To the Baraboo News
I am sending you a copy of Andrew Dempseys last letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Dempsey, written July 15th 1918 in France.
Since this letter came we have the sad news that he died Aug 10th 1918 from wounds received in action in France.
His letter is a good one, and I send it to you for publication for every one knew Andrew. He had many friends, and one of “Our Boys” who has given his life for Freedom, Home and Righteousness. This comes very close to our hearts. His name in the casualty list is James A. Dempsey.
Please correct all mistakes and fix it all up right in honor of our noble and brave boy Andrew.
(These lines on this page are simply explanation) Mrs. A.G. Pettit (sic)
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July 15th 1918 (From somewhere in France)
Dear folks at home
How are you getting along by this time. I suppose you are working pretty hard with the crops. Crops look fine here, only it is pretty dry, and farming is on a small scale. The wheat is just starting to ripen.
I am in France now; have been here about three weeks. Everything is fine around here. The people use us very good. (sic) Can’t understand much they say yet, but can get the meaning of what they say by their motions.
Had some fun the other night, went up town and found a girl that could talk a little English, so she invited me in and started to talk. She teaching me French and I teaching her English. She took my hat and put it away and time went pretty fast and before I noticed it was only five minutes until taps and I had quite a time telling her that I wanted my hat and had to double time for a half mile and just got in before the report was sent in, so we are not having such a bad time at that. Get all the chow I can eat and a fair place to sleep.
I got your letter the other day. Also one from Lee, one from Dilla, one from Raleigh, one from Lodges, and one from Aunt Nellie. Tell all of them that I am glad to hear from them, but can not answer them right away. James wanted to know something about the war. You people get more news about the war than I do, and, besides I am not at liberty to tell what little I do know. It would not get through the censors if I did.
We had quite a time here the fourth of July. The French took a great interest in the sports. I went to church that day, they say the church, the building, is twelve centuries old; so you can imagine it is quite interesting. I can’t think of much to write that would interest you. I was digging toy trenches to day. Going on a hike to morrow all day.
It is pretty warm here now, but was quite cold when we got here. The cities surely look old around here. The buildings are all made of stone even the roofs. Houses and barns altogether and a large pile of manure in the front yard. Dilla said he was doomed for an operation. How did he come out of it? I suppose he is home now or, by the time you get this letter, for it takes about three weeks for mail to cross. Sly is over here, or his company is. He is about thirteen miles from here, but I havn’t seen him since we left Funston.
Well, ma, you don’t need to worry about me for I am as safe as I was in the states. Everything is interesting to me. I am in a bombing squad heaving grenades. It is lots of fun just like shooting big fire crackers.
I think I will have to quit for this time, will write again soon if I don’t get too lazy, or, something happens and you want to look me up, write to Washington War Department and ask where this number is 2088203. This is my identification number, and they can tell you exactly where I am at all times.
As ever, Andy