On Bastille Day 1918, Captain Mike Hogg wrote to his brother Will in Houston:
Somewhere in France
Sunday, July 14, 1918
Today is France’s Independence Day. It is at this minute only six-thirty a.m.-- however, not so early for our billet. We have done many things before this. We are now shaved up, “polished” up, cleaned up, eaten up, dressed up, keyed up, exercised up, and are ready to enjoy and observe this holiday. At seven-thirty this morning, my Company has an inter-platoon baseball game; much rivalry and much interest will be had. . . .
My greatest desire is that this war end as speedily as possible. One is so “hand-tied” by these censorship rules that it is almost impossible to get “anywhere” with what you would like to say. It is really quite exasperating. I could write almost a book of what I would like to say, all of which cannot pass my own censorship. We have made a clean village out of a very filthy one. This is always the rule wherever our troops may be. . . .
We have a town crier who announces all the news. He is a queer looking animal. Whenever he has any news or makes an announcement, he dresses up in his best clothes, a derby, wooden shoes, and an old, slick, tight, once-black, but now green, suit. He has a snare drum, which he beats most furiously up and down the street before he makes his news known. Everyone runs out to hear what he has to say.. . . I have reached the time for the ball game. I have to umpire, so must say goodbye.
With love -
Captain Hogg would not be home until April 1919.