March 18, 1888
I received your letter and I was most happy to hear from you but I could not fulfill your wish immediately for we were not allowed for six weeks to take walks since two of our recruits had behaved badly. As soon as we will again be permitted to leave, I have had myself photographed. If you request a whole picture please write me accordingly in your next letter, but it would certainly make me very glad if you too could send me your photograph to Freiburg, for it has been quite awhile since we last saw each other and who knows whether we will be able to talk with each other in person.
Our emperor just died.* It is not believed that peace will hold much longer. If I should have to start again from the beginning, I would visit you, but the worst time is passed now. No one can imagine in advance what the first half year is like, otherwise quite a few would go to America, but one thinks this time passes too. If one has little money or does not get anything from home, he is to be pitied. I can not thank my parents enough that every few weeks they send me a little money and something to eat. We get food only twice a day, some black coffee in the morning and a little meat and soup at noon, and nothing at night. Around Easter time I once again want to take a look at how things are going at home. It will not take that long anymore until you would once again visit your home or come to me in my barracks. How things stand with you, I have seen that, that you mostly entertain yourself in the winter with hunting and that if time turns out too long for you, you take up your rifle and put it on your back. I have one on my back every day too, but mine has caused me many a heavy hour until I managed to learn how to handle it.
Now I conclude my letter and to write you something about my life as a soldier in my next letter.
Kindest regards from
Franz Anton Fahrlander
3rd Company, 5th Baden Infantry
Regiment No. 113
Write on envelope: Soldier's letter, personal matter of the recepient.
*Emperor William I died at age of 91 years, March 1888. He was followed by the ailing Frederick III, who was declared emperor March 9, 1888, but lived only until June 15, 1888, when he died of throat cancer. He was followed by William II, who was emperor until abdication in 1918.