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Letter from Ben Leonard, Olivia Times, 12-26-1918

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The following letter was received last week by Sol Bergstrom from Ben Leonard:

France, November 17, 1918

Dear Sol:

Sunday and have been thinking of you for some days so going to pen you a few lines at this time. Now, as the war is over we are all wondering when we can come home which I hope is soon. I was in the line the day peace was signed at 11-11 and we shook hands with the Dutch when the good hour came. Every man is happy and ready to come home. Our outfit, Sol, has seen its share of fighting. I have been over the top 5 times. We went over the top again the day before the big doings. I will not go into details and tell you any of my experiences but will do so when I return, one thing I can say is, I have been a pretty lucky man. Sol, I have been with a man who is a dandy Violin player for the past four months and what he has learned me is not slow, of course I am out of practice and can’t pull off what I have in my head. He also gave me all the five points about a band which may be of some good to me some day. Sol, I am happy the war is over, but on the other hand I hate to come back to Olivia and find my home gone. The shock to me was something terrible and I can’t realize it yet. One good mother to me and no chance to see her any more. I have not seen or heard of any of the Olivia boys for a long time except Howard and he is getting along fine.

Well, Sol, I will come to Olivia but do not think I will make it my home. I think I will take my Fiddle now and look for bigger game.

Well Sol, I hope these few lines find you in the best of health and with Gods blessing I will say good bye.

Your old Pal, Ben,

P.S. Give my regards to your wife and any one you wish.

Editor’s Note: We do not have a photograph of Ben Leonard.