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The following letter was received this week by the editor of the News from William C. Fredrickson, one of the boys in the February draft who left from here.
Somewhere in France, July 30, 1918
I am a little slow in writing but I thought I would wait until I had looked around a bit. I suppose you received the card I wrote you at the port of embarkation, telling you of our safe arrival oversea. We had a fairly good trip across except that the ship was quite crowded. We did not make very fast time on account of foggy weather and one of the boats was a slow one. It took about two weeks to go across.
I spent the Fourth of July on the high seas. Most of the day was spent in looking at boxing matches and things like that. The rest of the day was spent eating dinner, and it was sure some dinner too. I believe it was the best dinner I have had since I went into the army. I hardly remember now all we had but I will send you the menu, so you can see for yourself.
Jambon A la Bourgeoise
Pommes de Teire Salade
Fricassee de Volaille
Fruits et Noixs
Gateaux et Fromage
The Glace et Citron
We did not see any submarines. We landed at a French port, and the country was quite a surprise to most of the boys. Not so much to me because I have seen European countries before. We stayed out in the country the first week we were here, that gave me a chance to look around. The people here are very backward both with the way they do their work and with their buildings which are all of stone and look a hundred years old. In the country they use only two wheel carts drawn by one horse, and occasionally by two horses, one hitched in front of the other. I don’t believe that they use much farm machinery if any at all. Harvest has not started yet but they are cutting grass by hand, I have not yet seen a mower. The horses and cattle look fairly well.
We are now located in a city. I cannot tell you its name, size or location, but it is very old and most of the streets are narrow and crooked. Although we have some nice looking boulevards and parks. The people are well dressed and look as though they had enough to eat.
There is a Y.M.C.A. hut here where we can get writing paper, candy and tobacco. We live in tents near a park. It is a nice place and we get passes to go out every night if we are not on duty, but we have to be back by 9:30. Everything goes fine only it rains about seven days in the week. We will get used to that after a while.
I will have to quit for this time as I have to go out on guard at 10:00 o’clock and it is nine now. Please write to me when you have time.
Yours very sinerely, Christian W. Fredrickson, Co. F, 33rd Eng. A. E. F.
Editor’s Note: We do not have a photograph of Christian William Fredrickson who went by William.