Somewhere in England, October 11, 1918
Mr. W. A. Reid, Renville, Minn.
Dear Friend Reid:
It makes me blush with shame to think I did not write to you before this time. Being awful busy in military life, I have even neglected to write to near and dear relatives. I will not attempt to make an apology, and sincerely hope one would not be necessary in this case.
I am in a base hospital near London, England, recovering from a severe attack of influenza, an epidemic that is spreading all over Europe, and I understand it is also getting in its deadly work back in the States. It is no pleasant disease to say the least. I was very ill, at times being delirious. But as I am quite strong physically, and more so now than ever owing to the incessant training daily, I assure you a little disease like influenza could put me under foreign soil to make me kick up the daisies early next spring. Well, it’s alright to speak jokingly of the terrible disease now as I’m well on the road to complete recovery.
It would be a great pleasure for me to write what the Americans are doing on the front, but you know every letter is carefully censored so that makes it impossible. Without fear of being censored I can say that the Yanks are making themselves felt in no small degree in the fierce war against the Huns. The boys are seeing few faces mostly heels and scantily covered backs. They are crying for peace now and will get an armistice as soon as the German militarists will accept President Wilson’s fourteen points. All indications point to an early acceptance, as the enemy is already beaten to a pulp and is being rapidly pushed back. So much for that.
How is everybody progressing in Renville? I suppose by this time the candidates for the county offices are busily engaged carrying the good will of the dear voters. I sincerely hope some of the “boys” will be hard hit in the battle of ballots in November. They don’t deserve a single vote.
With kind regards and continued good luck, I am,
E. C. Wallner, Co. L, 343rd Inf., A.E.F.