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Albert Nelson, World War I soldier

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NATIONAL WAR WORK COUNCIL

ARMY AND NAVY

YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS

 

“WITH THE COLORS”

 

5/11/18

 

Miss Sutter

 

Dear Madam:-

 

rec’d your letter and surprised. But gladly have just come back from the Hospital where I served [3x] day. was glad to get Back home altho I don’t mean to say that I like the Army But under the circumstances I had rather be here than at home. for my estamation is that a slacker is the least thing possible. yes we Soldiers know that you people at home are proud of us and going to help us win this war you are furnishing us provisions, giving your money, and we are giving our lives.

 

[Page 2]

 

Some back lash Sun and on Monday General Wood gave us a lecture he seems to think that we would soon Be going over last Thur our regiment we started on a two day hike we marched 15 miles stoped and ate a sandwich we had 30 minutes rest so we went down to the river and Bathed our feet there we marched on to smokey hill there we pitched tents and camped for night we had our machine Guns so after supper some of the Boys went up in reveins and hills and we took the machine Guns and [captured - ? doesn’t fit context, but I don’t see it any other way] them was real interesting next day Fri we marched 18 miles arived at Barrack 2,30 P.M. had a lunch and began

 

[Page 3]

 

to prepare for inspection which was this morning we walked out seven miles taking ever thing we had pitched tents layed our equipment out in front of the tent stood inspection We returned to camp quite a trip for a man Just out of the Hospital dont you think? and also I stood guard all night Wed before starting Thur my Segt said that he couldn’t hardly beleve that a man could stand such after seeing it himself. recruts are comming fast when we get 3,000,000 strong over there we will show Keiser Bill that Uncle Sam isn’t a Bluff. we have a nice you call motion pictures checker Boards

 

[Page 4]

 

Graphanola and other entertainments. We know that you people are giving us ever thing possible for enjoyment while we are here and we appreciate it.

 

Well I dont know anything that would interest you so will close

 

no one appreciates long away letters more than I.

 

Regards to all.

Pvt. Albert Nelson

M.G. Co. 353. Inf.

 

Carry question down

P.S. yes Mr Roberts would make a good (crossed out) and (crossed out)

[Page 5]

 

Downs Nov. 9-18

 

William E Connelly

Kan. State Historical Society

Topeka.

 

Sir – Enclosed find a letter written by a member of the 353. reg. all Ks. Regiment just before leaveng for France I saw a history was being made of the 89th Div. and a request for letter from Friends of boys in K.C. Star. there is a description of a hike and the endurance of the men which is of interest If it is of any value you are welcome to use it.

 

Mrs Chriss Sutter

Downs

Kansas

 

[Page 6]

 

KANSAS STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

WILLIAM E. CONNELLY, SECRETARY

TOPEKA

 

Mrs. Chris Sutter,

Downs, Kansas.

November 4, 1918

 

Dear Madam:

 

I was glad to receive your favor of the 2” inst., enclosing letter written by Private Albert Wilson, 353rd infantry. If you have any more letters from him please forward them to us, and also send me a photograph of this soldier. The history we are to write will not be completed for some time as we will have to get the official reports. But these letters are of great value and we are now gathering them and filing them before they are lost.

 

Very truly yours,

 

William Connelley

Secretary

 

[Page 7]

 

November 4, 1918

 

Dear Madam:

 

I was glad to receive your favor of the 2” inst., enclosing letter written by Private Albert Wilson, 353rd infantry. If you have any more letters from him please forward them to us, and also send me a photograph of this soldier. The history we are to write will not be completed for some time as we will have to get the official reports. But these letters are of great value and we are now gathering them and filing them before they are lost.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Secretary

 

[Page 8]

 

Downs Kans Jan 11-19

 

To the Secretary,

Kansas Historical Society

 

I am sending a correction to your letter I received on Nov. 4 the name of soldier in your reply is not correct I am sending you correct name. he is now also a corporal. it would be an injustice to let it go down in history spelled incorrectly. I am also copying a recent letter from this same soldier now in the Army of Occupation have tried to secure a photo without avail. will be able to later perhaps

 

 

 

[Page 9]

 

The correct name is Nelson not Wilson as you wrote me I will enclose you letter so can see your mistake corrected the name should be Private Albert Nelson 353 Inf. Machine Gun Co. 89 Div American E.F.

 

 I will enclose latest letter in separate copy and if I can send more later I will. I do not know his age or Birth place or family connections

 

I remain respectfully

Mrs Chriss Sutter

Downs

Kansas

 

[Page 10]

 

Luxemburg

Useldange

Dec. 2 1918

 

Dear Friend.

 

I have been a happy boy since nov 11 but will not eat Xmas dinner in M.S. this year but I can wait another year if I have to since the fighting has ceased I wnt through the St. Mehiel also the Muse Argonne Drive and havent been wounded a time very lucky am I not. we are in the Army of occupation traveling north eastward. have crossed Belgium and are now in Luxemburg most of the people speak French and are glad to see us you can hear them say Beaucamp Bon American

 

[Page 11]

 

we are seeing some wonderful country the roadsides have ever greens along them.in your letter you mention some thing about Segt Latchern of Ottawa leading a platoon of all Kansas men. yes I knew him very well I happened to be in the second plattoon of the same Co. also one of the gunners carrying a Vickers machine gun I know just how it happened. Latchern is in officers training camp he left the Co. just before the muse Argonne drive. (The following incedent mentioned is printed in the Kansas City Star by Star Corrospondent under date of Sept 21) where there was no hard fighting every German seemed to have a machine gun or cannon they tried so hard to stop us but all in vain they cut big forest trees blew up bridges and the old gas makes me sick to even think of it now. I had a mustard gas burn but never was very bad but will always have a scar to remind me of that terrible night  I ate thanksgiving in Chantemelle Belgium and eat xmas dinner some where on German soil I presume near the Rhine I must close as I have a hike of 12 kilos tomorrow

 

Corporal Albert Nelson

M.G. Co 353. Inf (All Kansas)

American E.F.

 

[Page 12]

Soldiers letter

 

[Page 13]

 

May 24, 1919

Mrs. Chris Sutter,

Downs, Kansas.

 

Dear Madam –

 

I thank you for your favor of the 20” inst., giving me a copy of the last letter written by Corporal Albert Nelson. As we have no facilities for filing this mail I am not certain as to whether we have had a sketch of this soldier or a photograph of him. I wish you would inquire whether a picture or biographical sketch of him has been sent me. If it has not I wish you would send me a biographical sketch and picture of this soldier. I hope to get filing material in a short time so we will know all these things.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Secretary

 

[Page 14]

 

Downs, Kans Mar 21-19

 

Kansas State Historical Society

Topeka Kansas.

 

To the Secretary:

 

Enclosed find a photo of Corporal Albert Nelson of the 353rd Machine Gun Co. Infantry. (All Kansas regiment) also a recent letter or an exact copy of it to be used in the making of a history of the 89th. The photo was taken at Prum, Germany where he is now stationed.

 

Respectfully Mrs. Chriss Sutter

Downs Kans.

 

Prum Germany

Feb.-3-1919

 

Dear Friend:

 

I am going through the experience of a Life time But to be a good soldier you have got to like the Army and take an interest in every thing you do and study hard all it takes to make a fighting man

 

[Page15]

 

is nerve. dont think I was meant for a soldier but beleive I would make a good fighting man. I am afraid that Russia will start something yet she has just been in the way ever since this war began Little old Belgium and France have endured the hardships and bled white without a whimper It sure is good to lay down at night and sleep sound without being afraid of some night Bomber flying around and droping an anvil on you. yes I have a new title I am proud that I am worthy of a few things in this Army. I see in the Paper the Army of occupation will not exceed 10 Divisions so the 89th and the entire R.E.F. will be home in 6 mo. the Flu has been raging here But not as serious as it was in the states The Germans accuse we Americans of spreading the disease But we gave them something that hurt worse that the Flu. I must say the civilian population are better to us than the French were. I

 

[Page 16]

 

suppose they think we would take it anyway I have a room furnished with a big feather bed dresser and nice rugs on the floor Electric lights also. and I dont think you are boasting in the least. we know you people are proud of us and we are much prouder of you we we boys did’nt win this war alone the American girls have done some wonderful work. while we were on the front watching Fritz day and night the good American girls were just back of us working with wounded soldiers for days and nights with little or no sleep. and you folks at Home have helped wonderfully the nice letter you have written encouraged us so much made us feel that we did realy have something to fight for. and we will never for-get you. We have a Red Cross room here we can read and write Red Cross workers keep us supplied with reading and writing material also Gum cigaretts chocolate occasionally and sandwishes and coffee in the eve.

 

[Page 17]

 

we had a long hike after the Armistice was signed from Stenay France to Deus barn Germany a march that will probably be put down in history as the march to the Rhine. I hear rumors of the 89th going to Coblence to releive the 42 (Rainbow Div) of course there is always someone trying to take the Joy out of Life.

 

I see you almost have our range Helburg isnt but a little ways from here. I will tell you some of the town’s I have been in First I landed Liverpool from there to south Hampton England then across the channel to Le Havre France we were loaded on box cars landed at marais a place near Chaumont we took six weeks of severe training then Toul, Manonville, Thiancourt near St Mihiel verdun Jay Larnerville Stenay Margut, Arlon.. Bitburg Ger. and this is all in closing.

 

I am sincere

Corporal Albert Nelson, M.G Co 353 Inf.

89th Div.

 

[Page 18]

 

Downs Kans May 20-1919

 

William E. Connelly,

Sec. of Kansas State Historical Society.

 

Enclosed find exact copy of latest letter written by Corporal Albert Nelson, M.G. Co 353 Inf 89th Div. and received by Miss Marguerite Sutter. Downs, Ks. to be used in making a history of the 89th if of any value.

 

Weinshieme Germany,

April 24-1919

 

Dear Friend

 

I have just come back from Trier Germany, where we were inspected by Gen. John J. Pershing and after the inspection we were reviewed by him this all took place in an old Ger. aviation field after that we congregated in an old zepplin shed that stands near the center of the grounds. you may think me exaggerating but the shed is 860 feet long and I can’t tell how wide, any way we were all there. This is where Black Jack gave us a talk and Sec. Baker talked a while after he was through the boys began to hollow

 

[Page 19]

 

“when do we eat” so it was’nt long until we started for Trier arriving about 8 o’clock had a good feed then retired as to going Home I could not say. I have often heard it said to solve a hard problem you had to study so hard until you were all confused and I have done both of these and have’nt been successful either.

 

Had a wonderful trip down in France 14 days will tell you some of the places I was in Left Prum Ger. changed at Geralsteine and then at Trier from Trier I went through Metz and changed at Toul France there caught a troop train and went down through Chaumont, Dijon, and changed at Nevers next day at noon I missed my train at Nevers and I met two Red Cross nurses that happened to be in the same predicament so we got a car and drove across country 40 miles to Mesnes France 201 Hospital Center there I stayed from Sun. till Fri having finished my Business of Identifying dead soldiers I boarded a Paris Special and just 6 hours ride I was in the great city of Paris was there 3 days and 4 nites on leaving Paris I came along the old Battle front back to Metz which is strewed wtih the Roses of “no mans Land”.

 

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3

 

It has been snowing and raining all day wet and chilly I am very lucky to have a fire to sit by while not on duty have just got through turning im my equipment we have turned in all the machine guns and ammunition the mules and carts go tomorrow. we will be ready to leave the Army of occupation at one moments notice looks as if were going some where you spoke some thing about the league of Nations in your letter I have done very little reading the past year so you may judge that I am very ignorant in regard to the subject. I will say that I think the Constitution of League of Nations as it now stands should be adopted for the simple reason that pres. Woodrow Wilson our commander in chief what ever he says is law, and I have great confidence in him and if he hadnt of thought it best he would of said so. “Grant us this day our daily bread forgive us our trespasses. Grant us peace that will last forever and ever.” this first then a discharge

 

Sincerely,

 

Corp. Albert Nelson

MG 353rd Inf

89th Div.

 

With the exception of one the first these letter have all been received by Miss Marguerite Sutter Downs Ks

 

[Page 21]

 

If at any time I can give you any information I would be glad to do so.

 

Mrs Chriss Sutter

Downs

Kansas

 

 

 

 

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