From Em, Charlestown Mass. 8/9/1916

Dear Sam.

 

Henry came over to supper last night and he is putting in some gas pipe for our gas stove. Uncle Al was here so he couldn’t do much. It was awful hot here anyway. It is raining tonight and awful cold. Some change. I went to the band concert and left them here. When I cam home what do you suppose Lena told me? It seems that Henry was out in the kitchen and Lena gave him a B. of beer. Bert was here at the time as he bought the treat. Pa and Al was in the parlor. Pa said in fooling to Al “Im going out in the kitchen and have some beer with the boys why don’t you join us.” And Al said, “Guess I will I feel kind of dry.” And they open a bottle for him and he drank it all just like an old timer. Now what do you know about that? He said it was the first he had for 12 years. Lena said when he was going home he banged into the door. Just look at all the fun your missing.

 

Bert and Henry are great old friends that is you would think so if you heard them talking. Henry was to come over tonight but I guess he got stuck on an outside job. Remember how we use to sit in a corner and laugh at him and the faces I used to make at him when he wasn’t looking. Those was the happy day, ha Sam. I gave him one of your pictures, also Madge and Molly.

 

Madge is feeling pretty good and every one else is O.K. I am glad Norman wrote to you but I haven’t seen him since. The band was swell last night but it seems to be punk every other night. Well if your coming home for the World Series you can stand in line all night and be ready for the game. You seem to be broke in on that line, owing to your 24 hr. patrol.

 

Well this is all I can think of now. I just had to tell you how your Uncle is raising Cain. Hoping this letter finds you well and your washing all hung out, I will close.

 

With Love from all.

Em.

 

P.S. Mary sends her love and lots of kisses.

 

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

On Patrol Along the Rio Grande, 8/9/1916

Dear Em,

 

Well I got rid of the Mess Sergeant’s job, and Im out again on the brick yard. The boys are sure getting sick of this stuff and are all longing for the rattlers to start for home.

     I wonder how the table looks
          at home
     I wonder if they miss me while
          I roam
     I wonder how it feels, to sit
          down to three square meals
     While we are here just starving
          all along
     I can see the steaks and
          chickens coming in.
     I can see the fried potatoes
          thick and thin.
     I can hear my mother say
          Boys what will you have today
     I wonder how the table
          looks at home.

This is one of many that are sung every night before taps. These cards are all dirty but I can’t help it. We don’t know any more about when we will go home now, that we ever did.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Lena,

 

Im out here in the brick yards, (as I told Em,) dirty and sweaty, but feeling fine other wise. I wish you would try and make it right with all the folks I should be writing to, and say that I am pretty busy latly. We were out this morning drilling in the hills, and beleive me I was all in once, after climbing a hill with 210 rounds of amunition, rifle, round about, boyonet, wire cutters and a canteen of water. When I first came down here I didnt know it would be possible to climbe some of the hills we are climbing with the stuff we have to wear. I was in town yesterday and I weighed 150 lbs. being a gain of 10 pounds. I bet I pulled 5 lbs. off this morning.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Pa.

 

It is just night fall and I am going to use up what little light there is left to say. My men and I are out here just across the Rio Grande River, opposite a town called Smeltertown. It gets its name from the largest smeltering plant in the country. When they dump the hot refuse out over the bank, it lights up every thing for almost a mile around. It looks like a river of fire as this stuff is cast off of the trains that they have for this work. Then up the road (or river) aways there is a large cement plant running all the time. We go to sleep by the noise of these machines.

 

Sam

 

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

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Postcard from El Paso, 8/8/1916

Dear Em,

 

I am in Town today and on seeing this card I thought I would get a few and send you one. I am fine. Getting a lot to eat, for you know I am mess sergeant now. I hope you will be satisfied with this instead of a letter.

 

Sam 

 

 

 

 

Poem printed on the front of postcard

WATCHFUL-WAITING

The Germans have their “Wacht am Rhein,” the English play “God Save the King,”
The Frenchmen sing their “Marseillaise,” while Russians chant their National Hymn.
Our Spirit shuns this war-like ring; peace breathes in what we proudly sing.

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER

Oh! long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

By these colors we stand ever true,

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue.

 

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

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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From Em, Charlestown Mass. 8/7/1916

Dear Sam.

 

Well. Your letters, cards, medels, and pictures are all here. Gee those souviniers are bocker I oh. There’s some class to the pictures too. How did you happen to have a tie on? I guess you bought that for the purpose didn’t you. Now you didn’t have to excuse yourself for your short letter because you know that a short letter is better than none. I got your long letter too. Im glad to know you’re on the job and everything is going along alright. Your picture looks good and your face looks fatter in that than the one I took at Framingham.

 

Its awful hot up here today but there is just a little breeze blowing now. Pa is feeling good. He likes the picture with the hat on the best but I like the other one. Those medels are just what I like. When you come home I want to have my picture snapped with your uniform on and all those medels on me too.

 

I was going out to Somerville to see a girl I knew (who married Jack Doherty you know him) and took Mary with me. She dancest for them and we had a great time. She went to church yesterday then came up here and I took her home about 8 o’clock.

 

Say Sam as for giving you a drink of water at the table, I only wish I could hand you a glass full now and pull your hair while your trying to read this. The papers don’t say a word about you fellows now so I don’t know what your doing down there.

 

Madge is feeling much better now than what she was. There is no news as everything is the same. Henry wasn’t over yesterday but I guess he is afraid that he’s putting Lena to work. We had some biscuits for him too. He may be over next Sun and I hope so. He is very sociable and full of talk and makes lots of company.

 

Well I’ve sat here five minutes trying to think what to write but can’t. Molly sent up her gas stove and now the question is where will we put it. Why not up in “Sam’s room.” Well hoping this letter finds you well and happy I will close.

 

With Love from all.

Em.

 

P.S. Have you got your washing done yet?

 

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/7/1916

Dear Em,

 

Forgive me for not writing yesterday, and the day before, I guess, for I am acting Mess Sergeant now and being a new man at this kind of business, it takes about all my time to catch on. You see the First Sergeant was reduced to the rank of duty sergeant, and our Mess sergeant was put in his place, and I was told by the Captain to act as Mess Sergeant until further notice. I hope he appointes some one else for I want to drill and keep up in the military end of it as long as I am in the game. The Mess serg. stays in the kitchen all the time and sees that the men get enough to eat and what they get is good.

 

Sam

 

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

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 8:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Camp Cotton, Texas 8/5/1916

Dear Em,

 

This is inpection day. Every single thing we own is spread out and it has to be just so. You speak of receiving a souviner. Now I sent two, that is, two pins. I wish you would let me know what you mean by say only one souviner for I hope that both of the pins that I sent was received by you. I am feeling the same as usual, and hope all you dear folks at home are well and standing up under the Terrific weather. I see that the Red Sox are in first place. I am going to be there for the Big Series.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Lena

 

To continue the postal that I sent Em, I wish to inform you that as far as I can make out we are to stay here for one week more and then hit for Galveston after that? This outpost work is getting to be very important, for we have to be on the alert at all times. We can never tell when the Spicks will pick one of us off, or rush one of our out gaurds, and as we non comps are in charge of these men and posts, it makes our work more important than you can imagine. (Adious)

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Pa,

 

You will see this (the three postals) is nothing but a letter addressed to the family. I suppose you got enough traveling in your vacation, and I bet you can imagine the monoteny we went through in getting away down here. Of coarse it will not be so bad going back. We were talking to an old fellow yesterday who is 101 years old. He said he came from N.E. 80 years ago and adds that this is the best country God ever made and that he wouldn’t go back to N.E. for a million. He was never sick in his life and works his ranch every day. He is going to live 50 years longer.

 

Sam

 

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

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 8:39 am  Comments (1)  
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From Em, Charlestown Mass. 8/3/1916

Dear Sam.

 

Received your postcard. All you seem to be doing lately is washing. When you come home you’ll put the wet wash out of bussiness. Lena and Bert went to Nantasket Beach today and Pa and I just got through supper. I am saving all the mail I get from you and if you save all you get and send it home there’ll be some fun reading it over when you get back. When ever that is.

 

Molly likes her new tenement first rate. Mary came up yesterday to ask Brother Bert, as she calls him, down to her house for dinner. She is the limit. Molly is going to give Lena her gas stove because there was one in her tenement. Some class. Madge is about the same. Mary told me today that John and Anna got a card from you. I am going down there this evening to see how Madge is. The Hollands got your letter yesterday. I showed your souvernier in the shop today and all the girls liked it. It seems funny to them that I should hear from you most every day and all they get is about 1 letter a week. I guess they are all jealous. The password now is, “Did you get a letter last night?” My answer is always yes, and they say, “Gee I didn’t.” I beat them all, thanks to you.

 

Pa is feeling fine and is looking good too. We still play the machine but the same old records. We haven’t bought one since you’ve been gone. Henry’s favorite is that Hawaiian Hotel. When he comes over he plays it over and over. I played my harmonic for him last Sun. and he was surprised to hear me play so good. He said Lena had the piano and I played the harmonic and you had the graphonola and then he asked pa what he did and pa told him he was the Major.

 

Well I wrote more than I thought I was going to. I must close as I want to see Madge. I hope this letter finds you well and cheerful. We are all fine and send our love. Amen.

 

With Love from all

The Kid.

 

P.S. Don’t forget to wash your neck as well as your clothes.

 

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

 

Camp Cotton, Texas 8/4/1916

Dear Em,

 

Just received your letter of the 30th and am glad to hear that Nora is getting chummy. I can see where Henry made the mistake of not addressing it properly for if you saw some of the mail that comes to us, which should be sent to the Michigan or New York Troops you would think that some people didn’t know who or where they are sending their mail. I was glad to hear that Pa had such a good time but I am sorry that his vacation is over. I got a letter from Norman Renney, and I thank you for making this possible.

 

Just ended a very busy 24 hours and I am all tierd out. I will send Mary some mail soon. Glad to hear from Lillian through you. Am in good health.

 

Sam

 

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

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 6:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Camp Cotton, Texas 8/3/1916

Dear Em

 

Im not going to write very much this time, only to say that I got the post card of the West Pointers and I sent six very poor pictures of myself home this morning. I didn’t send them home for any feature effect for I never knew what it was to take one. But it shows that I am not getting any slimmer and surly I am not getting weaker. So much for the pictures. I want you to distribute the pictures aroung as you see fit, that is if they are good enough to be acceptable, and to tell the truth I don’t think so, but as I said before I am only sending them to show you the wonderful condition I am in. I feel good all the time, take a shower bath and change my under cloth every day, and change and wash the uniform every other day. I, (well as far as that goes we all do) wash every thing myself. I know you will say, gee there he goes again telling about the clothes I wash, but you can see by this that there is absolutly nothing interesting to write about, and I want to write a letter, fill it with something and send it on its long journey.

 

I am on interior gaurd today being both commander and sargeant of same. The lieutenant, who should be on the job as officer of such has been detailed to some other part of the camp and that leaves me to hold down both his and my own job. This gaurd is to protect the camp and prevent inlisted men from leaving or entering with out a pass. It is the softest job I’ve struck yet, for we eat in camp instead of grab and take, like what is done on outpost. But I will be back at Number 1 out gaurd tomorrow, and then I’ll appreciate the twenty four hour job I am on now even more.

 

Now I hope I have not disappointed you in not sending you a longer letter, and for not saying something in the short one I have written. Well never mind it wont be long before I will be telling you all about it. Ill be better able to sling the bull when I get home than I am now.

 

Samuel

 

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

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Camp Cotton & El Paso, Texas 8/2/1916

Dear Em.

 

I have been out here on this new post, from which I wrote and sent Lena’s letter, since yesterday, and therefore I have not received any mail since sending it. But I expect to find some waiting for me when we go back this noon. You see we leave camp at eleven thirty one day and get back at about twelve the next. That gives us twenty four hours in camp and twenty four on out post. I have just discovered some important information on this post that I hope will be to my credit.

 

Right near this post is a hut painted green, in which Madero, made his headquarters. Now just beyond this hut, there is a white hut which was visited this morning by a Mexican officer and his orderly, (By the way these two huts are in Mexico and are not more than tree hundred yards from my out post.) I also discovered that this house was guarded by four Mexicans between one oclock and up until the time of the Officer’s visit. Now this green hut that I mentioned is where Madero started the revolution against Diaz, and I think there is a plot being hatched now to form another faction. The hut is on a trail leading to Jauarez. It may not amount to any thing but I have to report it any way, and it will show the commanding officer that I am on the job in gaining this information.

 

Probably the next time I get a chance to write will be when I am out again at the tunnel, cross roads or the trestle bridge. I havent had five minutes liberty since reaching this camp, but I am going to make one grand stab at getting to town this after noon. Of coarse this will only put me back a half a day, for I’ll have a uniform, a set of under wear, socks and other things to clean. But we are never caught up in this game so I should worry. This isn’t saying I am going to get off, for four more recruits have just arrived and that will mean more work for (yours truly) but there is nothing like trying. The best of this life is, “Take what comes to you and say nothing.” You all know how hard it is for me to do this. Some times it seems as though I am the only guy in the whole camp, but the Good Book says “Every thing comes to him who waits.” Gee, but it seems that the end of the mouth never comes.

 

Please make it plain to all the Cousins and Aunts that have been so good as to write to me, that all the time I have latly isnt even mine, and that all I do steal, I cannot sacrifice for my letters home to You, Lena, & Pa. Give my regards to every one and tell them that Sam is the same and is going to remain so.

 

Yours Samuel.

 

P.S. I forgot to thank Lena for the stamp she sent, and they did come in handy for it took all I had left to send that small package. It seems too bad to waste this sheet of paper but the releif is expected any time now, when we go back for some eats. Let me say right now that as far as I am concerned, there is no kick from my side of the bed as far as the eats are concerned. But cut all jokes and bull out of it, I sure would like to sit down there with you now and eat a good square meal, which only Lena can put out, (to my liking) and listen (Say Em get me another glass of water will you, and let the water run awhile.

 

I thought I was going to cut this letter short, but here I am going a mile a minute. But who can help it. I think if I was much of a hand at writing you would get news in book form with plenty of illustrations. Well I’ll have to cut it right now and get ready to march back home. Tell me how Pa enjoyed himself, and a few words from that little trump Mary will be gladly accepted. I close now with all my thoughts centered at 297 B.H. St. Id like to send you a picture but it seems to be a forgotten art in this part of this U.S.

 

Sam

 

 

Dear Em.

 

Well here I am in the big town, and say what do you think of the ink. I guess the old pencil is the best after all what? I just got a hair cut and shave and also my picture taken. I might just as well add that I got ahold of a bum pen too. I am writing this in the Post Office, where I bought 24 one cent stamps, and 25 of these post cards. I just sent you a letter this morning, but I thought I would send this to let you know of my good luck in getting a pass and that I am not feeling any worse for it. I will send pictures soon. I am getting to think this is the life.

 

Sam

 

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

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 6:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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