World War I
Soldier's Letters Home
Orange County Women
Women In Red Cross Work

Courtesy of Allen Taylin

French Lick Springs Valley Herald

Aug 22, 1918 Page 3
We enclose a letter that Mrs. Cora Owen received from her brother in law Henry Owen, who is in the
Rainbow Division in France.
Somewhere in France, July 21, 1918.
Dear sister Cora; How are you? I am feeling fine this morning and still have fight in me. I am a little tired
yet, we took part in the big battle that took place on and around July 15th, and it sure was some battle, we
kept the air full of shells all the time and blew the Huns to pieces. Tell Eldo I am after the Kaiser and have
almost got him. I have not written for some time and the reason was because we were engaged in the
biggest battle ever known only it didn’t last as long as some of them, but you couldn’t hear anything but
the roar of the guns, what time it did last, and we kept a solid curtain of shells in the air all of the time, and
we have got them headed toward Berlin and hope to keep them going until they are wiped off the map.
Well how is everybody at home now? I suppose they are busy harvesting. I got a letter from Clara a few
days ago but haven’t had the time to answer it yet. I am so far behind with my letters, I don’t know if I ever
will get caught up or not. How are Carl and Eldo? Tell them the Boche even wakes up at night to pick a
fight out of us. Ha! Ha! And sometimes the airplanes sail around over us and drops a few eggs once in
awhile, but they haven’t dropped any on us yet, but a fellow can’t sleep very sound when they are lighting
close. There was a German plane [that] fell in throwing distance of me a few days ago but they wouldn’t let
me go up to it. Well Cora I guess I have told you about all there is to tell, I am sending you a little piece of
cloth cut out of a German airplane wing that happened to fall close to me and was brought down by an
You brother, Henry Owen. Bat. C. 150 F. A. A. P. O. 715 American E. F. Via N. Y.
Notes: The battle he is talking about is probably the Champagne-Marne Offensive July 15-18. It was part of
a larger “battle” known as the Second Battle of the Marne.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Aug 29, 1918 Page 2
Left for Camp Dodge.
The following is the list of the names of the colored boys from this place who left Friday morning for Camp
Dodge, Iowa: Charles Barrett, Turner Long, Albert Scruggs, Ira Grant, Eugene Drye, Thomas Crume,
Woodson Miller, John Spaulding, Rufus Tobin, Rizzie Arnold, Charles Miller, Finley Gaines, Charles. B.
Clay, George Talbott, John Smith, Emmet Hatch, Leslie Thomas, Maunsel King, Earl Barr, Elbert Show,
Lucian Ramseur, James McCree, Chester Wright, Willie Warden, James Viney, and Willie Simms.
The boys were given a royal send off by the towns of French Lick and West Baden, as this was the first
large contingent of colored boys from the valley to go to camp. A nice program was given at the colored K.
P. Hall Wednesday evening with a parade of the two towns led by a drum corps. A flashlight picture of the
boys was made in the Atrium of the West Baden Springs Hotel. They are all fine physical specimens of
manhood and above the ordinary intelligence and education and will make the best of soldiers. They will
do their part in crushing the Huns. Here’s hoping they will have the best luck possible and be able to
return covered with glory with the other boys from the valley when this cruel war is over.
Notes: Most if not all these men were in the 809th Pioneer regiment (colored). From what I found they were
in the supply company and many of them held ranks above private.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Jun 20, 1918 Page 1
Letter From Claude Gass.
Worgret Camp, Wareham. Dorset England. To: The Home Service Club, French Lick Ind. U. S. A.
Dear friends:
I have just received notice of your dedication of a large service flag and wish to express my appreciation
for the same. I know that it is prized very highly by you and shows that you are trying to relieve the
monotony of the lives of the boys away from home. You are doing a great work for the fellows and I can
assure you your endeavors are appreciated by each and every one of us. We are scattered about the
United States, England and France and our thoughts are of home and our friends there and it is comforting
indeed to know that they are standing back of us and hoping for our safe return. Of course there will be
some of us who never shall return but the chances are not so great as one might think. We are all into it
heart and soul and each man is willing to do hit bit whatever that happens to be. No one wants peace to
come any sooner than I do but as long as there is a war it is my duty to home and country to be doing my
share. I have never regretted being in the army and never shall. If reports are correct, my star was larger
than most of the other fellows. That should not be! The fact that I am an officer should have nothing to do
with it, for we are all one after all. We have the same purpose and one is just as loyal as another and that is
what counts. It is my wish that my star be removed and made exactly the same size as the others. We are
all “home boys” no matter what our rank in the army may be and through fairness to the fellows I ask that
this change be made. I shall be in France soon I hope and no doubt will meet some of the boys over
there. I hope that you are keeping in touch with each one over there because there is nothing better for a
man than a little news from home. I wish to say again that your work is greatly appreciated by us all and
trust that my request will be granted.
Very sincerely yours,

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Aug 29, 1918 Page 1

I snipped this letter down quite a lot, it was a longer one and some of it was unreadable because of the
condition of the paper / scan. I was going to skip over it because it was a very generic letter “How are you,
how are things going, I’m doing fine” etc etc etc. However one line struck me and I decided to put it down.
From Ernest Bobbitt. July 11, 1918.
About halfway through the letter:
“I was about half afraid I would hear about Ermal having to enlist and dreaded to hear about it. I would
not mind it at all if I knew he would get to stay in the U. S. because I know he would like it, because it
would just suit his disposition, but one son is enough in France .”
Pvt Ernest Bobbitt.
Company A. 111th Infantry. A. E. F.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Jun 27, 1918 Page 1

Clifford Groomer
Sinks a Submarine - Former Orange County Boy has Thrilling Experience.
Somewhere on the water, May 27, 1918.
Dear mother:
Just a line to say hello, and to try and tell what I have been doing. We are doing convoy duty and that
consists of a number of main warships escorting merchant ships from one post to another, and mother
mind it sure is an exciting job, have had a run in with one of Fritz’s U Boats a couple of times already and
take it for granted he got a warm reception from the gang on here, the first was May 11th early in the
morning we were steaming along fine and just at the break of day a german submarine fired a Torpedo at a
big merchant ship and hit her in the bow, all of her crew got away safe, she sank slowly bow down and all
of a sudden she stood straight up and went down just like a shot. We never did see the sub but of course
we hunted a long time for her, but as soon as he fired his Torpedo he submerged probably 100ft. and of
course might have got away. We got into port without losing any men. On May 17th in the afternoon we
were with a big convoy and the ocean was as smooth as a window pane when all of a sudden up popped a
german sub and stuck a Torpedo into a big merchant ship, a big explosion followed but she did not go
down, we were steaming by this time at full speed looking for the submarine when he torpedoed another
one, she broke into three pieces and sank in three minutes. By that time we were pretty sore two ships
gone and we could not see any sub no periscope or nothing, about that time we saw Fritz cross our bow,
and we certainly did get him, in a few minutes another ship was torpedoed and we knew that we were
being attacked by two or more, we hunted two hours but could not find any more out of that convoy. We
lost three ships Torpedoed and two unaccounted for. But anyway Germany is minus one more U Boat. We
read lots about a German sub being towed into port and where they were towed from is in the vicinity of
the battle, all hand are proud of having got one of Fritz’s U Boats, we want more. The old boy may stick a
two fish in us but if he does he had better put it in the right place for if he misses he had better submerge
and not try it again. Mother don’t worry about me for we are too slick for Fritzy and if he does get us, well
it’s finished, so always think of me as the boy who left you March the 9th 19?? Give all my love to father
and sisters tell them “Dutch” will be home early next year and bring Lucille with him.
Your loving son, CLIFFORD GROOMER
Notes: It’s likely that the cargo ships on May 17th are the “Elswick Grange” (damaged) and “Mavisbrook”
(sunk), British ships. The U Boat in question is UB 50. Location south of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea.
UB 50 did not sink and apparently wasn’t damaged, as she sunk another ship two days later.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Sep 19, 1918 Page 3
A letter from Thomas Gillum. Somewhere in France, Aug 9, 1918.

Dear wife:
Will answer your most kind and welcome letter received the other day, was glad to hear you was well.
This leaves me all O. K. and feeling fine and have been to Paris, it is sure some nice place. Went to
Versailles which is another fine city. This is where the French kings once lived. How are all the people at
home by this time? I guess it is sure hot there now. We haven’t had much hot weather here. The nights are
always [Unreadable lines] - right and enjoying yourself. I guess you saw in the papers what the yankee
boys are doing, that took place on the 18th of July. We sure put the Huns on the run. I went over the top
three times but didn’t get a scratch. We took some prisoners and had some machine gun nests to go
through. Of course we lost some of our comrades but mostly wounded or gassed. We went so fast that out
“chow” wagon was two days catching up with us. I have met several of the Red Cross women in different
towns. They are sure doing their bit for the boys over here. We can get plenty of tobacco over here now,
sometimes it is a little hard to get at the front. O, yes, I got a pound box of stick candy the other day but it
didn’t last long. It sure tasted good. I think I think I could have eaten two boxes ha! Ha! Some candy eater.
I lost everything I had in the drive. Lost both of my razors and some souvenirs. I have to borrow a razor or
go to a “ Coiffeur,” that means a barbershop in French. I guess there are not many of the boys left in
French Lick by this time. Haven’t met with any of the home boys yet, but have met some near there. We
can get plenty of [Unreadable lines] - send some more later. Well must close for this time. Tell the folks
all hello for me. With best wishes and hoping to hear from you soon and meet you all again, Goodbye.
Thos. Gillum. Co. K. 103 Inf.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Nov 7, 1918 Page 4
From Henry Messer. Co. D. 51 Inf., A. P. O. 777, A. E. F.

Miss Rosa Roby. French Lick, Ind.
Dear cousin;
I now take the time and pleasure to write you a few lines to let you know I am well and enjoying life. We
are driving the Germans back every day, we are driving them back so fast that the cook can’t hardly keep
up with us. I will be home for Christmas dinner if I am alive, prospects look good. I have seen some
beautiful sceneries here in France. This trip will be a lot to me if I can make it back alive and I feel as
though I am coming back safe. What I saw of England it is more of a level country than France.
Well Rosa I am somewhere in France chasing the Germans. I will close hoping an early reply. With love to
all, hoping to see French Lick soon. I remain your cousin, Henry C. Messer.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 19, 1918 Page 3
From Homer Seneff. 15 Canadian Gen. Hosp., Taplow England, Nov. 26, 1918.

Dear Mother and Father;
Well I will write you a few lines this morning to let you know I am still among the living, my knee is well
as it was only a flesh wound and my ankle is getting along fine I think but I won’t be able to walk for a good
while yet. You know I never was used to being laid up and it goes against the grain. I hope you are all well.
If I could only hear how you and Bertha are getting along I would be alright, but I never get any news from
the states here in this hospital, although it is a fine place otherwise. Well, it is only a month till Xmas and
I certainly would have liked to have spent it at home but that is impossible. I hope you all enjoy a Merry
Xmas and Happy New Year and perhaps I will be home for Easter Sunday, there are a good many leaving
here but I haven’t the least idea when I will leave. The Red Cross lady said she would bring me some
American papers today and I hope she don’t forget it. She is taking all the boys (the Americans) that can
walk to London Thursday for a Thanksgiving dinner but as I have to use crutches I can’t go and I hate it
awful bad for that may be the only chance I will have to see the place. We are twenty-two miles from
London. Well, I hope this reaches you and fins you all well. Tell my wife I hope to be at home with her
before many months. Bye, bye, love to all. Tell the folks hello for me.
Mechanic, Co. K, 362nd Infantry.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 26, 1918 Page 2
From Morlene S. Ham. France, Nov. 23, 1918.

Dear mother:
I am in the Base Hospital 76 at “Vichy” France with a large gas burn on my knee, I have been here since
the 29th of Sept., am feeling pretty good now. I am going to tell you some of my experience over here,
can’t tell you much for if I do I won’t have anything to tell you when I get home. Well here I go: “over the
top” four times, in the hospital once, been in Paris once, on seven different fronts, we landed in St.
Nazzare from there farther south in Bar-C-Duc, you can find them on the map, from there to a little town
not very far from St. Mihiel, from there to the Somme Front at Cantigny where my outfit the 28th Inf, 1st
Division pulled the first over the top for the American Forces, from there to Soisson for the 2nd “over the
top”, from there to “Toul” and the 2nd at St. Mihiel and from there to Verdun where I got my gas burn. My
outfit is pretty well shot up by now. I will have “boKoo” stripes when I get home. 3 service, 1 wound, 5
service badges, 2nd battle of the Marne, St. Mihiel, Verdun, Mex. Border and 1 shoulder cord. Well, I will
quit for this time, answer soon. Your loving son.
Morlene S. Ham.
P.S. Tell the girls I am coming home before long ha! Ha!
Note: Company K 28th Infantry 1st Division.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 26, 1918 Page 1
From Claude Gass.
Somewhere in France, Nov. 18, 1918. Mr. W. C. Gruber, French Lick, Ind.,

Dear friend:
Now that the war is over I think that it won’t do any harm to write you a letter, I am sure that you people
back in French Lick are always glad to hear from someone “over here” and that you are not particular who
that “someone” is-if you were this letter would never have been written. I feel to be quite a veteran in this
game of war now and I can look any man squarely in the eye and tell him that I have done my bit. My
battalion has been given credit for establishing a record for continuous service in the line in the Tank
service, and mentioned in orders as “rendering service of the very highest order.” We take lots of pride in
our battalion and its record-we are considered second to none. To be counted as constantly in the line we
had to be within forty eight hours of “zero hour” at all times, which was not at all easy to do because it
meant keeping the monster tanks always fit for action, keeping the crew in shape and being near enough
to the enemy to strike when called for. This was hard to do because of the rapid retreat of the Boche and
the slow speed of the tanks. However, when an armistice was declared we were easily within twenty-four
hours of “zero hour.” I took part in three of our four major actions, being kept out of the last, because of
having been slightly gassed in the third battle ad am the only officer in my company to be in that many
“stunts.” I feel perfectly satisfied that I did my bit and best, and the experiences I had are entirely worth the
risk taken. I have followed the Hun a little in his retreat or evacuation of Belgium and never was so
surprised in my life when I saw the condition of things. He certainly had us fooled. We never realized how
bad a condition his army was, nor how badly we had him beaten. He put on so bold a front as to even fire
his last few rounds of ammunition before giving in. Had the war lasted only three days longer the German
army would no doubt have collapsed. I happened to be in a certain Belgian town when the troops came
out of the line and were being reviewed by the King of Belgium, the Prince of Wales, General Haig and a
hundred other notables. This was a gala day and a gay occasion, and it shall never be forgotten. Our
trucks cross the line every day and carry back thousands of refugees. Some of the most pitiful sights I
ever saw are those people returning to their homes and is now a mass of ruins. I have thanks my lucky
stars millions of times that this war never got into our own country. You people can never realize, nor
hardly imagine the destruction wrought over here. I am now pretty comfortably fixed - the first time for
many weeks. I am gradually getting accustomed to sleeping on a real bed and looking at nice wallpaper
instead of the cold, bare walls of a dug-out. My “home” is now in an old French Chateau and we have
everything that we could wish for. In the evening we have music on a real piano while we sit around in big
leather chairs with our feet cocked up on a mahogany table. We have the finest of china and silver in our
dining room and we roll into beds with real springs and white sheets at night. It certainly was a lovely war.
However, there is something lacking - we all know what it is, and are patiently waiting for uncle Sam to call
for us. Our stories are old to us now but they will be new to you, so when we get back - look out.
Wishing you the best of luck and success.
Lieut. Claude E. Gass. 301st Hy. Pm., U. S. Tank Corps, B. E. F. France

Note: 65th Engineers would be designated the 1st Tank Battalion, later designated the 41st, and ultimately
the 301st and attached to the British 4th Tank Brigade. Battles of the 301st were: Battle of St. Quentin
Canal Sep 29th, Capture of Brancourt Oct 8th, Battle of the Selle Oct 18th, and a night attack in the vicinity
of the Sambre Canal October 22-23rd.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 26, 1918 Page 2
From Andrew P. Stratman. Dec. 9, 1918
Mrs. M. J. Garrison, Dear friend:
Undoubtfully you will be wondering who this is writing to you as I have never seen you nor do I think
that you have seen me, although I worked at Jasper the last two years before I enlisted in the army, and I
have been at French Lick quite a bit. I am writing you this letter at the request of your daughter who is
with the Unit “I” Base Hospital 204. I spent almost six months at that hospital, I was there when Unit “I”
took charge of the hospital and your daughter was the first American nurse to dress my wound, you can’t
imagine how glad I was to be in the care of the American doctors and nurses, before I was in care of the
English. I must say that I got good treatment and care from them, but they never had enough nurses for
the amount of patients that were in the hospital and their eats were very poor, in fact the eats were very
poor until your daughter took charge of the kitchen and dining room, she sure done a great thing to get us
on the American rations, she told me how she worked it, and from that I know that it was nobody but her
that got us on the American rations as early as possible. Base 204 is a real hospital, it sure has a good
reputation, the doctors in charge are about the best there is and the nurses are right on the spot, it seems
as if they think they can’t do too much for the boys. I will close now hoping that this will find you O. K.
and if there is anything you would like to know write to the address below, hoping that that this will find
you in as good spirit and health as your daughter was when I left.
I am a friend, Andrew P. Stratman. Mt. Vernon Indiana.

Note: Nurse in question is Martha Garrison 1877-1962. Daughter of Malinda J and Woodford Garrison.
She was in Hospital Unit I (i) and spent a full year overseas. Left for France March 22nd 1918 and returned
May 5th 1919.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 26, 1918 Page 4
From Merle N Phillips. U. S. S. Florida, Portland England. Dec. 3, 1918.

Dear mother and sister;
As I have nothing to do tonight I will drop you a few lines. I am all O.K. and expect to be home soon. We
are going to meet President Wilson over here Dec. 9th then we are coming home, you don’t know how
good that sounds to me. I use to think there were better places than home but now I know. (hole in the
paper/scan for the next sentence I have inserted what makes the most sense.) Mother the German Fleet,
her navy I mean, has surrendered to us. We went out to sea and met them and took down their flags from
their ships, it was a great thing to see all of those great floating forts of death and destruction
surrendering to us without a shot. We are all so happy that we cannot hardly believe it. How are you and
sister getting along? I will come just as quick as we reach the U. S. A. and they let me. Well, I guess that
is all for this time. I am longing to see you dear mother and sister, you don’t know how much.
Well, Goodbye and answer soon. Your loving son and brother

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Dec 26, 1918 Page 3
From James Edward Cassidy. 317 Engineers A. P O. 766 Mobile, American Exped. Forces. Nov. 25, 1918.

Dear mother:
I went over to the post office Saturday morning and came back yesterday afternoon. I think I have
mentioned going some little distance for mail, but going to the post office this time was quite a little job - a
distance of 110 miles. If you went to Indianapolis for your mail you would have made about the same trip I
made However I was amply repaid for my trip as I got a good bit of personal mail as well as two bags of
letters for the regiment. The letters I am writing tonight will not go to “our” post office but to the 1st army
P. O. This is quite close, being only sixty miles away. Had a letter from Andy in the same mail with yours,
and several from different persons. Wish I could will you some of our rain which you say you need, as we
have had nothing but rain since Sept. 26. I note you say hadn’t had any letters from me for three weeks.
There seems to have been some delay in mails about the first week of October and the last week of
September when this big battle started and the trains were too busy carting men and ammunition to haul
out the mail. I sent you a Boche steel helmet a couple of days ago and guess it will turn up all right. It
came from Bois De Loges where some of our hardest fighting occurred in October and the first two days
of November. The Boche that once used it went out via the mustard gas route. You could take your choice
of helmets - some went “out” with bullets and some with gas, others took the bayonet route. Most of the
helmets that had bullet holes in them usually were very “messy” inside as they generally had a head in
them when the bullet went through. When our gas began to come in, the Boche would knock their steel
helmets off to put on gas mask, but our gas was made for the express purpose of ruining their gas mask
and then killing its wearer. The chap that once owned this helmet knocked it off to put on his mask, but
that didn’t save him, so the “tinderby” was no use to him any more. They got a lot of our chaps in front of
and in these woods but we got them in bunches with gas and rifle bullets. For a little over three months
my regiment was in the front lines without a rest, and never for a minute night or day was the sound of
artillery fire, shells or rifle fire and the drone of aeroplanes out of your ears. The silence now is appalling. I
keep feeling that there is something missing - that something is not right. You see in three months I had
gotten so that the sounds of war seemed to be the natural order of things and now I have to get use to
things being quiet again. On my trip to our post office which is at Belleville just north of Nancy, I passed
through fifty or more towns including some places such as Verdun, St. Mihiel and Pont a Mousson, there
wasn’t a town you could have bought anything in - they were all dead towns either destroyed by shell, fire
or damaged and evacuated by the people. Verdun has been evacuated and all property moved out for four
years. It is not wrecked as badly as I had expected but it is bad enough. Whole blocks have been
destroyed by the Boche fire. When he found the city could not be taken he tried to destroy it by artillery
fire. St. Mihiel and Pont a Mousson, large places were closer to the Boche lines than Verdun, but the
Boche wanted them as near intact as possible for his “New Germany” when his “victory” was complete.
When the first American army got after him, he didn’t have time to wreck them. There are plenty of towns
further back that are doing plenty of business but my trip was laid out so I could see as much of the
fighting fronts as possible. We expect a move from Grand Pre to Pont a Mousson just as soon as we can
get cars or trucks. We have been waiting for some kind of transportation now for two weeks. Our first army
of occupation is headed toward the Rhine River, and there are two other armies back, the third will be
relieved, and then this army will be relieved. Don’t know just when we will come in. We are in the 1st army
now but will be in the 2nd when we go back to the Division. The pace set by the 1st army was a little too
hot for our division but the 317th Engineers were too good for the 1st army to let us get away while there
was any fighting to be done.
We made a good record and received commendation from both the 1st Corps and the 1st army. All the
troops in the general offensive, Sept. 26 to Nov. 11 are authorized to wear black letter “A” on the left
shoulder of their coats. I suppose the men now in camps in the states will be sent home as fast as they
can but even at that it will probably be slow. I don’t look for our army to get away from France for a year.
Of course some of the Divisions will but not all, as the army of occupation will probably stay after peace is
declared, which should be within four or five months. Just what division will stay and what sent home is
quite a problem and no one knows the answer for that was not figured out yet because the final wind up
came too quick. I came out with a whole skin and without any wound stripes, though that was only luck
for when you play tag with shells, gas and machine gun bullets for three months you are lucky if you don’t
get “nicked” a few times. I have been in a good many close quarters too and haven’t dodged or shirked
any duties but I have been lucky. I suppose a lot of the older men 31-45 are feeling much relief now that
hostilities are over, they can throw back their shoulders and imagine the Boche quit because he knew if he
didn’t they would get on the job and it would all be up. I am getting the Herald all right now. Had a letter
from Andrew in the same mail with yours, I always get my New York Times with more or less regularity,
generally less. Yours, J. E. Cassidy.

Notes: Called into service as Captain; Engineers; Sept 2, 1917.
Promotions: Major Dec 11, 1917; Lieutenant Colonel June 6, 1918 (Colonel but don’t have date)
Served overseas June 10, 1918 to March 6th 1919. Discharged December 31st 1920.
501st Engineers until Jan 3rd, 1918. 317th Engineers July 9th, 1918 until discharge.
The 317th was an African American Unit and attached to the 92nd Division.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Jan 16, 1919 Page 4
From Gordon Charter, Southampton England., Nov. 26, 1918.
Mrs. Mary Harbison:
Today I received a comfort bag from the Red Cross and among the various articles found was a pair of
knitted socks. These will surely come in handy now for we are [Unreadable line] nearly all the time. It gives
a soldier away from home pleasure to acknowledge these gifts and I take this time in thanking you for your
good work doing the war. May health and success be with you always.
Sincerely, Pvt. Gordon Charter. Construction Company 12, U. S. Air Service. American E. F., England.
Mrs. Harbison place a card in a pair of socks received by Gordon Charter with the following: “May God
grant you victory!” He returned the card with the following: “God has granted us victory!”
Mrs. Harbison also got another letter published by the Herald, Nov 7, 1918 page 4.
From Richard P. Pavlick. Somewhere in England, Oct. 16, 1918.
My dear Mrs Harbison; Permit me to send you my heartiest thanks and appreciation for the great comfort
which your gift to the A. R. C. has brought to me. Words lack true expression of thankfulness but with
every step taken in this cold country, you may feel comforted by the fact that you have brought warmth to
both heart and feet of the undersigned. Greatly appreciating your “labor of love” I remain,
Yours sincerely, Pvt. RICHARD P. PAVLICK, 334th Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Force.

Note: Richard P. Pavlick would attempt to assassinate John F. Kennedy in 1960.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
Jan 2, 1919 Page 1 - Jan 9, 1919 Page 4
Original letter split between Jan 2 and Jan 9 publications. I cut down the letter by quite a bit to focus on his
experiences on the front.
From Lorraine Warren. Dagonville, France, Sun., Nov. 24, 1918.
From Vigneulles we hiked a great many kilos to the Forest de Hague, in this forest we pitched our shelter
tents and were held in reserve for the St. Mihiel drive, but we were never called upon for duty as the
Americans had a very easy time with the Boche, we left the forest and hiked to a trench camp, staying
there for only one night, from this camp we hiked to billets just behind the lines where we went “over the
top,” we stayed around behind the lines waiting for the big guns to get set so as to form our barrage.
Finally the orders came through and on the night of Sept. 25 ‘18 we left our billets for the front line, on our
way up as we were marching along a road “Fritz” opened up on us with high explosive shells, also sent
over a lot of chlorine gas, all we could do was lie flat and await the results, finally “Fritz” let up on us and
we resumed our hike, most of the time we had to wear our gas mask. Well at last we reached the front
line we were due to “go over” the next morn at 5:30 a. m. At 2 a. m. the morning of the 26th our barrage
started, believe me Dad it sounded like hell had broken loose, from where we were we could see the
flashes of the big guns and no matter how far back one would look, the flash of the big guns could be
seen, it was a wonderful sight to see so many guns shooting, and when these 16 inch naval guns would go
off, believe me there was some noise, and say, maybe you think shells going over our heads didn’t whiz, it
seemed as though we could just reach up and almost touch them, they sounded that close. Well the time
soon rolled around for us to “go over,” we went over the top of our trenches and out into no mans land
hunting the Boche. We found them and dealt with them just as they deserved. We routed them out of their
dugouts with grenades, captured quite a few and charged machine gun nests, each time capturing the
gunners. It was the same thing every day. “Fritz” would shell us with his high explosives, and gee how the
machine gun bullets would sing around us. I’ll tell you Dad, your son had many narrow escapes, more than
once I was knocked half crazy by concussion, how I pulled through is a mystery, the good Lord was just
simply with me. My pack carrier had several bullet holes in it, and one time a piece of shrapnel found its
way into the seat of my pants but it did not even give me as much as a flesh wound, but it stung to beat the
deuce. I was carrying a set of signal flags on my pack and when I would be lying flat on the ground these
flags could evidently be seen by the Boche as they were just simply riddled with machine gun bullets, one
of the boys in the company called to my attention to the flags sticking up and you bet I soon got rid of
them. It’s strange though, a person knows very little fear when he is on a drive like that. The first town we
captured was Cheppy, it was a stubborn resistance that we met with, the Boche had the town lined with
machine guns, but we finally flanked them and took the town, our next objective was the town of Very, we
fought like the deuce for that town as the Boche had a string of 77’s and one other great big gun which
they would shoot point blank at us with, anyway, we ran the Hun out and captured prisoners and 5 of their
big guns. That’s the way it was all the time on the drive, every day we would advance against machine gun
and artillery fire and more than once we were compelled to put on our gas masks and advance right
through gas. There are a lot of other things connected with that battle Dad, but I won't tell you about it
until I get home.
Note: Corporal, Company I, 138th Infantry.

Paoli Republican
May 1, 1918 Page 5
Letter from Elza Mayfield, son of Jesse Mayfield, who enlisted in the infantry and has been transferred to a
machine gun company.
March 15, 1918.
Dear Home Folks:
Will now answer your letter of Jan 23 which I received today. Am glad to hear from you and to know that you
are well and getting along as well as you are. I am still as well as ever. We have had some fine springe weather
here. No snow for two months, much better than I was expecting. You surely have had some winter back
home. We are now back in civilization for a res at present.
Luck seems to be with this outfit for there has not been a man of us received a scratch. We are just as happy
in the front line as we are fifty miles behind it. For there seems to be a fascination in the screams of the
shrapnel and high explosives that stimulates the nerves and arouses a war spirit within us. I witnessed a
combat between a French and German airplane in which the (censored) was brought down a few hundred
yards in front of us. We see airplanes every day in the week if not cloudy. You wanted to know what position I
help in the M. G. Co. I am first gunner on the second gun. We do indirect firing almost altogether. Sometimes
fire over a hill two or three miles away. This may seem strange to you but it is a great success. Gun setting is
done by compass, spirit level and figures. I received a box of tobacco from Dora Hammond and was glad to
get it. Will close for this time.

Paoli Republican
Dec 4, 1918 Page 4
William A Beaty
A Letter received by Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Beaty from a nurse who took care of their son, Billy, during his
sickness and death in France.4
Limoges. France. October 28, 1918
My dear Mrs. Beaty:
You have probably been informed long before this reaches you of the death of your son on Oct. 26, but I
thought it might help a little if you heard from one of the nurses who took care of him. He was with us only two
days during that time and was never rational enough to tell us anything except his home address and your
name. I am the night nurse and I was on duty when he was admitted to our hospital. I could not help but be
interested in him. I think he talked more at night, never completed sentences, just words. He called “Mabel” so
many times but was not able to tell me who Mabel was. He also said, “My father would not want me to take this
medicine”, but always took it when I told him I was sure you would want him to. He was very quiet all the time
except when aroused for treatment. About the last thing I heard him say was, “If I could only have gotten one
more!” One more German I suppose he meant and that seems to be the spirit of all our boys. I am sorry not to
be able to tell you more about him, for of course it’s hard for us to tell much about a patient who was
conscious for only a short time. He sleeps in the little American cemetery about a mile from town, such a
quiet, peaceful little place. Any of us who are off duty always go with our boys when they are laid to rest. It’s
the very last thing we can do for them you know. I hope this little note may help some. One hardly knows
what to say but please be assured that all was done to save his life that we could do and that we did what we
could do to make him comfortable at the very last. You all have our sincerest sympathy in your loss.
Very truly yours, Margaret Hoskins, R. N, Army Nurse Corps, Base Hospital No. 18 A. E . F. A. P. O, 753

French Lick
Springs Valley Herald
Aug 8, 1918 Page 1
From Claude Gass to Dr. W. Hoggatt.
In Care American Troops, Worgret Camps, England July 8, 1918.
Dear Dr. and Lieut:
I think that it was fine of you to write me such a good letter. A letter from “home” is the most appreciated
thing that comes to a soldier. I am always glad to hear from the people back in French Lick and it makes me
feel proud to know that they are interested in me. I am still plugging away, getting all the knowledge that I
can that will help me “take care” of my share of Huns. I am anxious to get to France, where I can do a little
more good and do my best to help bring this war to a close. Perhaps I should not be too anxious but I want to
know what sort of man I am and how I will face the things that I will be called upon to do. That will be a test,
and I hope that I don’t prove a disappointment. The next hundred days will be the decisive days will be the
decisive days of the war. The whole thing depends on them. I don’t say that it will see the end of the war but it
will see the beginning of the end. There is a new German drive coming--perhaps it will be at its climax by the
time this reaches you. It is one last, desperate chance that can’t possibly succeed. The allies are superior in
many ways and general Foch hasn’t an equal. There will never be a “made in germany” peace. They must meet
President Wilson’s terms or continue to fight. I had a great time celebrating the Fourth of July in London.
The English people threw away the “old scores” and helped celebrate in a fashion and spirit that deserves
more than a mere mention. American flags flew from every public building and a great many business places
and private houses. Almost every man, woman and child wore a small flag on their clothes and they would
whisper words of salutation as we passed them on the street. I saw Westminster Abbey, Parliament, the
town of London, the national museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, strolled down the strand and piccadilly circus,
went to a ball game and to a show. You can see how busy I was kept. You probably know more about the
above places than I could tell you, but they were very interesting to see and I am glad that I had the
opportunity of visiting them. I went to the baseball game to see the King and his Royal family. I sat on the
army players bench quite near the Royal box so I got a good look at King George. The game was attended by
about 40,000 people and was a good game except it was won by the navy. It was American night at the
theatre so we had another good time. The play was American throughout with American players and they did
not mind showing it either. I stopped at Washington O I’m the American officers quarters in London and had
long chats with some old friends and schoolmates that I met there. I came back on the train in the same
compartment with four American army nurses. We had quite a time talking about the things we saw and did. It
was good to talk to some real, honest to goodness American girls again. I believe it was one of the best
Fourth of July days that I ever spent and i shall never forget it. I would have been glad to have been at home
but that was more than an impossibility. I am sure that you all had a grand and glorious time as usual. I do
not know how much longer we will be in training here but it can’t be any great length of time. I would like to tell
you about my branch of service and the things I do but I think you understand that I can’t. I like the service
fine and can’t imagine myself out of it. I haven’t any sympathy for the “slacker” and hope that there is none in
French Lick. Of course the town is dead now but some of these days there will be “great doin’s” there and
everybody will be happy. I hope that you are getting along the best in the world. Give my regards and best
wishes for your welfare and the best of good luck.
Fraternally yours,
Note: Second Lieutenant, Company B, 65th Engineers: Tank Service.

Paoli Republican
Sep 18, 1918 Page 5
Somewhere in France, Aug 17, 1918.
Clarence A. Keeth
Dear Mother and Father:
As there is some spare time for me I thought I would write you again. I wrote you about a week ago. I am all
O. K. feeling fine and enjoying the best health I ever had. I hope you are all the same. All of the boys are in
good spirits and we are sure the Germans are going to get what is coming to them soon. I feel sure I will be
back home before long for the Allies are sure putting it to them. I wish you would send me the papers as I
have never received but one since I came here. I have been trying to do some washing this afternoon. I saw
the Allies auto aircraft gun bring down a German airplane. Aero planes here are as thick as black birds in
Indiana. The crops here are looking good. I saw my first binder here yesterday. The wheat here is cut with a
sickle and threshed with a stick. The gauge in rail road here is two feet and the cars are the size you see used
in quarries. They are putting in many miles of standard gauge roads and lots of American type locomotives.
What about the tomato factory? Hope they are doing a good business. How is their Florida crop this year?
I am sure this is not the place for a blind man for I have stepped off into some monstrous shell holes after
night. I am leaving for the front. We had several slightly wounded and some gassed but all of the boys are
back with the company and are in good spirits. You can figure that when one of them puts a scratch on our
boys there are fifty of them that gets what is due them. How are the grandmothers? With the best wishes for
all I will close. I am as ever, your son,
Pvt. Clarence A. Keeth
Co. I. 120 Inf. 30th Division A. E. F.
Notes: Clarence would die from wounds received in battle around Ypres, Belgium just two weeks after he
wrote this letter on August 31st. The American Legion Post in Paoli was named after him.

Orleans Progress Examiner
Nov 21, 1918 Page 1
Somewhere in France
Stallard R. Weeks
American E. F. October 20, 1918
Dear Mother: This is Sunday morning, raining and has been all morning. We have had some very cool nights.
Have been expecting a letter from you for the past week but did not receive one. I have not heard any more
from Dwight, will write him again today. Write me what you have heard from him. Well, we are having plenty
to eat and it is a good quality. I wish all the soldiers could have as good but circumstances prevent in many
cases. I know they will bear it a “grin” for that we give them credit. We fellows back of the front do not know
what time we may be called to go, but will be ready. As you know, there has been a great deal of peace talk,
but don’t know when it will come. I sure like the way it is put to them. A complete surrender; we do not want to
leave it half done. I am sending you a slip that will entitle you to send one Christmas package. Will not feel
offended if I don’t get anything because I know there isn’t hardly anything you can send over here that we can
use. So many things would just be in the way.
8th Co., 3rd Air Service Mech.
Note: Died of disease Nov 5, 1918.

Orleans Progress Examiner
Nov 21, 1918 Page 1
Somewhere in France
October 10, 1918.
Dear Mother and All: Will drop you a line this morning, as I have nothing else to do and could not do much if I
did. I suppose you have heard before now about me being wounded. I got it in the right shoulder, but nothing
serious. Am sitting up now; will be up in a few days running around. I am getting the best of treatment and we
sure have got good doctors. Hope this will find you all enjoying good health. I’ve not been able to write very
often, haven’t had time, but will have now, so tell the people around there that I have not forsaken them but
will answer their letters in the near future. Received a letter from Stallard a few days ago. He says he is
feeling O. K. and likes France fine. Was going to see him a few days but guess I won’t go for a while now.
Well, mother, will close for this time. Don’t worry about me. Tell everybody hello, and to write me a line.
Co. G, 13th Inf., 1st Div., A. E. F.

From Dr. Frank C. Walker. Somewhere in France.
October 18, 1918.
Dear Brother Fred: Just a few lines - what do you say? The first thing I want to say is this: The sun is out
today, the first for a long time. There has been a great deal of rain. Just now a long period of fine weather
would help our cause wonderfully - it would help bring peace nearer. Well, Fred, big things are coming off
over here each and every day, as you know. It keeps one on the hum to keep up - one big evern crowds on
another. Good news comes today of the great work on the north end of the line. In fact, all along the line the
allies are marching onward to victory. Our boys near here who are fighting north and east of Verdun are doing
great work over very difficult country, but going onward. Their stories are interesting. One boy I had on on
side of my table in the operating room told of his experience while trying to flank a machine gun nest. They
were working along a piece of woods drawing near a machine gun nest when they dashed out of their hiding
and made for the Boche. A few of the boys were killed, some wounded, he being on of them, and just before
they got to the guns. The Huns always stop firing and put up their hand and cry “kamarad” when they see they
are gone. Just before this occurred, this boy was shot through the right knee with a machine gun bullet which
I removed after some difficulty. His comrades went on and took what Boche there was left. Another boy had
dug himself a shallow hole to conceal himself in but he did not get his feet in, so a bullet took off two toes.
One of the most trying operations I have had was removing a bullet from deep in the neck behind the
wind-pipe. I don’t see how it ever got there without killing him at once, but we see so many unexplainable,
seemingly impossible things. Another man who lives just out of Indianapolis was shot through the right chest,
the shell fragment lodging under his right shoulder blade, but he was in very good condition. The rough
fragment was cherry size and rough. Another man was shot by a bullet on the left side which went through his
left lung, through his spleen, behind his stomach, through his liver and almost out on the right. I opened the
abdomen, closed the openings made and got out quickly, and to our surprise his prospects of living are
improving daily. I certainly did not expect him to get on so nicely. The hardest thing for me to do is amputate
limbs, especially hands and arms, but so often we must do it. (Unreadable line) amputated a few and tried to
patch up and make useful arms and hands but of others. In this work one goes right on - there is always work.
I operate three tables and when about done [with] one case another is started so there is little time lost. About
2 a.m. night before last the boy on the table next to the one I was working on was asked by the nurse where he
was from - always an interesting question - he said Orleans Ind. So I got interested to know who. It was Oral
Hall, who lives west of Orleans. He said he knew you and Ralph, and I think he said he had worked for you. Mr.
Alex Speers is his grandfather. He with his comrades were coming out of a shell hole to put up their pup tent
for the night when a shell struck a few feet away, and a fragment, olive size, was buried deeply in the calf of
his leg. I think he will get on nicely - he has been sent on back to some base. He said he had read my letters in
the Progress. The avions are out today in great numbers - the first fit day for a while. They sound good and
look better than they sound. Everything is moving about this point. I wish you could see the activity about
here - you have no idea what it is like. The big guns are taking place with a determination today - the kind that
will make some of those Berlin devils have a “hotlet” or two. To hear the guns one does not think there is
much peace talk, but, Fred, our best play now is to hit harder and harder, never a let up. Peace is coming and
coming our way. Soon you will hear of other big events that will bring peace to our door. There is only one
ending - the enemy knows that, and they are rapidly learning that there is only one card for them to play and
they will play it - they can’t help it. Now is the time for the allies to pound come an unconditional surrender. I
am getting anxious for mail - none for some days. Also I am hoping to get back to the base for a while at least.
I want to get some supplies. The way things look I think I will be on the front until this war is over. These
operating teams have a poor chance of getting away. If things go as they are now we will likely move again - a
part of the war game, you know. I must close now and take one hour of sleep as I think I will work all night.
These all night shifts try one out. The midnight lunch gives on a rest period that helps - when 6:30 a.m. comes
one is too tired to eat -even to sleep, sometimes. I don’t have much trouble doing either, however I am O. K. if I
get six hours of 24. Our food is better now - that helps some. No doubt you are very busy now on the farm. I
can’t realize it is so late in the year - soon wintry winds and snows again. I dread this winter. Try writing
sometime, your letters are interesting. A big lot of prisoners are coming in now - they certainly look like they
are ready for peace at any price. Many of them are boys, small and not very stout looking. I know they can
make a good meal look sad in a very few minutes. They drag their feet. I know they are tired and footsore - no
more war for them. They see an easy time ahead for them and they are happy. They know their path is smooth
now. They talk freely, expressing the hope and the confidence that the war will soon terminate. A few nights
ago while at midnight lunch there were 70 prisoners brought into the mess tent and I never saw such hungry
men in my life - they were tired, wet, hungry, especially hungry, and sleepy. They were much surprised to get
such a feed - they expected something else. May it never be said that our nation while at war has ever willfully
mistreated an enemy prisoner. I know they are treated well here. Even if they are the bitter enemy they are
human, and many of them don’t know what this war is about, really they do not. Many of them say they want to
go to the U. S. A when it is over - they must be good if they want to go to the land of the free. Now I will close.
Love to all, FRANK.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
December 12, 1918 Page 4
From “Pete Moore”
Somewhere in Belgium
November 14, 1918.
Friend Mr. Gruber;
As I still have my right arm will drop you a line. Am happy to say I have been over the top and didn’t get a
scratch. It is quite a job dodging those shells and bullets though. The music of the big guns sounds
nothing like the hotel orchestra, but they are all quiet now and forever I hope. We were on our way to the
front for the second time when the armistice was signed and believe me it was a grand and glorious feeling.
While we were on the front the Germans were retreating so fast we couldn’t keep up with them with the long
range guns, no kidding. I have stopped at about fifteen hundred hotels, all of them are barns and cow
stables with lots of good straw. A bed would seem very queer. Belgium is a fine country although the
Kaiser hasn’t left much of it untouched. Belgian hare rabbits are plentiful here. I hear the U.S. has some
sort of Spanish epidemic, hope it isn’t bad. Tell my aunt to begin to turn the cover back on my bed and
set my plate on the table. I never knew how a fellow could appreciate home until now. I am hoping to get
home somewhere around February the first. Walter Benson was killed while …. on the front, but I
suppose …. you’ll hear it before this reaches you. Tell Snake to get his fishing rod and catch the boat
over some Sat. afternoon and I’ll show him some fine fishing. Also tell Hop Charles to come along with
Fanney and his gun as the quails are plentiful. It is only a few thousand miles. We have our We have our
meals in the open and the grass is well covered with frosts these mornings reminding us of the table cloth.
The people of this country are rejoicing as well as ourselves. Their wooden shoes are funny, I am going to
bring Geo. Ellensohn and Chief Apple a pair for Xmas. I am afraid Xmas will be gone before I get back,
nevertheless it is good to get back some time. We have walked all over Belgium and if the train at Mitchell is
a few hours late I’ll just walk to French Lick, that wouldn’t be much of a hike although it would seem so to
you. Would like to write some more but haven’t the time, this is the first day I have had a chance to write in
a month. Hoping to see you all real soon, with the best regards to everybody and a Merry Xmas.
Sincerely yours
Pete Moore.
Notes: “Pete” appears to be a nickname or alias, from the letter it appears he would be a resident of Orange
County or has plenty of family in the county.

French LickSprings Valley Herald
December 12, 1918 Page 4
From Perry Mathews. October 17, 1918.
Dear cousin Ellen:
I received your letter some time ago and was glad to hear from you. I would have written sooner but have
been quite busy of late and have found but little time to write letters, but have a few leisure moments of my own
today to write to my friends and home. I have been at the front all the time since my last letter to you, and like it
fine up here. I am writing this letter in a “dug-out” thirty feet underground while I listen to the music of some
shells that are whistling overhead but they are going to see old Fritz I was into the city a few days ago and had
quite a nice time looking over the ruins of what had once been one of the most prosperous cities in all France,
but now a city that has been laid in ruins by the German army, I also visited the old cathedral that dates back to
the days of the Romans. That old historical cathedral has been both shelled and bombed but still holds her
head above the towering buildings and seems to beckon defiance to the people who have tried to destroy her.
A person who has never been in the war zone has but little conception of the damage that has been wrought by
the savage Huns, and there is not a single building in this town that has escaped the ravage of war. This is only
one instance of the wilful damage that has been wrought by the German army but there are many other towns
that has suffered even a worse fate than this town. I have passed thru towns that is now only heaps of stones
and masonry and usually a person has only to travel a short distance to see the toll that has been exacted from
these villages that a few years ago were so gay but cities now that are destroyed beyond all repair and all the
surrounding country is both devastated and deserted. A person can not help but wonder what will be the
unhappy lot of these poor French people when they return to what was once their home, but what is not only a
ruined chateau or a tumbled down farm house. A person soon learns to laud the brave French soldier who has
so gallantly defended his country and is steadily and surely driving the plundering Hun from the land that
everything to the heart of a true Frenchman. There are many interesting things to be seen here at the front but
on the account of censorship my description of places are very limited. This is a great life and I like it fine up
here, all the boys are in high spirits and good health and too much cannot be said of the morale of the
American armies and the Hun has found them to be reckoned with as one of the best fighters on the field of
battle, peace rumors prevail around here to a certain extend but we have no desire to give the Kaiser peace
until out days work has been accomplished. Then we will all be ready to return to a more peaceful occupation.
I must close now but will write again from time to time. Hoping to hear from you again soon.
I remain as ever
Your cousin,
Perry L. Mathews
Notes: Perry doesn't appear to be a resident of Orange County but related to one.
Unit unknown

French LickSprings Valley Herald
December 12, 1918 Page 4
From Tommy O. Loutner.
October 26, 1918.
Dear Mr. Beyers;
Have not heard from you in a long time. Since I am in the hospital and have time thought I would let you hear
from me again. I was severely wounded but getting along fine as could be expected. I was in one of the hottest
battles I ever dreamed of being in. We were all crouched in shell holes waiting to push the Bosche back some
more. I got out of my hole and started to walk over to another nearby, when I got up I heard something whizzing
through the air in my direction. I thought as if it sounded like it was going to land close, I started to duck, but
oh gee ha, I thought I was hit by a passenger engine, it was a german shell. A piece got me in the side and
another went through my helmet, but my helmet stopped the force of that piece and I only got a slight wound
on top of the “nut.” The one in my side was pretty tough tho- had a fracture on my hip bone. But I couldn’t be
getting along any better. I have anything I could want in the hospital, it's just like home. I am very anxious to
get out though so I can help chase the Bosche again. The Germans don’t know what to think of the Yanks, for
when we start after them they can’t find any way to stop us. They sure try hard sometimes, from the way their
shells and machine gun bullets rain on us, but that doesn’t stop the Yanks, they just keep on going. I hear
from Underwood right along but I don’t seem to hear from many at West Baden. I use to hear from Roy Owen all
the time while I was in the states but since I came over here I don’t hear from him, guess he didn’t get my letter.
Well my arm is getting pretty tired, I have got to lay flat on my back to write, eat and sleep. The only place I can
lay is on my back, I can’t sit up in bed either, gee, but it gets my goat, ha. Will close please answer real soon
and give my very best all the Baptist, and give them my sincere thanks for remembrance of me in their prayer.
Sincerely yours,
Tommy O. Loutner
Base Hospital No. 27 Ward 74 A. P. O. No. 733 American E. F. France.
Notes: Company I 11th Infantry, 5th Infantry Division. Presumably wounded in the Meuse-Argonne offensive

Orleans Progress Examiner
November 28, 1918. Page 4
Ralph Lindley
A letter from a wounded soldier and his nurse.
This letter was written to Mrs Milton Lindley, of Paoli Ind., from her son, Ralph who was reported missing
some time ago: France, October 10, 1918.
Dear Mother: Guess you will be shocked to get this letter, because it has been so long since I have written. I
haven’t received any mail since May and you can’t imagine how glad I would be to get just one line from home.
I had just got back to my company from the hospital and got hit again, got shot through the foot this time. I am
getting along O. K. now- can hop about on crutches now. I have been over the top five times and have been
wounded twice. We boys are sure treated fine here at the hospital. We even have beds to sleep in. Ha ha! On
the front we sleep in holes which we dig in the ground and if it rains we are out of luck. The people over there
can’t realize how terrible this war actually is. I have seen the refugees along the roads in wagon trains a mile
long, old men and women walking and pushing all of their property on wheelbarrows and young mothers
trudging along with their babies in their weary arms. The girls over here are sure jolly and good looking. I
think I shall bring a nice little mademoiselle home with me after the war. There are several boys marrying over
here, but the majority of the girls are afraid to marry us now, because they say we will go back after the war,
and leave them over here. That is about right, I guess. The name of my French girl is Cousselet Lorillard, the
one who treated me royal during my stay at the hospital (when first wounded). I can talk quite a bit of French
now, but it certainly is difficult to learn at first. The Boche call us marines “devil hounds.” We are sure giving
them hell. Love to all, RALPH.
P. S. Before I went back to my company the first time I gave Crousselet your address. I imagine you have heard
from her by now.
This is the French nurse’s letter, as follows: Chatillon. August 22, 1918. To Mrs Milt Lindley.
Madame, Gentleman, and Miss: God grand give you the news of your son who has been welcomed in our
home during his convalescence, and proved a nice boy. The poor young man was wounded, but his wound is
cured now. The next morning the poor boy left for the front. I provided for his voyage some milk, eggs, cookies,
and some wine to drink - that caused us great pain and we cried for the poor dead. My dear lady, when the war
is over we will give to the little darling food, drink and some money. Madame, your little darling has been very
polite, gentleman in the manners, and so sweet that I can’t tell you. He looked as he missed you very much, but
I did all in my power to make his time more pleasant. Madame, I hope the day of peace is not far. I can’t
imagine then how nice it will be for your family as well as ours. My best regards to your children. With my best
regards, COURSSELET LORILLARD. A Châtillon sur Cher, Loir et Cher, France. (Translated by Philip Bourchor,
Notes: 5th Regiment, 2nd Division, U. S. M. C.
Reported as missing in July - later found to be wounded - First wounded probably at Belleau Wood - Second
wound probably received during the Meuse-Argonne offensive.

Orleans Progress Examiner
October 24, 1918. Page 2
John M. Phillips
A Soldier’s Letter.
A letter from Pvt. John M. Phillips to his sister, Mrs Effie Ferrel, Paoli, Ind.
Somewhere in France, October 3, 1918.
My Dear Sister: I will write you a few more lines. I wrote you a letter a few days ago. I am well and all right and
hope you folks are the same. I have got two letters from Maud since I have been here and they were written in
August. We are having very nice weather here. It has been raining a lot and it gets pretty cool during the
nights. The flowers are still in bloom and the gardens are all green yet. I haven’t seen an apple since I have
been here. Grapes, blackberries and figs are about the only fruit I have seen. There is certainly some rough
country here, the hills back home are nothing compares to the hills here. I haven’t seen a buggy since I left the
U. S. The people here use carts and most all of them work little mules to them. You can see them going visiting
on Sunday with four and five in a cart and one of those little mules hitched to it. You can hear the people
coming down the sidewalk ever so far with their wooden shoes on. Tell Tom I said “Hello,” and from the looks
of things now I will be back to help him hunt before long. Tell little Kenneth and Bertha I said “Hello.” I
suppose Bertha is going to School now. I’ll bet you folks raised a lot in your garden. Save me a big onion along
with some beans. Ha-ha! I haven’t run across the Banks or any of the boys yet. I am getting along fine. I have
plenty to eat and a good place to sleep. Well, I have to close. I can’t write much at a time but I will write often.
Hoping to hear from you soon. Good-bye. From John to Effie. PVT. JOHN M. PHILLIPS.
Notes: Machine gun company, 333rd Infantry, 84th Division.

Orleans Progress Examiner
October 24, 1918. Page 2
Letter from Leone Worrell (Harry L Worrell)
The following is a letter from Leone Worrell to his brother Frank: September 21, 1918.
“Somewhere in France”
Dear Brother: As this is the first letter I have written you since leaving the States, I will tell you something
about my trip across. There was nothing very exciting about it as the ocean was calm and few got seasick. I felt
finer than silk all the time. The bunch of with whom I work and whom you met were on the same deck with me.
We had second-class passage, which was much better than some of the had. There were three of us to a
state-room, which gave us very comfortable quarters. I joined my old company just before sailing. We took a
different route to the east coast than the first company which left the regiment, and I think we had a chance to
see more than they did. We went through the mountains and saw some of the most beautiful parts of the
country. We have also made much better time than they did, but at that I was glad to catch up with
Headquarters before we sailed. We landed in England instead of France. We crossed England, and, after
stopping at several rest camps along the way, we came across the Channel into France. Since then we have
seen a considerable part of this country, all of which is very interesting. The ways of the people are so different
from those of the U. S. that we think they are a funny bunch. Of course it is only that they have a different way
of doing things that makes them seem so. Of course I cannot tell you anything about what is going on here, or
where I am located, but if you want to use your head a little you can figure it close enough if I tell you that I am
about 250 miles due east of the namesake of the town which I was born. Please let me know if you have been
able to figure out the puzzle, if not, perhaps I can make it more clear some other way. Although we are not
very close to the front lines, still we are able to hear the distant reports of the guns. In fact there is nothing very
exciting here-not even in the way of wine or women. The few women we do see do not hold a candle to those in
the States, according to my way of thinking. As for the wine, it is sour enough because the war has caused a
shortage of sugar which is necessary in order to have the best wine. A fellow can stand it for a day or two and
then it gets old to you; you will not need to worry about me becoming a booze fighter while over here. At
present we are located in a small village of several hundred inhabitants. They are at least a hundred years
behind our times. They wear wooden shoes and do the heavy work with oxen. We could not stand oxen in
America because they would be entirely too slow for our blood. When one does see horses at work they are
hitched one in front of the other, not abreast as we drive them. All the washing is done by hand in a large tank
located in the public square. When we need to have some washing done we just take them out and go after
them with soap and brush. Another thing which we could not stand is the way the people have combined their
houses and outbuildings: the people and the stock live in the same building, in most cases just across the
partition. We are scattered out in sheds, barns, and wherever we can find a place to lie down. The weather
here is more changeable than it is in America. The first several weeks it rained every day, and it has kept up the
record pretty well right along. It is fairly warm in the day time, but gets pretty cool at night. Last night there was
a light frost so you can figure how it feels to get up at sunrise and wash in a cement tank or something no so
convenient. HARRY L. WORRELL.
Notes: 313th Engineers. 88th Division

Orleans Progress Examiner
December 19, 1918. Page 1
On The Death of Stallard Weeks.
In France, Nov. 12, 1918.
Mr. Caswell Weeks, Paoli, Indiana.
My Dear Sir:
The day of victory has come. It Is a day of rejoicing. The great things for which we have fought have been
won. Freedom always costs a big price. But every man has had a part in it. The world Is bound together—
as never before. We feel a common cause. Our God is on the right and the right has won. God has
answered the world and showed that he is God and that no king or man can deny the principles of right,
and go free. These victories have cost a heavy price. You have my deep sympathy and earnest prayers. I
saw your son, Stallard Weeks, while he was in the hospital. He was a big, fine man. He had pneumonia.
Everything was done for him that could be done for anyone. The men of his company appreciated him and
they furnished the flowers for his funeral. He was buried In the cemetery here and his grave is well marked
so that it can be located at any time. Remember that a new day Is comIng. We shall meet again, for Jesus
has gone before to prepare a place for us. He said he would come again and receive us unto Himself that
where He is there we shall be with Him. “To behold His beauty and to share His glory." Again, we know that:
"All things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are called according to His
purpose." There is good in every experience if we look for it. Let us say, "The Lord giveth and the Lord
taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord." May the grace of our Lord keep and comfort you and may
your loss and sadness be turned into happiness and joy.
Sincerely yours,
Chaplain 4th Reg, U. S. M. A. E. F.,
A. P. O. No 173-A.
France, Nov. 5. 1918.

Stallard Weeks
Dear Mrs. Weeks:
It Is with a heart overflowing with sadness and grief that I take this opportunity of writing to you for it is
only to impart to a broken-hearted mother a few facts concerning the unexpected sudden illness and death
of my dear companion and friend, your most beloved son, Stallard, whom God called from this earth at 2
o'clock this morning. A few days ago he took sick and was removed to the hospital at once, where although
he received the best of care and attention it seems that he was unable to recover from the attack of
pneumonia which caused his death. He was not only held In high esteem and loved by me but by all who
knew him. He will be remembered by all as one of good morals, a true friend, always doing his duty well and
always ready to lend a helping hand where needed. During his illness the Captain, who is unsurpassed as
an officer in this regiment, and one who is always looking after the welfare of his men, made frequent visits
to the hospital to find out how he was getting along and to see It he could be of any assistance In any way.
The members of his company when they were in town never failed to stop and inquire his condition. But it
was of no avail for it seemed that the only relief for his suffering was that he should pass from this earth
and all who held him most dear. Now, to you, his dear mother. In closing, I wish to extend to you and the
rest of the dear family my deepest sympathy, hoping that in mourning the loss of one so dear, I may help to
bear the burden of your sorrows, assured that God has duly awarded for the sacrifice that he has made and
with ona consolation, that we may all meet again someday in that eternal dwelling, the house of God.
His dear companion,

French Lick Springs Valley Herald
October 31, 1918. Page 4.
From George B Hawkins.
Newport News, Va., October 22, 1918.
Dear Bro. and all the rest;
I am back in good old states once more, I guess you were all surprised as well as glad to know that I am alive
and will see you all some time again in the near future I hope. Did you get the message alright? What did you
think when you got it? I hope that this letter will find you all alive and well. The last letter I got from you was
some time in August. I was in the hospital at the time in Virhey France and was unable to answer it but I am
getting well now so there is no cause for you to worry. I have thought more than once that I would never get to
see you all again while I was in France but thank God such was not to be. In the last letter I got from you, you
wanted to know if I had been in the fight yet which showed that you had not been getting my mail regular. We
went into the fight about the 10th of June, that is we were in the third line trenches in reserve of the British
forces, we were almost constantly under shell fire while in the third lines, this was on the flanders front at
Verdun and Vimy Ridge but we did not move to the front lines with the British, we moved to the American
Sector at Chateau Thierry and from there we moved to the front line trenches. It is hard to believe isn’t it? But it
is true I never shall forget the day that we were ordered to move to the front, it was at daybreak on the morning
of the Fourth of July. If I was to tell you what I went through with I expect that you would doubt my word but I
will wait until I see you and then I will tell you all about it. I was gassed the 25th of July that is why they sent
me home but I am getting alright now and I am absolutely out of all danger so there is no cause for worry.
I have done my bit in France and feel that I have done it well. I can’t say to much for the bravery of the
American soldiers they seemed to be absolutely fearless. I don’t know just when they will let me come home
but I think it will be soon. I think they will send me to some other hospital for gas treatment. Well I will close
for this time hoping to get a long letter from you all real soon, let me know all the news. I think the war is
drawing to a close. You will find my address on this envelope.
Son and Brother, George B Hawkins
Notes: Private Company E, 111th Infantry, 28th Division.
The 28th Division was named Pershing's “Iron Division” for their participation in the Battle of Chateau Thierry.
George was gassed just a week after this battle, the operations of this time are known usually as the Second
Battle of the Marne.

Orange County Women

Leah Graves , Quartermaster Corps, Stenographer. (Translator in shorthand)
General Pershing cabled for US women to be sent to France to take the place of men in clerical
work so they might be relieved for duty in the field. Only four units, or about 65 women, actually
arrived in France for this work before the armistice was signed.

Lela Josephine Hauger (Riley) , Red Cross.
American Red Cross, commission to Europe. Had previously applied for overseas work in
Cleveland Ohio, but was refused because she had two German grandfather's. Served in Paris,
France and Geneva, Switzerland. She was a member of the last Red Cross unit to sail for France.
Served with Deputy Controller for European Commission; with Sales & Liquidation Board,
handling sale of salable articles and allocating unsaleables to various hospitals and civilian
undertakings in Europe; helped install financial system for league of Red Cross Societies,
Geneva, Switzerland. After discharge she served as an instructor in the Surgical Dressings
Room, Indianapolis American Red Cross chapter and House Chairman for Red Cross Women's
Club with the prime objective of the housing and care of Red Cross workers (often open to all war
workers in Washington). Served as chairman of Walter Reed Hospital committee which planned
entertainment for wounded men from hospitals; served as a chaperone for weekly dances at the
Red Cross Convalescent Hut at Walter Reed hospital.

Lillian Dell Seneff , Army Nurse Corps.
“Dreadful to see men dying with flu. How happy the boys were to be back, some with fingers
gone; some legs and arms; some, minds gone.” - Quote attributed to Lillian
“Miss Lillian Seneff has been home on a three weeks vacation from Indianapolis where she has
been nursing for the past five years. Miss Lillian is a graduate of the Eastman Hospital of
Indianapolis. She has responded to the call of her country and expects to be in the service of
uncle Sam soon.” -

French Lick Springs Valley Herald,
June 13th 1918 Page 4
June Iva Cloud (Hardman) Army Nurse Corps.
“Love Ann Long is studying to be a Red Cross nurse and says that when the boys see her in her
white apron and bonnet they won’t want to get well. Good night, nurse!”
Orleans Progress Examiner - September 12th 1918. Page 4
Martha Garrison . She was in Hospital Unit I (i) and spent a full year overseas. Left for France
March 22nd 1918 and returned May 5th 1919.

French Lick Springs Valley Herald, Feb 07 1918. Page 5
Red Cross Work in West Baden is growing in interest and efficiency, the following is a
list of those who are engaged in Red Cross work.
Mrs. Grover Bedster
Mrs. Carmichael
Mrs. M. Edlestine
Mrs. Fannie Grigsby
Mrs. Nell Lomax
Mrs. Witsman
Mrs. Pete Grigsby
Mr.s Lillie Guest
Mrs. Ora Brough
Mrs. Mary A. Grigsby
Mrs. William Prow
Mrs. Jennie Owen
Mrs. Mary B. Speece
Mrs. J. L. Richardson
Mrs. Jane Buffington.
Mrs. C. E. Shanks
Mrs. Charles Warren
Mrs. Amanda Chestnut
Mrs. R. Cottrell
Mrs. Senath Campbell
Mrs. Mary Pinnick
Mrs. Mattie Moore
Mrs. Wilbur McIntosh
Mrs. Essie Bedster
Mrs. Ralph Quarterman
Mrs. Will Richardson
Mrs. Jeff Cox
Mrs. John Weeks
Mrs. Charles Fidler
Mrs. F. Z. Thorpe
Mrs. J. F. Brown
Mrs. Benson
Mrs. Harry Ritter
Mrs. M. Hassenmiller
Mrs. Rod Smith
Mrs. Ruth Sinclair
Mrs. Treacie Cook
Mrs. Lyman Plummer
Mrs. Anna Campbell
Mrs. H. L. Miller
Mrs. American Speece
Mrs. Cressa Cassidy
Mrs. J. B. White
Mrs. Barbara Lynch
Mrs. Clorinda Dixon
Mrs. Jennie Combs
Mrs. Carrie Davis
Mrs. Minnie Pierce
Mrs. Dora Myers
Mrs. Ora Pierce
Mrs. Charles Pruett
Mrs. Walter Robbins
Mrs. Oscar Abel
Mrs. Dora Moore
Mrs. Golmer
Mrs. Ed Charles
Mrs. Arthur Jean
Mrs. Frank Moore
Miss Minnie Rhodes
Miss Esther Edelstein
Mrs. J. A. Ritter
Miss Olive Coultrap
Miss Ruby Jones
Miss H. E. Dalton
Miss Helen Gerkin
Miss Ruby Reister
Miss Lela Hugger
Miss Gertrude Brown
Miss Benson
Miss Effie Suthern
Miss Banche Laswell
Miss Mary Erma Richardson
Miss Eva Richardson
Miss Essie Pinnick
Miss Ruby Toliver
Miss Ida Winninger
Miss Audra Sedster
Miss Grace Pierce
Miss Dessie Mahan
Miss Helen Greene
Miss Mary Bush
Miss Birdie Sebree