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Letters between Sylvester and Eva, August 1918

August 1, 1918
August 8, 1918
August 13, 1918 Eva
August 15, 1918
August 15, 1918 Eva
August 22, 1918
August 22, 1918 Eva

SBButler Letters, August 1918



I have already written you a little to-night on the end of the letter I have been adding to each day on the ocean voyage, but thought I would start my land letters separately.

I have had my feet on dry land in England to-day, though we are spending the night on shipboard. To-morrow morning we shall leave for a camp somewhere in England. How long we shall stay I have no idea, but I'm surely glad to be able to go thru England. If what little I have seen of it thus far is a fair sample its country must be very beautiful; I have always imagined it to be so.

We've had a newspaper on board to-night, the first in over two weeks. Hence a newspaper was never more appreciated. I have been reading it through and gotten the strange impression one gets in being among people entirely new. Even to read the news items you can sense a difference between the English public and ours. It is a pleasant sensation, too, to know you are going to experience a new atmosphere. The idea has always fascinated me, to go all over the Earth, and come to know the different ways and thoughts and casts of mind - particularly the last - of different people.

Well, you should see these English freight cars. I had no idea that they were like they are - just about as big as dump carts. It would really take 3 of them, perhaps 4, to make one of our ordinary size freight cars. They are the strangest sight I ever did see.

I started on English country once before. I have seen so little. I suppose it might be better to wait, but I have let myself get enthused already, and have given expression to that enthusiasm several times to-day. For just plain country - what we would call farming country - I don't believe I have ever seen anything as beautiful as the little bit of English countryside I have seen to-day. The places seem so neat and trim and green - and the hedgerows - you've heard of English hedgerows, haven't you? - they seem to take the place of fences between farms - well, they are simply delightful. I do hope we can see some of this together some day.

Perhaps it seems kind of strange to be talking about countrysides and so on, when I'm on the business we're on. Suffice it to say, you know I'm not out star and scenery gazing when there is something which ought to be done. But there are lots of little things one can appreciate as one goes along.

This will have to be all to-night, I guess.

With my best love,


First morning on land

Dear Girl,

I don't know how much I'll get a chance to write for I understand lights will go out in about 10 minutes. I am in an American Rest Camp in England, after a tiring but enjoyable day.

We have had a pleasant ride thru England on one of the dinky little English trains - with separate non-connecting apartments holding only eight men in 3d class, 6 in 1st class. The country is on the whole beautiful - the hedgerows everywhere, the pleasant little gently flowing rivers with fresh green banks, flowers everywhere, neat garden around all houses where there was a foot of ground to grow anything. There is really only one thing I've seen I don't care for and that is the sameness of the houses in the towns - rows and rows of houses just alike, "villas" they are known as, they are most all two family, two sided homes. There are very few unsightly poster ads along the way. Most every house, farmhouses and all, are of brick, and many of the farmhouses have thatched roofs; they are very picturesque. Most every bit of ground is put to use, and I have seen no wild land at all.

Our welcome has been most cordial all the way along. The children have cheered us as the train has gone by, and other folks waved their hats or hands and given every evidence of warm feeling. The event of the day, almost, I might say, the event of a lifetime, was our parade and reception in an English city we passed thru. A spacious art gallery building was used for reception of the soldiers, and all who stopped off at the town went in there. There was a luncheon of cookies, cakes, sandwiches, fruit, chocolates and grape juice laid out on long tables and all invited to help themselves. The Lord Mayor was present with his robes and made an address to the officers. His private secretary took Major June and myself around the gallery and museum, and we only wished we had a lot of time to go thru it. I know everyone must have a very pleasant feeling about our visit there; the people were so very cordial, seemed so glad to see us, and did so much to entertain us. I was delighted with it myself. The Englishman has a reputation for reserve and distance but those people certainly didn't bear out such a reputation.

I am plentifully tired to-night and have a lot to do in the morning. Better get on my way to slumberland. Good-night. I love you, Sweetheart.


Next day


We are spending a drizzly, rainy day in this camp. It is quite a large camp, with galvanized iron barracks, which all the English camps I have seen, have; wood isn't a plentiful as in America.

The officer's quarters have quite spacious rooms with little stoves in the corner and two beds. Major June and I are together. The men's barracks each hold about 40 men. Everywhere there are gardens, all over the camp - more potatoes than anything else - with lavender flowers. Did you ever see potatoes with lavender blossoms? There are reams of poppies around, too, in all colors. We are trying to get used to keeping to the left hand side of the road; it does indeed seem peculiar. I acquired a little English money this morning for the first time. We dropped into our officer's YMCA for a few minutes around noon, where they have reading room, pool tables, and a small stock of candy and tobacco. One can only buy so much chocolate - 3 little penny (2 cents) bars, butter-scotch bars you can buy all you want of. there are quite a number of British soldiers around, and also girls in uniform, the Waaco (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, I think). They drive motor lorries and do other auxiliary work. In the city where we stopped yesterday there were a number of women policemen and street-car conductors; I think the latter were most all women. It seems strange to see the British salute. It takes quite a swing to get the arm up, and when it's up there, the palm faces outward, and the hand is about along by the ear. The British soldiers look to average a some what greater age than us, which is what I would expect. Britain having been in the mess much longer and having the age for military service within somewhat wider limits. Yesterday I saw a number of German prisoners - several hundred - who were being marched back to their quarters after their day's work in the field. They were a happy looking lot, apparently, from the distance we saw them, and some even waved as they saw our train go by.

We put our Sam Browne belts on to-day, and pretty soon will be getting our little dinky overseas caps, so I'll be a little bit different looking soldier than when you last saw me. I've got to go down to headquarters and want to get this in the mail. I am most all out of ink, so pretty soon will be writing pencil. Can I write to you if I write in pencil?

Good-bye for now and all my love.

Ever yours,




We left England for France to-day and are on the water at the present time. Major June is O.C. Troops (Officer Commanding Troops) on shipboard being senior line officer present, and we have been busy collecting all necessary regulations to be complied with to be issued in a memorandum to what ever organizations are on here.

We didn't see England very long but it was worth while to get what little chance we did have for it; for I believed we enjoyed most all we saw. The little boys all call you Buddy, also have a habit of coming to you and saying "give me a penny". I stopped to talk to two of them last night who showed me how they could do the American salute. And they always want to know what you belong to. Just as we were getting to the station a few of them would come up to our column and shake hands with something like "Hello Buddy! Good Luck, Buddy!" They're delightful.

There are bicycles galore in England, ever so many more than we have. And you should see the green carts, with high seat in front and room for four in back.

Well, dear, next time I write we'll be in a another new country. This is seeing Europe in a rush, isn't it?

Lovingly your own Sylvester.

Next night


I am writing to-night in a little summer house in front of our quarters in our first camp in France.

We got over the Channel without incident and got to this rest camp late this morning.

France is all flowers. I never saw so many - hollyhocks, pink rambler roses, phlox, and sweet peas I think predominate. There is not a yard without them, and even in this camp they are around every building. There are high walls or high fences about all the houses, some obscuring everything but the roof; the houses all built up to the street; but none that had a foot of ground, without its flowers.

The Major, Leviseur, and myself are housed 3 in a little building half the size of a woodshed. Here we take precautions against aeroplanes, by way of variation from submarines.

It's so dark I can hardly see anymore. There's so much to keep me going that I seldom stop to realize how queer it is I am way over here.

I have been trying a little French on a storekeeper to-night. They'll take either English or American money.

Lots of love,


Aug. 5, 1918


We're traveling again to-night, in a none too commodious French train. Officers are in compartments holding four, men in cars labeled 40 Hommes ou 8 chevaux (40 men or 8 horses) so you can imagine what kind of cars they are. What we have seen of French country does not have the remarkable beauty of the English countryside but it is nevertheless very pleasant. We have passed by a great many wheat fields. Flowers don't seem so plenteous in the country I have been thru today than the camp where we spent last night.

The little children in France know how to say "Gimme a penny" too, and they get the best American pronunciation on "gimme". Figs and oranges are most plentiful. About every other woman and child seems to be selling them. Halt a column of troops in the city, and from nowhere in particular a dozen of them will appear.

Pop and Leviseur and the Doc and I walked down in to a city last night, and saw the sights and tried our French on a storekeeper or two. I bought some chocolate from an ex-Belgian soldier, and managed to handle a little of the language; about the first words you learn are of course connected with money.

I had the best sleep last night I've had since I left Devens. Our bedding rolls appeared there for the first time, so slept in my own blankets again for the first time.

I'm slipping in a pink rambler, a lavender and white sweet pea and a mignonette from last night's camp. Grew right outside our little hut. Hope they will keep and will get to you. You know what goes with them.

Speaking of lavender, I saw a lavender automobile last night - really.

I wonder how my lady is to-night. Only it's afternoon with you, isn't it?

My best love,


France [St. Amand Montrond]
Aug. 6, 1918


I have been traveling thru France all day. After sleeping on the train during the night, we have gone thru varying kinds of country - wheat fields, grazing land with pure white cows mostly, and even woodland. There is much more unoccupied country than I think I ever imagined in a country so largely populated.

We reached our destination late this afternoon, and now are billeted in a small French city. The men are in a field near the railroad station, having pitched their shelter tents, but to-morrow will be put into billets - houses and farms in the town. the officers have already got their billets, and the Major and Leviseur and myself are occupying a house all by ourselves. You should see the beds the Major and I have - about three feet thick with feathers, and with canopies over them! I have thus attained one of the ambitions of a lifetime to-night - to sleep under a canopied bed. They must be pretty well-to-do people who own the house. How long we'll be here I don't know. I think we'll get a chance to go to the front pretty soon.

Good-night, and lots of love,

Your Sylvester

Aug. 7, 1918

Dear Sweetheart,

This has been about the first day without rain since we landed in Europe. We have gotten more or less settled in this town and got our men into their billets. I must have walked about a hundred miles, for transportation is very scarce. I believe Pop has a little donkey cart hired for to-morrow.

The people are wonderful for the open-heartedness with which they receive our soldiers. Arrangements were made in advance of our arrival for enough buildings to hold our men - the people are notified that some of their barn is to be occupied, or perhaps of their house, and they have no choice but to allow the soldiers to use it. However they seem to be thinking only that they're not doing enough. They are surely fine.

We surely have the greatest place imaginable. Not much hardship to war so long as we are here.

Good-night, dear girl. I love you.


Aug. 8, 1918

Dear Sweetheart,

Finally I've gotten into one these funny little donkey carts. The Major hired one this morning and got a man who could speak French to drive around. They have two wheels, but seats for four; the seat are arranged back to back so that there is only one back - two people riding forward and two back. Pop calls the little animal who's in it "50 centimes" (which is about a nickel); says he's been trying to get somebody who could tell the horse, all day, to stop swishing its tail - in French. Pop hasn't been familiar with any French before, and of course mine is somewhat limited. We'd be lost if we didn't have Leviseur in the house with us to talk to the old lady when she comes over. She is a nice old lady, very neat and trying hard to make us comfortable. She wears neat little white linen cap all the time. Her little grandson Maurice is over here quite often and he is a bright little chap. He likes to come over and chat with us. I was hoping to keep him here long enough to-night to have him write you some little sentence or other. You would like him ever so much, also another boy, a bit older, whose father is a Commandant (Major) in the French Army; the boy knows a little English and is well acquainted with things of the world; his eyes have a delightful twinkle, there's a smile there every minute, an enthusiastic sort of smile; he's a boy one can tell is going to be somebody when he grows up.

Our house has all old things, fine-grained furniture with not a scratch on any piece, so far as I've seen, a fine place with some intricate brass pieces. There isn't much furniture in the house, however. There is an iron gate comes into it, and a six foot wall around the sides and rear, even a separate wall between the rear of the house and the garden. We have electric lights, which is another of our hardships.

These letters are going forward to-morrow. I hope they find my sweetheart well and in good spirits. I suppose it will be a week or so yet before you get my first letter from England; and when you get this letter I may have left my canopied bed with the 2 ft. of feathers.

All my love is for you, sweetheart, and a kiss goes with it.


Aug. 9, 1918

Dearest One,

I wish you could take a little ship across the ocean to-night and see me. Wouldn't you like to now? I'd show you a nice old house, or first I'd take you around this picturesque city with its low cement houses stuck around hit or miss, a couple of pleasant hillsides, several nice lanes of trees, mostly sycamore, and then perhaps when we came back I might induce Maurice's grandmere to let us open up the fire-place; of course wood is scarce, but I would tell la grandmere that ma cherie was here, and she would remember she was once young, perhaps, and nod her head and say "Oui, monsieur" in her most generous fashion. Now won't you come? And when the sparks begin to fly I might tell you a story or two, perhaps a history of fireplaces without mentioning names; and you could tell me how the original one is doing and lots of other things. The only trouble is, there's no comfort rocker, or even a sofa, nothing but some little straight back chairs. But as far as I would be concerned, there would be you. You, You, You, my sweetheart, how I would love to see you!

The Major is going away with Fred Leviseur for a few days, to-morrow, and I'll be left in command of the 301st Sp. Tn. during that time. Taylor is moving up to this house to-night so that I won't be its sole occupant while Pop and Fred are away.

Maurice said "Votre nom est tres difficile a prononcer" (Your name is very difficult to pronounce) to-night when I printed it out for him and said it over for him. But he gets it pretty well. The typewriters absorb his interest very much, and every once in a while he's sneaked in today to write his name out on some little scrap of paper. We held a little conversation to-night about his father and his father's farm, also his brother who could speak English.

His grandmere has been getting our washing done for us the last couple of days; the women wash clothes in a little stream that runs thru here, rubbing them on an ordinary board. Pop every once in a while stops to say "look at the stream laundry" and you look down to see a group of women kneeling over the stream with their wash board and clothes.

I must say "Good-night".

Lots of love, dear,


Sat. Eve.
Aug. 10, 1918


I'm getting pretty nearly down to the bottom of my Don't Open letters - am to open the next to the last to-night. It seems as though some mail from you ought to get thru by the first of the week. Though I have heard that the post-office from which we get our mail has today received a lot which doesn't belong to organizations which it serves; and this might mean ours had gone off some where else. I trust not. It is most a month now since I have known what you are doing every day, but it has seemed about nineteen years longer than that. I know that that nineteen years will be much more than gone by when I come back, so I won't let you wait for the calendar. Will just take you, steal you, put you in my pocket, and run off with you, see?

I got a bicycle to ride around on this morning and went out among the Supply Train billets to look them over, see what the companies had for dinner, etc. The district is right on the edge of the town and the people there are all small farmers. The companies buy milk and eggs and vegetables from them to supplement the government ration. All the houses are just one story and the attic and the buildings are all located in such higglety-pigglety fashion one would think they had just been dropped indiscriminately around the landscape. They are mostly all of cement. This evening several of us sat down in the Place [censored], which happens to be the name of the big village square here and listened to a concert by a military band. It made a very enjoyable evening. The French people are very appreciative of good music.

The band played the Sunshine of Your Smile to make me think of my Sunshine Lady. And the concert wasn't marred by one note of American popular music.

To-morrow night the Supply Train officers have 2 boxes in a local theatre for the opera La Tosca. All this sounds very much like fighting a war, doesn't it?

Well, I think I'll blow Taps. Good-night, dear.

With all my love,


Sunday Evening
Aug. 11, 1918


I had to cut a little shape out of last night's letter, because I forgot and put in the name of the square. This has seemed more like Sunday than any Sunday since we left the States. However I personally have had quite a little to do during the day.

To-night we all went to La 'Tosca. It all seemed very funny - first the dumpy little theatre, nothing but benches back of the first two rows on the first floor, and all boxes around the second; the seating capacity is very small. The only orchestra was an out-of-tune piano and the scenery was very scant. The singers weren't really so bad, but with all the concurrent circumstances, two acts were about enough. The men don't take their hats off when they come into the theater, which of course seems strange, but they do take them off when the performance begins.

We have a funny clock in the house which strikes on the hour and at 2 minutes past, both; and it has the kind of a ring which you might think was the front door bell instead of a clock.

I just read [your, crossed out] the last Don't Open letter; I crossed out "your" because it might not be the last you wrote, for I just took them bit or miss, according to your notes, and not in order. Now is there going to be another letter for me to-morrow? I'm going to save the Don't Open notes in a special place, and we'll surely do all the little things you have planned (except where I have to work). What a beautiful world there is to look forward to when I get thru my work here - to be always with you!

I love you.


Monday eve
Aug. 12, 1918


The first batch of mail of any size came for us from the States to-day. I was hoping to share some letters from you, forwarded from Camp Devens, but wasn't lucky this time. I had just one letter, which Ralph wrote me. It does seem strange to have a letter which was written a month ago.

I suppose the American papers are well headlined over the Allied successes of the past few days. I wish we were closer up there and doing our part in the push. It looks as though we may be in danger of being stuck here for some time, though with an abundance of work to do.

Good-night. Be Good. All my love.


Aug. 13, 1918

Dearest Girl,

I have just written Mother how much pleasure I take in imagining I have a mouthful of her huckleberry pie with nice thick cream, every once in a while. That's sort of become the symbol for everything that's good back in the States which we won't taste again till we get there. At first what troubled us more than anything was the lack of water. But I have gotten used to it much quicker than I thought I could. I am taking coffee or tea every meal, which I never did before; and there are all kinds of Vichy and mineral waters, charged lemonade, etc. which can be bought as substitutes. I expect they are pretty good for me, too. But if an American drinks the water here without its being boiled or sterilized he is pretty sure to get sick. One thing we miss a lot is chocolate. It is almost unobtainable. There are many staple articles of diet the people have to go without - such as sugar, of which they have almost none. However the American troops are able to get it thru the Army Commissary. Prices are way high for the necessities of life, especially of fuel. I would cost you money to look at a lump of coal. Prices in 'America for such things are dirt cheap side of prices here.

A year ago to-night was the last night we spent in Plattsburg; then we were getting ready for a much anticipated vacation; rather different this year.

The crickets are singing out to-night just as in America on a summer night, and there is love song much like a frog's sawing from somewhat up north of the house. I wonder just what songs are being sung at Hemlock Manor to-night, or perhaps I should say, will be sung, for I have to remember it isn't night there yet. That's just as far from you as from me, isn't it, sweetheart, off in the Together Land?

A world of love for my Lady.


Aug. 14, 1918


To-day has been fair day in this place. The market place has been full of people with their stalls - country people who have brought in vegetables, eggs, live chickens; others who sell handkerchiefs, novelties of many kind; everything is life and animation. The city is full and the cafes and restaurants many are having the only business they ever get. I have just established an Officers mess for our outfit to-day in such a restaurant. It is a neat little place, with a low highly polished table and correspondingly low chairs. The old people who live there are very generous, as all the people; they are also very talkative. I have explained to them that the cook doesn't speak French, but I expect they'll be talking to him all day just the same. An American cook and a Portuguese helper make a good combination in a French household when there is no interpreter around! It will be rather good to get back to a mess of our own with our old cook back on the job. The old man in that house wears wooden shoes around, as a great many people her do. Wouldn't you think they would be frightfully uncomfortable? And how would you like climbing ladders with them on? It doesn't worry him any. We climbed up to the little loft where we'll put cook and his helper. Cook had better be careful and not walk in his sleep. I suppose you're just about eating supper now. Just pretend I'm eating it with you, and helping you get the dishes done early.

Well, Fred wants to know when I'm going to put the light out. Good night dear.

I love you always,




I love you.

I got a letter from Winnie today. It was a nice long newsy one.

I wrote to Winnie, Grace, Eleanor, Daido and now I'm writing to some one else, today. So, you see I'm kept rather busy.

Daido expects to arrive on the 23d and I'll look for you on the 24th. I'll see that everything is ready for you.

The papers certainly are encouraging and the best part of it is, it is our men who seem to be the ones who are doing the winning.

I read your little don't open in which you said I didn't know where you are but I just bet I do 'cause I dreamed you were here with me and you were working awful hard.

Oh, I wore my new dress tonight, up to the post office. I just had to be dressed up you know because I might have gotten a letter from you. I didn't tho. They say the mails are terribly congested in New York. I have only one more don't open tho so a letter better soon come thru.

Miss Higbee got a safe arrival four days after she got a letter from over seas and I wonder if mine will come about the same.

If you were here tonight I'd let you sit out on our front step with me. There's the ghost of a golden moon in the sky and a rippley misty see breeze. A harvest fly is buzzing and now and then a cricket chirps and sometimes I just seem to feel and know you are with me. You are with me always.

I must say goodnight. I love you dearest,


Good morning. I love you


Oh dearest dearest dearest.

I'm so happy I just got two letters and a postal from you. Two letters and a postal! One on ship, one at camp and a Red Cross postal! Oh I love you.




Today has certainly been one lucky day for me. First I found a penny, then two letters and a postal from you then an increase to $14. Wasn't that lovely. I am certainly glad of the increase as I can make good use of it and especially now around vacation time. Oh I was so so glad to hear from you I hardly knew what to do.

Marion starts on her vacation tomorrow and I am going to attempt to do the most essentials of both of our jobs. I don't know how I'll make out at all but will do my best.

I've had rather a strenuous day today learning things and it is only about eight but I am beginning to think of sleep already. We are rather expecting the Hewes up tonight and Dorcas said she would be around.

I didn't get any letter from Daido today. I guess that's meant as a silent scold for my not writing. Somehow I just can't seem to get into the spirit of letter writing. I guess I am to much on the "go".

I am just going to finish up your little poem book so I can sent it in this letter.

I love you and here's a kiss for you.


Oh good morning. Its a good crisp cool morning. I just know you'll dance over the lawn with me as its going to be cut this morning. I love you.


Aug. 15/18


Yesterday was a fair day in town, which I told you about, and to-day has been a fete day - some kind of a church celebration combined with a national one, I think. The first wind of it was a great clanging of bells before we got up this morning - all kinds of bells; and various ones have been ringing all day long. People were out early to church and most everything has been closed for the day. I guess everybody has stopped work except the fighters at the front.

The owner of the house has been down from the farm the last two nights and we have been sitting around talking to him yesterday evening and to-night - perhaps I should say listening except Fred Leviseur, who can speak French pretty well, and Jim Greene to-night, who came around to see us. The owner of the house is a man about 48, has been in the war awhile but discharged on account of his age. He is most generous to us in the use of his house and anything he has. He spoke tonight at great length of the confidence the French have with the help of the Americans, and how much confidence our coming has given them. It seems good to hear such things. That seems to be the feeling of all the French people.

I dreamed of seeing you last night, my sweetheart, and it was all very real until those bells began to ring and make me realize just a little more than ever how far away you are. I think so often of the days which are in store for you and me, days of perfect happiness, because we shall be Together.

Yours always,


Aug. 16/18


I hope you aren't having as hot a day as we have had. It has been so hot as to take all my energy away altogether. And how a good glass of cold American water or lemonade would have gone. But that's another pleasure the future has in store for us to appreciate.

The Major and I had our pictures taken for our identification cards this morning. I spoiled the first snap the little French photographer tried to take of me, when the Major just at the moment of snapping told me my mustache was mussed up. I could have retaliated when he got his taken only I didn't want to waste another film on the unoffending Frenchman.

I was out at a dusty American logging camp this morning. I think you would really by surprised how much forest there is in this old country, or how well they have kept them from being used up. The engineers who were cutting down the trees had a couple of wild boars in their camp - funny looking pigs with long snouts.

Some more mail came to this place to-night but I haven't been favored yet. I think it hasn't been all sorted yet, though, and am keeping up my hopes until morning. I should think in three or four days you would be getting my first letter or series of letters written on the boat and mailed in England.

I had my first real decent ride in an automobile today since I've been in Europe, when I drove out to the logging camp. Only the Frenchmen don't know how to drive cars - they are reckless as can be and they don't use much oil, I guess, for they grind all the way, and make it sound as though you were traveling over a sea of rocks.

Oh, but it is hot!

Good-night. All my love,


Aug. 17/18


I've found a brand of cheese which I can eat, the which is an event of no mean importance. Greenie and Deck went out to a place in the country the other afternoon and brought back some fromage petit Suisse(?) (little Swiss cheese), which together with some thick cream and sugar, was quite delicious with apple pie. It is very rich, though and I wouldn't want to eat very much at a time. It is made from sour cream.

We have our own mess now, with our old faithful cook, who is devising fine cakes, pies, and biscuits as of old. The only thing we lack now is our tableware which we shipped in the freight; freight hasn't shown up yet and perhaps we'll never see it. It might be in the bottom of the ocean for all we know.

To-day an Officer's Club opened up in the town here, and most of us have been down there to help christen it this evening. A band had been procured and furnished some good music and we had a generally good sociable time. Later I believe the committee expects to get a billiard table in and other things to widen the facilities for enjoyment.

Little Maurice got lost to-night, and I was most as perturbed as his grandmother who was chasing all over for him. He had been right around us at headquarters ten minutes before she came looking for him and then he was no where to be found. I was scared that he had dropped down the well or something, he's such a lively little chap and always climbing around everywhere. I don't know where she finally found him but I saw him later in the evening and was somewhat relieved.

Well, 'bout all for now, I guess. I love you, dear girl.


Aug. 18, 1918


To-day has been Sunday, and I have done very little all day. But it has been a day to remember, though, for my first mail from you came - four letters all to once; you don't know how good it seemed. There were four from you, two from Mother, and one from Lucinthia. I just had to open your whole four. I couldn't wait and spread them out.

It's really quite wonderful, don't you think, how almost unerringly a little letter with a few marks on the outside finds its way from one person to another, all the more so now, when you never know where I am within several miles or within several hundred. I guess in all the time we've written to each other there has just that one letter, my first from Plattsburg, which missed you. It seems remarkable really that mine don't go astray, but Uncle Sam picked a poor one to go astray that time, didn't he? I wonder what ever did happen to that letter.

This is a lovely soft moonlit evening. Our moon is there, probably he's not up on your horizon yet, but will be when your evening comes. He bears you a message and I sort of think you will be out to get it - a message of true love, that your sweetheart ever loves you, ever thinks of you, and is ever true to you, his good time Lady 'cross the sea. His Big Lady she calls herself. Well, you have the picture to prove it, haven't you?

The latest letter of your four was postmarked July 17, which means I have another month's worth on the way somewhere. You had just gotten my Monday afternoon letter which of course turned out to be my last, as that same evening we bade good-bye to Camp Devens.

We have a strange clock here in our head quarters room which strikes the hours twice, once on the hour, and again two minutes after. I don't know just what the idea is; I suppose though it is to enable one to hear the exact time if he's listening for it and only began to hear in the middle of it the first time.

There are lots of strange things around: the innumerable bells which ring at frequent intervals all day long, they were all going at once the other day. The reason for same being a military wedding I was told. There is the funny little horn that the coal man, the fish man, the newslady and all kinds of vendors have - each one is just the same so you'd never know which one was outside. It's more like the horns our fish peddlers have than anything. There are the sleigh bells which are on all harness, and make you think its winter except for the clatter of the wheels over the rough stone pavement. There's enough so that you know you're in a new kind of a world. If you want to be able to imagine you're in the U.S.A. you have to get out in the country and then it's quite possible.

It is getting quite late, and guess I'd better say good-night. Your letters were very dear, my precious Lady. It is so good to know that you are very own, and because of that, I have so very much to live for when our business over is here is completed.

Always yours, dearest,


Aug. 19/18


Another soft moonlight evening. I was going to write early and get lot of sleep to-night, but before I could get started Greenie and Deck came around and chatted for an hour or more. Then the Major came in , and nothing must do but we should go out to the mess for a late supper. Cook didn't have anything but cantaloupes that sounded good, but they are delicious. The one thing I've had that have tasted real good in France. They are not imposing-looking at all on the outside, have a smooth exterior with a light pumpkin color on the outside; but the meat of them is very much the same sweet flavor of good American cantaloupes.

There has been very little happening to-day in my young life. It has been a most ordinary day all around.

I think I'll have to say good-night, sweetheart. It is a great impetus and inspiration to have you say you are proud of me, as you were so good to do in one of the letters I had yesterday. I feel pretty small at times as I come in contact with the tremendous things which have been done in organizing the American Expeditionary Forces. I want to give of my best to my task, anyway, but all the more so because I am your soldier, and you believe in and have confidence in me. I hope I may always justify that confidence.

Blessed girl, I love you most in the whole world.


Aug. 20/18


I don't keep very good track of the numbers I'm putting at the tops of my letters, and can't seem to remember whether this should be 12 or 13. For luck, I have made it twelve.

To-day I paid off for the first time in French money. The unit of French money being the franc, only about a fifth of our dollar, you think you have a lot of money. My payrolls used to be about $8,000 in Devens, but today it was 52,000 francs which seems a lot more. Small change is very scarce which makes it impossible to pay exact amounts due, down to the last centime (1/5 of a cent). The smallest thing I could get at the bank today was 50 centime pieces, which are a half a franc. You should see the paper money the French have. A five franc note is the highest denomination that is at all convenient for a civilized pocketbook. The 50 and 100 franc notes are as big as this sheet of paper and full of fancy pinks and greens and all kinds of colors; also figures. The paper seems of less durable quality than those ours are printed on. But they are no doubt hard to counterfeit, for if held up to the light you can see waterprints in these. The small change proposition is a difficult one for tradespeople, and some of the smaller stores even hate to see you hand them a note no larger than a 5 franc one.

Fred got a letter from his mother to-day enclosing a clipping about a new division being formed at Camp Devens and a lot more recruits coming in there, so I expect it presents all the old signs of activity it did before our division started to move. We were one of the last outfits out, so could experience the strange mess of seeing barracks after barracks empty. His letter was dated July 26th, and your last was July 17, so I have a feeling that there are some more for me lurking about the vicinity. They come in bunches, and of course you never know when to expect them. I really know scarcely anything as to how the mail system is worked. I saw in the Paris edition of the Chicago Tribune which comes here daily, also the New York Herald, that mail service of 17 days from the States to the trenches was going to be guaranteed, which would surely be going some. The month which it's taking now doesn't really seem so bad when all the sorting is taken into consideration.

I have just heard the odd old clock get off 11 hours (23 o'clock in France) for the second time, and perhaps Pop will sleep a little better if I turn off the light.

Good-night, dear. A kiss, and all my love.


Aug. 21/18

Dearest Eva,

According to my daily chronicle this has been an exceedingly hot day, and the chronicle does not lie. It has been particularly warm when one has to wear his coat all the time over a woolen shirt, and have the Sam Browne belt to hold you in and impress on you that you are warm. On top of it all I have had some what more than the ordinary day's walking to do in the hot sun. However, it's nothing to complain of - foolish to speak of, I guess, with all the brave chaps some miles ahead of us having it hot and heavy night and day. If I stay here too long, I might begin to think I was a civilian and complain perhaps of the lack of fingerbowls or coffee-cup doilys at the breakfast table.

I wonder if you remember what I had to look forward to for the morrow a year ago to-night? I guess you know by my speaking of it anyway. The first of our four visits together since our first parting! Now I wonder if either to-morrow or Saturday (Willow Grove Day) or Sunday (Schuylkill bank morning) I'll have some letters to properly celebrate the time with. Well, over here we'll do our best to let you and me celebrate the time together next year.

Even over here, my lady, the man of the house doesn't always seem to be boss. I thought I'd be able to tell you when I got back how he always was in the old country, and what a splendid arrangement it seemed to be. But last night my hopes in that direction were dished when we sere sitting around our mess table late in the evening and asked the man of the house how much a certain box of cheese was, but he said we'd have to see his wife for "Je ne suis pas le patron" (I'm not the boss). Now isn't that a sad state of affairs? Much better not to have any boss, n'est ce pas?

Good night dearest, I love you always.




It's way way dreadful late the Hewes have been up and Dorcas has been around. We have been playing pinochle and all sorts of things. Aren't we wicked? I really shouldn't have stayed up tonight because I've worked rather hard today and tomorrow comes that blessed payroll. I'm sorry now Manny is away on her vacation.

The Hewes are around to bid Mrs. Savage farewell as she leaves tomorrow. We had chocolate cake, fudge and ice cream. Aren't we fortunate?

Dearest I'm so sleepy. I love you.


Good morning dearest but I'm not so very much awake. I love you.




I am down at Dorcas's. Late again. Frances my once old girl friend came home tonight so we went down to see her.

She has been traveling all around and I'm rather afraid we were rather boresome at least there wasn't a thing we did or said that seemed to interest her.

I got a letter from your mother today and she says she has received a letter from you. I also got another letter from Lucinthia and one yesterday too. She says she lost the one she wrote yesterday but someone must have found it and mailed it as it reached me all right.

It's moonlight dearest but I haven't you.


Good morning my best love.




I'm just back from shopping. Dorcas got a new hat.

Miss Foreman arrived today and that means it will be discovered that I am not a good cook. I don't know how I'll ever be able to stand the disgrace of being found out.

Dorcas got a letter today and it had been mailed in Cleaves but the state couldn't be discovered. In it were six pictures of boys on board of a transport and one of the transport and one of the moon on the water. The pictures of the boys were so small they couldn't be distinguished but some reminded her of Harry. There was no name anywhere but on the back of one was stamped - "These pictures are officially censored and are sent as a souvenir and are not to be republished." Wasn't that queer?

It's lovely and moonlight now dearest. I do wish you were here with me. I love you so much.




I love you. You're still my sweetheart and you're going to be forever and forever.

We are having a fine rain tonight almost a mist. I mean we're having as I just now looked out and all the clouds have silver linings and our frogs, I just know they've come down from Hemlock Manor, are here to keep me company. Can't you hear them? Poor sleepy little fellows. I love them.

I didn't do much today except sew.

I intended to walk to Kingdom Kome and back but never even got started. I could have walked forever today. It was so cool and just the day for a walk.

I love you dearest,


Good morning I am up already and just saw the most wonderful sunrise. A red ------ oh I can't describe it but the whole east was on fire. I love you.



I am alone tonight, dearest. Miss Foreman and Miss Davis have gone over to see the play "Fiddlers Three".

First I fixed one of my skirts over then I read a little of a war book Miss Davis had brought home. It is called "Where the Souls of Men are Calling".

I started to write in my room but my ink supply is almost exhausted so I am now in our armchair where I fell asleep until a terrible hour one night. One wonderful night.

I'm going to fall asleep there again some time but only for about two minutes I assure you.

You really can't imagine what ideal weather we are having for August. I can't understand it at all. It is actually cold enough for a coat in the morning and just barely warm at noon. Goodness we'd enjoy long walks now. Mr. Teacher lets cut school some day and ramble to English Creek, Hemlock Manor, sunset Trail, Fisherman's Point, Bargaintown, our Brickyard or even to the suggestion of a house. Won't you please.

Tonight is a night made for walking too.

I'll say goodnight, I love you.


[next morning -- 22nd]


Don't you remember what today is?

I saw you, just a year ago to day in your uniform today. Oh can't you think of an excuse to come to Pleasantville today? Today is just a day for us. We could have tramped all night even as the golden moon is just hiding her head and the sun is just piercing thru a haze of red. Oh I wish, I wish. Today's our day. I love you. A thousand kisses.


Aug. 22/18

Dearest Eva,

New censorship regulations allow us under certain circumstances to give the name of the place at which we are stationed, but that name should not be used on any address; of course by the time you get this and wrote back to me I would not likely be here. The little place where we've been staying for the last couple of weeks is St. Amand-Montrond, in the central part of France, some what south of Paris. So you can find one place where I've been, anyway, if you have a map of France anywhere.

This afternoon I took quite long ride with the Major and Fred looking for a suitable gasoline tank station location, and in doing so passed a spot which is designated as the exact center of France. It was a good afternoon to ride, as it has been baking hot all day, and the trip tended to keep you cool. The effect bid fair to be all spoiled at one time on our way back, when a short circuit forced an abrupt stop, and for a few minutes it looked as though we'd walk in several miles or stay out all night without supper. But the Major soon remedied her. I'm sure you'd always get back if you had the Major with you. Sine we've gotten here, I've realized more than ever what a phenomenal faculty he has for getting things done. One of his mottoes has always been "You can do anything if you have to" and I believe he can. He's never said "can't" as long as I've known him. He has a tremendous amount of bull-dog energy, and a marvelous faculty for seeing to the bottom of a thing and knowing just what should be done. He has a big job here in connection with motor transport work and he has surely done big things with it, and accomplished a whole lot since he's been here.

I hope you're not having it as hot as I am just at present; it seems to get hotter every day. I'm glad our two weeks and a half on the water were in midsummer so as to cut out a big chunk hot weather.

Good-night and heaps of love.


Aug. 23/18


Now tomorrow you're supposed to go to Willow Grove with me. I wonder if you are ready. The chief trouble is that I have forgotten your telephone number in Philadelphia, and I am some two or three thousand miles from a telephone book which would give it. Now if I'd only brought a Philadelphia telephone book along everything would have been hunky-dory, wouldn't it? You're not quite 21 yet and I'm not quite 65 so perhaps we could risk the roller-coaster once again without undue loss of dignity. Come to think of it, I'm only a few days train ride from Venice but I dare say it couldn't come [close] to the original in Willow Grove Park.

The Chaplain got the Major to sign approval of a request for a knitted helmet and muffler to be sent over to him from the States to-day. This was surely an appropriate day for knitted helmets and mufflers! Perhaps by the time they get here it may be a little more appropriate season. But I'm beginning to doubt if there is any such thing as winter.

There is a band concert down in the central square every evening now, and I have wandered down to listen to a part of it both last night and to-night. It's the band of a regiment in this section and a very good one.

A correspondent of the Providence Journal has been down here the last three days, and has gotten in with us, because Greene's from Rhode Island; took his picture yesterday with his bicycle for the Journal, and is going to entitle it "A Rhode Island Officer on Active Service" or some other fool thing. I have[n't] seen the correspondent of the Pleasantville Press or the A.C. Gazette review here yet. I might show the latter a little dust on the "new regimentals" of the newly-fledged officer". You see I might forgive, but I don't forget; I'm doubtful about the former in this case.

I think I'll bid my lady good-night, and pleasant dreams.

I love you, dear.


Aug. 24/18


I have had a sort of unique experience to-day by way of celebrating the anniversary of our Willow Grove Party. The Major and Fred and I drove the men of our house and little Maurice out to the man's farm, this afternoon, about twelve miles north. It was an old, old place and showed it. Both house and barns were around an old courtyard, with a wall all across the front. In the middle of the wall was an entrance. The house, or better human habitation, was opposite it. All the buildings and wall were of cement. The house is 300 years old, the barns about 100. Monsieur Protat has cows, sheep, horses, pigs, and poultry, which occupy separately the various compartments of the barns. The pigs are nearest to the house. The poor stableman has to sleep with the horses. He has a bed in the corner of the stable room, with a couple of big feather mattresses on, caked with the dirt and dust of ages. When the door is shut, and I suppose it always is shut, he can't get any air. Probably that doesn't bother him.

When you go inside, you are impressed with the darkness (on account of low windows) and heaviness of everything. M. Protat's bed has the invariable canopy over it. I took notice particularly to see if the stable-boy's did but somehow they missed him. We stayed to supper, which was one of the most interesting parts of the experience. The dining-room is very bare. The table of course has no cloth, and there are no dishes outside of what the individual eats. A huge loaf of bread was brought down from the rack over in the corner, and sliced up with M. Protat's jack-knife. His old housekeeper had made up some omelettes, which were very good. He had some cheese, too, but I managed to escape it. And the flies! Wow, but the place was thick! I think I got by though without striking at more than a couple. So I don't believe the old lady knew I noticed them. It was lots of fun and an experience I'm glad to have had.

The road up there is very good and for several miles about the country is quite level. That allows for a long straight road which made me think of Jersey may times. And once or twice I could imagine we were on the long straight road leading to Hemlock Manor and Together Land.

The Major came in before I'd gotten very well started on this last night, and being frolicsome I had no chance to finish. His chief weapon was a seltzer bottle and life was most uncomfortable for some time. I'd like to have gotten back at him with another bottle but the chief trouble with that would be its result in a free-for-all fight and everything getting soaked. He's funny when he gets going on some of his practical jokes and takes as much pleasure them as a five year old.

Just about a year ago now we were sitting on the caterpillar bench on the Schuykill. You and I. I love you.


Aug. 25/18

Dearest Eva,

I guess I can escape Pop and his seltzer water tonight for I have started downstairs instead of waiting until I go up. And Pop's not in yet, anyway.

I give a guess that to-morrow you will get the first letter I posted in England with the various nightly letters I wrote on shipboard contained therein. I wish the next batch of mail for us would hurry up and come. This isn't any fun waiting so long, is it, when you've been getting them every day?

To-day being Sunday these everlasting bells around here have been ringing doubly hard and often. I suppose the blooming things have a purpose, but who wants to get into their head an eternal reminder of Sunday each day in the week, that is, the part of Sunday that goes with bells? I wonder what they have for a fire alarm; I'd be interested to find out. Surely the bells couldn't do anymore good than a "wolf, wolf" cry. The first day I heard them ringing all at once I did look out to see where the fire was.

The greatest number of young mustaches here began sprouting since we came here. The Doctors is the farthest along, but he has one of these absurd little narrow ones. Greene has a dim one a couple of weeks old. Spalding the start of quite a natty one, and Achorn's youthful smooth countenance is making a brave attempt. Fox is also, but having no difficulty. When they're all grown I believe we're to have our pictures taken.

Because it's the anniversary of it, I've been living over my little visit to you in Philadelphia last year quite often the last few days. It was surely very brief, but we had a lot of fun while it lasted. And more than that, of course, for it was being with you. And that's the best thing I have to live for now.

I love you.


Aug. 26/18

My Lady,

I have started riding a French bicycle around today. I have been going to buy one for some time but put off hoping we'd get some in from the gov't and I'd get one of them for my use. Greene had already bought one and as he went away today on a 6 or 7 day trip, I have his to use. They are such slender things and seem very frail. They have no coaster brake to work with the pedals, but you can stop pedaling any time, in fact pedal backwards and have the wheel still coasting forwards. The brake is a hand brake which comes up right under the handle bars, so that your hand is on it all the time. When you want to stop just squeeze and a rounded metal piece scoops over the front tire and slows up or stops it according to the degree of pressure. I always did like a bicycle. Probably I've often spoken of the yellow bicycle (or orange it was, really) I had for so many years to ride back and forth to school with. I used to like it except when the wind was against me, or going uphill, or when it rained, or something happened to it. Then I might talk to it a bit more vehemently than to a poor harmless dog on the Hemlock Manor road one night.

Pop and Fred have just come in. There's no denying what I'm doing at the present time, so Pop allows as how if I won't come up stairs I must think more of you than I do of him, and he'd like to have me tell you that he's jealous.

The band concerts are going on every evening and of course aren't such an event any more. The band is nevertheless a very excellent one, and I have been enjoying it a little while again this evening.

Goodnight to my sweetheart and lots of love.

Your own Sylvester

Aug. 27, 1918


I don't know as those numbers up at the top are much use when I'm writing and sending a separate letter each day, and never quite sure whether the number is right or not.

After 9 days wait the second batch of mail came to-night, which brought your letters down as far as my birthday. The last one said it was being written my birthday night which I took you to mean the night before, as the letter just previous and in the same envelope was on the 24th. Strangely enough however the letter was postmarked the 29th, but as there is nothing in between I think the post office must have got a 9 instead of a 6 in their stamp that morning. With your bumper crop of 4 radishes and 2 potatoes, I'm sure America won't go hungry this winter.

I can tell just what your plans for our honeymoon are, I think, and I am thinking along the same lines lots of times. I surely am glad you've settled that point about taking me along. But I was going to hide in the trunk anyway. It seems strange your friend shouldn't have heard again from her husband; probably, however, she has by now.

To-night I went out with the Major to that lumber camp near here, and sat around the little tent of the lieutenant who commands the Engineers out there. He burns a little candle for light, and lives a regular ? life. The number of the Engineer unit there sounded something like your friend's husband's and I inquired to see if the unit was from New Jersey or there was a man by the name of Davison there but there wasn't. Wouldn't it have been strange if I had run across him so near here to me. It surely would have been interesting.

I had a letter from Ernest Binks to-night with my batch, and his wife added a little note at the end, and spoke how glad she was to have been able to meet you, how she thought you were lovely and knew she was going to enjoy knowing you better. If she is in Bridgetown again this fall, I do hope you will get to see each other once in a while. I want very much to have you. Lucinthia had a contribution in my to-day's batch and she spoke about expecting to spend a Sunday this month with you. I hope she has and that you both have enjoyed it.

Dearest, I must say goodnight. I never stop loving you.

Your own Sylvester

Aug. 28, 1918


I'm giving up numbering as a bad job. I can't remember them.

I've been down in the square again tonight listening to the band concert with Johnny Achorn. He grew quite confidential and confessed the probability of his being married as soon as he gets back to the States. I'm thinking there'll be quite a multiplicity of weddings at that time in our fair country.

To-day is a double anniversary. A year ago I left home for Devens and stayed to-night at Raymond's and Eleanor's bungalow outside Worcester. Two years I left home for Pleasantville. The latter might be called a reasonably important event in my young life. Think of all it has brought me! You, dear, and love and the promise of happiness forever!

It has seemed like the beginning of fall this week. It has been delightfully cool and comfortable. I like to see fall coming. It is most as much of a rejuvenation after summer as spring is after winter, to me. the evening to-night is very much like a year ago at Raymond's bungalow. That is a delightful place. I hope they will still have it after we are married, and we'll go up and see them at it some time.

I saw a fine young narrow escape to-day. Coming around a corner a light truck just dodged around the nose of a donkey by about three inches. The French people don't seem to pay much attention to traffic or road rules; I guess they're not as used to having a lot of fast automobiles on the road as we are.

I don't know whether I should mail this separately or not. It isn't very long, and then you bunched your up when I asked you not to. I suppose it doesn't make very much difference, when so many come together, but they won't be in such bunches when you address me to American Expeditionary Forces. Well, I'll forgive you, since I love you and you're my sweetheart, and probably the letter (it was from Devens) was one you didn't feel like reading, or just read every other line. Was that it?

All my love,




I'm waiting for you at 1801 N. Bouvier. Won't you come and bring me some more Jordan Almonds?

I celebrated today. I baked bixits for dinner and made Floating Island pudding and had a regular feast.

After dinner I got the Misses Foreman and Davis to go down to Sommers Point with - just for a moonlight jaunt for them but the best way for me to celebrate.

The tide was low so we wandered along the beach almost up to Fisherman's Point. Down in front of the ruins of the old castle (club house) we sat and the moon "came up like thunder" and the moon path teased and called me to follow on the flying spray. We all let our hair down just to feel the pull of the good sea breeze. The tide was coming in and we were afraid for a time we would have to scale the banks and go home that way but didn't.

I just opened your last Don't Open dearest and you are nearly right in everything in it.

It is moonlight, I am at Bricktop in my own room, the marguerites are almost blooming and I love you. It is the 22nd of August tho instead of the second.

At work

Good afternoon dearest Sweetheart, I thot I'd write you a little note as long as it was one of our days. I'm s'posed to be dreadful busy.

It's now 2:09. I guess that means it's about seven nine where you are. I s'pose this time last year, I mean 7:09, I was waiting so anxiously for the phone - Goodness I forgot we are really only 1:09 but then I waited for a long time. I certainly did want to see you and I tried to assure myself I didn't care much. I just knew it was hopeless to try and convince myself I didn't care at all. I had tried too long and found I couldn't.

What do you think dearest? I have all ready invited visitors to our new home. They were so charming I couldn't resist the temptation and said, "When my sweetheart and I are at home you must come and visit us." Are you angry? I am afraid I didn't limit the time I asked them to stay, in fact, if I remember correctly, I told them they could live with us. But they were so beautiful and golden and sang so sweetly. Please, you aren't angry are you? We really won't mind having them come - they're so tiny and really they'll be an addition to our garden and they'll be company for our apple tree visitors. Surely I told you about all the robins I've invited to live in our apple trees. Do you know I'm afraid I didn't tell you. I'm really getting forgetful but you know every time you sent a robin way down here with a message for me I just had to repay him in some way. So I invited him to come - and bring his family. Goodness you'll have so may to take care of. Won't you be busy? I'll help tho.

You can see I've been quite busy filling up my Hope Chest for figuratively speaking, they're in my Hope Chest. I have some more things 'bout two besides. Oh I'll s'prise you when you see my things. I love you.


I love you.


Good morning, Sweetheart. Are you off to Pleasantville today? I love you.



Dearest, Oh I'm so unhappy I have lost our fraternity pin.




It's found. Maria Riley found it. I'm so lucky. See yesterday a year ago you left me and went to Pleasantville and I was unhappy and yesterday you left me again but you came back the next day just as you did today. I'm so happy.

I was over with Dorcas this afternoon and Daido came home while I was away. She hadn't sent me word at all when she would arrive. She brought me a darling little set of luncheon napkins for our Hope Chest. She's so tanned and pretty and nice. Oh, don't you just love her. She made herself quite famous in Michigan and one of the professors she had has told her she should write a Latin book and has sent an article she wrote to some educational magazine. He said there was no reason why she shouldn't make herself rich and famous by her writing in less than five years. She has already received four letters from Michigan. I'm so glad we 'dopted her first aren't you? Won't you write the third gypsy a letter and tell her about some of your vagabondings. I know she'd appreciate it as she loves us both and wants us to be happy but she's just a little bit jealous because I love you so much. She's afraid to love me too much as it will make giving me up so hard but she'll have us both just the same as ever won't she.

I love you best in the world




I am over to the Casino now with Dorcas. I am watching the people bathe in the pool.

Dorcas just made me write a letter to Harry and wrote one on the "Mabel" style. I just told her she must write one to you to enclose with this. Of course, I will censor it tho.

I was afraid I would have to work this afternoon but lucky for me I got up early and went in about seven and sent Mr. Wilson down for the payroll instead of staying out until nine and bringing it in myself. I had my work done so I could leave almost in time.

Dearest I had the worst night. I lost your fraternity pin last night but Maria Riley found it this morning. Oh dearest, I could hardly sleep for I love that best and my little sweetheart picture next. I just couldn't have been happy without it.

It is lonely down here in the Casino.

I got the letter you wrote in England today #2. I just love your descriptions. I wish I could be with you now seeing the flowers and hearing The hedgerows for I just know they are melodious. Do they sing "Tell me stranger in our midst?" Goodness one need never ask you that question as one could never have a doubt but what you loved the beautiful the good the open the free - our out of doors.

Well here's to the next tramp down the Sunset Trail and the next camp on our Manor Lake when we are sweethearts together forever.

I love you.


[Comments in parentheses are Gram's "censoring"]

Dear Captain Butler,

Pardon my boldness but Eva insists on my writing. She is here in my "cage" (this is slang) for a little while and I made her write to Harry. Now, so that I cannot say she wrote to my hubby and use her as the reason for a divorce she is making me write to you.

I am taking very good care (she thinks she is but I caring for her) of Eva and because I am a married woman it is perfectly proper to have me for a chaperone. We have very exciting times - going to the last mail, hoping for letters from our sweethearts; indulging in ice cream cones, because sundaes are too expense; dancing occasionally but of course, always by ourselves; and taking long walks, wondering at the beauties of the sky and wishing for the end of the war.

Has Eva told you of our dreams? Harry wants to go west to do engineering and Eva said that her dreams lay in the west, too So we have decided we are going west and while you men are working Eva and I are going to ride bareback across the plains and play we are Indians.

Hope we really can have such wonderful times soon and wish you the best of luck. If you are ever near the 29th Division, Co.E, 104 Engineers look up my hubby, Sergeant Davison.


Dorcas Davison

(Senshured bi, Me, OF {official signature})

8/25/18 [24th crossed out and changed to 25th]


I went down to my Aunt's this morning and found I had made her sweater oceans too large. Wasn't that terrible? All to be taken out again.

Daido and I went to Atlantic tonight. Dorcas said yesterday she supposed now she wouldn't see me any more this winter. She might tho.

I am dreadfully tired dearest, I love you.



I heard that you might have trouble getting writing paper. I'll send you an extra sheet each time so I'll be sure you always have enough to write Me on.

I love you.




I am just back from Dorcas! We went home just a bit and I am sorry.

I am getting ready to go visit your mother. I am very anxious to go but wish you could be with me. I am dreadfully tired dear.

I love you.


Our marguerites are out this morning to wish you a happy day. I love you.



It is raining - a lovely bleak rain. I like it. Can't you hear it pitter patter on the sunflower leaves just out my window? It is so loud. Surely you hear.

Daido, Dorcas, Miss Marino and I took a walk up to the golf grounds. We just missed the storm.

I believe the "manpower" bill will pass the Senate soon. I hope so. It has already passed the House. Won't that take in an enormous part of the men of the country. It's a good thing those [sic] as the more men they send over the sooner all our boys will come back.

I'm glad you really like the country over there. It would be terrible if there were no pleasant things. I'm so glad too to hear from you. Your #3 letter just made me live over the whole voyage with you.

I am going to read parts of your letters to your mother. You won't mind will you? I am sure she would like to hear some of the things you say.

Manny comes back from her vacation tomorrow. I certainly will be glad.

I love you dearest,




Manny, Dorcas, Dorcas' sister and I went over to see the play "The Girl Behind The Gun". Everyone thot it was good but there were some parts I didn't like. It was an exceedingly humorous musical comedy featuring Donald Brian. The setting was in England at the country home of a wealthy woman who had turned her house into a hospital for convalescent soldiers. She has a "godson", a cook in some French Regiment, whom she has never met. Her husband has a weak heart and drives an ambulance in Paris. She is rather jealous and finds a note from a girl who signs herself Mimi Lueme. He tries to explain that the letter is from his colonel and even tells her the thousand kisses the letter contains are merely rewards from the dear old demonstrative fellow. She decides to get revenge by falling love with some one else. When she leaves the room her husband soliloquizes that women have no sense of justice or fairness at all for just look at his wife making this terrible big fuss about Mimi Lueme and she was the "littlest woman that ever was". Great stress thru out the play whenever he feels the pressure too great on "the littlest woman that ever was".

At last the godson is coming to visit her. He has written such wonderful letters, so poetic, so soulful. The letters have really been written for him by a great playwright who is in his regiment and it very much interested in (I can't remember names but I'll call her Madame Brosel, which was something like it) Madame Brosel, as he would like to produce a play and have her act in it as she is a great actress. Both he and the cook secure leave of absence at the same time and Lamberque forces the cook to take his army book and they exchange identities.

Madame Brosel fusses over her godson much to her husband's distaste but whenever he looks at her she spits out "Mimi Lueme" and then comes his wail about the little woman.

Madame Brosel has an uncle, a colonel in Algiers who has promised to leave his money to her. He comes on a surprise visit and catches her kissing the godson, as he has never seen her husband he jumps to the conclusion that she is very happily married as she is making such a fuss over her husband. He is rather fond of the ladies and tells about a sweet young girl who has been his traveling companion up on the train. Madame Brosel says she believes she knows who the girl is as her old convent companion Madame Lamberque had just come to visit her and had mentioned the fact she had had such a dear man for companion all the way up. Lambeque is dumbfounded as he is afraid his wife will find out and he has promised Madame Brosel to keep up the farce about being her husband until the colonel leaves. Madame Brosel's husband is introduced as the godson cook and never given a chance to say a word.

Madame Lambeque discovers her husband but doesn't denounce him. but he and Brosel get together and make a plan to beat it for the front lines and the real cook comes in and echoes their sentiments as he can't get anything to drink stronger than orangeade. He can't find any one with any "conversation" and in fact leave of absence gives him "a pain".

Finally the wives forgive their husbands and the colonel is made to believe it was all a joke although he thinks it was a pretty "bum" one.

There was a plentiful sprinkle of red cross nurses, girl ambulance drivers, and the like thru out the play and also a few men. there was one, a lieutenant who looked very much like Lt. Achorn.

It is very late dearest and the lady sent word she wouldn't be here tomorrow so I'll have to get up and wash some things I want to take to Connecticut with me. I love you, dearest.




I am tired. We didn't reach the house until about 8:15 as the Colonial Express was about two hours late and every other train was late also.

It is now almost twelve. I'm afraid I better say goodnight. I love you best. I wish you were here.

Your Eva

Aug. 29/18


I'm almost at a loss to know what to write about to-night. I'm somewhat fagged out and idealess and to-day has been eventless. How would it do if I wrote you as Lt. Thorpe, the Train censor, tells us he finds in letters every once in a while - descriptions of battle scenes - roar of guns, shrieks of wounded, other dramatic bits far away from this place that you wouldn't know was connected with a war, save for our soldiers here and perhaps the excessive number of women in black. Others down on their imagination while on the boat as to torpedoes from submarines sinking vessels, and what not which reminds me I had a dream last night of going down on a boat which just simply turned turtle, but I was in a water-tight compartment, and was successfully removed from the boat, I don't remember how.

I ate a half an apple pie for supper tonight and perhaps the boat will turn a double somersault this time.

I guess I'll have to stop without enough to mail to-night. Good night, dear.

Your Sweetheart,


Aug. 30

Another good-evening to my sweetheart. And I wonder if she is thinking of me this very minute by any chance. Perhaps she is just about getting home and beginning to get supper; and maybe she might be thinking of me then. For she has a terrible job on her hands some day of assuaging my enormous appetite. And she'd just better be in practice.

This evening I've been thinking of a little scheme for a part of our wedding trip, and I'll bet you can't guess what it is.

I tramped with the Major all over the woods out at the lumber camp this morning. He had a date with an engineer Captain at a certain place out there, and when we got there the captain had just gone; we chased to the place they directed us and when we got there he had just left here, and so it went for four or five places. We were pleased to call it a scouting expedition after Germans; if we don't get nearer the front we've got to prepare our imaginations for something to tell the people back home and out children when they want to know how we fought the war. Oh, I guess our time will come, but it seems rather slow coming.

Pop has come in and is narrating some hectic adventures with some Frenchmen, and the chief of Staff, which have some amusing sides, so I guess writing will have to be off for the night.

I do love you, sweetheart, and hope you are well and happy.

Always yours,


Aug. 31, 1918


As I wrote before, I've stopped numbering letters, but you can tell by the dates what is sent. And I shan't fail to write you something each day, so long as I have some time off duty in the 24 hours, a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and at least my knee to write on.

I have just written a letter to Ralph, the first letter I've written to anyone outside of yourself and Mother. Lucinthia wrote me he expected to be thru by the middle of August, so I imagine it is probable that even now he has a commission. I suppose when he gets over here he may be within a few miles of me and I not even know he's out of the States. It's not impossible that we wouldn't even see each other while we were on this side; but I guess we'll manage to work it somehow. I'll surely be tickled if I can hear before long that he's gotten a commission.

The Major is thinking of calling the war off: says we've seen quite a little of France now, it might be interesting to do a little traveling in Germany, so we could be back and tell how we took Xmas dinner in Berlin. I suppose there might be a few little difficulties in the way, but we hadn't started to think about those yet. Besides the Major isn't in the habit of allowing there is any such thing as difficulties.

Did I ever tell you about the way they wash clothes over here? They don't have any wringers, or much soap, and they don't use hot water, but they seem to get things clean just the same. There is a little muddy stream runs thru a little gulch right across the street from our house which is part of the big steam laundry plant of this place. The women line up along the bank with any old kind of boards, and soak and scrub the clothes, then beat them on the board with a heavy stick until all the dirt is run out. I should think it could be a long process but I don't think time worries the Europeans as much as Americans. Some of the men with whom you have business dealings are terribly slow and poky, and want to talk it all over for hours which makes one fidgety as can be.

I'll say good-night, with all my best love,

Your man Sylvester

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