June 15, 1917

Dear Ma:

Today, and in fact since I last wrote, we have had nothing to do. Last Tuesday I took a malade to a hospital, but otherwise I have not been out since we arrived here at Souhesme. We expect to be moving out of here somewhere near the 19th, and will go to a place 6 kilometers south of Verdun and 7 from the nearest point in the line. In other words, we will be in range of German guns. Still, the town isn't much, and I don't believe the Germans will trouble about us. The Bosche haven't done a thing on that front for ages.

We hear all sorts of rumors on all sorts of subjects. Something came out in the paper today about Pershing being busy with a number of things, among them organizing the American Field Service and the Officers' School. When we saw that, there were a great many different opinions about whether would like to be under the U. S. Government or not. I personally hope that we may be, for it is practically a proven fact that there is a lot of graft, and also the management is very poor. That is one of the great reasons for the discontent in the service.

We are all hoping that when we get to this new place, will get a little more settled, for so far everything has been very hectic. The cook is poor and most of the Frenchmen rather motley. Even the common poilus have got the idea that they can order us about on their own hook, and the cook tried to make us wash his dishes, but about that time I cooked that good dinner for our French lieutenant, and that gave me a little pull that was used to get the cook sat upon. However, since we understand that we have an arbitrary rank of lieutenant, it makes one sort of peeved. Besides, the other sections get so much better service. For instance, section 16 has 7 Frenchmen and they got food well cooked, their table has plates, knives, forks and glasses like any house, they are waited on at table and have their dishes washed. We have 11 French and still we don't have any of those things, not even good food. As I said before, the food had gotten everybody more or less. Yesterday evening, it got me rather queerly. I lost everything that was inside of me, and yet I didn't feel low at all, but I just felt sort of weak in the legs. However, now I am fine again, but I hope things improve soon.

However, we are near the front and I suppose we should not hope for more, for even now we are treated better than the poilus, and are supposed to have officers' grub. At present the one thing I would like is a real American dish of ice cream as the heat is terrific. Still, we'll be working soon and then it will be better. Now, supper is the next thing on the program, so I must close. I haven't received the package you mentioned, but mails are terribly slow so far as second class matter is concerned.

I think you wanted to know what cars are in the section. There are 2 "Harvard Club of New York City", a "Yale, Class of 1898", a "Harvard, Class of 1885, No. 2", a "Yale, Class of 1903", about 5 cars in memory of Edward S. Harkness, and the rest are a miscellaneous lot. The M. S. car went out in 19, the section that went out just before us. Now I really must close, but I hope to hear from home soon.