Hdq. Co 103rd U.S. Inf.
Here we are at this camp yet, but not a man in the whole regiment is allowed to leave camp under any consideration. We are all ready to pull out at any minute. Every thing has gone but the tents, cots and one stove, and only enough rations are drawn to feed us for one day. The tents and cots are to remain here for some one else to use I guess. Our passenger list is all made out and take it from me Em it was some job. By this list every man is checked up as he boards the boat and as he gets off on the other side. On these sheets is the man’s name, address, rank, and nearest relative or friend and their address. Then we had another form to make out, one each for every man. On these lists is a man’s whole history. I worked two days on this list alone. Any body would think that all a soldier had to do was make out and sign slips, as to when he was born, where he lives, etc.
They say if we are not on the boat by the first of the month we will receive no pay until Dec. because they don’t pay any soldiers in Europe only every three months. There is another job Ive got when muster for pay time comes round. And of coarse the pay roll will follow this muster roll up. You’de never dream there was so much paper work in the army. We are still handling equipment, for some of these N.H. & Vt. men were in an awful condition for clothes and mess outfits. We sure are going to be well outfitted when we leave.
My barrack bag is crambed full now, and yet I’ve got leggins, slickers (rain coats) trench shoes, more woolen under clothes and another blanket to find rooms for yet. We can only take a pack roll with us (on our backs understand for the barrack bag will not be seen until we land) besides an over coat two blankets, and other articles that will be needed on the boat. My field desk and typewriter is going with me and I may be able to crowd some stuff in with the typewriter, and in the desk.
Ive just completed tacking on a tag addressing my typewriter to my stateroom. Yes, I get a stateroom. I dont know how big it will be or how many accomidations it will have, but all men from top soldiers up are to have one of these. We are planning on doing a lot of paper work on the boat, and I guess it will break up the long, lazy hours that will be spent on our trip. Here is hoping against hope that the trip never materializes but I guess it is a happy hope. As much as Id like to go visiting Id just as soon postpone this trip until Im about 75 years of age. I think this war will be over then anyway.
It is very chilly and windy here to day and I guess we are in for a little colder weather. It has been very comfortable latly and Ive put in some good sleep, since I got back from my leave last week. I thank you very much for the pictures, and I think they came out very good. Has Henry called again yet? I suppose it is the last you will see of him for about another six months. I hope he shows up once in a while, and if so tell him I was asking for him. The old dust is flying around here in great shape now, and Im getting chilly sitting here writing, I’ve got a sweeter on too.
This is some buisy place now I tell you this is the first chance Ive had for a couple of days to write to you. At night either the oil runs out so that I cant see to write or there is such a croud in the tent talking, singing, and joking, that it is almost imposible to write and I join them to kill the night. There is some one from the old company over to see us every night. The only reason Im writing such a long letter today is because it is Saturday and all there is to do is stand inspection in the morning. The rest of the day is given over to sports (but no pass). Sunday is a holiday. They are just piling the equipment in here by the ton, and they are drawing and issuing it as fast as it comes in. I guess tomorrow (Sunday) will be used for nothing else but issuing clothing and other paraphanalia (I guess that’s the way you say it).
I received your letter of the 19th and as you say you want that poem. Well in looking through my desk I find that I havent even got a duplicate left. The last one that I saw I sent to Lil and I hope you are interested enough in it to meet her and have her let you read it and copy it. If you dont know her address it is Lillian Ambrose, 897 E. Broadway S. Boston. I hope you will thank her, or rather I hope Lena will thank her for her congradulations. Probably you can write and plan on meeting her in Roughan’s some Sat. night. Ive got to close now with love to all
P.S. There is a form that we can sign allotting part of our pay to some one. We are all run out of them now but when we get to France the Capt. will get some more and I will do the best I can for you. Let me know how you come out on the $10 State money.
© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.