Arthur B. Greenlee left his Mason County home and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War I. After training at Quantico, VA, he sailed for France, where he exchanged letters with his family in October 1918. His letter revealed his belief that the Germans would soon be defeated, while his father sent news of home and mentioned the flu epidemic, which killed nearly 3000 in West Virginia in 1918-1919. Greenlee was wounded at the battle of Bayonville on November 2, 1918 but returned to his family after an extensive hospital stay and rehabilitation.
Somewhere in France
Mr. H.W. Greenlee
Dear Father & Mother & all the rest:
How are you? I am just fine. Just a bit tired, but I don't mind that. We would do anything to win the war, and we are going to win it, and it isn't going to be very long either. As we were marching on our way to this town most of us were wearing the pins we got on the Rifle range at P.I. we passed some Army officers and I heard one of them say "They are all expert riflemen or something; and they are just going to shoot hell out of Germany." We certainly are going to try to anyway. The Huns seem to be on the run more than ever now, as the Americans are making a drive. I think we will soon be in it. Part of our company have already been sent to the front. I am now about as far from Paris as I was away from home when I was at work. Now you can locate me pretty well, and anyone else reading this letter can't.
Hope you are all well. I haven't had but two letters since I left Quantico one was from Doris and one from Hale Pauley. They were dated the 4th and 7th of August.
Don't worry about me a bit. I am here to do my part and am trying to do all I can. Write often.
Pvt. A.B. Greenlee
Co. B. First Training Bat.
First Causal Regiment
U.S. Marines A.E.F.
A.P.O. 727 Via New York
E. ????[unable to read name]
Leon W.Va. Oct. 15 - 18
R F D 2
Dear Son Arthur I will write a few lines to you this pm we are well as common only Rosa has not felt very well for a few days and there is so much influenza that we get uneasy about it when any one feels a little bad hope you are well and will be able to escape all the Hun bullets I would be glad if victory could be won and you could get home by Christmas School has not commenced at Rocky yet on account of the influenza in the country now have you learned any French words yet? on account of Government orders the papers had to stop all that was being sent out to correspondents so I missed Several copies of the Register but I was down to town mon and Subscribed for it So I suppose it will come on now I will enclose clipping telling of the death of Miss Donaly the principal of the commercial college of Charleston W.Va. Well I will close hoping to hear from you Soon and also hope to See you before long.