“On the Trail of the Kaiser”

Newspaper clipping titled "On the Trail of the Kaiser"

[Glenn’s letter from September 20, 1918 was published in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle on October 25, 1918. The image provided above was clipped from the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection, 2018.]


Private Glen Kaiser Writes Letter Filled with Hope of Early Success


Says Half of Germany is Working for the French and That the End is Not Far Distant.

What one Kaiser thinks of another is aptly told in the following letter from Private Glen Kaiser, who is fighting “over there.” Kaiser has been on German soil and looks at the whole situation in the optimistic way, characteristic of the American soldier. His letter says:

Somewhere in France,
Sept. 20, 1918
Dear Mother:
Here I am again. One years ago today I left DeKalb and did not think then I would be here, but I am and glad of it. I would have been here sooner had I known what I know now, but it is not what you know that makes you fat.
We are staying in a town and the people are fine. They sure will do anything for the soldiers. When we landed here before the “Amex” had done any fighting they thought we were no good. About four months ago a French soldier said to me, “How is it that all of the ‘Amex’ soldiers are kids?” I said, “Yes, they are kids all right, but when they get to going you will think they are race horses.”
We drove those Germans out of the town they were in four years ago and we are going to keep them going back into Germany, but if we go that far there will not be any Germans to fight. They will all be in France, working for the French people or in a prison camp. Every time you look you can see all kinds of German prisoners working on the roads or in the fields, and they all say they are glad to be prisoners and are willing to work for years to come if we get the kaiser. Well, we are sure to get him. If they let the Amex go, his time is getting short, and he knows it now.
As I was saying, I have been in the army one year today. It has been eights months since I was last home. That was December 16, 1917. Then I went to Texas the 19th day of December, got there the 22d and was there two months to the day, then on our way “over here.” I was in France six months the 16th day of August, so you sure can see that I can remember where I have been. You know when this is over I will have all kinds of things to tell about the little war we had with the kaiser, not the German people.
Say, mother, did you know I was one of the first American soldiers that was fighting on German soil or land that the Germans had held for 45 years? That was when we were at Alsace. There is where I got that lace I sent to Kate and Anna. There was not any driving up there then, but they are going some now. If Germany ever got what is coming to her, she sure is getting it now, and if she lasts until the first of the year, the man that lives there can tell me how she did it.
Well, I am sleepy and can’t think of anything more, only that I am feeling fine and am as fat as a pig. I am, as ever, one of your loving sons,
Headquarters Company, 127th Infantry, Amex. E.F., A.P.O. No. 734, France.

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