Langres, France December 13, 1918 to Monroe, Louisiana
William Abram O’Kelly Jr. to his father William Abram O’Kelly Sr.
Dear Papa: –
Your letter dated November 14th received today. It was the first I have had from you except one a few days ago which was forwarded from Jessup. Have not had a line from Jennie except one letter forwarded from [Camp] Jesup. However, I have had several from Bootsie so have been well supplied with the news.
Have not received a copy of the News – Star yet and if they do not show up in a few days will write you so you can have Clarence Faulke [publisher of the Monroe News Star] cut out the subscription as I doubt if I will ever get them anyways regular.
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of that fruit cake and believe me it will not be kept for Christmas but will be used for immediate consumption. I do not know of anything that would have suited me better for Christmas than one of Jennie’s famous fruit cakes as there is nothing I need or want except some good home cooking.
I have 8 pair of heavy wool sox issued by the Government so am well supplied in that line but would like to have those that Jennie made me as I could use them nicely. Tell her to keep them for me as I will be able to use them when I come home. Tell her to make me one of those helmets if she can and that she can send it to me by putting it in a big envelope, sealing it up and paying first class postage on it. Tell her to make it out of thread about the same weight she made my sweater.
You say in your letter that you have not head from me in sometime. I have written to some of you all regularly. I wrote several letters on the boat, a few while at Brest, and a whole lot since being here, I guess they will all show up in a bunch.
I wrote Uncle Tom while on the boat and once since being here but have not heard from him yet.
I have no way of finding out Father [Celestin] Mahe’s address as I have no idea what part of the country he is living in. Maybe you could find out his address from someone in Monroe and send it to me so I could look him up if possible.
It continues to rain here, but never very hard at a time. The weather is moderate but the mud is H-L. Guess there was big doings in town when they found out the armistice was signed.
Bootsie wrote me that Mr. Bry out wanted all of the force back as soon as possible, but guess he is out of luck as far as I am concerned, for do not think it is possible that I’ll be home before Spring, if then. Do not care much as I am getting along pretty good and am getting fat. In fact am getting such a paunch on me that my britches are way too tight and I am going to trade them in for a larger pair at the first opportunity. This army life over here is a snap besides what it was in the states and about all I do is eat and sleep, so why should I worry.
Got the card you enclosed from Lt. [Carl Thomas] Rhinehart. I knew he would get his commission as he had the ability and the noodle to make a good officer.*
When you write me always put A.P.O. 714 on the envelope and it will reach me quicker as there are several 310 units over here in other branches of the service and our mail is always getting mixed up.
Well I think I have written you all I know and about as much as the censor cares to read so will close for this time with lots of love and kisses to you and the girls.
Your Affectionate Son
*Lt. Carl Thomas Rhinehart Born December 1887 Fishville, Louisiana Died September 1966 Alexandria, Louisiana.