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Private LeRoy Rounds

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from Co. G, 315th Ammunition Train, Morbach, Germany



LeRoy Rounds Went Through Devastated Country

Private LeRoy Rounds, who is with Co. G. 315th Ammunition Train, part of the army of occupation now stationed at Morbach, Germany, writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Rounds under date of December 29, a letter from which we make the following extracts:


"I am feeling fine. I have received several letters from you and got the pictures you sent me. We sure had quite a trip across country with our mules. We left Stenay, France, December 12th and it rained about every day of our journey. I walked two days and covered forty miles. We stopped at towns in the evening and stayed in homes where the people were very good to us. On December 16th, we were in France, Belgium and Germany.

They built fires for us to dry our clothing by and gave us hot coffee. We did not stop in the city of Luxemburg. We crossed into Germany and passed through Trier and stopped over Christmas in a little village. There were six of us in the same house and the Germans invited us to enjoy the evening with them. The Y.M.C.A. sent us candy and cake and we ate supper with the people where we stayed, so you see the German people are good to us.

The country we passed through had all been destroyed. We passed through a range of mountains and their snow capped tops are very pretty. It rains about every day here. We reached Marbach, Germany, December 28th. It is only a small place but we can buy fruit and candy here. Money goes lots further in Germany than in France. We got paid the other day and have plenty of money. We used to spend francs but now we spend marks. I do not know when we will get home or what we will do here.

You have always asked me what I do so I am sending you a little poem which explains what we do:

I am sitting here thinking of the things I left behind,
And I hate to put on paper what is running through my mind.
We've dug a million trenches and cleaned ten miles of ground
And a meaner place this side of hell, I know is yet unfound.
But there's one consolation, gather close while I tell,
When we die, we're bound for Heaven, for we've done our hitch in hell.
We've built a hundred kitchens for the cooks to stew the beans,
We've stood a hundred guard mounts and cleaned the camp latrine.
We've washed a million mess kits and peeled a million spuds,
We've rolled a million blanket rolls and washed a million duds.
The number of parades we've made, it would be hard to tell,
But we'll not parade in Heaven for we've done our hitch in hell.
We've killed a million rattle snakes that tried to steal our cots,
And shook a million centipedes from out our army socks.
We've marched a hundred thousand miles and made a thousand camps,
And pulled a million cactus thorns from out our army pants.
But when our work on earth is done our friends behind will tell,
How they died and went to Heaven for they did their hitch in hell.
When the final tap is sounded and we lay aside life's cares,
And we start our final march up the shining golden stairs,
And the angels bid us welcome and the harps begin to play,
And we draw a million canteen checks and spend them in a day,
It is then we'll hear St. Peter tell with a gladsome yell,
Take a front seat, Ammunition Train, for you've done your hitch in hell."

-source: LeMars Sentinel Newspaper, LeMars, Plymouth Co., Iowa;  11 February 1919


-Submitted by Linda Ziemann
Iowa GenWeb County Coordinator, Plymouth, Monona, Sioux counties http://www.iagenweb.org
Iowa Old Press IAGenWeb Special Project Co-coordinator http://www.iowaoldpress.com/index.html