Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

World War I Letters of Milo H. Main: December 24-30, 1918

December 24th, 2018

In honor of the centennial of World War I, this is the second series in which we follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-five year old Milo H. Main, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. On Mondays we’ll post a new entry featuring selected letters from Milo to his family from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Milo Hugh Main was born in or near Pittsfield, Illinois, on November 21, 1892 to William and Rose Ella Henry Main. The family moved to Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, in 1901. After his mother died in 1906, Milo remained in Argonia with his father and his two sisters Gladys (b. 1890) and June (b. 1899). His youngest sister Fern (b. 1905) was sent to live with relatives in Illinois.

As Milo reported to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1919, after graduating from high school he worked as a store clerk. He resigned in July 1917 and took a position at Standard Oil Company, possibly co-managing a gas station in Argonia.

Milo entered into military service on September 21, 1917. He served as a wagoner – a person who drives a wagon or transports goods by wagon – in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Funston (September-October 1917) and Camp Doniphan (October 1917-May 1918). On May 19, 1918, he boarded the ship Ceramic in New York City and departed for Europe.

In his letter written on December 24th, Milo describes his Christmas in camp, providing details about a snowfall, decorations, food, and festivities. “I have much to be very thankful for this Christmas Eve,” he writes, “altho many miles from home.”

 

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918 Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918 Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918 Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 24, 1918

12/24/1918

Xmas Eve. 9:P.M. Camp Ronde Fontaine, Near Verdun, France.

Dear Father and Sisters:-

This “day-before-Xmas” has been one ideal day and evening for the occasion. The day has been filled with warmth and beautiful sunshine, such as we seldom see now-a-days for the continual rain and gloom. About an hour ago it started snowing beautiful big flakes and now the earth is covered with a white blanket to the depth of at least two inches. Surely this day has been made as per the Order.

At the rear echelon to-nite the theatrical talent of “E” and “F” Batteries are stageing a minstrel show in the Y.M.C.A. Hut for the benefit of the boys in the 130 F.A. Having had a spell of 9 days of pleasure and amusement I didn’t care much about going down.

I remember two-years ago to nite quite well. Close of contest at J.W.’s (1).

We have our mess hall decorated very attractively with evergreen, wild red cherries, and mistletoe and will also have the Regtl. [Regimental] Colors among the decorations to-morrow. There is certainly fine material in the two flags, value $800.

Am going to send you and J.W. each a small cigar box filled with these decorations to-morrow. The mistletoe was gathered on that undesirable soil which layed between the French and German Front-line Trenches, better known as “No-Man’s-Land” near Haudemont, 15 miles south east from “Battle-torn” Verdun.

To-morrow, (Christmas) is my day on duty and I will have the honor of serving champagne galore, a big 14lb. turkey costing $1.01 per lb., or practically a $15.00 bird, and all the usual Christmas dishes.

Our officers and boys from this little Camp had a wild-boar drive last Sunday but returned without capturing any of the many young pigs which are so plentiful here in these woods. And deer too, quite often they are seen. Yesterday there were three in Camp, but our Col. would not permit us to kill them, as they are protected by the French Game Law.

While writing of deers (dears) might mention the two fair Y.M.C.A. girls who were in camp for dinner last-nite. They too, were fine game, not protected by any “Frog Laws” but instead by a Colonel and Lt. Colonel. Some feed we put on for them. Course after course did I rush in with.

I spent Sunday afternoon visiting the “Argonia Bunch. Saw Roy Hall (2), Geo. Lukens (3), Chris Jurgens (4), Merle Phillipi (5) and Alvin Warlow (6) and I found them all well and “getting by” with out doing much duty. We have not heard from Geo. Devin (7) since he left us for the hospital, but I think he is no doubt on his way back to the good old U.S.A.

Latest rumor came in to-nite from Gen. Pershing’s Chauffer to the effect that we, the 35th division are to be homeward bound with in the next 25 days. Good Xmas news at least.

My old Division, the 89th from Funston are in Germany. From all reports they are having some time. If we are to be abroad for some time yet, hope we get to go over to Kaiser Bill’s.

There are ex-prisoners returning from Germany, natives of Russia, that pass by here daily and often stop for a bit to eat, they are on their way to Verdun to be clothed and sent home. They certainly speak well of the “Yank,” especially his generosity as to food and clothing.

I received two letters from you last nite dated; 20th and 21st of Nov. But my Xmas box is among the 60% which have not arrived yet.

Speaking from a sanitary point of view, I thought it best to wash out a big woolen sock, for to-nite as my box had not arrived, but when I got it washed out this morning the day was so beautiful I decided to wash up all my wardrobe and start out pure the year of 1919.

Gladyse, I am enclosing two Masonic Papers which I will be much obliged to you if you will kindly give them to A.A. Cone (8), who will make the proper disposal of same.

You should see my pressing iron [clothes iron]. A mess kit filled with five rocks and mud. The old adage still holds true: “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Father and Sisters, I have much to be very thankful for this Christmas Eve, altho many miles from home, I am quartered in a cozy little hut and well fed with plenty of the best of food, not out in the cold and wet trenches hungry like so many of us thought we would be only a few months back. And too, that I escaped the wounds and disease so many of our boys fell victim too this summer and fall, not saying anything about the unfortunate sons lying beneath the sod on these cruel and bloody battle fronts.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I remain

Most truly,
Your son and brother,
Milo H Main

Bat F. 130 F.A.
Amex Forces.

(1) Probably J. W. Achelpohl, a storeowner in Argonia who was Milo’s former employer when he worked as a clerk. He has been mentioned in some of Milo’s previous letters.

(2) According to his World War I draft registration card, Roy Lee Hall was born in Missouri on September 7, 1894. In 1917 he was working as a laborer in Argonia. During the war he served in Headquarters Detachment, 60th Field Artillery Brigade.

(3) According to his World War I draft registration card, George Willard Lukens was born in Missouri on July 13, 1889. Argonia is listed as his home address, but in June 1917 he was working as a bricklayer in nearby Harper, Kansas. According to Army transport passenger lists, Lukens served in Battery A, 130th Field Artillery.

(4) Milo previously mentioned Chris Jurgens in his letter of August 11th. Biographical information about him can be found in that blog post.

(5) Murrell Lewis Phillippi, who Milo has mentioned previously. Biographical information about him can be found with Milo’s letter of August 11.

(6) Alvin Lee Warlow, who Milo has mentioned previously. Biographical information about him can be found with Milo’s letter of October 9th.

(7) According to his World War I draft registration card, Kansas native George Franklin Devins was born on September 8, 1889. In 1917, he was farming in Argonia. George served with Milo in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was apparently in the hospital suffering from shell shock received from a high-explosive shell during the Battle of the Argonne Forest.

(8) Possibly Ashley A. Cone. Cone was born in Ohio in 1870, although his family relocated to Sumner County by the time he was ten years old. Cone worked as a mail carrier. He was previously mentioned in Milo’s letter of October 24th.

 

12/28/1918
Camp Ronde Fontaine, near Verdun, Frce.

Dear Father and Sisters:- Have a letter from June and Gladyse, both dated Nov 30th.

Have not received my Xmas box yet, but about 60% of the boys are in the same straits. Aunt Nan (1) was wrong about being on way home. I too, were mistaken.

But at present all rumors are to the effect of our departure from this warring land not later than Jan. 25th. We move from our present position to rear to a little city of Some-Due. We will occupy a Chateau formerly the quarters of French Generals during the war. Will tell you all about it when we get moved.

This morning I mailed you and J.W. each a small cigar box filled with mistletoe, hemlock, and wild red French forest berries which we gathered in “No-mans-land near Haudemont for decorating our Mess Hall for our 6 o’clock Xmas dinner. Certainly had a beautiful table and room that night. Big American Turkey at $1.01 per lb was the guest of honor.

The night before Xmas it started snowing and never ceased until the day after Xmas. A more beautiful Xmas, I have never seen. No wind, and snow piled up on the tree branches 3/4 of an inch deep. It was one of those Washington snows like we read about.

But now it is raining again. The ground has only been frozen a bit on one occasion.

Just paper[ed] my corner of our little home with late Saturday Evening posts and made me coat and Shirt hangers galore and too, I promoted a bunch of fresh hay for feathers, (had a new bed + sack). But am to take every thing when we move. Wish you could see my little home. I have now learned how to brighten the corner where you are and keep up clothes up off the floor and out of the corners as I used to do at home.

All the Argonians are well, except Geo Devin and he never writes from hospital.

Tell June not to buy me a lounging robe for if I reenlist I cannot use it. Just keep your change.

Must close for this Saturday evening, as this is the physicological time for me to bathe. This is a hard life, work one day and rest one. My day off, slept until 8:30 A.M.

Am enclosing a Menu of our Xmas dinner and some pop bottle labels.

I wrote J.W.A. a letter this P.M. He offered me a good proposition on my return to the States. He has been a keen fellow toward me I must say.

May get some mail this evening. Will close for now, trusting all had a merry Christmas and wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.

I remain
Sincerely
Your son & bro.
Mike.

M H Main
Bat. F130 F. A.
A.E.F.
Excuse haste and blurs.

(1) Preliminary research indicates this was Nancy Main, a younger sister of Milo’s father William. Nancy Main was born in 1869 and lived her entire life in Pike County, Illinois. The 1910 census lists her in the same household as Milo’s younger sister Fern. Milo previously mentioned his Aunt Nan in his letter of October 24th.

 

Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant

“We Will Be Ready for You Christmas Eve”: A Letter to Santa

December 18th, 2018

Spencer’s collections contain a wealth of books, documents, and photographs by, to, about, and for children. One of my favorite items is an adorable – and somewhat lengthy – letter to Santa written by a young girl named Berenice Boyd. Born in February 1903, Berenice lived most of her life in Paola, Kansas – located in the east-central part of the state.

The letter and other items from Berenice’s collection are currently on display as part of Spencer’s “50 for 50” exhibit, which will be installed in the Library’s Exhibit Space through early January.

Photograph of Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Photograph of Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Photograph of the envelope to Berenice Boyd's letter to Santa Claus, undated

Berenice Boyd’s letter to Santa Claus with its envelope, undated [circa 1910].
The letter is transcribed below. Call Number: RH MS 1366. Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of Berenice Boyd, undated

A studio photograph of Berenice Boyd, undated [circa 1910].
Call Number: RH MS 1366. Click image to enlarge.

Dear Santa Claus.

I have had a good time all summer, and wish to have a good time all winter. I have not wrote to you for a long time. That is all I have time for now.

I will begin.

Please bring me a high grade violin.
A doll as big as Edna Emery. (1)
And a large baby [bump?].
Please bring me a doll cradle.
I please want a kodak [possibly a Brownie camera].
I would like a Christmas tree If there is a enough –
I would like a white fur and muff For my doll.
And a muff and fur for my self.
And I will hang my stocking up.
I speck [expect] to see you to the church.
we will have a fine time on Christmas.
And will put my Christmas tree out for you.

I speck [expect] all your boys and girls Have all been good.
And get the presents to.

I saw in Kansas City two weeks ago that they had a Tea party and each little girl Must bring her doll.
We will be ready for you Christmas eve.

I want a postal card from you and as soon as I get Yours I will send one to you.

I will have to clouse [close] now.

Go by [good bye]. I wish you a merry Christmas.
Go night [good night].

I please want to kittys [two kitties].
And a dog.
I please want a pony.

Merry Christmas.
Berenice Boyd

(1) Preliminary research suggests that Edna Emery was a couple of years younger than Berenice and that the two girls were childhood friends.

Caitlin Donnelly
Head of Public Services

World War I Letters of Milo H. Main: December 3-9, 1918

December 3rd, 2018

In honor of the centennial of World War I, this is the second series in which we follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-five year old Milo H. Main, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. On Mondays we’ll post a new entry featuring selected letters from Milo to his family from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Milo Hugh Main was born in or near Pittsfield, Illinois, on November 21, 1892 to William and Rose Ella Henry Main. The family moved to Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, in 1901. After his mother died in 1906, Milo remained in Argonia with his father and his two sisters Gladys (b. 1890) and June (b. 1899). His youngest sister Fern (b. 1905) was sent to live with relatives in Illinois.

As Milo reported to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1919, after graduating from high school he worked as a store clerk. He resigned in July 1917 and took a position at Standard Oil Company, possibly co-managing a gas station in Argonia.

Milo entered into military service on September 21, 1917. He served as a wagoner – a person who drives a wagon or transports goods by wagon – in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Funston (September-October 1917) and Camp Doniphan (October 1917-May 1918). On May 19, 1918, he boarded the ship Ceramic in New York City and departed for Europe.

 

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, December 8, 1918

Dec 8th, 1918

“In Paris.”

Dear Father & Sisters:-

Just a line to let you know that I am in Paris to-nite and feeling fine. Some town.

Yours truly,

Milo H. Main

Bat 7 130 FA
A.E.F.

 

Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant

World War I Letters of Milo H. Main: October 29-November 4, 1918

October 29th, 2018

In honor of the centennial of World War I, this is the second series in which we follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-five year old Milo H. Main, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. On Mondays we’ll post a new entry featuring selected letters from Milo to his family from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Milo Hugh Main was born in or near Pittsfield, Illinois, on November 21, 1892 to William and Rose Ella Henry Main. The family moved to Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, in 1901. After his mother died in 1906, Milo remained in Argonia with his father and his two sisters Gladys (b. 1890) and June (b. 1899). His youngest sister Fern (b. 1905) was sent to live with relatives in Illinois.

As Milo reported to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1919, after graduating from high school he worked as a store clerk. He resigned in July 1917 and took a position at Standard Oil Company, possibly co-managing a gas station in Argonia.

Milo entered into military service on September 21, 1917. He served as a wagoner – a person who drives a wagon or transports goods by wagon – in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Funston (September-October 1917) and Camp Doniphan (October 1917-May 1918). On May 19, 1918, he boarded the ship Ceramic in New York City and departed for Europe.

“This is Halloween night in the U.S.A.,” writes Milo in this week’s letter. He also describes some souvenirs he is sending to his family: covers or tops from bottles of French wine, a “pipe or cigar lighter made from the brass casing of a big shell,” and a “lighter…made of two round buckle ornaments from belts of German prisoners.”

 

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 31, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 31, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 31, 1918

8:P.M. 10/31 1918

“On Some Front in France.”

Dear Father and Sisters:- Am just recovering from the effects of a hot bath and new outfit of clothing. Am smoking a pipe of “Prince Albert” to help me regain my strength.

I wrote you two nites ago, but the evenings are long and am doing really to much bunk-fatigue.

Am enclosing that “cognac” cover which I forgot in my last letter, also one of the red and one of the white wines. I am serving at present. The red top represents a high class red white called “Margaux” and the yellow a 1914 white wine known as “Chablis.”

The wine harvest was good this season, but the “Frogs” [French] are experiencing a great shortage in wine casks and vats to care for it properly. The wine belt is principally in southern part of France. The making of wine is considered a profession of skill and experience.

Yesterday afternoon three “comrads” and I walked over to F. Bat. to see if I had received any mail recently. Was informed that none had been sent up to their advanced position yet.

On our little hike along the Front I was halted by two “Frog Soldats,” [French soldiers] whom sold me two souvenirs. One being a pipe or cigar lighter made from the brass casing of a big shell, it looks much like a small leather bound bible, and was engraved “Verdun.” The other was a lighter, and is made of two round buckle ornaments from belts of German prisoners. The wording on it is “Gott Mitt Uns.” Will mail them to you at the earliest time possible.

This is Halloween night in the U.S.A. and I for one, am quite sure the Yanks will start things rolling over No-mans-land here before morning like we did back home or even worse than on Sept. 26th at “Argonne Forest.”

We are anxiously awaiting Mr. Wilson’s reply to Austria-Hungary’s note.

Did you ever receive the check on J.W. Hall I sent home or the kodak pictures from St. Sylvain? Did I write you about the big R.R. 14in. guns near us? One is named “Reinne Elizabeth” and other “Joan of Arch.” Well, they were firing this noon. So great was the concussion in our kitchen that it jarred some of our canned goods from the shelves.

Well, as nothing much of interest has taken place in the past two days, I remain

Your son and brother,
Milo H. Main

Bat F. 130 F.A.
American Ex. Forces
% Regtl. Hdq. [Regimental Headquarters]

P.S. Am feeling fine to-nite (after bath). Tell Charlie Ford I take mine semi-weekly now instead of semi-annually as he and I did prior to the “World War.”

 

Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant

World War I Letters of Milo H. Main: October 22-28, 1918

October 22nd, 2018

In honor of the centennial of World War I, this is the second series in which we follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-five year old Milo H. Main, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. On Mondays we’ll post a new entry featuring selected letters from Milo to his family from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Milo Hugh Main was born in or near Pittsfield, Illinois, on November 21, 1892 to William and Rose Ella Henry Main. The family moved to Argonia, Sumner County, Kansas, in 1901. After his mother died in 1906, Milo remained in Argonia with his father and his two sisters Gladys (b. 1890) and June (b. 1899). His youngest sister Fern (b. 1905) was sent to live with relatives in Illinois.

As Milo reported to the Kansas State Historical Society in 1919, after graduating from high school he worked as a store clerk. He resigned in July 1917 and took a position at Standard Oil Company, possibly co-managing a gas station in Argonia.

Milo entered into military service on September 21, 1917. He served as a wagoner – a person who drives a wagon or transports goods by wagon – in Battery F, 130th Field Artillery. He was stationed at Camp Funston (September-October 1917) and Camp Doniphan (October 1917-May 1918). On May 19, 1918, he boarded the ship Ceramic in New York City and departed for Europe.

In this week’s letters, Milo speculates about the potential end of the war. Despite being on the front, Milo also tells his family “[I] am also satisfied with my present position. For my duties are few, boo-coo of good eats, and cozy little hut to sleep in, as well as, a big fire-place and plush settee to read and write by.”

 

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 24, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 24, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 24, 1918

Image of Milo H. Main's letter to his family, October 24, 1918

Oct. 24th 1918
“On Some Front in France.”

Dear Father and Sisters:-

This is one very dark nite and more especially when you take a little stroll after 8: P.M. thru this Forest.

For two days it has not rained but, is sprinkling lightly now. The past two day have been like Indian Summer.

I have not seen any of the home boys for a week now – as they are back in the rear for rest but, can say for my self that I am feeling fine and in want of nothing. Believe me U. Sam gives the boys at the Front the first choice of every thing that is issued. In the line of tobaccos we get Bull Durham, Star, and Boot-Jack; and in clothing the best of wool in underwear, sox, shirts and gloves.

We now have a second-cook in the O.M. kitchen from K.C., a former Armour Packing Co. salesman. He undoubtedly is related to Will Segebartt (1) for actions and resemblance you would think him a brother to old “Bill.” And for a lively time we sure have been having it, to-day I have laughed so much I fairly ache. The other two of our force are fine fellows, one a drug clerk from Topeka and, the other a dry goods salesman from Texas. Quite a combination for an O.M. crew but are serving the good eats and having a pleasant time with it. Our old chef from K.C. transferred to our Regtl. Band [Regimental Band] a short time ago.

The day has passed without much activity on this section of the Verdun Front and only a few big cannon can be heard to-nite in the far distance.

The Kaiser and Prince Max of Baden don’t create much excitement with their peace dope [inside information] among the A.E.F. But beyond the chance of a doubt it will be “Over” by Christmas if the A.E.F dope don’t fall short.

I wrote J.W.A. (2) a few lines last nite, must ans. Aunt Nan’s (3) letter sometime. She says she has never received a letter nor post-card from a cross the “Pond” yet.

Tell A.A. Cone (4) that I would like to attend Lodge some Monday eve. I have many Masonic friends with the A.E.F. all the way from the 3rd° to the 32°!

Are you keeping my Woodmen dues paid up promptly? A.A. will see that I don’t go suspended but don’t impose upon his good nature. Am not thinking of “Going West” for I hold a “Return Ticket” for one able-bodied “Yank” to the U.S.A.

Hoping all are well and enjoying the many comforts of home, I remain

Your son and brother
“Old Mike.”
Milo H. Main.
Bat. F. 130 F.A.
American E.F.
% Regt. Hdq.

(1) According to his World War I draft registration card, William Jess Segebartt was born in Argonia on December 31, 1891. In 1917 he was working as a farmer in Sumner County.

(2) Probably J. W. Achelpohl, a storeowner in Argonia who was Milo’s former employer when he worked as a clerk. He has been mentioned in some of Milo’s previous letters.

(3) Preliminary research indicates this was Nancy Main, a younger sister of Milo’s father William. Nancy Main was born in 1869 and lived her entire life in Pike County, Illinois. The 1910 census lists her in the same household as Milo’s younger sister Fern.

(4) Possibly Ashley A. Cone. Cone was born in Ohio in 1870, although his family relocated to Sumner County by the time he was ten years old. Cone worked as a mail carrier.

 

Mon. P.M. 10/28 1918
“On Some Front in France.”

Dear Father and Sisters:- I put out my “Sunny Monday” washing of 18 pieces this morning and have the afternoon and evening to write. I lost my set of sad [heavy] irons after we came down from the Alsace Front, will purchase a French iron when I go to the city again.

Wrote Aunt Nan and Miss Jo’ this week. Sorry to think I am so lazy about writting.

On this paticular sector of the Verdun Front it has been exceptionly quiet up to an hour ago. At that time “Jerry” [Germans] sent over some “iron rations” to our Battery- positions. “Believe Old Mike” he will regret it before the sun rises again.

Am certainly well pleased with our present O.M. position and accommodations, but the way the Yanks are advancing on our right and left we will be obliged to move up before many moons.

Am also satisfied with my present position. For my duties are few, boo-coo of good eats, and cozy little hut to sleep in, as well as, a big fire-place and plush settee to read and write by.

On the 25th inst. I was called into Regtl. Hdq. [Regimental Headquarters] and presented with the first “Overseas” furlough to be given in the 130 F.A. I refused to sign it at that time, thinking possibly there might be a big show staged for “Jerry” by the Yanks. Understand, that I have again been recommended for furlough soon. Possibly I will go this time for it is a break of 10 days with board, room, and transportation charges paid to a famous French resort where the many American Tourists spent their summers prior to 1914. No kidding, there are a bunch of officers here that sure are loyal to me, in fact, they treat me more like a son, rather than a solider.

I came up here on the 10/17 and have not seen any of the Argonia Bunch since. Am at liberty to go back to rear achelon where they are stationed but like it so well here I have never gone down for any thing. Always send by the P.O.’s chauffer for any little thing I need. He also carries my mail both ways.

Well- I guess I am a big expense to Uncle Sam and some of his officers. You should have seen my breakfast this morning. Angel-food (white bread) toast, creamery butter, Jap rice with “Monarch” brand preserved strawberries and pure cream, crisp and brown bacon, and good black coffee. In fact I’m a mean feeder at all times. We now have enough canned goods, fresh vegetables and fresh, frozen U.S. beef on hand to start a B.D. Shore store.

Feeling like a fighting man, I remain

Your son and brother
“Mike.”

Milo H. Main.
Bat F. 130 F.A.
American E.F.
% Regt. Hdq.

 

Tues. 8: P.M. 10/29 1918

As I failed to mail my letter this morning I will add a bit more to it.

Received the word at our Radio Station late last night that Austria-Hungary is crying to accept Pres. Wilson’s peace terms. Also rumored this evening that “Kaiser Bill” and his gang are thinking seriously of quitting their post. U.S. now means more than United States, “Unconditional Surrender.”

A Masonic friend with our Red Cross detachment and I walked down to our “rear achelon,” which has moved up with in 7 kilometers of us. My mission was to get more new clothing as you might know. Sure have some fine light weight woolen underwear, had drawn some extra heavy wear, but the weather here now is far warmer than in southern Kans. at this time. While down below, I met Warlow (1) and Aurthur Knox (2), all the boys are quite well and are located in a beautiful little camp. Was informed that my mail had been sent to Bat 7’s Hdq. at the Front. It will be forwarded here in the morning most likely.

Our Regtl. Commander sent his touring car to Nancy (a young Paris) this morning for eats and drinks. The car arrived a few minutes ago. It was ladden with any thing from wine to a fatted live goose. Also a basket of eggs, they are valued at more than a $1.00 per dozen now. The R.C. [Regimental Commander] stated at dinner to-nite that, we were feeding to much. Think he is right for some of Bat. F. Boys whom had not seen me for two weeks said I was getting fatter, so fat that I resembled a fattened porker, at that they envied me of my eats. My motto has never changed, Eat, drink, and be merry to-day, for to-morrow Jerry may have your number on one of his shells.

I am subscribing for the “Stars and Stripes,” and “Overseas” weekly paper edited by the Yanks for the Yanks which I will have sent to you. Every solider of this, the 35th division, has pledged to give at least 1 franc (about 20¢), to be distributed among the “poor” of France, as his Christmas celebration.

One sight on my way back to the Front this evening was a Yank lying in the breech of a huge gun polishing the rifles there in. Her name is “Reinne Elizabeth” and her sister gun is named “Joan of Arch.” They were firing at noon. The concussion was so great that you could see the side of our kitchen wall push in from the pressure.

Am enclosing the metal top from a cognac bottle. It is a French liquor used very much. So strong that it will eat the varnish off of the table. cannot say as to the effect on ones stomach, but has a powerful winding ability on ones head. Can truthfully say, I am drinking only beer and champagne.

I close to-nite feeling fine after my little hike this afternoon. Thinking such a walk would do me good daily.

Yours truly, Good Nite

Mike

(1) Alvin Lee Warlow, who Milo has mentioned previously. Biographical information about him can be found with Milo’s letter of October 9th.

(2) Milo has mentioned Arthur Knox previously. Biographical information about him can be found in Milo’s letter of July 7th.

 

Meredith Huff
Public Services

Emma Piazza
Public Services Student Assistant