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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Letter 29 ~ September 30, 1918

Minnie writes me to say she is encouraged by the war news from Europe but worried about the flu epidemic at Camp Funston.

Addressed to Mr. Ward C. Griffing, 25th Company, 164th Depot Brigade, Camp Funston, Kansas
[Sherman, Kansas]
Monday evening, September 30, 1918

Dear Ward:

Had a letter from you today -- was sure glad to get it. It’s been a week since I’ve heard from you. I should have gotten it Saturday. You had Route 8 written on it. I expect you were writing to your folks and then put the same route on mine as you did on theirs. You don’t want to do that anymore or I may not get your letters.

Did you try to get a pass for Sunday or are you quarantined? I didn’t know before you couldn’t write if you were quarantined over there.

School is going fine. It’s pretty cold up there this kind of weather. Part of a window light is out of one window and one window is out of place and wind just whistles in all around. We must have it fixed before real cold weather or we’ll burn a lot of coal for nothing.

I heard they had another big rain at Camp Funston and I thought of you over there in that leaky tent. I guess you are getting used to it now tho. It would be awful if you were to get that influenza and had to be in that kind of place.

I sure hope you do keep well but I’m afraid of that epidemic that’s broken out. Maybe you think I don’t want you to be quarantined if it’s going to interfere with your getting a pass. I’ve actually planned on you getting one some time soon until it would be an awful disappointment if you didn’t. And I’ll bet it seems ages to you since you have been home. It seems like a long time to me when I’m just gone over Sunday.

The papers sure sound good, boy. This has been the best week they have ever had [in Europe]. That is more to show for it. One of the boys up here that’s now in France belongs to the Coast Artillery and he said from the news he heard it sure sounds fine. Said he probably would be home Xmas. But I don’t believe the last at all.

Write whenever you can, boy, even if you don’t have any news. I don’t have either. And it makes the day so much pleasanter when I hear from you. Pen’s dry.

Your girl, -- Minnie G. Frey

  • On September 26th, the American forces under General Pershing began the great Meuse-Argonne offensive, with the specific object of breaking through the Hindenburg line and the Argonne forest defenses in order to cut the vitally important railroad communications of the German armies through Mézières and Sedan. On the first day the Americans drove through the barbed wire entanglements and mastered all the first line defenses. During the next couple of days, Americans on the Meuse-Argonne front penetrated heavily fortified German lines to a depth of from 3 to 7 miles, capturing 10,000 prisoners.
  • The Coast Artillery Corps was primarily stationed along the coast and at out posts of our foreign territories. Coast Artillery installations were mostly harbor defenses and were stationed at a fort or fortified gun emplacements. At the time of our entry into WWI, America was ill prepared for large scale warfare with large movements of whole armies. The U.S. Army was not prepared with its Artillery and had no heavy artillery guns to speak of. When the Coast Artillery finally went to France they used French or British made weapons. The Coast Artillery corps played a major role in gaining the upper hand in the quagmire that was going on in Europe. If it was not for the efforts of the Coast Artillery Corps many more human lives would have been devoured in the battlefields of that war.

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