May 2, 1915 – Dear Mamma

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May 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 are who give me credit for any strength of character. Maybe the restless life I have led justifies all in their opinions. However, I am sorry that such is the case and it means to me that I will never try to live in the South.

I just had my beard cut off to-day and shaved for the first time since being in the army. I had a fine beard but it made me look very old, at least fifteen years older than without it, they all say.

Well, the soupe is here, so will eat.