December 1918 was a somewhat tedious month for Cap, and likely the whole of the AEF. The war was over and the U.S. was busy trying to get its 2 million or so troops out of Europe. As Cap detailed in his journal entries from the time, this was no simple task.
All the while, the Spanish Flu continued to wreak havoc on the continent—as well as the rest of the world. Funny that Cap didn’t seem to recognize it for what it was: one of the worst natural disasters in human history. When all was said in done, between 50 and 100 million people were dead—and that was on top of the catastrophic human toll of the war itself.
Despite the pandemic, Cap’s relief for the war’s end is palpable. He seems to be in his best mood yet, as he details an extravagant Christmas dinner and the absurdity of stumbling into an old French matriarch’s midnight quarters. New Year’s Eve also brings some quiet reflection…
“Tonight is New Year’s Eve. My thoughts stray back to what I was doing a year ago tonight—what a difference. Then, it was hard to tell what might happen in the next year, but now it is all over and we may again be trodding the normal walks of life.”