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food, and of the heavy and unjust fines that the Germans had imposed upon them! You could tell by their looks that they had suffered. After we had gained our objectives on that front, we turned it over to other troops and started the Meuse-Argonne offensive. That was the hardest of them all as the Germans put up a stubborn resistance and contested every foot that we pushed them back. And it rained continually so that the roads and fields were just a sea of mud! And to add to our difficulties the Germans mined and blew up the roads and bridges as they retreated. But we kept advancing just the same, day and night, getting what little rest and sleep, whenever and wherever we could. We were covered with mud and soaked to the skin, and we were pretty badly exhausted, too, as we had been at it, without any let up for several days. And our supplies were unable to keep up with us so we were hungry and cold, too, as all we had to eat was our emergency rations-hardtack and "corned willy"-that every soldier carries with him. And, of course, we couldn't build a fire to dry out with-everything was too wet, in the first place and then, too, the Germans would have seen it.
But nevertheless we had the Germans on the run and we intended to chase them clear to Berlin. We had advanced a long ways and had taken Grand Pré and Buzancy, and our patrols were in the outskirts of Sedan, when the armistice was signed on November 11 and the fighting was stopped.
We rested there a few days and then started on our long march across Belgium, and the Duchy of Luxemburg and into Germany to the Rhine, arriving here December 15. This is a beautiful country-much prettier than I thought it would be. But that is no credit to the Kaiser. The German people treat us nicethey wouldn't dare do otherwise. They do not seem to care much for the Kaiser or Crown Prince any more, but they do think a great deal of Von Hindenburg as he stayed with the soldiers when the Kaiser and the Crown Prince ran away into Holland.
There are not many young men left in Germany, as so many were killed in the war. Nearly every family has lost someoneeither a father or a son-and sometimes both, in the war. There
is also a great scarcity of fats and grease. So of course they have very little soap-and what little they do have is very poor grade-practically worthless. We fellows have lots of fun trading soap as we can get almost anything with it-why some of the fellows have even got the famous German Iron Cross from some ex-German soldier's wife for a bar of laundry soap!
Rubber is also scarce, and it is a common sight to see automobiles with iron rims on them instead of tires. And even the bicycles have iron springs fastened together with an iron band in place of rubber tires. They make an awful noise, too, rattling and bumping along the streets! They don't need any horns or bells as you can hear them a mile away. Leather is also scarce and many people wear shoes made with cloth tops and wooden soles. I imagine they would be hard on the feet, and then, too, they make an awful noise, clattering along the sidewalk, but one consolation, I don't believe the soles ever wear out-and of course they are waterproof. Shall I send you a pair? Food is scarce in the larger cities, but in the small towns and villages they seem to have enough. We can get a good meal of meat and potatoes, black bread and sauerkraut for a few marks! I have taken several trips on the Rhine River, going to Bonn and Cologne the scenery is wonderful. I hope some day you can take it. Last month I was fortunate enough to get a two weeks furlough, part of which I spent in Paris-the most wonderful city in the world. I also spent several days in Rennes with a French family I met when I was there a year ago. I sure had a grand time and I dreaded to come back to Germany again as I love France and the French people.
General Pershing inspected our division last Sunday. It was quite an interesting occasion. He said many nice things about us, too. General Pershing is a fine appearing man-"every inch a soldier," and a commander-in-chief to be proud of.
We expect to turn in our horses and guns in a few days, so perhaps we will leave here soon.
ELDON J. CANRIGHT,
Medical Department, 149th Field Artillery,
A. E. F., A. P. O. No. 715.
A LETTER FROM RACINE IN 18431 RACINE, December 19th, 1843. MY DEAR UNCLE: Having a little leisure time a few evenings' since, I attempted to mark out on paper something to give you an idea of the location & general appearance of our village. The production you will find on the other part of this sheet. It is (or I need not say) that it is a very imperfect thing, but with a little explanation it may serve the purpose designed. You will observe that it lies directly on the shore of the Lake, Michigan Street being on the beach. It then rises quite abruptly forty feet above the Lake level & then assumes an almost perfect level. By a reference to the accompaning map you will observe that Root River comes in & passes through nearly the centre of the village. At present however the principal part of the village is on the south side of the River, yet it is now building up on the north side. The river is nearly on a level with the Lake & its banks on the south side are of the same height of the Lake shore, & very bold, while on the other side they are more sloping. All of the public buildings are on the south side of the River & all of the business is done on that side. The principle street is Main St & nearly all of the mercantile business is done on it. There are now twenty-six stores large & small on this street, ten on the east side & sixteen on the west. Be[d]sides [sic] a great number of Lawyer offices, Doctors offices Printing offices, & mechanics shops of nearly every branch of business. The Court House & Registers office, together with the best Hotel are situated on the west side of the public square fronting the Lake. There are three good Hotels in the place & another splendid, & spacious one soon to be erected just below our store on the opposite side of the street. There are fourteen lawyers, five physicians now practicing here. The Congregational is the only church completed. That is a very plain & cheap building designed only as a temporary one. The Methodist have a very good church in process of erection. The episcopalians worship in the Court House & the Baptists in the Seminary. All have organized churches & societies with settled pastors. Sabbath schools &
This document was recently acquired by this Society through the courtesy of the
Connecticut State Library, Hartford.—Editor.