many shell holes & got
pretty wet & muddy. This
is the scene of former
hard fighting & all around
us is barbed wire. Hun
dug-outs & other German
articles of war. The enemy
was here in Force only
last week. We are forbidden
to enter dug-outs or pick
up Fritz's equipment, as
man a man has been
blown up by a hidden
mine. I have spread
small boughs of trees on the
ground in my pup tent so
have a better bed than
usual. Water is very scarce
here. We are issued only
one canteen full per day
which must answer for
washing, shaving & drinking.
How in hell can a fellow
keep clean with all this
water at his disposal?
Believe me, we are dirty
& lousy in the bargain.
This is a dam hard life

Sept. 27th 18.

As I record these words I
realize that they may be
the last. We arose early
this morning & after
breakfast rolled our backs
for a march to the line.
Our chaplin held a brief
service & among the most
fitting & impressive hymns
sung were "Nearer My God to
Thee" & Rock of Ages! Many
of the boys wrote a hasty
letter home, & while the
scene in camp was
orderly & quiet, one could
notice a strained expression
on many faces & feel
the tenseness of the
situation. This business
of going into battle was
not one for mirth, for all