Ainsworth, William P. E.
edited by Alissa Renales
William Penn Esterbrook “Pete” Ainsworth was born in Rahway, New Jersey, in 1893. He was the eldest son of George Cornell Ainsworth and Grace Esterbrook. Ainsworth and Earl Reed Silvers lived a few blocks from one another in Rahway, which is presumably how they came to know each other and their families so well. Ainsworth has the affectation of referring to Silvers’s wife, Edith Terrill, as “friend”—perhaps a holdover from when they were dating and trying to keep a low profile.
Ainsworth pursued a technical Bachelor of Science course at Rutgers, where he graduated with honors in mechanical engineering in 1916. He would marry Janet Middleton Ackerman, the little sister of David Greenlie Ackerman, also of Rahway, in 1927. Ainsworth returned to civilian life as a manager at the Combustion Engineering Corporation of New York. He published The development of an automatic combustion control for coal burning in 1935.
During the war, Ainsworth served as a captain in the 57th regiment of the Coast Artillery Corps (CAC). The role of the Coast Artillery was to provide personnel for all US-manned heavy artillery. Somewhat confusingly, this corps was also responsible for railway and anti-aircraft artillery, in addition to coastal defense. As he mentions in a letter to his father, Ainsworth’s unit was equipped with French-made weapons, specifically the 155 Grande Puissance Filloux, transported by American Holt tractors (very few American-made weapons arrived to the front before the Armistice). After training at various locations in the US and France, including the Coast Artillery School at Fort Monroe and what sounds like a very pleasant chateau in Libourne (Bordeaux country), Ainsworth saw combat in two decisive battles that hastened the war’s end: the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
The tone of Ainsworth’s letters comes fairly close to the soldierly ideal of the time, which is to say it shows an “insouciant courage,” a “studied gaiety under fire,” and no hint of doubt as to the outcome or the judgement of the leaders who put him there (Horne 1995, p. 226). At first, during his training, Ainsworth reaches for pedestrian topics like his schedule and the food, as if to communicate that everything is normal, more than fine. The contrast with his later descriptions of scavenging for food and supplies, and reclaiming a shed from the rats and the mud behind what is presumed to be the recently broken Hindenburg Line, is striking. Ainsworth uses jocular language like “party” to describe Allied bombardments and claims to find the nighttime shelling “entertaining.” Consistent with contemporaneous views, he sees barbarism written in the physiognomy of German prisoners, who have “the face of a machine.” Horror occasionally seeps through his language, as when he describes trying to get his truck out of a shell hole while within range of German field guns. Ainsworth spends several months in France after the Armistice in order to help with the liquidation of supplies. Like many officers, he was granted a leave to tour parts of Western Europe before returning home to the US. He includes an interesting description of the women in post-war Paris in his letter of January 4, 1919. It is hard to tell if he accidentally wandered into a red light district or if this was just another case of “khaki fever.” Ainsworth was finally discharged from duty in June 1919.
- John Horne, “Soldiers, Civilians and the Warfare of Attrition: Representations of Combat in France, 1914-1918,” in Authority, Identity and the Social History of the Great War, ed. Frans Coetzee and Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee (Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 1995), 325–55.
- Susan Kingsley Kent, "Love and Death: War and Gender in Britain, 1914-1918," in Authority, Identity and the Social History of the Great War, ed. Frans Coetzee and Marilyn Shevin-Coetzee (Providence, RI: Berghahn Books, 1995), 153-74.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Unknown, May 20, 1917
May 20, 1917.
The first week of duty is finishing, and in looking back I cannot find a single thing which was not more agreeable than was expected. First, we all had to go to the doctor’s and receive two vaccinations, and an injection of antitoxin in the left breast; consequently my arm has a horrible sore on it (it took), and for two days my chest and left arm were very sore.
Tuesday our regular day started. We arise at 5.15, line up for reveille at 5.30, breakfast at 5.50, and drill from 6.50 until 12, or when we ‘mess’. Then we drill from 1.50 until 4.00, ending with an hour’s hike until 5.00. We take a shower in ice water (no hot water), have supper at 5.05, and study from 6.30 until 9.30. Lights are out at 9.45. In off moments we make our beds, bathe, take care of our uniform, and learn signalling and orders — all very interesting. Yesterday and to—day (Sunday) I have been walking guard duty (two hours walking, two hours relief, and two hours walking). I am writing this during relief.
There is a wonderful crowd of men here, mostly college men and Southerners. and are in my company (Company 1). We sleep in double—deckers. The fellow I share mine with is a Harvard man named Cox, assistant secretary of the Guarantee Trust Company, and a fine chap. Alongside of me is a Princeton man named Biddle, also a dandy fellow. All considered, they could not have picked a finer bunch of men.
Now about the food! A sample day runs like this. Breakfast: Oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, coffee, bread, milk, etc. Dinner: Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, and gravy, spinach, side vegetables, bread pudding, coffee or tea. Supper: French toast, stewed tomatoes, jam, salad, fruit or pudding, coffee.
On Sunday we get a good roast of veal and ice cream. So, you see, the ‘eats’ are fine, and we get absolutely all we want of them. The cook is a regular army man, and we have half a dozen uniformed ‘serving men’ in each company. The days are as hot as blazes, but the nights are cool. In fact, last week I sometimes slept with two army blankets and a bathrobe over me.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, June 30, 1917
2nd Training Camp C.A.C.
June 30, 1917.
I received your letter and am glad to hear that you and “friend” are at the shore. It will do you both lots of good. Thank “friend” for the postal. It is very nice that you have a chance to get a commission but hold off and stay where you are. There are plenty to do the work.
I had to run out just then and take a look at an aeroplane passing over the barracks — a big flying boat affair only about 500 feet up.
We see all kinds of interesting sights every day — new flying machine, search lights, boats and men of war.
The work continues just about the same. We plug on geometry, trig, and physics; play war games, drill on the guns, attend lectures, snatch [?] half an hours swim and wait for Sunday and rest to come.
The hard thing is not being able to see home or any of you there. There is not the excitement of here and that is what makes things go harder. The kind of work we have to me however more than compensates for the grind.
If we go to France it will
be with heavy field and seige [sic] guns. Some of us will probably be there by fall. Don’t tell anyone about that however. It would scare my aunt to death. She thinks that none of us will ever leave the country.
Give my best to the “gang” Tell Dave [?] that I will write him soon but not to wait for me to do that little thing.
Wishing you best of luck in that which you decide to do.
In the bonds,
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, July 6, 1917
2nd Training Co. C.A.C.
July 6, 1917
I am enclosing a sample of paper of which I wish you could get me 100 sheets at the supply store or at Reids. I am using it in notebook work and cannot get any down here. If you can get some please let me know how much it is and I will send you a check.
Everything is going very smoothly.
Last evening a was reported in the bay. A battleship and several destroyers went out and all shipping was sent up the river. They also had the ready to close.
Three of our small batteries were manned all night and the search—lights swept the for miles around but outside of some shooting we heard from the boats nothing happened. I have not heard yet whether they captured anything. The first taste of war.
We finished our work on the big guns and are starting on the smaller ones which is much less exciting but necessary nevertheless.
I have had a couple of good suppers at and believe me it is some food. All you said about it was true.
Give my best to friend and tell her that I thought of her when they brought in the big eats.
Thanking you in advance for the trouble, I am
In the bonds
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, n.d.
Sandy Hook, N.J.
I find in making arrangements for disposing of my estate in case anything happens to me that I have a couple of rather valuable instruments and one very valuable book that I would like to leave to the College as I think they would be used and appreciated there more than anywhere else.
These are: One microscope [?] with several rather fine English made lenses and French slides which I think are of biological subjects; One astronomical instrument built like a sextant, very old and probably an antique but probably of some service; a book which was written in 1662 (or published at that time) about science in general and a reference in it about communication by magnetic attraction which is quite singular.
If you think these things are or would be in order just drop me a quiet line.
Regards to all.
Earl Reed Silvers to William P. E. Ainsworth, February 21, 1918
February 21, 1918.
Sandy Hook, N.J.
I am sure that the College would greatly appreciate what you mention in your letter. I have spoken to the and he wishes to thank you for your thoughtfulness and sends his best wishes.
Do not forget to come to see us.
George C. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, May 27, 1918
I received the usual form of Postal this morning advising me of the safe arrival of the ship Wm sailed on and he requested me in his last letter to send you his address when I had received the postal It is 57th Artillery C.A.C. American Expeditionary Forces c/o Postmaster N.Y. Write as often as you can Earl as Peter will be pleased I know to hear from one he thinks so much of
With regards to the college [?]
I am sincerely yours
In Wm’s letter he said “Tell Reed to send any mail to my new address”
Earl Reed Silvers to George C. Ainsworth, May 29, 1918
May 29, 1918.
45 to 47 Wall Street,
New York City.
My dear Mr. Ainsworth:
Thank you very much for yourletter [sic] of May 27th concerning . I shall most certainly write to him at least once a week and shall also send him our regular college circular which contains the college news. I was mighty sorry that he did not drop up to see me the last time he was in Rahway. This is the only time since he entered the service that he has neglected us and we did not have a chance, therefore, to say good bye to him, however, let us all hope that he may get back again soon and that the old good times will be renewed.
Very cordially yours,
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, May 23, 1918
SOLDIERS’ MAIL NO POSTAGE NECESSARY
CAPT. E. W. HAMLEN,
THIS SIDE FOR ADDRESS ONLY.
Mr. E. R. Silvers
I HAVE ARRIVED SAFELY OVERSEAS.
This card will be held until safe arrival of the boat on which I sailed.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, June 7, 1918
Somewhere in France. June 7, 1918.
At last I am and everything is so peaceful in the locality where I am situated that it hardly seems I am in a country which has been at war for four years. Of course I am in a place very many miles from the firing line which accounts for the tranquility. You must understand, while I censor my own mail, that I cannot reveal many things and must deal largely in generalities in writing you.
( First of all I want to enquire [sic] for “friend—wife” and “Mike” I hope both are as well as ever and suppose “Mike” is growing everyday. Tickle him for me. )
The trip over was wonderful. The sea was very calm and the weather beautiful all the way over except for about two days when it blew up rather rough and as the seas caught us sideways the boat rocked to beat the band. It sometimes rocked so that for hours if you were sitting on deck you were looking alternatively at the sky above and the water beneath you and unless you braced your steamer chair you would slide, chair and all across the deck. Many of the men were dreadfully seasick but it did not effect me in the least, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have often heard what
a wonderful sight land is after days at sea but never realized it until I saw it at the end of our voyage.
Of our debarking and train trip I may say little except that the scenery was wonderful but in a different way from America. Our beautiful sections as a rule are the wild ones but the beautiful sections of France are often the cultivated ones.
At present our company is billetted in an old French estate surrounded by vineyards. The officers live in the chateau which is a great white stone house with a tile roof (one of the originals from which the millionnaires take their plans for their seaside homes)
I have a nice big room with an adjoining second floor parlour. In back there is a terrace with a palm and rose garden containing a wonderful pagoda. A brook with a deep swimming hole runs thru [sic] a nearby meadow and affords the men an opportunity for bathing. The days are very warm and the nights cool.
What more could one ask for?
I am very well and very happy and, I believe, very fortunate.
I will write in the near future and want you to do that little thing very often.
Don’t forget the letters from College and the Quarterly.
In the bonds.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, August 3, 1918
France.August 3, 1918.
I have received several of the College Letters but as yet no real letters from yourself telling me all of the latest gossip. What is the matter? I know that it must be several weeks since I last wrote you but time goes so fast over here that it seems but yesterday. For five weeks none of us received a letter from the U.S.; when they finally arrived however they came in a bunch and we had to knock—off for about two days to read them all.
Some time ago I was in a large city near here and who should I meet in the Y.M.C.A. but all decked out in his naval uniform and looking very snappy. I made an appointment and dined with him the next day. It was awfully good to see him and get all of the home news first hand. I have not had the chance to get to yet but will chap [?] a line to let him know that I am here
We are still located in the same place, living comfortably and working like the devil. Of my work I can say little as I have little time to spend in gadding around my letters are bound to be very uninteresting. The war news of the past few weeks has been very good as you of course know. I have talked with men who have been “in” the big drive and some of their stories and are wonderful. I wish I could tell them all. I may have a few of my own some day. I have seen many german prisoners. Nearly all of them strapping men and well set—up but with the face of a machine unlike the Americans or French. Some have long beards a foot long.
How is and Mike. Please give my best to them and also to your , , , Bobbie, and .
Hoping to hear from you soon.
In the bonds
1st Lt 57th Art. C.A.C.
Earl Reed Silvers to William P. E. Ainsworth, October 4, 1918
This letter also to Elmer G. Bracher '18
October 4 1 9 1 8
Lieut. William P.E.Ainsworth,
57th Art. C.A.C.
I have been neglecting you for the past two or three weeks, but we have all been so busy trying to make Rutgers a war college that there has been absolutely no time for anything else, except the immediate work which we are trying to do. Even now there is only the chance for this brief note.
Things have changed so much here that you would hardly recognize the place. The college is now on a , with mess in Winants Hall, all the men quartered in the two dormitories and the three fraternity houses, and no one being permitted to leave the campus without a pass. The Delt house is one of those which has been taken over as a barracks, and there are now 42 men at ; only three of them Delts. Fraternity initiations have been forbidden and no fraternity meetings may be held, so it looks very much as if the chapters will have rather hard sledding. There are now 10 Delts in College, Jimmy Losee, LeCraw, L. Sherwin, Bob Farley, Newall Chase, Carleton Jones, and four freshmen you do not know. We are hoping that enough men will be left when things are adjusted, to start the chapter organization again.
Rahway is going along just about as usual. was a year old yesterday and entertained the family at a dinner party, but this is the only piece of news from home that I can give you. Sometime soon I will try to write more fully.
Yours in the bonds,
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, October 15, 1918
France.Oct. 15, 1918.
What was my surprise to receive a couple of letters from you the last few days. I was glad to see that you had a few good days at the seashore with the and son. Has “friend” taught the kid to swim yet? I have been less fortunate in not having had a swim this year. I expect however in the future sometime to more than make up for the lost time.
According to your letters
the changes at College must be very radical. I am sorry on account of the fraternity but otherwise the new routine must be very interesting.
Since the last writing I have been doing the usual moving around from place to place tring to keep up with a very active war. Yesterday I went thru [sic] what had been no—man’s land a few days before but is now ours. I had lunch in an old bocch [sic] “pillbox” which was heated by a “bocch” If you could only see the villages and towns in this territory. In some cases
all there is to indicate that there ever was a town there is a new sign by the end of the road. In others a few walls or a portion of the church indicate where the village used to be. Shell holes filled with green water, rusty barbed wire, shells, trenches all tell of the long struggle. In places entire forests have been shot from the hills leaving not a single visible tree.
I am living in an old French shed. It is quite dark and full of rats but we have made it fairly comfortable. The orderly stole a stove somewhere and we are gradually drying the place out.
I have not seen the sun for days but we are quite used to that at present.
I suppose you have heard of my promotion to captain. Strange things do happen.
Please give my best to the Chases, congratulate , tell Mill , advise “friend” to shop [?] for the biggest steak when I get back and give Mike a kiss.
In the bonds Pete
Capt 57th Art C.A.C.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, November 14, 1918
France.Nov. 14. 1918.
I have not heard from you in a long time but presume that things are going smoothly as usual. How was the news of peace, the abdication of the Kaiser Etc received in the States. I’ll bet there was some demonstration [?] particularly by those about to be drafted. Please
save the headlines of the N.Y. Evening Journal.
We are just sitting tight at present awaiting orders. We may be sent to Germany on occupation work or home. I am hoping for the latter.
Let me say that it was a great relief to the news when peace was announced. We had been under shell fire for weeks and it seemed
strange to be able to walk about without a tin hat or gas mask, not to dodge shells at the cross roads or to drive at night without the lights off.
I am up on the last front living in the priest’s home in a village which the Huns did not have time to destroy. It seems strange not to live in a dug—out a in a ruined village; to have lights without shades but it is very agreeable needless to say.
Jamey Taylor, lucky dog, received news of peace, received a captaining and was ordered home the same day. Some luck I say.
I have to go on fathering a company of 250 men but I like it just the same.
How is Edith and “Mike.” Give them both my best and expect to see me soon.
In the bonds
Capt. 57th Art. C.A.C.
William P. E. Ainsworth to George C. Ainsworth, November 22, 1918
Beaufort, France.Nov. 22, 1918.
I am writing my Christmas letter with the hopes that I may be home by that time myself to tell you about things myself. Probably the best thing I can do is simply to give you a brief outline of our stay in France. The have been so altered that this is not only possible but invited.
First, let me start with out trip across. We went over with one of the biggest convoys leaving the States. Fourteen transports in all. Our ship was the and we made the first run she made as a transport. I may also state that it was the first ship taken by our Government to make a trip over without a single break—down. As you may well imagine, I spent some time in the engine—room.
We arrived in on May 23 and marched to the famous barracks used by Napoleon where we stayed for one day leaving the next for “
DLibourne” which is close to Bordeaux and in the heart of wine country. We stayed at for two months where we received our training and equipment. The guns we received were the which is equivalent to our six inch gun. It is very mobile, powerful rifle and probably the most famous gun of the war. These with , trucks, touring cars and motorcycles constituted our equipment. It was quite a sight to see our outfit on the road— miles of trucks and guns.
After receiving our equipment we went to which is South of Bordeaux where we held target practice for two weeks. It was here that I made a balloon ascension and here also
that the car I was riding in was hit by shrapnel out on the range. Some boob made a mistake of 90 degrees in deflection and nearly landed the shell in our .
One day we received hurry up orders to leave for the front. It took five teams to get our regiment up. We got off, after a three day ride and received orders to get into . You never saw such a hurry in your life. It so happened that one of our battalions (the first to arrive) after working like dogs got into position only to learn that the infantry had gone clear beyond their range. They never fired a shot in that battle. Before leaving Libourne we had lost one battalion to railway artillery and had given another that was already at the front. The latter was in the battle and did very good work.
After that job was done we proceeded to the historic field before Verdun. Here we started our party. We had, in the Argonne Offensive, as you have probably read, the hardest job any army ever had. I was in it from beginning to end. The “bosche” divisions were in front of us so thick that it was nearly impossible to write all of their numbers on the map. The country was hilly and wooded and most difficult and costly to fight over. It was during this fight that I took over the Headquarters Company. In the middle of this fight while we were at Eppinonville (West of Montfaucon) that we received a new Colonel who certainly was a fire—eater.
One of his first actions was to move us nearly into the front line trenches at . One afternoon I started with my company in ten big trucks for our new location. Our road led us across a field in full view of the “bosche” who were about a mile distant. Right in the middle of the field the first truck dropped
into a shell hole. It took three quarters of an hour to get it out and have never been able to figure out why fire was not opened up on us. As it was they did not start until we were off of the road.
In our new location we lived in a little cabin about 1 1/2 kilometers (1 mile) from the “bosche” for six days. We were shelled all of the time and gassed part of the time especially at night. Officers and men were killed. My company lost quite heavily. I had trucks and cars hit. Often at night shell fragments and dirt hit our cabin and we slept with our masks handy.
There was one place in full view of our house where the “bosche” liked to shell and in the evenings we used to sit on the porch, hear the shells come over the hill, whistle over our heads and see them crash down the valley. It was very entertaining.
But when the drive of November 1st started things changed considerably. I shall never forget the barrage our guns let loose that night. I sat in a dug—out we had constructed under the floor of our cabin with a phone glued to my ear keeping in touch with the battalions and our brigade and otherwise trying to run the operations of the regiment.
The sky was just one glare of lights. We had a gun under every bush and when they let loose you would think that all Hell had popped. Fritz suddenly started to leave the territory and he never stopped. I don’t blame him a bit for the business end of our fire must have been hell itself.
That was the last big party. We followed Fritz to the place I am at present, near Stenay on the Meuse. When we got here the armistice was signed and we are just sitting tight awaiting developments.
We may be sent to Germany or go home. We are ready and willing for either.
I have not attempted to give you any detail of experiences. Doubtless you get some from my previous letters. This is just a general outline to let you have some idea of where I have been and what I have been doing. The rest will be told when I see you.
I am in excellent health and getting on O.K.
If I do not see you before, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Capt. 57th Artillery, C.A.C.
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, January 4, 1919
ON ACTIVE SERVICE
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
Jan 4 1919
I have written no one for the last month. The reason is that I expected to be home before a letter could up to two weeks ago and since then I have been on the train most of the time
since. To make up for lost time, let me begin a month back.
Our regiment made a long run about 125 miles from the front to the little town of about a week after the signing of the armistice. It does not sound far but for a train of trucks, many
in poor shape after months of service at the front, and tractors which were equally used up and dragging our 155’s it was a long grind. I lived in the chateau of the Duke at Doulevant for about two weeks while we refitted the men and made preparations to return to the U.S. Dec. 15th we entrained near Doulevant and left for , arriving there Dec. 18th at night in a cold rainstorm such as one only finds in Brittany. On the 21st all regular officers, except the Colonel, were notified that they would remain in France and to proceed to a town south of Bordeaux, by name. This put about 12 of us out of the regiment. Four of us went immediately to where
we spent Christmas, staying for four days afterwards as well. I enjoyed Paris more then any other city I was ever in. I visited Notre Dame, Napoleon’s Tomb and the more popular shows and cafes. It was certainly necessary to watch your step in this town. The women all talk English and do everything but kidnap one. They not only stop one on the street and invite one to spend the night with them but are inclined to argue if you talk to them at all on the subject. It is nothing to be approached half a dozen times on a block. From Paris we went to Bordeaux and, the next day, to Le Courneau.
Le Courneau is an enormous camp of casual officers and men and there was nothing to do at all. Fortunately
we were only there a day when we were ordered to , near Neufchateau and within 25 kilometers from where we detrained when we first arrived on the front. Here we proceeded, via Paris, and here we are at present. It is a fine camp with good accomodations a , barbers, etc.
Tuesday I leave for on a leave of about 14 days. I am going by way of , and up along the Mediterranean. If possible I am going to go to and will possibly cover the . When I get back I may be sent to or . I don’t know which at present.
Have you heard from lately? I have not received any letters at all lately and cannot
expect any very well with all of the changes in address. At present it is
C.O.R.D.— A.P.O. #703
How did you enjoy Christmas? I didn’t enjoy it at all being at Paris and living in a hotel which is the last place to be on Christmas. How did Mike make out?
I certainly wished that I could have been with you all, and expected to for a while, but am hoping now for next Christmas.
I don’t know whether I told you or not, but I was in the and in the from until Nov. 11, the day of the armistice which found us before . At one time I lived for nine days 1 1/2 kilometers or about 1 mile from the bosch [sic] and believe me it was hot. I lost quite a few men from my company and got some experience with and aeroplanes. We were at that time in the third line trenches and practically living with the infantry.
That seems years ago now. Write when you can and give my best and delayed New Years greetings to all.
In the bonds
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, March 5, 1919
Mar. 5, 1919.
Yesterday I returned from my first leave at and found awaiting me a huge bundle of mail, including some from you, which had been sent all over France to my various addresses and finally caught up. I cannot realize how big “Mike” must be to walk & talk. The last time I saw him he was such a little fellow. I am afraid he wont recognize me at all. Congratulations on the new home. I certainly hope you will enjoy it.
I have just finished the most wonderful two weeks I have ever put in. I just went to where I spent one day and then on to where I spent eight days on the shore of the Mediterranean in climate such as we have at Florida in the winter. All I did was sleep, eat, automobile, dance and play tennis. The county is simply wonderful. Huge palm trees, the almond trees in bloom, the orange trees covered covered with fruit, the olive trees green like the grass. All of this foliage with the sea a dark blue green and the snow clad Alps in the distance made a picture I will never forget. I certainly will come back to it some day. I went to , and over the Italian border as far as they would let me. I met some wonderful French and Italian girls who danced and played tennis wonderfully so you can well imagine I managed to have a good time. On the way back I went up through the and never expect to see such scenery again as long as I live. We went up to snow but it was so clear and dry that it did not feel cold in the least.
I am back now, however, to the land of rain and mud with a coat of tan entirely out of place and in wonderful condition to go back on the job.
Give my best best to Friend, Mike and , if you see him.
In the bonds
William P. E. Ainsworth to Earl Reed Silvers, January 21, 1919
Capt. W. Ainsworth C.A.C
Earl Reed Silvers
New Brunswick, N. J.
U.S. ARMY POST OFFICE
PASSED AS CENSORED
U.S. ARMY POST OFFICE M.P.E.S. Jan 21
Regulating Station “H”