Last two letters from him published in the Advocate Leader's Dec. 26,
It has been some time since I have been able to write to you, but
suppose you have seen by the papers that our division took part in the
last American drive. We were very successful and up to this writing I am
Sherman was right - "War is Hell". You cannot realize what it is like
until you see it for yourself.
Our company went over the top in the first wave and we now in
support. We have been under shell fire now about 50 days and I'll say
it's hard on the nerves. Do not know when we will be relieved. It may be
that we'll be in another offensive before we get out. Now, don't worry
about me and when we get relieved I'll write a good long letter and tell
I have not had my clothes off for over three weeks and have been
pretty well played out until now and we are rested up pretty good.
Well dear folks, I must close for this time and just as soon as I get
back from here I will write you a long letter. Don't worry about me
anymore than necessary and I am fine and dandy.
Goodbye and God bless you.
As ever, your son and brother, Elmer
14 days later: Oct. 12, 1918
You will see that it has been some time since I started this, but we
have been in a position where we couldn't mail them. As I said before,
we went over the top and have been under shell fire now for 62 days. We
were relieved for two days and moved to another sector and expect to go
over the top in a few days. I'm awfully busy and tired so cannot write
Things are looking fairly good for peace right now and we have been
living in hopes that they will come to some understanding before we have
to go over the top. If they don't, we must go and do our part and pray
that we come out as lucky as before.
I must close for now as I have work to do before supper so goodbye
and let us hope I will be able to write you again soon.
With lots of love and best wishes, I remain Your son and brother,