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109_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 10, 1918 - Date Letter Written: September 10, 1918 Letter Written By: Charles Stevenson Letter Written To: Family Full transcription of letter: 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.

Date Letter Written: September 10, 1918 Letter Written By: Charles Stevenson Letter Written To: Family Full transcription of letter: 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

110_1982.202.1_Charles Stevenson to Family_September 18, 1918 - Date Letter Written: September 18, 1918 Letter Written By: Charles Stevenson Letter Written To: Family Full transcription of letter: 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.

Date Letter Written: September 18, 1918 Letter Written By: Charles Stevenson Letter Written To: Family Full transcription of letter: 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

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1982.202.1 - Letter

From the service of Charles S. Stevenson, 314th Engineers, 89th Division, AEF. PDF of Full Transcription of Letters Available Full transcriptions of letters: 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