We have added a statistical section to the post office, and it is my duty to look after that part of it. We are going to add several men to our force and will have quite a post office when we get straightened out. I am very much enthused over our change and feel quite big to think I am practically in charge.
I feel quite rich now as the captain just came in the office a few moments ago and paid us. I now have about two hundred francs in my possession. But that is the only good about it. Now that I have enough money to take a leave, they have shut down on them for the time being. My luck as usual!
I have just about decided on another plan now. It may sound bad to you, but is something I have been wanting to do a long time, and that is to go to the front with a bunch of men. No, not to stay or do any fighting, but take them to the organization to which they have been transferred and then return by the way of Paris. That is about the only way we get to see Paris. Possibly stay there two or three days, then return to your own organization. No danger connected with it whatsoever. Will get to see the ground which the Germans held and see, also, where all the wonderful battles were fought. This will probably be my only chance to see these places and hear the big guns, for I am on the permanent staff here and know I’ll stay here as long as I make good.
Another thing I am going to do with my money is to have some real pictures taken and send them home to you. Does that listen any better to you?
We expect new mail from the States tomorrow, and I hope I get several from you.
(From "In the World War")
State Historic Site
WHEN HE REGISTERED for the draft in 1917, twenty-one year old Sheridan resident Gerald William Duncan was a clerk at Heald's jewelry store. He was also studying watchmaking at the Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Chicago, Illinois - one of the biggest schools of horology (watchmaking) in the nation.
Although Duncan was a soldier during the war, he was not a fighting one. He was one of thousands of troops who supporting the soldiers at the front lines by working in clerical and office positions. Duncan did his support via the Army Postal Service.
"While he is not with the boys in the van of the fighting forces," says The Sheridan Post, "it is through no fault of his own, and he is doing equally as important work in the department to which he has been assigned."
This undated letter, printed in The Post on November 8, 1918, tells a little about Duncan's work with the APS in Montrichard, France, and a lot about a plan he has to get to Paris.