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

Monte Cassino

Camping in Italy, February 24, 1944

Dear Elizabeth,

I loved your letter. I love all of the words you write, especially the ones I don’t understand. Each night I pull out your letters and picture you scratching out every word. I examine the strokes made by your pen. That crazy girl should drink wine and listen to Billy Holiday more often.

We have moved less than a mile in the last two weeks but that doesn’t mean I’ve had nothing to do. If it’s not bullets or mortars it’s this weather. It’s so cold, so dreadfully cold. I’ve seen men unable to move little more than their eyes. It’s unbelievable. I’m sure we must be moving on soon though. This can’t continue on as it is. You want to hear something crazy? I can smell apple trees. I’ve never seen one in person, but here, in the dead of winter, I can smell them. Maybe I’ll find them yet.

Looking over a past letter I realize that I never told you that I feel close to you as well. Thinking of you keeps me going when otherwise I’ve got nothing left. My grandma is the only other person I’ve ever felt close to. She can’t write in English and I can’t read Italian, so all I get is the occasional note from my father. He tries but doesn’t know what to say. For that matter, I don’t know what to say to him either. Thankfully spring training should be starting soon. If there was one thing I could always talk to him about it was baseball. Thank heaven for baseball.

Write soon and often.



Next letter – March 1, 1944