Letter, November 24, 1918
[Letter on color stationery
of the American Y.M.C.A.]
Nov 24 - 1918
My dear father -
As they tell me this is fathers day - I sure am going to make
use of it as such. I hope the time is not far when I can talk to
you instead of just write a few lines, but must wait patiently,
its hard for us to wait now it is all over, but cleaning up and
coming across the pond. We are busy getting our equipment into
shape for big inspections again. I suppose from now on there will
be inspections a plenty.
Weather is getting pretty cold now. Roads are frozen up most
all the time and the nites are moon light and snappy. These olds
woods are still now. They make you think of the hills and ravines
down at Valentines only more of them and mostly larger.
I have been hearing much of the Sp. Influ. over there. Have
you and mother been coming thru alright so far - I have often
wondered; and hoped for the best, for when a man goes thru this
war as I have and has the unexpected pleasure of being alive &
well at the finish it would be an awfully hard thing to bear to
have some kind of an epidemic to take off some of your relatives
back home that have been so safe from these projectiles of all
sizes & descriptions and gas of every known kind that could be
handled in a shell or other wise, of a destructive nature. A
person over here thinks nothing of the risks he runs - that is a
part of what is expected, but when folks at home are taken sick or
anything happens it seems so much worse.
We can only hope it will come out alright and may be before
too long I can have the almost undreamed of privilege of being a
presented member of the family again. It wont be the same boy of a
couple years ago, couldent possibly be after this last six months,
but even at that I hope it will not be too much for the worse. But
one thing I do want is for you & mother to look up my stuff and
have it ready for me when I do get there. I don't mean army
clothes either, but whatever civilian clothes you may have left
hanging around. Do my old heart good to see myself in a suit of
civies again. I can't imagine how they feel but I suppose I can
get used to them soon.
Our division has done some remarkable work here in the lines
and I guess have been praised by French, English & Australian men
of rank. They have done what seemed most the impossible and have
been on undoubtedly on of the hardest fronts for they have had to
give blood to gain every foot of ground. I am proud to say I am in
this 33rd div and they are all Ill. boys. you never hear much said
in papers of us in fact I've never seen them mentioned - while all
the draft div. & camps get all the credit. But - I've also seen
them - could name a few - work, and I still say I am proud to be
one in our div.
I know we have never received any credit for anything but
have our consulation of having done a mans job and did it as it
should be done, which is saying no little bit.
Well daddy it is not so often I write to you, personally, but
it is not like as if you never heard from me only when I did write
directly to you, but as this is to be the big fathers day, I can't
come up missing on my letter to father -
Haven't rec. any letter since Oct. 25. Hope to get one soon.
Write when you can - your loving son.
Paul B Hendrickson
Hdq. Co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.