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Ernest E. Carpenter, World War I soldier

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Private Ernest E Carpenter is the 2nd son of Mr & Mrs A.W. Carpenter of Wakefield, Kansas  He was born Oct 28 - 1892 on a farm near Clay Center Kans, where he lived till the age of 18 he then moved with his parents to Wakefield Ks on a 400 acre farm where he faithfully worked till he was called into Service on the 23rd of Feb. 1918.  He was married to Miss Effie Geist of Upland a short time before entering the service, Ernest spent three months in training at Camp Funston Kans. going from there to Camp Mills N.Y. and then across by the way of England.  It was but a short after reaching

 

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France till he was in Active Service. taking part in the St. Micheil and Argonne Batlles.

 

We, are sending a scetch of his life before and entering the Service we did not understand just what you wanted so we leave it to you to be corrected. We are also sending a small picture

We, are yours Resp.

Mr. + Mrs A W Carpenter

Wakefield

Kansas

 

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I saw by the paper where we were ask to send in lettes of the boys of the 89th Div. so here is a letter of our boy who is now in France

 

Soldier letter

France Aug 15 1918.

Dear Mr. Pyle:

If you will permit me a little space in the wakefield news. you paper I will write a few lines from this side of the water. that may be of some interest to the folks in and around wakefield I am a son of A. W. Carpenter southeast of town, whom you know very well. I have been in France nearly a month now. and am getting well accustomed to things

 

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here, it was a little inconvenient at first not knowing how to talk French. but the place I am in now where you can see nobody but American soldiers, makes a fellow feel. like he was in U.S. instead of France

I was very glad when we landed as the route we took made it a very long and tiresome journey. altho I saw some wonderful scenery on land and many sights at sea we traveled threw England which took us nearly --(deleted) days. with the stops we made. the ocean was very calm, and the boat we came on was a large one, and of course it made it very good sailing. there

 

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was not very many of us got sea-sick after the first two or three days, we were always on the lookout for subs. but never encountered but one, and it got a pretty warm reception, and was reported sunk, how ever we did not see it on our boat but we heard the explosion, and sure got us up in the air for awhile. the country here is very beautiful around this place, the greater part of it being timber land. and rolling valleys where most of the crops are grown. there is not much corn raised here, at least I haven’t seen a cornfield yet, and the wheat fields are very small and do not yield. like our

 

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field’s do in U.S.A. they are harvesting here now. which is far behind, our harvest

 

The French people’s way of living is so different from ours, they all live in small villages and go back and forth to the fields to work  Can you imagine a town whose streets have on eather side. barns, houses, stores, churches with all their personal property combined well that is what you see here in a French Village. in the morning an old fellow comes down the street blowing a bugle and the sheep come running out from all sides. which are driven out to pasture, and brought back at

 

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night. they are still using oxen for teams. and their machinery is very old fashioned and lots of the work is done by hand. The buildings in the villages where my company was billeted a while. Are very old. there is a church there that was built before columbus discovered our good Country of America. and is still in fairly good condition.

 

I am all right and eating three meals a day and with the exception of some poor water. and the mosquitos I am not complaining. the band plays every night here. and it goes a long ways in keeping our spirits up.

 

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there is a Y.M.C.A. hut where the men congregate nights an have lots of singing and music of their own.

we are fortunate in having several musicians and singers in our Company which is the Headquarters company and is considered the standard. it is made up of men from nearly every. occupation in civil life. and is divided up into sections. I belong to the trench motor Battery and sappers, the same section that our friend XXXX I.S. McIntire is a Lieutenant. in the division that he is with and I suppose has seen a good lot of active

 

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service by this time.  This is considered a quiet place here but I have seen some very exciting clashes in the air between the boche and our planes and believe me he gets a good dose of the red white and blue whenever he shows himself.  I can here the boom of the guns not far away.  Ephraim Ramsey is still in the regiment and is much closer to the music than I am at present. I haven’t seen him for nearly two weeks now, it is sure fine to have a friend with you from your own home. we get the New York Herald paper here and so we get

 

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 a good deal of news from the U.S. I see the people at home are commencing to realize that we mean business now. and are doing all they can to back us up in this big struggle. I see the boys are leaving home for the army pretty fast now.  Wheather or not they will be needed is doubtful to say, it is hoped that they will not be things at present look very favorable  I suppose you folks at home have been reading about the big Allied victories lately.  I have several letters from home, and am sure glad for them. I did not expect to get mail that soon.

 

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but got a few just a day after I arrived. I guess the prospects are good for a big crop this year, and is sure very necessary during a time like the present when food is such a vital question and necessity in maintaining a large army.

 

well it is about time for the lights to go out. and I will close. with best wishes and prosperity to the people at home, and am trusting in the lord to go back to the good old U.S.A. before this time next year

 

Yours respectfully

Ernest Carpenter Hdq. Co.

356 Inf 89th division American

 

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if you can we would like to have the picture back as it is all we have but if not it will be all right

 

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Halless France

Nov 15, 1918

Dear Father + Mother

Well as I am feeling like a man out of jail and trials of every kind, I will sit down with no guns roaring, and shells flying. and write you a few lines to let you know I am still on top and came out of this war. with a whole hide. I feel as if I have done my duty. and share in every way. we were in it to the last minute and our regiment has the honor of making the last drive that finished Kaiser Bill.  I came awful. near getting mine but dident as luck would have it. Several exptosions right

 

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on the top of the rock building that we were in sure was near enough for anybody, the artillery. that was in our support was the 11th field artillery and they fired the last shots of 11 rounds at 11 o’clock on the 11th of November

 

Well how is every body at home? hope you are all well. I realize more than ever that President Wilson was in the right and will go down in history as the greatest man that ever sat in the Presidents Chair. I say hurrah for him and the stars and stripes forever, just think of what our men have done . in just one summer, we turned the tide

 

 

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and won the war in six months. it sure is a relief to me and a feeling I will never forget as long as I live I haven’t see Eph. since the last drive hope he is all right. we moved back to day from the front. and are going to get new clothes and take a bath, which we sure need, and in the bargain, get rid of the lice and cooties we will probably move farther back soon, for a rest and I hope from there, we will be sent home to the good old U.S.A. I don’t how long of course, I am still at the officers’ mess and am considered

 

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a cook now. the morning after the war, the other men felt so. good. they pulled out and left me alone and so I coocked the first dinner after the war, for the officers, alone, nobody can realize what a great blessing it is to have this thing settled for the good of the hole world,

 

Well I guess you have read the most of what I have written to you, so I will not write any more.

 

What are you these days I hope I will get home in time to see the spring crops grow.

 

tell Clarence and Alice the little boys, marie. and all

 

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I say hello, I sure am feeling different to night and am going to bed once again with out my gas. mask and helmet by my side and somebody shooting at me so good bye, with love + Best wishes, I am as ever, your son in the service of Uncle Sam,

 

Private Ernest E. Carpenter,

Hqts, Co: 356 Infantry

89 Division.

American E. F.

A. P. & 761.

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