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

Friday, November 7, 2008

Letter written October 26, 1918

Dear Nannoo-:

I received your letter a few days ago and enjoyed it very much in spite of your comments at the end that was a “stupid scribble”; as a matter of fact I think that your letters contain more actual information than any I receive. I also received at about the same time a notification from Morgan Harjes (Paris office of the Morgan Bank –Ed.) that they were authorized to issue me a new letter of credit for 5,000 francs. You made no mention of it but I am sure that it must have been you who sent it to me and I want to thank you more than I can possibly tell you. I do not as a fact need it at all for I am never away from the front and consequently have little or no opportunity of spending anything. If this war keeps up long enough I shall certainly end up a monied man for even during the past year when I lost my complete outfit twice I managed to save nearly 1,500 Frs plus that which I did not draw of the letter of credit you gave me a year ago which is something around 3,500 Frs.

I wrote Mother a few days ago that I had at last managed to be promoted and now am a long-ranking 1st lieutenant with fair prospects of becoming a captain before many moons. However, the future is always uncertain but for the present I am very well satisfied.

Your remark that you did not know what organizations I belong to certainly was a surprise for I thought I had told you dozens of times. Just now I am adjutant for the 1st ammunition train which is part of the 1st field artillery brigade and that in turn is the artillery of the 1st division. You see I am first, at last, in everything, something if I remember correctly you always wanted me to be, tho perhaps this wasn’t quite what you had in mind. It is quite a comfort now that we are getting an army over here to realize that we were the first Americans here and the first to take on the Bosche for any sort of a fight and are now looked upon by the others as more or less veterans, tho getting to be veterans certainly was not all that it might have been.

As for me I am still just the same and not finding my duties as adjutant overly onerous. My office is separated from the (ammunition) train by several miles as I have to live fairly near the guns but equipped with half a dozen orderlies and messengers and a telephone and a splendid Hdqs. (headquarters) mess. I manage to make fairly good times of it tho the hours are uncertain to say the least. More than that I have an automobile and chauffeur to run around with when necessary so things are not altogether disagreeable. Were it not for the Dutch and the certain amount of uncertainty that they add to things, life would be one long pleasant dream.
Things in the war line tho are certainly looking better and more remarkable still is the effect on those engaged. When the first news began to come that we were beginning to go ahead (that was a long time ago) everyone seemed to take on new life. The most impossible things were accomplished in the most terrible conditions.Even the horses seemed to know that it was victory, and where they would have ordinarily dropped they seemed to pick up new life and carry on. Since then we have been going ahead steadily and almost continuously. It has been wonderful. We have lived in Bosche shelters, used any amount of Bosche material and even eatern Bosche food. I would not have missed it for anything tho heaven knows I would like to come home with a soft billet as an instructor for a while. How Nelson Jr. (apparently a friend or relative from Auburn – Ed.) managed it is certainly a mystery to me for good as he may be as an instructor of troops I don’t quite understand how he in one visit to the lines could qualify as a seasoned warrior with the experience of war to draw on. However, as I have often said the ways of the army are stranger indeed than the ways of women and someday I may wake up and find myself military attaché to the Republic of Liberia. This is a very long letter and in it I have not managed to say a great deal tho I have covered a lot of paper, but they say that old age and strange modes of living make people garrulous and perhaps I am suffering from both for I feel that I have in the past two years lived at least 100 years.

This is all now, Nannoo, but I want to thank you again and again for letters of both varieties.

With love,

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