May 18, 1915

Share To the Vicomte du Peloux Military Hospital 101, Rennes, May 18, 1915. My dear Friend: I hope you will pardon my not having written you sooner but I knew Paul was telling you I am doing well and I have been a little tired, so have just rested without doing any writing. I will not write much of the battle as Paul told you what I knew about it and the papers told you more. However, I want to say that I was certainly proud of my regiment that day. When I was in the second regiment I had but little confidence in the men and never wanted to see them called upon to make an attack. When I went into the first regiment I immediately saw that it was composed of different kind of men. They were more serious about the war, and the volun­teers were men who engaged out of love and admiration for France, and because they knew they were right. They were men who had the courage of their convictions and were will­ing to die, if necessary, to prove it. So the day we were called upon to attack, every man went into it willingly with the determination to do his best, and humming the Marseil­laise. As to the officers—no officers ever led their men better than ours led us. Practically every one of them fell, but they fell at the head of their men, urging them on­ward. I don’t want you to think that I am cold-blooded, without feeling, but the horror of it all is overshadowed by the feeling of, pride and...

May 11, 1915

SharePost Card to the Vicomte du Peloux May 11, 1915. Dear Friend: Am en route to some hospital, having received a nice clean bullet through the thigh day before yesterday. We made one glorious advance, breaking the German lines, driving them out of the trenches and advancing over open country fighting every step of the way. It lasted for five hours, and by then we had advanced three or four kilo­meters. I do not know where I am going, but we are now in Abbeville, so that is on the route to Paris. If we go through there I will try to get off and go to the American Ambulance. Kiffin Rockwell....

May 5, 1915

Share1er Étranger, Bon B. 2ème Cie., May 5, 1915. Dear Paul: Would have written you sooner but have not done any writing to speak of lately. I suppose the Vicomte du Peloux told you that we had changed sectors. Since the 24th of last month I have not done much of anything but travel around and at the same time have as good a time as possible. The last four days we have all been eating and drinking to a fare-you-well. We have been able to get all the wine we wanted, and things to make special meals. Each day we have had a big party. The only time we have done any work was night before last when we went to the trenches ten kilometers from here and worked out between the lines. The bullets were pretty thick, and one of my friends, an Italian who had been in on all the parties, was killed near me. The same night Battalion D had four killed and fifteen wounded. The night before, Battalion C lost fifteen. All this was without any real fighting. I hate to think of what is going to happen soon, for we are all going into hard action. A big battle is going to commence soon, and we have already received instructions as to what our position will be in it and what we have got to do. It is no rumor this time. I have seen the troops, artillery, etc., enough to con­vince me. So in the meantime we are making the best of things and getting the most out of life possible. To-night,...

May 2, 1915 – Dear Mamma

ShareMay 2, 1915. Dear Mamma: I left the trenches at midnight of the 24th ult. Since then we have been doing quite a bit of traveling. When we left we thought we were going to Lyon for repose and then go to the Dardanelles, but when we passed through Paris at mid­night of the 26th, and turned north, we knew that was all off. We have been in the rear of the lines at different places now for several days and expecting to go into hard action at any time; we are now back within a half mile of a railroad sta­tion, and for all we know we may embark for some other sector. The weather has been very hot, but what marching we have done has been short stretches at a time and I have really enjoyed it all. It has been such a change from the last six months and has been interesting to see the country and also the large movements of troops, artillery, many aëroplanes, Zeppelins, captive balloons, etc. There is quite a change in the civilians also. They are not so hysterical and excitable, and instead of crying, they give one a cheerful smile. Paul wrote me that the Atlanta papers had been giving me quite a lot of publicity and that the Journal had published my letter to Agnes. Others also have written me, and all of you write and act as if you thought I came over here for notoriety and to try to be a hero. It has hurt me and made me mad also to think how few people there...

May 2, 1915

ShareTo the Vicomte du Peloux 1er Étranger, May 2, 1915. Dear Sir: I received your two letters yesterday with the mandat for 151.50 francs and am returning the money order, signed by Kelly. Haven’t been to the trenches yet since coming up here. In fact I am very puzzled as to what we are up to, as we keep moving around. We are now within one kilo­meter of a railroad station and it would not surprise me if we take train again for some other sector, though we may go straight into the trenches from here. We get the papers, and of course they explain a good deal to us. Anyway, what­ever we are planning to do, it is a great change from the last six months and to me is proving a mental and a physical rest. We have had a number of rumors regarding Italy and other countries but I am of the same opinion as you and will not believe Italy in the struggle until I see it. I think Italy has shown herself a coward and very selfish, but in spite of that the Italians in the Legion have proved themselves very good soldiers and I like the ones we have in this company very much. It is fine weather here and we are all taking life about as easy as possible in the army. Tell Paul about this letter. Regards to your wife. Sincerely yours, Kiffin Y. Rockwell....