Camp Cotton, Texas 9/3/1916

Dear Em

 

Well it looks now as though we will leave here for some where in the U.S. Every thing is being fixed up good here and I suppose next week when it is all fixed up in tip top shape we will be kicked out, do you get it (kick out).

 

Id just as leave be the first one in line and get the hardest kick when they start. I will say that I like it a great deal more now than ever before, but, well (nuf sed).

 

I am acting First Serg. of the company tomorrow. Things are sliding very smooth now, and I am fine

 

Sam

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Cotton, Texas 9/1/1916

Dear Lena.

 

Was down town last night and had something to eat. Great. I bought a few (30) of these cards, for I find they are handy. A few words often, is appreciated more than a book very seldom. How do you like it? Say but it was cold when I woke up this morning. An overcoat would have come in handy. It is pretty cool yet 10.30. If rumor was money we would all return with a fortune, for there is a new one every minute. They say now that we will be on the move by the 15th in complience with the Old Dix law. I may not be any stouter when I get home, but say kid Im going to be there.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Pa.

 

I geuss it is about time for me to write you a line. Hows a kid? So am I. The 9th is back at Camp Cotton again and I guess the Mich. Bunch is to do some of this work now. Its about time. How is Bills son making out. It would be like hunting for a needle in hay now, (OH for two weeks on the old farm) to find him but Id like to know just where he is and, I probably look him up. The girls tell me things are running pretty smooth back there, and I can assure you Pa that every think is just the same with me here. Some (well yes I will say) quit a few of the boys are in duch most of the time but you can realize that thats only natural.

 

Sam.

 

 

Dear Em

 

Just think, here it is Sept. How the time is flying latly. Well Em here we are on this morning out working out a problem in attack. Two privates, a corp. and my self are out about 1800 yard from the rest of the Battalion, and we are representing a front of three com. of an enemy. The point has just reached us and the advance party is advancing now. You know I like to write while on the field. Please forgive me for not writing yesterday for it was a very busy day, and beleive me I am glad the field inspection is over. I am fine. Gee Ill have to get back to the nack of writing again. Have you received my picture and that envelope yet? If not let me know. it is about time you did.

 

Love to all,

Sam

  

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/31/1916

Dear Em,

 

Through some misunderstanding I have only received four of these (pictures). They were taken for the War Dept. and if you look very close you will see my number which is #300. Sorry I can’t send more so that some of the rest can’t have any. The inspection was put off until tomorrow on account of this rain.

 

Best wishes for all
Sam.

 

P.S. Our time for going home looks very dark to date.

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/30/1916

Dear Lena

 

I said on a post card that I sent yesterday that I thought the rainy season was over but as usual Im wrong. It started raining last night, it has rained off and on all night, and it is still raining. The whole camp is a regular river of mud again. The mail service is sertainly on the bum latly. We are to be inspected again today. Some day for it. I am feeling fine and I hope you are all the same. Did you get that letter I sent.

 

Sam

 

 © Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere on the Border, Texas 8/29/1916

Dear Lena,

 

I had this check all enclosed sealed addressed and the stamp on it, but I though as long as I have to stay on an other hour that I would write a letter. (Be a sport you know. I am sergeant of the gaurd for twenty four hours. This is not outpost, but interior gaurd. We have ninteen prisoners, two of which are bad ones. It is a shame the way some of these fellows carry on. For instance one fellow was brought in a few minutes ago with his left hand in a sling. He has been missing for three days, the Lord only knows where he has been. Another fellow was brought in at nine oclock with the jimmies and we had an awful time to get him quited down. I know I should not mention these instances, but they give you an idea what the Gaurd has to put up with, and also a chance to write some kind of a letter.

 

I guess you have received those post cards, (that speaks of the drill we were to be checked up on this morning,) by this time and I want to say that as far as I can make out, (I dont thing I was looking crooked either) we got a very good mark. It is half past one A.M. now, and I turn in for a nap at two thirty, so you see I am both writing a letter and keeping awake in doing so. (You know that saying Hay while the moon is bright) I hope it is as cool there tonight as it is here, but I hope you can use it for more sleep than I am to get. Cheer up, we are off tomorrow afternoon and night. May be.

 

I wish you, Pa, and Em could see me writing this letter. Here I am sitting on a roughly constructed chair, and a very roughly constructed d-e-s-k. I thought Id spell it out so that you would know I wasn’t kidding. Well on this desk sits a lantern, that throws a very good light. Up in front of me lays my gaurd roster, special orders, sick report book, and a watch (oh no not mine). Out side of my two elbows, the for finger of my left hand, the tip end of this pencil, and my beautiful blue eyes, there is nothing else ornamenting it. Laying at my right is the officer of the gaurd (my right hand man you see. I have him pretty handy. If he saw this I would probably be put in the prissy tent where these poor fellows are waiting trial. It would put you in mind of Cival War days, I think if you were here now. Out side on both sides of the tents walk two sentinels. Every two hours the gaurd is changed. OH it’s a gay life, as Harry Lauder would say in the wee small hours of the morning.

 

There is a faint dreary call of the sentinal on post #6, for the corporal of the gaurd, and as I write it, it is being repeated back through the chain of sentinals until now it has reached the man on #1 post and the corporal has started out to see what the matter is. Another prisoner for us to take care of, (this makes twenty. Trying to get into camp with out pass. We have to do it. Well this little event has past, my time to turn in is here and I will simply put this in an envelope and mail it in the morning, (that is when I wake up, for it is half past two now.

 

I am sending 25 days pay home, for I know if I keep it (well I won’t that’s all. Indorse it on the back just as it is made out, as Helena Avery.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Em.

 

You may talk about it being hot, but beleive me it is some hot here today. After the last two days of pretty cool weather we feel this hot spell. The sun just beats down and seems to burn up every thing. I guess the rainy season is over, and a few drops of rain wouldnt hurt anything right now. Remember, Im not wishing for it to rain, for it can’t do any thing down here unless it is over done.

 

Did Lena get my letter? I cant figure out now how I did it.

 

Sam

 

 © Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Postcards from Somewhere on the Border, Texas 8/28/1916

Dear Lena, 

 

It is 8 AM and here we are out here on the so called battle field. We are about to attack an enemy a 800 yards. It strikes me funny that the signal men are out about 50 yards being examined now. It is a nice cool day and I guess the boys will go through it all right. I am fine

Sam

 

 

Dear Em,

 

It is Sunday morning and everything is fine with me. I just put away a slice of balogna, slice of bread, ½ of a cantelope, and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Will write soon.

Sam

 

 

 

 

Dear Lena, 

 

Please take note of the shadow that is cast by the men. It is pretty chilly here this morning. It is Sun. and I am going to use the most of it in washing. There is that washing again. Gag.

Sam

 

Dear Mary

 

Well how is my little sugar plum. I am looking and longing

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/26/1916

Dear Lena,

 

I guess we are getting the best of the bargain, as far as temperature is conserned at that. It has been nice and cool here all day today. But say Lena, the sun sure does bake every thing it hits. As long as you can get in the shade here life is sweet, but out drilling in the sun it is awful. Right now as I write this letter, I am sitting in my tent and there is a steady breeze blowing across my cot. But if I should just step out side, Id swear there wasnt a breath of air at all. As I said in my post card it was cool this morning, and I bet we will need our blankets tonight alright.

 

I hope you enjoyed the exhibition at the big park. I am sorry that your plans for going to N.Y. has been upset on account of Preparedness, but winter isnt a bad time to visit a big city. Of coarse I hope I will not be here as long as that but you never can tell. I don’t know what difference it makes what regiment a fellow belongs to, but I will say right here that the 8th is the best. I can bet you stopped them all right when you got started. More speed to you. One Regiment is doing as much as the other and if they wasn’t you would hear from it I tell you.

 

I am glad to hear that Henry pays you a visit once in a while. Tell him he is lucky that he can. I wish I could. We are to be inspected for our field or battle work tomorrow, and our equipment Wednisday. Before this reaches you you will have read what the 5-8-9th are rated as.

 

It hasn’t rained now for two days and we are doing fine. I hope that it will get cooler soon, and do take it easy, and dont get any of those head aches that you are so subject to. You bet Mary and I will be good pals and tell her I am just waiting for the time that I can get her in my arms and pay pack some of those XXXXX she sent me and all the soldiers down here. She may think that I am a coon when she sees me, but I will find a way to over come this I guess.

 

It is said that we are to go on a seven day hike very soon after this inspection and that will test the regiments better than any thing else unless it is the real stuff. And no danger of any thing like that. Well I am going to answer Ems letter and then I am going to take in my wash.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Em

 

Im afraid Im not going to have much time to write to you so excuse me if I make use of this excuse to fill up this paper as soon as I can. I am very sorry that you don’t get any releif from the heat. I hope you all enjoyed the show. I suppose Pa gets all the bacon an eggs in the morning that he wants.

 

Talking of chicken soup that is what we had this noon. It is just what you say in regards to my return. You never can tell what tomorrow brings until it is yesterday. All the boys are shooting crap in this tent and talk about the Sunday mornings when we lived on High St. nothing to it. I will have to cut this letter until after Retreat, for it is almost 5 now and I got quite a wash out between the tents. If I don’t get them in pretty soon they wont be there thats all.

 

Well the clothes are in, Ive stood Retreat and here I am at it again. The next call will be mess. I fell pretty hungry so I hope they have some thing good. Please excuse this writing but I am in a hurry and Id like to get this letter off before grabbing my eats. Gee but its nice and cool here today. I can hardly realize that I am away down here on the Rio Grande. Probably it is because I am feeling so good.

 

We are in for a hard days work tomorrow and I am going to get a good nights sleep tonight. That is one good thing down here. There hasn’t been one night that it wasn’t comfortable to sleep, not one. Tonight it is going to be cold I think.

 

Good luck
Sam

 

 © Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Somewhere on the Border, Texas 8/24/1916

Dear Em,

 

Well the days are rolling by kid, and we kiss them all good by. We are out here on out post. I am in charge of Cossack Post #3, from picket #2, from Support #1. This post is the nearest one there is to camp though. When ever I mention that we are on out post, you can feel pretty sure than it is raining. It started at about two oclock this morning, but it has let up a little now.

 

I took a walk down to the Fifth Monday night to look up Jim Coyne, and found that he was transfered to the Supply Co. of that Reg. He wasn’t there, and, after waiting around awhile I desided that I would look him up again.

 

I have found out that the raining season lasts about a month, but it is early this year. One good thing about the rain, it lays the dust and sand, making the noted sand storms impossible.
I am feeling fine.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Lena.

 

I sent Em’s post card in, and we are waiting now to be releived. I know that the both postals will reach there the same day, but Ive got a pencil that is pretty long, and I want to use some of the lead so that I can make it shorter to fit in my pocket. We had both our breakfast and dinner brought out to us and here is what we had. This morning, coffee, bread, cheese, oat meal. Dinner, corn chowder, bread pudding, bread, lemonade. So you see we ate pretty good to-day. It has cleared off warm, and I suppose that means more rain to-night. Well we will be back at camp, under the big tents so we are not worrying.

 

Just now, one of my sentinals caught a spick trying to cross our line. Nothing doing. The idea is, Washington has found out that there is a lot of stuff such as amunition, and supplies being smuggled into Mexico, and our officers are very careful that it does not get through us.

 

Yes my washing is all done thank you. Gee I will have to get out of my clean habits when I get home, if not there will be some wash every week, and Im afraid the water bill will come pretty heavy on Mr. Holland. A bath every day and a change of every thing I wear would hardly make anything else possible. What do you say. One thing is sertain though, Ive learned to bath quicker and change quicker, for you know in this life, it is preparedness and speed that gets one by. I am the only one in my tent that strips down nights. The others are either too lazy or too slow to dress. First call in the morning is 5.20 and assembly at 5.30 so you see I have to use speed. All of our property is to be inspected by the Regular Army soon. Wish K Co. luck. I cant think of any thing to say.

 

Sam

 

 © Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/23/1916

Dear Em,

 

I just got your letter and card and I am glad to know that every thing is O.K. Say I would liked to have had a plateful of them beans you spoke of watering, and about a half dozen home made anything in the bread line. We just came in from drill and mess call is blowing for dinner. I will go up now and eat, and tell you just what we had, and how I enjoy it. I am very hungry so whatever they have I’ll eat it don’t worry.

 

Well I just got through eating and here is what I had. Two sausages, one potatoe, two slices of bread, a leaf of lettuce, and a cup of lime water. Some feed. I think I ate too much. Now I have to take a bath, attend non-comp school, wash out two sets of under wear and get ready for 24 hours of out post work tonight.

 

It is pretty cool here today, and it wasn’t so hard hiking and drilling this morning. It didn’t rain last night so the roads were nice and dry. You see we have to walk about four miles to our drill grounds, and after drilling for about two hours we hike back again. You say you can make out what is written on these postals, and I am glad of it for they are easier and quicker to write than a letter.

 

I have got quite a lot of mail from you Lena, and different other prople that were so thoughtful, and wrote to me. I get mail every day, and it is pleasing to find it waiting for me when we get in from drill. I am glad you are giving me incouragement as to my army life and I promise to do all I can to make good. Of coarse I like the business any way, but there are times when I get pretty sore and disgusted, and that is the time when I have to keep my mouth shut.

 

Sam.

 

© Copyright 2008 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

From Em, Charlestown Mass. 8/22/1916

Dear Sam.

 

I got your letter and am glad to know your feeling good. It has been awful hot here this last 2 days. Last night neither Lena or pa slept any but I slept all night. It is not quite so bad tonight. Pa went to work tonight at 8 o’clock and gets home about 7 tomorrow. He was down the beach today and had a (Jewbily) jubily.

 

I succeeded in getting tickets for Lena and Bert for Braves field tomorrow night. They cost 50¢ but we get them free and I got 2 from some girls who couldn’t go. $1.50 saved. I will write and tell you all about it.

 

There is a hen and roaster over in Napolean’s yard. When the roaster crows it sounds as if some one was closing a sqweaking gate. Oh what a voice. I am glad you are getting enough to eat. Talk about chicken soup say if Napolean don’t put some lard on his roaster’s throat some of the neighbors will be having some chicken soup. By the looks of things it dosent seem as if you would be home for the 12th of Oct. but of course nobody knows. They might send you home as quick as they sent you down there, almost without any warning.

 

I didnt go up to the Band Consert tonight because I was kind of tired when I got home. I was hot and Lena and I sat on the steps with little Mary and watched Bert go by. We took her home about half past seven and we came home at 8. Lena has gone to bed but I will drop this in the box before I fall in.

 

I hope this letter finds you well and contented for a while longer anyway. I am almost asleep. Tomorrow night I will leave the house about 7 o’clock as the show starts at 8. Now I must close.

 

With Love from all

 Milly

 

© Copyright 2009 by Richard Landers, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.

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