Jan 23 / 18
A few lines at the close of a busy - busy day & feeling very weary. Am back up the line once more & am not very far from the spot where I was wounded last July & somewhere near poor Pryors resting place, some day (of I ever get the opportunity) I intend to look up his grave. The place where I am at present located, is right in the midst of the wreck& ruin left by this awful war, before the war this place was a prosperous little town but now, hardly a stone left standing, & here & there among the mounds of debris, there stands with outstretched arms little cross telling their eloquent - pitiful heroic story, the story of the greatest sacrifice a man can make, offered cheerfully & willingly by the heroic souls who's bodies lie beneath dying that other might live & in living be free - just behind our Y.M.C.A. Hut in the midst of what once was a beautiful little orchard there are about a dozen graves of French soldiers, & one of a British soldier, & everywhere you turn it is the same, crosses everywhere, just a little piece down the road, there is what once had been a cemetery but now, the tomb stones & monuments lie overturned & shattered, - here & there the very graves have been torn open by the relentless shells of a ruthless foe who has demonstrated by such deeds as these & many others far - far worse - that he has no reverance, nor even common respect for the most sacred & holiest things in life: shattered crosses ruined churches, broken shrines, desolated homes, proclaim their eloquent story, & for years to come, will exist as memorials & monuments to Hunnish or (Hellish ?) Kultur. Things are what we call quiet on this part of the line just now, a year ago it was as though Hell multiplied a thousand times had been let loose, & it may be that at any time, Fritz will begin to make things lively again.
So [?] had also made the supreme sacrifice: poor Mrs. [?] will feel it sorely, as we think of such as these dear Betty we cannot help but thank God for his goodness to us, & try with yet more patience & a greater fortitude to carry the burdens that still weigh heavy upon us. Praying the meanwhile that for the sake of the strife torn world & a sorrowing Home country the day of a righteous & an enduring peace may speedily be ushered in. Tell Shirley & Billy that Daddy will be writing them a letter soon now, & am so pleased to hear that my little girl is doing so splendidly at school, she will be able to read to me & help me with my writing when I come back home. My how I long & hunger for a glimpse of your dear faces - but please God the day be not far distant, & together we shall settle down to the great work of reconstruction - the experience that is coming to us in these days, seems to cost high & so often there is the tendancy & inclination to grumble & lose patience - but I do believe that all will yet be well, & in days to come, we shall not think the cost too dear. I will try & write again in a day or two dear. I am finding it hard to write letters these days. I had such a lonely letter from Lady Low a few days ago & I think she is going to write you again, Remember me kindly to all the friends. God bless you richly my dear ones, & keep you in His own love & care. My thoughts were especially with you on the 21st January, & I trust that ere another 21st rolls round I shall be with you, to share it together.
My fondest love with heaps of kisses - "Good Night" dear ones.
Your loving Daddy