Family Fact Sheets
MARNEY SOWERS - letters home (WWI)
Source: Waveland Independent May 9, 1919 -
Marney Sowers, son of Tom Sowers has at last safely returned from army service overseas. He was at one time reported dead of wounds.
Note: He lived until 1964
Source: Waveland Independent July 5, 1918
- Marney Sowers in France - Tom Sowers' son, Marney writes to his uncle, Joseph Sowers - Somewhere in France, May 26, 1918 - Dear Uncle and cousins - Well, I received your letter the other day, the one you sent to Camp Hancock. I was sure glad to hear from you. I haven't got very many letters since I have been here ant hey were all sent to other camps before reaching here. Well, what are you doing today? Went to church, I suppose. I went this morning, too. You know we have church at the YMCA every Sunday at 9 o'clock. We have pretty good crowds. Considering the classes of men in this company, I think this company represents all nations. We are having fine weather over here now, it is just fine for fighting purposes. What do the papers over there say about the war? The papers here state the allies have supremacy of the air and that they are holding the Germans back with pratically no losses on our part. You know we can get an edition of a NY paper here the day after it is printed in NY. The news is cabled to Paris and then printed here but of course it is only the news in brief. It is so lonesome here today that I don't know what to do. Two friends that I got acquainted with at Camp Hancock have been transferred to the base hospital. It is about time for retreat and I am writing in such a hurry I don't know where you can read this or not. How is your crop looking? Have you had much rain this summer? It has been pretty rainy here most of the time. I have been kept pretty busy since I have been here. There is one thing certain. I know a great deal more about fighting now thatn I did when I first came here. From the looks of things here I don't see how the Germans will last long after this drive they are getting ready to make. I can hardly wait until I get a chance at an old German. I am in the automatic rifle group. They call it the Suicide gang. Well, I don't know of anything else to write so will have to close. I want to get a big letter from you. Expect I will be in the trenches before I get an answer to this. Will close with love to all. Write soon. Pvt Marney E. Sowers, Co K 38th Inf AEF APO 40.
Marney Sowers Wants to Hear from Home Folks -
Source: Waveland Independent newspaper, July 3, 1918 -
Dear Uncle and Cousins: I am as well as ever and hope you are the same. Received your letter on May 14 this morning, got one from Bert also. There is nothing does me more good than to get a letter from you folks at home and know you are all well. Don't see why it was so long before you heard from me because I know I wrote oftener than that. I don't think you will hear from me so often now because I am where I can't write very much, but that doesn't make any excuse for you not writing. I do want to hear from you folks pretty often. Did I get sea sick? Well, I should say I did. I thought for awhile my insides were coming up. I was on the water long enough for anyone to get sea sick. Was on the ship 18 days. Have not run across anyone that I know since I have been in the army. I don't think you can beat France for scenery. All that I have seen of France is just one hill after another and small valleys. There is no flat, level land. The soil is very rich. There is one good thing about France and that is, we don't have any dusty roads to hike over for they are all stone and level as a floor. The weather over here is pretty chilly especially of nights. What did your girls have to register for? When the Americans make their big drive they will wade right through the German lines and then the war will be over. I am enjoying the noise of the big guns. One was located about 200 yards from the billet that I was in and believe me, it certain made some noise. It shook the house and pretty near deafens a fellow. Have been here about 9 days. Old Jerry dropped a big shell close to the house I was in. The gravel and dirt showered over the house like raindrops. It made a hole 5' wide and about 3' deep. The airplanes fly around at times like birds. I counted 16 in one bunch the other day. Well, I would like to have spent the day at Byron when they had that meeting. How did your oats turn out? Have you had plenty of rain? I hope you have a bumper crop. If you could see how the girls and women work here the people over there would not think anything about the girls helping out in the fields. If it isn't too much bother I wish you would send me a few papers to read. You know it is pretty dry when you can't read any newspapers from home. I would aprpeciate them very much. With love to all. Good bye, Marney (Pvt Marney EC Sowers, Co K 38th Inf AEF) - typed by: kbz
Source: Waveland Independent - date unknown -
Marney Sowers writes to his mother, Mrs. Tom Sowers of Yeddo under date of July 28. Dear Mother; Received your letter of April 19; was glad to hear from home although it was kind of old news. I would have answered your other letters sooner but was on the front and had no chance. How are you people at home? I am feeling fine. Well, I suppose you have read all about the big battle that took place the 12th of July. They say it was Jerry's last drive. Well I hope it was. We were under the biggest bombardment of the whole war, except the one at Verdon. They say that more shells fell in the same length of time than fell at Verdun. I have heard other people talk of bombardments but I never could imagine how one was until that night. I was on sentry duty that night; just came off duty at 12 and at 12:15 the music from over the river started. It lasted steady until 12 the next morning. The shells bursting sounded just like popping pop corn or worse. We were marched from the trench down the hill right thru the shells to the valley and formed a skirmish line ready for battle. All communication from other places was cut. The only orders were that the Germans were across the river and were coming up the valley. We laid there in the skirmish line with shells bursting all around (thought I would get hit any moment they were falling all around me) until 1 p.m. when we were marched on the other hill in safety until that evening at 5 when we were marched back into the valley into the trench. We stayed all week. I won't mention anymore until we get across the river that was on Tuesday of the next week. I don't think I will ever forget that Tuesday when we made the attack on the Germans. I must say that the Dutch sure have plenty of bullets and I think from the looks they had a machine gun to every two or three men. When we made the charge on the huns the bullets were flying pretty thick. I always want to get my hun and then I would be ready to come back to the USA. Well, I got two and I'm proud of it. They are the **** people on earth I guess. One corporal ran across two huns and they yelled "Kamarad" (mercy) and he never shot them. They dropped their rifles and fell on their knees and when the corporal covered them with his rifle one of them picked up his rifle and shot the corporal and wounded him badly. The casuality for our company is****. This is all for this time, Write soon. Marney Sowers Co K 38th Inf AM. EF -- typed by kbz
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