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

Monday, June 9, 2008

Letter dated November 3, 1917

Dear Mother -: Well, 2nd Lieut. P.W. Hills, Battery F, 5th F.A. is on the job at last and as a matter of fact enjoying himself immensely. I am leader of a platoon of about forty men and the same number of horses and my efforts to maintain my dignity as an officer and also to appear to know something of my job would make you laugh.

I came out here from Paris on the twenty-ninth which gave me just enough time there to be able to get everything I needed and get off in good style.

Aside from the distinct effort of maintaining my dignity my work here couldn’t be easier or more pleasant. In the morning we ride or have target work with the guns which are what the French call 155 shorts and the Americans 155 howitzers (about 6-inch). In the afternoon we have lectures on gunnery and officer school which to my confusion consists mostly of mathematics. They however are not too complicated. In the rest of the time I study, censor mail or ride for pleasure. I am taken care of by an orderly who does everything for me but put me to bed, I eat good food, live in good quarters and for doing it all am paid about six dollars a day. The other regimental officers are a fine crowd and also the commanding officer. As you can see I am quite enthusiastic especially considering the fact that before it all happened I thought myself a wanderer on the face of the earth and without any particular calling.

It certainly will be a funny outfit if we ever get to the front. Only two of the officers beside myself have ever been under fire and none of the men. I imagine tho, they will get away with it as they seem a very adaptable crowd.

As for my address I think you had better continue to write me c/o Morgan Harjes since I may at any time change organizations and I can tell them bout it quicker than any one else.

I don’t know how the mail system is here yet but I understand that it is worse than anything ever heard of. The men kick and say their letters never do get home and their letters from there are months in arriving but as usual c’est la guerre and from the looks of the situation just at present it will always be c’est la guerre. Stanley (Metcalf from Auburn –Ed) up to the present which is a day after I began hasn’t turned up but there is still time. Must stop now rather hurriedly. Will write soon again. With love, Paul

No comments: