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, January 12, 2009

Letter written December 28, 1918

Dear Mother -:

As Kipling says there is “another mocking Xmas past”, and although it wasn’t nearly as bad as last year’s it was far from pleasant or anything that I would like to go thru with again. This year at least I had the advantage of being with friends which is something, while last year I had just arrived in a new outfit and knew practically nobody. However, try as one may somehow you can’t seem to put any cheer into Christmas away from home. It is easy enough to celebrate the armistice as a victory or something of that variety but Christmas falls flat. Moreover the environment this year wasn’t particularly of an inspiring nature. The Germans, tho I have a hunch it is their big day, weren’t at all enthusiastic in their demonstrations and rather naturally we didn’t do things for the children as we did in France. We staged a horse show in the morning and a large egg nog party. Some seven gallons being consumed without great effort or effect. In the afternoon we had a motor exhibition and an extraordinarily large amount of punch which held its chief merit apparently in its ability to depress. Our dinner at evening was rather splendid from the point of view of decorations and food, and there were thirty officers present. The room was draped with evergreen and on the table were three little very much ornamented trees such as we used to have on the table at home. Somehow tho everyone got more or less engrossed in his own thoughts and the excitement did not run high. Such was the day and I am tremendously glad it is over. As I said tho, it was an improvement and perhaps after a few more years I may begin to enjoy it again.

I hope you had the party at home just the same and everything went off in O.K. style, for certainly that is an occasion and one that I enjoyed always almost more than any other. I managed to go back to Coblenz a few days ago and got some presents for you all but the means at hand for sending them are still lacking as I don’t want to risk them by the ordinary mail and I am not yet able to register them. This peace time warfare somehow isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. True enough there are no more flaming, roaring dawns or hideous nights but after all that you can’t imagine how time drags – every day is just about like every other day and you feel pretty sure that the days coming are going to be just about like the ones just past. War is a horrible thing and I never want to see any more of it but nevertheless there is a terrible fascination in it. You may lie down to sleep and sleep peacefully until late the next morning or you may never wake up, or again you may be waked up in ten minutes and start on something absolutely different from anything you have ever done before. I suppose that as a matter of fact it is the lack of thrills and excitement now that palls but certainly there is something. On the other hand I am living more comfortably than I almost ever have anywhere else. The Major, a Capt. Delong and I have three rooms, two small bedrooms and a huge living room which is all hung with at least 20 heads of very good deer, boar, etc., and finished in dark wood and light blue of which very little shows. The house is owned by two splendid old ladies who treat us as tho we were their children.

I am enclosing another little picture of myself which I had taken back in Picardy last July at a little place called Beauvoir where we all had a wonderful time and were very happy even tho the fighting just there wasn’t exactly what one would term quiet.

This is about all there is to tell you just at this minute but I will write you again very soon and in the meantime will continue my serial story.

With love

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