May 5, 1915

Share 1er 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....

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....

April 28, 1915

ShareTo the Vicomte du Peloux 1er Étranger, April 28, 1915. Dear Sir: We started to Lyon for repose, at least all the officers and everyone thought so. But orders were evidently changed while we were en route, for we are now in the rear of the lines getting a little rest after a very strenuous trip—very heavy firing in front of us. We went through Paris about midnight of the a6th but the train did not stop ten minutes, as we were then making fast time and turned north from there. I was disappointed but after eight months one gets indifferent. Note address on other side of card. Sincerely yours, Kiffin Y. Rockwell....

April 22, 1915

ShareApr. 22. I will leave my letter the same, but we did not leave last night. We got everything ready and expected to go and did leave the trenches we were in but stopped in others more in the rear. They say this stop is only temporary and that we will leave any time now within the next two or three days. Of course something may happen to prevent, but I really think we are going this time. The captain had a telephone message last night, saying Italy had declared war on Austria. Most of our Company are Italians so it created great excitement. Haven’t heard the message confirmed, but hope it is true. K. Y. R....

April 21, 1915

ShareTo tine Vicomte du Peloux   1er Étranger, Apr. 21, 1915. Dear Sir: I have only time for a short letter as that long-looked-for period of repose has arrived. We leave the trenches to-night for the rear and for a rest. I do not know where we will go. The depot is at Lyon and we may go there or we may be sent to Camp Mailly. I am enclosing an international money order for ten dollars that one of the boys here has and does not know how to get the money. His name is Russell Kelly, who went to Virginia Military Inst. the year after I was there. The sender is James E. Kelly, his father, a lawyer, whose address is 45 Broadway, New York City. This is the first money Kelly has had since being here, so I would like for you to send it to me at once and charge to my account until order has been cashed. Also, send me one hundred francs, as I may need it in repose. If we are in the rear long I will try to get to Paris, though I have no idea what the chances are. I received your letter yesterday and enjoyed hearing. I really had plenty of clothes all winter, and the reason I wrote Paul about the underwear was for summer. I consider that I have put you to enough trouble without having you do things that Paul can do for me. I received the package of eatables the second day, back in the trenches, and have enjoyed all the contents. I was glad...