Full transcription of text follows:
My Dear Dad:- I received your fine letter today. Also one from Mother and one from Jessie, so it has been a very prosperous day. It was mighty nice of you all to entertain Mrs. Mitchell and I am sure she enjoyed it. She is really a very nice lady. Col. Mitchell, however, has been relieved from command of his regiment and ordered back, I don’t know just where. He was a hard worker and very conscientious man, and I am afraid it will go very hard with him. I am still working for Division Headquarters and am stationed here at Brigade. I was working in this capacity during the advance and had a time
keeping up with the lines in order to get the necessary information back. I got me a nice little German horse out of the affair. I lost my own when this one came by just in time. I was all in and it was certainly a blessing. I had one small sandwich to eat for two days. There was another blessing which I found on this escapade and that was a German wine cellar. [smiley face]. I was all in when I reached it, but I could do it all over again when I left there. I found a couple of German pipes and a cigarette holder there which I took along. I am enclosing the cigarette holder but will bring the pipes back with me, as some one might take them if sent through the mail. I may send home a couple of helmets when I get time. There is nothing to
getting a helmet now
as they are lying all over the fields. They will, however, make nice flowerpots to hang up on the front porch. I am enclosing a couple of post-cards I found of the towns we went through. The one with the X on it is where the wine cellar was. It was certainly a shame about Major Bland being killed. He was very popular in his regiment. Captain Lincoln, whom you met, and who was the one who told you and Mother to move that day out at target range was also killed. Captain Davis is still with us and both the Pinkertons. I see them every now and then. It was fine to hear about Ed Keith, A.D., and Limp. Wattie and John Richards may have been right above
me in this last drive. Well “Jerry”, as the boys call the boche, is shooting up the town now. He opens up every now and then. Two months ago it would have been all excitement whenever a few shells lit near or when we opened up on a plane, but now we don’t even stop reading the paper. I slept right through two bombardments last night. (For some unknown reason the Frenchmen are known as “Frogs”. These big shells which “Jerry” throws over are called “G.I. cans.” A G.I. can is a galvanized iron can used for carrying water.) Keep one of those little pups of Pick’s for me. Name him “Hindy” after Hindenberg. (I’ve received a letter from one of the “hashslingers” whom I knew at
Junction City. She said she read my letter in the paper and wanted to have the honor of writing. [smiley face] She said she called up Mother for my address. I may drop her a line. They are all human.) Well it’s a grand old life. There will lots to tell when I get back. give my best love to all. Hope you are all well and the heat is through with there. Love to Mother - I.O. & Jr. Lots of love to you. Burnie. JKB Hockaday. 1st Lieut. - Inf. 177 Brigade Hdg. Am. Ex. Forces.
From the service of James Kellogg Burnham Hockaday, First Lieutenant, 354th Infantry, 89th Division.
Hockaday, James Kellogg Burnham
World War I