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

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Letter written July 9, 1918

Dear Mother-:

I have at last left the front and I can’t say that I am sorry. It was a long, long seige and that on a sector which was to say the least not noted for its tranquility. Everything, however, went well with me and my affairs especially since I took up with the ammunition work with which I still am. The battery I was with before was over-officered and gave little chance for getting ahead, compared to which this outfit, while still the field artillery, is quite the opposite, and with another action or “show” like the last one I feel tolerably certain that I may get ahead a step. I was sorry as the deuce to leave the old outfit but I see them now whenever I want to, besides having the advantages which I wrote you before. Riding in an automobile and being, or rather trying to be, diplomatic with the French isn’t half bad sport especially considering the fact that I get to the very front line at least once a day and live in comfortable quarters and eat like a prince. The place we are in now is, thank heaven, out of the sound of the guns and last night I had the usual experience of not being able to sleep because of the lack of noise. I woke up about midnight and was really scared because of the lack of sound, no continual grind of wheels, no noise whatsoever of the artillery. Really it was weird. By the way, I forgot to tell you that the wonderful outfit I had in the spring is gone, gone without a trace. I imagine the Bosche have it and it makes me boil to think of some fat Heinie sporting around in my new clothes and boots. However, revenge is sweet and I live in hopes of doing some looting some day on my own hook.

I am sending Day in a little package a real Alpin beret and if I can find it a regulation cor de chasse to put on it. The cor is worn over the left eye and the beret pulled down over the right ear.

The families of chasseurs affect the beret and claim they have the sole right to the cor so Day can put herself in that number.

You would smile I think to see how we are living here, quartered in a perfectly wonderful chateau quite modernized – that is, bathrooms have been added. We have the mess in the big hall and the twenty of us sitting there at the long table surrounded by the ancestral paintings and silver make the darndest pictures of luxury you can imagine. It seems however a little too good to last. Things like that are anything but common in this war and I fear for our future. However we eat, drink and be merry while we can.

This about all now so good by with love Paul

No comments: