Soldier writing a letter home, 1914.
Letters from home were often painful because of their naïveté. The ironies jumped out at the soldier: “Try not to get wounded!” or “We are having a hard time, too!” “My God! From what?!” was Delvert’s response. The soldier’s sensation, on reading such comments from home, was often one of complete isolation. The troops might as well have been on the moon. They lived and fought in a place beyond understanding, beyond imagination, even beyond feeling. “The Army fights on its own” was Garfield Powell’s conclusion during the Somme offensive.”
-Modris Eksteins, Rite of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age.
“Fighting Mad” from History and Rhymes of the Lost Battalion by “Buck Private” McCollum (1921).