Feature Letter of July 19th, 2018
Cousins, Frank C.
We are in a part of the line just now. Came in on Wednesday night. We are a little piece back at just the right spot to watch the work of old Fritzie's heavies. He has been literally pounding a little isolated town just behind us a hundred yards or so. You can hear the shells whistle overhead as they come, then a crash and there's a cloud of dust and bricks thirty feet high. The weather has been fine, the sun nice and warm in the daytime and the nights clear. I can tell you that to get a realization of war you want to stand out above the trench on a clear bright night. There is a silence for a few minutes. Then five or six heavies break forth with a roar and a flash, the machine guns start to hammer away with a sound like someone pounding some old typewriters, the smaller eighteen pounders 'poof poof' in front of you, the Very light shoot up in groups of one, two and three mixed alternately light up the surrounding front for a few seconds and then die, the aeroplanes purr as they pass overhead laden with their load of destruction-seeking bombs, limbers rattle along the paved road as they carry up to the men in the front line the daily quota of rations and mail, perhaps a letter from home or a box of sweets, an officer hurriedly galloping back adds his share to the disturbing sound and then all is quiet again. Then as you picture the beauty of the night and think what such a night would mean at home to the millions of men here, you get an indefinable conception of what that terrible word "War" really means, a conception that can be realized but never properly described.