France: “I suppose by this time you will think me dead.”

Somewhere in France

My Dear Mother

Just a few lines, now that I am able to write once more, to let you know that I am getting on alright. Hoping yourself and all at home are still keeping in your usual Good Health. I suppose by this time you will think me dead, but thank Goodness I am still on the land of the living.

After I got wounded the Chaplin promised to write to you and tell you and so did Jack. Did they do so. You see I have not got a letter since then. And I may tell you that many a time I wondered how youse were getting on at Home. And many a time I was very sorry that I could not write to let you know how I was doing.

But as my hand is getting alright I will try and explain to you how it happened. It was on Monday night the 1st of May. And we were out of the Trenches at the time. But the Batt that we were doing reserves to was supposed to be attacked. And we got orders to go up to support them. it was about 10 oclock at night and very dark. And when ourside our quarters the Order was given to load up our rifles. So I happened to be rather late getting out and when I got out I was standing side ways to where the men were, when one of them by accident let of a round. The bullet passing through my rifle and exploding it in my left hand. The splinters tearing the whole heart out of my hand. I had to go through two operations for to get them out. It did feel sore I may tell you. But you not be uneasy as I am getting alright now, as I have the worse of it over me. And it might have been far worse if I had lost my hand.

The weather is still keeping very wet now it is simply pouring today. I suppose it is much the same at home. How is Annie and Jimmy getting on. I am sorry I cannot write to them as all my writing paper is in my rucksack and this is all I have got with me. But I may tell you many a time when lying here I thought often about youse all. And I did not know how youse were doing as I did not get a letter from anyone since I got wounded. That is nearly a fortnight today. I wish my hand was better until I would get out again as I am fed up knowcking about and not getting any letters to know how all is getting on.

I believe all the riots in Dublin is settled and near time too. If they would come out heere they would get plenty of fighting to do, without starting at hhome. If the poor fellows had the [?] and stuff that they destroyed out here they would be glad of it. But its as well that they put an end to it.

I think I must draw to a close as my hand pains me still when I use it too much. Excuse this horrible scribble. I now close hoping soon to hear from you.

I remain
Your Loving Son

John Adams