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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Letter dated November 8, 1917

Dear Carroll (Paul’s younger brother -Ed)-:
This is a fine time to begin writing to you when I have been away nearly six months and you have never had a line from me but you know how writing is and besides in my letters to Mother I have said practically everything there was and those letters were for the whole family.

Let me begin tho by congratulating you on your birthday today and wishing you many happy returns of the day and all the luck in the world great too that you are going back to Treats (Carroll’s school – Ed.) for from everything I can gather it seems to be a much better place than the Rosenbaum school which the family seems to have had in mind. Enjoy life too along with doing all the work you can and don’t be in a hurry to get into the army. If the war keeps on another three years, it will be plenty time enough and for the present one of us here is a great plenty.

My ambulance career drew to a close about the 20th of October. I went to Paris and came out to the American army a week later as a 2nd lieutenant in the 5th field artillery. I was very sorry to leave the ambulance for I imagine there I saw as much or more war than I ever will again and there were a great bunch of boys in the service which itself was great fun not too hard work and quite comfortable. Nevertheless I suppose we must all take our flyer at doing something and I don’t know but what I am better off where I am now if for no other reason than that I am paid and feel that for the first time in my life I am earning some money – can you imagine it, me earning something. It seems like a huge joke especially considering that about all I do is to boss a crew of men around, ride a horse and do problems in mathematics. That last I will admit is worth any amount of money but the others aren’t too difficult.

The guns we have are 155 mm. howitzers, about six inches in American measure, and go around the country drawn by eight horses. When you try to aim one of the things you have to take into consideration everything but the rotation of the earth for the shell takes about one minute to get there.

I have got a wonderful lot of war relics which I have managed to collect for you if I can ever discover any way to send them home which just now doesn’t look too promising. Did you by the way get the briquets I sent you and Papa. One lot I sent by Penn Sefton and the other by Billy Seward. If they never arrived, when you see either of them ask them for them. I also sent some glass from Soissons, a shell fuse, a trench ring and a Bosch button, in the box that was to come by Penn.

There were some rather good pictures I sent with Billy (Seward – Ed.). And I hope they arrive as I think you would find them very interesting. I did not take them myself not being much of a hand with the camera but the boy who rode with me on the car (ambulance – Ed.) took them and they are all of places I have been and stayed and I was there when most of them were taken. Will stop now. Best luck, love Paul

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