Letters Home #03

Thursday, December 26, 1918

Somewhere in France
Nov. 6, 1918

Dear Mother and all,

Just back from the front. I will write you a few lines to night. How are you by this time? I am feeling good as ever. Wish I could see you all, I could tell you lots about the front that I can't write. When I was up at the front was out in No Mans land, laying behind the automatic rifle and it sure gets lonesome about 3 o'clock in the morning. It is dark and misty and you can't see your hand before you. I first imagine I hear something, then that I see something my hair seems to raise my steel helmet off my head. I sure think the Boche is coming, then I lay down with my chin frozen on the rifle, push the safety forward pull the trigger, then the bullets seem to say, "Keep your head down", "keep your head down" if you want to see your father or your father land.

It is still rainy over here. It rains almost every night and chilly to boot. Wish I could see brother Harlie, I don't think we are so far apart. I got a letter from Harlie last week. He said he was all o.k. and feeling fine. He said his hardest job was keeping out of the way of the shells. They sure make you duck your head. I sent some money home the 24th of Oct. Have you received it yet? If not write to the Y.M.C.A., 124 E. 28th Street N.Y. I will send some more when I get a pay day. I have two months pay coming now. I got a letter from Mrs. Albert Haynes dated Oct. 4th came through in three weeks, most of yours have been 4 weeks.

I am at the French-American Y.M.C.A. They have a piano and violin here and the boys are having a fine time singing and playing together. It sure sounds good to me. Send this letter to brother Bennett as I haven't written to him at all. I will close hoping to hear from you soon.

Your son
Pvt. Roy D. Madole

Nov. 17, 1918
Dear mother and all,

Will answer your letter I rec'd a few days ago. How are all of you? I am fine. It sure is cold here now, it froze most all day yesterday. Guess things are flying high in the U.S. since the war has come to a close.

There is some talk of us getting home by Xmas, but you can hear anything no difference what it is. I sure would like to find Harlie, maybe I can find out where he is now. What is Willie doing? Is Rame going back to La. This winter? I guess the influenza is pretty bad over there. It isn't very bad here now or at least I don't hear anything about it. I had it and was in the hospital 17 days, first of Oct. Nelson Adkins and I are here in an old French lady's house writing. This is the first time I have been in a house for a long, long time. Will close and tell you the rest when I get home, but don't think I will ever make it by Xmas. We are in a town by the name of Lucey.

Your son
Corp. Roy D. Madole
Co. H. 352 Inf. Am. P.O. 795 Amer. E.F.

LeMans, France
Oct. 28, 1918

Dearest mother:

I am still at the same old place. This town is a very old one, like all French towns. I might tell you what I have learned about the cathedral of this place. It was started in the year 1060 but like all of the cathedrals over here, they are never finished, every few years a few stones are added. The building is covered with carvings which was done by civilians in this part of the country for instance some farmer would come to town and get a large stone to take home with him. During his spare time he would carve on the stone and finally some years later he would bring back his crude statue of some saint and stick it on to the cathedral. During the time of the religious troubles of France, the Hugonots tried to see how many heads they could knock off of the statues, so many are headless and battered up in general. Under the cathedrals are the catacombs where the French used to bury their dead, but no one is allowed down there now. The French say that these catacombs run away out into the country and that many old instruments of torture are stored in the catacombs. Up in the cathedral many of the immortals of France lie, some of the tombs are 800 years old. Another strange thing about the cathedral is a place where French criminals were executed for several hundred years, but the old place of execution has not been used since 1877. This place or the large rock against which the condemned criminals were placed was brought to France from Africa and tradition says the atit is an old pagan after where many human sacrifices were offered. I could talk for a week about the cathedral for I often go there. I was there to attend Vespers Sunday.

Well mother what do you think of the war. I ay it will be over by late spring and the French say it will be over by Xmas, but anyway I will be home to mow the lawn next summer and don't you forget it and don't you worry, and if every things well at home I will be in the University this time next year.

I went to the picture show last nigh and the picture machine broke on the last reel of a fiver of Douglas Fairbanks and cussing was carried on in about fourteen different languages Oh! Boy we were sore what we saw was the very best that was ever put on here.

About those pictures I sent you. I look so pale because of the background. Really I've got lots of color in the face and although I have not weighed since I have been here, I have gained at least fifteen pounds and I quit buttoning the top button of my trousers weeks ago for comforts sake.

I will close for this time,

Pvt. B. Eccles
33 Service Co. Hdq. Signal Corps A.P.O. 762 Amer. E.F.

Washintgon D.C.
Mr. H.C. Wyrick, Eldon Mo.

Dear father,

It has been some time since I heard from you and I have written two or three letters but have never rec'd any reply at all. I am here in Washington D.C., came here the 6th of November and am having a very good time for any life. There are many, many great sights to see here infact something you can go to see all the time and so many of them. I do wish you were here to see some of the sights with me. We would sure take in some of them. Now I'll tell you about some, just some of the things I have seen. I have been through the Capitol three times already. I have been in the senate when it was in session, also Congress when it was in session and once when it wasn't. It was then that I got to take the little mallet. I caught it in my hand and rapped on the desk that speaker Champ Clark called the house to order with. I was in the presidents room at the Capitol and the same furniture is there that was there when Mr. Lincoln was president. I was there in the House of Congress that president John Quincy Adams fell dead. In that's the old room where the Congress used to meet and they use it for the hall of fame now and there is a bronze plate on the floor where Mr. Adams fell. Also I visited the Ford theatre where Mr. Lincoln was shot and was in the same house that he died in, was in the same room and wrote several cards sitting in the same room and in the same place where he died. I also had a rail that he split with his own hands in my

hands. I saw the hat and had it in my hands that he wore the night he was shot, also the pocket knife he had in his pocket the night he was shot. I saw the last writing he ever did. He wrote it just a few minutes before he left the White House for the theatre the night he was shot, saw the keys that belonged to his private booth at the theatre, one of the shells that was taken from "John Wilkes Booth" gun that killed Mr. Lincoln, saw the flag that Booth hung his foot in when he went to jump out of the presidential box to the stage and it tripped him and caused him to fall and break his ankle. So many things that I'll have to tell you that I haven't got space to write. I saw the coat George Washington wore when he was a general and the sword he carried. I myself and three other "Marines" have been acting as special body guard for a big Japanese prince and Vice President Marshall. We are staying at the best hotel in Washington and getting the best of everything. The room we occupy would cost anyone else $10.00 per day to occupy it and its just across the hall from Ass't. Sec'y of state Mr. Arnold's room. I will send you a picture of the outfit when they arrive at the Union Station, but Mr. Marshall the vice president isn't in this one and I didn't show it and many others that are in the bunch didn't show at all.

I hope I will get discharged before very much longer and get to come home and stay. I am sick and tired of military life. Hope this will find you all well. I am well. Write as often as convenient and with kindest personal regards I am sincerely yours,

Stanley P. Thompson