TWO MORE WIN CROSSES
Hawkins and Hoke are Decorated says Corporal Oliver
Reiley in an Interesting Letter from France to His
Parents—Fife Writes an
Verse—Several Good Letters.
NEWS FROM THE BOYS OVER
THERE—ALL GOOD READING
This week The Sun has several good
letters from the boys "Over There." In the following letters
friends of the company will see many of the things about which
they have been wondering. That two other Red Oak boys, Owen C.
Hawkins and Arnold Hoke have been decorated for distinguished
service is some of the news included in a dandy letter from
Oliver Reiley, and that the boys had been over the top twice
is one of the things mentioned by Chas. Sanks. Then there is
some news from Capt. Ross and a newspaper story about the Iowa
boys being heroes written by the United Press correspondent at
Oliver Reiley's letter.
Somewhere in France
March 25, 1918
Dear Folks and Kids:—
Received your letters of Feb 2, 8, and 16. Thanks for the
bill and check. It sure comes in very handy as we haven't been
paid for two months and I might possibly get a furlough in
about a month. That is if the Boche don’t gain too much and in
that case we will have to go back to the trenches probably.
You probably know by now that we spent some time in them and I
am sory to say that Hank Fall was killed. Of course there were
a few others killed and quite a few wounded, but I don't
believe you know them. It was a false report that Percy Breese
was wounded. Captains Ross and Casey, Owen Hawkins and Hoke
received the Croix de Guerrie for distinguished service. The
captain left yesterday as acting major of the 1st battalion
and Lieut. Ericsson is in command now. I forgot to say I spent
my birthday at the front. I received two boxes with underwear,
gloves, sox and candy and they sure were fine. As yet I have
not received your cablegram of $10 and as near as I can check
up on your letters two of them with $5 in each are missing
yet. Thank grandma for her money order too. If I ever get the
time I will write her.
At present we are in a small town back of the lines and if
we could live this way all the time it would be great. Phil
Brooks, Joe Cardio, Carl Clement and I have rented a room here
and we have two large feather beds and nice stove, table,
chairs—a very good room and this was our supper: French fried
potatoes, three fried eggs, steak, hot chocolate and bread and
butter. Of course we are in a very good part of Lorraine, a
clean little village, and with what money you have you can get
about what you want.
I see in the Red Oak paper about all the drafted fellows,
all the service flags and the like, but nothing about Co. M.
Tell "Runt" Woods, Mac and all the other fellows hello (let
them read this if you wish). Tell them that Ben Morris and I
expect to take our vacations together.
How is Max Brown, Russ Schaeffer and Russell Loomis. I saw
their advertisement of the "Big County Fair" and I bet that
was great if it was anything like the ones we used to have.
I expect the Ford and Studebaker are in good condition now
that I am not there to break them up and keep the tires worn
out. When I get back I sure am going to drive them though
because I have been walking too much lately.
I went to a French picture show the other night with Ben
Morris. It was fairly good if it was a French picture.
Lately, (and I imagine it will be this way from now on)
the weather has been great. Plenty of sunshine, you know, but
I thought for a while last winter somebody had lied about this
being a "Sunny France." Don't send any more underwear or sugar
for a while because I have plenty now and it's hard to carry
very much extra. The gloves and sox were the best yet, but I
have enough for now, I think and the candy was great. I took
some to the trenches and it sure was the stuff for there
because it was hard to feed us and very little at that.
Here is Orville Fife's opinion of "no man's land" after
our visit there:
"Those still, bare trunks stand somber,
Alone in the pale moonlight,
And there's nothing more silent or lonely or still
Than "no man's land" at night.
Oh! Those tall, white trees have a story,
And if their tale they'd tell,
T’would be of horor, bloodshed and sorrow,
Of shrapnel and bursting shell."
Pretty good, isn’t it, and true too.
We have a long hike ahead of us now and then a rest so
if nothing happens we won’t be in the trenches again for about
Of course we can't get much war dope here but they think
Germany is preparing for their last big Spring drive, which
will determine the war. I hope so as I have had all the
sightseeing I want.
I get the Saturday Evening Post alright, but the papers
fail to arrive except a few old ones. But they get bunches of
them for the company so I get to read them that way.
I will try to send you a box tomorrow and I'll write more
Love to all, your son,