David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015 ~ World War I ~ Letters from My Grandfather ~ Part Two


From Camp Sheridan to France ~ The Journey 

 My grandfather did not remain with Battery D until they left for France on 14 June, 1918.  He was called to leave as part of a replacement force on 10 May, 1918 it wasn't until 22 May that his parents received the following postcard informing them of his safe arrival overseas.  

The postcard received by my great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Norris

It wasn't long after this that they received the following letter. This letter was also published in one of the Dayton newspapers:

Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean.

Dear Parents-Just a few lines to let you know I am well, but not feeling exactly right. For today makes little over five days we have been on the water.  All we see from morning till night is water, water everywhere.  The sea has not made me sick, but I feel mighty weak in the knees.  I miss about every other meal, and lie in my bunk most of the time.  When it's rough a fellow sure has to watch his corners or he'll fall overboard.  
Yesterday I went to church services in the mess hall of the ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. I expect to be "over there" in another five days: at least I hope so, for land would look good to me wherever it would be.
I suppose you will worry about me, as it will be impossible for you to hear from me very often. But you needn't worry. God will take care of me over here Just the same as in the U.S.A. It is some experience and I hope to see everything that goes with it.  Hoping every one is well at home. I must close now, as it is supper time, but will write soon again. 
Hello again: Today is Tuesday, and still on our way.  We are having pretty rough seas today, and it's just like a cradle.  I have been napping a great deal of the time, but suppose we will be kept awake from now on as we are entering the submarine zone sometime tonight. We have been having fire drills three and four times a day, and now we can get out in good time, if anything should happen. 
We are being entertained by movies in the dining hall, and there are some Y.M.C.A. men on board, so we have plenty of writing paper. 
I guess I forgot to tell you we have to wear life belts all the time and also sleep in them.  It surely is one wonderful trip.  One beautiful sight was the high bluffs on the Hudson river.  
I supposed I'll have quite a job on my hands learning French.  So Dwight was home again: well, tell him I will meet him in Berlin in the near future.  It don't seem any farther away from home than when I was in Alabama or New Jersey, and I am on the same earth, under the same sky and under the same God, so there's no need to worry. 
One year ago, the 18th of May, I enlisted, and by that date I will be in France, going some. 
Back again. Another day gone by and all is well.  We are now in the submarine zone, but have not sighted any yet. 
I must close for good now as we are arriving safely over sea, and am feeling fine. Give my regards to every one. With love.
Your son,
LELAND

Another postcard, showing the ship filled with the replacement battery of soldiers



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