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Letters From the Soldier Boys Franklin Tribune September 19, 1918: Leonard Johnson Writes from France

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Somewhere in England, Aug, 22, 1918

Dear brother Duffey,

Will drop you a few lines and let you know that I am alright and feeling fine. We arrived here at this camp last night and rested last night and today; was pretty tired when we reached camp. I was sea sick on the ship a few days and of course in order to make things right it had to wind up with a toothache. As soon as we get settled I am going to a dentist, one of my crowns are bothering me and it has to be taken off and fixed. It doesn’t ache all the time, but is swelled up and bothers mostly at night.

Say, Duffey, this is about as nice a looking country as I’ve seen yet, since I left home, and they all say the crop is the best in many years, consisting of oats, wheat and some other small grains of some kings. Of course, they rajse all kinds of vegetables here too, but one thing they don’t raise is corn and I haven’t seen any pigs over here. They have some nice looking herds of cattle.

Duffey, as we were marching into camp here yesterday you can’t guess whom I saw. Well, it was one of our boys from the north – Jimmy Powers from the wild plains of Birch Cooley. I hollered at him and he turned around and sure was surprised. He walked along we me and we visited about a half hour, when he had to go back to his company again. I was to see him again last night but could not find him. He said they figured on moving today. He belongs to a machine gun co. and he sure looks good. So, if you see any of his folks tell them he is in the best of health and says he like army life fine.

I suppose they are threshing at home now, aren’t they? A lot of the grain is standing here yet but is being cut as fast as possible. Of course, they don’t put up the grain as fast as they do in America, but they have binders here and lots of good machinery.

It is quite difficult for us American boys to count the English money but some of us are learning fast.

Believe me, Duff, I’ve missed the old camels since I left the U.S. All we can buy here in England is the English cigs and they sure are hard to get used to. We will have American smokes in a short while.

I am sending a little handkerchief to Iona for her birthday. Hope she will like it. Well, I guess I’ll have to close. Please tell the girls and all the children and mother and folks hello for me. Don’t forget to answer at once. With love to all.

Your brother, Leonard Corp L. N. Johnson, Aero Con. Co. No. 15, A.E.F.