Letters Home: Clyde Collins

From the October 24, 1918 Skidmore News:

From Clyde Collins.

France, Aug. 22, 1918.

Mr. Geo. W. Collins.

Dear Parents: —

Suppose I should write again about now and tell you that I am well and getting along fine.  How are you all?  It is very warm here now – the hottest weather we have had this summer.  Suppose it is very warm there now.

I wrote to Nellie’s children the other day.  It’s hard to write a real letter from here as it has been so I can’t write about so many things you would like to know about, but I can tell now about the towns I have been in and the battles, so here goes:

Will put down some of the places you may be able to find on the map.  Landed at St. Nazaire and was in camp there about a week, being shipped from there to St. Aig Nalby, getting some equipment there and hiking from there to Sedsur-Cher, where we had three weeks training, learning also to wear the gas mask and going through a gas chamber.  From there took another train ride to a little place near Toul where we joined the company we are with now, being a couple of weeks training and rest for the old part of the company.  Started from there to the lines which were near, going in support then reserve then to front line and back to support and then reserve then to a rest and camping place.  this front was called Anpomont Forrest.  Spent the next several days in each.  After ___ out a couple weeks or possibly a little longer, were taken on front to the ___ near Seaspray, going back from there to a camp near Toul for a couple of days, which I got to visit in. It is a very nice little city.  From there took train again going through the suburbs of Paris and on east to a little town where we got off and traveled on foot for twenty-five miles, landing in a little town on the Marnes river.  I took several swims in this river.  You have seen accounts of flights along that stream.  Stayed there until the night of July Fourth, hiked then to front again going in support first then in the line.  After seven or eight days, over the top, driving the boche back from the Baul Woods past Chauteau Theierry on the north of said place.  Here we were again relieved and went back in reserve and from there hiked to another place on the Marne river.  From there, four of us got a two days pass into Paris which we enjoyed a great deal and which I wrote you about before.  Have moved again quite a way into another rest and drilling camp. Probably you can find some of these places, but of course have been in a lot of small places that I haven’t put down as you could not find them I know.  Must close.  This will give you a little idea where we have been.

Sincerely, Private Clyde Collins.