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Letter from Frank Soderquist, Renville County Journal, 12-27-1918

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Brocourt, France, Nov. 24, 1918

Dear Father:

I will write you a few lines and tell you how I am getting along and some things about the places I have seen since I left Camp Lewis, Wash.

The censor has quit his job, so we can write pretty near anything we want to now.

Well, I am as well as ever and am getting along fine. We are at a camp about 10 miles from Verdun now and have been here for about three weeks waiting for orders to move either to Germany or back to the good old U. S. A. The Statue of Liberty will look good to us when we come back. That was the last thing we could see when we left the United States. We left New York July 14 and landed in Liverpool, Eng., July 26, having been on the boat thirteen days, and very long days they were, too. We then rode the train across England to Southampton, where we got on a boat again that took us across the channel to Havre, France. Here we got on a train and went down into the southern part of France where we stayed for about three months learning the finer points about this artillery work.

Our regiment is motorized and is equipped with 6-inch rifles.

We got up to the front just 36 hours before they quit fighting, so we never got a chance to fire a shot at the enemy. We all felt as if we had missed something, for we had worked and trained so long to get ready. We are expert artillery men, too, and did excellent work on the range. The French are supposed to be noted for their marksmanship with the big guns but they got real jealous when they saw us shoot. They furnished the targets and we shot them all to pieces.

We are located in a very dreary lonesome camp now. It is miles away from any towns. There are towns close by but here out they are so shot up that they are of no account anyway, and there is no Y.C.M.A. anywhere either, so we have no place to write letters except in our billet on top of our bunks and that’s a very punk place to write letters.

There are some rumors around that we are going to Germany in a few days, but I hope they’re wrong and that they will send us home instead.

I will close for this time, hoping this letter finds you all well, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Your loving son, FRANK SODERQUIST, Batt. F. 348 F. A., A.E.F., France

Editor’s Note: We do not have a photograph of Frank Soderquist.