A Letter From A Soldier On the Seas 
Posted by : berben2 on Aug 24, 2001 - 11:32 AM
World War I 
As I have a little time I thought I would write you a few lines to let the people at home know how I am getting along. I have been over in this country about five months and like it fine. We get plenty to eat these days but have hard time to eat it. Just think, I only weighed one hundred and forty-five pounds when I landed over here, and I was weighed the other day and weighed one hundred and seventy-two pounds.
I have not had a sick day while I have been over here, except two days' sea sickness.
Well, I must tell you a little about our little battleship. It is about one hundred fifty feet long; say, it sure is a sea going dog, the sea never gets too rough for it. We go out hunting for u-boats and that is some nice job over here. They are always looking for us and we looking for them. It is just like playing hide and go seek. But when we get a glimpse of one it is all off with them. We have red pepper which we sprinkle on its tail and they don't like the smell of it at all. It is about three hundred and fifty pounds of high explosives, and it makes them come up to the top of the water or go down to the bottom of the sea in pieces. But we have to keep a sharp lookout for them because they will slip up on us at night. I have been on watch at night when a wave came over the side and gave me a cold shower bath, and salt water is not warm by any means.
We are having our winter here now and the sea is very rough. Th other morning we were eating our breakfast there were twenty of us at the table. The table is about twenty-five feet long and has a two inch board on each side to keep the dishes on the table, but this was one morning that they did not stay on. We had a good breakfast set on the table and had just sat down to eat when we hit a big wave, and away went our eats on the deck, and some of us sitting on the deck in it. Well, there sure was a mess on the deck and we went without any breakfast that morning. But we just laughed and went on about our work because that is the best way out of it in the navy.
Well, I get to see lots of new country on our trips. I have been ashore in seven places in France and every place we go the money is different. I have money in all sixes from different places. Some of it is tin, some silver also tissue paper, but there is none of it looks good like the good old greenbacks.
We sure see some funny sights when we are ashore. The other day I was in a city of about one hundred thousand people, and heard something like a team of horses coming behind me. I got out of the way and when I saw what it was I was surprised to see that it was two little boys with wooden shoes on, and they sure did make some noise. They way I saw them peddling milk would make anybody laugh. There was a lady leading a cow down the main street of the city. If you wanted any milk, it was always sweet and no bottles to handle. But I don't know what she did when the milk was all gone. I don't think I would like that kind of a milk business. There were seven boys from my ship got a six days' leave to go to Paris. They say it is some city, but the boys say it took some money to spend six days there. I am going up there before the first of the year and also try to get to the front. There are lots of the fellows who would like to get in the battle line.
Well, the boys have got the Huns' goat and he doesn't know which way to run, but he knows that his time is short and is going to do all the damage he can. Well, I don't think it will last longer than the first of the year. The boys that are going to training camps now will never have to come over here.
Well, I had better close for this time. Hope this finds all well.
Yours truly, August Weinhuff.
Note: By August Weinhuff, U. S. S. Emetine, Oct. 13, 1918.