July 8, 1918 to Mother. [verbatim]
Dear Mother –
No mail from home this week but have certainly had lots of luck in seeing fellows I know. As I wrote you last week, Bert France and “Tommy” Thompson from Union were both here several days on their way back to the states as instructors. Last Monday night we had had dinner together and were sitting in front of a café when we saw one of our classmates at Wofford, a fellow Brogden now over as a 1st Lt. Medical Corps. Then he hadn’t much more than sat down with us when who else should come along but Charlie Wofford who I didn’t even know was in France. Consequently, we had quite a reunion and much fun swapping experiences and news. In addition that afternoon just before dinner Bert & I had seen at his hotel Dr. Cook, our old French and German professor, who has been a Consul in Greece for some years and then was on his way back to the States on several months leave. Saw Bert and Tommy off to a “Port of Embarkation” Tuesday night but had two other pleasant surprises Friday morning when Jim Gregg from Marion dropped into my office and not an hour after him George Norris from Columbia, with whom I was in the same company at Oglethorpe. Both were looking as if the A.E.F. agreed with them and wish I could have had more time to talk to them but they hit me on a morning when I was too busy to even stop and talk to good friends for more than a minute or two. Jim asked particularly after Kenly.
The “4th” was quite a big day here as you probably saw in the papers. In the morning I went over to the Place d’Iena to see the ceremonies in celebration of the 4th, including the naming of the “Avenue du President Wilson” and the parade. All of it was most interesting, particularly as I saw Lloyd George, Clemenceau, Poincaré, Joffre and lots of other dignitaries. Our boys surely looked good when they came past, particularly the crowd who had just come out of the trenches with their “tin hats” and fighting equipment. You know leave to Paris has been “defendu” as a general thing and these boys certainly were enjoying it while here for which can’t say I blame ‘em at all. They were all over the Boulevards that night and the French were enjoying them as much as they were Paris. The French certainly did do themselves proud in honor of the occasion—I’ve never seen so many American flags hung out on the 4th even at home. We are the only Americans in our apartment house and that morning the concierge came up with a big U.S. flag which he carefully fastened to our balcony.
On Tuesday night, I had dinner with three French officers with whom I have a lot to do, and my architect M. Veber. The dinner was given in my honor at the big French officers club and I surely enjoyed the occasion. The Frenchmen are wonderful fellows, particularly when you know them well, and I always like to go out with them. This evening I spoke & heard nothing but French for about three hours all of which is most excellent for my French.
Had a nice trip today out about forty miles and back by automobile. Swapped off my “Flivver” for the day for a big National limousine and my interpreter and I went out in state. I don’t really need him much any more to interpret but take him along to help me find my way and “parley” occasionally when the vocabulary necessary is beyond me.
Have been transferred this past week from an “acting” Quartermaster, which I’d been for seven months, to the Renting, Requisitions and Claims Service, a new service which takes over all renting & requisitions of real estate, all billeting of troops and all claims arising from these things as well as claims for “damage to property or person” by the A.E.F. I’ve been doing this kind of work for some time but the Service didn’t officially take over all this until July 1st. The work is quite interesting and the Service promises to become quite extensive in size and scope.
I have no further kick about cold weather for the last two or three days have been quite sufficiently warm. It has been very dry since the middle of May and is very dusty in the country.
But it’s getting to be bed time so good bye until next time. Some of the fellows had home mail today so hope I’ll have something tomorrow. Incidentally, got three “Lifes” from Mabel Saturday for which many thanks but send me clippings instead as they are less bulky & I can buy the “Lifes” here.
Love to all,
 Bertram Horatio France. Spartanburg, SC. Wofford classmate from Monty’s 1909 graduating class of fifty-seven men.
 James Chester Brogden. Batesburg, SC, Wofford, Class of 1909.