(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
ARMY AND NAVY
YOUNG MENíS CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
"WITH THE COLORS"
July 23, '18
Dear Little "G":-
Yesterday we were allowed our first
freedom from camp since we started. We are
in Southern France near Bordeaux and we
went into Bordeaux in bunches of 6 to 10
under a non-com. who was responsible for
us. However we all stayed [censored]
[censored] to walk back to camp. Its quite
a little walk, took us an hour at the
regulation 180 to the minuet. There was lots
to see for a stranger though little I imagine
to the initiated. I must tell you about the
car line. They had one motorman and at
one time three conductors. The conductor
blows a funny sounding little horn,
that sound like a squeak and is made
of some animals horn. If he does not
remember to blow it the motorman up
and goes when he gets ready, and there
is a lot of jabbering all the time. Sometimes
you canít help smiling. It costs 2 cents to
ride, no such luck in Holyoke eh.
TO THE WRITER: SAVE ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS PAPER
TO THE FOLKS AT HOME: SAVE FOOD, BUY LIBERTY BONDS AND WAR SAVINGS STAMPS
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Edward Wirt wrote this letter from a camp near Bordeaux, which is in southern France and near the Atlantic ocean. When he wrote this letter he was in awaiting assignment to a new unit. The one he had arrived in France with, the 76th Infantry Division ("National Army"), was considered too poorly trained to be used intact. It was broken up, its components distributed among other divisions. American troops had been in France since the summer of 1917, but the U.S. Army was considered so poorly trained that the French and British refused to send them into battle. Finally they were forced to use them in June, 1918 despite their reservations because successful German offensives had depleted all their reserves. American troops then successfully counterattacked in July in the Second Battle of the Marne. Once U.S. troops had proved themselves the Allied command began using them extensively. They were rarely allowed offensives of their own; instead, they took over sectors of the French and British line, allowing them to redeploy those troops. In a series of highly effective campaigns, the Allied forces pushed the Germans back.
There are ninety letters from Mr. Wirt to Miss Bartlett in the PVMA collection; twelve of them are reproduced here.
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WWI letter to Emily Gladys Bartlett
| author Edward Roswell Wirt (1891-1942)
| date Jul 23, 1918
| location France
| height 9.0"
| width 6.0"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Letter
| accession # #L01.015
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