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Letter from Ralph N. Derrickson to Mary G. Derrickson, 7 or 8 August 1918

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from us and our senior 1st Lieut is at school, our Junior 1st is in command of the company and I am second in command for the time being. Mamma I have got the best platoon in our company and our company is the best in the regiment. My platoon has been complimented more than once by the foreign officers. You remember I told you once that I expected that my men would despise me at first because I was so strict with them. Well they did at first, but now I think it's different. My platoon 1st Sgt. was telling me that he overheard a conversation among them the other day and one man said, "I certainly like our Lt," and another said, "You bet your life, we all do and there isn't one of us here who wouldn't go right straight to --!!! for him." That is a rather crude expression but that is just the spirit I want and I haven't found them lacking yet. I tell them a certain thing I want done and no matter how hard it is they do it, and do it right, and my sergeants are fine, so good in fact that I stand in daily fear of having them transferred to other platoons, and having to break in new ones to take their places. You couldn't guess in a thousand years, where and under what circumstances I am writing this, but you must keep all of my letters and I will try and tell you where they were all written when I come home. Please tell me when you write mamma whether you received the $175.00 or not as I am anxious to know. After I have