World War One, Letter from Edward Luckert
Monday - July 22 - 18
It does seem as if we are never going to get any rest I know, but still I guess there's a remote chance sometime in the near future.
If they wouldn't always give us the hardest work it would be a cinch, but they have never yet failed to put us in the most foreword position. Then too, we furnish practically all the patrols that go out, while "B" Co on our left sits and rests easy.
Last night for the third night straight I got another order for a patrol. They further ordered that we again penetrate the Hun line as we did Saturday. We all knew that this was quite a dangerous undertaking - but we also knew what weight our protesting might have, so we kept quiet and prepared to go out. Its quite easy, you know, for the major and captain to order out patrols. All they do is write the order, and then go to bed five miles behind the line with a double sentinel to guard their peaceful slumber. But its quite another proposition for we Lieutenants to do the work.
Anyway, last night we went out as usual, crawling through thru the Boche wire. A' Hearn lead the way, then me, then fifteen men and last, Lt. Brown. Practically all the Officers left in the Company outside of Harris were in the scrap. As we had left quite a few marks behind Saturday, we suspected that Fritz might lay in wait to ambush us, but our fears were set at rest when we arose and leaped into his trench. It was empty. Listening for a few minutes, we filed down his path toward the second line and again halted to listen. We paused here almost five minutes and were just about ready to dash in and start the fuss, when we heard a smothered cough directly in front of us. And then the ground seemed to spring up in one great roar and flame and we knew it had been a trap.
A'Hearn and several other men dropped the first half second and from the scream one of them let out I knew they had been hit. Then I have a faint recollection of another burst of thunder as we threw our grenades and emptied our guns. I also remember shouting orders at the top of my voice. Later one man said I ordered them to climb out and get on a line - to spread out. Another said I ordered them to withdraw, one at a time. Whatever it was, I don't know, but anyway, the only thing to do was back out the way we came in and get into a firing position. All this time they continued to pepper us with grenades and pistols, and finally the man in rear of me pulled me by the coat and I knew it was my time to cease firing and back out. We dragged A'Hearn out with us, and once outside their wire, he staggered to his feet and said he wasn't hurt. So he walked back with us fighting all the time. Once again within our own wire - the firing stopped and I took account of losses. A'Hearn was hit five times all around his hips and thighs. Lt. Brown had his face looking like a piece of beef and four of the men including Williams had been hit in the chest and limbs. It must have been a sorry, bloody-looking bunch that came dragging each other into our own lines. Once inside A'Hearn lost consciousness and we patched them up temporarily as best we could. A half hour later the Surgeon arrived and took them to the Hospital.
Then for the first time I looked at my watch. Only a half hour since we went out until we got back! No - it was about 45 minutes, but such a length of time it did seem! We were all torn to pieces by the wire. I barely had any coat left and was so bloody from helping A'Hearn and the rest that it took Doc Townsend a half hour to look me over for wounds. He wouldn't take my word for it that I had only a few wire scratches.
Do you think, Brownie, that this might make or be worked into a good story? Put it away, if so, with the rest, and if some we desire to get rich, we'll write some more scenarios and purchase a Ford with the small change left over.
Outside of this, nothing has happened at all. Awfully quiet.
Now - what has my Brownie been doing? Let's see - Sunday! I think you went to Willow Grove in the evening. Did you dearest? Oh - but wouldn't I like to be there with you! When I think of such blessings as were mineÉ I often picture myself sitting there by the Lake with you honey. It is dark and such wonderful quietness as to make my ears now ring with the thought of it. The moon is shining on the water - and best of all - the dearest and sweetest little girl in all the world sitting close beside me. Rarely would we break that wonderful, peaceful silence and then only to whisper our hopes and plans in each others ears. "But Ed - think of the cost of furniture! Why we can't think of it until we have saved at least a million dollars. You know that." Ah! Poor Ed. How he did hate to think of waiting so long!
And then - you honey bunch sweetheart, we got married without a nickel! But dear - you are a sweet little thing. Honest Brownie Wifie!
But see here - I must leave you now. Its time to climb my sick looking tree and see what I can make out of our friends - the Boche.
Be awfully careful of Brownie now - for me yes - and rid her entirely of that cold. And please dearest - how are you otherwise? Well and happy I hope and pray. Please do be happy - just as happy as possible - and think heaps of that day, which is soon coming, when the war will be over, and we will be together once more. Won't we be happy then? You dear (x) there and a million more too! xxxxxxxx
Bye - dearest girlie
Heaps of love from
your Husband - [Hem.]