TWENTY-THREE YEAR old Guy Darrel Adsit enlisted in the army in June 1918. After training at Camp Lewis, Washington, he was assigned to the 160th Infantry; he later joined the 308th Infantry Machine Gun Company and saw action at Meuse-Argonne.
Born in Madison, Kansas, in 1895, Adsit came to Wyoming in the early 1900s. His parents farmed on Piney Creek in northern Johnson County. After his marriage in 1917, he and his wife moved to Kirby, Montana, where they ranched until his death in 1929.
In his letters from France, Guy Adsit tells a little about everything: the weather, the French people, his health, his cooties, and other aspects of daily life. Nothing comes through so strongly as his obvious longing to be back home with his wife and child.
Adsit's letters were published in The Sheridan Daily Enterprise on December 7, 1918 and April 17, 1919.
24 October 1918, Somewhere in France
Dear Wife and Baby: I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know I am still alive but I have not been able to write because I was transferred to another outfit and then we went up on the front and while I was there I took sick and was sent to this hospital where I am now. There is no need to worry any because I am getting along all right now and expect to be out and around before long.
How is the weather back in God’s country? It is raining here today. I have heard people talk about sunny France, but I haven’t seen very much sun since I have been here. I have heard people talk about cooties, but when I came here from the lines I had enough on me to carry me away. They were big enough so when I went to sleep at night I had to chain myself to a tree or they would have carried me away—some cooties, I guess.
I have heard all kinds of rumors about peace but I think if I have good luck and lots of it I will be there in time to put my crop in next spring. How was the crops back there this summer? It has been so long since I wrote I expect you thought all kinds of things had happened to me but I am still on foot. I wish you would write to mother and let her know I am all right for I can not get any writing paper or envelopes here so you see how it is. After I get back to my company again it will be all right for I have got some in my pack.
I have not had any mail for over a month now and it seems like a mighty long time, but I expect it will be waiting back at the company for me when I get there.
31 October 1918, Somewhere in France
Dear Wife and Baby: I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know I was all right now. I am up and feeling fine. I think I will be ready to go back to my company in a few days now. I sure will be glad when I can go back there for there was quite a lot of the boys from the old 40th that I knew. They sure do take good care of a boy when he comes to a hospital over here. From the looks of things over here I don’t think that this big fuss will last much longer. I hope not anyway.
When I came here I got rid of my cooties. They had to keep me company while I was on the lines. They sure are good friends for they stay right with you all of the time. When I lost mine I sure missed them for a while but it was an awful good miss. The only thing that I ever found them good for was to keep your circulation in good condition while you were chasing them.
The weather here today is cloudy and foggy but the last three days has been fine up until this morning. I suppose you have had snow back there by now.
I will try to finish my letter now. I just came back from taking a good hot shower bath we get to take twice a week here. The Red Cross came through this ward the other night and gave us boys a Christmas package and they were sure nice packages.
How is everything back in God’s country now? I sure will be glad when I get back there. I would not give one square mile of old Montana for this whole country as far as I have seen yet. Well I guess I had better ring off for this time so this leaves me well. I hope it finds you the same. Write soon.
19 March 1919, Brulon, France
Dear Wife and Baby: It has begun to look like spring over here. The other evening, while I was out walking, I heard a frog croaking. It sounded like he had a cold, but it rains so much that I guess he was water soaked. The grass has been green here ever since I arrived, and the ground hasn’t froze at all. I think from the looks of this place around here it is a very pretty place in the summer. All of the buildings over in this country are made of stone or cement, and some of them look like they were made in the year one. The roofs are made of tile or slate. I haven’t seen a shingled roof since I have been over here.
You can look out on the street any time of the day and see some of the French people going along with a pair of big wooden shoes on about the size of a canoe. They look to me like an awful weapon to have around if there happens to be a rough house for about ten minutes, for if a boy got hit on the head with one of them, he would be counted among the missing.
Has it begun to look anything like spring over there yet?
(From In the World War)
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