Full transcription of text follows:
My Dear Mother - You don’t know how I appreciate the letters I get from you. I haven’t gotten very many but I know there must be something wrong, ship sunk or something. I certainly enjoyed that picture which you sent me from [MS illegible]. I have also gotten two letters from I.O. I don’t have time to write many letters and when I do write I can’t say much. If you just answer the letters I write, I am afraid I won’t get many. Well, everyone is feeling O.K.
here and the Dutchmen are feeling rotten, I hope and we are going to keep them feeling rotten just as long as we can. I have had a chance to write a few letters lately. I sent one to I.O., one to Father and am writing this one to you. We are certainly having fine weather here. It has been raining for the last two days, but I have never been in a better climate all summer than here. It is real fighting weather. The rain has made the trenches a little muddy and slippery, but we are used to sleeping right through a
thunderstorm of shells or water. I forgot to tell you that Lieut. Barnett who lives just behind us is on his way home if he has not already arrived. He has about eighteen dollars of mine which I loaned him as I didn’t need it here and he said he would give it to you when he saw you. Enclosed are some flowers I gathered while in a trench opposite the German lines. Every now and then a big shell came over and lit in a little town in a valley just behind our lines. I saw the rocks fly and smoke curl up when each shell hit. I can tell just
about where each shell will [MS illegible] now by the whistle it makes, that is if they don’t come too fast [smiley face]. Yes “Maw” even out here in a trench there are some little flowers growing all along the way which make me think of you even when the shells are flying. Of course I would do it any way whether there were flowers or not. [smiley face]. Well I shall have to close now Mother. I’ll try to write again as soon as I can. Much love to everyone. Write me all the news. I see Capt. Pinkerton now & then. Both are fine. They said they heard you weren’t getting our mail. It will come after awhile. Ever so much love to you, Mother. Burnie.
JKB Hockaday 1st Lieut. - Inf. 177 Brigade Headquarters. A.P.O. # 761
From the service of James Kellogg Burnham Hockaday, First Lieutenant, 354th Infantry, 89th Division.
Hockaday, James Kellogg Burnham
World War I