Gregg writes to his father from the front during World War I.
NOTE: Handwritten text reads, "Postmarked Aug. 28, 1918."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (104,546 Bytes)
1918-08-28 (August 28, 1918)
Gregg, James B.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War I
Box Number: 5
Folder Number: 2
Thank God I've got away from the Base, and am up here where things are going on--etherizing and going over chests etc.
There's no comparison whatever between the fetid closeness off 22 General's inactivity in this type of gypsy life--we
move on the 29th August to follow up our advance--and as long as I can I'm sticking to it.
I've just come back from the admitting tents. Eight exhausted Bosch lying on stretchers 1 inch off the hard pounded dirt
of the tent; their eyes terror struck watch you in the half dark. One furthest away lies on his side, his entire back naked
except for a well soaked bandage about his hips--utterly without hope, careless of the cold damp air. "Wohin kommstdu"
I asked--"Posen" he returned--and then scanning me as if all his world depended on me he gasped, "Gehe ich nach
England?" "Vielleicht--das glaub ich wohl" I said, rather curious at his question. "Gut" he whispered
to himself, "England ist gut."
You willl never see a human soul so naked as these German boys jolted into the enemy's operating theatre. They all have
the dumb simplicity--epic and unforgettable--that statues are made in memory of, in hopes of suggesting. Oh God, you should
see an 18 year old pale Saxon staring at an amputation being done, and begging me to tell him if his leg must be cut off.
I saw it awry, sticking out of the bucket, ten minutes after I had told him "Nein"--he had ten minutes more of half
satisfaction and I wouldn't have amputated . . .
All night long you hear our planes droning over to raise hell in Germany.* Barrage etc., etc. There's quite a bit of war
*or day break patrols
We've had hundreds of German wounded--their coats stuck sometimes with safety pins because everyone wants buttons. I
am collecting my bits here and there. I got a postcard, which I didn't keep, in one's pocket book today--a picture
of a woman knitting by candle light alone - labelled Einsam.