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"Hezzie" Goes to War: World War I through the Eyes of a Mid-Missourian

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Daily Life

Paris Encounters


French Friends

On Leave

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field glasses
field glasses

"Rushing the Can"

"Clean Up"

mess kit
mess kit

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Letter No. 20

Chief Surgeon's Office, Hdqtrs.
American Expeditionary Forces,
France. Via New York
France, September 15, 1917

. . .
Yes I brought my trunk with me and would be pretty much loss without it just now as I practically live in it now. I have such a supply of clothing on hands that is necessary to have something to put them in. . . . I have also added a field glass to my possessions and find it of much use now, out here in the country.
. . .

Our daily program runs something like this - At 6:30 you get up and knock down your little cot and set it up in the corner, wash your dirty little face in a horse trough of ice water located over on the opposite side of the barracks, fight for a place in the mess line, sit on the fence and eat your breakfast, wash your tin pans, and then go to work. It is then about 8:00. Then you monkey again with the tins at noon and work thru until 6:30 and then chase the cans again. Then at 7:00 we get about forty-five minutes of military drill and then I hurry up and set up the cot so that it will be up when I get back from my French lesson. Then I go about a mile down in town and take my French lesson and then get back before everything is locked up at ten o'clock and undress and go to bed in the dark as all lights go out at 9:30. This sort of thing continues for seven days in succession and then starts all over again.

Letter No. 39

"You sure get sick and tired of waiting in line to get things."

(no date)
Chief Surgeon's Office, G.H.Q,
A.E.F., France.

. . .
This morning after breakfast I went down for a bath and waited an hour an half in line for a bath; I had to wait or else wait until Tuesday night for a bath. You sure get sick and tired of waiting in line to get things; you wait in line for meals, for water to washing in, for any clothing or anything else you want to buy at the commissary.

Letter 104

(At this time, Hezzie is his unit's mess officer.)
(no date; November - December 1918)

I am working on photos and also trying to get a new mess started, which is a job. I think I told you we had to get out of the other place as the lady was leaving. I fed them cheaper than they had every gotten board here, so naturally the officers are anxious that I get another one started. . . .

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A Joint Exhibit
of the
University of Missouri
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Columbia
and the University of Missouri-Columbia
Museum of Anthropology

Acknowledgments and World War I Links