March 10, 1918

National War Work Council
Young Men’s Christian Associations
of the United States

Somewhere in France, Sunday, 4.45 P.M.
March 10, 1918

Dear Father and All:

Your letter of February 12th just received and will answer at once. I suppose you have received some of my letters by now. I have not yet received your letter containing the addresses of the Cortez boys who have entered the service, but I suppose it must have gotten lost as there was a transport sunk some time ago. You have read it in the papers I suppose.

The card you received from me was not mailed from this side, but from the port of embarkation. I wrote it the day we went aboard ship and mailed it, but it was to be held by the government until the news was received that we arrived safe on this side. We could not write any particulars, the name of the ship or anything, is why I did not write more at the time.

The ship we came on was one that was seized by the government at the beginning of the war. It was formerly a freighter, but was a good ship as we came through an awful storm for two or three days several days before we arrived at a French port. We had to wait out in the harbor for two days for there were more ships at the docks that had to be unloaded before we could dock on the 21st of December. I see in the papers that they have built some new docks and can unload ships as fast as they arrive.

(six o’clock p.m.)

Well, I will continue with this letter as I had to stop and go up to camp and eat supper. We have supper at five p.m.

We came overland in French boxcars to where we are. Their boxcars are not half as big as an American car and only have four wheels each. The locomotives look something like a peanut roaster. Uncle Sam is sending some large engines over here. They make the French engines look like toys.

We have a Y.M.C.A. here which is very convenient to spend our spare time. We see airplanes going over everyday, expect they will soon make it lively for the Boche, as the French call them (meaning brute).

Did you receive my life insurance policy? I took $10,000 of government insurance and made a ten dollar allotment to you. Am also depositing $15 per month with the paymaster. It does not take much money to do me over here as there is not much to spend money for.

Give my love to all the folks.

From your Son
Robert E. Schalles
Amb Co. #.1.
American Expeditionary Forces
via— New York, N.Y.