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Letter From Ernest Wallner, Olivia Times, 11-14-1918

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July 4, 1896 – July 11, 1970

The following letter was received by Virgil Wallner from his cousin, Ernest Wallner, now in France.

France, Sept. 15th, 1918

Dear Cousin:

Your most welcome letter came to me yesterday, together with one from cousin, Lillian, and I am taking great pleasure in answering it this afternoon. To be sure your letter was thoroughly enjoyed. Letters over here are quite valuable and you can bet when one shows up it looks mighty inviting. I feel that I have a big job when I undertake to write a long letter as you request. Owing to the strict censorship on letters before they leave for the states, I will not be able to write a lengthy missive. However one may write almost anything as to what he has seen, but is barred from giving out anything like military information. Well I will try to give you some idea of how the French live and so on. I have been to towns on Sundays three times, and these towns are from 20,000 to 60,000 and are considered to be some of the best little cities in France. These towns seem to be all of the same type, narrow streets, open sewers, stone buildings with tiled roofs and no paved streets and no street cars. The trains are toys compared with those in the United States. The people generally are of the poorer class financially, the farmers have a few good cattle and large flocks of sheep with a few goats in the bunch. Heavy one-horse carts are used. Eggs are a precious article and they charge from 4 to 5 francs a dozen for them. I am several hundred miles from the fighting lines and things are about as quiet here as in camp in the states I am well and will close with best regards to all.

Your Cousin, Ernest