August 16- 1916
Dear brother Julius:
have been writing a few letters to the folks and I will write you a few lines.
I recieved [sic] your letter of July 26th and thank you for it and the enclosed check. Am glad the crops are good with you. Here the crops are also fine and it is remarkable to think that this crop has been planted, tilled and is now being harvested by old men, women and children. The attitude of France now is that she will surely win in this struggle into which she is putting every ounce of strength.
I think I described my work in a previous letter but will say that it consists largely of going to the military depot at all hours of the day and night and unloading the hospital trains and then carrying the wounded in our ambulances to the various hospitals about Paris.
The other day I had the pleasure of flying in a military aeroplane [sic]with a captain of aeroplanes [sic]. It was about the most thrilling experience I have ever had. We flew way up into the clouds and then the pilot shut down the motor and we began to shoot down. All of a sudden we came out of the cloud and the earth seemed to be coming up to us at a great rate. Then the captain sped up the motor again and we flew on an even keel over several villages and fields of grain of different color which looked very pretty way down below. If I was alone in the world I would be tempted to join the Franco American Aviation Corps here, but of course I am not thinking of it now.
The money you sent me will come in especially handy as I want to soon buy some kind of an over coat and also a few things I will want for the winter, which I can get out here best. In September, my three months with the Paris section of the Am. Ambulance will be over and then, I think, about the middle of the month I will join one of the field sections and go to the front. The work there consists mostly of making evacuations (or carrying wounded) from the post of secours, which is the first hospital where the wounded are looked at or treated, back to other hospitals a little farther from the lines. This post of secours is usually a large underground hut, situated a short ways behind the battle line. We make the evacuations with our ambulances in the night because then the enemy is not able to see us to fire upon us. Although a little dangerous, it is not so bad as it might appear. Then I expect to be able to tell you of some interesting things. Just now the lieutenant of the Paris section was in here to see me and he wants me to stay here in Paris with them and says I may have a chance of becoming an officer, because it is hard to get good men and he says that so many of the men come over here to see Paris and have a good time, for Paris is an easy place to enjoy oneself, if one is inclined that way. I think, however, I want to go to the front on account of the experience and chances to see more of the war than is possible here in Paris.
As it is shortly time for dinner I will close,
With best love to all,
Title: Letter 8, Luther Nelson to Brother Julius
Date: 1916 August 16
Collection: RG1/051, Luther Nelson Collection, 1916-1918
Repository: Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs
Creator: Nelson, Luther
Publisher: Digitized by AFS staff in 2016.
Rights Statement: This item cannot be reproduced outside the guidelines of United States Fair Use (17 U.S.C., Section 107) without advance permission of the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs. In the event that this letter becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs is required.
Digital ID: 1_051_8