Camp Cotton & El Paso, Texas 7/15/1916

Notice the ground, and mud hut. This is a good sample of the country down this way. At noon the sun is right over our heads.

Sam

Dear Em,

 

Although there is no news, for I guess this is the land of nothing, I have to use what time I have in writing. I just received your post cards, and tell Bert I will have to wait until I get home before I buy that gulp, for this is no place to take a chance. Not for me anyway. Its here, but I want to be able to say, “Here I come” instead of “I can’t come back.” And say that card of the park does look good. I am glad you are going to send me, mail of some sort every day anyway.

 

The recriut think it is hot here. Well tomorrow when they get out in the field drilling, they wont think so. They will know it. They all got vaccinated for small pox and tyfoid fever on the train and, some of them have some pretty sore looking arms. We have got shower bathes up now, and believe me they will not be idle one second.

 

Our new clothing has arrived. It consists of 3 pair of cotton pants, 2 o.d. shirts, besides the one we have, 2 pair of shoes 6 sets of under wear, 12 pair of woolen socks a new hat, 2 pair of leggings, and the other stuff that a soldier should have. I don’t know how we are going to take care of it, but that’s one of the problems a soldier has to dope out.

 

I am sending a few pictures, and I hope they will please you. We have got to fall in for “Retreat” so I must close.

 

With love
Sam.

 

P.S. They have found that the flies are spreading a lot of disease down here. OH please swat every one of these devils you can see.

 

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/14/1916

Dear Em, Lena, Pa, Bert, Henry and the rest of you.

I have just got Em’s letter and Lena’s card, and believe me they look good. The best thing that pleased me was, hearing that some one is taking my place, (part of the time at least). And who could fill it any more than my brother Henry. I am sorry that I couldn’t see him before I left, but you know there are a lot of people that I should have seen. But why all this, I will soon be back and we will hardly know that I was ever so far from home.

ElPasoI sent a letter yesterday and I hope this one gets there in time to make it possible for you to forgive me for lecturing so sharply. Two post cards and a letter from home in this place is a God send, especially in one day. Well please keep it up and tell Henry to send a line also. John Higgins sent a card and the time he took in writing it was well spent, for I am going to send him a letter today if I have time.

When I got the mail, of coarse the first I looked at was the post cards and I was trying to dope out what Henry it was. And as I have said above I was very glad to hear it was our own Henry. And say tell him to eat will you. Athough they are feeding us good, I cant eat a thing. I guess it is just as well that I can’t for, (well I have told you often enough I think how hot it is)

I thank you very very much for sending the picture and if I don’t have it with me when I get home well don’t let me in. Tell Em not to feel so bad over the heat, for, as I have always played this game; I can stand it just as much as the other fellow, and then some. But say Em you struck it when you said, you wish we would get some rain. It would be welcomed here every day.

If the Holland’s are as interested in me as your letters state well Ive got to use more lead that’s all, so they are going to get a few lines any way from me. So is Madge and the rest, if I have time and some ambition. (There is very little of the latter down this way.) That little Mary is not going to be forgotten, for I know the 17th we were pretty good friends. I am glad Lena found out about my insurance, and I will see that it runs along alright.

Speaking of news from the 8th, you know a barking dog never bites and that is all I will say about this. They say that the recruits are on the way; well the sooner they get here the sooner they will get sick of it, I bet. I am glad to hear that you are sending some writing matter but, please don’t bother about news paper, unless you find some thing that will interest me. Tell Bert I will change places with him on the chore job if he says the word.

There are plenty of chances to keep a piano going but not for me on this trip. I didn’t feel very well yesterday but I am feeling fine today.

Well I have got to get after the other letters so I can get them in before the mail is collected so I must close with best wishes for all.

Sam

P.S. How is Maggie and Napolean, also the birds across the way. Keep “Old Glory” flying every day, and I will try to be an honor to it down here.

 

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

Published in: on June 4, 2008 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From Em, Charlestown Mass. 7/13/1916

Dear Sam.

 

Received your letter today and must say that your doing fine. Thats a good picture but you should have been in Marks’s place. You want to pull your pants down, youre a big boy now. Madge and Molly were both very glad to get your cards and they said they would answer right away.

 

I see by the papers that you have ball games down there. Do you play or are you too busy to take interest in them. I save all your mail to show to Henry when he comes. When we get the pictures of him Ill send one down to you. Mack is going to be shifted over here to work and Molly is thinking of moving back to Charlestown. If she does Ill send her address.

 

I saw Norman Rinney up the band consert the other night and he was asking for you. He said he was up to the Armory to see you but you wasn’t there. I guess it was the night you came home to sleep. I gave him your address and he said if he remembered it he would write.

 

The reason we don’t send you more papers is because they don’t have hardly anything about the Eighth. But we will send them any way now. We are having pretty hot weather up here. Lena wrote a letter yesterday so I haven’t got much news. Pa is feeling pretty good for such hot weather. He is certainly sticking it out.

 

While up the band concert the other night there was a crowd of girls standing behind Sadie and I and one of them said to the others “They don’t seem to be any nice fellow down here tonight does there.” And I turned around and said, “No, all the nice fellow are down the border.” That made everybody smile and they all had something to say about “Those poor fellows.” I bet when your walking up and down along the border you wish it was Bunker Hill St. Well cheer up it could have been worse.

 

Now please don’t do anything you’ll be sorry for, and if you can’t be good be as good as you can. It was Bert who send you that paper and he also send you a card. Do you hear from your boss? I am sending you a paper so you can read about the “Rookies.”

 

I am glad you have enough to eat and hope you can eat all you get. Wish this finds you well I will close.

 

Love from all

Em.

 

 

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/12/1916

Dear Folks;

 

I am not only writing this to let you know how good I am holding my end up, (for I could not possibly feel any better,) but to see if I can draw a return fire from home. To be frank I have received five letters from a girl I have danced with a post card from one of the boys, a letter from Anna Christie, and two post cards from other friends, but only one letter from (Home.) Now all this mail from these dear friends of mine is gladly received, but the good of even these is taken away when I don’t find a letter from home amongst them.

 

You would think that the first sergeant was a Santa Claus, and Christmas came every day to see the boys crowd around looking, yes begging for mail. And believe me some of the young fellows have some pretty sorrowful faces when they don’t receive any. If you have got all the mail I have sent, you can’t say Im not holding up my end. Now don’t think that I am kicking but do appreciate the sense in which I am writing.

 

There is an awful lot of smallpox down here and we were all vaccinated last night. Every body had to take it. We are getting quit a lot of gaurd duty down here latly, which means very little sleep at night. It is too hot during the day to even think.

 

Although I haven’t felt hungry since we got here they feed us very good. It seems as though the more water you drink down here the more thirsty you get. I bet I drink twenty bottles of tonic a day, but I don’t see how that will last much longer even if I am a sergeant an my pay is more than a privates.

 

Ice is so high here that if you want a cold drink you have to buy tonic or beer, and this goes so fast and ice melts so quick that it is hard, sometimes to get anything cold. I bet you could almost make tea with the water we are expected to drink. For every pound of food we eat, I bet we eat two pounds of sand, but after it is down, it must do us good, for every body seems happy. Tell Burt I will be able to roll B.D. with one hand pretty soon, for it seems to be the standard in this part of the country.

 

There is some talk of our taking a ten day hike to Fort Hancock about Friday, but we hear a lot of talk. Say what do you know, from my tent I can hear a piano, which has just been presented to the machine gun company. It has just got here and the first tune they are playing on it is, “When I dream of old Ireland Im dreaming of you.” OH I cant discribe how good it sounds. They are now play, “When I leave the world behind” It seems as though I am in the kitchen now and Lena is playing. It might seem funny to you but it takes me right back home.

 

As I cant say any thing or do any thing that will make me feel any nearer to you than to listen to this real music I will close now with a longing to soon be with you all soon, I will remain the same Sam

 

P.S. This piano has made a heaven out of a h____ in just about one second.

 

 

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

Published in: on June 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm  Comments (1)  
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