About Me

Born August 4, 1894 in Auburn, New York to William and Alice Beardsley Woodruff Hills. Younger brother Carroll Beardsley Hills and younger sister Mary Day Hills. Educated at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire and Princeton University, class of 1917

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Letter dated September 16, 1917

Yesterday I got five letters from home all in a bunch after a previous gap of two weeks totally without mail. Things are certainly seen strangely in the line of mails. The picture of the Danes (Great Dane dogs) was among them and they certainly are wonderful. It is the greatest thing I have ever seen the way they have grown.

Well, as I told you in my letter from Paris might happen, the American Red Cross as such is done and after the next action which promises to be a good one we will all be wanderers on the face of the earth. I have cabled you what I am doing and hope you won’t feel badly about it, for having looked at it in every way, it seems the only thing left. There is only the alternative of signing up for the war as a private in the ambulance service which somehow doesn’t seem to me to be all that it might.

I was fortunate enough to meet an American major whom I knew very well in Paris and learned from him exactly how things stood. There are to be no commissions given out to civilians in America after the camp which is going on now is over, and the only way to get anything there is to enlist as a private and take your chances on making good. Here, however, there are still some chances and the result is that I am taking my examination for a lieutenant’s (commission) the next week. I am trying for the artillery since to me that work is the most interesting besides having the additional advantages of having a lower percentage of casualties even than the ambulance. There are besides other things to be considering. If I make the grade I become the proud possessor of an income of $2,000 a year which will take off your hands a financial responsibility which has already in my mind hung on too long. Last of all there is the real crux of the question which is that I have got to do something for the country and this seems in every way the best thing.

There are two boys from the club at college who I met and who have decided to do the same thing. Also, Hunt has taken his examination but has not yet heard from them, and Stanley is going to take his with me. The only drawback I can find is about getting home. I may be able to come a short time after I sign up and it may be a very long time. That I don’t like for I want more than anything else to come home and see you all and stay a while and I think you want to see me but “C’est la guerre” and some day it will be over and we will all be together again just as before.

I don’t think just now you had better send me any more packages since I have never gotten any of any kind and it is just a dead waste of energy and money. I don’t know where they are going but someone somewhere is profiting largely at my expense. This is all now. I will write more right away.

With love, Paul

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