This is the tenth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

Chicago Stockyards

November 1943

Mountains, lots of them

Dear Elizabeth,

Well, we’ve made it to the front. You know, up until this point I wasn’t fully convinced that it was real either. All some sort of a game dreamed up by a madman. That’s not to say that it isn’t, but the blood is real. No matter what they tell you it’s not something that you can be prepared for. Like visiting the stockyards in Chicago. But perhaps you’re right, let us speak of other things.

Let me tell you something of me. I know you haven’t asked but I don’t know what else to write about right now and I need to write. At one point my father worked in the stockyards slaughtering cattle. He never liked it but he did it for my mom in order to make an honest day’s pay. He kept it up for a while after she died, a number of years, but as her memory faded into nostalgia he settled back into his old tricks. I got a letter from him recently saying that he took up a job at a defense plant. He sounded genuine enough, but he was always good at that.

We joined up with a unit here that’s been worn ragged. They’ve had a tough time of it and laugh at how green we are. I worry I’ll get like that. I don’t ever want to get like that. But maybe it’s inevitable. Maybe that’s the only way to survive something like this. But tell me about your day. How are things in Texas? How long do you plan on staying there? When you think about it, all of this is pretty amazing. I mean, all these men, from all over the entire country, brought together for a common purpose. Truly amazing. I just wonder if we’ll ever be able to do it when the blood of so many young men doesn’t stand in the balance.

The skies are calm now and the moon sits overhead. Maybe you’re looking at it too – isn’t it beautiful?

Take care,


Next letter – November 25. 1943