Somewhere in France
May 27, 1918
Will write a few lines today. Have not much to write about, just to let you know I’m well and getting along fine.
Received the box of candy and other good and useful things you sent me. Many thanks. Seems to me you said something about R. Johnson putting in some things, but have lost the letter and don’t remember what it was. You thank her for me.
Got back some days ago from one of the hottest fronts in France; have been up and back from the trenches since the last of January but never seen the like of this. I’ve thanked the good Lord many a time for getting by some of “Fritz’s” big shells. Was taking a little nap one afternoon while in the front line, had dug in on one side of the trench where I laid when a big shell hit along side of me right in the trench. It cut up my blanket in several places but never got a scratch myself. Was pretty well shook up, but one gets used to that before he is up here very long.
Saw about 500 German prisoners go through here this morning which the Americans had captured, don’t know how many were killed. Sure hope this war is over before another winter comes along as it is terrible to stand around in the trenches those long cold nights. The weather here is fine now, the days are long and warm, it does not get dark until about 9 and is daylight at 3:30.
Have been expecting to see some of the Hector boys at some of the fronts we have been at, but have seen no one so far. Expect they are at some other place.
Thanks for the Hector Mirrors you are sending me. Received several while in the trenches and its sure good to sit down and read about happenings around the old home town. It makes one kind of lonesome at times but then we forget that soon when we think of the bunch that is over here and those that’s back there doing everything they can to help win the war, and we are going to win it, too.
See in the paper that McKibben and McLaren will be over here. I’d sure like to see them but don’t suppose I will.
Well I’ll have to close for this time, love to all and write soon.
Editor’s Note: Gladys’s maiden name was Otnes. Elmer Edward Otnes was born to Einar O. & Elsie M. on 14 Oct 1887 in Minnesota, baptised in Maynard, MN. He was on the 1910 he is on the 1910 census living in Hector, Minnesota working at a flour mill. He registered for the draft in Nergus Falls, Grant County, North Dakota.