William K. Baker
Sept 15th 1918
My Dear Sister & Brother:
Your letter of Aug. 17 just received as usual was glad to hear from you folks, gee, but it is hot here today and the sun, has sure pounded down. Right now is the worst part of the year in this country as it is the rainy season here which lasts from 4 to 5 months. One day you nearly freeze and the next you roast to death. But from all the looks of things I don’t think it is going to be so terrible long until we are ready to start for home. Possibly by spring I mean.
Have you ever heard how badly Roy Wetstein and Rex Cummings got wounded?
I saw twenty one hundred prisoners coming down from the front the other day in one bunch and a Frenchman was saying last night that where he is located they were going by for ten hours strait, the other day. They sure were a sorry looking and half starved looking gang. They didn’t even have clothes enough to cover their old frames, nor shoes on their feet. But the worst they look, the better we like to see them.
A fellow gave us the prettiest little fox terrier pup you ever saw. I got a pair of wooden shoes, with which to break my neck, I guess.
They have never saw Americans before, I guess. By the way they treat us, as the best they have is none to good for this gang here.
But don’t ever think the girls in this land are breaking their necks over any of the Americans. Nor are any of our men putting in any over time trying to make them selves over agreeable to them either. And then how in the world do you expect us to talk to them, when we can’t even burn a match here and talk so they can understand us.
I am away from my outfit at present on detailed duty, working as pilot and conductor on work trains. It sure is a good soft job after being run around the past year. And if they will only let me stay here until the “finish de la Guerre” (sic) they won’t hurt my feelings one bit. I am already for my permission and waiting for a man to relieve me. But due to the shortage of men at present suppose it may be sometime before I take my little vacation to the Southern border of France.
Just read an article in an old paper saying the war had only began and that it was needless to even think of peace for at least another year.
But realy it don’t seem possible that they can ever hang on that long the way they are getting run now, these past weeks. But then one never can tell just what might possibly happen either.
Had a letter from A. Rooney saying he met Boyd Ladd and Edd Rummelfanger come out of the front as his out fit was going up.
All I can say is this no place for a peace loving person to be right now. Ha Ha.
Give my best regard to all the folks. And worlds of love to you both.
I remain your Loving Brother.
William K. Baker
Co. E. 13th Engrs. Ry.
American E.F. France
Co. E 13th. Engr’s. Rg
France Sept. 22, 18.
My Dear Sister and Brother:
Just a few lines to let you folks know I am still around and as usual doing my little bit daily and enjoying my self as much as possible. Was up and called on Dewey Schuster and Geo Weirich the other night and had a very nice time, although Weirich had to go away on duty so didn’t get a great deal of time with him and Dewey left at nine oclock. Frank Wood and I walked thirteen kilometers that night but were pretty well satisfied by seeing some one from around the old corners we all knew so well. It sure did seem good to find some one away over here to talk to that knew nearly every body you did back there. They have sure been through the mill from what they say, although no one kicks any. But like every one else they are looking forward to the time when they will be going home again. I had a letter from Dane yesterday, they are all well as usual. I am still away from the outfit on detached service but from what I heard the other day they are likely to tear our play house down most any day now. Sure hope they don’t as I am sure well satisfied right where I am. I got a present yesterday from a French soldier of a pair of wooden shoes to slop around in when not on duty. He said the ones I had been wearing were no good. So I am quite dressed up again today in my own mind. Haven’t heard from Eain (sic) for some time outside of getting a box of stuff from him some time ago. Well it is nearly supper time and they just announced a train with me just out (sic) so think I will have to close and get my things lined up a little before it gets too late. So hoping this finds you all in the very best of health and spirits as it leaves me at present. With regards to all and love to you both I remain as ever.