From the service of Charles S. Stevenson, 314th Engineers, 89th Division, AEF.|
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Transcription for 1982.202.1
From the service of Charles S. Stevenson, 314th Engineers, 89th Division, AEF.
001_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 01
Wednesday evening Dear Folks: We left [Kansas City] at 8:15 a.m. and got here at 12:30. At Topeka we were given box lunches consisting of various sandwiches and stuff. Arriving at the Camp Funston we were divided by states. But twenty-five men from [Kansas City] left at 8:15. The others left at 8:40. We all lined up and an officer came down and asked if we could do anything out of the ordinary. I told him I
001_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 02
was a typist. About ten minutes later he called four of us out and said unless we did not want this branch of the service, he would like to have us in the Engineer Corps. I was one of the four. The other three were as follows: an electrician, a chauffeur and a mechanic. We were told they wanted men who had had training along some line. Three different officers told me the Engineers was considered the best branch of the service. So I decided to stick in it. Later in the day a baker, electrician and a mechanic joined us. One was Phil Stone, the famous brother of Virginia. The name of my division is Company A, 314th Engineers. I believe mail addressed to me this way will get me. It will at least reach the barracks. The conveniences are not at all what I have been used to, but I can stand it. The type of fellows is not exceptionally high. Of the eight men
001_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 03
already in our company, I am the only one who does not smoke. I was given a very very stiff physical exam, but don't know yet how I came out. I believe I passed, however - I know I did on the eyes - it was the ankle. Bed at 10 p.m. and up at 6 a.m. is the program - not half bad. A letter must go to [Maurice] and another friend! Love [Charles]
002_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 01
[September 7, 1917] Dear Folks: Vaccination and an injection for typhoid yesterday have made me a trifle weak, but 'tis not half as bad as I thought. The doctors here are more considerate of a fellow than a physician in civilian life. I got rather sick as did several others and the whole staff quit work and took care of us.
002_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 02
Unless things are made more attractive, civilian life will always appeal to me more than this. In a few days I will ship home my suit and shoes to you. Much to my sorrow I neglected to bring a looking glass. I am going to buy one tomorrow - also some shoe paste. The sergeant here told me that out of this first bunch the noncoms would be chosen. It is probably I will get nothing, as company clerks are generally mere privates. However, what they say goes. A lot of the fellows are sure nuts. The type is not exceptionally high - contrary to the paper. In my company one fellow was 2 years at [University of Missouri] - He is the only one who
002_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 7, 1917_Page 03
has had more than a high school education. So far I am the only one who does not smoke - I've seen two tooth brushes besides my own. We are wearing big blue overalls and we sure look like tramps. Underwear was issued to us but I'm using nothing but my B.V.D.s and will keep on doing the same a long time. Love to all. [Charles]
003_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 8, 1917_Page 01
Saturday [September 8, 1917] Dear Folks: Saturday afternoons and Sundays are our own, so I'm getting up on a few letters. Last night I got a letter from Grandma and one from Aunt Daisy, as well as one each from M. K. and Aunt Kate. Also one from [Maurice] you forwarded. There will hardly be much news from here concerning me. It is probably that from this first five per cent the non-commissioned officers will be picked - but nothing along
003_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 8, 1917_Page 02
this line will be given out until September 19, when the next bunch arrives. No mention has been made of a company clerk. A new fellow recently added is a typist and clerk. He can sure have the job, as I think it will retard my chances of advancement. The drills are darn hard for me. Tonite I am going to buy a Manual of Arms which will set me back $2 25. I put out 50 [cents] for a mirror two days ago. No uniforms have as yet been issued. When we are given them my grip and civilian clothes will be sent to you for storage. In it you will find a dirty suit of B.V.D.s. I would like to have it, along with another suit, sent me. Keep the pair of drawers sent. I would also like to have that pair of leggings left by [Maurice] forwarded. If he left any of his army shirts, I would like to have it sent to me. The leggings and shirt are desired as quickly as possible.
003_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 8, 1917_Page 03
I'm glad MK had a good time while here. If I had been working and had some more money and the Ford had not been balky, I would have been able to do more for her along that line! She was exceedingly lucky to have met so many of the girls. I regret Mary Pugh and Dorothy were not in town. Both are fine girls! This morning Major General Leonard Wood stopped about ten feet from our company and we had a swell look
003_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 8, 1917_Page 04
[page 2] at him for about ten minutes. He is a swell looking fellow. We are at present being given mattresses filled with hay. No pillows yet, but soon. The eats are good, but I'll say right now facilities are nowheres near as attractive in the National Army as in the Officers Training Camp. Thank, Aunt Daisy, for sending me so promptly the night letter from Maurice. I guess he is across the sea - rather on his way, now!
003_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 8, 1917_Page 05
In his letter he sent me a picture of himself in new uniform and two ten dollar bills. Some brother, I'll say. Be sure to send me all my magazines as well as any of your own you have finished. We will have time in which to read. Oh yes - with the leggings send me a deck of those numerous decks of cards which are in the library. Love to all - [Charles]
004_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1917_Page 01
[September 10, 1917] Dear Folks: A few hasty lines. - I'm sending separately my grip. I would like to have returned to me two clean suits of underwear, a clean shirt (fairly old) and the rocks - also a Turkish towel. I've doped it out that you will get this Wednesday. I would like to get these as soon as possible. No uniforms
004_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1917_Page 02
have as yet been issued. I prefer my own underwear, just the same. You might stick in a small tea-towel. In my belongings some place, there is a newspaper clipping telling what the different emblems on the collars of army and navy men mean. If you can find this I would like it. As to my washing, do you think it can be fixed to do it there? It will have to be forwarded regularly as I have very little space for stuff. I would get clean clothes one day and send the dirty ones in return. Nothing is new. No appointments have been made. I have my mind made up that I do not want to be clerk. I don't know whether this will do me any good or not. Time will tell. Harold Hallett is in the building next to me. I feel very good tonite. Have you been forwarding me all mail. A girl has been writing me twice
004_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1917_Page 03
in the past week, but I have not received anything yet. I intend to go to Manhattan Saturday and get my face watch fixed. I sure wish I had that of Mama's here. Love [Charles] Co. A. 314th Engineers.
005_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 11, 1917_Page 01
[September 11, 1917] Dear Grandma: Your two letters, the magazine and the bundle came today - also two which you had forwarded. Thanks very much for all. The magazine is much appreciated. Just keep on sending them to me. We got all our uniforms today - so don't send me a civilian shirt - and but one suit of underwear. Return all other as I wrote yesterday. I got no word from [Maurice] except A.D. telegram so if you
005_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 11, 1917_Page 02
will send me his last two letters I will sure appreciate it. In a couple of days I'll send you some civilian clothes I'm still retaining. Perhaps by next Saturday I will invest in a pair of $7 50 leggings. It will be difficult for us to get off for a week end. The paper item that we got away from Saturday noon 'till Monday 5 a.m. is all wrong. Nobody got away an instant - orders from headquarters. I sent to [Kansas City for Mama's watch. Tell Grandpa, if he cares to do it he can have the Star and Times sent to me at this address to begin with the Times of September 18. I have it coming until then. Love [Charles]
006_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 12, 1917_Page 01
[September 12, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Your numerous letters have all given me much pleasure. Also thank you very much for the bundle of clean underwear and socks. In several days I will mail some more dirty clothes, with a note when I desire them returned. We are being worked very, very hard. New formations and advance training are being given us each day. It is the intention to make we fellows who are here now do the preliminary work toward training the raw recruits. It so happens that the Engineer troops (rather company, which consists 175 men) will be
006_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 12, 1917_Page 02
recruited to full strength next week. The reason for this is that the engineers are to be sent to France before any other troops. The infantry cavalry and machine gun companies will be filled up as the different portions of the draft arrive. Yesterday a letter written from Maurice away last Thursday came to me. Not having heard since I take it that he is on his way to France. From time to time I will send you bunches of letters which you can keep for me! No hopes of my returning. I was called back into the hospital for vericose veins, but they were nothing. I called attention to my ankle; if it bothers much they told me they would take an x-ray of it. I hope they do! I wish you would have the green suit which I sent in the grip cleaned and pressed. Every bit of mail which you have forwarded to me has come all right. They magazines are very expensive to send. I will endeavor to have the address changed. I don't take much time to read! Only in a military book. Today two letters came from you. As to the sock I sent, return all light wool hose
006_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 12, 1917_Page 03
you can find about the place. They are the best. Don't believe all newspaper reports. Every man here has cot, bedding and mattress - no pillows as et. About eight were chosen from the first [Kansas City] bunch. I was one. I told them to get Phil Stone and they did. I'm doing my best to get Dave Park with me. The trouble from my innoculation lasted ten minutes. We get another one tomorrow. The third follows in a week. Do not send me the things [Maurice] sent you. If I can use them I'll let you know. We have to wash all of our own clothes, so I'll send my dirty ones to you regularly. It is necessary to change underwear each day, so I wash out the dirty suit in the evening and use it the day after the night I wash.
006_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 12, 1917_Page 05
[page 2] Sooner or later I may send my wrist watch but at present I need it badly to tell left from right. I have Mama's watch up here now. It is the only thing in the company which keeps time. I'll probably have it fixed at Manhattan as soon as I can get away. Thanks for the comment regarding Evelyn. Two flirts should make good progress! Those tea towels are ideal. Thanks! In regard to $7 50 leggings - nothing doing. Enlisted men cannot wear leather leggings. Hat cords come under the chin - like a mounted police! Have no worry as to my habits. So far I'm the only one in the company
006_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 12, 1917_Page 06
who doesn't smoke or drink. And they envy me, too. I cannot use the pants or hates! Let the clippings go. I would like it but don't waste time looking for it. A fine box of candy came from a girl I met at Devils Lake. To relieve your minds - 'twas not Evelyn. Miss Eva Sullivan, a teacher in the Junior College in [Kansas City], sent me a peach of a fountain pen. I wrote for a certain book and she sent both. Any time you care to send fried chicken, it will sure be welcome. Also anything out of the ordinary. I'll try to write soon again. Taps comes in fifteen minutes. Love to all - [Charles]
007_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 14, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston September 14, 1917 Dear Ogee: Your letter came just yesterday. Thanks for the offer of money. I am low but am not quite broke - but $40 in debt. I was assigned to the engineers troops. Am glad now, altho I may later request a change to infantry. Engineers building bridge, railroad tracks, houses and such. I'm not trained for the engineers and will probably be the fall guy. At present we are being worked mighty hard. The next bunch comes Wednesday and from our group corporal and sergants will be picked.
007_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 14, 1917_Page 02
A temporary appointment is about the same as a permanent one. To get into the next training camp one must have one of these offices. Get up at 5:45 and retire at 9:30. I'm studying in a couple of books each night trying to get the theoretical part of the game. Another fellow and I are endeavoring to get into a French class. Address Maurice as Lieutenant M. S. Stevenson, American Expeditionary Forces. That's all. Address me Company A, 314th Engineers. [Camp Funston, Kansas] Love [Charles] Will try to write more. I'm sure pushed for time at present.
008_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 16, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] [September 16, 1917] Dear Folks: The magazines which Grandma sent are being enjoyed not only by myself, but by the other twenty-two fellows in the company. Yes, I get Sunday mail. Just a few minutes ago a letter came form Ogee. We get two deliveries on Sunday - at 9 a.m. and at 11:30 a.m. On week days we get mail at 9 and 11:30 a.m. and at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. I do very little reading. Spare
008_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 16, 1917_Page 02
time is spent studying military books, writing letters or playing ball. I know nothing of Hastings promotion, but I rather doubt it. Altho rather short on officers I doubt as to the possibilities of such rapid advancement as this. Hallet is doing stenographic work in the office of one the infantry regiments, I think. He is about ten or twenty yards from me. I see him nearly every day. In the officer of Major General Wood typists are wanted, but I'd rather stay here and take engineering. If it appeals to me I might care to continue in it. Yesterday a boy and I went to Manhattan where we took a swim and had a good meal at the Gillette hotel. I bought a tiny gift for Dorothy, had my watch and glasses fixed and did some odd jobs. We were gone about five hours. If it wouldn't cost too much to send apples up here I think the fellows might chip in and have some sent up, but the cost is to much. Mr. Knight gave no advance notices for me. Five more letters and some brain work must be done, so - goodly love to all [Charles] (over)
008_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 16, 1917_Page 03
With the exception of a strained leader I feel as well as I ever did in my life Regular hours and picked food sure do help a fellow. My face is as clear as it possibly could be.
009_1982.202.1._Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_Septemnber 16, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston September 16 Dear Ogee: Just today I got the letter you wrote away last September 5. It was a good letter and I thank you very much for it. Yes, it was at own my request that I was sent in the first bunch and I am only too grateful that I was handled thusly. From the first bunch now on hand it is probably that the non-commissioned officers will picked. I hope to be a corporal. There is a possibility of my being made a sergant, but 'tis remote.
009_1982.202.1._Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_Septemnber 16, 1917_Page 02
The engineers generally do no fighting, altho in case of emergency they are used. Most of their work is constructive and destructive. We have to take all the infantry work, as well as our own. A regiment consists of six companies; a company consists of two hundred men. I am in Company A of the 314th Engineers Regiment. We have twenty-three in our company at present. Next Wednesday when the next bunch arrives we will get our full two hundred men. Giving us our full quote at once and forcing the infantry and cavalry and artillery to wait longer for their full number means, we all take it that we will be among the first to step across the sea. You comment on my lost motion is interesting. I will watch it. I myself have much pleasure out of watching the types of men here. There are some mighty well bred fellows and then there is a class of bums. Our company is to date the only one without a single fellow in it not having a venereal disease!
009_1982.202.1._Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_Septemnber 16, 1917_Page 03
Thanks for your offer to send me what I wanted! Sooner or later I may take you up. At present I don't need a thing. I still owe money on the stone, but will probably get it paid off before the year is ended! As news develops I'll write. Love [Charles] Company A 314th Engineers [Camp Funston, Kansas] Your letter of Friday came today. We get two deliveries on Sunday. [Charles]
010_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 19, 1917_Page 01
Wednesday [September 19, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Your Sunday letter came today. Thanks very much for the clippings. If Jimmy Smith was half as great a youth as that clipping would indicate it would be different, but - ! Our second typhoid innoculation was given yesterday. My first vaccination did not take and I had to be given another one. Only one out of every fifty took. For the first time in my life I did not faint. Today all of our sides hurt very much - none of us have much pep. Nearly
010_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 19, 1917_Page 02
everybody has a headache. The only thing the matter with me is a sore side. For the last three days we have not been much more than day laborers. We have been doing all of the heavy work incidental to receiving the new contigent. We are expecting a wild group - 150 come to our company. Tonite I am on guard duty. I walk around the barracks from 5 to 9 p.m. and from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then I rest until noon. Some stunt. Yesterday I washed windows, scrubbed floors, washed tables, pans and lots of other things. One of those pictures of Maurice in a cap is with me now. I wrote him a letter last night - mailed it to A. E. F. As to the socks, send me all half-woolen ones you find. I wear the silk lisle the same as I did at home, so send them to me also! No thanks, I cannot use a dishrag! There is no chance for me to keep off of my ankle. In a couple of days when the hospitals are not so rushed I'll go
010_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 19, 1917_Page 03
over and get the thing examined. Dave Park was not picked on the first bunch - he says if they keep on exempting persons in his ward he will not have to come. I hope not. I am the only one in the company who does not smoke. Most of the fellows do not drink. You got me wrong. Yes, we get mail very promptly. Some times the Star and Times are delayed, but letters seem to come easily. Love [Charles]
011_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 20, 1917_Page 01
[September 20, 1917] Dear Grandma: This is to acknowledge the underwear and socks and to thank you for the same. In a couple of days I will send you some dirty underwear and socks; they will probably leave here Saturday. You should get them Monday. I am today having my address for those magazines changed. They will probably stop coming to the house in a couple of weeks Last night appointments to be temporary corporals were an-
011_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 20, 1917_Page 02
nounced. These corporals are to begin in the morning to train the new-comers. I am one of the temporary corporals. The list was posted in the order which the persons were recommended. My name was first. Now for the love of mike don't tell this to anybody. These appointments are temporary only and are subject to change any instant. So just pray that I get a permanent place. The sergeants who will be appointed will be men of military experience. I will be satisfied to remain a corporal, altho I sure would like to be a sergeant. More men, and more responsibility! A corporal get $36 or $39 a month. The American Magazine came a few minutes ago! Thanks! Last nite I did guard duty walking all around the Engineers Camp from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. I had all the stars and skies and fine hills to myself. I felt lonely - and cool - at 2:45 a.m. a big bunch of fellows from Southwest Missouri came! Today contigent
011_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 20, 1917_Page 03
after contigent has arrived, including 1500 from St. Louis, all of whom came to the Engineers. A fine rain two nights ago made things green and fine! The innoculation still hurts me. A good friend of mine from Kansas City got into our company yesterday - Paul Besse. Love [Charles]
012_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 25, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston Saturday My Dear Grandma: Your long and very newsy letter came this afternoon. Also the package of underwear, socks and towels, for which I am grateful. I will certainly be able to use them tomorrow. Monday or Tuesday you will get a package of dirty clothes from me. To get them back in seven days will be appreciated. If I buy socks they will be woolen ones. Until I wore them I was prejudiced against them. I like 'em now.
012_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 25, 1917_Page 02
The [Kansas City] papers come regularly. I am the only one in the entire company who gets it. I'll write to Grandpa soon and thank him! It's rather funny about Miss Heisler. Just last night I wrote her a letter and now I hear from you that she is going to send me a cake. Did I tell you I got a big box of find cookies from M.K? Some cousin! I see Hallet and McCoy (both from Olathe quite often. A talk with our captain last night proved to me I should stay here. He told me I was by far the best typist and clerk in the company. However it is very probably that I will not be made clerk. The place in General Wood's office is filled. The captain looked over my record and said I was either very very good or damn poor. And from what he had seen of me he was inclined to think I was the former. He was much pleased when I
012_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 25, 1917_Page 03
told him I talked Spanish and played the piano! Week end passes for the boys will probably not be issued for several weeks yet. I sure wish you could come to see me here. If you do visit in Manhattan or [Junction City] be sure to let me know. We are a full mile from the train, but I could meet you in [Manhattan] or [Junction City] and take the street car, making the distance much shorter. Sunday would be by far the best ay. The fried chicken will sure go good. Send it on, I say. Love - Charlie.
013_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 23, 1917_Page 01
Sunday - [September 23, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Just a few words to let you know some dirty clothes are coming to you Tuesday morning. They are pretty dirty, I'll say, but I couldn't help it. They get that way before you know it. I want you to send me some things right away if you will please. You are no doubt familiar with those suction sole tennis shoes of mine which are in the
013_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 23, 1917_Page 02
truck left by Maurice. He also has some shoes similar to mine. Mine are the largest pair, fairly dirty and I think have my initials on them some place. If mine do not, perhaps those of Maurice do. Try to get mine. I want them to use as a change in shoes. I can wear them in the evening and when playing ball. Also, I would like to have about three linen towels, similar to the kind I brought from the storehouse. Also I would like to have a wash rag and a bar of Ivory soap. At one time Aunt Daisy gave me some liquid which to wash shoes. If she still has it and does not want it, I would like to have you send it with the other stuff. As soon as you can I would like to have these articles come to me. For your private information and knowledge I'm enclosing an enlistment card. Just look it over! It might interest you!
013_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 23, 1917_Page 03
Today we had a ball game, using an indoor ball. Our company won - 17 to 6. I pitched! See the Times, and save any clippings regarding the game which might be printed. I wrote [Maurice] & Dorothy tonite. Love to all. [Charles]
014_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 27, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] September 27, 1917 Dear Grandma: Thanks ever so much for the swell package that came today. The candy, soap and everything else are appreciated. It happens that immediately after I wrote for the shoes I got a pair of big outdoor shoes, but I much prefer my good ones. The shoe polish is especially welcome. I always forget to buy it and this sure fills the bill. As to the shoes, they are [Maurice's] I think. I did not get
014_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 27, 1917_Page 02
a change yet to try them on but will do so sooner or later! Mail going out is often late as is incoming mail. It happens that the mail orderly is a friend of mine and he gets mine as soon as he can. The rest of the fellows have to wait. Don't be afraid of making me sick by sending things to eat. I'll take a chance! All our clothes (clean and dirty) are thrown in a bag a trifle larger than a laundry bag, with a few things under the mattress. It's a great life. Another letter came from M. K. this afternoon. Please put the enclosed pictures in my book. Love - [Charles] The enclosed article is not at all as bad as pictured. It might in the infantry but it is not half this bad with us. Today it is nearly as dry as usual.
015_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_date unknown_Page 01
Wednesday nite: Dear Grandma: Thanks very much for those good apples and clean clothes which came today! They got here in plenty of time for my use. I still have clean underclothes left. The tag will be retained by me for future use! I will be in Olathe Saturday. I have about an hours work to do up town. I think I'll leave on the train getting into [Kansas City] at 4:15. If so, I'm sure I can make the 5:30 car arriving there at seven o'clock. If not I'll sure be on the
015_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_date unknown_Page 02
next car. Hold supper for me, as I'll eat when I get there. I will not bring anybody with me, altho I may pick up Dave in [Kansas City] and bring him along. I'll read your three letters from Maurice when I get there. I have received but one! Please keep the enclosed loose leaf sheets and clipping. Today was a fierce windy day; but tonite has rained hard. Love [Charles]
016_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 27, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston [September 27, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Your Tuesday letter came very promptly. I got it Wednesday afternoon. Our captain is Everett B. Murray. 920 Walnut, [Kansas City]. I do not know his business in civil life! As to my clothes, I believe I will ask you to send me those pants sent home by Maurice (a shirt if he sent any). Also if you have a blanket you can spare I would much appreciate it. That piece in the Star of Tuesday told the
016_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 27, 1917_Page 02
truth practically all the way down. It happens, however, that our regiment is one of the lucky ones and we are fairly well equipped! We had overcoats issued to us last night and most of us used them, a blanket is much more desirable. Thanks for the clippings! they did interest me. A nut cake came Tuesday from Miss Heisler and today a box of candy came from Nan. My friends sure do treat me fine! I have been doing a little work on the machine for the captain - enough for him to tell me I was the best in the company along that line! I think he prefers to have me out on the line. But I want to make the next training camp if possible. I can see now that it will be mighty hard for me to rise much above a corporal, but I'll try and if I don't get any higher I'll be a crack corporal! No, don't send any magazines other than those you now forward, altho an ocassional Literary Digest will please.
016_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 27, 1917_Page 03
Enclosed are some pictures and a clipping I wish you would put in my book for me. In a couple of days I'll forward some more. They will be of me. If I had enough money to keep it going I could use a [Kodak] fine! Athletics start soon. I'm in charge of basketball - also one of the four on the company committee. I'm going to Junction City Saturday and get a good meal. Love - [Charles] The enclosed is the way I filled out my qualification record. Put it is the book. Are you saving clippings for me?
017_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 29, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] September 29, 1917 Dear Ogee: I was glad to get the two letters I did from you last week. This is supposed to be the answer, but there isn't a thing new. You are probably aware I was appointed a temporary corporal. So far everything is temporary. Five more sergeants are to be put in soon and I hope I get a place. More money and a better place in the line! There are six fellows who came
017_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 29, 1917_Page 02
in the last draft who have had military experience, but there are only two of them sure of sergeantships. The others lack alertness of the mind. No word at all has come from Maurice. Time will take care of him. Last Wednesday it rained and turned darn cold, with the result that a lot of the fellows were very very cold. I was not, but I did send to Grandma for an additional blanket - and for a pillow. Tonite I'm a guard, meaning I walk around with a big stick from 10 p.m. 'till 2 a.m. Some stunt. In about thirty minutes our entire regiment starts on a six mile hike thru the hills, ending up near the headquarters of Major General Leonard Wood, who will give us a talk. I have seen him a number of times and like him very much!
017_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 29, 1917_Page 03
The weather here has sure been great. Regular fall weather and it sure goes good. The 8th is payday. I will have about $25 coming. We have been issued big heavy overcoats - fine! There's a call! Love [Charles]
018_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 30, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] September 30, 1917 Sunday Dear Grandma: Your letter written to me on Friday morning reached here Saturday morning. The bundle of which you spoke has not yet arrived altho it may come in an hour, when our Sunday delivery is sorted! You should get this on Monday morning, as it will be sent out tonite. Yesterday morning our regiment hiked six miles to a valley near the camp where we were given a ten minutes talk by Major
018_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 30, 1917_Page 02
General Leonard Wood. He certainly did knock the unpreparedness followers. "The war will be along struggle and the Engineers will be more essential to victory than ever before. The Allies have been doing our fighting for nearly two years and it 8is up to us to take up our own battle," he said. It was a good talk and I was but four feet from him! Incoming and outgoing mail is always late here. The mail orderly happens to be a friend of mine, but he leaves today and no telling when I'll get my mail! As to that latent force, I guess Time will take care of it. It would be awful to go thru life making ordinary headway, with a hidden force for the unusual! A letter yesterday from Ogee had a check for $5 enclosed. Yesterday I went to [Junction City] and had a meal. I walked from Camp Funston there - six miles - twelve miles for the day. Enclosed is what is known as a "pass". Put it (also those two cards I sent) my scrap book. Enclosed are some pictures of me. Keep them in the book, too.
018_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_September 30, 1917_Page 03
Your package just came! It was probably promptly delivered. It reached me at noon today (Sunday). Thank you very very much. No week end passes have as yet been issued. They will start next Sunday. I will try to get a pass so as to be there October 19 and October 20. We signed our payroll today. I get $25 - about October 8, I guess. I'm still a temporary corporal. Virginia Stone is due here to see Phil this afternoon. Love, [Charles] Enclosed are some negatives of me. If you care to have them developed, step to it. I had one of each and sent them to [Maurice]
019_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 2, 1917_Page 01
Tuesday - [October 2, 1917] Dear Grandma: Your Monday letter came at noon today - swift service. With it came one from Oscar who said that he was soon going to Olathe! As to a blanket - he has wondered if I need one and wrote that he would get it out of storage for me if I did. So I believe that I will let him do it and save you all of that trouble. I remember the one [Maurice] took! It was an old one and about the color of the kind I now have! So just forget about the blanket, thanks!
019_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 2, 1917_Page 02
While I now think of it - the next time you send me any clothes, please send me a clean pair of pajamas. I'm still using the ones I brought with me. Also, I want that novel trousers press I recently bought - that pasteboard affair. I believe I can use it to advantage. If not I will sure send it back for future use. It may be the noncommissioned officers can use trunks. If so, I may send for Maurices. This plan of keeping all of your clothing in a big blue bag does not appeal to me. As to the wheel - you might just as well let Mrs. McClintock sell it is she will. I want $15 for it. If I can get this much I will pay it on the account for the stone. It is a first class wheel in very good shape. Both tires are practically new, having been used but very little. If I want one when I get back I'll buy one. If the war keeps on long, I may not be back for several months. Tomorrow is Papa's birthday. Newell has orders to send out a wreath similar to the one sent for Mama last month. Have you been out since we were there together?
019_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 2, 1917_Page 03
Thanks for the notes on "Wedded Bliss". Also please put the enclosed notice in my scrap book! I'm in charge of quarters today - scrubbing, sweeping, washing and all clean-up work is done under me! 'Tis hot as heck today - the hottest for some weeks. This not hearing from Maurice sooner is getting on my nerves. We sure ought to get word soon. Love to all - [Charles]
020_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 6, 1917_Page 01
Saturday afternoon October 6, 1917 My Dear Grandma: Having just finished a letter to Maurice on the machine I will take the liberty of writing to you on the same. The captain and the rest of the officers are away so I'm using their machinery. Aunt Daisy's telegram came yesterday while I eating and a hour later I got your letter telling of Maurice's cabelgram. It sure made me feel good. I take it for granted that you notified Miss Heisler and Nan. As to that insurance policy of mine. I let it drop September 1 as it is not good if a person is an enlisted man. I retain my policy in the Equitable Life of Iowa, which is SURE good if killed at war. It is a great game. You are made the second beneficiary. Oh, yes the movie magazines are interesting. Everybody in the barracks room looks them over and we have lots of fun. They won't come to Olathe any more, or oughtnetn to as I have had the address on them changed. Those pants came and I sure was tickled with them. They are much better than the issue kind and just like the officers wear. I'm an object of envy. All the guys know about MY BROTHER. They all seemed as interested as I did to hear that he arrived safely.
020_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 6, 1917_Page 02
[page 2] No x-ray of the ankle has as yet been taken. It has bothered me but little since the first couple of weeks. Athletics hve started. We had football practice today. I am out for the team, but may not make it, as I know nothing of the game. I am fast and have a farily alert mind and they need ONE fellow like this. I am in charge of basketball and we hope to have it going soon. That letter of yours containing the clipping by Gesner and the story of Frances Norris' wedding was delayed. You had an incomplete address. You put Company A and forgot to add 314th Engineers. I expect to come to Olathe on Saturday October 19 and see no reason but my own behavior which should keep me from it. Sixteen of the fellows went there today - just from our company alone. No telling what the rest of the camp produced. On Papa's birthday a wreath wen to the cemetery similar to the one that was on Mama's grave. I will pay something on the stone this week. We get paid Monday. I should get $24. Such is life! I will attend to paying the bill at Baker and Lockwood's. Also the storage bills. I knew I was to check out on [Maurice's] account when necessary. My own personal calls may make it necessary, too. Some dirty clothes will probably come the middle of next week. I am sure lucky to have you take such good care of me, as I sure do
020_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 6, 1917_Page 03
[page 3] like clean clothes that are real CLEAN. I could do my own washing here as many of the fellows do but the clothes would surely suffer. When we get to using heavy underwear I will send it to a laundry here, as it weighgs too much and is too havey for you to handle. I sent Oscar a special delivery letter last night to hurry me up on of those blankets. It sure got cold here the last two nights. If that army blouse had buttons I sure could use it - but - - - ! Well, I won't mail this tonight, as it will not get to you any sooner, I think. I may get a letter or something on the mail which is distributed about six o8clock tonight. Any time you can find it convenient to make a cake or candy or anything it will sure be appreciated. We get food, but it is good and that is all. No delicacies at all. Love of love, [Charles] If you have a drinking cup I would appreciate it if I could have it. It should be about large enough to stay in a pocket comfortably.
021_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Daisy (Aunt)_October 8, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] October 8, 1917 Dear Aunt Daisy: Thanks ever so much for the trousers press which came today. This pajamas are also especially welcome. In a couple of days or so I'll send to Olathe some dirty clothes with instructions when I'd like to get them returned. A letter from Ogee today tells me that he will try to be in Olathe the sane week-end I come. Tonight I got into
021_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Daisy (Aunt)_October 8, 1917_Page 02
an argument with one of the sergeants who insisted on swearing at me. I told him a few things with the result that the next time I want a pass I may not get it. I'll ask for one to Manhattan for next Saturday. If I get turned down it will make it easier for me the next week when I really want one. And if I should get it, it will not interfere with next week's pass. Our latest work includes the digging of trenches, building of wire entanglements and bayonet drill. Since 6:15 Sunday morning I have had but two hours sleep. I was one guard and had to keep awake nearly all night! So I guess I'll go to bed. Love to you [Charles] Put the enclosed clipping in my book!
022_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 9, 1917_Page 01
Tuesday evening [October 9, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Under separate cover you are being sent some dirty clothes. If possible I would like to get them some time about Sunday. Do not rush yourself or anything tho, as I have some still on hand - enough to keep me going to four or five days! No need to return the pajamas, as the ones I have will suffice for several weeks yet. Today I got two of our red blankets from Oscar and a
022_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 9, 1917_Page 02
big comfort from the government - also a tooth brush, a bar of soap and hair brush. So no danger of my getting cold any more - four good blankets and a comfort! A pillow and an extra pillow case came from Mrs. Heisler. In the same box were fifteen fine Jonathan apples. They sure were appreciated. She also wrote me a very fine letter. Today there came a tiny cake from Nan - also much appreciated. You can see that today has been a good day for me! Enclosed is a picture of our first sergeant! Please put it in my scrap book! Its very cool here at nights and very warm during the day. Perhaps you can use the box I send you in returning clothes to me. Nothing new today. The major-general rode by on his pony this morning. (over) Love [Charles]
022_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_October 9, 1917_Page 03
Your letter of the 5th came yesterday. I'm writing Oscar today telling him of your request if he comes to Olathe. Permanent non-commissioned officers have not yet been announced. Sure - tell Ogee I'll be there on the 19th - the more the merrier. When I come there I'll bring back with me the heavy underwear! I am also going to buy some woolen hose. Love to you Charlie Would you care If I should bring to Olathe with me some young man soldier who lives far away!
023_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_October 14, 1917_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] Sunday, [October 14, 1917] Dear Ogee: Just a few words to let you know that I have received and enjoyed your last few letters. The chilly mornings of which you make mention are well known up this way. Half of the fellows walk around in their overcoats half the time. I don't know what they will do when it gets real cold. I am now a corporal - over seven men and my new salary is $36 a month. No sergeants were appointed. I have seven St. Louis men in my squad, all of them as rough and as tough as they get. They come from a tough word in St. Louis. So far no friction has come up and I hope none does. I expect to be in Olathe next Saturday and Sunday part of the time and if you can arrange to be there then good and well. Yesterday I went to Manhattan where I got a haircut and saw a couple of picture shows. The getting-away from the monotony was worth the money spent. Not much time is given me for work on this machine so I will have to make this short. Yours, [Charles] One hour later: A letter just came from [Maurice]. He is in France studying. His health is fine. Otherwise nothing new is given. He said to try and address him [Maurice], Inf. U. S. R., Unassigned, American Expeditionary Force, via, New York City. Try it out' Yo will also probably hear from him.
024_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 1, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston Thursday - [November 1, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Still under quarantine, but the danger is mostly over now, altho we will all be under quarantine 'till next Wednesday! Your Monday letter got here Tuesday morning. The letter from Maurice was especially welcome. I have sent it to Mr. Grant, who will forward it to Dave who will return it to you! I have not heard from [Maurice] since the very first letter. I cannot understand why! Miss Heisler's Christmas gift to me will sure be a good one!
024_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 1, 1917_Page 02
The Grant whom you located at 75th and State Line is not the one. This fellow is about thirty years old -; he is connected with the Southland Investment Company; his father is the Grant Grain Company in the Board of Trade; both live together with Mrs. Grant, his mother at 61st and [Pennsylvania] - in one of the neatest bungalows I ever saw. The shirt was fine. I have but two of these. At present that suffices. I cannot understand the reason for Mrs. Leavel wanting our address, altho I guess it's all right. Sure, I'll make a try for the new Officer's Training Camp, but from what I understand mostly college graduates will be picked. We have three or four such - all of whom will try. Your Wednesday letter and the scrap book came this evening. Thanks ever so much. That book is not such a good one but I guess 'twill do. You must have a bunch more pictures around the drawers some place, as I'm sure you didn't send 'em all to me.
024_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 1, 1917_Page 03
If I get hold of some paste by Sunday I'll fix it up in great old shape! I get everything you send and acknowledge receipt of same - at least such as my intentions, but sometimes I may miss. I got Miss Heisler's cake and grapes and wrote her the same nite. Please send the enclosed pictures back to me when you write again. They will give you an idea as to Mr. Grant. Love of love [Charles]
025_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 5, 1917_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] Monday - [November 5, 1917] Dear Ogee: Two letters from you are now in front of me and I guess and answer is about due. Our quarantine has resulted in my first cold since I came. I've lost a little weight, pep and interest. This week tests have been held for future appointments as to sergeants and I made about the poorest showing I possibly could. Not only did I lose any possibility of getting to be a sergeant, but I will have to shake to hold my job as a corporal. So your comment that you don't care whether I get promoted or not is soothing. Personally I would very much like to get to be a sergeant as this position of corporal
025_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 5, 1917_Page 02
is sure a despised one. It is the lowest rank and everybody sure despises a corporal. Well, if I get "broke" to a private, I'll be a darn good private. I have an awful time here! I'll say. I hadn't noticed any improvement in my speech since I have some up here. In fact it is getting worse, I think. Of all the cussing dirty-mouthed fellows I ever met, most of the fellows in this army sure have 'em beat. It sure is fierce. Last Thursday I got a letter from[Maurice], which Grandma will probably forward to you sooner or later! Today we were notified that the quarantine would last ten days longer, so we will have to stick close to our barracks until one week from today! Dave was planning to
025_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 5, 1917_Page 03
[YMCA letterhead] [page 2] come up here and see the camp this week end, but it won't do him any good now. I am planning to go to Olathe on November 17, but may not go now. I will probably visit my Heisler the first Saturday in December! Grandma told me that the Ford had been sold. $170 was not enough. You can't buy 'em for that in [Kansas City]. Some of the pictures Dave took were good. The one of you alone was especially fine! I think he said he sent you some. How do you like him? Every day we have been confined to our barracks has sure been an ideal fall day. Cool in the mornings and warm
025_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 5, 1917_Page 04
in the day is the general rule. In the last few days we have been building frames for single lock span bridges - mighty interesting work I say. We have also had instruction on knot tying and semaphore signals. A letter came today from Aunt Kate. The school up there is quarantined because of scarlet fever. I talked to the captain in regard to new shoes. I'll not only have to buy any new ones I might want, but I'll have to pay to have my old ones half-soled. Lights out in ten minutes. Love [Charles]
026_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 6, 1917_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [November 6, 1917] Dear Grandma: A few hasty words to let you know of me. The quarantine should be lifted tonite, but I think it will last a couple of days longer. My cold is somewhat better but not much. I've lost about five pounds with it besides being in a miserable condition. I'm sending you two letters which came from Mr. Grant today. These will give you an idea as to his generosity and cordiality toward [Maurice] & me. Tear 'em up when you have read 'em. If everybody who asks me concerning [Maurice] sends him Christmas packages he will sure have a swell time opening them all. The follow-
026_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 6, 1917_Page 02
ing will undoubtedly send him a package of some kind: you Devils Lake Me Grant Heisler Tracy Vickers Harrouns (friend of Vickers) Leavel Not to mention a few of whom we know nothing! Mr. Grant is taking care of having the headstone on Papa's grave set correctly. He took me to the cemetery. If you go out there and it isn't straight please go to the cemetery office and raise a holler about it. As to my laundry - we are not allowed to send out dirty clothing so I have
026_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 6, 1917_Page 03
[YMCA letterhead] [page 2] to wash my own clothes. I'm keen on handkerchiefs and socks. As yet I've had no sweater but a North Dakota friend (not a relative nor Evelyn) is attending to that end of my wardrobe! You might send me a couple of pair of those socks. Socks are always handy. I know, Grandma Dear, that you are willing to look after my clothes but that heavy underwear weighs too much to send there. So have it done at a laundry is cheaper! The sergeantships will undoubtedly be made public in sight of ten days. Altho there is always a chance, I'm almost positive I'm out of
026_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 6, 1917_Page 04
the race! Oh well, as I said before I should make a good private Love [Charles]
027_1982.202.1_Dab to Charles Stevenson_November 5, 1917_Page 01
[Southland Investments Company letterhead] My dear Charlie:- Enclosed herewith are pictures which you asked for in your letter received this morning. Would have sent them in first letter but had to have them made and it took until noon to get them. Sent Maurice's letter to Mr. Park. Certainly enjoyed your letter and am very glad that you had such a good time while you were here last week and only hop that you can come more often to be my guest as you may rely upon it that the latch string always hangs out and there is welcome written in big letters on our door mat for you. Don't mention about being thankful for what little I have done for you. I only wish that you would let me do more and you may rest assured that it is a pleasure to do anything you may at any time. Pardon my haste but there are many thing to attended to before I leave tomorrow and will have to get busy. Dab
028_1982.202.1_Dab to Charles Stevenson_November 5th, 1917_Page 01
Kansas City, Missouri 533 Lathrop Bldg., November 5th, 1917. My dear Charlie:- Just received your dandy letter enclosing letter from Maurice also clipping and returning picture which I sent to you. Sorry that you returned the picture as I intended it for you if you care to keep it. I have several others taken at the same time so really would rather you had this one. I also sent the one to Maurice taken at the same time only of me by myself on the front of the boat. I will send Maurice the enclosed clipping which you O.Kd. Will see that Mr. Park gets the enclosed letter. Have been a little worried at not hearing form you but once last week as I began to think that perhaps you were sick and was wondering if there was anything that we could do for you. The papers have been full of the number of men at your camp who are sick and didn't know whether you were one of them or not. Am glad that you are not however. I wouldn't wait too long on Jaccards if I were you as it may be too late to get them out by the 10th as you plan, as most of these firms are only looking for a chance to have some lame excuse for not doing something they promise you they can do. I went out to the cemetery yesterday afternoon and found that they had not done a thing towards moving the marker on your Father's grave so I went to the cemetery office and took the matter up with Mr. Field's assistant who told me that he would certainly see that the matter was attended to and is to call me this morning at the office regarding same. I will keep right after them until they do something. Sent you another box of stuffed dates yesterday so suppose you will have them by the time this letter reaches you. Am going to get you a copy of Literary Digest and send it today. Will also see that you get the other copies of the pictures you want and will have the girls mail them to you as I may be out of town when they are finished. I hope that your fondest wishes of being appointed Sergeant will be realized and no one in the world wishes you more success than I do and know that you will be successful in securing this appointment. Don't think I have forgotten about the candy or gun but it seems that now as I am trying to ready to go away, that things pile up so fast that it is difficult to attend to all of them as I should like to do. I will not forget it however and will send the gum and candy both but you will pardon me I know if I am a little delinquent about this matter as I sure mean the best in the world. I will start the box to Maurice tomorrow before I leave for Mississippi. Am sending the following, Bath towel, woolen sox, shaving cream, tooth paste, a beautiful box of stationery with the American Flag embossed on it, got it at Miss Hall's. Was rag, a tube of mentholatum, can of adhesive tape, four bars of toilet soap
028_1982.202.1_Dab to Charles Stevenson_November 5th, 1917_Page 02
[page 2] C.C.S. a tooth brush and two pounds of stuffed dates together with a very appropriate Christmas card also gotten at Miss Hall's shop. Do you think this will be sufficient for him? I couldn't send the canned fire as they prohibit the sending of anything inflammable. Would like to have sent more but the weight limit is 7 pounds. Will send another box later on with handkerchiefs etc., in it for him. Well Charlie, if there is anything in the world that you would like to have attended to while I am in Mississippi, please let Miss Lillian Phillips, 320 Altman Building, [Kansas City, Missouri], know and she will be only too glad to see that it is done. She asked me particularly to ask you to let her do this if she could as she wants to do her mite for the soldiers in any way that she can and will consider it a priviledge to do this for you. Will let you hear from me whenever I can while I am away and also let you know when I get back and then when you are in Kansas City again, let me know so that I will get to see you. With very best wishes for your success in the appointment in sergeant and in every other way, I remain Most sincerely and cordially, Dab
029_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 9, 1917_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] Thursday 1917 My Dearest Grandma: Thank you ever so much for the dandy box of chicken, apples and nuts which came to me today. We were from the barracks all day long on our first all day hike (15 miles). When I got back at 4:30 this afternoon the package and your letter were waiting for me! I saw the story in the paper concerning Maurice. I suppose you have my letter which was forwarded to Dave by now! Dr. Jessie did not see me Saturday. Whether she was here or not I do not know, but I was home all day - quarantine! Our quarantine may be lifted tonite. I'm not sure, however.
029_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 9, 1917_Page 02
A letter came today from E. C. Little, your congressman, telling me to write a letter of application for the training camp to him and he would forward it to the War Department in Washington. Just this evening a notice was posted that our applications much be in by November 1. Two or three will be selected from our company, but I'm afraid I won't make it on account of my age! The clipping from the Olathe Register is in my war book! Those magazines come directly to me, saving you time and postage! Don't forget to return to me that picture of Mr. Grant. The pictures you sent were just what I wanted! Unless a lot things get all mixed up I will be in Olathe one week from Saturday!
029_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 9, 1917_Page 03
[YMCA letterhead] [page 2] Dave was coming up this week end but he cannot make it now - I think he is short of cash. We should get paid tomorrow or Saturday - for October. I have about $23 coming! Today a letter came from Paul Vickers in Ann Arbor. He expects to be home Christmas! Well, I'm pretty tired so I guess I'll quit. Thanks again ever so much for the box. Lots of love [Charles] Enclosed is Aunt Kate's letter.
030_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 13, 1917_Page 01
[November 13, 1917] My Dear Grandma: I'm not six miles from Camp Funston in charge of a squad of men who are doing guard work. We are on the bank of the Republican River watching over the ponton bridge which crosses at this place. My particular job is to see that the fellows are constantly on the job; and in case of any weakening on the part of the bridge, all repair work is done under my direction. If a heavy wind or rain comes up, it means we have some job on our hands. Personally I don't have any manual labor to do, as the men
030_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 13, 1917_Page 02
in the squad do that, such as bailing water out of the boats, cutting wood, sweeping out our little shack, keeping the fire going and etc. We are on the job for three days. We left our camp Monday morning at 8:30 and return to it Thursday about the same time! We walk one mile east to our meals which puts us a big stone barracks at Fort Riley, just one hundred yards from where Maurice trained. I'm enclosing the card I neglected to write for Maurice's gift before I left - so I'm putting it in here! Save me out two of the cards. I want to paste them in my book. I got back to the barracks before the lights were out Sunday evening, so I got my regular hours of sleep! Your letter from [Maurice] was at the camp. I'll send it next time I write. Love - [Charles]
031_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 18, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] Sunday, [November 18]. Dear Grandma: When I got back from that guard detail I found fifteen letters waiting for me and since then about six more have come, so I am sure a busy youth today. Dave did not come. He said he would but at the last moment wrote that his money had run out and that he could not make the trip. It maybe that I will be in next week again. We are due to get some good clothes pretty soon and if I get mine by next week I will sure be there. I was already to come yesterday, but at the last minute all passes were declared off and nobody go to go. I did not care much, as visists every week are expensive altho very enjoyable. It may be I'll come home next week clothes or no clothes. Your letter about the training camp came and I sur thank you for your activities along that line. Before I had your letter I had put in my application to the company commander for an op0-portunity to get this place. You have the right idea. Show the order to Mr. Borland and tell him that if he thinks he can aid without dangering my chances. I am really opposed to getting anything with a pull of nay kind. I am, however, trying to justify myself because of the fact that I had made very effort to get in other branches of the service and was turned down and then accepted here. You know the tale, tho. I had also written to E. C. Little before your letter came. Your lecture was duly noted and read. Thank you very much for it. I guess I am lax in some things. I did not see Mr. Reipma. I guess he was here, but I did not get to see him. Tell him to come to me and I will give him a few observations of my own on the war and its future effect on America. (over) Had to leave the typewriter! Sorry my card got there too late for [Maurice] gift. Let me know all about the furniture. What do I owe you? Have about ten more letters to write, so goodly with love [Charles]
031_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 18, 1917_Page 02
The only place I applied to for my candidacy to the training camp was to the company commander. That is where were supposed to apply! Please send me my spectacles at once. I broke the hook on these and altho I can use them I'll have to get 'em fixed!
032_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson_November 21, 1917_Page 01
[November 21, 1917] My Dear Grandma: Thanks for the pajamas, socks and stamps, all of which came today with your letter of [November 20] you had quite a time getting the furniture out to the house and I certainly do thank you for it. The next time you are in have Hulse's sell the bed - stead, spring, mattress and dresser. Tell 'em to take out what cash they want for handling the transaction and give you the rest. Those new socks evidently did not arrive yet, as but two pairs came today. I'll look forward to the others. The matter of the training camp is now a matter of time. I have
032_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson_November 21, 1917_Page 02
applied to the captain and about all I can do is wait. I sure feel discouraged tonite. I'm not overly enthusiastic over this particular birthday of mine. I've just been thinking of the past year and what it has meant to me. And then tonite we begin on a three weeks quarantine - measles and mumps. The entire camp gets off Saturday morning at eight o'clock and I had counted on coming to [Kansas City] and Olathe. Now it is all off for three weeks. There is a rumor that we will all be thoroughly examined and those who seem in perfect health will be allowed to remain out of the quarantine. If I possibly can come I surely will. I'll wire Dave and he will phone you. If I do come in I won't be in Olathe for supper. I'll come out, possibly on the last car. But I'll call you from [Kansas City] and let you know. So I'm sure a blue youth! The spectacles were received in good shape. I'm sending the others in for repair! The Register has come twice. I have enjoyed it very much! Don't worry about your letters not being welcome! They are very much so and I enjoy them. My answers are brief 'cause the time is limited.
032_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson_November 21, 1917_Page 03
Today I got five birthday letters. M. K. is sending me some fudge. Aunt Kate is sending me a knife. Such is life! Pretty soon I'll send a dirty shirt and a few towels to you. If at all possible I'll be home Saturday. The next time you go to [Kansas City] will you please take to Mr. R.G. Gentry at the bank the key to our safe deposit box, which you will find in Aunt Daisy's desk. If you don't go in soon please mail it to him. I seem to have lost mine. He wants something out of the box. Most love - [Charles]
033_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 26, 1917_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [November 26, 1917] Dear Ogee: Do you have a key to our safe deposit box? If so will you please send it to me at once. There is a blank note signed by [Maurice] which the bank wants. My key is evidently lost. I thought we left a key in Aunt Daisy's desk but a thorough search of it fails to reveal the key! I was in Olathe yesterday and had a nice visit with the folks. I took with me a soldier boy from New Mexico. I bought shoes with your ten dollars - eight for the new ones and two to have the old ones fixed up. Thanks ever so much!
033_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 26, 1917_Page 02
[page 2] I've been assigned to a bayonet school and do some tall work three hours each day learning to use a bayonet so I might instruct others later in the game. Your recent letters have all been received and enjoyed. My time for ten days past has been limited as we have not been getting in 'till 7:30 and 8 when we should be in at 5. If you will let me know of the key as soon as possible I sure would appreciate it. Love [Charles]
034_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_November 29, 1917_Page 01
Camp Funston, Kansas. November 29, 1917. Dear Grandma: Just a few lines on this Thanksgiving Day to let you know I'm still living. We had about the best dinner I ever ate today - turkey, cranberry sauce and cranberries, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, tea and mine pie. Pretty fine eating for the soldier bosy. And not only that but we discarded the system of standing in line and now go into the mess hall and sit down at tables, where are plates, cups, saucers, knifes, forks and spoons, with a man detailed form each squad to wait on table. Pretty nice for the corporals who don't have to wait table or do any work. Your letter came this morning, along with five others, including one from Dorothy. All of our Sunday evening was spent at the Harrouns who treated us royally. They have a most splendid home and seemed much pleased to have us with them. They adopted my squad for Christmas and for sweaters. Next Saturday Miss Harroun is going to send me seven sweaters which she will purchase down town. These are for the seven men in my squad, excluding me. Last night a big box of candy, fruit, doughnuts and a great big cake from them - a Thanksgiving gift. Three of the fellows in the squad also got boxes from home with the result that this afternoon we are a sick bunch - except myself, who did not eat anything but the mess dinner. The company clerk left for a Thanksgiving holiday and I am alternating with another youth in doing his work. I have very little time in the evenings and have worked practically all of today. At the Harrouns we met the Coleman's who live in Johnson county. Mrs. Coleman was enthusiastic over the soldiers and was pleased to know us. She gave a a great big gray scarf, over a yard in length. She said she knew and Aunt Daisy. Mr. Coleman is State Senator from Johnson County. If I can get away this Saturday and Sunday, and I think I can, I shall go to Heisler's at Odessa. If so, I will call you from Kansas City. Send me the shirt about Monday, but you had better register or special delivery it, as I have missed a couple of packages I knew were sent me. The office calls! Much love, [Charles]
035_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 3, 1917_Page 01
Monday, [December 3, 1917] Dear Ogee: Thanks for the prompt reply to my letter. I have told the folks in Olathe about the key, but do not know yet whether they have succeeded in locating it or not. Saturday night and yesterday I was in Odessa, the guest of Miss Heisler. On my way in going back to Funston I called up the Olathe folks and talked with 'em. Aunt Daisy happened to be in Kansas City, so I had to talk to Grandma. While I was at Miss Heisler's she got a letter from Maurice in which he stated that he had returned safely from his observation tour of the front, but that he had been a trifled injured by falling off of a horse. He has a new address - - Company G, 16th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces. From this I would say that he had been assigned to the regular army, altho he said he still had high hopes of being returned here as an instructor. He was the only SECOND lieutenant to be recommended for an instructor and he said that the man who did the recommending recommending him very highly. Love - [Charles]
036_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 5, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] [December 5] Dear Grandma: The shirt and the socks came Monday and the music came today, for which I am thankful. If I had used my brain I could have been using my music all along, but I just didn't think. The chevrons look fine on the shirt and it looks very nice all cleaned and ironed. A rumor around the barracks is that nineteen persons were all that applied for the training
036_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 5, 1917_Page 02
camp and that the captain approved all of them. Between now and the first day of January an examining board will visit our company and choose the three lucky one, so you see I still have a chance. Even if I don't get appointed these I may be sergeant by the first of February. At Odessa I had a very nice time. We drove back from there in Jake's Buick. When we arrived in Kansas City Miss Heisler found a letter form [Maurice] awaiting her. His new address is Co. G - 16th Infantry. I am coming to [Kansas City] - rather Olathe - this coming week-end - the last time before Christmas, I guess. If I am on guard, as I am almost sure to be, I won't arrive in Kansas City until 9:45 p.m. and will not get to Olathe until Sunday morning. I want to finish buying my Christmas presents, so I must
036_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 5, 1917_Page 03
be there to meet a certain person Sunday morning about ten minutes. If I do not have to be on guard Saturday I will arrive there the usual time - and will come to Olathe on the last train. If for any reason I will not be able to come I will wire you! Love [Charles]
037_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 18, 1917_Page 01
Funston Monday a.m. Dear Grandma: I guess its true - no more passes - we can't ride trains out of camp until further notice. Tough luck. I had a very nice time at Harrouns - got a train out at 12:30 - got to camp here at 4:30 - fine time! This letter is for the purpose of telling you to be sure to send me a Turkish towel the next bundle you send.
037_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 18, 1917_Page 02
I've got but one and its dirty. I forgot to bring one back with me! Uncle Jim sent me the leggings. They are useless, but don't tell him so. Just send me his address. Three more men were sent to France - two of them are clerks! The Pajamas were not here yet. Such is life! Love CSS Much warmer
038_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 20, 1917_Page 01
Funston Thursday [December 20, 1917] Dear Grandma: Your letter came several days ago. When I got here - no, 'twas on Tuesday that the pajamas came. They certainly are fine and just exactly the right size. Last night I sent a few dirty clothes to you. Today the towel and the socks came. Thanks ever so much! Today I cleaned out my barracks bag and found ten handkerchiefs. The mystery
038_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 20, 1917_Page 02
is solved. I also found two pairs of socks. Today I got three Christmas gifts. The Willson girls sent Kenneth and I each a pair of military brushes. I shall send them home as soon as possible. O'Gee sent me a five dollar bill. Mr. and Mrs. Blake sent me six khaki handkerchiefs and two pair of woollen socks. Always useful. I'm liking the dark handkerchiefs. Your letter from [Maurice] is being returned. The ones I left are with with the bunch already received from him on Aunt Daisy's desk! Maurice also sent me a French note. Appointments to the next training camp were made public today. I was not among them. Marmon has a chance to be appointed to the Engineers Training School. Owing to a mixup we get one more than we tho't. He will probably get it! In thirty days three privates and three corporals will be transferred to Fort Leavenworth to be appointed sergeants and drill rookies. I do not know my changes of being one of the
038_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 20, 1917_Page 03
three corporals! In thirty days four new sergeants will be appointed for this company. I may get one of those places. I will want Maurice's Army truck so if you will stuff everything in it in a box and send it to me here by express I will appreciate it. Take good care of those letters and try not to shift them. They are arranged by dates. Send the trunk when convenient! No more week-end passes! That's why I came home so often! Love [Charles]
039_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 21, 1917_Page 01
Friday - [December 21, 1917] Dear O'Gee: Thanks ever so much for your Christmas present which came yesterday. I'll say it comes in mighty handy and I was sure glad to get it! Any number of changes are being made in the company. Last week ten fellows were shipped to France. A rumor is that twenty more will be sent in the next ten days. Appointments to the next training camp were announced yesterday. I was not among those appointed. My age was somewhat
039_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 21, 1917_Page 02
against me. But four sergeants were taken and it is possible that I will be appointed to one of these places, altho I won't be disappointed if I should not. Six men - three privates and three corporals - are to be sent to Ft. Leavenworth to act as drill masters for a new engineering company to be recruited there. The privates will be made corporals and the corporals sergeants. So it certainly seems as if I should get something better some place along the line! I would not mind going to Leavenworth, altho a transfer there would mean permanancy there - not to France! Last week we had mighty cold weather, but it has been ideal so far this week. It looks as if we will have a warm Christmas. No passes are issued for week-ends any more, so no telling when I will get back to Kansas City! My Christmas will be sent here! Fair enough! So far my health here has been fine. I haven't had a cold or a headache for a long time, but no telling when I'll go down. I try to take good care of myself!
039_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 21, 1917_Page 03
Dave is mailing you a picture of me which is supposed to be my Christmas present to you. The pictures are not ready today, so you may not get them by Christmas. Maurice's assignment to the regular army is displeasing to me, but I guess we can't help it. Thanks again, for the five dollars. With love [Charles]
040_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson_December 23, 1917_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] [December 23] - Sunday. Dear Grandpa: I sent you and Grandma - I mean I intended to send you - a picture of myself in my uniform but the photographer made a mistake and finished the wrong film, so it isn't ready yet. I haven't forgotten you this Christmas, but the photographer, made a mistake and I'll have to wait a couple of weeks before sending it to you! But it will some soon!
040_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson_December 23, 1917_Page 02
I'm wishing I was in Olathe today, but this crazy topping of week-end passes has sure put the jinks on my coming home much! Most love to you Charlie
041_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 27, 1917_Page 01
[December 27] Dear Ogee: As quickly as possible send me back that picture of me. The photographer developed the wrong plate. He is finishing the correct one now, so as soon as you send me the one you have I will be able to give you one of the new kind. Please mail me the one you have at once! - to here. Your letter came today. I wrote you about the five dollars. I'm sure. I got it all right. Thanks ever so much Love [Charles]
042_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 6, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Saturday Dear Grandma: I busted my ankle last night - basketball - and may not be able to play for a couple of weeks. Just my luck. We have some dandy trips in front of us. That transfer of mine about which I was telling you fell thru. I was to go to the 12th Engineers, now in France, as first sergeant. I did not get it!? Luck or not?
042_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 6, 1918_Page 02
Twenty men left for France this morning! Also this morning we were put under quarantine - spinal meningitis again. Fourteen men were taken from the company. I should worry. I can't walk anyhow. As to the clothes - I forgot to send 'em! They are still here. When I send 'em to you I'll write! A letter from you was here and one came yesterday! Yep, I was in a basketball game. I'm glad you saw the story in the Times! I was quite a hero for twenty minutes. Thanks for Uncle Jim's address. I am writing him today. I'm sorry I couldn't see you in Kansas City Wednesday. I went to the cemetery in the morning, the Orpheum in the afternoon and the basketball game at night. Speed, I'll say! Thanks for the Diary and paste. They have not come yet, tho! As to the stuff at Hulses - tell
042_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 6, 1918_Page 03
Miss Hulse to sell it for what she can get! I'll trust her. I'm returning the letter to you! Send the money to the transfer man! The pass privilege is back, but we can't move while under quarantine. I'll made an effort to be in Olathe next Sunday, but of course I can't say now. Thanks for the tag! Kenneth Marmon left this morning for another part of camp - Officers Training School. He got it thru his college. One other fellow went. He had a Y. M. C. A. pull. Such is life. Love to all [Charles]
043_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 7, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Sunday My Dear Grandma: I got the truck open and you can believe me I sure was one surprised youth. I sure do thank you for all of those things - especially that swell cake! I opened the trunk with a battered button hook. It took almost two hours, but it sure was worth it. Did I tell you in yes-
043_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 7, 1918_Page 02
terday's letter that we are quarantined again? Only for a couple of days, I'm sure. Several of the fellows went out because of being carriers of meningitis germs and another culture is being taken to determine who else is unlucky. So gar I have been exempt from all this stuff, but 'tis never too late! My ankle feels somewhat better today and I think I will be in the game in about a week. No letters came for me today the first day in a long time I have not had any mail. Thanks for the cakes and nuts and apples. I'm trying to get some clothes sent to you tonite, but I'm no sure I can get 'em out of the barracks. When you do get 'em, shoot back sock and underwear as
043_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 7, 1918_Page 03
as quickly as possible, as I always can use 'em. Love [Charles]
044_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 9, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Tuesday Dear Grandma: I sneaked out today and mailed you two groups of clothing - most of which is dirty. I sent it from the Y. M. C. A. Please hurry me back a suit of underwear and some socks. The rest can be sent at leisure. If you have any indelible ink or any kind of marking it I would like to have you put on everything you send: Stevenson A-[314 Engineers] 5 The 5 stands for my company number. We are still in quarantine but we expect to be out by tomorrow at the latest, but you never can tell about this crazy place. My ankle is rapidly coming around in shape and by Friday I'm sure 'twill be fairly strong.
044_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 9, 1918_Page 02
By some unusual hook or crook I have kept off of it since Friday nite. All it needs to become normal is - rest x Your letter came - thanks. The handkerchief was a surprise. Love to you One of the men of our company died of pneumonia yesterday. The funeral was today. I did not get to go but the fellows told me that the funeral was sure a misfit x
045_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_Janurary 12, 1918_Page 01
Camp Funston Sat. - [January 12, 1918] My Dear Grandma: For the union suit and sock which came today I certainly thank you very much. There was not such an awful hurry as all that, Grandma, altho the suit will come in handy. When I opened the trunk a suit was in there and I am wearing that one now. My ankle is making dandy progress and I'll be able to play on it Monday. Last night and all day today I was on guard. Beginning at 4:30 last night I was out every hour for twenty or thirty minutes each time.
045_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_Janurary 12, 1918_Page 02
Day before yesterday we had a great big snow - ten inches - and yesterday morning it turned cold. The lowest the temperature went was sixteen below. I was a corporal of the guard and got exactly fifty minutes sleep all nite. So you can image what a tired youth I am. By the way, you once mentioned that the Olathe Red Cross sent me a box. It never came. Late nite the camp bank was robbed and three men killed. As a result no passes are being issued today, so it is evident why I am not in Olathe. It seems a very long time since I have been there and believe me I sure will be there the first possible Saturday. Send me that Infantry Journal. You might also send along the diary and the paste! No need to send me money for the home trip. I can always get there as I generally keep $10 or $15 with me! No changes have been made here recently. Present indications point to my remaining a corporal for some time to come! There are two new
045_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_Janurary 12, 1918_Page 03
sergeants to be appointed soon. I am not expecting one of the places. We went out of quarantine at noon yesterday! Some life! This place is so uncertain and everything is so unsettled that it is discouraging and disgusting. A letter came from Ogee yesterday. With best of love Charlie This bank robbery is evidently serious, as between 2:30 and 3 o'clock this afternoon every man in the camp, 42,000, was searched thoroughly. It is reported four killed and $68,000 taken!
046_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 16, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] [January 16] Wednesday My Dear Grandma: I have but one piece of writing paper left and I couldnt think of anybody better to use it on than you! And yesterday I got six letters and today I got four. First - for the very prompt return of the laundry thank you ever so much, Grandma. Ten pairs of clean socks - all in good shape sure look good to me. I have three pair of pajamas now - two very clean.
046_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 16, 1918_Page 02
The underwear is of course always handy. We corporals now have to hand in a report every Saturday of the number of baths each man in our squad takes. Now before I forget will you send me the following: 1 pair of small scissors some outing flannel - 10 [cents] worth is plenty some long pieces of duck or canvas for an ankle brace. As to your letter: Hereafter I sure will send the clothes oftener. It is easier on both of us. The Post laundry took no laundry out of here for three weeks! I'll try to be in Olathe Saturday nite. I'll come directly out from the depot and may get there about 8:30 or 9. The [Union Pacific] has been late as heck recently. Save the diary and paste and above list until Sunday. If nothing happens as did last week I'll be right there. Oh yes, thanks for sewing on the names. It sure makes it fine! If I come Sunday I'll bring a few dirty clothes. I want the pillow slip and blue bag returned to me if I don't get home Sunday. I was plenty warm during the cold spell, but
046_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_January 16, 1918_Page 03
I was on guard the coldest nite, as I wrote you. No letters from [Maurice] recently. My ankle is coming along fine. The team leaves for Lincoln tomorrow, but I stay at home. The next time I'll probably get to go. I'm making all possible effort to come to Olathe, for Saturday and Sunday. I'll have lots to tell. Love [Charles]
047_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 4, 1918_Page 01
Send me that framed picture of Dorothy. I've decided I want it. [Camp Funston] Sunday Dear Grandma: Quarantined again - meningitis again. One our lieutenants has a case and we are stuck until two cultures are taken! That is absolutely all that is new. Personally I'm feeling very well, and I sure hope I stay that way! Your letter came yesterday. I'm sorry not to have come to Olathe today, but trains out of here are way late yet
047_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 4, 1918_Page 02
and I would not get there until midnight and a new ruling of our commander makes it compulsary that we leave on that 6 P.M. Union Pacific. Frances Morrison wrote Hallett for both of us to come there for a party last nite. He couldn't make it, nor could I, so we both will try next Saturday. If we are out of quarantine, I'll probably be there. I didn't write because there wasn't a thing to say. The girls to not come before you do. I write to a few, but when I have anything to tell you - I tell you first. The cold weather didn't bother me at all. I don't like it one bit, but it didn't hurt me. Today is a most glorious days and none of us can get more than ten yards away from the barracks. Some life! Send my clothes to me. I won't have any to send to you for some time as I'm going to try the laundry. Mr. Martin happens to be a
047_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 4, 1918_Page 03
lieutenant, so it is very improbably he will come to visit, altho on my next trip I may bring a private with me! My jaw has quit hurting, altho the dentist said I would have further trouble with the teeth! I just finished a letter to Aunt Kate. She speaks of 38 [degrees] below. 22 [degrees] is our record. No word from [Maurice] recently. It looks as if I will be here for four months yet. Many privates are leaving but no corporals or sergeants. Love Carlie
048_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 5, 1918_Page 01
Monday evening. My Dear Grandma: I'm sorry you had to wait so long for a letter from. I didn't have much to say so I didn't write. I really didn't realize nearly two weeks had gone by or I sure would
048_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 5, 1918_Page 02
have written sooner. There is not a thing wrong. The letter I wrote yesterday tells everything. Your letter (S.D.) came at noon today. I would have wired you at once but we cannot leave the building because of the quarantine and no messenger boy passed near the barracks so it was impossible to get any word to you. We were outdoors all day long - from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., digging dirt out of the ground. We can work, it seems, but we cannot
048_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 5, 1918_Page 03
play - such is army life! Never worry as to whether I am warm or not. Always do I keep warm! I've got more covers than I need and as for clothing, I'm well off! By the way, does Grandpa
048_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 5, 1918_Page 04
ever use that helmet I sent! Thanks for [Maurice's] letter - it is later than anything I have. I'm sorry you had to wait - I won't do it again. Love Charlie This paper is a gift from Mrs. Blake One hour later - Harold Hallett just left. We talked for some time and he took a telegram to you from me [Charles]
049_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_date unknown_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Tuesday Dear Grandma: You sure are good to me - almost too good for the returns you get. Thank you for that big box of clothes which came today. Those towels were especially welcome. The apples and cakes were good. We have been having poor meals recently and any outside eatables are welcome! If we are not out of quarantine by Thursday I'll send some clothes to you, but if we get out, our laundry will get the clothes. There is a good chance for us to be out of this quarantine some
049_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_date unknown_Page 02
time tomorrow. We sure hope so. A letter came yesterday from Paul Vickers. He is in Ann Arbor yet and was turned down for the Reserve Corps because he was going to an engineering school and also because of youth! I'll make every effort to be home Saturday night. Thanks again for the clothes. Love Charlie
050_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_February 10, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] Sunday February 10, 1918 Dear O'Gee: Your letter of Wednesday came yesterday and I was glad to hear from you as usual. You comments on business in Tulsa and your connection with it were interesting. You must be going good in the contracting game to be able to take our so many large permits. If you can make some money you should be at ease in the near future. We had mighty cold weather here for ten days or more, but recently it has sure been great, while today is a beauty. Our training is going to become more intensified when the warmer weather sets in. Our company will get about fifty new men in a couple of weeks, so it is not probable that we will leave here for three months or so. What you say about traveling salesmen is true, as a rule, altho I think so of them get good places by making good showings while on the road. It is a place where easy money can be made, especially when a man has a popular line. What I will do after the war is a matter of conjecture. I wish I knew. I intended to go to Olathe today, or rather last night, but while on guard Friday night, I accidentally discharged a rifle and am confined to the limits of the camp until further notice, which will be about four weeks or so. The captain gave me a heck of a talking to last night and told me I was subject to a courts-martial, with probably reduction to the ranks. Such is life! I will let you know how it comes out. Not a thing is new. A letter from Maurice a couple of days ago tells me he is well, but hardly anything at all worth repeating. A couple of letters are going out, so I'll have to stop. Much love, [Charles]
051_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 14, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Wednesday Dear Grandma: Because I accidentally fired off my rifle while on guard duty last Friday I'm not allowed to leave the Engineer Camp until March 1, so do not look for me in Olathe until after that time! My activities are confined to a square of ground about three hundred yards long and the same number wide!
051_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 14, 1918_Page 02
Some day when time is on your hands rummage around some of the books and papers of ours and see if you can find any old clippings of any kind concerning Maurice or me. I will have time to do some pasting in my scrap book, which is now in an advanced stage! Not a thing else is new. I'm perfectly well and happy. I had counted on being in Olathe this Saturday but I won't be able to make it for several weeks. Send Dorothy's picture soon! With love, Charlie
052_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 01
Camp Funston Saturday Afternoon Dear Grandma: Thanks ever so much for the picture of Dorothy, the towels, candy and the letter - all of which came today. I have a dandy place for Dorothy and there shall she remain. I need the remembrance of some lair lady to me stable. Enclosed are a couple of pictures took last week. The one of my bunk is especially good. Take notice of the scissors, looking glass and the holder for toilet
052_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 02
articles. See the ingenuous bookrack - also the album next to it. The strip of white on the rafter next to the scissors is the time table of the [Union Pacific]. The cot you can see is steel. The prominent calendar displayed is one furnished by Mrs. Blake. The two windows make is dandy and light during the day. Notice the blanket folded - that is where my head rests at night. However we were told this morning that we would all be assigned to various new places next week, so I'll be changed. Please send this back to me at your convenience, so I can send it to [Devils Lake] Not a things is new except a letter from [Maurice] which came today. From this I surmise he is at the front. It sure seems funny he doesn't get our letters more regularly! We get paid in about thirty minutes, so I'll quit now. The paper I'm reading in the picture is the Olathe Mirror.
052_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 03
My confinement allows me to go to the canteen & YMCA and play outdoor basketball. Tomorrow we will have a piano in our barracks I am almost sure! Enclosed is the finale of the Pep Oil Company! Love [Charles] Clive, the fellow in the bank who has our piano, is moving to the country soon. What is your suggestion for the piano? Took up collection for piano today and got over $20. We will have one Monday I think
053_1982.202.1_Glen Craig Tobias to Charles Stevenson_February 14, 1918_Page 01
[Kansas City, Missouri], [February 14, 1918] Dear Sirs:- I am reliably informed that the Pep Oil Company, in which you are a stockholder, has a note of $1530.00 to meet in a Wellsville bank at this time, and I am further advised that the company is not financially in a position to meet this note. I am further informed that in order to hold their leases in the Wellsville field it is necessary for them to drill another well and to complete same not later than March 28th. I am informed and understand that they are not in a position to drill this additional well or to meet their note, and in the event of their failure to do so it will be possible that their leases will be forfeited. In order to protect my own investment in the company and the investment of several of my friends, I am prepared to offer you 25 [cents] per share for the number of shares you may own in the above company. I will only purchase 12,000 shares of this stock at the above price, and it is my intention after securing control of the company to have it voted into the Choctaw Chickasaw Oil and Gas Company, of which I am President. If the plans as outlined materialize the stockholders who fail to get their stock in among the first 12,000 will have the alternate proposition of taking one share of stock in the Choctaw-Chickasaw Oil and Gas Company for every share of stock they gold in the Pep Oil Company. If you wish to sell your stock it will be necessary for you to sign the enclosed option and return to me by first mail. Your very truly, G.C. TOBIAS. Address: Glen Craig Tobias, 1717 McGee St., [Kansas City, Missouri]
054_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Sunday Dearest Grandma: A few short and sweet words of thanks for the dandy cakes which came this morning. Both of them are fine! The one cut in pieces is all gone, while the whole one is half gone. I'm sure grateful to you for them! The paper and envelopes also come in handy - they always do! Never mind the old clippings! I'll get them the first time I come home, which I hope is [March 2]
054_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 02
I had a couple of the clippings Maurice's last letter. My scrap book was pasted up to date all this morning. It sure is a peach of a book now! On Valentine's Day I got two nice boxes of candy - one from a North Dakota girl - the other from the Kansas City girls whose clever letter you read the last time I was home. She still writes to me and I sure enjoy her letters. No need to send me much ready matter, as I get enough army dope to keep me busy for a long time. I'm way behind now on it! This forced confinement doesn't bother me one bit - I get to bed early. We get a piano tomorrow I was just told! Good enough, I say! Aunt Kate's cookies come to me in fine shape - they haven't come for a long time, though! I wrote a letter Maurice and to O'Gee today. Love, Charlie
055_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Wednesday Dear Grandma: I'm sorry I couldn't get an answer to you sooner, but this crazy mail system makes such impossible. As to the stock I tho't I'd keep, but if Mr. Newman advised selling it, I'll do so. It is in the safe deposit box in [Kansas City]. If it is convenient for Aunt Daisy to take
055_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 02
care of this we would very much appreciate it. If she cannot do so, mail the key to R.G. Gentry at the bank, telling him to pick out the three certificates and send 'em to me. If Aunt Daisy gets any money from the stock, you and she use it for something around the house - to eat, drink, wear or use! Any old thing!!! Please tell me as soon as possible what activities take place. It sure has been cold out here - personally I've been dandy and warm. No news - nine more days! A holiday here on Washington's birthday, but it will be a big track meet all day Love Charlie
056_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 25_1918_Page 01
Mrs. C.A. Stevenson Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas
056_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 25_1918_Page 02
Monday a.m. Dear Grandma: I could not get the McClintock home, so if you get in this week, please ask her about the wheel. Sock and cookies were here. Thanks very much. No letter from Maurice. When you go in, call up Mrs. Vickers and tell her hello! I met Caroline McNutt on the train returning to Abilene. We had a dandy talk. A 60-mile wind is throwing dust all over the camp. It sure is fierce - the goggles are handy. I'm in charge of quarters today, but the company is on an all-day hike. [Charles]
057_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_March 15, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] [March 1, 1918] Thursday March 1918 Dear Ogee: A mighty interesting letter came from you today and I was glad to get it as I have not heard from your for some time past. I did not know that Uncle Mike had left Tulsa, but judging from your letter I would say he is not far offm as you mention seeing him soon. A letter came from young Frank the other day in which he spoke of Uncle Mike being there. Frank is at present loafing, having just returned from a bumming trip from the Pacific Coast. When the weather gets warmer I think I will start a little garden all my own on some hill up here. Everything we eat now comes out of cans - even the potatoes. I hope your garden prospers. It is true that a number of men will start for France in the VERY near future, but I won't be one of them as the noncommissioned officers of my regiment are all being kept here wit the regiment. We lack 880 of being to normal strength and it will take come time for us to get enough men to catch up& So we corporals and sergeants expect to be here on Decoration Day and I believe it will be later than that. The story of the building activities in Tulsa interests me. O One of my first acts in coming from the war is going to be visiting Tulsa. I have heard a lot of the town and I am coming down to look it over.
057_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_March 15, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] About a week ago I got five letters from Maurice- - all very interesting and welcome, of course. He gave me no news except that when he gets a furlough he intends to spend it in the town of Nice - not Paris, which might give a clue as to his location. Personally - - at present I am laid up. I tore loose a couple of ligaments in my bum ankle playing ball Sunday and have not been able to walk for about four days. With the aid of a stick I get around a little. During my stay indoors I'm acting as Supply clerk. It sure is a sanp, but I cannot get it as I am a noncommissioned officer and they are not allowed to hold such officers. I don't want the job - too much indoor work. If you decide to go to Olathe some week end let me know by letter or telegram and I will make an effort to be there. I am thinking of putting in for a furlough of about five days. If I get it I will write and let you know the dates and if you care to home about that time, you can do so. We are at present specializin on bayonet work, grenades and gas defense and engineering work - bridges, trenches, roads and such. I am feeling fine - with my soldier suit on I wiegh 155 or more, which is not at all bad for a youth of five feet and seven inches. Love you, [Charles]
058_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_March 17, 1918_Page 01
Sunday afternoon March 17, 1918 Dear Grandma: The reason I am not home is because at inspection last week my gun was dirty, so I got no pass for today & Necxt week I go on guard so I will not be able to come in then. Look for me the following week, if at all possible for me to come. It sure is a fine day here and I wish I were there. I just wrote a letter to Maurice and sent him the same pictures I mailed you - - also some sport clippings. Today I was appointed as the Engineer representative of Trench and Camp, the soldiers newspaper which I showed you at one visit home& All it means is that I am a reporter for the paper from the camp. My ankle is pretty strong now and I played ball a little today altho it is a trifle weak yet. Kenneth Marmon as been in the infirmary for three days with a bum knee. He expects to be free tomorrow. As to my wheel - - I wrote letters to the commanding officer at Ft. Riley and to the same at Camp Funston to locate Cash Durby. From Camp Funston, I got the surprising news that Cash Durby is in confinement at Ft. Leavenworth. So goodby Bicycle& You can tell all this to Mrs& McClintock& I rather expected a letter from you today none came. Nothing new! ! Best of love, [Charles]
059_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_March 21, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [Camp Funston, Kansas] March 31 - Thursday night. Dear Grandma: Just a few words of love and information to you that I am well and feeling fine& I am now going to boxing school one hour each daY. I get trained in how to fight and I learn the various punches and guards so that if I lose my gune in a battle I can fight with my fists. I go from two to three o'clock each day.. I get to play baseball two hours each day now, as I succeeded in making the company baseball team. We have sent stories to various [Kansas City] newspapers and expect to get games in nearby town, such as Salina, [Abilene], St. Mary's and similar places. Your letter came yesterday - the first word I have had from you for over a week. I sure am sorry to hear of so much sickness in the homestead and I hope by now everybody is all well. No chance for me to be home this week end. My gun was too dirty last week. I would have made the trip with the basketball team, but the coach refused to take me on account of that ankle of mine I hurt recently. If at all possible, I will spend Easter Sunday with you. That picture of me in the Times brought from Kansas City three invitations to dinner on Saturday evening and a letter a girl some place in Kansas, who saw the picture in the paper and thought she would write. Some life! I did not see the clipping you mentioned in
059_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_March 21, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] your letter regarding, the monument in France, so you had best save it for me. You should see my scrap book now. I sure have it fixed up fine. A lot of more pictures have been pasted in it and there are also some more clippings. In regard to reporting for Trench and Camp the captain talked to me for thirty minutes today regarding the possibilities I have of putting the Engineers on the map. Some class I will say. I am going to branch out if possible and I intend to send some of the stuff to the Star and a couple of St. Louis newspapers. If there is any way for you to get my fifteen dollars for the wheel I wish you would help me to get it as I intend to buy another wheel and to get much benefit out of it I ought to buy it at once. I was figuring on getting one the next time I am in Kansas City. Where Mrs& McClintock got the idea that I sold the wheel I do not know as I never even dreamt of selling it to anybody here. This is about all the news there is. For the past week I have been helping Phil Stone, Virginia's sister doing clerical work in the Supply office, where he is sergeant. Thanks for the Infantry Journal& Oh yes, never mind the gun rugs - I am still well supplied, thanks to you& Love to all, [Charles]
060_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_March 31, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] Sunday - Easter - March 31, 1918 Dear Grandma: Not a thing new, except a bunged up shoulder from playing ball today. Everything I go into recently finds me all smashed up at the end. Such is life! You letter came day before yesterday. I got that long letter from Maurice and supposed that was the reason you had not sent it to me. I would have been home today except for a ceremony we have called muster. Nobody got any passes so it was impossible for me to get away today. I have been busy all afternoon on this Trench and Camp work. As to your coming out next week I sure hope that you can. If you come to Manhattan get a street car out of there which will get you at a stop known as Packer's Station about 12:30. To do this you will leave Manhattan about 11:30. In case the car does not get there about 12:30 get the one that will get your there about one o'clock. They run each half hour, tho, I think on Saturdays, so you should have no trouble at all in leaving there in time. When you get off at Packer's Station you will find a little depot. I will meet you there. If you come thirty minutes or an hour late all right. By try to come, altho if you think you cannot make the trip this time do not try. In case you do not come I will come there. To get my pass I should know by Thursday evening as to whether you intend to come or not. So be sure to answer this right away. If you come send me the
060_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_March 31, 1918_Page 02
name and address where you will be in Manhattan and I will call you up should you get there Friday. I think it would be more advisable for you to come on Friday than to come Saturday. If you come I can get away to return to Manhattan or Junction City with you, so be sure to let me know. I had a lot of dope in Trench and Camp, which I will send you very soon. One of the articles got me into a lot of trouble. I'll tell you all about it when I get home. Love, Charlie
061_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_April 3, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston, Kansas] Wednesday morning. Dear Grandma: Thank you very much for the fifteen dollars received yesterday, which you got from Mrs. McClintock. I am sure in dire need of funds and the money was welcome. I'll write to Mrs. McClintock this evening and thank her for the same. Your letter was most interesting, altho I am sure sorry to hear that Grandpa is not at all well. I am also mighty sorry to read that you wont be able to come up here Saturday and Sunday. However, you know what is best, so we will put if off until some future week-end. Since you cannot come here I will come there. If I can get away on the noon train from here I will be in Olathe on the car arriving there at seven o'clock. In case I get delayed in leaving here and do not get away until 2:30 in the afternoon, I wont come out there until on the last car. But if I come on that late train I will call you from Kansas City between seven and eight o'clock. So if I don't arrive on the seven oVcock Strang expect a phone call from me between seven and eight. If you do not get the call it means that I have been stuck at camp and cannot come. There is a possibility that I will leave here at five, getting to [Kansas City] at 10:20. If so, I will call you then and come right on out to the house on the late Strang. But I should get away on the noon train and be there at seven oVclock. I saw Harold Hallett last night and he is also going home this week end, so we will probably have a social evening with various ladies there, if possible.
061_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_April 3, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] I am going to try to get a ten day furlough beginning as soon as possible. This is five days longer than is generally granted and I doubt whether I can make it or not, but I am fairly confident of getting one of five days. A number of men who have not been here as long as I have have gotten five and seven days furlough, so I think I will get one. If so I will try to do a little work on Stevenson Place and keep it from "looking like heck." Of course I do not know how soon this will be given, but I hope it can be obtained in sight of the next thirty days. My bicycle came last Thursday, as I once told you, and I am having lots of fun with it, as well as putting it to advantage in saving time for the office and various departments of our company. Enclosed you will find a certificate of my insurance from the War Department, which I ask you to keep for me until I can some time place it in the safe deposit vault in the bank. Not a thing is new, except military secrets, which include wholesale transfer of men - not noncommissioned officers, however. Yesterday I got about fifty words from Maurice dated March 13. He tells me he has been appinted Regimental Athletic Officer, which is quite an honor in our regiment, up here it is held by a captain. Look for me Saturday evening, but remember I am in the Army now and am subject to their regulations. Love, Charlie
062_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_April 13, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] Sunday April 13 Dear Ogee: Your letter came just yesterday and I was mighty glad to hear from you and of your activities. From the description of your numerous moves I might imagine that you move when rent is due, but I guess most of your moves are necessities. You must be kept mighty busy with your building and your garden and side issues that always keep popping up. As for myself there is only one new thing. I do not do but one hour's drilling a day as I have been made clerk in the Supply Room working under Virginia Stone's brother, Phil, who is supply sergeant. He is a mighty fine fellow and I certainly like him and he treats me royally. The only trouble with the job is that it is indoor work most of the time. I have certainly thrived under outdoor work here and I have no desire to stick myself under a roof and fool with a pen and a typewriter. But that is the desire of the captain and I suppose it is what I shall have to do. Another angle I dislike is that it shuts off all chances of promotion unless Stone dies, gets killed or is transferred, all thre of which are remote and undesirable probabilities. No recent word has come from Maurice. The last note I got tells of plans for a furlough. He said he was very welll and in healthy condition. The same is my shape. Grandma wrote me day before yesterday that Uncle Kern of New York would be in Olathe next Sunday, so I am making plans to be there and as far as I can see I will be there. As far as getting a pass for next week my record is clean, so I should be there. Grandma told me you would like to see Uncle Kern and me both, so if you could come up next Sunday it would be pretty nice. Of course it is not positive I will be there, altho it is most probable This army life is one in which not future plans can be made with certainty. I should know Friday night whether I can come for sure or not. So if you will write and tell me a once if you can come home next Sunday In case I CANNOT I will wire you Friday night in time to let you know Saturday morning. Please let me hear from you by return mail so I will know what to do. I have in a request for a five day furlough, which will be granted in about thirty days I guess, the exact time of which I do not know. I will let you know and if you cannot come Sunday you might be able to come then. Love, Charlie
063_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_April 17, 1918_Page 01
Camp Funston Tuesday 6:45 a.m. Dear Grandma: I haven't written because there has not been a single thing to say, except what I said in the telegram which I hope you got early Saturday morning. I sent Helen Nelson one, too. I was sorry not to come, but this is Army life. I should have no trouble in being in Olathe next week.
063_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_April 17, 1918_Page 02
My record is clean and passes will be issued then, so we are told. There is absolutely no reason why I cannot come, so expect me. I may not leave camp till 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon and I couldn't get there until midnight. In case I do not arrive on the seven o clock car, I won't be there until midnight, so expect me then. In case I cannot come at all I will sire you some time Saturday. I wrote O'Gee of this and he may come home. I don't remember Uncle Kern, but know Uncle Jim very well, of course. A dandy letter from [Maurice] Sunday; it contained two fine small pictures of him. They sure are dandies. My furlough request went in and was filed. Sooner or later it will be granted - for five days - possibly in a month or more.
063_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_April 17, 1918_Page 03
I hope Aunt Daisy is all right now and able to be at school. Love, Charlie 6 p.m. I got busy as heck and forgot to mail this. A letter came from you today - also the bundle of clothes. Thank you very, very much - for the apples especially. 8 p.m. Just got paid. I have $15.29 left.
064_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_April 18, 1918_Page 01
Camp Funston Wednesday Dear Ogee: Your letter of Tuesday came today. It sure did make good time. In regard to your coming to Olathe Saturday and Sunday, I thought perhaps you could see me and Uncle Curn at the same time, thuskilling two birds with one stone, as they say. However, there is no use for you to wait on the theory that Maurice will be here soon, as I think it very improbably that he will be sent home for some time to come. My furlough is vague and indefinite. I do not know whether I will get it or not, altho I can see no reason to wait until then to come home - - good and well. I only mentioned your coming because Uncle Curn and I both would be there at the same time. I am making all plans to be in Olathe Sunday, so if you decide to come up I will no doubt be there. What I thought you meant to do was to come to Olathe for Saturday and Sunday only. I suggest that if you do decide to come that you wire me to reach me by Friday evening at the very latest - - so in case I cannot come I can wire you before you leave Tulsa. In case I wire I will send it to your postoffice box, so keep close tab on it Friday evening and Saturday morning. Love, [Charles]
065_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Jay Stevenson_May 2, 1918_Page 01
Co. A, [314th Engineers] [Camp Funston, Kansas] May 2, 1918 FROM: Corporal Charles Stevenson TO: Mr. Jay Stevenson SUBJECT: Furlough 1. At a private conference with the captain of this company held night before last he told me that under the most stringent cases onlynwould I be granted a furlough, meaning that I am to have no furlough atall. I have been counting on one for a long time, but it is all off now. 2. He told me that this regiment was just about tomove and that nobody would be allowed away from camp for much over two days. I guess I am out of luck. I will wait now until I get to France and then I will get away to look up Maurice. 3. I got the pictures of Maurice to which you have reference. They are mighty fine I think. He sure is fat - - and good looking. 4. Since I last wrote or saw you our company has added seventy-two new men and as supply clerk I sure have been a busy boy. When we get about twenty-five more we will be up to strength - nearly. 5. It is my personal opinion that we won't leave here before the middle of June, but we might move in the morning. 6. We were out in the field all last night. I hope war is no worse than what we passed thru. I slept sound on the hard hard ground (nine) hours. 7. This is the style in which all military letters are written. I thought perhaps you might be interested in it. 8. My best love to you. Corporal Charles Stevenson
066_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Daisy (Margaret) Stevenson (Aunt)_May 15, 1918_Page 01
Noon Wednesday Dear Aunt Daisy: Thanks ever so much for the underwear and pajamas. They came just a few minutes ago and are exactly what I want. Will you send me quick a pair of dust shields sold by Collard and Norris for one dollar? I think 'twas Mr. Norris who sold me my former ones. They are now lost. I need a new pair badly. Today I mailed some clothes home. It sure looks as if we are going to France in sight of fifteen days. Love, Charlie
067_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_May 14, 1918_Page 01
[Company "A" 314th Engineers letterhead] May 14, 1918 Memorandum Dear Folks: Much to my sorrow and disgust I id not make the camp. It was the lack of higher education that kept me down. Such is life. All preparations are being made for departure to France and it looks as if we were going in sight of ten days. If at all possible I will be in Olathe the next week, bringing Kenneth with me, I think. I intend to utilize all the week-ends I have, as pretty soon I won't care whether I am or am not in camp. Under separate cover some clothes are being sent. I would like to have the socks and handkerchiefs returned to me at our leisure. Store all the other stuff. I will probably send another bundle pretty soon - also the bicycle - if we move. The trunk I think will get to make the trip. A sergeant has offered to take it as his property, the two of us dividing up the space. This will enable me to take extra lightweight underwear, socks, handkerchiefs and a few little things I wont want to put in my barracks bag. I just here in time Monday morning. The train was twenty minutes late and I had to walk like heck for over a mile. And last night I had to work until one o'clock, so you can understand I am tired today. I really wanted the camp appointment and after my examination yesterday rather expected it, but no such luck now. Leave the door open Saturday night as I may come on the late train. If I can I will phone or wrie you. Perhaps I wont be able to get a pass. Love, [Charles] The key to the safe deposit box will come to Olathe shortly. Keep it and anything addressed to me there. [Charles]
068_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_May 17, 1918_Page 01
Camp Funston Friday morning 7 a.m. Dear Grandma: The five dollars came yesterday. Thanks ever so much. I won't be home Saturday. Our entire company goes to the rifle range and stays there from this morning 'till Monday. If we are here the next week I'll be home sure. All indications point to a hurried and soon departure. Love, Charlie
069_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_May 23, 1918_Page 01
Camp Funston, Kansas May 23 - Thursday - 9 a.m. Dear Folks: A few short words of stolen time to tell you that we are still in the camp of Funston. We got orders to equip every man in the regiment with a lot of clothing. This takes a lot of time so arrangements were made that we would not leave here before Monday at the earliest. We were supposed to be away from here last Tuesday, but this new order prevented our going. This new order also made a lot of work for Phil and me, as both of us have been steady at it fifteen hours a day and from the looks of things we may find ourselves in the same condition for another week yet. Present conditions indicate our moving about Monday or Tuesday of next week. The captain recommended me for a sergeant, after much pressure on the part of Phil and another sergeant. My recommendation went to the colonel last night and will probably be returned to our captain tonight and in the morning I may be a sergeant. I hope so. I'M sick of this corporalship. Then, as a sergeant I get $44 a month, not at all bad - also less fatiguing work to do - and more privileges. I think the colonel will approve of the recommendation. I will let you know definitely as soon as I find out. When I left you Sunday I went to Dorothy's, where I spent a most cheerful evening. Dorothy seems to have a different view on different things every time I see her - - of perhaps 'twas because I am going to war. Three letters came from Maurice Monday - - not a thing new! Have you got some dirty socks of mine there? I think I remember sending some to you. If you have and they are clean can you send them to me to reach here before Sunday noon. Oh yes, after I visited Dorothy I went o the Harrouns, arrivingthere at ten o clock at night. They were might sorry to see me go, they said, but
069_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_May 23, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] glad they knew I could go. I was sure tired Monday and had to lay off for an hour in the middle of the day. My trunk goes as the property of this company. Phil and I are going to put in some of ourrecords and make a stab at getting it by. In the very near future you can expect those blankets of mine. My bicycle I am giving to Tom Elder, a nine year old brother of Dorothy's sister, who will get more fun out of it than I could get with the fifteen dollars I would get for it. If we get away from the train for an hour or so during out trip through Kansas City I will call you up. If I get two hours or more I am going out to Mary Pugh's home for dinner. She has asked me to come all winter and I never did get there. Love, Charlie
070_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date_Page 01
[Camp Funston] - Friday Dear People: Still here! Yesterday I was made a sergeant! Good - ?!!?! I'm sending my album to you. Any clippings or pictures you get stick 'em in please. Clip freely and get any letters from Maurice or me or any news of big battles. I am going to start another one when I get where we
070_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date_Page 02
are going. Rumors are now sending us to the Flanders. Last Monday we were in Italy. Grandma's letter came yesterday. We have some very effective raincoats - not good looking, but very very serviceable. If I can buy a second - hand one I'll do so! Don't worry as to my health. You know I'm am advocate of physical development. Those letters of Maurice will come to you soon! My best love to all!
071_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 01
Tuesday - 7:30 p.m. Dear Grandma: We are now at Bonner Springs on our way to Some Place. There rumor is we do not even go thru [Kansas City]. If we do Ill mail this there. We are in Pullman's - not tourists and are fixed up in great shape. We have a very good coach and I am well situated alone in an upper. I may be changed, tho.
071_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 02
A dandy letter came from you this morning - also two from Maurice. Pouring rain now. I hope [Mary Pugh] comes out to see you before she leaves for Columbus where she generally spends her summers. She is a dandy girl. Wednesday 4 p.m. We are five miles out of Chicago now. We did not pass thru the depot at [Kansas City], but stopped at Armourdale. We are riding on the Rock Island. From here to the East we ride the Nickle Plated tracks. Mrs. Stone and [Virginia] met Phil and gave him a lot of eats They were sure lucky to see him. It has been raining for twenty four hours and the whole country is sopping wet. The Mississippi is overflowing every place it runs. (We are now in the Chicago yards). We passed thru Davenport Moline Rock Island and a dandy
071_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_unknown date_Page 03
bunch of Illinois towns. They just let us out of the train for physical drill. The people the route receive us royally - Women from the Red Cross are in evidence always at the larger towns. They are here now. Phil and I are working with the captain but manage to see some of the country. My best love, Charlie
073_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_August 29, 1918_Page 01
[Camp Funston] - - Monday night Dear Grandma: A short last note from [Camp Funston]. We are doped to leave here tomorrow afternoon about three bells, which will get us into [Kansas City] about eight o'clock tomorrow evening. You know this Army life, though - - we may be here for a week yet. The socks and the pajamas came yesterday. They are exactly what I want. Thank you very much for them. They will all make the trip with me. Today I sent home my grip and the balnkets. Some place among them you will find a book - it belongs to Miss Edna Harroun, 3621 Belleview, Kansas City. Will you please send it to her? It is "Private Peate." I never did find time to read it. No letters but from you for the past four days. When I don't have time to write nobody but you writes to me. Will you tell O'ggee and Aunt Kate I am gone? I will try to write them before tomorrow, but don't think I will find time as I am doped to work until midnight. Last night I quit work at one o'clock. Everybody in the compay but Stone and me went home. to [Kansas City]. I will keep you posted along the line. Dearest love,
074_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 2, 1918_Page 01
Camp Mills [Long Island, New York] [June 2, 1918] Sunday Dear Folks: Still here! There is no telling when we leave, so I write as often as possible! This is the first Sunday I have not had to work and I am sure taking it easy. No passes have been issued to New York City yet, but I am expecting to go there about Tuesday to get my glasses fixed. I am going to a couple of shows and ride around the town.
074_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 2, 1918_Page 02
Enclosed are my last letters from Maurice. They arrived the day we left Camp Funston. I wrote him today. I'm also sending you a bulletin which should be of the same interest. You can wire Maurice under the same conditions you know. Try it - a week end letter would seem good to him. Love, Charlie My pay as sergeant is $44 a month. A sergeant, first class, and a first sergeant get $51 a month. For foreign service we get an increase of 10% or 20% nobody around here seems to know. At either rate the pay will be close to $50 a month. Not at all bad. General Pershing is a believer in Sergeants and has issued orders to show them all possible privileges! Hurrah for the sergeants! Farewell [Charles] I'm wondering if Dave and his mother are there today!
075_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 5, 1918_Page 01
Camp Mills Long Island June 5 - Wednesday Dear People: Aunt Daisy's night letter came at noon today. This morning I got a letter from her. I am writing to the Port of Embarkation to have my mail forwarded here. Yesterday I spent in New York City. I tourred the town in the morning, saw Wall street, Broadway, the bay and lots of other things. In the afternoon I saw Al Jolson in "Sinbad,"
075_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 5, 1918_Page 02
at night Kenneth and I went to "The Rainbow Girl" - at midnight we started to see "The Midnight Frolic", by [Ziegfeld]. At three a.m. we were on the Bowery and in Chinatown. At four-thirty on the way home and at five-thirty in bed. New York is big, has wonderful buildings and the classiest and best dressed women of any place I've seen. Otherwise give me Kansas City. Phil went again today and I think I'll go again tomorrow. I would have wired you about getting here, but for the first two days no wires could be sent. If I get near a telegraph station tonite I'll send a night letter. Enclosed are a couple of things you can put in an envelop and stick into my scrap book. You made a dandy guess at my address. Day before yesterday I got a letter from Aunt Kate which came by way of Camp Funston. Kenneth's address is Laguna, New Mexico.
075_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 5, 1918_Page 03
Kenneth is with me and will be so all the way. No cabling from Europe is permitted an enlisted man, so I guess you will have to wait. We will be here a full week I think. At any rate, mail will be forwarded to us always. My best love, Charlie
076_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 9, 1918_Page 01
Camp Mills June 9 - Sunday 7 p.m. Dear Folks: Aunt Daisy's telegram came at 6:30 tonight. It carried me right back to Olathe, so close did it seem. A letter from Grandma and one from Aunt Daisy came this afternoon and I was mighty glad to get them both. The steamer letters I have stored away and will read as directed!
076_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 9, 1918_Page 02
I won't be able to see any of those people whose addresses were given me. Lack of time! I'm sure sorry, too. If I had had those last week I could have seen 'em all. Try to have Mary come to see you. Her address is 2102 East 27. She has a telephone - East 5267W, Bell phone. There will be no way of my telling you where I am, except as follows: In the salutation the following meaning will prevail: Dearest Folks: England Dear Folks - The Flanders Dear People - France My Dear Folks - Italy When settled permanently I will say so and after that the above will be void. So notice carefully the salutation on the letter in which I say we are settled permanently. Mrs. Rankin came to camp today and brought some strawberries
076_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 9, 1918_Page 03
and maple sugar. I get to write just before getting on board ship, - couple of postcards, I'll see send you one. Nothing more to say. Much love, [Charlie] from Camp Mills
077_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] Stevenson Place Olathe Kansas
077_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June, 1918_Page 02
June - Dear Folks: We are sailing today from an Atlantic port. When you receive a post card telling of my safe arrival please write the following people: Evelyn Goetze 429, [Mankato, Minnesota] Mary Pugh - 2102 E 27th [Kansas City] David Park - [Kansas City] Star Miss Edna Harroun 3621 Harrison [Kansas City] Mrs. M. B. Vickers 3028 Harrison [Kansas City] All our folks, of course
077_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June, 1918_Page 03
Miss Mary Helen Cassell [Hope, North Dakota] I feel fine both in spirit and physically. Tell anybody else you want to
077_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June, 1918_Page 04
whom you think will be interested. My best love, Charlie Two letters came from you yesterday.
078_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 10, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas.
078_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 10, 1918_Page 02
Camp Mills. Monday - June 10 3 p.m. Dear Folks: I had some pictures of myself taken three days ago in New York. They are the same size, same kind and were taken at the same place as those of Maurice taken while here last September. I told the photographer to send 'em here but he has not yet done so. Today I'm writing him to send 'em to you. If they are good - by good I mean the likeness; I want none to go out with a sickly grin on my face, nor should my teeth be showing nor my eyes be popping out of my head - if they are good send one each to the following: Miss Dorothy Elder 816 E. 33rd [Kansas City] Miss M. K. Read One to Grandpa One to me Miss Mary Pugh 2102 E. 27th - [Kansas City] Miss Evelyn Goetze 429 Warren. [Mankato, Minnesota] Do not send them out unless they are good. They are not expensive at all so throw 'em away. Send me one no matter how punk they are. Only two letters came today. One was from M. K. - none from you.
078_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 10, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] No idea has been given as to when we go, but it sure won't be long. My best love, Charlie
079_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 25, 1918_Page 01
On Board a Transport Dear Folks: I think this is Monday, June 17, 1918. For three days I was not able to tell morning from night or breakfast from supper so I rather lost track of Time, but they tell me it went on as usual and the above date is that of today. You no doubt got my last letter written on the transport the day before sailing. This is the very first attempt at letter writing I have made since then and we are now on the sixth day of the voyage. Land is good enough for me. I sure was sick. I didn't become violetnly ill, but my head went circles for three days and I didn't move off of my bunk any time during those days except for fire and boat drill and I wouldn't have gone to those if I had had any idea I would not have been court-martialed. But I feel better now and am beginning to enjoy the trip. With three other sergeants I am quartered in a tiny stateroom and believe me, tiny is the word. We are travelling as Third class passengers. Compared to where the men of the company are staying this is Heaven, altho were I to take the trip alone I would shoot up just exactly three notches in this matter of class. Not a thing exciting has passed. Only the commissioned officers and some of the high rank of sergeants watch for submarines so about all I have to do is "prone" - - known civilian life asbeing on the back in a position of ease constantly. The company clerk is in another part of the ship and I have been doing what typewriting is necessary for the company office, which is about all I have done. There are lots of things that can be told better than written, as they can be made more impressive and details can be given. When I come back there will be a lot of stories and funny incidents to relate. We have a couple of sergeants who grad their life belts and run to their rafts every time anybody drops anything. They fear the boat will sink. Both of them are from Kansas City, too. I honestly think that one of them wants the thing to sink so his statements will be substantiated by facts. There will be action to write of later on. When you sail and sail and sail and are not allowed to go into details concerning your surroundings it is difficult to write much of an interesting letter. However, as we have not yet come to the Danger Zone, that Action I just mentioned may yet be seen. I will write from time to time, but this will be mailed at the first opportunity. The steamer letters were might welcome. I read Grandma's the first day out m; the one from Aunt Daisy was read the second day. The one I received at Camp Mills from Mary Helen was read the thirdm ; the one from Evelyn Aunt Daisy sent was read the fourth - as was the on from M. K., which came the night before I left Camp Mills.
079_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 25, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] I was sure surprised to get that letter Aunt Daisy sent from Evelyn. I had not heard from her for nearly two weeks and had expected a letter to come to Camp Mills shortly before I left, but none came. So you can imagine my surprise to open your letter and find one from her therein. But it was acceptable. A letter should have come from Mary, also, but it did not. I know she wrote, but the mailman must have mussed up matters quite a bit. Well, I suppose I will have a good bunch of mail when I get over there. The present dope is that our company will be split up. But rumors are more common than soldiers (there seems to be a rumor for ever soldier on board). So you won't know what becomes of me until a couple of weeks after we hit dry land. The sergeants (there are nine of us) will probably be sent to schools of some kind and return experts in whatever they study. I hope I get sent to bayonet school. I sure spent a lot of money in New York City, but I guess it was all right. In one year from now I will never regret it - don't now. I am sure glad that I had that one hundred dollars of Maurices. Of course, I didn't spend all of that. But it sure is a good thing that I had it. I understand we get an increase of twenty per cent when we left the Port of Embarkation. If s, this will give me a wage of $52.80. And in September I will be the owner of $150 of Liberty Bonds. I did not know that you got to see Mr. Cowan. He sure is a dandy fellow and has treated Maurice and me royally. If you get any kind of papers from us or for us from anybody put 'em in the box there. Say, that reminds - - we owe for rent - three dollars, I think. Will one of you take care of it for us? They probably won't say anything about it, but it should be paid. Don't worry about me! I have plenty of clothes, plenty of balnkets. As to a raincoat - - the day before we left the sergeants were issued dandy raincoats, so we feel real dressed up now. I have absolutely everything I need except that companionship of various and certain lady freidns. I intend to wire Maurice when I got where we are going - I hope it is England - at least for a couple of weeks. If anything startling happens between now and the day oflanding I will write it. At present - - my best love to you all. Charlie
080_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date_Page 01
Dearest Folks: We are not settled yet but in a week we ought to be! Thanks! We are waiting outside some harbor to be landed in the morning. It was sure interesting to see some little ship come up and give us a man to pilot us on in. I don't know, of course, but I don't believe we were ever in danger. The only way we would know would be for us to have to jump in the water. All sorts of rumors are being made the subject of comment - the place where we land, our disposition. Suffice to say - I've seen where Mama was born - also the mother land. - And that is more than Maurice can say!. You should have seen us sailing into the harbor. A great big full moon struggled its way thru the clouds and shone down on us in wonderful and reverent style. Every
080_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date_Page 02
couple of hundred yards we passed a buoy in the water - a bell ringing from it and a dismal yellow light casting its glimmer on the water at intervals when the balance of the buoy made the light flicker. 'Twas but ten o'clock and in the distance we could see the tiny twinkling lights of - in a sort of ring around the coast. Other boats near u - transports, pilots, and destroyers - had red and green and yellow lights and these were brightening the scene - all this at a distance! While on our ship - on top of the highest deck in a life boat - were perched the members of the band which is along with us. It played for two-hours - as many fellows as could cram on the deck were there - singing with the band, yellowing when the band was resting and taking full advantage of their fist relaxation in nearly two weeks. It was certainly fine! A great big
080_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date_Page 03
[page 3] lump came in my throat and I wondered - why? I've wondered "why" more than once; and am already more sober than when at [Camp Funston]. But the lump in my throat isn't one-half as big as the one I expect to have there when I go sailing into the harbor of New York City. Well, people, I'll write you every week and possibly oftener. About the only thing I can get from the United States is letters, so send 'em to me! 'Tis 11:30 and I imagine we will be up and at it early. So with my best love, I bid you farewell until next time. Charlie
081_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson to Jay Stevenson_June 26, 1918_Page 01
France, [June 26, 1918]. Dear Jay:- Your letter of just a month ago came to me two days ago along with several more very welcome ones--one of which was a letter from Charlie in the camp on Long Island, dated June 2. I am still expecting to hear from him from over here very soon for I have heard that the entire division is over here in France and not in England as he said that they expected. I will now positively very soon, then I shall start my workings to try and fix things up so that I may get to see him. If he should happen to be stationed any where within fifty miles of me, I am going to try to the very dickens to get to him. I am certainly glad that he got his Seargancy before coming over here, and have no doubt but that he will make good at it. I think that he must have been picked for the job on account of his soldiering ability, for I think that the short time that he has been having engineer work is too short to make him qualified to be a technical engineer expert. Even so, it may be so, and I know that he will have gotten a great deal of good out of the work that he will do and the training that he has had. I totalled about twenty letters in the last bunch--stretched out over two days, and was certainly mighty glad for them, as it is the first news from the states that we have had since the 12th of June. I got one letter as late as June 7, from an Irving teacher, announcing her marriage. Miss Landes, of Irving, is also to be married very soon. I mention her, as she is a niece of Dug Cottingham, and I thought that you might know of her at least. I also was glad to get a few copies of the Star from about May 10th to the 15th. I wrote the folks not to send it any more as it takes up too much room that could be used for something else of more importance, but they evidently had not received the letter. Things hereare just about as quiet as I have ever seen them, but it may be just the preceding calm. We at Reg. Hq. are pretty well fixed for accommodations, etc., and the evident fact that we are to "stay in" for some time yet does not bother us very much, as long as the Hun doesnt bother us too much. Best report - love Maurice O.K. MSStevenson 2nd Lt. (over)
081_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson to Jay Stevenson_June 26, 1918_Page 02
The picture you mentioned was not of our unit - we have never been in England - and I dont ever remember having marched for pictures over here. Some other unit perhaps. Maurice Jay.
082_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 29, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [June 29, 1918] Some Place in France Dear Folks: We moved again! The last time I wrote you we were in England and had just head Harry Lauder sing. This afternoon we are in France, along with a bunch of other men. On the boat which took us away from England were members of that base hospital unit which was mobilized in [Kansas City] last February - mostly [Kansas City]
082_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_June 29, 1918_Page 02
men. I knew about ten of them - three of whom went to Central when I did. One was Harry Viner, a Central high athlete and later of [University of Missouri]. it sure seemed good to run into these fellows. I don't believe I will get to see Maurice unless I get a long furlough. We are due to move again soon and where we go will take me quite aways from him. There seems to be no telegraph office here so cannot wire him. Lots of love Charlie Put these enclosed sheets of paper in my scrap books. I want 'em for relics.
083_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_June 29, 1918
[YMCA postcard] Some place in France [June 29, 1918] Dear Ogee: We keep on the move all the time - have been so for thirty days and expect to keep going for a couple of weeks to come. Forty-eight hours ago I was in England listeningt to Harry Lauder signing and tonight I find myself in sunny France - - and if you could seen the sweat pouring off my brow, you would have know it was sunny France. On the boat coming from England with us were a bunch of Kansas City fellows; some of whom went to Central high when I did. Harry Viner, whose folks have a branch of office in Tulsa (chandeliers) was among them. England is a beautiful place. More later. Love [Charles]
083_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_June 29, 1918
CSStevenson Co. A - [314th Engineers] [American Expeditionary Forces] OK Censored by Lt MH Harris Co A 314 Engrs AEF Mr. Jay Stevenson Box 705, [Tulsa, Oklahoma] U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Recd [August 7]
084_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date
THE SHIP ON WHICH I SAILED HAS ARRIVED SAFELY OVERSEAS Name C.S. Stevenson Organization Co A - [314th Engineers] American Expeditionary Forces. Please tell these people Unless otherwise stated the town is [Kansas City]. Dorothy Elder 816 East 33rd Lavon Johnson 709 Indiana Laura Heisler [Odessa, Missouri] Bessie Spence Van Noy Interstate Co Coca Cola Bldg
084_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date
[American Red Cross postcard] Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas
085_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date
Please tell these people THE SHIP ON WHICH I SAILED HAS ARRIVED SAFELY OVERSEAS Name C.S. Stevenson Organization Co A - [314th Engineers] American Expeditionary Forces. Mary Helen Cassell [Hope, North Dakota] Evelyn Goetze 429 Warren [Mankato, Minnesota] Mary Pugh 2102 East 27th David Park [Kansas City] Star Mrs. M. B. Vickers 3028 Harrison Dabney, Grant 441 W. 60th St Terrace [Kansas City] A. C. Cowan 1019 Grand - [Kansas City, Missouri]
085_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_unknown date
[American Red Cross postcard] Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas
086_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 3, 1918_Page 01
Somewhere in France July 3 Dear Folks: We are settled in France - at last - and if there is anyone here who isn't glad, something is the matter with him. Since we left England our travels have been varied and such that we welcomed a rest. We travelled thru France in tiny box cars and we sure had one heck of a time. We were awfully tired after
086_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 3, 1918_Page 02
the trip was over and everybody needed sleep, but when I look back at it, it was funny. This is an old country. There is absolutely no doubt about it: We are quartered in small wooden barracks, nestled in a most attractive valley. On the hills trees of great heighth and heavily laden with branches and leaves are found. We wash in a tiny stream which slows along the bottom of one of the hills. It is a beautiful spot, all right. A rock road leads us to a typical French village, where the stables open on the main streets, the same as do the homes. One of our companies is quartered in a large building the rear of a big castle, while are officers live in what was once a stable. There is no such thing any more as hot water, but we have become accustomed to using cold water that we do not mind it.
086_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 3, 1918_Page 03
I haven't had time to wire to Maurice - we have been here only twenty-four hours and all last nite I was on guard while today, I, of course, slept. Tonite I'll send him a short note and tomorrow I shall try to wire. I feel fine and can see no reason why I should not remain the same. Sunday I'll write more. Love to all, Charlie [signature] July 4 a letter from [Maurice] one from Mary and one from Evelyn came today!
087_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 5, 1918_Page 01
France [July 5, 1918] Dear Folks: I'm sending you this letter from Maurice which came yesterday. It was received on July 4 - a mighty enjoyable gift. Our Fourth was spent working and playing. We had baseball, boxing, wrestling and various athletics, in addition to hearing the Declaration of Independence read. I was in a couple of contests. The next time you write send me some blotters - some small ones that fit in envelopes - mail six or
087_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 5, 1918_Page 02
eight - three or four in an envelope if necessary. The letter I got from Mary told me she was coming to Olathe to visit. I hope she did - the more I see of her, the better I like her. Tough luck for me she is engaged! About the first thing I'll do when I get back is to get married. We worked days a week and rest on Sundays. I imagine we will be tired at nites. Some time I'll write a sure enough long letter. Tell me if you ever got a letter from me telling of hearing Harry Lauder sing in England. Love to all [Charles] OK censored by Lt C A Case 314 Engrs CSStevenson
088_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_July 9, 1918_Page 01
Somewhere in France [July 9, 1918] Dear O'Gee: I feel like a poor fish for not writing to you since we left [Camp Funston], but I wrote regularly to the Olathe folks and I imagine they forward the letters to you. I would tell you practically the same thing I tell them. Time, over here, is not as free as 'twas at [Camp Funston], so letter writing must naturally be decreased. Most evening I read books on engineering and infantry drill, but tonite I determined to write letters - this is my sixth and last one of the evening. Nearly all went to girl friends!
088_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_July 9, 1918_Page 02
To believe the French over here and to give credence to the many rumors afloat, it will be safe to say the war will be over in six months at the extreme limit. More sanguine reports are that we will be back in the United States in six months. Any of these will suit me. On July Fourth, I got a dandy letter from Maurice, dated June 23 addressed to me here. I wrote him the day we arrived, asking him to try to come to see me if he could. I hope he shows up some time. It will be almost impossible for to go to where he is. About four miles from here is a lieutenant who was in the Webster Club at Central when I was. He and Maurice were close personal friends. his name is Neil Cline - I think you do not know him. Kenneth Marmon - you met him at Olathe one Sunday - is still here with us. He is a good corporal in the same platoon to which I am attached. Climatic conditions here are very similar to those of Devils Lake - the days are warm; the nights bring up a coolness which necessitates much heavier cover than those of Kansas. The whole country resembles the state of Kansas - and I wouldn't give Johnson county for the whole of this
088_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_July 9, 1918_Page 03
I know what you think of Kansas, too. England is a beautiful country. Everything seemed to be so neat and clean and orderly. It sure did appeal to me. We wash and bathe in a small creek of real cold water. This creek is about the size of the one which runs thru the Olathe place. All our work after dark is done by candle light. By such am I now writing. Well, lights go out in ten minutes - so long! Love, Charlie censored by Lt MH Harris Co. - 314 Engrs.
089_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 11, 1918_Page 01
5183 748 3.20 3.85 7.05 France July 11, 1918 Dear Folks: 'Twas just nine days ago this day that we arrived in his camp. Two days later was July 4 and I got five letters - as I wrote you. Right now at the barracks there is a bunch of mail waiting for us. I am now on guard and cannot leave here for a couple of hours when we will be dismissed. I sure hope I get a bunch of letters. By "bunch" I mean about - Four hours later - yep! I got a bunch - if you call fourteen a bunch. From Grandma, Dave, Mary Helen, Maurice, Miss Harroun and various others. The one from Grandmas was dated June 15 - the latest of any received! It was the first word I had from you for exactly one month. I was mighty glad to hear everybody was so well. The news regarding the furnace was mighty welcome. I hope I am there to keep it working for you next winter.
089_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 11, 1918_Page 02
There is a slight possibility of such a condition. It is not half bad here but Olathe appeals to me more and more each day! A letter Maurice dated May 27 is enclosed. When you get it it will have travelled across the ocean for the third time. It went to American and then followed me back. Anything from Maurice is interesting, I guess. I'm sending him the clippings about prayer at noon! I got no other pair of glasses before leaving New York, altho I had the old pair fixed. I now have two pair - the ones that fasten on the nose and the ones that hook around the ear! My extra cash is kept in that little bill folder sent me by M. K. I have a month's pay due me; I have $25 coming out of the company I lent to various fellows and I have about $25 - so do not let my financial condition worry you.
089_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 11, 1918_Page 03
I have been down town twice since I arrived here and spent ten cents for two cans of show paste. Money can easily be spent, but I do not happen to use what it buys, so I'm sitting easy as far as the cash part is concerned! Yes, since relieved of office work I drill. I prefer it very much to the office work, too. The drill is not hard for me and I don't mind it at all. I'll write later about the kind of work we do. Among other letters was a dandy one from Paul Vickers. He expected to be called to a training camp any time and by now is undoubtedly on his way to a commission in some training camp. He sent me a fine picture of himself. I write to M. K. all the time and last nite I purchased a peach of a shawl for her, which I'm going to
089_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 11, 1918_Page 04
mail to her tomorrow or the next day. I like her very, very much and I assure you I won't forget to keep writing to her. If Aunt Daisy gets her trip to Denver it will be fine. Pen going very, very dry. Best love, Carlie More later. [signature censored by Lt. MH Harris Co A - 314th Engrs.] Put the enclosed announcement in my book for me! (The announcement of Pauls graduation.)
090_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 01
France [July 12, 1918] Friday Dear Folks: I just had a bath in our creek - 'twas 8:30 p.m. and the water was cold as heck. I dropped a piece of my equipment under the bridge and the only possible way I could get it was to disrobe and step right on in - hence the bath. In case you ever write to the War department to get any dope concerning me - in regard to insurance, injuries, location or such - please use my serial number as well as my name. This number is 2191168. I have it to you last winter some time and you have it down some place. Orders from headquarters say that this number shall be sent home at once - so here it is. This order is
090_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 01
given to all troops over here, so do not think that it means we are to go to the front. No doubt we will some time, but not for a while yet. Sunday I'll write longer letter telling about the past, present and future. My love to all of you. If you can get a small packet of ink tablets, put 'em in an envelope and mail 'em to me. Both of my fountain pens are dry and there is no ink around here. That is why I am now writing in lead pencil. Also please buy me a couple of pads of I.-P. memorandum sheets #102 - size 4 ½ x 2 ½. That's about all I want now. Love, Charlie censored Lt MH Harris Co A 314 Engrs
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 01
after all the folks have read this pass it on to Dave so that he will have an idea of what I'm doing. Letter of this length are rare. [July 12, 1918] C. S. Stevenson Friday evening Dear Folks: I have just finished the letter in which I sent you my serial number. Once a week we get what is known as a "blue envelope". Into this envelope we may put letters referring to personal or family matters on the condition they contain no reference to matters forbidden by censorship regulations. These "blue envelopes" cannot be used for anything but letters. They are not to be censored by our officers, but are liable to be censored by the base censor. This is a "blue envelope" letter. It allows much more freedom of expression than letters which are censored by our own officers. So first, I shall tell you just what share I have in this Army. Immediately after our arrival at this camp I was officially made a "platoon" sergeant. A platoon sergeant
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 02
is one who is second in command of a platoon of men. The sergeant ranks next to the lieutenant commanding the platoon. He lives with the men and is the high mucky-muck over them. In case of the death or injury of the lieutenant commanding the platoon, the sergeant is in charge. The lieutenant commanding our platoon is a first lieutenant. We have the left platoon of the company - the second most important of the four platoons in the company. This puts fifty-two men directly under me. I am responsible for everything they do - as to their personal equipment, cleanliness and etc. Their progress in drill is indicative of my ability as a sergeant. This puts under me three other sergeants, six corporals and 40 privates. When the lieutenant is gone on other business I tell 'em what they do. In the barracks where we sleep are one hundred men and I am in charge
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] of the building - as to their behavior and personal habits. Believe me - it is a man's job. I was certainly surprised when I got it, not expecting it at all! There are sergeants in the company much older men than I am and who were sergeants months before I was. Why the appointment was made I cannot say. There are fourteen sergeants in the company now - out of this four were appointed as platoon sergeants - each in charge of a lieutenant, but who have the platoon under them. The lieutenants do not live with the men and the sergeants do. The sergeants are given more privileges here than the other enlisted me. We eat at a separate table and are quartered in one part of the barracks alone. As soon as other arrangements can be made we are to be given separate quarters. This will not be done until we move again, as there are no available places here. Arrangements are
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 04
under way for us to pitch in about five dollars a month to get a few additional eats. An American canteen is some few miles fro here, but transportation facilities are such that it is mighty difficult to get anything out of the ordinary here. We expect to get some cereal, condensed milk, jams of various kinds perhaps bread instead of hard tack - maybe good bacon once in a while and lastly - some canned fruits. I hope we succeed in putting it over - the food is not at all bad, but any additional things help. As a sergeant in the Engineers I am an awful failure - of that there is absolutely no doubt. I might make a fairly good man for some infantry company. My very apparent lack of even the principles of engineering proves my opinion is correct. When it comes to putting up bridges, laying out trenches and such I am absolutely rotten. Why I was picked for the job of platoon
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 05
[page 3] sergeant is more than I can tell. Saturday evening Well, here I am again - more tired than ever before after one day's drilling. We sure went thru things today. The lieutenant in command of our platoon was gone and I was platoon commander all day long - and 'twas a hard mean job. For about fifteen minutes I was put in command of the company - to drill them. My feet are sure tired, but tomorrow is Sunday and I'm going to rest all day. Just a few minutes ago a French lady of a nearby house brought me some clothes I left with her to be washed. They included pajamas, sock, towels, underwear - nineteen pieces. These she did for only 54 [cents] - pretty cheap. I have spent 74 [cents] in that many days - cheap - I'll say.
091_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 12, 1918_Page 06
Kenneth is still with this company and will probably be so until the end of the war. I was talking to the commander of this company today and he told me that Marmon was slated to be a sergeant. There are a couple of other things I wanted to tell you, but I have forgotten than - evidently they were not very important. My serial number is 2191168. I believe we get these blue envelopes once a week, and I can surely hold my thoughts that long. My best love to all, Charlie It not be a bad idea to pass this around to Ogee and the [Devils Lake] folks. Time for writing is becoming more limited each day. C.S.Stevenson Censored by Co. a - 314th Engrs.
092_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 18, 1918_Page 01
France [July 18, 1918] Thursday Dear Folks: Eight letters today - Grandma - Aunt Kate - Aunt Daisy - Mrs. Blake - Miss Harroun - Paul - and a girl from St. Joe! Those from Grandma were dated June 9 and 19 - the one from Aunt Daisy's was written June 23. I surely did enjoy all of them and thank you ever so much for the clippings which I am forwarding to Maurice. Both of Grandmas letters were sent to Camp Mils. Don't fear, Grandma, as to the "well dressed ladies" of the big cities. I haven't talked to but one girl since I left Funston and I met her at a dance on Long Island some place - 'twas Hempstead. My visit with Mrs. Rankin was greatly enjoyed. The reason I didn't say more about it was that there was noting more to say. Just forget what I said about the glasses. There is no chance to send 'em to me here, so there is no reason for further disenssion. I wanted 'em to use on the ship; I have no real use for them now. I was mighty glad to hear that Aunt Daisy had sold the Overland and had bought a Buick. Of all the cars I know anything about I prefer the Buick - especially the
092_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 18, 1918_Page 02
light six. It is my tough luck I cannot be there to help use it, but such are the fortunes of War. Maurice and I will be around some time and will make things hum for sure. It was quick work, all right. Phil and I are in the same company and I get to see him every day, altho I do not work with him any more. My shift from the supply room to work in the field did not imply demotion, which comes from lack of merit. We hear all kinds of reports about conditions here, but never see a newspaper. Miss Harroun told me in her letter she had subscribed for the Star and Times for me. So far I have received no copies of it. I think my letters to Olathe will have to be to both Grandma and Aunt Daisy. It will save me time and the news will always be the same to you. I know you won't care. They typewritten letter from Aunt Daisy was a dandy one. It is to be regretted that I missed meeting Mrs. Bowersock, but it could not be helped. If you had not received the photos taken in New York you probably will never get them. Oh, well, if I get to a big town here I'll have some taken and send 'em home! It rains over here all the time - not
092_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 18, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] heavy rains, but light ones, heavy enough to keep everything in a rich green - and mighty refreshing. There isn't a thing any of you can do for me - thanks ever so much. It takes a lot of trouble to get packages sent over, so I won't ask for a thing. One of the hardest things to get is ink. If you can put ink tablets in every other letter or so or a little packet in a letter once a month or so I would appreciate it. It was sure queer how you sold the Overland. I'm glad you like the Buick so well and I hope you get to take your trip to Denver in it. Kenneth is in the same platoon as I am. It couldn't be much more agreeable for us. He and I
092_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 18, 1918_Page 04
go swimming together about every afternoon after drill. I haven't written many descriptive letters - as there hasn't been a great many thing except personal incidents worthy of description. Aunt Daisy's letter I am sending on to Maurice. He will enjoy it and the clippings I am sure! Put the enclosed announcement from Paul in my little album. More later Lots of love, Charlie censored by Lt MH Harris Co. A. 314th Engrs.
093_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 20, 1918_Page 01
France Sunday July 20, 1918 Dear Folks: I've just finished pitching a game of ball and taking a swim in cold, cold water and as it is an hour or so before retreat I'll just write a few words to you! We have heard a lot of rumbling lately - possibly the big guns of the present German offensive. Not a thing has happened to cause unusual ripples in the life of the 314 Engineers. Many rumors come regarding conditions at the front, but you folks at home know a lot more about us than we know. Such is life! I'm enclosing you a letter which was given to each man in the company the morning we lit in England. Be sure to put it in my scrap book, as it will be quite a momento. I sent you a letter
093_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 20, 1918_Page 02
just like this about a month ago, but perhaps you didn't get it, so I am sending you this. Under separate cover I am sending to Grandma a light scarf which I recently bought at a travelling bazar wagon. You may not be able to use it much - but it is pretty, anyhow! And if you don't get it - don't worry. It has to pass more censors than a new moving picture just about to be shown in Kansas. Give it a little time though, and if the submarines don't get it - you will. A letter was written today to M. K. and one of Aunt Kate. No news, but a littles descriptive matter is there. Enclosed is a clipping or so from "Stars and Stripes" - absolutely the only newspaper we have seen since we arrived. In that last letter I got from Miss Harroun she told me she had subscribed for the Star for two months for me. No papers have come yet. Love to all, Charlie censored by Lt MH Harris Co. A - 314th Engrs.
093_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 20, 1918_Page 03
If M. K. is in Olathe any time this summer try to get hold of Mary Pugh and have her out to meet M. K. I want them to know each other. You might also have Dorothy and Dave come out. All parties concerned will enjoy the visit I am sure! [Charles] I'll write to Mary, too. Her address is 2102 East 27th. Bell phone - East 5267W. OK MHH
094_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 22, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [July 22, 1918] Dear Folks: Just a few words to tell you that the liner on which we were transported from America was sunk last week - or in the last five days. It was the "Carpathia", owned by the Cunard line. Any clippings you can get on this be sure and put in my scrap book. If you cannot find any yourself, write to Dave and ask him to see if he can find some for you. The Olathe Mirror of
094_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 22, 1918_Page 02
May 30 came to me today. Put the enclosed clipping in the scrap book. Love to all Charlie
095_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandfather_July 22, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [July 22, 1918] Dear Grandpa: Here is just what you have wanted for about a year or more. I had these pictures taken in New York City about Jun 5. They are the same size as those of Maurice and were taken by the same photographer. Altho not the very best picture of me ever taken, it is by no means the poorest. I had my arms folded - hence the inclined shoulders. I'm sure it is what you want. These pictures came to me
095_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandfather_July 22, 1918_Page 02
today, along with an Olathe Mirror of May 31 and a Kansas City Journal of May 30, Six of those yellow moving picture magazines came to me also - no letters, but they will probably come later. I'm sending one of these to Maurice and a couple to a couple of girls. Love to all, Charlie censored by Lt MH Harris Co. A - 314th Engrs.
095_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandfather_July 22, 1918_Page 03
This came to P- this p.m. The picture has been pocketed.
096_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 27, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [July 27, 1918] Dear Folks: In the last three days I have received twenty-five letters, six of which were from you. One was from Aunt Daisy and contained the steamer letter from Dorothy - the best of all the dandy steamer letters sent. Four of the letters were sent to Camp Mills and were later forwarded to me here, being six or more weeks old, - but mighty welcome just the same. One of your was of Jun 28 in which you say you knew of our arrival. I am glad Virginia phoned you, as I'm sure you felt much easier. Thanks for the clipping, one of
096_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 27, 1918_Page 02
which Dave also sent me! It was an interesting trip, but I imagine the one homeward bound will be interesting, also. The newspaper clippings sent were very, very interesting - send as many as you can as often as you can. I'm forwarding all of them to Maurice. The last letter from Maurice was dated Jun 28. Since then I have had absolutely no word from him - and it distresses me, you can bet. The only thing I can do is to wait. Waiting seems to be quite a quality in the war. As for myself - not a thing is new except that my watch was stolen a couple of days ago. It was the
096_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 27, 1918_Page 03
one you folks gave me and in the back contained a picture of Dorothy and myself. It has made me heartsick ever since it was taken and all my pep has been gone. There is no way to trace it, as I cannot get any inkling as to where it is. The loss of it and no word from Maurice for such a long time has not helped make me friendly toward any one! Captain Dobson of whom you speak is in the regiment. I know him and I think he knows me. He is a most capable officer as far as I know and is one of the ranking captains in the regiment. You might slip an Olathe paper in an envelope each week and mail it to me, as I enjoy it ever so much.
096_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_July 27, 1918_Page 04
In the letter that came were ones from Helen Nelson, Mrs. Bowersock, Dave, O'Gee, M. K., Mary Helen, Aunt Kate, and various lady friends. Something of the ordinary takes place soon and I must write a few more letters before it does, so 'till next time - lots of love. Charlie Keep the enclosed letter awhile. You may hear more of it. I still need ink - and very much, too. censored by Lt MH Harris Co. A - 314th Engrs
097_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_July 28, 1918_Page 01
France Sunday morning July 28, 1918 Dear Ogee: I now have three letters from you - none of which I have answered. All came to me in the last couple of days. The earliest one bore the date of June 6 and the latest one of June 30. I certainly have not written to you as regularly as I should, but I figured out that the Olathe folks would forward you the letters I wrote them, and as I would say about the same thing to all concerned it would be agreeable all around. I got twenty-three letters this week, but I cannot answer all of them - and I do not intend to do so. Your advice on spending what money I have to see what there is to be seen is all right, but if a fellow doesn't drink or smoke he is rather out of luck when it comes to spending money, as there is not much life in a town of about the size of Lenexa, like the closest town near us. But it is a very reassuring thing to have money in your pocket when you do need it. I have enough to get what I want whenever I want it - which is cookies and just about nothing else. Wine is sold to the soldiers in the town, but it doesn't both me. We have two month's pay coming, which to me is about fifty dollars& In addition to that I have about thirty bucks left out. I also own about $100 in Liberty bonds by now, so I am sitting pretty well. The last letter I got from Maurice bore the date of June 28 - - since then not the tiniest inkling of a message has come from him. I know his division has been in the thickest of the recent fight and it is causing me more concern than I care to say. Another thing that has not helped me any is the fact that three days ago somebody stole the watch that you folks gave me when I graduated from high school in 1914. There is absolutely now way of tracing the thing. It is gone and that is all there is to it. I am glad Aunt Daisy got the Buick and sold that Overland. It caused her more trouble than the Ford di Maurice when he had it out. There was one thing he couldn't quite get onto - - and that was cranking a Ford. If you get a Buick, too, and Aunt Daisy has one, and the Devils Lake folks have one, also, it will be up to Maurice and me to get one. Nothing like that for a while, though. One of the first tings I am going to do when I get back is to get married. That friend of Phil Stone's was named Jack McGee. I have heard Phil speak of him various times, but do not know him myself personally. Phil seems to think he is quite a man. Your building activities sound interesting. We are learning a little about construction work - roads, railroad, bridges and such, but it is coming is gobs at a time and is hard for a layman to get. I can't promise to write regularly but will do what I can as often as I can. Tell the folks to forward to you the letters I write to them - - especially the "blue envelope" letters. Yours, [Charles] censored Lt. MH Harris Co A 314 Engrs
098_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson to Charles Stevenson_July 31, 1918_Page 01
France July 31, 1918. Dear Charlie:-- Just a few typed lines this afternoon, which I am the "acting adjutant". It is so while the Adjutant has gone to the large town of Toul to get himself measured for a suit of clothes. I spent yesterday afternoon and evening there, and tomorrow am leaving there for a little 24 hour trip to Nancy. Green, the artillery officer I have written you about is going with me and we expect to have quite a good time--nothing real exciting, but just some shopping, perhaps a nickel show, and a good dinner tomorrow night. Last night we had tow dinners--the first we had was not enough, so we meandered on to another hotel and had a second. We seem to have come to rest for a while at least, for we are granting passes of from one to three days, depending on where the men want to go. Our regular seven days leave my be opened up again at any time now, but I think that I shall not make any effort go until after the first of September, perhaps even October. Financial conditions cause this, for the loss of my 1200 francs left me pretty flat. I am counting on this months pay for a suit, and other new clothes, all of which I am badly in need of, and the expenditure of my dough for this purpose will leave me pretty flat. I have been having things pretty soft tho, and can easily wait until then for my leave. There are several officers at Hq. here who have never had their original leave. I found out that instead of going away from you in our little railroad trip, that I came nearer to you, and as soon as I can find out just where you are, I am almost positive that I can get a side car, and get to make a trip to try and find you. Just as we were leaving I found out from a Major from GHQ where your Div. Hq had been, but he informed me that you were moving--he said into a quiet sector.
098_1982.202.1_ Maurice Stevenson to Charles Stevenson _July 31, 1918_Page 02
Said sector must be around here somewhere, as I know of no quieter part of the line that that about here. So, I expect that you are "in" by this time, or else are still going in. If there is any possibility at all of your getting away to come to either I am sure that I could make arrangements to be there at the same time, if I knew of it long enough ahead. Let me know about the possibilities of such. Even so, I am continuing my dfforts to find out where you are, I even have a captain on the divisional staff making inquiries as to the matter. We had a very easy trip up. Only about twenty hours of travelling, with frequent stops where we could get out and stretch ourselves. I was with the train on which were Headquarters Co., and Reg. Hq.--nothing else. Had a good first class coach, and even rode part of the time in our auto, which was loaded onto a flat car. We made a little detour to come by way of a regulating station near to Paris, and got another glimpse of the big city--from a distance tho. My striker is doing better than that--he never has shown up, and I am shy all of my underwear, socks, shirts and towels, except those I have on me. I bought a few such yesterday in as I hardly expect him to have mine with him when he shows up--if he ever does. We are now in a wee small town stuck away up on the side of a hill, with every thing going good, even to a bath house running already. I take one tonight and about every other day hereafter--until I am completely of the little gray pests. I was sent out today by the C.O.--to Division Hq. and to Brigade Hq. to find out what I could about a reported telegram authorizing the position of Reg. Operations officer. I finally traced the thing down--and proved to him that it was a captain who is supposed to hold the job. We are working hard now on replacements and reorganization of the regiment, and he is making every effort to get as many officers promoted as possible, and also to get as many new ones as we can after
098_1982.202.1_ Maurice Stevenson to Charles Stevenson _July 31, 1918_Page 03
they shut down on the promotion. We were certainly all shot to pieces as refers to officers, and it is going to take more that one depot brigade to refill us with men. We are hoping that they wont make any extended effort to fill us up right away, for it means that we cant go into the line any place until we do get some more people. We will be perfectly satisfied to just sit tight, and rest, with a little work like rifle practice or some such. In such a program, the duties of the Operations Officer are just about as numerous as those of the candle stick overin my room( we have electric lights), so you can see what I am rooting for. I am waiting again for mail, and am almost caught up with answering the letters that I got just before, during and after our little fight. Quite a few from [Kansas City] and from the general trench of them, there seems to be very little doing in the way of anything in town. Elizabeth Attebery writes of a very quiet and uneventful time at Forest Lake, several people mentioned a national convention of the Rotarians as the crowning event of the summer, and altogether I suppose we are just as well of over here as would be at home. It must be quite a feeling for the few men who are left at home now--personally, I have never regretted being here, and certainly am glad to have come so soon in the game. The first Division is generally looked on now as "Old Soldiers", and I suppose we have had as much, or more fighting than any other division of the A. E. F. We have been in three different sectors, pulled the Cantigny affair, and now this last show, which was the first real big offensive that any American have been in. So, come around when you want to find out anything about the gentle art of "Fighting in France" The adjutant is back - and an order is in calling for a report on our recent operation - I must get to work. I'll write again - after Nancy. Love Maurice OK MS Stevenson 2nd Lt
099_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 7, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] France [August 7, 1918] Dear O'Gee: A little more French scenery has been seen by me and I'm now near the famous "No-Man's Land". Not many big battles have recently taken place near where we are, but all is not silence. I'm doing night work now - at least for a little while - and I see electrical and similar displays. You letter of July 10 came to me today - it sure made mighty good time, I'll say.
099_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 7, 1918_Page 02
There doesnt seem to be one bit of news except - I saw Maurice last Sunday and was with him five hours. I wrote a letter to the Olathe folks, telling them all about the details. I told them that they could forward it to you. It was an experience all right - among other things I did was to ride a woman's bicycle in the small hours of the morning in a pouring down rain for three hours. My best love, Charlie P.S. Both of us felt fine. OK censored by CA Case Co. a - 314th Engrs.
100_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 15, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] France 1918 Dear Folks: Just a few words to tell you I'm feeling fine. A little more of France has passed in review before me and we are now within hearing and seeing distance of the famous front line trenches. I happen to be doing night work and I get to see the lights and hear said noises constantly. I was with Maurice for five hours last Sunday. I had a mean time getting to him, but it was certainly worth while. I haven't much time in which to write this
100_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 15, 1918_Page 02
evening as I go on duty in a very short while. Possibly tomorrow I will be able to get hold of a typewriter and with more time available I'll be able to tell you all about it. Today ten letters came for me - one from Aunt Daisy, enclosing a bunch of dandy clippings. My best love, Charlie O.K. censored by CA Case Co. a - 314 Engrs. At better letter next time - sure!
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 01
[Salvation Army letterhead] [August 8, 1918] Dear Folks: The generosity of Phil and time which should be spent in sleeping make it possible for me to write to you this afternoon. As far as news is concerned there isn't a thing doing which has not previously been related to you. We are at work now - no practice any more. Most of what I do is done at night time and I am supposed to sleep during the day. I imagine when I get used to it, it won't be so bad, but for the first three days I cannot say that it leaves me with my usual pep. I have been unable to get my watch fixed, as there is no chance to go to a town large enough to boast of a jeweler. What I will have to do I guess is to get somebody to buy me a cheap wrist watch "sight unseen." Yesterday one of our lieutenants met Maurice at his regimental headquarters and Maurice told the lieutenant he would be around to see me very shortly, so I am saving a couple of the recent letters I got, including one from both of the Miss Heislers and Aunt Daisy. The letter of July 3 from Aunt Daisy is the latest news I have from you. A couple of the persons to whom you have written to me telling that you notified them. I hope you get a couple of my letters all right. In them you will find my impressions of England - the best place I have seen for some time. Last night I wrote a letter to Mary and tonight I will write one to Mr. Cowan and the Heisler ladies, both of whom have been mighty nice to me. I don't even think of a furlough. I should have had one at Funston, but that's all over now and sooner or later, mostly later, I may get one here. We have figured out that [Charles] met Maurice [August 4] B
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] [Salvation Army letterhead] I was sure glad to hear of your putting the furnace in - but I hardly believe I will be able to help keep it going this winter, but I surely expect to be there the next winter - all of which is another thing settled by the all-important factor - - - Time. As to the trip I had to get to see Maurice, it reads as if it were a story of some kind. We got into a certain town about midnight one Saturday night and while standing a a street in a pouring down rain waiting to be assigned to our billet, we got to talking to a passing soldier who told us that he belonged to the 16th Infantry. I nabbed him and soon found out where he thought Company G was located. The next morning was Sunday and we were cleaning up when along came two more youths of the 16th, who knew Maurice. They told me that he had just that week been transferred to the Headquarters company and that this company was in a town but two miles from where we then were. So - - immediately after dinner I hiked it out to that town to find that the headquarters company had moved the night before to a village farther toward the front and twelve miles from my town. There isn't the slightest possible chance for any method of transportation such as automobile for personal use and I thought it was all off, so I beat it back to the hay loft in which we were then bunked and got peeved at the world until I thought of trying to hire a bicycle. I went out in the street and tried to get a bicycle from some French kids who were riding up and down the street. Now, I don't talk French very much and I don't know what I said to them, but after I got thru saying the few words I had carefully looked up and pointed at myself and making a noise like a bicycle rider and offering them about twenty francs every one of them got on his wheel and got away from me as fast as he could. I believe they thought I wanted to buy the wheel or was going to take it away from them.
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 03
[Salvation Army letterhead] [page 3] Well, Phil saw a woman's bicycle in a shop near us and suggested I use it. So I got one of our sergeants to help me get it and after trying it out I decided it would do. It didn't have any coaster brake and all I had to do to get on it was to get right on. It was my first experience with a woman's wheel. I finally got started and after riding about an hour and mastering intricate points of the wheel I came upon a detachment moving frontwards. I asked the lieutenants in command if they would tell me where the headquarters company was located - and of course they refused, which was absolutely correct. One of them got inquisitive and asked me what I wanted to know for and I told them I had a brother in that company. They asked who he was and when they found I was "Steve's" brother they sure greeted me cordially. One was Lt. Beherendt of Kansas City and another was a Lt. Adams, I believe. They told me he was in B. Sooner or later I got on the wrong road. I kept asking everybody I passed "How far is it to B". And each of them told me it was nine kilometers. I rode for an hour and asked nine people and every one of them told me B. was nine kilometers. I kept on going, though, because as long as it was no less or no more than nine kilometers I knew I was holding my own. Eventually I found I had been going around in a circle of a nine kilometer radius, the center of which was B. Some American troops finally set me right and I was soon going pretty once more. I saw big observation baloons in air and once I saw one of them get punctured and start down. I had fair roads with the exception of a mile thru a dense forest, a cut I was forced to take to get myself going straight once more. Along this rode the mud was ankle deep
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 04
[Salvation Army letterhead] [page 4] and I was forced to carry my wheel for a mile over my shoulder. In the middle of the forest I ran into an Italian camp and with the aid of my Spanish I got something to eat. They got somewhat peeved when I turned down a quart of wine they offered me and were still more angered when I turned down one drink, but I finally got them appeased and went on my way. When I got into B I went into Regimental headquarters and and asked where I could find Maurice. "He has gone to the front!" they told me. Believe me, now, my heart went way down low, because to me the Front was something far off and they told me he had just left that afternoon. I asked when he would be back. "Any time before midnight." "Show me his room," I said and they did and I put my raincoat there and ditched the wheel while I scouted around for something to eat. I was standing in the middle of the road with my hands on my hips wondering where the kitchen was when down the road "honked, honked" a big, gray, dusty Dodge and there docked up in the front seat was the object of my search - the Hon. Second Lieutenant Maurice Sexton Stevenson. He was surprised - you would be too if someone whom you had not seem for a year greeted you four thousand miles from home in a dirty little French village. He introduced me to the officers and the colonels told him to bring me on down to eat with them and he did. The meal was the best one I had had since leaving American - possible because I had had hard tack the five previous meals and because of the ride on the wheel. After supper we drove around the surrounding terri-
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 05
[Salvation Army letterhead] [page 5] tory and in one small town Maurice met a lieutenant who had trained with him at [Fort Riley]. In another town we ran into a Kansas military band having a great old time playing for the French people. We talked until about three o'clock in the morning when I started back. If ever I had a spectacular ride this return was one surely was that little thing. At one o'clock it began to rain and it rained hard. At three o'clock I had to start back to get back to my organization in time for reveille. At three it was still raining and I began. It was pitch dark; the wheel had no coaster brake; lights were, of course, impossible; the rain was still coming down; and the roads had been received rain for two hours previous to my start. Here was one case when I walked down hill. With those wet roads and no coaster I would sure have been out of luck. I passed a couple of batteries in artillery on the way to the front, several French messengers on bicycles and a long string of Red Cross motor cars on the way up. The horizon bore evidence of the proximity of the Boche, flares and flickers constantly noticeable and dull roars and thuds always heard. After riding a couple of hours I found myself near an American evacuation hospital. I got off my wheel, want in the kitchen and found myself in the midst of a group of cooks and bakers who were studying at Ft. Riley when I was at [Camp Funston]. I remembered one of them who fed me once when I was on guard at the ponton bridge near [Fort Riley]. They sure gave me a dandy breakfast and when I was thru a Denver youth took me thru some of the wards. Sixty men had just come in from the front a few hours previous and I saw them on their cots, some with minor injuries - others more serious - all received while going "over the top." While I was there two men died - the
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 06
[Salvation Army letterhead] [page 6] eleventh and twelfth to go since midnight. They Americans sure have a peach of a hospital here and the men were given fine attention, American nurses being on the job all the time. I finally left the hospital and immedaitely got lost again. Conversation with a Frenchman on a bicycle discovered that he was going to my town, so I followed him right on in - and got there exactly town minutes before first call a 6 A.M. Believe me, I was one tired youth, but that was small item, because all that day I slept in the hay loft - and a hay loft, you may find out some time, isn't such a heck of a place to stay after all. Well, folks, I sure didn't intend to write all this when I began, but you will enjoy the letter I am pretty sure, as you are interested somewhat in both of us. It was lucky that I got to see him. He told me that for a few weeks he would be located about eight kilometers from where I am and that he would come over at least a couple of times before they were moved again. I think it will be advisable to send this to Ogee and Margaret Kathryn - and you might let Dave read it, as I certainly have not the time to write any more letters of this length. I am going to bed and get about four more hours sleep. My best love to all of you, [Charles] Censored by Co. A, 314th Engrs. over
101_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 8, 1918_Page 07
[August 12] The Monday I slept all day in the hayloft a regimental order came in for a transfer for me to be Regimental Supply Sergeant. Nobody could find me so they had to send someone else in my place - all of which was entirely satisfactory with me. This is the same job I turned down several weeks ago, about which I wrote you. Put this envelope and the date on which it was mailed (August 12) and the date received in my scrap book. Just mark the dates some place on the envelope. [Charles]
102_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 10, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [August 10, 1918] Sunday Dear People: Under separate cover I'm sending you some copies of our daily and weekly newspapers. The Stars and Stripes comes every Friday, while the other two come daily. We get more papers close to the front here than we did back in training. The book enclosed here is the pay book of a captured German soldier. Maurice sent it to me in a letter I got yesterday from him. This being Sunday I rather expect Maurice around today. I'll hold the latter until
102_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 10, 1918_Page 02
evening and let you know if he comes. I'm feeling good and am gradually getting used to night work! Love to all, Charlie [Maurice] did not come. I'm mailing these letters in the envelope so to show you one of our "blue" envelopes. In this case it happens to mean active service. Blue evidently means service some distance behind the lines. [Charles] Censored by Co. A. 314th Engrs.
103_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 18, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [August 18, 1918] Dear Ogee: Because you do not get letters from me, do not think I have forgotten all about you. Iwrite to the Olathe folks regularly and I suppose that they forward stuff to you. At any rate, I told them to, and I am sure you get it sometime. To write to each of you would be a duplication of all my thoughts as naturally I would say about the same to all, so you must keep in touch with movements of mine whether you hear of them thru me or not. Of course, you know by now that I had a dandy visit with Maurice. He is in the prime of condition and appears perfectly contented. He has been recommended by the colonel of his regiment for a commissions as a first lieutenant, but it will be a month or more before he gets it. In about three weeks he will have his second service stripe - a gold inverted V on his left cuff - each stripe denoting six months service over here. I have earned one-quarter of a stripe so far, but before the war is over I expect I will have a couple of said stripes. A couple of nights ago Maurice was over to see me. His regiment is located about twleve kilometers from here and he came across in a motorcycle. He was here but a few minutes, but promised to return as soon as possible. This is Sunday afternoon and there is a chance of his coming around some time today. Sunday does not mean anything more to the men in the front line than does Tuesday or Friday - the Germans fight on those days and if they didn't we would - so there you are. We are helping an infantry regiment hold a sector
103_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 18, 1918_Page 02
in the very first line, and altho it is certainly a quiet sector, we often hear shell fire, artillery fire and such. At night the flares from the star light glares lighting up No-Ma's land are plainly visible, while any activity is of course noticed by us. Air raids are common and almost every evening we see four or five planes battling each other with machine gune fire and with Allied and German anti-aircraft guns popping at them from the earth. It gets mighty hot at times Ill tell you. We are going real engineering work now - - a lot of construction stuff and trench digging. A lot of the work is done at night time and tha t is when I do my work. I unload gravel from a freight train and load dirt on these same trains - very prosaid work, but just as essential as carrying up ammunition. The brightest spot in my life came this week when I got about twenty Kansas City newspapers. They certainly were appreciated. Since I left the States I have not seen one Kansas City apaer and these were welcome. A Miss Harroun - a friend I met thru the Vickers' - has been subscribing to it for me. I thought it would not come, but she said that it cost so little in proportion to the value of it that even if I did not get it, the chance would be worth taking No mail has come for over a week but we expect a batch any old day. I have no news that would interest you and any descriptive stuff will come to the folks nd later reach you. In on of the papers I got I found the following article about Pat Gallup: "F. E. Gallup of the Gallup Map Company left last night for Camp Dix where he will go into training for duties in the trenches 'Over There'. He will make an effort to get into the drafting department in order that he may cntinue his art of map making." It is my opinion that it Pat doesn't get a com-
103_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 18, 1918_Page 03
mission he will get one of the highest noncommissioned jobs in his regiment, as his advanced age and his training as an engineer in the University of Nebraska as well as his military training in the same place, will make him a mighty valuable man to any regiment. Paul Vickers has entered a training camp for officers at Columbus, Ohio, so I was told in my last letter form him. Nothing more this time! Love to you, [Charles] O.K. censored by Herbert Eves Lt. Co. A, 314th Engineers, R.C.
104_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 21, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] August 21, 1918 Dear People: Just a few words to let you know of one or two of the recent events in my life, viz: 1. A visit to No Man's Land. 2. A promotion to the grade of sergeant, first class. Number one is easily explained. A party from our company was sent out into a certain section in No Man's Land to repair a broken bridge. With ten other youths I was sent out in front of the broken bridge to act as a "cover" party for the boys who were working on the bridge. It was not at all as thrilling as we thought and hoped for, as all we did was to lay on our stomachs in a big bunch of wet grass for six hours and watch a three-quarter moon set. We could hear machine gun and rifle fire as plain as if I were called you from the barn, but it didn't bother any of us. We were close the first line trenches of the Germans and this facts was appreciated by us. Rumor has it that the First division is moving around again today, so Maurice might step in at any minute. Yesterday I was made a Sergeant, First class, this being a rank above duty sergeant, which I have held since we left [Camp Funston]. Kenneth was sent to an engineers training school about two days ago - - not an officers training school,
104_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 21, 1918_Page 02
but a place where noncoms or other selected youths can study various phases of engineering. I am feeling fine - doing my little share every night from dusk to dawn, some life if you don't weaken Did Mary Pugh ever come around to see you? My best love to you all, [Charles] [signature censored by Herbert Eves Co. a. 314th Engr] Here is a recent letter from Maurice! Important note - the chevron I wear is 6 ½ inches long [sketch of chevron] stripes castle stripe
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [August 23, 1918] Dear Folks: If we ever get a blue envelope again this will be the letter for it. These blue, or green as they have lately been, envelopes are very irregular in coming and consequently the real personal letters are irregular in leaving. The big piece of news is my recent promotion to the rank of sergeant, first class. You can believe me that this is sure one fine job - in fact no rank in the company is better than this. The top, or "first", sergeant ranks you but in the table of military
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 02
organization you hold the same grade as the first sergeant. The pay is the same and all travelling privileges are equal! You can again read that letter I wrote you from where we formerly were, telling you of the characteristics of this job. They are the same. The greatest relief of all is to get rid of that rifle and one hundred rounds of ammunition I have carried for eleven and one-half months. We were issued tiny Colt's automatics - keen little weapons - and mighty light! Only five of us were "made" and what is more - that is all who will be made. Our company is entitled to six such men and we now have 'em all - three from [Kansas City] by the way!
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 03
I was certainly one surprised youth when I saw the appointments posted on the bulletin board. It was the first I knew it. I knew some appointments were to be made, but had no idea that I would get one of the places. As I told you - to hold one of these places fellow must be an engineer of some repute. It seems as if one of these six sergeants is appointed on general principles - and I must be the one. Last night my commanding officer asked me how I liked my new position. I assured him that it certainly did please me, but that I wanted him to know that I knew nothing at all about engineering. He said he knew it, but that he had other
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 04
sergeants for that work! "Steve", he said, "You've got push and initiative - and that is what we want here as badly as engineering knowledge! We will keep you busy and won't embarrass you with jobs you think are too much for you!" So there you are! What certain persons deplored in me - putting all my energy into everything I do - has gotten me a dandy job. The salary is $56.10 a month and all expenses - everything, that means, too. I have $6 50 for insurance and $5 for Liberty Bond taken from me each month, leaving me just about $45 a month clear - or about 250 francs. I can see no reason why I should not
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 05
[YMCA letterhead] [page 2] save at least $30 a month out of this. I think I shall make arrangements for the transfer of this amount to my credit at the Citizens Savings Trust Company! In a year with my Liberty bonds I would have close to $500. Not bad for a drafted man. Of course I would be a year behind as I spent a lot of money while at [Camp Funston]! Before I make any such arrangement however, I'm waiting until I see Maurice again. You can see the advantages of this position. It is really an easier job than that of
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 06
ordinary sergeant. I am still platoon sergeant, but I'm willing. I honestly think that it was the handling of my platoon which got me the job. You should see the good looking chevron I wear. It is 6 ½ inches long and three inches wide. The top of it is like an ordinary sergeant's chevron, while underneath these three stripes is a small castle, underneath which is a single bar like this [sketch of bar]. This chevron resembles: [sketch of chevron] It is one of the classiest chevrons I know of while the rank has the same privileges and pay as the job of Regimental
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 07
Supply Sergeant which I recently wrote you of turning down! The other big piece of news was my recent jaunt into No-Man's Land. The particular place where we went happens to be about 1800 yards wide, probably the widest No-Man's Land along the entire line. Part of our party repaired a bridge about a thousand yards from our first line, while three hundred yards in front of them I could be found with my little detail acting as a guard over the workers. We laid on our stomachs on wet grass for six hours and didn't see a thing altho we sure heard some noises. I
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 08
imagine that we were about five hundred yards from the first German lines. I have been closer to the Germans then anyone in our company. I rather believe I will be chosen regularly for this kind of work - perhaps this is the reason for the promotion. Kenneth has been gone for three or four days - to an engineering school where he will take up a certain branch of engineering. He is a dandy fellow, sings good tenor, is an excellent athlete and we sure miss him. He should be back in three weeks! Yesterday morning a German aeroplane was brought down a short ways from our billet. It was brought
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 09
[YMCA letterhead] [page 3] down while I was asleep. All things of importance happen while I am asleep. In the plane were two Germans. Both were burned to death! The cloth of which was cut and distributed partly among our company. I could have sent you a little piece of it, but I could just as easily have cut a piece out of my pants and sent it to you! You would not have known the difference. I never did get to see the aeroplane as I lacked the energy to walk to where it was. The work I am doing is
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 10
sure a simple thing. I really am a foreman over twenty men who load dirt, unload gravel and sand, and dig dirt our of the ground. We go to work at dusk and quit about dawn - 3:30 a.m. You can see that it is an all night job. At midnight we get a big can of coffee and at 3:30 a.m. we get a good breakfast. Then we got to bed and sleep until noon. In the afternoon we can do as we desire. Most of the fellows sleep more, as numerous flies and lots of noise make the morning sleep hard to get. Sundays are the same as other days, altho every eighth day each man is supposed to have at least twenty-four
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 11
consecutive hours off. This is my seventeenth consecutive night on the job - but tomorrow I get off. A good night's rest will sure some in handy. Night work isn't so bad, as it is cool and makes working a pleasure. Recently a big full moon has been shining down on us, making conditions exceptionally nice. Of course all the work is done in the open field and absolutely no lights are allowed - not even cigarette smoking. Allied and German planes hover over us all night long, while artillery fire is easily heard. Shrapnel, bursting in the air, is seen, all times; and flares sent up near No Man's land are plainly discernable.
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 12
About every other evening the aeroplanes battle each other with machine guns, while the anti-aircraft guns on the ground send up their big shells at enemy planes! Altho the work itself is very prosaic, conditions make it rather thrilling at times. About ten days ago I was a mighty sick youth for fourty-eight hours. Something went wrong in my stomach and I had one heck of a time fixing it up. I was the sickest I have been since joined the National Army. It's all over now and I feel as fine as ever. We haven't had any letters for over two weeks and it sure is making the bunch peeved. I've received a bunch of Stars and Times but no
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 13
[YMCA letterhead] [page 4] letters at all. When the mail finally does reach us I should get about twenty letters. I generally lead the company in mail received. I seem to have plenty of time in the afternoons for writing and I have written to many persons, so I should have gobs of incoming letters. I hope you got the scarf I sent, Grandma, and I trust Grandpa got the picture of myself taken in New York and mailed from France. I recently sent some papers to you from here. You might save 'em or put 'em on exhibition as not many of them are seen "over there."
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 14
By the way I have quit drinking coffee. The coffee we get is awful stuff and I can't use it only once in a great while. At midnight when my detail gets coffee I beat it to a Red Cross outpost a quarter of a mile from town on the road to the front and get a couple of small cups of chocolate. It sure goes good, I'll tell you! All of we sergeants room and eat together and we certainly do have fun. Last nite one of our sergeants from Kansas City who doesn't know one word of French tried to tell a French lady that we wanted fried chicken on pay day! It sure was rich! He flapped his side and cackled hike a hen believe me it was funny!
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 15
Well, Folks, I have no idea when I will get to mail this, but I'll do so as quickly as possible. While waiting for the envelope, I'll add to this if anything of importance should arise! I suppose Aunt Kate will be in Devils Lake when this gets to Olathe. I suggest you send this to her. Among some papers which came to me recently was a Banner. It had a small item regarding Maurice and me! My best love to all, Charlie Next day: Can you beat it? Just exactly two hours after I finished the above letter who
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 16
drove up in a khaki-colored Dodge but Lt. Maurice Stevenson. His division, for the last two weeks, has been holding a sector in the front line, and just yesterday they were relieved by another division. On his way back he stopped here for two hours. With him was Lt. Eckers, a Kansas University graduate, whom I had previously met. Maurice visited us for two hours, talked to the sergeants, met our three lieutenants, listened to me play the piano four a little while, told me about himself and went on to war! His division is going back to be filled up with men. It will get some more training and then go at it again. Maurice seemed to be in the
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 17
[YMCA letterhead] [page 5] best of spirits but looked to be very tired physically. He said he was and he looked it. He told me he was sure of being made a first lieutenant as soon as a courier got to the United States and back with the recommendation. Men in our company who were second lieutenants in the U.S. were made firsts immediately after arriving here! Maurice has been here a year and is still a second, Queer!!! Today I took a truck ride lasting four or five hours during which I saw various parts of France. I rode around with our Transportation Sergeant.
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 18
and had quite a nice time. Tonight I take out about a hundred infantrymen and have 'em throw dirt into a hole dug up by mistake!!! In tonights issue of Stars and Stripes I read that Henry Allen was nominated for governor on the Republican ticket and that Capper is a nominee for the Senate. It seems as if some newspaper man will be the next governor and Senator. In the first part of this letter I told you my pay was $51 a month, but I was wrong - it is $60 - all of which makes it possible for me to save $9 a month. As soon as I give Maurice three hundred francs
cstevenson_0105_0019105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 19
I can begin to save a little - and I imagine I will be able to use a little spare cash if I get back to good old [Kansas City] and Olathe. No envelopes yet so I can't mail this for a while yet. Love - Charlie Guess what - this is Sunday! I didn't know a thing about it until I woke up and had been awake a couple of hours. As I said before you never know the different here between a week day and Sunday. The general atmosphere sure reminds me of certain calm days in Olathe. We have a big dug-out in front of our billet and all afternoon I have been on it with my
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 20
blanket and tent all folded up. Yesterday I got from Aunt Daisy a copy of the Saturday Evening Post containing the story by George Pattullo "Sitting on the World" and the July issue of the American - both mighty welcome. I still get my moving picture magazines - much to my surprise as I thought such things would not come thru the mail. The Star and Times still come to me - and regularly, too - another much enjoyed feature. I cut clippings out of them and shoot 'em on to Maurice! I think these are the copies Miss Harroun sends me. When you get this and begin to answer it put about a
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 21
[YMCA letterhead] [page 6] dollar's worth of stamps in the envelope! I can use them in sending papers and such back to the states. Wednesday - August 28 - Today two letters came - one from O'Gee and one from Miss Harroun - no news from you or any of you. O'Gee's letter tells of Aunt Kate coming to Olathe about July 20. It also mentioned that Grandma was running for representative from Johnson county. I am sure anxious to hear
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 22
more about this. By the way you can send me the Register every week. I got it all right for a long time. Well, folks, I found a green envelope in a side street and thus I get to mail this. I cannot think of anything else to write - nothing else has happened to me. We had a slight gas attack last night - and this morning a Boche plan flew over our lines and set on fire a couple of our observation balloons, thereby causing two observers out of each balloon to make and unexpected parachute
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 23
jump. Attention is called to the fact that I was asleep during the attack. I'm stilling working at night! Be sure to write to me at least once a week. My best love to you all. Charlie Put the enclosed clippings in my scrap book, especially the one about the sinking of the ship! over
105_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_August 23, 1918_Page 24
Be sure to save me any clippings about Grandma from any papers. - Put one clipping in my book.
106_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 28, 1918_Page 01
France Wednesday August 28 Dear O'Gee: Your letter of July 23 came just a few minutes ago. It had the latest news of any I have received for a long time. It told of Aunt Kate being in Olathe and of Grandma running for representative from Johnson County. I sure was glad to get the letter. I got one from a [Kansas City] friend also! We haven't had any mail for three weeks and nobody knows what the matter is. About once a week I get from twelve to fourteen Kansas City papers subscribed for me by a Miss Harroun. They certainly are welcome, too, I must say.
106_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 28, 1918_Page 02
Just today I got some moving picture magazines. They seem to follow me across the world. I just mailed and long "blue envelope" letter to the folks, who will in due time forward it to you I am sure. It told of various activities of mine and interesting things. A couple of nights ago Maurice was over to see me. He stayed a couple of hours and told me a lot of interesting stuff. It will probably be some time before I see him again. We are still holding our place in a quiet sector - nothing doing only about fifteen minutes a day. This morning a Boche plane burned up two of our observation balloons, but didn't hurt anybody. About five days ago we brought down a Boche plane
106_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 28, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] and two of their men were burned to death. I'm getting so I can hardly write any worth-while letters any more. As for playing the piano - I'm sure punk, as I play about fifteen minutes a week end then on bum pianos. We have had ideal weather conditions ever since we came here and altho France on the whole does not appeal to me the climate over here is certainly the best I ever encountered. The sector where we are is the same one occupied by Maurice's division when they entered the line last January for the first time. He told me that he had been here many times. The meeting between Maurice and me was sure an unusual one - a queer turn of the war. Our next worry is mail!
106_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_August 28, 1918_Page 04
Thirty minutes later - With three other sergeants I have just completed eating two big chocolate pies purchased from the Salvation Army for fifty-five cents. The [Salvation Army] sure has it over the YMCA in this town I'm telling you. Don't pass by any more bass drums without dropping in something if only ten cents. Did the folks tell you I recently was promoted to the rank of sergeant, first class? This is a very desirable rank. There are only six such in each engineer company, each one of which is supposed to be a specialist in one line of work. I don't know yet what my line is supposed to be. Love, Charlie O.K. censored by Herbert Eves Lt. Co. A. 314th Engrs.
107_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Maurice Stevenson (Brother)_August 31, 1918_Page 01
[Salvation Army] [August 31, 1918] Dear Maurice: Enclosed are the clippings of the rumpus of July 18 and a few days following which I promised to send you. Not a thing new to me - no mail, not even a rumor. Verily, 'tis a great life! Love Charlie O.K. censored by MH Harris Co. A. 314th Engrs.
108_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 2, 1918_Page 01
France [September 2, 1918] Dear Folks: Yesterday I got ten letters. Mary, Dave, MK, Aunt Kate, Grant and one form you. Yours bore the date of July 21 and was written altogether by Grandma. 'Twas surely welcome - the first letter from there in three weeks! It was s dandy letter and had lots of interesting news and dope. As far as personal news is concerned just a couple of days ago I mailed you a blue envelope letter, so consequently we have nothing of interest to report. It's tough luck that no mail had reached you by July 21. One of my two letters from Mary bore the date of July 26 and she said that she had received two letters
108_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 2, 1918_Page 02
from me. "The first ones you wrote after landing," she said! You bet I care for daily doings. Any old kind of dope form the old homestead appeals to me. I suppose you and Aunt Kate had a fine visit together. It was sure dandy she could come to Olathe. I hope M. K. got there and that Dave and Mary or Virginia got to come out and see her! Did Aunt Daisy ever get to go to Denver? Contemplated trips do not always materialize - especially around there. Did she go in the Buick or by train? I sure would like to be home to drive the Buick. A recent letter from O'Gee tells me Grandpa might go to Portland to attended the G. A. R. reunion and to see his brother. I read in the Paris edition of the
108_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 2, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] New York Herald about the convention and wondered if he went! If everybody left the place and you were there alone, except for the loneliness it would really be quite a rest for you. With you and Aunt Kate there it would be fine. If M. K. comes down the three of you would enjoy life! [September 2] Thirty minutes later: Maurice just left! He was sitting on my bunk when I returned from supper. He came up from the next town to tell me where he was and invite me down to see him and eat dinner with him tomorrow evening. I'll write later if I make it. I guess he wrote you had has been appointed an aide-de-camp to his Brigader-General. His colonel in the 16th Infantry was made
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a Brigader-General and he took Maurice with him. His new address is Hdq., 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, A. P. O. #729, A. E. F. France. A. P. O. = Army Post Office or American Post Office. He seemed quite a bit fresher than the last time he was here, altho he still looked tired. I remember reading of the death of Earl Collin in some newspaper we get here. I did not know him. Oh yes, Maurice got to read all your letters; as he has had no mail for a long time Con't
108_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 2, 1918_Page 05
[page 3] [September 4] Two mornings later - last night I rode the company bicycle to a nearby town and had supper with Maurice, stayed all night with him and had breakfast. With us at the supper meal were Brigader General Bamford and a Major from General Pershing's staff. It was the "rank" est bunch I ever ate with. The general spoke to me quite often, using such expressions as "pass the butter, please", "hand me some salt", and such personal greetings. Maurice took me to a couple of nearby towns in the machine he uses - and on a whole it was a most interesting evening.
108_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 2, 1918_Page 06
We talked about everybody we knew and had an interesting old time. She real feature was the meal I had and he bed in which I slept. It has been so long since I have been in a real bed that I couldn't get used to it at first. Such is life! Tomorrow we might be miles away from each other. This makes the fifth time I've seen him since coming over. Well, people! I'm behind in answering - so farewell 'till a trifle later date! L'amour [Charles] O.K. censored by Herbert Eves Co. A. 314th Engrs.
109_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1918_Page 01
France September 10 Tuesday or Wednesday Dear Folks: With the rain coming down all the time and the place of camp a garden of mud I am managing to write a couple of lines. A couple of days ago we left our nice home and are now living in our tinty tents on some hill in the middle of a pine forest. It sure would have tickled you if you could have seen us moving. It was funny, honestly! Our former campw was left behind about dusk and we started out some seven kilometers away. It was nice and cool when we left and our packs were light. Pretty soon it began to sprinkle. We were still on rock roads. Then we turned from the rock roads to dirt roads. Then it began to rain and it sure did rain. This is not the season of moons and the moon was not out. We could not see ahead of us more than one foot - and when I say one foot - that is what I mean one foot! We scrambled and crawled and waded and pushed and pulled each other thru a mile or so of dirt, rather thru mud, road. Then - - we stepped off of the road onto a field - a plowed field. A wet plowed field never was a work of art and you can put it down that this field was no exception. We finally reached our objective - a wet, dark, rain-soaked forest - and there at two in the morning with it still raining we threw up out tents, arranged our equipment the best we could and wen to sleep. We had to walk only about seven kilometers so it was not so bad. Not many of the men got very wet as a great part of the march was made under trees. It was the first time we ever hiked to our camp - also the first time we ever lived in the littile tents whose pictures are so often painted by artists who don't know a thing about them. It has rained for five straight days as far as I am concerned it can rain for five more straight days. All we do is to get wet and then dry off the best we can. We all dry out sooner or later, so why worry! Each man has dry equipment, carried on his back, and it isn't half as bad as one might think. I really enjoyed the hike, but I didn't have the nerve to tell that to anybody - they would have shot me, I guess. Our kitchen is outdoors and we eat outdoors. If it is not raining when we get up in the morning we dress outdoors.
109_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] About four hours before we left I got twleve letters from the great United States - from Mary, Dave, you, Aunt Kate, Mrs. Blake, Harrouns and a couple of girls unknown to you. Two hours before we left and two hours after the letters came in came Maurice again. He got to read all of the letters and for that was mighty grateful, as was I. They came at an opportune moment. He is gone now - - not gone - in the sense of having left the continent, but his division is no longer so close to ours and it may be some time before I get to see him again. We enjoyed the visits we had and consider ourselves lucky to be able to see each other. It we meet again in sixk months I will be satisfied. Your letter was theone written the week following the receipt of my first letters from England and the boat letter. Yes, it sure was some trip across, I'll say, but it wasn't a thing to what the retunr voyage is going to be. Where we landed here might be a good old harbor, but it won't be anything like the New York Harbor. As far into France as we have gone I have seen nothing to make me change my opinion of the relative beauty of France and England. You must surely know by now that what I think of France and what I think of [England] are certainly widely separated thoughts. I certainly enjoyed our stay a Nancy but I suppose that would be a mighty muddy place now. Supplied by J. We had not been in this wooded camp only twelve hours when along came the mailman with fourteen Time and Stars and eighteen old Kansas City Journals - also a couple of moving picture magazines and a Women's Home Companion. The Stars bore the date of July 25 and a number of Kansas City fellows enjoyed reading them. Today was pay day. I got one hunder and seventy francs, the value of which in American Money I have as yet been unable to determine- close to thirty dollars. I still have six weeks pay due. My watch has never returned from being fixed, but Maurice brought up a Swiss watch to me the last time he called. It has an alarm attachment and is a curiosity in the tent colony. By this time you know about the pictures I had taken in New York City. I got hold of the one I traded Maurice and sent it to some girls in Kansas City. Dave has not yet written me that he insured Aunt Daisy's car, but he will. He sure does write some funny letters. He is wanting to get into the service the hardest he can, but conditions in his home do not permit that he join. Tought luck on his part. This is a great life and I would not have missed it for anything. Phil is still with the company - he is supply sergeant - has been so for a long, long time. Kenneth is duty sergeant. He is now away at a school where he will learne some advanced principles of engineering and bring 'em back to us. He is due back about next week. OVER
109_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1918_Page 03
I got the dandiest letter from Miss Harroun. It seems as if you sent a letter I wrote you to the Kansas City Star and that it was printed. I got five letters so far telling me that the piece was read - two from persons who had not yet written to me. Miss Harroun also saw the piece and wrote me a letter telling me that she would be only too glad to let me have any necessary money I needed to go to a journalistic school when I returned. I will send you the letter when I have finished answering it. I also got a letter from Mrs. Vickers. Nothing much is new - - it is still raining and we still plod along in the mud. We must be at war! My best love to all. [Charles] censored by Rudesill Co. A, 314th Engrs.
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 01
I'm sending a couple of your letters on to Maurice France [September 18, 1918] Dear People: This is the seventh day of the St. Mihiel drive and I find myself sitting in a thick muddy forest, with my knees and gas mask as a table, writing to tell you I went thru my first real touch of war and came out with nothing more serious than the loss of some sleep and a couple of tears in my best leggins. Of course, I lost various articles of clothing, but that was to be expected, so I'm not complaining. Suffice to say I still have one pair of pajamas and that looking glass I took while home one Sunday. It was some drive. Small, in comparison to many, operations, to we rookies it was a real battle. Machine guns, rifles, shells, aeroplanes, and tanks - everything you read about - I saw 'em all. We followed the first
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 02
line (the attacking party) for twelve hours and ours was a sort of "after the battle" review. I saw all kinds of German trenches, barbed wire entanglements, busted houses, burning trees, deep shell holes, torn-up railroad tracks, peaceful gardens, dynamited bridges - and lots of things I had read of, but never seen. All kinds of German prisoners passed me on the way back. It was interesting - and to our side highly satisfactory. Our company had a few men injured - none you know. Phil is all right; Kenneth was not even here - still at school. One night we slept in a hay barn; the next night a few of we sergeants slept in a German colonel's quarters. I got a few souveniers - as soon as we get back to a rest place where I can get some good strong envelopes I
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] will send 'em to you. The best of all is blank form of a bond - the eighth German war loan. I also got some shoulder straps. It is impossible to carry anywheres near all you can get. Enough of the drive - we did in two days what we were supposed to do in five. As soon as I get to a typewriter I'll tell you a few incidents - interesting and humorous. Maurice was in it - on our left, I think. No word from him has come of course. As I understand it his division had the hardest place of the entire attack. We know Major Bland, of [Kansas City], was killed. Our commanding officer was only ten feet from him when he was shelled. Personally, I'm feeling great, altho I would like to get a hair cut, and hear some music. By the way in one of the German camps we found a
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 04
piano - and a Victor talking machine. As soon as we move back and I can persuade Phil to lend me his Corona for a couple of hours I'll tell more of it! Once more I saw - enough of War! - for this time. Yesterday I got eight letters and today I got twenty! Believe me - it was a grand a glorious feeling - I guess had one great time with 'em - they came from you all - Dave, M. K., Blakes, Mrs. Rankin, Grant, [Maurice], Paul, Mary, Mary Helen, Evelyn - etc. I am way, way behind. But I'll get caught up some time. The Riving - Pitt pads came, as did the ink tablets - thank all of you ever so much. None of you need send me any more pads, as Aunt Kate will send 'em to me. But I wish you would buy some ink tablets and enclose one in each letter you write. Also some fairly heavy rubber bands
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 05
[page 3] once in a while come in handy - and a few blotters. I got two from Aunt Daisy - both from Denver. I'm glad you like those letters, Aunt Daisy. I'll keep coming as regularly as possible! everything you have sent so far has come to me I am sure! I've not a complaint to make a single thing! It's mighty fine you got to go to Denver. The rest was certainly a needed one and I am glad you enjoyed yourself. Colorado is a stamping ground for Reed Gentry, as he goes there most every summer. He sent me a booklet from the Missouri Bankers Association showing my name as being on the "Roll of Honor". Ross Rheam being in France probably means that he is at some naval base, doing clerical work, Naval Aviation is where several friends of mine are. It seems
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 06
to be a peculiar kind of work - I do not know the exact character of it. Next summer you expect to be in [Devils Lake] - Make it the 1920 summer and I will do my best to be there. Dave and I are planning to make various visits in that state. Letters from Grandma - [August 10, August 13, August 23] came today. Good time, especially the latter. All these letters were dandy ones, the one of the 23rd acknowledging receipt of the scarf being full of lots of news. The Irving-Pitt pads sent were absolutely correct all over. They fit my book fine - Thanks! We haven't had any "blue envelopes" for some time, but I haven't had anything much to say in 'em, so what's the difference? That clipping of mine in the paper much have been react all over the world. People I know in Washington, D.C., and in New York City and Virginia told me of it - not to mention all kinds of [Kansas City] folks.
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 07
[page 4] Aunt Kate wrote me that Grandma was sick. I hope by now you are all well and hopping around as much as always. Scratching and scratching - don't mention it to me! I've been doing it, too, but not from poison ivy!! - Don't take my statements of my intentions to get married as soon as I return too seriously. First - a girl must be found - then financial condition must be considered - so wait till I get back!! Thank all of you for taking such good care of all our stuff in the barn. Have any of you ever been to the cemetery this summer and fall? I notice no mention was made of going out there but once in quite awhile. I'm leaving it to you all to see that the graves there are kept in good shape! I saw long ago that Henry Allen was nominated and O'Gee told me that you had been chosen as Republican nominee for the State Legislature. It would be
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 08
mighty fine if you could accept it and go to Topeka for the Sessions, but I hope you won't if it will hurt you physically. But - I'm sure they couldn't have made a better choice. Send me some clippings on the subject - and put some in my book - don't forget this! I must write Aunt May and congratulate her on her entry into the field of journalism. She won't have a bit of trouble holding down the job. Send me the Register, will you please. The Star comes - certainly it will! - The folks with the Blakes were Suddarths. I know Fred very well. He was a Webster - and a good one, too. Also - a fine clean youth - exceptional intellect. Now - the one of [August 23] - I'm glad you got the scarf and that you enjoyed it so much, altho I certainly do not see where you can use it. I sent M. K. one of another color - the same kind exactly. There is a possibility that she
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 09
[page 5] might be able to use hers at the "U". Yours was sent mostly as a remembrance. I'll send a few things from time to time. Postal regulations forbid sending much. I am lugging around a table cover taken from the table of a German colonel, which I'll send on, if possible! Did I once say "- six months more"? All wrong - and easier to see constantly. If it's over by the fall of 1920 I will be satisfied. If I'm home Christmas 1920, I will consider myself very lucky! That picture I had taken in New York wasn't so very good. I do not believe I sent any to M. K., but don't worry I surely haven't forgotten her - nor has she me, as I hear from her all the time. From her letter, I gather this is the very first day of her Senior year at the "U". Letters from Mary Pugh come regularly - none ever come from Dorothy. I am, sure none of them ever got to Olathe. This all right. All concerned are just as well off.
110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918_Page 10
So Frances Morrison and Helen Ott are gone to Washington. I know other girls, there, too. I wrote a letter to Helen and Dorothy Nelson source time ago - no reply yet. Dandy girls - all of the Olathe girls. As soon as I get caught up on some of these thirty letters I'll write to H. Hallett. The end of that dandy letter! Today has been a nice, peaceful day. Some shelling - not very close - machines overhead constantly. No longer is this a quiet sector. No telling when I can mail this - we are far from mail - headquarters, as far as outgoing stuff is concerned. - And as you might guess - our officers are rather busy to devote much time to censorship. Never sorry about me! No news is always good news! I'm in great shape physically now, except that needed hair cut. My best love to you all [Charles] [signature censored by Lt. Rudesill 1st L. Engrs. U.S.A.] I mashed one of my fountain pens all to pieces. As soon as I can get an order I'll let you send me one. Don't do anything about it 'till you hear from me.
111_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Kate Read (Aunt) and Frank Read (Uncle)_September 19, 1918_Page 01
France [September 19, 1918] Dear Aunt Kate and Uncle Frank: This is a breathing spell after a week or so of War. We are living in a thick, muddy forest in little holes in the ground, keeping up the good work of forcing back the Boche. Our company just finished helping our Division capture a bunch of Germans and do such acts incidental to a real battle. We are not supposed to give the name of the battle now our location, but from the date and reference to recent advances you can just about dope out where I have been. Maurice's division was in it, too, so you can know we are not far apart. It was some life while it lasted. We advanced a short ways behind an infantry regiment and ours was a sort of "after the battle" privilege. We saw captured Germans of all shapes and kinds; aeroplane battles; tanks; and lots of interesting things.
111_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Kate Read (Aunt) and Frank Read (Uncle)_September 19, 1918_Page 02
I got more stuff than I could ever carry - eventually I retrained only a few shoulder straps for nice pretty German officers' uniforms. I am enclosing one herewith. The number signifies the regiment. I do not know what the rank is - and I don't care. The Boche is now shooting shells all around us and honest - to - goodness shrapnel is pouring down on us about every five minutes - but we might as well be writing letters as doing anything else! The only damage was the loss of a couple of night's sleep and a bad tear in one of my leggins, caused by getting too close to some enemy barbed wire. I do need a hair cut, though - I'll say that much! If it was not for the danger of the thing the activity might be termed a camping trip. It is time that some of the men find it tough
111_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Kate Read (Aunt) and Frank Read (Uncle)_September 19, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] sledding, but as a rule the men seem to be getting along in great shape. Personally, I'm feeling fine and have felt absolutely no ill effects. We eat and sleep and work - this is what we did at Funston! We are only a half mile or so from the very front line - but the Boche is some ways from there, altho it certainly cannot be said that we are out of danger! Day before yesterday and yesterday headquarters forwarded mail to us and in the two deliveries I got twenty-eight letters - some nice time I had, too, reading 'em all. From you I got a couple written from Olathe. M. K. had a bunch, as did the Olathe folks. Thanks ever so much for the pads and the ink tablets, Aunt Kate - they certainly are appreciated. The size you sent was correct - and since you made mention that you would send 'em to me when I wanted 'em, I would like to have
111_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Kate Read (Aunt) and Frank Read (Uncle)_September 19, 1918_Page 04
about one each month from now on. On the various sheets enclosed I have made marks indicative of what I prefer. You might stick in a few thick rubber bands and an ink tablet once in a while! The ink tablet you sent was fine - it was mashed, but that doesn't make any difference at all!! You ask about my address - here it is - every word essential: C.S. Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs., A. P. O. 761 A. E. F. - You had it absolutely correct. I'm glad the rotary system in regard to my letters has been adopted. I often tell one what I forgot to put in a letter to another! I lost your last letter written from Olathe - and I can't remember all you wrote! Grandma wrote me that
111_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Kate Read (Aunt) and Frank Read (Uncle)_September 19, 1918_Page 05
[page 3] you were of much help to her while you were in Olathe - and that she certainly did enjoy your visit. I imagine that you were lots of help and comfort to her - I only wish I could have added my noise and person, too. I wrote a better letter than this to Olathe - of yesterday's date - I'm sure they will forward it to you. Have to work in a hurry Love [Charles]
112_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to R.E. Stevenson (Grandfather)_September 20, 1918_Page 01
France [September 20, 1918] My Dear Grandpa: Your letter sent with one from Aunt Kate reached me day before yesterday. It was about seven days after the beginning of the drive and I was living in a little hole in the ground with a make-shift cover of a pup tent. We have not been relieved yet - and altho general conditions have changed since the Civil War the rate of getting dirty probably has not lessened.
112_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to R.E. Stevenson (Grandfather)_September 20, 1918_Page 02
The life is all you told me it would be - and tho I personally have suffered no ill effects otherwise than the loss of some sleep and a few articles of clothing a few of the men in our company have been seriously injured! I have had no opportunity to see Henry J. Allen - I have not even heard of his being in this sector, but you can be assured that if he does come here I will look him up and tell him all about you! In our wanderings we saw a big bunch of tanks and aeroplane battles all the time. German prisoners of all kinds were seen going back to prison camps. Non of them appeared to be a bit worried, but of course what I know of them is almost nothing.
112_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to R.E. Stevenson (Grandfather)_September 20, 1918_Page 03
are much pleased with their soldiers. Personally, I think our division did mighty fine work. It was our first attempt. Just watch us next time! I am thirty letters behind. It will take me a couple of weeks to catch up! My best love, Charlie censored by Lt Rudesill Co A - 314th Engrs.
113_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 20, 1918_Page 01
France [September 20, 1918] Dear O'Gee: We have just finished being a part of a drive begun about a week ago - and our division has not yet been relieved - as I write I'm sitting in my field tent all bundled up. I have to use this paper and pencil - nothing else to available! Four days after the drive began, we stopped where we now are and up came the mail - I got twenty letters at one crack. In the next three days twelve more came - two were from you - August 6 and August 21. it sure was a treat - thirty-two letters - right at the front, too. The chase was a merry one! The Boche beat it - and beat it fast, too. I saw any number of prisoners - all young - and as far as I could see - well fed. We went thru a German camp and at their expense got some good stuff to eat. They have fine jam and tea - their break is awful, and their coffee is vile. But 'twas all better than hard tack! I slept in quarters
113_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 20, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] hastily vacated by a German colonel. Part of my bedding included a table cover, which I am sending on to Grandma! Their quarters were luxurious - plush chairs, fine carpets, cut glass, fine beds, the best kind of mattresses - all furnishing were wonderful. Of course in their retreat they did quite a bit of messing up, but their surroundings and the finishing of them were plainly evident. A piano and a talking machine I found. The piano was a French one and the machine of American make - "His Masters Voice" - in German - they must have had a life of ease. If I once said I thought it would be over in six months I admit freely I was too optomistic - about eighteen months so. If this darn thing is over in two years - if I am in Olathe January 1, 1921 - I will consider myself lucky. Are you thinking of enlisting? It would best Grandma all up if you went into it and I cannot see that you should - being far over the draft age - even above the new one. Far be it from me to comment, though. You
113_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_September 20, 1918_Page 03
[page 3] are about twice my age - it would be foolishness for me to comment on your activities. I haven't been a wild success handling my ownself. What the winter holds forth I cannot say. I do not even know where I will be tomorrow. Personally, I'm feeling fine - were it not for the destruction and damage and danger it would have appeared as an outing - but believe me - as it was, it was far from it. Maurice will no doubt come around in a little while. His division is in it some place - had a number of me wounded. No danger to him, though, I'm sure. Our own company had a bunch injured - in my own platoon, eight are in the hospital. Even the cooks got it! Work calls to me - being in the Army, I have to go. 'Tis just as well - perhaps when I come out of the Army I'll call to work. I hope is responds as readily as I do to it. Love - [Charles] censored by O.K. Lt Redusill Co. A - 314th Engr.
114_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson (Brother) to Charles Stevenson_September 24, 1918_Page 01
France [September 24, 1918] Dear Charlie:- More news - good? - The General got a telegram yesterday asking him to take charge of the organization of a new officer's candidate school. He has telegraphed his acceptance - but says he won't got until - you know. So - it looks like a trip to the rear for us before many more weeks. He asked me if I wanted to go - I said "Yea verily" - he said, "Bien" - and there you are! Said we'd get settled down and start the school - then I'd be packed off to my school. I will keep you informed of how things go - and where I am. The enclosed I have answered today. Maurice O.K. MS Stevenson 2nd Lt.
115_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandparents_October 1, 1918_Page 01
France October 1, 1918 Dear Grandma and Folks: Another one of Grandma's good letters came today - - 'twas the one written August 26. With it came one from Aunt Kate and one from Miss Harroun. Mail seem to be coming regularly, for which we all are certainly grateful. This letter of yours was the one sent the time I wrote and told you of having my watch taken. That is queer, I'll say, as just at the time this letter came I was wrapping up my watch in a cigar box and getting it ready to mail to you. Today I sent it, along with a pair of cheap glasses which I thought Aunt Daisy might be able to wear, that picture of Dorothy and a cute little metallic picture of the Alma Mater, which I picked up "Somewhere in France." It is a mighty pretty little thing and you be sure and save it for me. The picture of Dorothy youc can put wherever you desire - I do not want to lug it around. She seems to have lost all faith in Mankind and far be it from me to waste my time indcuing her that she is wrong - especially with all the nice ladies in North Dakota, Missouri and Kansas. In this letter you will find approval of my request from our colonel that you be allowed to send me a fountain pen and a watch. It is possible that I could get a watch and a fountain pen here, but I have been trying to locate both for six or sevenw weeks and to date have been unsuccessful so I decided to let you send me one. In order to get the package through the mails you will have to present this to the Postmaster in Olathe and Kansas City, who will probably cut off the "Approved" part of the colonel's and paste it on the outside of the box. Be sure that the box is a strong one and well tied up - and register it. By the way, the box that I sent you today was registered. Put on the address from now on A. P. O. #761. This will hustle up the letter somewhat and I should get it in the quickest possible time. Yesterday I also registered a package - a letter, I mean. I sent to the bank an accumulation of a couple of month's pay - - $81. With my present rank and salary there is not good reason why I should not be able to send home at least close to $35 a month. I spent exactly $1.85 since last pay day-thirty days ago. Prospects for spending that much this month are not very bright, as there is no place to spend any money. As to my watch - I want about a ten dollar one - rather small, especially in thickness. Get an open face one - and be sure that all the figures are of radio light character. It need not necessarily cost ten dollars - an Elgin or any good kind will do, but I do not want a big heavy one. Also send with it a safety clasp of some kind that I can attach to my watch pocket. A good screw face, open face, with a good thick case would be best. The fountain pen must be a self-filler - - - and I want one that fills
115_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandparents_October 1, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] from the side and net from screwing contrivance on the top. Miss Eva Sullivan of Central high school sent me a dandy when I was at [Camp Funston]. It was called the Bobn Ben - pretty good. Get one not too long and one where the clip is attached to the body of the pen so that it won't be continually coming off. The clip must be close to the top of the pen so that it will fit in my shirt pocket and not stick out over the shirt pocket flap. Don't pay over five dollars for the pen, unless you have to do so. But get a good one - and not too big. Use your judgement - I will be content with anything that don't leak or spill. Take the money for these two conveniences from my account in the Citizens Savings Trust Company, I will advise them that you can draw on it at any time you so desire - and at Christmas or whenever you need any cash you just step right into it. I may have you buy a couple of Christmas presents for various friends and if I do there is where you will find the money. Start all that stuff on its way over as soon as you can as a fountain pen and a watch are about the most useful things a fellow owns - outside of what is issued to him. Don't send any money to the Unity Oil Company. If they strike oilt the stock will be worth something whether I put in any money or not and if they do not strike oil I will not have lost anything more than the original investment. This is the meaning of the insrance letter from Des Moines. While you are in the Army the government will pay your premium on any insurance policy you might have owned before you came into the Army. Knowledge of this on the part of the old line company is necessary, so I wrote them that I had accepted the government's offer in this respect. I don't have to pay out any money for my premium until after the war and than I can pay it back on the inslamment plan, if I so desire. It is a dandy thing and protects a person in case of accident or death when there is a possibility of a lapse of his premium. Too bad you could not go to the State Legislature, but I guess it is best that you stay out of politics. Did Mr. Coleman get renominated for State Senator from Johnson county? I still get the Kansas City Star that Miss Harroun has sent to me and for some reason this Journal still comes, some copies very late, but always productive of reading matter. The weather is getting cooler, but our present location is really one of the best we have been for some time. Nights are very cool and the days are pleasant - when it doesn't rain. I managed to hold onto my flannel pajamas during the recent drive and they sure come in handy. They are one of the main reasons for my continued good health. Marmon is new with the company and he and I generally sleep together. By peeling blankets we manage to keep might comfortable. When we get into any woods and have to sllep in our tents on the ground we will be fixed fine. Put this picture of Paul in my book. He has been admitted to an Engineers Officers Training Camp.
115_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Grandparents_October 1, 1918_Page 03
[page 3] Our first sergeant (top sergeant) has been sick in the hospital for four or five days and I have been helping fill his job. You can take it from me that this is a real job. It takes a lot of time, but is mighty interesting. Not a thing else is new. As to my health - I am feeling fine. For a couple of weeks past I have had a sty on one of my eyes, but it is all gone now and I am as fit as ever. Did I tell you I saw Bruce Killain in a stable about a week ago? My best love to all, [Charles] C.S. Stevenson, Sergt. 1st Class Co. A, 314th Engrs. France Oh, yes - have my watch fixed and put it in the safe deposit vault. Take the money from my account. I've sent home various copies of Stars and Stripes, which I hope are interesting.
116_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 15, 1918_Page 01
(over) France Dear Folks: Here is a sticker for my Christmas package. I will try to write in a couple of days and tell you what to send me - altho if the watch and pen have been sent it is immaterial. If you dont hear from me before time to mail this send me one of those nut cakes, of which I am so fond. Love, Charlie C.S. Stevenson Co. A 314th Engrs U.S.A. Later: Send me 3 packages of Durham Duplex razor blades; 1 good small (if possible) and short chain to keep my watch tied to my pants; and a black tie with end 1 ½ inch or so wider - for dress affairs. [Charles]
116_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 15, 1918_Page 02
We are in the field!
117_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 4, 1918_Page 01
France - October 4, 1918 Dear Folks: It took your last letter justt thirty days to come to me. It was the one in which the letter from Margaret Kathryn was enclosed. Thanks for that letter - according to it, she must think highly of me. I think I will refer certain ladies to her - - for recommendations. Today four letters from Maurice and one from Evelyn came. The ones from Maurice were not important, but told me something of his activities during the recent drive - all of which I certainly was eager to learn. He tells me he is liable to go to school all winter, all of which would be mighty nice. He we thru one of these darned cold winters in a school - and I would like to see him there during another one. He sent me seven letters from various persons - Jay, you, M. K., our Chicago Aunt Kate and a few others. As regards the ending of this war - things certainly do look bright, but Stevie cannot get it out of hish head that it will take a couple of years loner to wind up the season. Let's hope not! I am glad that the Register is to come to me. I certainly will enjoy it. More so now, I am sure, since Miss Parker took it over. There doesn't seem to be a thing new. Whenever there is a I will sure shoot it to you. My best love to you all!! [Charles] [C. S. Stevenson] Co. A, 314th Engrs. France Feeling fine - as good as ever!
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 01
France [October 12, 1918] Dear Folks: Just 414 years ago today Columbus discovered America - four months ago today we sailed from America and today we are in a "rest area" taking life easy for perhaps a week after being on the front for two months. We had quite a time getting relieved. In one night we hiked thirty kilometers (twenty miles) which is surely some hike. It was at night and it rained nearly all night long. Just before we started I found an umbrella and Marmon and I used it all night. You can imagine me walking along with a big heavy pack on my back -
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 02
pitch dark, pouring down rain - and carrying a big umbrella! It sure was funny - but it kept the rain off of me x About one-fourth of the way on the road I turned my right ankle (my good ankle). It didn't seem to bother me. About the middle of the trip we pulled into a big shed and rested for an hour. During this rest my ankle grew cold and when we started out I couldn't hold the pace and for the first time in my life, I had to drop out. Well, I meandered around back of the company, going just about as slow as motion goes. It had stopped raining again by this time - the time was 1:30 A.M. I wandered along and finally here came a towing car. I stopped it and told 'em my trouble. Some deep-voice from the rear told me to hop in. Then they got
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 03
[page 2] lost and found themselves at some cross roads with a French M. P. in charge. 'Twas about 2 A.M. They couldn't understand French, so I stepped to the front and talked my French to the M. P. I got the desired information for the occupants of the car and they from then on respected me - in silence, I guess, because they never a word to me x We finally pulled into a town - and when I got out I found out it was a major - Major Brown adjutant of the 89th Division staff. Quite a prominent man, you can bet!
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 04
Well - 'tis three a.m. I found my way into a stable and slept on a bed of good hay with my overcoat as cover. At seven bells I woke up and put my shoe on again. I cut a handle from a pitch fork and using it for a cane I sauntered out in the town. 'Twas one of the best towns in this part of France. I got grapes, apples, cookies, cheese and such - all this time taking in the sights and limping. I couldn't find any Red Cross dressing station or anything. But by this time my ankle had gotten much better and I decided to hike to where our company was - four kilometers. I started out (pouring down rain again) and had gotten only about one-quarter mile when along came
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 05
[page 3] a motorcycle with a side car - and the side car was empty. it picked me up and took me to just the place I wished to go. In this town, we lived in a brewery - and one in working order, too. We stayed only one night and pulled out again - under more desirable conditions - to where we now are. My ankle is all right now and doesn't seem to bother me at all. I hiked five miles under heavy pack on it - no trouble! It's a great life - if you don't weaken! The above is just one little incident in the life of ME.
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 06
No telling what our future holds. Probably we will go to another front. I hope the above story of experience don't tire you. It might make interesting reading. It certainly is a thrilling tale - nit! For this evening - that's all. Next morning - the rumor was that some mail would be in but none came - only three [Kansas City Journals] and a Woman's Home Companion. Who the heck send me a Woman's Home Companion is more than I can say - but I cut out some pictures, read the stories and go on my way! Last nite a letter came from Maurice, telling me he was to be sent to a training school with General Bamford. I'm sure glad, as he will get a chance to be in some good
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 07
[page 4] place for this coming winter. Last winter he was in the trenches most of the time. I'm feeling very well right now and hope I continue so. Personally this war hasn't hurt me one bit. If I come back feeling as fit as I now do, everything will be all right. The last letters from you all were dated September 10 and they were sure dandy ones. One typewritten one was from Aunt Daisy and one in hand from Grandma - both of the same date! If those letters I write are pleasing to you I certainly am glad as that's about all I care do to pay all of you back for all
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 08
you have done for me! I saw a clipping of a little incident about my meeting Maurice from the Kansas City Star. Good enough. I imagine I'll get a couple of letters from some Kansas City folks telling me of this. Don't worry about not being able to send me a birthday box. I'll get something from you when I come back. Speaking of "when I come back" - some time I'm going to write a story on what the various men of my company intend to do when they "are back". I think it would make a most interesting story. If I had a typewriter I sure would do that. That darn fountain pen of mine isn't worth a thing. I have to coax it and cajole the ink in coming out. When you send me a
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 09
[page 5] a pen be sure to send one that writes rather heavily. I like to see what I am putting down when I write. A recent letter from Helen Nelson told me of the Olathe girls who have gone to Washington, D.C. to work. That is certainly fine. They are only a short ways from New York City, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Long Island and such and can see any of those towns between Saturday evening and Monday morning. Helen told me that Helen Betts was to teach in the Olathe high school. I think you will find Helen Betts a much more agreeable and desirable girl than you imagine; and I also believe she will be in with the very best of Olathe's girls.
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 10
Every one in a while I send you a copy of some of the newspapers we get over here. I imagine they are interesting to those who have never seen any of them. They would make a good display. Now - as to my scrap book - I wish you would cut some big headlines out of various papers that come to you about big advances, rumors of surrender, abdications and deaths of big men in the war, and put 'em in my book in some manner so that they can be kept together. You can paste 'em in if you care to - only if you do - try to get away from the ordinary pasting method. Fix 'em up in
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 11
[page 6] some novel style - shunt 'em across the page at angles and in any way to make the various pages novel and out of the ordinary. Be sure to put the dates on 'em. No milk is ever available for us. Once in a while we get a little bit of condensed cream. There seems to be some kind of an order against buying anything from the French civilians, so that would alone eliminate milk. That was certainly a most enjoyable letter you wrote, Aunt Daisy - I sure liked it. About every other week or so slip a khaki-colored handkerchief into one of you letters. It is often hard to get handkerchiefs and for you to mail me a handkerchief once in a while would assure me of a clean one at least that regularly.
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 12
These letters of yours were replies to the one I wrote telling of seeing Maurice for the first time. It has been over a month since I last saw him - and judging from the letter I got last night from him it will be some time before we meet again x So far I have received no copies of the Register (yes, I got one); I hope some come so that I can keep up on Olathe activities. No furlough is due me for a long time, but [Maurice] has one coming, which, he says, he will spend in England. That pass Maurice wrote me can be pasted in my book some time - along with the clipping of our meeting. Any time any clippings about [Maurice] or me or you appear - send 'em to me in an envelope, as papers mailed in bulk are liable not to complete the trip. I have been trying to buy something for Aunt Daisy, but the laws on sending out French merchandise
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 13
[page 7] are such that it is impossible to send out more than a handkerchief. I was luck y to be able to send you that scarf! I'm enclosing a couple of clippings which I consider good. Save 'em for me! You should see the dandy little photograph album I carry in my loose leaf note book. I take a page out and paste on it a [Kodak] picture. I now have about twelve - Maurice, M. K., Paul, Evelyn, Mary Helen, Mary and such. None are scenes of any places over here. No [Kodaks] are allowed. It would be hard to develop films - and to buy them would be harder yet. Such is life! Marmon and I are in the same platoon. We sleep together these cool nights. One night he
118_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 12, 1918_Page 14
decided to sleep along. About two a.m. he got cold and hopped out of his bed into mine - and never brought any covers with him. You should have seen me chase him back for a couple of blankets he left on his cot. Phil is still here - supply sergeant - feeling and looking fine. Well - temporarily - I must quite. This gets me caught up on all my letters - the first time in months. Now - I'll write a few and get ahead, thereby assuring myself of letters. My best love to you all. [Charles] C.S. Stevenson Co. A - 314 Engrs. France Put A. P. O. #761 on my mail besides everything else, It will get to me quicker.
119_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 15, 1918_Page 01
France [October 15, 1918] Dear Folks: Feeling fine - living as we move - on hills, in forests, anyplace we pitch our tents. Here are a couple of German insignias - a [German] lieutenants should straps Love [Charles] C.S. Stevenson Co. A 314th Engrs. U.S.A.
120_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 16, 1918_Page 01
France - October 16, 1918 My Dear People: Just yesterday I mailed you a label which gives me the privilege of receiving a Christmas present from anyone whom I consider friendly enough to act as a sender - - THEREFORE: You are elected and I trust that in the due matter of time I may receive a certain small box with interesting articles in it. I was in one heck of a hurry when I wrote that list to you yesterday. It was raining and all I had for shelter was a tree. We were in the field - and we still are. It is some life! Here I am sitting under a big canvas stretched from a couple of trees with the company Corona sitting on a couple of old boxes and with me sitting on the company field chest. It has been raining for thirty-six hours and still is and prospects for an abatement of said rain are dim. Kenneth and I tent together and we sure have one heck of a time. Last night it leaked in our tent and we had to sleep in territory generally allotted to one person. When one of these so called pup tents leaks you are sure out of luck as there isn't a thing you can do - but move - And the only place you can move to to avoid the rain is out in the rain! Some life! I didn't shave for three days and I looked like a wild man this morning.& Kenneth lured me near a shaving outfit and I finally took 'em off - with the result that I now look like a respectable voter of the United States. We sure have been hearing lots of peace talk these days - and I want Aunt Daisy to be sure to cut out a few of the most daring head lines in the papers for my scrap book. The consensus of opinion of the men in this company is that we will have peace before Christmas and that we will all be home by summer. It is my personal opinion that peace will come between October, 1919 and January, 1920, following which will come the debarkation of the troops - and I believe that we will be lucky if we are home by January 1, 19121. I am generally optomistic on most subjects and my decided stand on the end of the war seems to surprise a big bunch of the fellows. I cannot see, though, why the war should end this fall. It seems the general idea that England and France want more damage done to Germany, but I cannot get myself to believe that President Wilson will allow the war to become one of vengeance, which, according to the principles of which he basis our entrance into this thing, is absolutely wrong. Some speech, eh! But that's what I think about the thing. As to that Christmas package - you can easily get the Durham Duplex razor blades and the deck of cards. As to the tie - I do not want the exceptionally narrow kind - and of course the flowing ends such as the varied colored ones of
120_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 16, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] civilian life are not at all suitable - so get one an inch or an inch and a half wide at each end. Ties are hard as heck to get over here. It might not be a bad idea to put a tie of this description in an envelope and mail it to me once every other month after Christmas. Believe me, I am some schemer to get all these things sent across here. But we have been to towns where merchandise is available so few times that I have given up all hope of ever getting to one and must rely on you folks to send me the little things that I want. And fill the rest of the box up with one of those fruit cakes - if it doesn't make the box too heavy - or it isn't contrary to the rules on the label. No word has come from Maurice for some time - in fact it has been about ten days since we have had any mail at all. If censorship allowed it I might tell a lot of things - but just keep your eyes open and your minds on the alert and you can pretty nearly tell where our division is. Wherever our division is you can put it down that we engineers are - and hard at work. We have loafed for three days - if you call wading thru mud about five inches deep loafing - but there is absolutely no telling what the future holds. I am exceedingly lucky to be able to write this. The very best of love to you all, Charlie Sergt. C. S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engineers France The last good letter I wrote to you - the one telling of the ankle I hurt - was carried around with me over the hills and valleys and dales and creeks and mountains of France for five or six days before I had an opportunity to mail it. It may reach you after this does. Both my ankles are in good shape now and I don't have a bit of trouble with either of them. [Charles]
121_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 19, 1918_Page 01
France - October 19, 1918 Dear Folks: Eight letters came today - two from Grandma, dated September 22 and the one containing the letter from Nan about Maurice, I can imagine that Maurice is a rather popular officer in his regiment - the officers I met seemed to think he was a mighty fine young man. Whether he is a first lieutenant or not I do not know yet, but if he is sent to the Staff College of which he makes mention you can bank on it that he will be a captain before many more months pass. Don't worry about my not getting letters from you folks, as they come very regularly and are mighty, mighty welcome, too. I hear from you oftener than from anybody else and I enjoy them more than any I get from anyone else. Keep on writing! A letter came today from Miss Harroun. She said that she would very much life to meet you and hoped that you might come to see her some time. I wrote and told her that you were somewhat advanced in age and that perhaps she might find it convenient to go to see you. She doesn't leave her home very much, so I do not expect her to come to Olathe. It would be mighty fine if you could drop in there some time - 3621 Belleview. I know you would get a most welcome reception. Never yet have I received any copies of the Register. I can never depend on getting any papers or magazines from you, but the Kansas City Star and Times seem to come regularly. I got twelve of them yesterday - and a moving picture magazine, which is as faithful in coming as the rain is in falling. I would like to see that letter which was printed in the Register, but don't go to any trouble in sending it to me. Just put it in the scrap book and I will get it. It didn't appeal to me as anything but an ordinary letter and you can be sure I didn't put any extra effort on it. I thought that you would be interested in knowing how I met Maurice so I told you of it. I am indeed sorry to hear of the trouble you are having with your hip and hope that it is only temporary and that when you get this you will be all right again and have as mucha of your old pep as you ever did. Never mind about losing the copies of Stars and Stripes - I have sent you a number of them since the first one. No need to save any except the ones I tell you to save - those generally contain some desirable information. Be sure to save the one I sent you about a certain drive. I had a table cover from the table of some German colonel - taken as we advanced once, but the lieutenant-colonel of this regiment would not allow me to send it to you. I also had a few minor trinkets, but I could not send them, either. I got to a place where I could no longer carry them, so I was forced to lose them before I could give 'em to [Maurice] to mail. Some time I may get a German helmet, which I will mail on to you. As far as German souvenirs go, I good pocket knife is all that I retain on my experience in chasing the Hun. You need not mind sending some stamps for some time. Ogee sent me about over
121_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 19, 1918_Page 02
two dollars worth and I now have more stamps than I will have use for in a year - unless we are home in side of a year. If you have not paid our safe deposit box rent at the bank just write and tell them to take the money out of the money I sent them recently. We have lots of talk of peace and it seems to be the opinion of the men in the company that the war will be over by Christmas of this year, but it is my personal guess that we will be lucky boys if the fighting ceases by Christmas of next year and I will consider myself fortunate if I am in the United States by January 1, 1921. In regard to my box for Christmas gifts, I have thought it over and decided that it would be much more to my advantage if you would send to me a little head and face cover I had at Funston last winter. It is a gay looking thing and looks like a turban. When you pull it down, it has a place for the eyes and mouth. If you cannot find it send the cake. Be sure to send me ther other stuff, too. I would certainly like the cake, but I think that this turban will do me more practical good than the cake. Also - in this box - if there is room - and I think there will be, put a can of Colgates shaving soap. I want the kind that is in a can - as paper covers break easily. Try to get Williams shaving stick in preference to Colgates. Also slip in a package of Colgates tooth paste -leave this out first. There is no news. We are where we can hear artillery, machine gunes, see aeroplanes and such, but I cannot tell you anything about it. Suffice to say, we are not resting. My best love to you all, Charlie C. S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engineers. France I'm outdoors writing near a fire and this is what a piece did!
122_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_October 24, 1918_Page 01
France October 24, 1918 Dear Ogee: Your last letter - the one of September 24 - has been here several days, but I have not had time to answer it. I am lucky to be able to write on the typewriter as fast as I do, because I would not get hardly any of my letters answered. In the past couple of week conditions have been such that letter writing has been exceptionally difficult. It is harder to get writing paper and envelopes than to get cigarettes and smoking. Not a thing is new, except a recent letter from Maurice telling how serious are his injuries. If what he tells me is true, he is badly bunged up, but he should receover fully in time, for which he can be duly thankful - and we can all be glad it is no worse. At that, he is not exactly well, yet. There are various hospitals in England and France for recuperation patients, which I understand there are large ones also in the states. No doubt, he will be sent to some of these. It will take three months, I guess - perhaps not that long. He did not go much into detail, but I can imagine he is hurt. I seem to retain my constant good health - for whichI am grateful. It has been rather tough sledding for some of the boyslately, but I haven't felt it any more than any other activity of this kind. Thanks for the stamps - I don't know when I will use them all up, but they will surely come in handy some time. I have only a few minutes for this letter, so I will have to stop. We are not living under the most ideal conditions and I am lucky to be able to get to use a typewriter. Love, [Charles] C. S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engrs. France OK Rudesill
123_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 24, 1982_Page 01
France [October 24, 1918] Dear Folks: I just got word from Maurice that he is now in the hospital getting well from some shrapnel wounds. His letter was dated [October 16] and he said he was making good progress. Now, don't get too excited over his wounds. From what he writes he evidently got plenty of this said shrapnel in him, but if what he told me is true none of his wounds will impair him and all he needs for complete recovery is attention and time. You may be sure he will get attention and time is now at his disposal. None of his wounds will disfigure him, except one small part of one of his ears, which at that is not at all bad. Shrapnel wounds can almost always be successfully handled and unless the victim dies at once he nearly always recovers and is generally as good as ever. Officers of the US Army are given somewhat different attention than enlisted men, being sent to separate hospitals and given more individual attention, so you can be sure he will not lack in care. We have some large convalescent places in England and he will probably be sent to one of these homes. England is a great place, too! After his recovery he stands a dandy chance of being sent back to the
123_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 24, 1982_Page 02
states; perhaps he will go there to recover. At any rate - you can be sure it is just a matter of time until he is O.K. again. With his strong constitution and clean body he will come out al right if anybody does. I don't believe there will be any chance for me to see him. It takes almost an order from the War Department to be absent from your company for over a day - so you can see where I stand. And our division is right up where things happen an it is almost as hard to go back as it is forward. But if there is any chance to go to him you can be sure I'll go. He told me he cabled you, so you probably knew about it before I did. It's too bad it had to happen as just the previous letter to this one told me, the General had told him he was to go to Staff College - and he certainly wanted to go. Such is War! You can be glad that I am an engineer. This seems to be a queer letter. I'm outdoors by a fire doing my best to get this written. We sleep in little tens and at night it is almost impossible to do any writing. And last night we had to put out our lights early and couldn't write anything - the Boche had a few aeroplanes overhead. We word from early morning until dusk - and when lights are not allowed - well - figure it out when we write! We happen to be "off" today - nobody knows why.
123_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 24, 1982_Page 03
We got some mail three days ago - one from Grandma - dated [September 20]. You don't need to send Dave any of my letters except those for his own personal edification. I have not written to him lately. Never get the idea that your letters lack interest, as they certainly do not. I enjoy them more than any others I get. The "exciting things" happening to me, of which you speak, do not interest me nearly as much as the activities of your folks - so keep on writing as you do and as often! No copies of the register have ever yet need received. I hope they come, too. Too bad about my picture for M. K., but she should not feel at all "left out", as I am not to blame because the mail man did not get to her as he did to the others. It is a pretty good picture but I do not think it is the best I ever had taken, as Aunt Kate says! You are not the only ones who do not get sugar as you desire it. We take coffee without sugar half the time, but generally because of transportation difficulties - not lack of sugar. Once I saw Ebert Hastings and saluted him, but he passed on like some poor fish - "poor, but proud". I hope you are both feeling somewhat better - that the cool weather is helping you. Of course, there isn't a thing I can do to help you, but certainly you now how I feel! I seem to retain my youthful and healthy spirit. Both Marmon and I apparently thrive under any old kind of conditions, and so far nothing seems to phase us - you never can tell, though!
123_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 24, 1982_Page 04
The peace talk has dwindled, altho the hopes of the boys have not. Out of every ten - nine seem to be sure the war will be done by Christmas. You know what I think! Excuse the paper - the pencil - the small writing - the incoherent thought - but conditions are such that it has to be that way. Now - don't worry too much about Maurice. He will be all right soon and just as good as ever! Love, Charlie CSStevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. France OK Rudesill
124_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 31, 1918_Page 01
Still in France - [October 31, 1918] Dear Folks: Altho you can see I am still in France - from all indications it seems to me as if some of use will soon be writing Somewhere in Germany. the news of Bulgaria's surrender is about a month old and last night we got the dope that Austria-Hungary is already to capitulate - - all of which isn't half bad for us. A bunch of the fellows seem to think Germany will give in by Christmas, but I don't - altho I must admit that things look much more agreeable than they ever did before. I haven't a thing new to tell you except that I got about six letters yesterday - including one from Maurice which tells me he is making is about the same but he is hopeful for quick recovery - all of which is most encouraging news. A letter also came form you - a dandy one, atoo. The letters I get from Olathe are the best of any I get - and you can be sure I appreciate all of them very much. This time I got one from Grandpa, too, which was mighty nice of him. I shall answer it later. It sure is a good thing that you send my letters on to the various folks, as I never would be able to answer all of them and tell them all interesting stuff. I hope that you got my Christmas label all right and that you received the letters following the one in which the label was telling you what I desired. It is all right if you cannot send anything I sent for - but if there was any possibility of a choice I prefer the things I listed. The news about the death of Mrs. McClintock was certainly startling. I did not even know that she had been seriously ill - only the disablement which she has had for some time. It is sure tough luck that you have to go to Excelsior Springs to take some of those baths. There isn't a thing I can do, of course, to help you, but you certainly do know how badly I feel about it. I only hope it gives you relief. The game of keeping up with the advance of the Allies must be an interesting one - Mary Pugh writes me that she does the same thing. By the time you get this you may have some big wide stretches marked up on your map. I hope so! If you mark up a certain big space you can just about go right on thru and mark a few lines in Germany. Don't worry about my being sick! And you all should be thankful that Maurice and I were in athletics so much before we came into the Army - as the development and training we got there is a big factor in the art of keeping going. I always see one of the doctors if I feel myself badly "in" as I believe a preventative is better than a remedy. I would send you the news of our divisional and regimental and company officers for your edification, but I do not think the censor would pass it - - he might think that I was some kind of a spy - but if I can I will do so. In our company, we have prcaically the same officers whom were with us at [Camp Funston],. Altho our [Camp Funston] captain is now a major and our first lieutenant at [Camp Funston] is now captain.. I do not recall your asking for these beofre, but if I find it possibe for me to send the list to you - I certainly will do so.
124_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 31, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] My chance to got to Ireland is about as vague as are the chance of my being in Olathe the time this letter gets there. An enlisted man - - all menare called enlisted men, those drafted or otherwise - can get a leave only about once a year and then for about one week, only, and there are a lot of general and war department orders out about leaving this continent to visit England. There is a dandy chance for Maurice to get there, but I fear that any opportunity I might have to go there is mighty slim. I fear that if I see Ireland it will have to be in 1930, when Maurice contemplates returning. Save any clippings you think will interest me. After I get back I won't do any real work for a week or so and I will have lots of time in which to fix up that book - and you can believe me - it will sure be a prize article in my life. Your letter I am forwarding to Maurice. over
124_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_October 31, 1918_Page 03
For the past two days I have not been able to go out with the company, as a new pair of shoes worse a tiny blister on my heel. It happens that this is the end of the month and there is some work to be done in this office and as I am capable of doing that - - there is quite a bit of typewriting work. Yesterday I amde an allotment of part of my salary. Every thirty days, beginning December 1 the bank will receive from thegovernment the sum of Thirty Five Dollars to be deposited to my credit. I am having this allotment run for six months. With what I have in that bank now and with this allotment, at the end of six months I should have about $250 ready for instant work - and if we are home in June I will feel just about like pspending it all. I also have those liberty bonds. To work - the first sergeant says - - so my best love for this time. Do not expect a letter for some time from now on - - military reasons! Charlie C S Stevenson - Co. A, 314th Engrs. American Ex. Force
125_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 9, 1918
NOTHING is to be written on this side except the date and signature of the sender. Sentences not required may be erased. If anything else is added the post card will be destroyed. [Postage must be prepaid on any letter or post card addressed to the sender of this card.] I am quite well. I have received your letter dated [October 12] Letter follows at first opportunity. I have received letter from you lately Signature only C.S.Stevenson Date [November 9, 1918]
125_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 9, 1918
[Field Service Post Card] Stevenson Place, [Olathe, Kansas] U.S.A.
126_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 9, 1918_Page 01
France - November 7, 1918 Dear Folks: No time for much writing! We are still on the trail of the Hun and believe me - he is stepping out and most of the men find it hard work to keep going after him. The going has been pretty tough, but the fellows are doing some great work. The Germans send back high explosive shells all the time and quite a number of Americans get hurt - but that is all in the game. The dope today seems to be that we will have peace either in ten days or not for ten months. Altho we engineers do not have any hardships at all compared to the Infantrymen - we have our troubles, and will sure be glad when this thing ends. I have not heard from Maurice for a long time; but I'm sure he is all right. From what he said of wounds - all he needs is time and he surely has that. About a week ago I got a letter from you dated [October 11] - in which you mention our taking part in a recent drive. I couldn't tell you what we did because of censorship rules, but he could. It was fun, though, compared to this one we are in now - and if we do not have peace pretty soon - I think we will have a lot more fun. Time, also, will take care of this.
126_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 9, 1918_Page 02
I got a couple of letters from M. K. and two from Miss Heisler, in one of which was the clipping from the Post about Maurice. Not a thing else is new - nothing I can say, at least. Phil is sleeping about ten feet from me - we are both in a stable - some life! Well - it may be some few days before I can write again, so if you don't hear from me for some time don't worry I'm feeling all right - the Boche has to be chased Love Charlie C.S.Stevenson Sergt 1st Cl. Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force France.
127_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 12, 1918_Page 01
[Raymond Rivat Stenay (Meuse) letterhead] Stenay, le [November 12, 1918] Dear Folks: If the censor passes this you have "captured German property" in your hands. We are where the Germans were forty-eight hours ago. Kenneth and I are living in a small stone building in the rear of some iron foundry. There is an organ in the building - some life! They tell us peace is here - and it seems as if it were true - but it seems to good to be true. Love, Charlie Sergt 1st Cl C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force. France
128_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 14, 1918_Page 01
France - [November 14, 1918] Dear Folks: It's been a long time since I wrote, but - "there's a reason" - and the reason is shown by Germany's acceptance of the Armistice. We chased the Boche way, way back - and the good news of November 11 is the result. Honestly, Folks! It seems too good to be true! We had very little idea it was coming and you can guess how much it pleased us. None of us can realize it yet - it certainly does seem to good to be true! To you all there it means the finish of the Germans - to us it means the same and a lot more. Until Maurice or I get back you won't know what this thing has meant! But its all over now and we are sleeping indoors every night, eating fairly well - and are warm - which is far, far more than can be said for us during the period of strife. I've got two or three interesting tales to tell - real stuff, too.
128_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 14, 1918_Page 02
Today a letter came from Aunt Daisy bearing the date of October 18 - thanks for the ink tablets, the blotter and especially the dandy rubber bands - they are just what I want and they sure do some in handy. As for my letters - I certainly am glad they are enjoyed by you - it is about the only thing I can do to thank you and repay you all for what you do for me. I think you are mistaken about Dorothy. I just got a letter from her and she is going to Poly and working for the [Kansas City] news Service in the afternoons. Mary, if reported as being engaged to Ross - I'm sure it is true. The part we played in the September drive will bear telling when we return. I doubt that the censor will pass any comments on our activities. Where we are today is a place in the public eye - and the damage done by the Germans is fierce! We are trying to open traffic ways and put in some busted bridges.
128_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 14, 1918_Page 03
The last few days of this last drive and the first few days after this armistice will certainly result in some good old stories. No souveniers for me! They get too heavy - socks are much more useful. I got a letter from Maurice last night in which he tells me he is liable to be sent to the States soon. I'm hoping he gets there before I do. As to when we are coming home - my guess is that we will get there between February 1 and 22. Absolutely no way of telling, though. I'm feeling very well now, Folks. In the course of a month I think I will have seen a lot of country - perhaps not of France, either! But you may know more about us than we do - the only time we know anything is after it is done! My best love, Charlie Be sure to save clippings of the peace stories for me. Sergt 1st Cl C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force France
129_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 22, 1918_Page 01
France - November 22, 1918 Dear Folks: It sure has been a long time since I last wrote to you, but so many things have happened since then and the company has been so unsettled that it has been impossible for me to do any personal work at all. We have been shifted from one dirty French town to another Dirty French town and from one dirty French billet to another dirty French billet. We do not know where we are going - or when - - in fact as far as any knowledge concerning ourselves is concerned the only thing we know are events of the past - and of a few of those we are still in doubt. Rumor has it that we move on to Germany - no telling where we will go. We hear that our division is one of the last to be home. We sure hope not. We are being put thru a lot of stuff tending to produce discipline, and I guess it does - it takes a well disciplined man to grasp some of the junk. But I can't beef - the war has not hurt me much personally. I should be lucky to be feeling as well as I am with the prospects I have before me. A letter from Maurice yesterday told met hat he had been placed in Base Hospital number 34 - probably near the coast and that he would soon be on his way to the States. I sincerely trust that he is there now, altho I would like to have seen him before he left. I am probably due to stick here fully two months more. Wasn't it great stuff that he was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross? I picked up a copy of the New York Herald of November 16 on the street of one of these before-mentioned dirty French towns and in it I found a short article telling just where and under what conditions Maurice did the deed. I sure was one proud youth - and I still am. I expect that you folks are about as royal welcome when he gets in that neighborhood. If you let the slightest and smallest slipping about him get away from you I will sure get on to you when I get back. That will be a good article to begin Book #2 with - by the time I get all the stuff you now have saved up pasted in it will be time to get a new book. You are probably aware by this time that Maurice wired you that he was slightly injured when he was severely injured. I am sure that he will completely recover and except for a part of one ear being gone be as good as ever But can you bear that - - his getting a [Distinguished Service Cross]? Who would have thought it? He was prominent enough when he left, but he has got all those birds backed off the map now. I was just figuring up the other day where most of the Webster boys were - and much to my surprise Maurice and I and Neil Cline are the only ones from our crowed who have really been where there was even the slowest of action.
129_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 22, 1918_Page 02
[page 2] This is the next day - - November 23 and I just came back from what is called a field inspection. We all take nearly all the stuff the Government issues to us and lay it out in a certain way on a blanket in the middle of some field, called temporarily for that particular vent - - the parade ground. We stand stiff for about a half hour while a major looks us over - then we stand around and try to keep warm for a couple of hours until he gets around to where we have our stuff laid out. When he gets to us he gos right on by without even looking at our stuff. Then we fold up our shirt and our socks and a lot of other stuff and beat if back to our billets, eh, its a great old life! Your last letter to me was date October 23. That picture of Dorothy was sent home because I was afraid of break it. I have had it so long that it would certainly be too bad if I should bust it up. The bronze tablet I sent you was French property - I found it some place - I have forgotten where - in a town formerly occupied by Germans. That funny fork and spoon I used for a long time. I lost all my stuff and had to use it or eat with my fingers. That General Bamford is sure one swell fellow. You may remember that I had dinner with hime when he was a [colonel] and later when he was a brigadier-general and he is just about the best army officer I have ever tackled. Maurice certainly has justification for any statements he might make about the General. I wrote to Dorothy Nelson and to Helen, too, but it has been a long time since I have heard from them. I will just about stop in on them some time in the near future when they are expecting a letter instead of ME. It will certainly be fine if you will sned a wreath to the cemetery - possibly at Easter one of us will be there to take care of it as we really want it handled. Work is piling up and I must get under way right now, so I will have to stop for I don't know how long. We are supposed to start on our march toward the Rhine very shortly and there will probably be little time for letter writing - so have no fears if you don't hear from me for a week or more. Love, Charlie Sergt. 1st Cl. C. S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engrs. Amex Force Save the enclosed clippings for my book.
130_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 30, 1918_Page 01
[Knights of Columbus letterhead] A. P. O. #761 Thanksgiving Belgium Dear Folks: Can you beat it? Here I am in Belgium - the home of the orphan kids. We crossed the border day before yesterday, hiking over twenty miles in one day. Our troops are the first soldiers ever to quarter in this town and the liberated Belgians and French are certainly grateful and appreciative. We are billeted in their spare rooms and they won't let us do any work in regard to cleaning up. They make their fires, sweep out and we cannot keep them from doing it. We give them little things to eat and a few francs and they give us things to eat the government does not issue, such as eggs and
130_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 30, 1918_Page 02
butter. A friend and I had breakfast the first morning in a home, of some French-fried potatoes, potato bread, bacon, ham, warm goat's milk and honey! After our consecutive diet of corn beef, hard tack and coffee, we certainly did step into that meal. The man - a tailor - told us of acts the Germans had done when they entered in 1914 - awful - much better told than written. The people of this town knew but a few days before the Germans departed of the condition of the Central Powers, and their liberation was one big surprise to them. The folks erected hurriedly some arches and got some signs up - "Welcome to Our Liberators" and such. They tried to make our flag' they got the red and white stripes all right, but messed up our little blue and white corner of stars - but the spirit was there, so we didn't mind if it did look queer. They had a parade, too - and music. The kids and women and mature men all turned out - great stuff!
130_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 30, 1918_Page 03
[Knights of Columbus letterhead] [page 2] I could tell you lots of interesting dope, but this is our last candle and when it is "finis" - our light is, too. Your last letters were of [October 23], before you knew [Maurice] got a [Distinguished Service Cross]. Three Americans, a Literary Digest and three Saturday Evening Posts and three copies of the Olathe Register all came in one mail last week - and I certainly did enjoy them all. Don't worry about me - I'm feeling fine - ready to go to the Rhine. Thanks for that letter from Oscar. I sent him a card a couple of days ago. He was sure good to us. I am forwarding the letter to Maurice. My last word from Maurice is that he was at a Base Hospital near the coast; he thought he would soon be sent home. - As far as I know now he might be
130_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_November 30, 1918_Page 04
in the States - and I hope he is. We are due to be in Germany soon. We move by foot, with our equipment on our back. So - no letters can be written for Candle is out! Next morning - Moving soon - no time to write. Beans and corn beef for dinner Thanksgiving. Love, Charlie Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
131_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 23, 1918
[YMCA postcard] France - [November 23, 1918] Dear O'Gee: About the only gift I could get you all would be a pick or shovel, as that is about all there is near where I am. But I can thank you for your good letters and help and wish you a mighty happy Christmas. Will be along soon. Charlie Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
131_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 23, 1918
Although I'm many miles away My heart's at home this Christmas Day.
132_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 30, 1918
Luxembourg. Casernes et Corniche
132_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_November 30, 1918
Mr. Jay Stevenson Box 705, Tulsa, Oklahoma USA Luxemburg - Europe [November 30, 1918] Dear O'Gee: Look this place up. We are allotting ourselves four days in which to walk across it. We have one more day to go. Crossed Belgium in three days - a fine, clean country, with excellent people, who treated us royally. We have hiked almost ten consecutive days - poor feet! Charlie Sergt C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. censored by Rudesill 1st Lt Engrs USA
133_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 2, 1918_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [December 2, 1918] My Dear Folks: I believe my last letter to you was from Belgium. This afternoon I greet you from Luxemburg - the country, not the city. Today we passed within two kilometers of the city and could see the towers and church spires from the distance. We entered Luxemburg on November 30, - 11:17 a.m. on a cool day. This is a beautiful country - of that there is no question. The magnificent forests are unequalled in America, while the roads over here are far, far better than those of ours. Its a good thing this war isn't being fought in America, as nobody ever would get any place. The towns in France are from two to five kilometers apart; in Belgium and Luxemburg, they come from six to ten kilometers apart. In one day we have passed thru as many as six towns. The homes in Belgium are small, neat looking, picturesque and seem to radiate friendliness. In Luxemburg, the buildings are more modern; all are built from the street up - no porches, just like a wall. They are impressive, all right, but they give a feeling of lack of cordiality. Business has gone on as usual here - good alone has seemed to be affected - shortage of meat and bread very evident.
133_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 2, 1918_Page 02
Perhaps you are interested in how we are travelling. We carry all our equipment on our back - half of a tent, one blanket one suit of heavy underwear, socks, towels, toilet articles, hard tack, corn beef and anything else we so desire. We get into a town between noon and 3 p.m. generally. Our advance man steers us into our quarters for the evening. We sure sleep in funny places. Tonight the entire platoon of forty men is in a hay loft. Just picture forty men in the loft of our barn, with about six feet of hay and one ladder to go up and down on - and you have us doped out for the evening. Last night we were in a small theatre - part of the men were on the stage; some were on the floor of the parquet; Kenneth and I spent the night in the balcony. The night before that we slept in a bed in a real room. Tonight Marmon and I are in the back room of somebody's house. There is an old couple here who are very much pro-German, but the young man and his wife are very cordial to us. By the way, he speaks Spanish, so I can get along all right. I can't comprehend this German.
133_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 2, 1918_Page 03
Well, after we get good an sleepy somebody comes along and says - "Get up! It's five bells!" So we get up and dress, stumble around thru the dark to our kitchen, eat breakfast and return to the billet. We roll our pack, clean up where we stayed and form our company by 6:45 a.m. At 7 o'clock the Major gives us "forward, march" - and away we go. The first hour, we walk 45 minutes and rest 15. From then on we march 50 minutes and rest ten out of each hour. Those ten minutes come far apart, I'll say and are mighty welcome. If we are not at our destination by noon, between 12 and 1 o'clock we get one hour for dinner. We are supposed to march four kilometers each hour and so even and regular is our gait that our exact location each minute is known by the commanding officer, probably miles away. Four kilometers equals 2 ½ miles. So far our days' marches
133_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 2, 1918_Page 04
have averaged 12 ½ miles (twenty kilos) altho one day we went 37 kilos the same as 23 miles - some hike. We go thru towns if they are on our road - otherwise they mean nothing. It is prohibited that troops march thru the city of Luxemburg or we would have gone right thru it. It is hard work now - with this heavy pack, but none of us would miss it for anything, altho we certainly do want to come home. It will be great to tell of and will never forget it. Most of us get one service stripe next week, denoting six months of foreign service. Most of the 89th Division gets one. I'm sure you have seen some soldiers who have returned wearing these. Pay day today. As soon as I can get to a Y. M. C. A. man I'll send some to the bank. No chance to mail this for some days. I'll add more when we stop. [Charles]
134_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 5, 1918_Page 01
[December 5] Dear Folks: Greetings from Germany. We crossed the border line between Luxemburg and Germany at 6:40 a.m. - yesterday morning. So far the people have treated us all right; we expect no show of antagonism or hatred whatever. the country thru which we passed yesterday is only fair; the roads are second class; the towns are very dirty and unkempt. Conditions will improve as we move on toward the Rhine, I am sure. For Aunt Daisy I am enclosing a handkerchief purchased in the city of Echternach, Luxemburg, night before last. 'Tis a genuine Luxemburg article. The next time I write I may be able to tell you where I have been for the past three months. The places are all well known in the newspapers. Our battalion (the first three companies of the [314th Engineers]) is the advance guard of this division.
134_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 5, 1918_Page 02
and as such we keep ahead of the entire division. Our company was the first company in the 89th Division to cross into Germany. I hope we are the first back home! Fifteen months today I entered the National Army! Save the enclosed clipping for my book. This letter printed in the advertisement is mine - I wrote it to them trying to get some Christmas remembrances for my friends. I am twenty letters behind. More as soon as possible. Love Charlie Sergt 1st Cl C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
135_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 9, 1918_Page 01
December 9, 1918 Dear Folks: Still I am unable to mail any letters. We are now in the city of Manderscheid in Germany close to Luxemburg border. Last night we were informed we could tell of past events, giving the names of places and such. I'll name a few of the more prominent places where we have been. the enclosed clipping from the Star of [November 5] tells about our activities on the Meuse-Argonne front. The note about the bridge covers quite a bit of what we did. At Stenay the river widens out and connecting Stenay and Luneville are eight bridges. Every one was blown out by the Germans. The morning of November 11 our platoon was engaged putting foot bridges across the ruins of the big bridges. Some mean job 0 it happened that the Germans were still shooting - and they weren't very far off, either. We sure had some tough times, but it's all right now. A few words as to where I have been. We landed at the port of Liverpool From the ship, we marched thru some of the town to trains, which took us to [Winnall Down Camp] close to Winchester. On our trip across England we passed thru Birmingham and Manchester. It was at [Winnall Down Camp] that we heard Harry Lauder. From Winchester we went to South Hampton and spent the night in crossing the English Channel. We landed at Cherbourg and for two nites we rode in little box cars to our training camp in a little town named [Orquevaux], south of
135_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 9, 1918_Page 02
Toul. From a month's stay there we went into a quite sector north of Toul for another month. The St. Mihiel drive took us thru Bouillonville, Beney, Xivray, and nearby towns. We did not get into Domremy, to home of Joan of Arc, not did we see Thiacourt or St. Mihiel. Our relief from this drive took us near [Commercy]. We rested two days and beat it across country to our place near the Argonne front. I saw the ruins of Montfaucon where the Crown Prince witnessed the first Battle of Verdun. At a cross roads named Eclisfontaine we lived in our little tents for three weeks. At this place I was mighty sick and was tagged to go to a hospital. I slipped around it some way and didnt have to go. Eventually I got well and got as good as ever. That was more than one month ago! Our hike across the country took us thru [Meix], Virton, [Saint Leger] - all in Belgium. In Luxemburg we went thru Clemency, Strassen, Echternach and [Alsdorf, Germany]. This is the first town of any size except Bitburg we have seen in Germany. That's about all - but oh boy! - ! Keep the slipping "Where do I sleep" for my book. It is sure good. You might keep the big one, too. I hope you have been getting some good headlines for me. Love, Charlie I have a map which shows our route on the march to the Rhine. If I can I'll send it to you later. Sergt 1st Cl. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
136_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918_Page 01
Speicher, Germany, [December 13, 1918] Dear Folks: It sure seems a long time since I heard from any of you. Your last letters had the date of November 6, so you can see I must have some due me. I haven't had any letters from you since the armistice was signed - I'll bet it was a happy day in the States. I've received a few letters from folks there telling me of it. Dave sent me various newspaper clippings - all of them very welcome. That Maurice got hurt just a month before the fighting ceased is pretty tough to take, but when I think of the men who were killed and perhaps injured for life after that date, I am mighty thankful. On the morning of November 11 I saw a major and his orderly who were killed by German snipers at 9:30 a.m. That's real hard luck. That I am grateful for my own good luck is putting it mildly. I got a letter from O'Gee dated the 12th, but not a word from you or Devils Lake. As far as that is concerned I've had no word from the [Devils Lake] folks for over a month. My last letter to you was from Manderscheid. Our company was marching toward the Rhine there. We were all ready to go forward one day, when our platoon - the Fourth - was detached from the company and sent back thirty kilometers to this town. We are
136_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918_Page 02
the railroad between this and other towns. That is all! I am chief clerk of the expedition. So far I haven't done much. I am living above a bakery in a dandy little room. In our office we have a fine fire and electric lights - so you can see we are not having such a hard time. The rest of the company is plodding along in a mean rain. We hope to join them at the Rhine some time soon. They are not yet there. I forgot to tell you that about two weeks ago I got some Olathe papers from you including the one with my story in it. One of the bad features - the only bad feature really - of this job is the lack of reading matter. But we are not complaining a bit. The War is over. Send me some stamps the next time you write and perhaps I can send you some pictures or something. There are all kinds of souveniers available in this town but this "Made in Germany" doesn't appeal to me. The Germans made life miserable for too many of us besides hurting my brother. The only money I'm going to spend is what I put out for food. Prices are high - towels - $1.50; handkerchiefs 35 [cents]; warm buns - 5 [cents] each; writing paper like this, twenty sheets, one dollar; candy is high, too; red lemonade costs twenty-five cents a bottle, as does a bottle of cheap beer. My strongest drink to date has been warm milk and one bottle of red lemonade. And now - I must tell you how sorry I am not to have sent any of you the slightest Christmas remembrances. I wrote Dave and had him send some flowers and candy to a couple of friends. I intended sending him the means for getting something for you, but I got so very busy after November 11 that I did not do it. You all must know how appreciative I am of your efforts for my welfare. I will more than repay you for all you have done for me sometime. The [Devils Lake] folks were not given anything either. I wanted to mail something from France, but the facilities for sending packages are so limited that it was impossible. I sewed on my gold service stripe yesterday - just six months ago we became "foreign service" soldiers. You probably have seen some of these stripes. The men are certainly proud of these stripes I'll say. They ought to be, too - six months over there during this war ought to make anyone proud of themselves. A couple of our men have received their Christmas boxes, so the rest of us are doing some tall hoping. I hope you put in those playing cards for me.
136_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918_Page 03
I am enclosing four pieces of money - from France, Belgium and Germany. Store them away some place so I can put 'em in my book. Show them to anybody you want to but don't lose 'em. A dollar in the states will bring 5.45 francs, and it takes about four and a half marks to get a dollar. That was before the war. A mark has sure gone down in value. We are eating fine here. The kitchen to which we are attached feeds very well and it is possible to buy apples, buns, cookies and candy. Then, we know a family which gives us waffles and milk for a few marks. And they sure taste good - but they don't compare with the ones my grandmother makes. I'll write again soon. Best of love, Charlie If you can get one of the Literary Digest maps I'm sure it will be of the greatest value when Maurice and I come back. I believe I would buy one. Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co A -314th Engrs. Amex Force
137_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 16, 1918_Page 01
Speicher, Germany [December 16, 1918] Dear Folks: Not a thing new except that I saw my first moving picture since leaving the States last night. It was a Fox feature - "Little Miss U.S.A." The [Y. M. C. A.] was the sponser. A canteen, selling chocolates, tobacco and such opened this morning - our first meeting with a [Y. M. C. A.] for a month. I am enclosing map which I value very highly. It shows the route we took in marching from France into Germany. On the left is a list of the towns in which we stopped at night time. The top summary on the right is the time and place of passage into the various countries over here. The bottom list is that of the number of kilometers we marched since we started toward
137_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 16, 1918_Page 02
Germany. Keep the map and I will tell you all about it when I get back. No telling when the 89th will leave - there are lots of interesting rumors out - some very optomistic ones - "home in thirty days" is the best. It has been six weeks since I had any word from Maurice. I am sure he is all right; and I hope he is on the way to the States, if not there now. We are having some rainy weather, but I've got a nice bed, with plenty to eat and a piano in the room downstairs. Move love, Charlie The coin is the equivalent to 1/6 of one cent. Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
138_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 17, 1918_Page 01
[Speicher, Germany] December 17, 1918 Dear Folks: The enclosed is the only new thing. This picture was taken in a German photograph gallery in true German atmosphere. This picture shows what effect the war has had on me - notice the stern, cold, relentless, hostile look. The funny cap is that thing called "an overseas cap". The belt is my pistol belt. On the right - behind the arm where you cannot see it - is the pistol. The little box-like-hicky near my right arm is the first aid-pouch, containing bandages. The dark case near the
138_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 17, 1918_Page 02
left arm is my compass holder. The "V" you see is my service stripe - six months in France. The dope we got today would indicate that our stay in Germany would be from four to six months more. I wish you would mail one of these two pictures to Maurice. I feel sure he is in the states and you can get it to him quicker than I, as he will certainly wire you - I'll tell you - I will write him a separate letter and will address it to Stevenson Place. Hold it until you get his address - then forward it to him at once. His last letter to me was dated November 4. Save this - when you get tired of looking at it - I'll paste it in the book. Love, [Charles] I'm sending a picture to O'Gee & to [Devils Lake] so you need not forward yours. Sergt 1st Cl CSStevenson Co A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
139_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 18, 1918_Page 01
Speicher, Germany - [December 18, 1918] Dear O'Gee: Just to show you how cruel, hard, relentless and stern looking I've grown since the war began, here is a picture of me taken in this town a couple of days ago. I have on my stomach my cartridge belt, including first aid pouch and compass case. The "V" you see on my arm is my service stripe - six months in France. That thing cocked on my head is an overseas cap! You can see I haven't lost any weight. I'm getting fatter, too, now. Our platoon is doing some railroad work - inspection - and we will probably be here until the Division starts home. When this will be is more than we know.
139_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 18, 1918_Page 02
all kinds of rumors are out - the most logical of all is that we will leave in about four months. If I am home by Easter I will be content. Be sure to get my recent letters to Olathe - they tell of our march across France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany. Phil Stone has been sick - I have not seen him for three weeks, as he was left in Belgium sick when we marched on. The day he did catch up with us we left on this railroad work. What do you think about the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Maurice - pretty fine, eh! Love, Charlie censored by 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A.]
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 01
[Kyllburg, Germany] Christmas Eve 1918 [December 24, 1918] My Dear Grandmother: Lined up in front of me I see six letters from you - [October 26] - [November 4], [November 6], [November 8], [November 11] and [November 26, all of which have arrived in the past five days - thus bringing joy to me and discredit to the mail service. I have also received two Americans and Saturday Evening Posts from you. Today I got the cigar box, in which I presume you mailed my watch and fountain pen. Much to my chagrin, when I opened the box is was missing the watch and the pen! Believe me, I was one peeved youth; and I have felt downcast
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 01
all evening. I was sure tickled when the box came and thought gleefully how appropriate and timely it was. And then to find the dates and nuts and raisins and blades and the handkerchief - believe me, it was hard to take. It is fierce enough to be over here this time of the year, but to lose out on those two needed and looked-forward-to things - such is war! Never mind about getting others. I'll get along some way - I don't want anything "Made in Germany", but I'll have to have a watch. The helmet and handkerchief came four days ago. There ought to be a lot of date bread in that box - it hasn't come yet, but boxes are coming in every day. I wrote and thanked Miss Heisler for her gift, and I shall do likewise to Mr. Pettyjohn. Miss Harroun and her sister sent me a twenty dollar money order, with the injunction I spend it on seeing some town if I ever get a chance. I'm thinking of buying a watch with part of it. If I have to stay over here until the first of March I'll have about $200 in ready cash staring me in the face when I get back - I'll need it!
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 03
I'll bet there was some keen excitement when peace was declared. Clippings from Dave tell me what effect it had on the people. It is probably the greatest day in the history of the World, with the exception of the birth of Christ. I am not one bit sorry for the insignificant part I had in it - absolutely no regrets - It was many times worth anything it might have cost me! It was a physical impossibility for me to see Maurice. I never knew where he was for certain and each letter I got told of move he had made - and all this time I kept moving on into Germany and getting father
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 04
In regard to one should strap where I mentioned two - I probably put only one in the envelope. When I mailed that conditions were very unfavorable. And that letter enclosing the label - it was written during a rain, outdoors and there was considerable shrapnel passing over. Some times in the excitement I forget the dates. It was an insignificant letter - I remember it. Another copy of the Women's Home Companion came - and I opened it in front of the same bunch that saw me open the first one. Kid me? - they sure did! That's a queer thing - that magazine coming to me, but it has some good love stories - who could ask more?
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 05
That tie you sent me from [Kansas City] was exactly what I wanted in that line - and I was just ready for it. Your handkerchiefs weren't any too soon, either. You never knew I used the same khaki handkerchief for forty consecutive days, did you? That's a fact! Oh, I washed it, of course - but in cold water without soap. I threw it away in Luxemburg, when I bought another one. When you mentioned Eloise, it reminded me of the first time of that family. I suppose I should have written at least a little note to them once in a while. Oh, well! Plenty of time. Do you ever hear or read anything of the Unity Oil Co., or of Newman's old firm?
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 06
[page 3] I'll dwell a little while on a few incidents of the War. As you know our platoon is detached from the company and is doing railroad inspection work on a railroad from [Trier] to Gerolstein. I am in the middle of the sector in a town called Kyllburg. If you have a map (a Liberty map) I'm sure you can easily locate these places and thus know just exactly where I am and in what relation to Cologne, Coblenz and Mainz - none of which I ever expect to see - probably never the Rhine, either. Well, to find where I was on Christmas Day (tomorrow) look along this railroad for a town by the name of Speicher. With
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 07
Marmon and two other sergeants, I expect to have a real nice time - eat, sing, dance and enjoy myself thoroughly. I have three different invitations for a total of seven meals. That's not bad for an enemy country. I'll let you know later how I come out. We work in conjunction with the 353rd Infantry - the All-Kansas regiment. Today in the depot I got to talking with a sergeant of one of their companies - and you can imagine my surprise when I found out he was from Paola and that Al Nelson of Olathe was his cousin. And just today I got a Christmas card from Helen. This week I also got a letter from Helen - a dandy one, too, in which she sent me one keen picture of her - believe me, now - she is a classy young lady. I certainly was glad to get that picture, too. Oh yes - Mr. Nelson's cousin's name is Bert Peterson. You should see me talk German. I know a little bit - but - - - - ! The people here just told me to tell you "Good Evening" for them. It took only twenty minutes to grasp their thought - and it
140_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_December 25, 1918_Page 08
wouldn't have taken that long if I hadn't thought they were talking about something to eat. I have all kinds of fun riding up and down on the trains and talking to the girls - it's a great life! I got a nice bat today - before I took it I plucked various cooties from various old clothes just removed. It's 11:30, Folks - the last hour I spent in celebrating Christmas Eve with the folks - I'll tell you later of it. Best love, Charlie Sergt. CSStevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. American Ex. Force
141_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 25, 1918_Page 01
[Speicher, Germany] Christmas Eve Dear O'Gee: Just a few feet from me are members of a typical German family, throwing up a tiny Christmas tree, decorating it thoroughly in accordance with all respect due to the famed Christmas tree. That was one thing I never remember having in the Stevenson annals - a Christmas tree. I don't say that we never had one, but I do not remember any. This is a peculiar Christmas to me - I can't express exactly my feelings - no gloomy thoughts, I'll tell you, but something is sure lacking. Today a box came from Olathe - it was not the authorized Christmas box - supposed to contain
141_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 25, 1918_Page 02
the watch and fountain pen. Well, the box came, all right, but back in the Service of Supplies, some one had opened the box and taken the watch and the fountain pen out. Grandma wrote me that they had refused to take the money from my account and that you had furnished the money as a gift to me - I certainly do appreciate it and thank you ever so much. I've had the darndest luck with my personal property over here. Two times have I lost all my stuff - well, I can't complain, I'm lucky to be feeling as fine as I am. But I was mighty disappointed when I opened the box and found the watch and pen removed. I grabbed the box and hollered with joy - "It sure came on an appropriate day!" And then to find what I did. I sure looked forward to those things, too.
141_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 25, 1918_Page 03
In the last five days I have received four letters from you - [November 1] - [November 7] [November 19] - [November 28] - the last made fine time. I know you are pretty busy and it must take quite a bit of your time to write to Maurice and me - that makes your letters all the more appreciated. The last word I had from Maurice was that he hoped to leave for the States any minute - I hope he has gone and is there tonite! I would cable you folks once in a while, but it takes so much red tape. I have never done it - and then I never had anything of importance to cable. No new dope about coming home - I believe it will be some time in March. Somebody will have to stay here for a year though - not for me! What I want to do when I get back is: see Maurice; visit Devils Lake, Chicago, get a job and get married. The first are easy - the last uncertain.
141_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_December 25, 1918_Page 04
The map I am enclosing shows you about where I was in the last six days of the war. Perhaps it will interest you. My platoon is still detached from the company doing railroad inspection word - it is the easiest job I have had since the Army drew me. Feeling fine! I'm going to a nearby town tomorrow where Kenneth stays. He and I know some girls there and we are to have Christmas with them. Love, Charlie Sergt. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
142_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 27, 1918_Page 01
[Kyllburg, Germany] [December 27, 1918] Dear People: My Christmas box came yesterday and I sure do want to thank you for it. It had absolutely everything I wanted and I was certainly pleased with it. The cake tasted fine - better than any I've had since I left Olathe. The box was in the best of condition - had not been molested. On the same mail I got ten letters. In the last seven days I have gotten fifty letters. No tellin' when I will get them answered. One thing is certain - I have plenty of time, as a general thing. In the last week or so I have mailed a couple of letters to Maurice addressed to Stevenson Place. Be sure
142_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 27, 1918_Page 02
to forward them to him. I don't yet know whether he is in France or in the United States, but I think he is in America. I hope so, anyhow. The enclosed clippings, I wish you would put so it can be pasted in the book. Also the next time any of you get to Kansas City, see if you can buy me a couple of service stripes. They should not cost over fifty cents each; perhaps by the time you get this letter we will be starting home, but send on to me anyway. I'll get 'em eventually. I hope I'm home before you mail them. These service stripes are sure hard to get over here. I managed to get one for my overcoat. Grandma's letter of November 19 reached me the same day to box did. I'm glad now that you did not send
142_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 27, 1918_Page 03
the gorgeous helmet. It is the better of the two, but I can use it in the civilian life, while the brown will not be so good for civilian wear. Don't send me any clothing except handkerchiefs. I've got all I can possibly carry. Miss Heisler wrote me about the fun she and Nan had in fixing up Maurices box. They sure do idolize him. If I had anybody that crazy about me, I don't know what the heck I'd do. Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are certainly fine people - just as cordial and as pleasant as they can be. I've never yet received the Register - except a few spare copies you sent. Perhaps they have the wrong address. Some of the magazines have come, but not all. Well - I'll be home soon. No telling when we leave. It looks as if we will be here several months. I think we will be the first of the Army of
142_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 27, 1918_Page 04
Occupation to come home. Hope so! Our company was the first of the 89th to step into Germany. We were the advance guard - Fine! If you ever can be sure to meet Miss Harroun and her sister. It's been snowing and has turned cold. Don't worry about me, though. I've got warm clothes and a fine warm house and room in which to live. Well - thanks, Folks, ever so much for sending me that fine box. I was sure glad to get it! My best love to all, Charlie [signature Wood Capt Inf] Enclosed is a miniature Iron Cross Sergt. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
143_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Margaret (Daisy) Stevenson (Aunt)_December 28, 1918_Page 01
[Kyllburg, Germany] [December 28, 1918] Dear Aunt Daisy: Most my letters go directly to "Stevenson Place" and no particular person is designated, but this time I tho't I'd write you and thank you for taking such good care of me and for mailing me so many letters and magazines. When there are three or four persons in a family it is really difficult to write to each one - the thought is always about the same, too. For that reason, I send most of my letters to the "Place." Three letters from you are now
143_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Margaret (Daisy) Stevenson (Aunt)_December 28, 1918_Page 02
in front of me - my typewritten birthday letter, one of November 11 and the one telling of the mailing of the two boxes. It sure was hard luck about having the watch and pen stolen, but such is war! It's not half as hard luck as getting hurt - altho I was sure more peeved than if I had been injured. The souveniers I sent you were not as common as a helmet. I tho't of that and when Mary Pugh asked for a souvenier I got her a German canteen fresh from battle. I got it in Stenay - November 12. There is absolutely no chance for me to get any lace. We are not allowed in any large towns - and these tiny places do not keep anything better than a cheap grade of linen. I sure wish I could get some. There is always a chance in the Army though, you know, so I might soon be sending some to you Rather a contradictory paragraph, isn't it? My captain's name is Charles A. Case, of St. Louis. He is the lieutenant who was so popular at [Camp Funston]. He is still popular. I haven't any particular "lieut." The Commanding Officer of the regiment is Lt. Col. Leland, a fine fellow, they tell me. I do not know him at all - only by sight.
143_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Margaret (Daisy) Stevenson (Aunt)_December 28, 1918_Page 03
I never got your birthday cable, but it may come yet. Give 'em a chance. No chance to go to England or to Ireland - there is a General Order of some kind out against it. It's too bad, too, as I would like to have gone. I think you know where I have been and what I was doing [November 11]. I'm sure I wrote about our activities in the Army of Occupation, so I won't repeat. Very cold today, but I don't have to buck it much. Lots of love, Charlie Forgot to tell you that we are attached to the all-Kansas Infantry - 353rd and will probably be so for some time to come. Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
144_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 10, 1918
144_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 10, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. censored by MHHarris 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [Manderscheid, Germany] [December 10, 1918] Dear Folks: I lived in this town three days and certainly did enjoy life, too. It is the best German town I've been in so far, altho I've seen only a few. The castles you see are really there and they look just like the picture shows them. Talk about hills and forests - this picture shows 'em as they care. Germany is pretty in spots. Charlie Keep this
145_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
Speciher, Friedrich Wilhelmsbrucke m. Moltkeburg.
145_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. censored by MHHarris 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [December 13, 1918] Dear Folks: This is part of the railroad on which our work is being done. I've crossed this bridge various times. Believe me, their railroads are right there when it comes to efficiency. Talk about a road bed - unequalled. This engineering work sure give one a variety of action. [Charles]
146_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
Speicher - Plarrkirche
146_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. censored by MHHarris 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. Speicher - [December 13, 1918] Dear Folks: The bells from this church ring all the time. I don't know why. They have all kinds of services - if I get a chance, I'm going some time. The whole town turns out for church - no matter what time it comes. The real thing isn't half as awe-inspiring as the picture would indicate, altho it really is beautiful. [Charles]
147_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
Speicher - Hauptstrasse Recd [January 17, 1919]
147_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 13, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. censored by MHHarris 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. Germany - [December 13, 1918] Dear Folks: This is the town where I am now living. It is a nice clean place of about 1200 folks. Electric lights, running water and such are features. The X marks the room where two of we sergeants sleep, including myself. The fat lady standing below greets us every time we come home. It is above a small bakery - pretty soft - they feature animal cakes - so do I. We have a very nice room in which there is a real bed - our first in weeks and weeks. We will probably be here several weeks. Be sure to keep this. Love, Charlie
148_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 3, 1919
Gruss aus Kullburg i. Eifel Blick vom Stift aus
148_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 3, 1919
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. Kyllburg Dear Folks: Most of these towns are down in the valley and looking up you can see some very pretty scenes. This is one. The best are those you see from the top of the hill. I saw nine towns from one spot. I wouldn't trade Overland Park for the whole bunch, but it was pretty. [Charles] Sergt CSStevenson Co A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
149_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to David B. Park_December 20, 1918
149_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to David B. Park_December 20, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Mr. David B. Park Kansas City Star, [Kansas City, Missouri], U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs. U.S.A. [Kyllburg, Germany] [December 20, 1918] Dear Dave: This is part of the railroad on which I work. A town of 600 people here has a station about the size of a town of 8000 would have in U.S. This is a fine view of the place where I've been staying for a couple of days. Half is in the valley - the other half on a hill. The river [Kyll] cuts the town in two. It keeps me busy riding from one small town to another - reminds me of the days I used to sell moving pictures. This is a real pretty place. Steve Sergt. C.S. Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
150_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
150_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
CSStevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [Kyllburg, Germany] [December 21, 1918] Dear Folks: This is part of the railroad on which we are working - we have a tiny room in this town. The river here is very small but tis mighty picturesque. The railroad has its course in a deep valley along the banks of the [Kyll River]. Save this. Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
151_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
Lufthurort Kyllburg Blick von der Marienstr. nach der Mariensaule
151_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [Kyllburg, Germany] [December 21, 1918] Dear People: See the top of the tower way up? You have the picture of it on another card. This town is about the size of Olathe, only it's not half as pretty and half of it is on a hill. This is a leading hotel. Charlie Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co A - 314th Engrs Amex Force
152_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
Luftkurort Kullburg Mariensaule
152_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
C.S.Stevenson USA Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [Kyllburg, Germany] [December 21, 1918] Dear Folks: This is not half as pretty as the post card indicates. It looks like an old well to me. It is at the top of an awful hill. Charlie Sergt C.S.Stevenson Co A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
153_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 21, 1918
153_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_December 22, 1918
C.S.Stevenson U.S.A. Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. censored by [signature] 1st Lt Engrs U.S.A. [Speicher, Germany] [December 22, 1918] Dear Folks: By all means - save this postcard. Some of the best times I've had in Germany were in this house of Levy Saloman. They have a nice piano, a dandy home and they sure have been treating me fine. I slept in fine style in that upstairs room. Hope to spend Christmas there. Will tell you later.
154_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 1, 1919_Page 01
[Kyllburg, Germany] [January 1, 1919] Dear Folks: Another year in this Army - 1917 - 1918 - 1919 - parts of each year I have been in the American Army. In 1916 I never even dreamed of such a thing and in 1920 the whole thing will seem like a dream. We don't work today! When you come right down to it, I don't work much any day. About all I do is to see that two messengers leave on the right trains for adjoining towns and settle bets. This morning I cleaned my Colt's pistol. It was sure dirty. It's a funny thing but I never once shot my pistol during the war. I lugged a rifle and bayonet a long ways and flourished 'em, but never used them.
154_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 1, 1919_Page 02
When I finished cleaning the pistol I slept a couple of hours. This afternoon I have been playing cribbage with a fellow I don't like. He beat me and I like him less than ever. It's the first time in a week he did it, though. I'll write letters and eat between now and seven P.M. Then I'll go to a boxing program in the town. It's a great life. We expect to be in this little place for five or six months so we are settling down. The Division Athletic director is going to get a basketball court going some place soon. That ought to occupy our minds some of the evenings. Bring it on, I say. Two days ago I wrote Mary Pugh and told her to buy me some popular music. I told her that you would send her three dollars for the same - and I'm now asking if you will please do that. All we get is French money and that of course is not the best to send. I have no United States cash and cannot get a money order, so if you will send her that I will appreciate it. She knows about what I want, once before she sent me three pieces - all good ones, too. No recent word has come from Maurice. I certainly, hope that he is in the States in some big hospital in the Middle West - not Fort Riley, however. Today I mailed you a "Star and Stripes" of December 20. Be sure to save it as the article by General Pershing is of great value. However,
154_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 1, 1919_Page 03
I want it sent to Maurice. If he left here before December 25, send it to him, as he will not have seen it; and I'm sure it will interest him. Tell him to send it back to you without fail. The December 27 issue tells of the Meuse-Argonne scrap. I'll send it later. It has snowed some here; the natives tell me it is never over three or four inches deep and is not exceptionally cold. I think we are in about the same latitude as Newfoundland - not as cold! We head today that we all get our old barracks bags back. When we left for the front they were all stored some place. I hope this is true as my good suit and my ball glove are in it. Mary's address is 2102 East 27th. Love to all, Charlie Feeling fine - getting fatter every day. Sergt. C.S.Stevenson, Co. A - 314th Engrs., Amex Force
155_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 4, 1919_Page 01
[Kyllburg, Germany] [January 4, 1919] Dear O'Gee: From in the dark ages of November 23, today came a letter from you. The way our mail has been following us lately is a crime. Today I got a letter from Maurice only about three hundred miles away dated November 15 - But one came from way up in Minnesota dated December 10. Well, letters are always welcome, but its a good thing that their welcome isn't dependent on the element of time. This was your combination Christmas and Thanksgiving and Birthday letter.
155_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 4, 1919_Page 02
That "some sort of medal" Maurice got was a Distinguished Service Cross - a most desirable honor - hard to get, what I mean. All the papers all over the country print the list of [Distinguished Service Cross] awards. It's the hardest kind of luck that Maurice was hurt, but its a part of the game. We ought to be very grateful that we are both "up and at it." I saw the [Kansas City Post] clippings, but none from the Star or Journal. I remember a young kid names "Brick" who used to go to Hamilton school, but I cannot place him. I think I knew him when I was throwing papers. My route was all around that school and grounds. That we are seeing sights is true - but the work isnt hard, as you suggest. Next evening - Well, here I am in a little hick burg. We were yanked off of our railroad work and sent back to join our company. I suppose we are going to drill. We'll drill up to the day we are mustered out, I guess. But I'm not beefing. I have good quarters with very nice people. The 89th has quite a reputation over, so we are told, so we ought to get a great big send-off when we come home. The dope now is that we go about the time that peace is signed, which means we'll be around for six months or so.
155_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 4, 1919_Page 03
Everybody send me clippings about the big school the A. E. F. is going to have but so far not a word has been said to any of us. I certainly would go if I had the opportunity. I also read about a lot of athletics we are to have, but we haven't had any yet. It's a gay life. I'd like to be in Kansas City this winter playing a little basketball, but I'll have to hold off a year, I suppose. So far, the weather has been cloudy and rainy, with a little snow. It hasn't turned cold, though - but they tell me it gets that way. This is a poor letter - I have just read it over. Love, Charlie Sergt. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
156_1982.202.1_Unknown to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 6, 1919_Page 01
[January 5] Dear Ja - Here are some letters from [Charles] in a home-made envelope - please excuse. There is a short letter from [Maurice] but has no news but is in the letter we sent to youfrom Miss L - a note from her that says in a letter from [Maurice] dated [December 16] he stated "he had recd 34 letters all forwarded from Base 34" - I felt miles better - Is told [ms illegible: 1 wd] every one that he looks better & better every day - These things sure do him a world of good - better than medicine to the poor [ms illegible: 1 wd] - disappointed boy - He could see so much brightness ahead of him - as [Charles] says "Such is War" Lucky we had a [January] letter & [Charles] card. He is sure getting some experience.
156_1982.202.1_Unknown to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 6, 1919_Page 02
He writes an interesting letter. I am glad you have escaped the [ms illegible: 1 wd] of [ms illegible: 1 wd] cold. 18 [degrees] below one A.M. Furnace meeting all requirements - dirt as well - oh m - - but we are warm all the time - even cold blood Daddy - says "yes - warm enough" - this when you ask him - never volunteers - - We had no trouble making out the card - the blurred part - reads - "Crossell Belgium (I cant find a map) a fine clean country - with excellent people who treated us royally. We have hiked almost ten consecutive days - poor feet!" [Charles] Awful sorry if B- is making a fool of himself. I see where you are mighty right - to get a Buick [ms illegible: 1 wd]. Keep this thought going till you make it. Yours hastily - Mama.
157_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 13, 1919_Page 01
Cordel, Germany, [January 13, 1919]. Dear Folks: It has been about a week since I have written to you, but it sure has been a busy week. We changed our location, completed a couple of guard reliefs and did a lot of extra work or so in that week. Then, personnally, I have been busy. Our First Sergeant mashed of couple of privates in the eye and ear several nights ago and was temporarily relieved of his job, and in his place I am acting, In addition to that the company clerk has been transferred and again I am the fall guy. I have been working quite a bit at nights, something not at all agreeable with me, but I cannot get away from it without arguing with someone who outranks me a whole lot. The latest letters I have from you are two from Grandma under the dates of December 2 and [December 9] and one from Aunt Daisy of December 9. When you wrote these you had not yet received a letter from me written after the armistice was signed. You certainly know by now that everything came out in good shape and that I, at least, suffered no losses of anything. At present we are billeted in a nice little town. Marmon and I have a fine room between and are taking life as easily as conditions will allow. Just this morning Marmon took a detail of thirty-five men to a nearby town called, Trier, perhaps you know it better by Treves, where the armistice committee generally meets. If I am not mistaken that committe is meeting there in a few day. He will be back in about three days. Yesterday he and I went to Trier and we enjoyed the visit very much. It is the first real town I have been in since I came over here. The population, so we were told, is about 50,000. The town has regular street cars, stores, restaurants, hotels, dry good stores and everything that Topeka, Emporia or such towns would have. Under separate cover I am sending you some views of the place, most of which I saw. Some ruins there were over 1800 years old. One bridge on which we walked was begun about the time of Christ and the original construction is still intact. They have picture shows and everything. It was the first for a German town I ever was in that amounted to anything. While there I put out fifty marks for a German silver, Swiss movement watch. A German mark is equivalent to about twelve cents. Well, it takes 8.13 marks to make a dollar, so I figured it out that the watch cost about six dollars. I needed a watch and had the marks so I grabbed it. 'Tis not very good, but it runs and will do 'till I get to a regular country. Outsideo of that, my life since I last wrote has been a round of orders, and typewriting, with poor feed. One day last week, I mailed you a few small articles of personal interest. The watch is the one Maurice let me have and is of the Swiss type, with an alarm attachment. The stem became lost and it was of course useless to me. If you can get a stem put in, there is no reason why it should not be as good as ever That is the one I broke hitting the ground hard once. It's a gay life, I say! The pearl handled thing is a cigar cutter and is to be forwarded to Dave Park It is hard to mail a small thing like that so I thought I would send it to you and you could forward it on to him. The knife is the German souvenier I have told you of so often. That German belt buckle is one of the most common of souveniers, but I thought you might be interest in a real "Gott mit Uns" statement, so I am sending. It is really desirable. These things have not appeared.
157_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 13, 1919_Page 02
[page 2] If anybody displays the slightest interest in any of those souveniers, you can certainly show 'em all to them, but please be careful not to lose that knife. I am using the one Grandpa sent me and am sending that home. I have had that since the first day we went over the top at the [St. Mihiel Drive] and of course I am anxious to keep it to display in the States. A couple of days ago I sent you some Stars and Stripes, which tell about the activities of the 1st Division after it had been over here a short time. That might possibly interest you. The slips I enclosed in the box I also wish you would save as I want you to do with the enclosed letter heads and the German documents, one of which is money, the other of wich is a transfer on a Depot bound street car in Trier. Also keep the enclosed pieces of cloth. They are the insignia of the 314th Engineers and I want them to sew on my uniform when we come back. I managed to get a couple of extra ones. We wear them on our left shoulder. We got paid the other day - in marks& With about twenty dllards due me, I got nearly two hundred marks. I tried to send some of it home, but the post office wouldn't take marks, so I guess I will have to hold on to it. The enclosed eagle and flag is supposed to be symbolic of the Germans. Keep it, too, and I will drop it on some uncovered page in the book. That ought to be a real book, if all I have ti stick in it goes there. It should be valuable in years to come, too. I certainly trust that all of you have overcome the influenza and that everything is normal. I was glad to read that Ogee had appeared on the scene in the old home town and I hope that his presence there helped everybody. You didn't say much about it, but I imagine that you were running in pretty hard luck for awhile. A letter from Miss Harroun told me that plans for you all to meet failed to materialize, something she regretted. Try to meet her, if possible. No word from Maurice has come to me since his letter dated December 10, so you can see what I know about his location is nothing. I keep sending letters to the hsopital and they don't come back. I sure hope he is in the States. That piece you read about all the yanks who went into German territory gettig new uniforms is all wrong, at least as far as we are concerned. Since I had my good coat stolen from me, I am wearing one that looks like a mackinaw, it's so big. My underwear is far too large and I am wearing a shirt big enough for a boiler maker, but that's all right. I am used to that kind of stuff. This is about all I can think of at present. Much love to all, Sergt. 1st Class Charles S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engrs. American Ex. Forces. I've begun saving letter heads.
158_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 16, 1919_Page 01
The little tickets are from a picture show in Treves. Marmon & I were there. [Cordel, Germany] - January 16, 1919. Dear Folks: Not because I have a lot of spare time am I writing this, but just to tell you the latest. Our first sergeant got all heated up one night and cut loose and mashed two privates in the eye and ear and forty-eight hours later he was a buck private in the rear rank. In his place, I find myself as acting first sergeant, a job I do not want. The captain knows this and most graciously is letting me look around for a capable first sergeant. The job is all right, but it requires too much indoor work and not enough of the good old outdorors which I am certainly glad to get. The climate over here has not yet gotten cold. We haven't had any opportunity to bundle all up in our heaviest clothes and the snows some of the natives told us of have so far failed to come. The river has not once been frozen. However, this is only the middle of January and no telling what will come yet. Two letters came from Grandma yesterday and three from Maurice. You know he doesn't seem to be much better to me than he did shortlynafter he was injured. Perhaps I am wrong, but from his letters and comments, this is the dope I glean. I today wrote a letter to the colonel of the regiment, asking for a leave privilege to visit Maurice. The captain approved it, but told me that he thought I could not get it, as transportation is all mussed up over here. I thought he had been sent home a long time ago, especially after not hearing from him for so long. Oen of his letters was only seven days old, so you can see I got late news of him. It sure would be great if he were taken to Kansas City. There is a good chance, though, if St. Joseph's hospital has been made a base. it is one fine place. His friends could then show their appreciation. I am glad that everything is running normally at Olathe. The presence of O'Gee must have been quite a help and from what he wrote me after returning to Tulsa, I imagine he enjoyed his visit, even though things were somewhat mixed up. It was great stuff to read that Maurice was the first lieutenant. It always was a surprise to me that he was not made before, but evidently he was and none of us knew anything about it - not even him. Bulletins from the War Department we have received today tell that no officer shall be discharged from the hospital until cured or until as cured as possible. With his salary he should be able to save a little money. He is certainly getting thhe very best of care. Of course, that doesn't make him well, but it is come consolation to know that he has everything possible. He should be quite a hero with his [Distinguished Service Cross] and his enviable record over here, because he sure did see all the actions in which tis Army participated. His social activities will compries a great part of his life when he gets back. I suppose I will have to take some scrub job hauling down about ten bucks a week. About the best thing I can do it to re-enlist in the Army. Have to go to work - save the enclosed stuff for my book. Love, [Charles] Sgt. C S Stevenson- Co. A, 314th Engrs. American Ex. Force
159_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Ogee (Jay) Stevenson_January 18, 1919_Page 01
Cordel, Germany, [January 18, 1919] Dear O'Gee: Two lettersm have come from you recently - one of [December 7] and the oother of December 16 - the last one being the latest of any of the letters I have received from the States. From all the dope I got from you and the Olathe letters, I imagine that it must have been pretty tough sledding out there about the time the flu was going good. From what we can hear now, we understand that the flu is again running wild, altho nobody seems to have any good dope on that question. I certainly hope that nobody will get seriously ill before Maurice or I get back. That would sure be hard luck, I'll say. All the cables any of you sent me never did reach me, and General Bamford sent me a telegram and a letter that never came, so you can see just what kind of luck I have been having, altho once a letter from Maurice did reach me in seven days. It sure made me feel close to him. I guess he is stuck at that Base Hospital 34 for a long time. I tried to get to go and see him, but this division is at present getting no passes and the request was not granted. It got as far, thought, as the headquarters of the 89th Division, which is going some. I was told that I could renew the request when this Division was given the privilege of leaves once again. Those newspaper clippings you have been saving will be welcome. I intend to make a real book out of that one I started - and if necessary I will begin a nother one. It looks as if the adventures of Maurice alone will fill one book, altho I must say that my little trip across Belgium, Luxemburg and into Germany was quite a little trip of its own. I am sure glad I got to make it, and though I would like to be home, I am willing to stay six or seven months longer now that the war is over and I have seen something of the continent. There isn't much new stuff. Our first sergeant got into a battle with a couple of privates recently and mopped up onnthem, with the result that he was reduced to a private himself - also a sergeant, first class, who was with him. For a week I have been acting as top sergeant, but next week I am turning the job over to another of our sergeant, first classes - he is better suited for the job than I am, altho he can't run the typewriter. Everything else between the two of us is equal. I am sending your letters on to Maurice. I mail him something about twice a week. When I get my [Kansas City] newspapers I always cut out the Ding cartoons and send them to him - and then I generally mail him all the letters I get from mutual friends. Feeling fine, I am. A couple of times last week I got to go to the city of Treves, which is only sixteen kilometers from our burg. That is how you can locate us on the map. Find Treves - - we are fifteen kilometers north. It is the city where the armistice commission is meeting and is really a pretty place. Love, Charlie Sergt. C. S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engrs. American Ex. Force
160_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson (Brother) to Charles Stevenson_January 22, 1918_Page 01
France [January 22, 1918] Dear Charlie: Not much to write - the war goes on - and we continue to dig in at it. I wrote you last on the 15th - we have wandered some since then but I've stood it pretty well. I haven't been doing regular work, but have not been doing "Bram Trust" work, either. Kind of general "dog-robber" for everybody - supply officer, "billeting" officer, transportation officer and all kinds o' things. I'm learning lots - I don't mind being slung around so. I'm expecting to be called back to Regt HQ soon for a continuation of our "Bram Trust" work.
160_1982.202.1_Maurice Stevenson (Brother) to Charles Stevenson_January 22, 1918_Page 02
I got three more packages - and Martie got 19 letters! The package were from Miss Heisler - a shirt; from an Irving girl a package containing candy, a towel, and wash-cloth; and a fine box from Aunt Daisy, containing candy, food - all very fine. They came at a peculiar time too - and were thus very welcome. I'm waiting for letters, tho - I hope you get mine more regularly. I can't tell you more - I'm feeling fine eating good, sleeping in a French kitchen - and washing out doors. The cold has gone - temporarily. Perhaps I'll hear from you in France soon? Love Maurice O.K. MSStevenson 2nd Lt
161_1982.202.1_Jay Stevenson to Mother_January 23, 1919_Page 01
[Tulsa, Oklahoma], [January 23, 1919]. Dear Mother:- The enclosed letter and picture came today. It is now just five o'clock, and everyone has left the office. The pretty weather still hangs on with us and it is today just like a Spring day. This afternoon I have been making a payday for the Ice Company. Was on it from about ten o'clock until about two thirty, with dinner after that. Ed Saunders was up to the office not more than an hour ago, was hunting a man by the name of Shipman, whom I know, I did not ask Ed what he was doing, and if he told me I did not remember. He looked well dressed, and talked as tho' he had been in Oklahoma City a good deal lately. Am still feeling better, and think that I am all right now for the rest of the winter. Am a little afraid that I will have to work out on my own lot next Sunday, as they are contemplating some street improvements, and I want to get the dirt before the city gets it, and Sunday is the only day that I can be there, and feel that with men and teams working that I should be there, if much is done. Nothing new has transpired since I wrote except the letter. Am hoping that father is around again. Chickens ought to lay this kind of winter, if they ever will, Yours as ever, J. P.S. I see that [Charles] adds Army of Occupation to his address and I think it would be just as well to put that on. Yours, J.
162_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 27, 1919_Page 01
[Raymond Rivat Stenay (Meuse) letterhead] Save these two enclosures! Dear Folks: Just a couple of lines to let you know I am feeling fine. Otherwise than asprained finger, a bum heel, a wisdom tooth, a torn finger nail and a grouch I am in the greatest of shape. At least, I had all those things yesterday. And tonight they are all gone, but the grouch, which is getting larger and larger constantly. But I am feeling fine. We have one keen basketball court put up here and are using a soccer ball to play on it, so we are having a little fun besides always drilling and slopping around like bums. Last night it snowed a little bit and this morning it was rather cold. The Germans went around talking about the heavy cold and the extreme cold, while in American we would be warm if we had to wear our overcoats in this kind of weather. There isn't any news. I am still working in the office as acting First Sergeant, but expect to go out any old day. The job is s snap and I sure get to sit in a warm room, but I would rather go out and bat up against the cold winds. You never will grow up sitting on a chair all day long. Three letters from you came at one mail - - bearing the dates of [December 19], 2r and January 2. Sometimes the mail service is good - other times it is not. How the heck did Bruce Killain get home? The last time I saw him was in the town of Beney in a room right close to a stable. He was perfectly at ease in a nice warm room and seemed to be having plenty to eat. Was he injured or something or how did he get out of the Army. Tell me! Is Harold Hallet still at Funston or has he been mustered out. If so, did he go on down to Texas to join h is folks or his he still in Kansas City or Olathe. Tell me about him - - he is a good guy! You must have had a snowy Christmas with one and one-half feet of snow. As you probably know I was in Kyllburg at that time and we had about one-quarter inch of snow and the folks all raved about it. This is a queer place, but the climate has to be admired. No jumps like Kansas or Missouri. I am glad that you got my letters from Belgium and Germany. They ought to be interesting. I wonder if you ever got the one I wrote at Stenay, telling you briefly about where and what I saw since coming over here. I hope so, as I had a heck of a time writing that.
162_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 27, 1919_Page 02
Woodrow Wilson never even heard of the 89th Division I guess, at least he never mentions us - and as for as seeing us, why he never got far enough from Paris to see the real fighting men of his Army. I have never even seen Pershing. Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you that five days ago I got two Americans from you and some Saturday eveni n Posts. Mrs. Rankin sent me about three copies of Life - very welcome, indeed. We have been getting a few magazines lately, but they go quickly and the only way I get them is from Kenneth, who grabs both of us. We do get good service on newspapers, as those small copies of the New York Herald and the London Daily Mail and the Chicago Tribune come up fairly regularly. Dorothy Nelson - and Helen, too, owes me a letter. Tell Dorothy if she don't answer I won't bring anybody to Olathe with me for her to dance with. I expect a letter from Helen will come floating along soon, a ltho you never can tell, she is about as regular writing as thegas. Nope, I never found any of the clothes I ever lost. The pictures are all gone, too. I never expect to see them again. I get all mystuff from Phil Stone, who treats me fine in regard to clothes. In the big cities of Germany I have been I never tried to buy a pair of pajamas, but I think I will make a stab the ne xt time I go. But if pajamas cost as much in relation as do handkerchiefs, I will keep on going as I am. At that rate a pair of flannel pajamas would cost me about twenty-five bucks. A letter came from Maurice today under the date of January 17. I write him as many as eight and ten letters a month, and send him letters from mutual friends and clippings and cartoons out of the Star and Post and a few other papers. He was not feeling so well the time I wrote, but is probably better by now. This Hank Holden you speak of is a good friend of mine. He was injured the first day of the St. Mihiel drive. He was one of the most popular men in the company and a very close personal friends of Phils. He went to [Camp Funston] the same day Phil and I did - - September 5, 1917. I think he is in the Des Moines hospital. Any cables you sent me are still to be enjoyed by me, as they never came. Business is picking up! Love, Steve Sergt. 1st Class Charles S. Stevenson Co. A, 314th Engrs. American Ex. Forces. Germany.
163_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Gruss aus Cordel
163_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. [February 3] CSStevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. U.S.A. Cordel [January 10, 1919] Dear Folks: We moved again and are now in this little town. Kenneth and I live in the last home on the left snuggled up against the hills. We have a fine room - piano - lights. We are only a few yards from the Kyll River. This is a nice town - but we are drilling - tough luck! [Charles] save this censored by CA Case Capt. Engrs. U.S.A.
164_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Hotel-Restaurant Joh, Jos. Thiel Cordel vom Bremsberg aus Gruss aus Cordel.
164_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. [February 3] CSStevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force Cordel - [January 10, 1919] Dear Folks: This is a real scene. - not a painting. Talk about hills - Germany sure has them. This is a most beautiful view when covered with snow as I have seen it. this is one of the many little towns along the River Kyll. Love, Charlie Save all of these cards. censored by CA Case Capt. Engrs. U.S.A.
165_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Hotel-Restaurant Thiel. Gruss aus Cordel.
165_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_January 10, 1919
Soldiers Mail Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A. [February 3] [Cordel, Germany] [January 10, 1919] Dear People: Another one of the popular cafes where night life is at its highest at 7:30 P.M. This place has an electric piano, which play "The Merry Widow" waltz for 1.2 [cents] - . It also sells a deathly brew of red lemonade. Hard on the soldiers! Love, Charlie. censored by CA Case Capt. Engrs. U.S.A.
166_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 2, 1919_Page 01
Cordel, Germany February 2, 1919 Sunday morning Dear Folks: A letter from Grandma dated January 7 and one from Aunt Daisy of January 10 leads me to believe that we are at last getting good service with regard to our mail. All the letter I got two days ago were dated after the first day of January. You letter was written shortly after we had stopped moving around as on January 7 we came into this town and have been here ever since - and me with a nice bed and warm room most of the time. A little side dope cam rolling in this morning that we would change the location of our headquarters very shortly. Oh, well, that's nothing, just so we have a warm place to sleep in at night. Just hold onto that Liberty Loan bond for me - - that makes $150 worth I won. Some day when I go to get married I will sell my Liberty bonds and buy bread and beef. If we have to stay in this army as long as all of us think we will have to, no telling whether I will ever see anybody who can speak English again. There isn't a thing new. I have been to Trier a couple of times since I last wrote you and yesterday rode forty kilometers in an open truck to play a basketball game in the thriving town of Bitburg. We got walloped - 42 to 11, but that's all right as we were at a disadvantage in every respect. I am still acting as first sergeant, but expect to get relieved from the job by the next seven days. It is kinda cold outside drilling, but it is sure better than constantly working in an office, altho I must admit that I always have time to do anything I so desire. We have a most likeable captain, who is very thoughtful of his men and he insists that the first sergeant and th e company clerk get out and take physical exercise constantly. The rank I hold as sergeant, first, class, is just as good as that of first sergeant, the only difference being in the executive end of the jobs in the company. The pay and the travelling privileges are the same, - I sure don't want the job. Yesterday I got a letter from Maurice that was only four days old - - that is the wonder of the universe! I certainly was tickled to hear from him. He described all about his wounds - a most interesting letters, containing something I wanted to know. The day he wrote this he had received six letters from me, which isn't so bad, altho I would rather have had them spread out in getting to him. None of your cables ever did reach me and Maurice has never mentioned to me of receiving any from you, so I suppose they have gone astray. But I do believe that we get every letter you write. I am sure that I do, at any rate. I get a great many from you and altho they do not always come in chronological order, I am almost positive that they all get here some time. I have read "Yanks," the book Maurice sent you and have enjoyed it very much. Today I am sending you some copies of Stars and Stripes. Please hold on to them as they have some dope in them that I want. I have never written anything for Stars and Stripes because of the censorship regulations. Everything we mail had to go thru officers and I was not desirious of having them know I was trying to break into print. Perhaps now that I have access to a machine and some time to think of a good subject I may send in an article or so. I generally put in my spare time writing letters to friends - and I certainly do get repaid for this every time the mail comes. The classy paper on which you wrote attracted my attention right off the bat. I will have to use one of those in my scrap book, so be sure and save me one of the letter heads. I am enclosing a Knights of Columbus letter head - a new kind, by the way. The printed stuff is some of the official matter we get every day, a copy of which I thought might be a novelty in a scrap book. The small type printed article and the pictures are from Maurice. He wants them preserved for the book also. I am glad that Aunt Daisy called up Miss Harroun. I get the best letters from her and she seems to appreciate every letter I write to her. She always sends me a package of chocolate or two sticks of gum in every letter she writes. They have a most beautiful home and I would like to have you see
166_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 2, 1919_Page 02
[page 2] that, too. They are great friends of the Vickers and worship Paul. I got several letters from them telling me how fine Paul looked. You should see me in these clothes that never have and never will fit me. I look like a loose fitting mackinaw. I only hope I get my barracks bag back, so that I can at least look fairly presentable. You know we don't even have tan shoes any more, but wear constantly those big hustky hobnails similar to the kind I lugged in from [Camp Funston] once. I am mighty glad, also, to hear that you are having such good luck with the new furnace. It must be great stuff, altho I imagine it is more expensive than gas and more trouble, but it does keep you warm and that is the big thing. Copies of the Star of the date of January 9 came yesterday. It seemed good to get such a keen outlayof news all group together - just what I wanted. Of course, the paper comes constantly, but never before have I received any but five or six week old papers. Probably by this time Virginia has sent you those pictures of which you made mention. She sent Phil a set and I saw them. They are good. My picture, it so happens, is the clearest one of the entire bunch. Don't dare lose any of those as they are real pictures or real events and persons - just the kind I want for the book. Our town is down in a hallow, surrounded on all sides by a huge set of hills, thus shielding us from the cold winds. We happen to be right on a tiny river, but it is by no means large enough to make much different in the climate. It has not been what could be termed cold. Of course, we ear overcoats and bundle up warmly, but it has never yet been as cold as it was several times at [Camp Funston] last year. The snow has been almost negligible. The hills and ground are now covered with a flight covering of snow, which will probably remain for some time, as it does not metl here a it does in the states. We have absolutely no complaint to make on the climate - - we are only too glad the war is over. Well, business calls and I have to answer, so until the next time, I will quit. I hope you took care of sending that money to Mary for the music, as we need it badly. The best of love to all of you, Charlie Sergt. 1st Cl. Charles Stevenson, Co. A, 314th Engineers, American Expeditionary Forces.
167_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 6, 1919_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [February 6, 1919] Dear Folks: No mail for over a week. Things running along as usual - feeling fine. There is a chance (perhaps) to go to school in England. I'm thinking it over. No recent word from [Maurice]. I'm feeling fine! Keep the enclosed for me! Nothing new, except a heavy snow. Love, Charlie Sergt. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs., American Ex. Force over.
167_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 6, 1919_Page 02
The enclosed set of cards are very, important - well - look at the back of them. They show some of the towns in which I have been. And the ones I haven't been in - I'm sure Maurice has been there. Love [Charles]
168_1982.202.1_Front_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 12, 1919
Post-Card Stevenson Place, Olathe, Kansas U.S.A. [signature]
168_1982.202.1_Back_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 12, 1919
[YMCA postcard] Coblenz - [February 12, 1919] Dear Folks: Our passes to Coblenz materialized and I'm just ending my third day here. We took the boat trip on the Rhine River - very pretty. Letter coming soon. Steve
169_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 10, 1919_Page 01
Cordel, Germany, [February 10, 1919]. Dear Folks: I haven't a lot of time but I have got a lot of news, so I am taking the time to write it to you. In the first place, leave privileges are being granted to men of this division and we may go to places in Italy, Belgium, Great Britain or France to the city of Paris. I put in for a pass to Savenay, France, where Base Hospital Number 8 is, where Maurice is. I am the first on the list of this company and if any of our men are allowed to visit any place in France I will be the one. If Maurice has never told you where Number 8 is, I will tell you that is is near Nantes, in the town of Savenay, on the coast. It is there I want to go. Had Maurice not been there, I would have asked for a pass to Great Britain and gone on across into Ireland, altho I have ridden across the entire of England, and have seen parts of both Ireland and Scotland. I wanted to go to some of the large Irish cities. There is no telling when I will get this pas - - and it may never come, but if it does, it will sure be fine. the quickest way for me to get to this town is by way of Paris, as all roads in France lead to Paris, so I might get to visit in Paris, too. I will also be in the city of Metz on the downward trip, so you can see that the trip, in addition to getting to see Maurice, will be a most wonderful opportunity. Yesterday work came in that sixteen men of this company would be sent to Coblenz for a three day leave, with railroad fare, room and board furnished. The captain decided he would pick the bunch - and give this privilege to the men who had been working hard for him and the interests of the company. So Phil Stone and Kenneth Marmon and myself are part of the sixteen. And tomorrow morning we start on a trip to Coblenz on the Rhine River, where the famous statue of William the 1st sticks up at the conjecture of the Rhine and Moselle River. I have seen the Moselle River at Treves lots of times - - a nd now I get to see the Rhine. Believe, me - - I am glad I haven't la id down on the job since I came into this office. Everybody won't get to go up there, so you can see what it means to us - especially Phil and me. If I can only swing thru my leave to where Maurice is - - won't I be the tickled youth. And another thing! - - two days ago memorandums came in asking for the names of men in this company who would care to attend universities in France or England. After a thorough discussion of all points involved, Marmon and I decided we would turn in our names to atend an English University. What I want is some kind of a course in English literature and what Marmon wants is a short course in Engineering. As we understand it, we would attend the University until our Division got ready to come home and then come a long with it - altho it may be that we will be required to take a six months course or something like that. Even so, that would not be half bad. That is the news I have! A letter of January 9 from Grandma came about three days ago, - 'twas the letter in which she enclosed a necktie. Thank you very much - - I happened to be badly in need of this said necktie. How the heck the dope got out that the 89th had been sent back is far past me. One of the fellows of the company got a clipping dated January 9
169_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 10, 1919_Page 02
[page 2] in which mention was made that the 89th Division had been taken out of the Army of Occupation and "taken back" and in your letter you ask to where were we taken back. As far as the 314th Engineers is concerned we have not been moved for seven weeks. Our own company has been in this little town of Cordel for five weeks. We have not been sent back and present indications point to the fact that we are not be sent back - a t least for a couple of months. How the heck this dope is shot out so wrong is past me. General March must be trying to pacify the people of the 89th district, but I know the Division has not gone back. Our Divisional headquarters are north of Treves and you all know that Treves is certainly in the country of Germany. And when you got the news that we would be granted leave to visit England, - well, that was the time when absolutely no leaves were being granted. This leave privilege was just opened up this past week. Somebody has been mussing up things. Oh yes, speaking of leaves, mine to visit Maurice would be fourteen days duration after I left Treves. I would have to make the trip and get back to Treves fourteen days - also pay all my own expenses - - which I will gladly do. Even if I could not see Maurice, the trip would be worth the money I would expend. As to that $100 Liberty Bond - I sure will need the interest, so I can take life easy for amonth. Altho the interest off of a $100 bond won't make life easy very long. You know I have nother $50 bond some place. I just got th ru paying for it last month. It will be rolling along to you soon. When I began to write, I thought I would write only about a half a page, but I kept on thinking of something to say until I have a fairly long letter. This insignia I am enclosing is the insignia worn by members of the Army of Occupation - - which is the same as the Thirds Army. Save it for me, so I will have a Fresh one when I get back. I am trying to get a lot of back work caught up, so will quit. Love to you all, Charlie Sergt. 1st Class Charles S. Stevenson Co. A, [314th Engineers], American Ex. Force This is the insignia he mentions. [sketch of insignia] black red - black - A The A is white. Made of heavy cloth. A vivid afair.
170_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 21, 1919_Page 01
[Savenay, France] [February 21, 1919] Dear Grandma: I'm still at the hospital with the lieutenant Stevenson. According to my present plans I expect to leave here day after tomorrow - Sunday evening, about ten o'clock, it is. I get to Paris at seven the next morning and continue my journey into Germany the same evening. So I expect to get a few more hours in Paris. My leave is up at midnight February 26. As my record
170_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to C.A. Stevenson (Grandmother)_February 21, 1919_Page 02
so far is about normal, I'm going to be back on time - taking no chances. Maurice is feeling about the same, he is eating supper now! He gets good food - and seems to enjoy it. At present he is on a diet, eating food that is light. When I get back I'll get to that typewriter and I'll tell you a little more about his conditions and my activities coming and going and while here. This handkerchief I bought for you while I was in Coblenz. I had no time to mail anything from there, so had to carry it clear down here. I've met three or four Kansas City people here so far. Love, Charlie Sergt. C.S.Stevenson, Co. A - 314th Engrs., Amex Force
171_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 13, 1919_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] 5 a.m. - [February 13, 1919] Dear Folks: Last night at ten o'clock I got back from a three days visit I had been granted by Divisional Headquarters a pass to be gone fourteen days to visit in Savenay, France, where Base Hospital #8 is, so in ten minutes I'm starting. You can imagine how surprised I was, - and tickled. I'm carrying a sack across
171_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 13, 1919_Page 02
my shoulder - and in it can be found a towel and my toilet articles, some life! I'll write you as I go along the route, which should take me thru Treves, Metz, Toul, Paris, Tours and Nantes. I borrowed $55 - but should worry. Best of love, [Charles] Sergt CSStevenson Co A - 314th Engrs. Amex Force
172.1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Margaret (Daisy) Stevenson (Aunt)_February 13, 1919_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [February 13, 1919] [Savenay, France] Dear Aunt Daisy: I bought this for you in Coblenz, - and haven't had time to mail it, yet. Here it is now, I don't believe it is hand made altho they told me it was. They said it was filet lace. I don't know. Love Charlie Sergt. C.S.Stevenson. Co. A - 314th Engrs., Amex Force
173_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 14, 1919_Page 01
[American Red Cross letterhead] Paris - [February 14, 1919] Dear Folks: I'm as far as Paris on my trip to find [Maurice]. I got in at noon and spent five hours looking around. I'm resting the next three as I have an all night ride ahead of me. I left Treves at 1 o'clock, [February 13], arrived at Metz at 3 and left there at 5:45, reaching Paris at noon. In order to get on the 5:45 train I had to slip past thirty sentries and hid in a small lavatory
173_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 14, 1919_Page 02
for an hour. Officers only were allowed on the train. I'm supposed to arrive where I think Maurice is at 6 o'clock in the morning. I'll sure be a tried youth, but if Maurice is there that will be a small trifle. I saw the place where the Peace conference is being held. The famous bridges across the Seine. I also saw, as well as a lot of other famous places, [Champs-Elysees], Eiffel Tower, the Arch of Triumph and Napoleon's tomb. This latter is just about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! I saw pretty churches
173_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 14, 1919_Page 03
[American Red Cross letterhead] [page 2] and cathedrals in England - and in France - and in Treves and Coblenz, but this is just about the best of all. What I did was to ride around in a taxi-cab for three hours - myself and three others picked up a fellow who was formerly a guide for those cooks tours. We hired a little dinky taxicab and "stepped out". When the trip was about three-fourths over, the taxi broke down and we had to walk. It's a great life. As things now look, I should be able to stay in
173_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 14, 1919_Page 04
the same town where Maurice is for about four or five days. I hurried to get down, but will go back slower. Will write next when I see Maurice. Love, Charlie C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th engrs Amex Force
174_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 15, 1919_Page 01
[YMCA letterhead] [February 15, 1919] Dear Folks: I caught my train out of Paris last night and arrived at Savenay at 5:15 this morning. I waited until day light and about 7:30 dropped around to see 1st Lt. Maurice Stevenson. He is looking well - better than when I saw him in August. The best of attention is given to him and he seems to be making slow, but positive improvement. I was surprised at his healthy appearance - pleasantly.
174_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 15, 1919_Page 02
His doctor says he is coming along excellently and I believe it. I rode all night the last couple of nights and am sure all in this evening. Enclosed is a picture of the hospital building where he is. Will wrote more later! This is a rare thing - a letter by me and censored by Maurice. Love, Charlie C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs U.S.A. Be sure to save this postcard.
175_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 23, 1919_Page 01
[Savenay, France] [February 23, 1919] Dear Folks: In a couple of hours, I throw my little bag of equipment across my shoulders and bid farewell to Lt. Stevenson until we meet again in the States. Tomorrow morning I will be in Paris - the next morning I should be in Metz - and the same afternoon in Treves. If I cannot find a place to stay over night in Treves I'll be home that evening. At least the preceeding is the
175_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 23, 1919_Page 02
way the plans should work. I am hoping to get about six more hours in Paris, but may be there long enough to change trains only. I want to buy some good leggins (mine were stolen), get a real hair cut, buy a fountain pen and some music, look over the [Champs-Elysees] and a few of its surrounding palaces and get a more settled view of the place. However, those are my ideas, only - and are subject to change by the M. P.'s on my arrival in Paris. Maurice has not been feeling so very well the last couple of days, having a slight headache. However, his wounds are making fine progress and he looks very well. Will write you when I join the organization. I hope I am no longer acting first sergeant. I wantto rest. Love, Charlie (over) save the enclosed Sergt. C.S.Stevenson Co. A - 314th Engrs 89th Division
175_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_February 23, 1919_Page 03
The red thing is a Coblenz transfer.
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 01
Please see that Dave Park gets to read this. I told him you would send it to him. Welschbillig, Germany March 1, 1919 Dear Folks: Thru the kindness of Phil I have been granted the use of this little Corona typewriter and will tell you a little more about my trip to see Maurice. To begin with, on the 10th of February 1 left camp to go to Coblenz on a three day leave. We got back from there at 10:30 the night of February 12 and I found papers granting me a fourteen leave awaiting for me - - and these papers were effective at five o'clock that morning, so you see I lost a day at the start, but that was a mere trifle. At 5:30 the next morning I caught a train which got me into Treves at 5:55, expecting to catch a Paris express at eight o'clock, but the next train left at 1:30 in the afternoon, so I had to wait in Treves for that. From Treves we got a train to Metz, when we had to get off, as this was the terminal of that particular train. The Paris express, we were told, left at 5:45 P.M., but enlisted men could not ride on this, as there were too many officers going to Paris. We were to take a military train to Toul, getting there about midnight, sitting around thru the early morning and getting a slow, dirty train to Paris, arriving there when nobody knew. On this 5:45 train were fifteen coaches and each coach was guarded by two French soldiers to keep all but officers off. Well, there was a lull at one period and I slipped around on the side of the train where the crowd was not - and in some queer manner I managed to get by the guards. So I stepped right into a coach. The minute I hit the coach I looked for a place to hide, as the American M. P.'s (military police) made trips thru the train every ten minutes looking for any enlisted men that might have sneaked on. The best I could do was the aisle until I saw the door entering into a lavatory. When a train is stationery for several hours these doors are generally locked, but as luck would have it, this door was open. I stepped into this lavatory, locked the door and kept it locked for one hour and a half. One hour of this time the train was standing on the tracks in Metz. The other half hour was spent in going. At the end of this half hour I calmly opened the door and stepped out into the aisle found myself a seat on the floor and there I was - - on a train for officers going directly and quickly to Paris. From 5:45 that night until the noon the next day, I alternately sat and stood in the aisle of this train until we got into Paris. So you see I got there about twenty-four hours before I would have had I been forced to take that military train. And in this train I was riding second class, while in the other I was to be third class - a heck of a difference. My train to Savenay did not leave until 8:15, so I got from noon until that time in Paris. I went to the YMCA hotel there, cleaned up and prepared to make a tour of the town on YMCA sight seeing trucks. It happened to be raining. While I was standing waiting to climb onto the truck up came a Frenchman who could speak good English. He told me that he would take four of us around the town in a tax-cab, show us the most interesting places, tell us all about then, furnish the taxicab - - all for ten francs each. The YMCA truck was an open on and I would have been drenched had I gone with it, so I persuaded three others to take the taxi with me and we started out. I saw the Seine river, the famous bridges across it, the wonderful opera house, the Place de la Concorde, the [Champs-Elysees], the Arch
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 02
[page 2] of Triumph, [La Madeleine], Eiffel Tower, the big Ferris Wheel, Napoleon's Tomb, the [Les Invalides], the Palace de Glais, the Hotel Crillon, the hotel where the important peace conference meetings are held and a number of minor historical places. It sure was an interesting trip and One you can bet I never shall forget. The trip was supposed to end at 4:30. At 4:15 the automobile broke down and we all had to get out and battle with the guide, who wanted to end the trip then. We finally ended up by giving him five francs apiece. The last I saw of him he was standing near Napoleon's Tomb talking and muttering about the American soldiers who jipped him. At 8:35 I got on a train to Savenay, got me a nice seat close to the window, went to sleep and woke up about five bells when somebody pushed me and hollered Savenay. You see, I was tired from not sleeping the preceeding night and then I had run around Paris all day. It was too early to go to the hospital, so I sat around the depot there and slept until seven o'clock, when I got into an ambulance going up town. it stopped at Base Hospital 69 and I got out, walked around about three minutes, inquired if Maurice Stevenson was there, found the number of his ward and went up there. He was just turning over in his cot, which is close to the door, and he looked at me and then turned over, not recognizing me. My voice has not changed much since I left and when I asked for Lt. Stevenson he heard me and from that time on until nine o'clock eight days later, I was with him. To me, he looks better than he did when I saw him in August and September. His face is much fuller and he has about the normal color in it. His left leg is very thin, but this is from the paralysis. His left foot is no longer in a cast, but is still useless. Each day he gets this entire leg massaged by a very capable and experienced massage lady, who practiced in Chicago fourteen years. That this foot would soon be full of life again was evident as during the massage very often she would touch muscles and nerves that would make him twitch. Had there been no life, he would not even have felt her work. So you can rest assured that eventually this foot and leg will become normal. So she told me, as did two medical captains, both experts in their lines, which is cases of this kind. His ear is not at all bad looking. None of it is gone - all that is the matter now is the appearance - it looks as if somebody hit him there. And unless this is pointed out, no one would never notice it. Have no fear that he is disfigured. ABSOLUTELY not. As good looking as ever! Two of the smallest holes in his back are practically finished and do not require further dressing. Soon they will become scabs and shortly after that scars, with nothing but a history - no trouble. The big thing now is the fistula - - the place where several operations have been necessary to readjust the hole the fragments made in his intestine. The doctor in charge of the ward told me that if it went along as well in the future as it was at that time that Nature would close it up and that no further operation would be necessary. For this, or course, we are all hoping, as it is the very best possible thing that could happen. This is dressed each day, work requiring about fifteen minutes, during which time there is absolutely no pain suffered by
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 03
[page 3] Maurice. It is only a matter of washing the cut a little and re-dressing it. Maurice turns on his back, the wound is washed, some fresh gauze put over it, some adhesive tape wound around his body a couple of times to hold down the gauze and the doctor leaves him until the next morning. This wound has always been and will continue to be the most delicate of them all. The big idea now is to prevent puss from forming and to keep it from poising, as many of those things do. I was assured that the conditions of this was such that there was practically nod danger from this and that all that was needed was time and care. This is right below the waist on his back. For that reason he cannot sit up or bend his body at the waist, for fear of straining the muscles and ligaments so profuse in that region. However, as soon as a couple of weeks have gone by he has been told he could get up and try walking with crutches. He could walk without them, were it not for his foot, which needs only Time for recovery. You can see that it would not be advisable for him to bend his body just yet, so he must either be stretched out on the bed or standing up. His walking will be gradual, as it takes strength to walk and he has been in bed over five months - and that weakens anyone. SO - - you can see from what I have said just how he is coming around. I was constantly assured by the nurses, orderlies and the doctors that he would be all right eventually - and that not so far off. From the dope that got around I expect him to be on his way to the States some time between March 15 and March 30 - preferably close to the end of the month. He will go, of course, in bed - as I judge that it is about correct - that it will take five or six months in some hospital in the states and then he starts anew on his battle with the world. He should be as good as ever physically Perhaps, for a year or so ye will have to be carefull, and maybe he won't be as fast on his feet as he formerly was, but unless you knew all about him, no one every should be able to guess of his injuries. And when I see fellows down there with one and two legs and arms gone and with wounds that will make them incapacitated the rest of their lives, I am a most happy and grateful youth that his condition is to be so fine. To go thru what he has and then to come out normal is a mighty rare thing. He is just about the most popular man in the ward, which contained about thirty-five officers when I was there. One of the lieutenants told me that Maurice was the pluckiest and gamest fellow he ever saw and that everybody in the ward knew of his grave condition when he arrived there and all realized that it was his pluck and grit and nerve that brought him thru. "He's a real man - that boy is" are exactly the words the lieutenant used. The Red Cross workers come in and out frequently and keep the men supplied with fruit from the downtwon stores. Books and magazines are distributed each week and everyone has enough to read, altho none ever turn down any books. He has met several persons from Kansas City there, who call on him regularly, two girls and one medical captain, all of whom I met.
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 04
[page 4] The nurses and the orderlies are fine to him - and they all like him and he likes all of them. Everyone connected with his ward took particular attention to see that I was given the best possible - the seemed glad to be able to please him. The officers have a great old time in the ward, talking back and forth andsome evening I laughed until I hurt myself. They discuss everything the papers have and lots of things the papers don't have. The battles are all fought over and each division of the Army gets a good panning or lots of praise, according to the viewpoint. Each of the men there have their characteristics and the kid each other all day long - some of them so badly off they must lose one leg and some two. They have a mighty nine night nurse and they have lots of fun jollying her. She enters into all of their verbal arguments and they have a great old time in the evenings. One time they tried her - had a mock court-martial - each man on his beg having some part in the trial, as she wal ed up and down the ward doing her duty. The charge was that she traded a rose for a drink of port wine. Later they added a second charge that she "did willfully picked up one of the patient flute and call it 'that old thing'". This was sure one funny thing and I laughed for two hours. This flute was the property of one of the officers and he played it when he felt exceptionally well. I used to get up to his ward about ten o'clock in the morning and was there almost constantly until nine o'clock each night. Some times I would eat dinner right at his bed and every night I ate supper with him. He was eating a light diet when I was there, but it looked pretty darn good to me. Chicken, toast, butter, steak, potatoes, cake, apple sauce, jam, figs, peaches, and a lot of stuff like that. Believe me, after eating beans and stew I sure was "at ease" eating up there with him. One of the days I was there I went to the baggage department and opened up his bedding roll and truck and re-arranged things for him, bringing some of his most desirable stuff up to him and separating and putting the more desirable things in the trunk. It took about six hours to do this, but I tried to do a good job and think that he will find everything in good condition when theynarrive in Olathe. I bought him some new shoes and got his clothes - one serge suit fixed up, rearranged a small clothing rool l he carries when he leaves on the steamer and dia a few other insignificant jobs, but which he of course could not do. Incident- stuff in the bedding roll. He was two days reading it. I left Savenay about ten o'clock the night of the 23rd and slept until we reached Paris at eight o'clock the morning of the 24th. The first train out to Treves did not leave until eight o'clock at night, so I was given the liberty of Paris for twelve hours. I washed myself and then went to the business district of the town, where I walked around until noon, just looking into the windows and watching the people of which there were thousands. I spent an hour standing in front of the Hotel Crillon looking for some of the American celebrities to come out, but the only one I saw was Normas Davis, the magazine editor, and a few Japanese statesmen. I also got a [French] haircut and shampoo. Not a good or as throrough as the kind an American barber shop gives. In the afternoon I went on the YMCA sightseeing trip, going over practically the same route, thereby getting at least a few facts and buildings straigh t in my bemuddled mind. In addition to seeing what I had the previous time I was the Church of Notre Dame, the French Supreme Court and a famous painting - the Pantheon of the Guerre. A most remarkable and wonderful piece of work.
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 05
[page 5] I left Paris at eight o'clock. My leaving was preceeded by a fight between me and a French station guard. I got into a reserved seat by mistake and when he began telling me in French to move, I couldn't understand this, so naturally I did not move. He thought I was trying to jimp some of his French people out of their reserved seat, I guess, so he grabbed me by the shoulders. I made an effort to get up and kicked him in the stomach with one knee and stepped on his foot with my other leg. He got impatient with me and we had quite a wild time. If we had kept on he would have ruined me, as he was a great, big bird- and I had my glasses on. But we had a heck of a time until some of his co-workers got some American M. P.'s and the argument was settled. Outside of some ruffled hair and clothes and a few gasping breaths and a sore foot on his part, everything came out fine. I got into Treves at three o'clock the next afternoon. That night I got a train to where my company was when I left it. During my absence it had moved to this burg - seven kilometers distant - and here I am. Monday morning I resume the duties of first sergeant - much to my disgust. I certainly did enjoy the trip! The distance down there was about seven hundred miles. To go down it cost me $1.75. That was the fare from Paris to Savenay. I did not have to pay any fare from Treves to Paris. Coming back I paid the fare all the way - for a sum of $3.50, the total railroad fare being about $4.25. While I was gone the government paid me $8.40 for what the call commutation of rations. I am allowed sixty cents a day to pay for what I eat and as I was not eating with the company, but pying my own bills, I am given this much. You can see that I did not fair at all badly as far as that was concerned. I spent about $30.00, coutning room rent and meals and incidentals. The meals and fruit I ate were very high, but it has been so long since I have had access to grapes and oranges and stuff like that that I just ate about all the time. I also had a pen fixed, bought a couple of minor things, some good writing paper and such. On My return Maurice let me have some money, so the trip was absolutely a success in all ways. I slept until about nine o'clock in the morning, ate royally and had absolutely no worries, so I grew fat and healthy and when I came back everybody told me I sure looked fine. This is about all relating to the trip that I can remember of - which will interest you. When I got back I found thirty-eight letters awaiting me. Three were from Grandma - [January 25], [January 26] and [February 6]. Two were from Aunt Daisy - [January 29] and [February 1]. I certainly do thank you for those service stripes, Aunt Daisy. They are exactly what I want and sure look dandy. And the stamps have been about half used up all ready. I sent to you some pictures and stuff which I gathered in Paris and Coblenz, which I want you to keep for me, especially the post cards. Be sure to look on the back of those postcards I made a few comments which may make the pictures more interesting. I am glad if those maps and cards and stuff I send are interesting to you. I hope to gets some satisfaction out of them when I get back. I could easily have gotten a thousand helmets, but as I told you, I could not lug them to the mailing place. I managed to carry a small German water canteen for Mary Pugh across Belgium and Luxembourg until I could find enough box and string and the stamps with which to mail it. But helmets sure are common!
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 06
[page 6] How do we talk to the German girls? We do not talk to any of the Germans on the streets, but we are billeted in their homes and cannot avoid talking to them to some extent. And all of them are most cordial to us. Personally, they do not appeal to me, but girls and their charms and beauties are always a matter of personal opinions and it can easily be seen that the Dutch girls appeal to some of the fellows.v Don't every worry about any alliance I might form over here. There won't be any. Yep, when I opened that box in Kyllburg, Germany, and found that the watch and fountain pen had been removed, it sure was a disappointment, but I am all over it now. I bought a watch in Treves one day and in Paris last week had a new point put in my fountain pen, making is as good as new, so now I am running in fine shape, as far as conveniences are concerned. I don't believe it will do any good to trace it. I could not describe the watch or fountain pen, so it was almost useless for me to do anything, so I didn't. Phil is getting along fine. He looks well and is in excellent physical condition. He is still supply sergeant, but there is a chance for a promotion to the rank of sergeant, first class, which I sure that he gets. Kenneth and I have been together constantly and sleep together now. Three of us have been together since the armistice was signed - the third one being a St. Louis man by the name of Harrington. We three now have two small rooms, in which are three beds. We sure have a great old time. I think he can be persuaded to stay in Olathe a couple of days before going to New Mexico and Oklahoma, where his girl lives. My trunk left my hands last August. The captain bought it and Phil uses it in the supply department to store his important records. I can buy it back when we get to the States, I am sure - and I think I will do it, too. As to that cold-blooded picture, I guess that later picturess will prove that that particular gaze was only temporary. We had been in German territory but a short while and I had to look a little rough. I am all right now. That overseas cap is not half bad - wait 'till you see us with them on They are mighty cocky looking and they tell the world just where you have been. As for staying here - - if someboy was not here, the Germans could do as they pleased and our peace terms wouldn't be worth a darn. How does anyone expect to maintain order and restore normal conditions. We are making the German soldiers work and keep up the public utilities and doing lots of thingslike that which are essentil to the ultimate victory. Somebody over there seems to be lacking in foresight.
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 07
All this stuff about the 35th Division is bunk. The 35th has the poorest record of any Division over here and is the laughing stock of all the real divisions. It failed to make good any time it went in and once Maurice's Division was to relieve it after the 35th had been in but four days. The big trouble was with the inefficient officers - the men were no doubt as good as any. I do not think that the investigation will do any good. It sure is making the 35th the joke of the A. E. F., I can tell you that. The real divisions of the war are those in the Army of Occupation - - you notice the 35th is not here. Anybody who has been over here and knows the record of the divisions knows just how the 35th stands. And its record with relation to that of the 89th is sickly. We are not doing the menial labor or cleaning up the German's places. Somebody has GOT to be here and the men around us mighty grateful that they were put into the Army of Occupation instead of being shunted to some shot-up place in France or Belgium. The 89th got a square deal as far as I know and I was never away form it one day. I honestly think that somebody is playing politics. From Page 6 in long letter - dated [March 1] -
176_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_March 1, 1919_ Page 08
[page 7] I was mighty sorry to learn of Grandpa's accident and I hope that he is running around as usual. The first I know of it was when Dave told me that Grandpa had fallen out of an automobile. O'Gee told me he was hurt falling off of a wagon. The clipping about our trip thru Belgium Luxemburg and into Germany was read by a couple of our men and commented on. Thank you for sending it to me. It was also printed in the North Dakota School for the Deaf paper and I got a copy of that. Don't use any of this in any paper. It is too simple and nothing of interest to the world. We are sure getting our mail in fine time now. Today I got two letters from the states of [February 8]. Previous to this we have also been getting fine service with regards to our mail. I got today the Kansas City Star of February 8. You surely cannot holler about that! We have not yet gotten our barrack bags, but the other day a memorandum came thru from Divisional Headquarters about getting the property of men left in France, so it may be that we will yet get them. I sure hope so. By the way, when I was in Savenay, I bought a nice pair of tan shoes - thought I would get a pair where I could buy them cheap ten dollar shoes for $4.69 Those sure were a dandly bunch of letters and I was mighty glad to get them. When this gets to you I hope the wea er is fine, but I guess it will be typical March weather. It has rained everyday for a couple of weeks and is rather sloppy under foot - - no cold weather, though. We never did have nay, either - and from what they say it won't come any more this winter. I suppose you got the dope as to when we leave for the States - - June. They nearly left us but, didn't they. We heard some sort of wild rumor today that this was a very conservative estimate and that we might leave at least thirty days in advance of this. Here is hoping, Well, Folks, I began this letter at Eight o'clock this evening and it is now 10:40 and besides my eyes are blinking and I keep batting them to see clearly, so I think I shall quit. Anyhow, I haven't got anything more to say, except that I am feeling in the greatest of shape. I got good eats and had lots of sleep and a lot of satisfaction out of my trip, s I am sitting keen now - waiting to come home, when I expect to take life easy a month or so. I hope this isn't too long, but I thought you would be interested in my trip and in the tiniest details about Maurice, so I have put all of this down for your interest. I am writing Devils Lake and O'Gee that I wrote you a letter telling of the trip, so I won't go into details when writing to them - - that means you will have to let this letter go to them. My best love to you all, Charlie I haven't reread this, so I cannot, be responsible for grammatical expressions nor