Eldred Letter - 1918 B
Somewhere in Italy July 23, 1918
It seems strange to head a letter somewhere but that is all we can do. I hope by this time you will have received my first letter where I wrote on the boat and upon my arrival on this side of the pond.
We are located in Italian Naval Barracks for a few days to rest up from trip and before we make the last leg of the journey. It is very warm here so we are taking things easy. The Italians have been very hospitable to us in fact more so than were the French. One meets many Italians who have been to the “States” and have come over for the war. Every one says he will go back after the war.
The railroads are so poor here
that if they handle other matters in the same manner I can readily see how the Germans have done so well. We rode in second class coaches but were hitched to a freight train and it took us 10 days to make our way here. We were glad that we did not ride in box cars.
In France the Americans are gradually taking over the management of the railroads and one sees a great many American locomotives hauling American box-cars manned by American train crews. The army is doing wonderful work in France and making good the Yankee boast and giving good cheer to the French who are tired of “La Guerre”. Most of the people say that another year will see the end of the war.
My little knowledge of French
came in handy and I acted as interpreter for the boys and if I were in France I have heard no news of the war since I left the States and no one here hears any news. You know more at home about the war than we do here.
The interesting part of the trip as regards scenery was on the “Riviera” from Nice through Monte Carlo to Genoa.
My address I will give you in a weeks time as we hope to be at our destination by that time.
We have been the first Yankee sailors through this country and are quite a curiosity in this section. The town here is just as dirty as you said the Italian towns were only a little more
so. It was impossible to buy bread in France unless you had a meal ticket and sugar is not to be seen. The people are not starving so far as I can see. If the wine was cut out in these countries maybe they would be better off.
As for myself I am feeling O.K. and I think I have pushed up a little weight since leaving the States. After seeing this country and the way people live here I am doubly proud that I am an American. It will teach the Americans to appreciate their home more they have done before. With love to you and Johnnie. Arthur
My address will be
Sub Chaser Base at Base 25 Naval Expeditionary Forces
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