McKinley Austin in Eldred
In March, McKinley had a leave to go home before his outfit left for France, as the next letter indicates.
McKinley, Chattanooga, Tenn., to Mort Austin
March 14, 1918
Dear father, I got here all right. The train was late into Jersey City and I missed my train. I was 14 hours late, but as I got the conductor to sign a paper telling the reason, I think it will be all O.K.
Well I will write soon. Tell Aunt Aida that I am here all right. With love to all the family. Your son, McKinley
McKinley Austin, Chattanooga, Tenn., to Aida Austin
March 31, 1918
Dear Aunt, I was very glad to get those pictures. They were real good. We are having fine weather here now. I did not send anymore this month because I owed some and there are some things that I want to buy to take across with me. But I expect to have a good deal to send back next month.
My corporal is attending sniper’s school and I have had to lead the squad. I don’t like it very much.
I am expecting to be transferred to the Machine Gun Company. I would rather stay with F Company, but I have noticed that a good many things that have happened to me lately, really unimportant themselves, have resulted in advantage to me. And while I am not superstitious, I think it best not to try to change that everything is coming for the best.
Perhaps you understand what I mean? I suppose I could get another man sent in my place, but I think whatever happens is for the best.
Your nephew, McKinley