March 21, 1915

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Via Bureau Central Militaire, Paris,

1er Régiment Étranger,

March 21, 1915.

Dear Mamma:

I guess you will be surprised to see my new address. I wrote to Paul the early part of the year telling him I was dissatisfied with local conditions in the other regiment and asking him to see if it were possible for me to get into another regiment or into a regular French regiment. We found that owing to the laws of the country it was impossible for me to get into a regular French regiment and I was making up my mind to be contented where I was.

About a week ago I came in from working on trenches and was told I had been transferred to the 1er Régiment and was to leave in two hours. I packed my sack in a hurry and rode that night with the first wagon to a town in the rear. The following morning I went to the headquarters of the Army Corps where the General and several other officers talked with me and treated me very courteously. I stayed there until six that evening, when I got into a limousine with a captain who spoke a little English and who took much interest in the fact that I came over to France for the war. I rode with him to the headquarters of another Army Corps where I spent the night. The following morning I climbed into a limousine with another captain who spoke perfect English and had been in the States. On our journey we came right through Rheims which was in a terrible condition from the continuous bombardment. This captain described to me all the surrounding country and gave me a number of interesting points on the war. The previous afternoon he had run the gauntlet, as you might say, having thirty shells burst around him before he could cover one hundred yards in his machine. A little beyond Rheims he stopped and I took a third automobile to my destination where I joined this outfit and came to the trenches with them that night. The change has done me worlds of good. My trip here was the most pleasant thing I have experienced since leaving the States. When I got here it was a change of territory and a better regiment than the one I was in and better local conditions. I found five other Americans here in the Régiment who are a better lot than the Americans in my old company. One of them was at V. M. I. the year after I was. I am well pleased with everything.

To-day is the first day of spring and the weather testifies to it. I am sitting in the sun on the side of the trench writing this.

Much love,

Kiffin.