Father Hart was attached to the 140th infantry and he was cited for bravery by command of Major General Traub and the citation was made by Col. H. S. Hawkings. The citation says that Father Hart in battle on September 26 to October 1, 1918, not only rendered spiritual aid to the wounded but gathered stragglers together and by word and example, without regard to his personal safety, encouraged them to action.” St. Paul Dispatch.
Foss Writes of Life in France to Thomas Grimes
Stenay, France, Nov. 17,
Dear friend Tom,
It seems a long time now since I last saw you but, Tom, take it for granted it
won’t be long now before we can be together again. Have been intending to write
you for a long time. In fact, I did start to write you a letter but I did not
have time to finish it at the time. When I came back to finish it a few days
later I thought the letter was not worth sending so I simply tore it up and I
thought I would write you when I was in better humor. Now that time has come as
we all feel happy now being that war is over and Peace has taken its place. Now
we can look forward to good times. I sure will be a happy boy forever hereafter
as this war has given me much experience. Have gone through a lot of hardships
but I have forgotten all about that now and it seems to be ancient history to
me. I pulled through this war just as healthy as when I entered the arm. In our
company we have had several killed and wounded. Our company has been right at
the “Front” all the time with the division and we have some of the best
officers that any ambulance company could have. Germany did not have any
explosives that could scare them. That of course put a lot of pep in us. Our
captain was continually at the Front but I don’t believe he ever slept in a dug
out. We also have a jolly set of boys and not a yellow streak in any of them.
Am proud of being with such a company.
Have seen much
of France and its pretty sceneries. But after all they cannot surpass those we
have in the states. Have seen parts of England also. These countries over here,
as it appears to me, still live in the stone age as we read about in history
and you can judge from what this country looks like. The soil that I have
examined from time to time in the different parts we have gone through in much
inferior to any I have seen in the states that I know anything about and that
probably is the reason why they do not advance as we do in our country.
You can’t make
a progressive agricultural country or anything else from hills, rocks gumbo and
“yellow clay”. Have yet to see a field with black loam with clay subsoil. Now,
you know I was brought up on the farm so I ought to know something about soil.
Here in this country you won’t find any farm houses or homes. They all live in
villages and work their farms by driving out to their land in the morning. Then
they would try and work a few hours with farm tools and machinery so out of
date that we in the states would be ashamed to sell to a black whiskered Jew.
When the hour for dinner came they would drive back to the village. I also
noticed that these foreign people sure take their time about everything and
haven’t the push and speed that the American farmer has. I could write you
about many things but my letter is getting rather long so I will stop here for
this time and will write in the near future if time permits. Have tried to give
you an idea of the people I have seen but whether this applies to all of France
I could not say. When I get home again I will have a talk with you and I can
give you more of an idea of what this country is. etc. etc. Am sending (you)
greetings to you all.
respectfully, Pvt. Edward S. Foss.
315 Sanitary Trains, 357 Ambulance Co., A.E.F., A. P. O. 770
Editor’s Note: We do not have a photograph of Edward S. Foss.
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence
Mantel received a message from the War Department Monday that their son Raymond
was severely wounded while in action in France. The telegram stated that
Raymond received his wound October 17, and while no further word has been received
it is feared that the injury has proved fatal. While the news of the injury
casts a deep sorrow over the father and mother, and they have grave fears for
his present safety, at the same time they feel that even if the worst has
happened that it has been a sacrifice for a most worthy cause, and for the
safety and honor of their country. Mrs. Mantel says that she felt that her boy
should do what he could, and that she had been proud to know that he was
offering the best in him for his country.
Early in the
war Raymond offered to enlist, but at the time failed to pass the medical
examination. Later, last June, he was drafted, entering the service from
Montana, where he had taken up a homestead. He at first went to Camp Lewis,
Washington, then to Camp Cairo, California, and to Camp Mills, New York August
5, Soon after this he proceeded to France, from where he wrote home in
September, which is the last letter his parents have had from him.
Flag Contains Twelve Stars, What Does Yours Contain?
Tim Hurley came into the
office on Saturday forenoon with a broad smile on his face, and something
wrapped up in a late issue of the Bird Island Union tucked away under one arm.
We met him face to face and Tim said never a word, but just smiled – that was all.
We knew something was going to happen pretty soon, so we remarked, “What’s on
your mind Tim?” Then we began to imagine a whole lot of things. Perhaps it was
a Xmas turkey for ye editor, (such accidents have been known to happen) or a
clean office towel, or a thousand and one things an editor ought to have that
he is short of. After we had held our breath for about ten minutes or less, he
succeeded in removing the newspaper and unfolded a handsome Liberty Loan
Service Flag, three by four and one-half feet, which contained twelve blue
stars on a white background and showed us a letter he had just received from
County Chairman F. G. Nellermoe, (Tim is naturally a little sensitive, you know
and we promised not to print the letter, and must keep our word) but we are
going to away the most of it, so here it is:
appreciation of the splendid showing made by your village in the 4th
Liberty Loan Bond Sale, your Government herewith presents to your village its 4th
Liberty Loan Bond Service Flag, This time dollars of over subscriptions do not
count, as to the stars in Flag, but the percentage of distribution per capita
of population in village, as figures on file with Federal Office at
Minneapolis, is used as basis for allotment of stars in these flags. Your village
commands 12 stars in its flag, which is a very nice showing upon its patriotism
and loyalty to our Government. This flag is the property of your village, you
will know where to place it, or to whom it should be turned over to.”
He said he was
going to place the flag in the Drug Store window where all could see it, as all
had an interest in it, and all are proud of it. The flag will have good care
and will no doubt be in existence for generations to come. We congratulate the
local chairman and his corps of workers upon the outcome of their labors in the
Fourth Liberty Loan Drive.