WORLD WAR I
Letter

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Record 187/678
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Admin/Biog History Alfred A. Thelen was born in Oshkosh on January 6, 1891, the son of Stephen Thelen. He worked for the Witzel & Rossmeissl shoe store and became a partner in Thelen & Rossmeissl. He was drafted in April 1918 and did his basic training at Camp Grant, near Rockford, IL. Corporal Alfred A. Thelen became a member of Company F, 354th Infantry, 89th "Middle West" Division during World War I. The 89th Division was comprised of draftees from mid-western states and trained at Camp Funston, Kansas. They saw heavy action during World War I. Alfred died of pneumonia on November 24, 1918.
Classification Archives
Collection World War I Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation 1918
Abstract Letter from Alfred A. Thelen, Company F, 354th Infantry, 89th "Middle West" Division, to his mother.

1918
In France

Dear Mother:
Just a few lines to let you know how I am, and how I'm getting along. I can say this much, I am feeling fine, and really think I have gained in weight, I have never seen a scale here in France so I must just guess at my weight. If only you are as well, and Father and all the rest.
We just came out of the trenches, and it surely feels fine to be able to stick your head up, sleep on a good bunk. 3 meals a day, and lots of things. But at that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Say Mother I am not far from your old home and only wish I could visit it in safety. Ask Father the name of the _____ Fortress he helped capture, in 1870-71 and he will know just about where we are at. We are about 17 kilometers distant, and I actually believe Father traversed the same ground we or I was all but very shortly we will be in the trenches again, and here's hoping I come out as lucky as this time.
If all these Foreign countries are like France, take them away, because it's the States for me. Why the people are one hundred years behind in every way. Especially in living. In these small villages, the houses and barns are all one, the cows, pigs, chickens, steers, horses, all live under the same roof, and right in front of the door lies the manure pile, so you can imagine how nice it is living in such villages. If it ____ (wasn't) for us fellows cleaning up the streets, we wouldn't be able to stand it. So give me the good old States.
I have had quite a few tomatoes, and plums and that's the only ripe fruit or fresh fruit I have had.
Last night was the first night that I have slept at night time, so you can imagine how nice it felt last night to have a good nights sleep for nearly a weeks.
Well Mother this is about all the news so I'll close hoping you, Father & Christine are all in the best of health and that I remain so till my return, I remain as ever your dear son. Corp. Alfred A. Thelen
Co. F 354 Inf.
American Exp. Forces
Love and kisses to all
Event World War I
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC411.10.32.1
Object Name Letter
People Thelen, Alfred A.
Subjects World War I
Soldiers
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009