28 July, ’17. (Evening)
My darling Lal: —
The weather is lovely, warm, clear, bright blue skies. The nights, though, are getting chilly, and sleeping without covering of any sort is not so pleasant.
It’s queer how magnificently confident every one is. I am quite sure it has never occurred to any one that all might not go well; that, for instance, Heinie might put up such a resistance as to stop us. How terrible it must be to be fighting a losing fight; to know you are opposing men who never even figure on your resisting at all, just plan to walk right over you without even contempt, not even with savagery, just in the day’s work! Every one knows the artillery will support us to the limit artillery science has gone, as they know the other Batt’ns. are just humans like ourselves, and will go over without hate, without excitement, just because —
It’s the job of work we came to do, and we do it. That’s all. I have looked to find some difference — some sign in the fellows around that we are going into battle; but there’s none, none unless that the mail bag is heavier — if that’s a sign. The boys discuss it, of course; but only in a detached way, more as to technical details than anything else. I heard a man wondering if they’d be able to get mail in to us, and kicking because he thought they’d probably be too darned lazy. One fellow did say he hoped there wouldn’t be many casualties, but he didn’t sound awfully interested. . . .