Floyd Barber, Formerly of Ericson Township, Describes Feeling of People “Over There” When War is Won
Somewhere in France, Nov. 13, ‘18
Dear Folks at Home;
Hurrah! The war is won. It is almost too good to be true. I thought I would write a few lines to let you know I am in the best of health. I was in La Mans night before last and yesterday. The people there are sure celebrating over the good news. There were 16 American bands in town today and Allied flags flying everywhere. I’ll bet this is a blessed thing to the boys at the front. It has been quiet there two days now. It must seem odd after nearly five years of hell! I guess the Germans were in worse shape that we thought for they are going to look to the Allies for food now. After they take all that war stuff away from them, they can’t fight if they wanted to, which I guess they have got enough of. Uncle Sam sure did big things since we declared war. Everywhere I go I see American soldiers.
I haven’t got any more mail. I am wondering what has become of it. That is one thing I don’t like about “over here”, we don’t get our mail regular. The chances look good now for my safe return in good health. It makes me feel sad, when I think of the brave boys that never will return, and those who have become crippled, and lost their health. The Government wants a lot of us to stay here and help build up France again. They have to sign up for eighteen months, and get $150 above what we get now, and our board and clothes. That would mean a lot of money, but I don’t believe I could stand to stay here that long. The most of the boys say there isn’t money enough to keep them here; but I suppose there is lots that will stay. I hope they get me back to the farm soon to help feed this hungry world. The farm labor must be awful scarce there now according to what it was when I left for camp. I hope Victor didn’t have to go, for he is sure needed on the farm. I know I could do more good there than here now. I hope it isn’t long before I see you all. I will send you some cards from La Mans. I was through that wonderful Cathedral again today, and had a better look at it. It sure is grand, some of the stained glass windows are the first ever brought to Europe. You can get a little idea of the number of stained glass windows from the picture. Well I must close for this time as ever your soldier boy.
Floyd O. Barber, 83 Div. Int. School, A. P. O. 762, A. E. F.