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A Soldier’s Letter tells of WWI

By Staff | Dec 12, 2018

Editor’s Note: This letter was discovered in the edition of the Muncy Luminary dated December 19, 1918 and was written by a soldier from overseas during WWI.

Interesting extracts from a letter dated Nov. 15 from Surgical Assistant, Clayton Banzhaf are herewith given. “Clate” is with the Second Line of the U.S. Army of Occupation, and will likely be “over there” until mid-summer.

“I have not been able to answer your letter until now, as we have been in the front lines since Oct. 31st, and there the mail service amounts to nothing. Now that the war is “fince” the question is how long will we be here? Some think we will get home soon and some think opposite.

You would die if you culd see the (Frogs) French soldiers running around since the armistice has been signed. All the say is “fince la guerre” – meaning finish the war. They say everything backwards over here. I guess they are as glad as we are that it is over.

i see Grant Painter every few days. I did see “Art” Clapp quite often, until he was sent to the hospital. When a man is sent to the Hospital he is classed up as a casual and shipped to most any outfit they see fit.

I also see the other fellows from town. I think they are all O.K. “Bill” McCarty from town and Ransom Moyer from Pennsdale were sent to the 314th, our regiment, as replacements just before the last drive.

We are now near Verdun, east of the Mense River. Our Division captured the famous Death Valley in the Verdun sector. Guess you have heard of it.

In our first drive, our regiment captured Mount Falcoun which is the highest observation point in France. The “Dutch” held it for four years. The French failed to take it several times – once losing 30,000 men.

Several large places we have been in – Oijon, Chariylittle, Fains, Bar-le-Due, Verdun. You can look these up on the map and be able to tell about where we have been. Haven’t had a chance to get to Paris.