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Letters Home

4/29/2006:

During World War I, a number of Minot soldiers wrote to Minot High School students about their experiences in the field. A 1918 editorial in Minot High’s paper, the Searchlight, reads, “Not long ago these boys were in the quiet of their homes in a peaceful country. Today, in a strange land they are facing the world’s bloodiest struggle.”

Included were excerpts from letters, including one from 2nd Lieutenant J. H. Leslie, who was with the 166th Infantry in a small French town. “The streets just wander around and suddenly stop,” he wrote. “The houses are unusually low, tile covered buildings, with half used as a house and half as a stable while the upstairs is used for the threshing which is done by a crude threshing machine driven by dog power... The people usually have enough for one meal and that is all. We can hear the constant rumble or rather growl of guns somewhere.”

written by Merry Helm