Charles K. Marter

France, Sep 22nd , 1918

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Dear Folks,

Having plenty of time at my disposal just now., thought I’d let you know that I’m still “rearing to go.” Don’t know just when we will go again, but don’t think it will be very long from now. Things are changing for the better over here, nearly every day. The people are commencing to settle in homes from which they were forced to leave several years ago. While going through the streets of a town a few days ago, (The town was recently captured from the Germans.) we met a couple of ladies going to look at their old home. I could just pity them, when they reached the place, as every building was nearly leveled to the ground. Such a time as we had passing through that town. All the way through the street was barbed wire entanglements. We had to dodge from one side of the road to the other and when we reached the end of the town and looked back we wondered how we had ever gotten through the “Chinese puzzle” which we saw before us. Passing on the road a short distance we came across trees about five feet through, felled across the road, about ten feet apart. Farther on, where there were no trees the road had been undermined and “blown up’ as the enemy retreated. So you can see some of the work of the Germans. I think their happy times are about ended now. We’ll not give them time to do much more of that sort of work from now on. We are having some system of getting chow over here now. Most of it is canned even to carrots, turnips and potatoes all of which would be a scarce article otherwise. They are giving old Fritz a very unhappy time again. In fact, they haven’t let him rest at all for the past two months. So far I have been very lucky and haven’t even been wounded. There is no knowing at what moment I’ll be called to the lines again. But I am expecting to live through it. I will tell you what a barrage is. It is a rainstorm of bullets ranging from about twenty inches to half an inch. It is a thousand times worse than any thunder storm or cyclone you have ever seen. You can easily see how uneasy a fellow feels when one of them is passing. Sometimes the very deepest of the dugouts are not very safe to be in. They are a very common occurance in this war. This is certainly a great and murderous war and since I have been participating in it I have never seen the boys feel so happy as now. They seem to think the dove of peace is flying around in the air, ready to drop almost any time. I sincerely hope so as that will make our return home more possible and sooner. I am beginning to have some hopes in that direction and would hate to have them shattered. There is a nice lake within a few miles of our camp, where we go once in a while for a bath. I say bath because the water is too cold for good swimming. The water is fresh and cold here all through the summer. I have never seen it warm enough to swim in since I have been here. I will have to quit now, as paper is getting scare so we don’t get a chance to write very much at one time, with love Chas.

Sargent Chas K Marter

Hq Co 18 Inf

AEF France