- World War I Veteran, Co. H, 168 Rainbow Division. Enlisted at Trenton, Iowa. Was in trenches 120 days. In four great offenses, was gassed on one of them.
Alfred was not named for his grandfather. His mother named him "for her people". His father was astonished when his wife named him.
NO CHRISTMAS MAIL
Letter From Buena Vista Soldier
in France Says the Boxes
WEATHER NOT SO BAD
Boys All in Good Health and
Eager to Get in Service
Special to the Times-Journal.
North Buena Vista, Ia., Feb. 7 - E. P. Sawyer of this place received the following letter from his son, Alfred with the Rainbow Guards, in France:
Somewhere in France, Jan 2, 1918.
Just a few lines to let you know we are all well and feeling fine.
This is pay day and we are sure a happy bunch. Think the war is just about over, but no telling when we will come back. We have a fine set of officers. I like them all fine. We have inspection in the morning, so are all cleaning our guns. Wish I could tell you where we are, but of course can not.
There is a little snow on the ground here, and this morning it was real cold.
We get all of our money in French. I can talk a little French. We are all so anxious to get in the trenches. I am coming to see you just as soon as I get back, so you can see your only son as a soldier. Grandpa Hovey wants me to come to California, which I am going to do. I just got through shaving and cleaning up and feel fine. We just got an issue of new wrap putties. We always wore the leggings, but these wraps are much better. You must write soon and often, as it takes so long for a letter to get here. I am going to have a little French girl do my washing tomorrow. We are all working hard every day; we do many different kinds of drilling.
There are so many things I would like to write, which I cannot; as it is I cannot write a very good letter.
We don't get mail very often over here. The last letter I got was dated Nov. 24th. We have not received our Christmas boxes yet, but are looking for them any day.
It is just about mess time and we are all humgry. I wish you could see us running for the mess line. I bet you would laugh. I see that there is lots of cold weather in the eastern states. This is a fine village where we are. The people are all nice.
Well, I guess I will close for this time. Will try and write a better letter the next time. Good-bye, and write soon.
Your loving son,
Private Alfred L. Sawyer,
Co. K, 168th U. S. Inf., A. E. F.