November 16, 1917 — “Sale of the Farm”

On November 16, Monty enthusiastically welcomes his first letter from home. “Your letter of Oct. 6 was received last Saturday [November10] and was mighty glad to get it as it was my first news from you since sailing.” The rest is how much he’s seen and done—including a three-day trip he wants to tell about “but again the censor prevents.” And about the cold weather. He’s “become so well accustomed to this rain & damp cold that I mind it very little any more.” All safe topics. His mother, now five years into widowhood at the age of 60, has among other things relayed that she’s selling the farm. “Hope your sale of the farm was entirely successful…,” he concludes.

 

Transcript:

November 16, 1917

Dear Mother —

Your letter of Oct. 6th was received last Saturday and was mighty glad to get it as it was my first news from you since sailing. Have been looking for other letters since as you should have received some of my letters from this side by Oct. 15 or 20th – however nothing more as yet. Have been writing you every week since landing on this side but the mail seems to be so uncertain that I don’t know whether or not you have received them. If you have got some of them you will know that I am not permitted to tell you anything much about what I have seen or am doing. Wish the censorship did not prevent my writing as I want to for, if so, there would be plenty of material for letters.

Just returned this morning from a three day trip – the longest leave I’ve had since landing – in which I visited some very interesting places and altogether had a wonderful time. Wish I could tell you all about it but again the censor prevents

Have continued in my usual health and have become so well accustomed to this rainy & damp cold that I mind it very little any more.

Had a letter this morning from Charlie Anderson in which he spoke of having heard from Edith as late as October 12th. Was surprised to find he was over this side – guess he must have come very soon after I did. Hope your sale of the farm was entirely successful and that Kenly has his affairs straightened out by now.

Love to all,

Carl

OK

Thomas C. Montgomery

2nd Lieut. Inf. U.S.R.

 

Somewhere in France, October 9, 1917

The letter dated October 9 comes from “Somewhere in France” where he arrived “yesterday afternoon” and closed with the hope that “later in the week, I’ll know more of what we can say in letters. Now I’m afraid to say anything.” He seems to be bursting with information to share but can’t yet find a way to put it in his letters. “Have had lots of interesting experiences since landing though, after having the censorship regulations read to us this morning, there is very little we are allowed to say.”

He is concerned that the “loafing” of recent weeks has resulted in his being “very soft physically” and he is ready for activity to rectify that. “Am enjoying the French people…and expect to do some little boning on their language in any spare time as while I get along fairly well in talking to them, they speak it entirely too fast for me.” Monty also puts in an order for cigars, the first of many. “You can get pretty fair cigarettes over here but good cigars and pipe tobacco are another thing altogether and I don’t care for cigarettes.”

Transcript of original letter:

Somewhere in France

Oct. 9, 1917

Dear Mother —

Finally landed here at my destination, or what will be my destination for a while, yesterday afternoon. Have had lots of interesting experiences since landing though, after having the censorship regulations read to us this morning, there is very little we are allowed to say. Have been in the best of health ever since leaving the U.S., being lucky as to seasickness and escaped it entirely. I’m glad to be getting to march again as am very soft physically after the length of time I’ve been loafing. I’m enjoying the French people I see thoroughly and expect to do some little boning on their language in any spare time as while I get along fairly well in talking to them, they speak entirely too fast for me.

One thing I want sent me right away is several boxes of cigars—Frank knows the kind I like. It will probably take them from two to three weeks to reach me so, including the time it will take for this letter to reach you, it will be after the middle of November before I get them but they will come in mighty good at any time. You can get pretty fair cigarettes over here but good cigars and pipe tobacco are another thing altogether and I don’t care for cigarettes.

Hope soon to be getting some mail from you and will write regularly from now on. Perhaps later in the week, I’ll know more of what we can say in letters. Now I’m afraid to say anything.

Lots of love to all the family,

Carl

As before stated my mail should be addressed to: Lieut. Thomas C. Montgomery, Inf. – U.S.R., AEF BCM Paris, France.

O.K. Thomas C. Montgomery 2nd Lieut. – U.S.R.