From Em, Charlestown Mass. 7/20/1916

Dear Samakel

 

Recieved your letter and send a card saying a letter would follow and here it is. Gee, you’re a funny guy. Why don’t you get in the first row when you see them taking your picture? The picture of the “City of Tents” looks fine through the glass we have. I showed Henry your mail, he was over last night. We asked him if he was coming over Sun and he said “Sure, and don’t forget to have some biscuits.” There is no bread eating here now except 1 slice by me in the morning. I guess Lena will have to stop buying bread & butter altogether.

 

I was over to Molly’s with Henry last Sun and Henry was talking about cooking. He must be some cook himself. We stayed to supper and Molly said she was sorry she didn’t have something nice for him. He said, “If you want to have something for me next time make me some of your potato cakes and plenty of it.” You would think some one gave her $100. to see how pleased she was. I was glad he sprung it. Oh Henry is some boy now but don’t worry I won’t let him cut you out.

 

Nora and the kids are well. Madge feels alright sometimes and then again she don’t. If you write her a nice long letter she will feel pleased I know, because she loves to have me bring down all the letters and read them to her. I’m saving them all and intend to keep them for you to read.

 

Bert, Lena, and little Mary have gone down to Nantasket Beach today and I got the supper. I’m going up to Peason’s tonight because they had it advertised that there would be moving pictures of the boys at Framingham. I going up to see if I can see you and will tell you all about it in my next letter.

 

I have to close because I have to wash the dishes & meet Sadie Mack at 7.30. By the way she told me to tell you she was asking for you and to tell you to try and not get sun burnt. Hoping this finds you well and happy I will close.

 

With Love from all & everybody

Emily Jane.

 

P.S. Pa is fine and he starts on his vacation next Tues. Lena wasn’t here to address the envelope and I did it myself. How does it look?

 

 

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

 

From Em, Charlestown Mass. 7/18/1916

Dear Sam.

 

I have just got your letter and I’m glad mine cheered you up. When I first read your other letter I thought something was the matter with the mail but when I looked it up on the calender I knew it would be all right. Little Mary had just written to you and put it in the box when she got yours. I just wish you could see how glad she was. She is staying over with us now. Lena plays the graphanola while she dances. Isadore Duncan has nothing on her.

 

Well to tell the truth Sam I couldn’t blame you for getting nervous in not receiving mail and I hope now it never stops coming. Seeing that you are writing so much, Lena thought you ought to have more stamps. I saw in the paper this morning about your out post duty. It told about some of the boys seeing the horsemen shot down and I’m just sending that much.

 

Mrs Holland received your letter today and Catherine showed it to me. She said it was real nice of you. Henry told Molly that if she moved to Charlestown he would, too. And if he did it would be to stay. He was telling us that last Sat. night Nora asked him what to get for Sun. dinner and he told he didn’t care what she got for herself because he was coming of here for dinner.

 

The Hollands are putting in a bathroom down stairs and ours is beginning to get lonesome now for you. Hurry up home and you can have it all afternoon without them chasing you out. Napolean is the same old scout and Maggie is doing fine. I told her about you writing home but I was afraid if I told her you was asking for her she would tell me to buy some butts to send down to you.

 

The little birds are still there across the way. Your thoughts are certainly around here alright when you thought of them. Pa is feeling fine and working every day. I haven’t got Henry’s picture yet but when there developed I’ll send it.

 

They have Mary playing statue and I can almost write. Well I guess I better close now as my paper is all used up. Hoping this letter finds you in the best of health I will close.

 

With Love from all

Em.

 

 

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/18/1916

Dear Em,

 

Here is one right back at you, and if it has the punch that I feel like giving, I think we will come out even. We have just come in from out post, a job we have been on for the last twenty four hours. I suppose this telling you of our out post duty is getting to be old stuff with you. Well if it is, old stuff to you, believe me it is sertainly getting to be very, very stail stuff for us. It is the third time we have furnished out post, besides, twice interior guard, and twice acting as reserve. Of coarse this will be all Dutch to you unless I discribe it to you.

 

We are using two companies for out post every night. This is a position taken up as near the boundary as is possible, but at the same time to allow safe cover and observation. I don’t want you to think I am fore flushing when I say that last night, the corporal of sentry squad no. one, and I, jumped through the barb wire fence into Mexico, but we jumped right back again.

 

My duty was to take charge of two sentry squads. Now a sentry squad is one squad (eight men). Two men from each of these are sent out; the rest are held back to rest, and to releave those already out at sertain intervales. I have to post these men to the best advantage and see that they under stand their special orders, which were last night to arrest any and all persons found crossing our chain of sentinels, to search them for arms and amunition, and to look out for the smuggling of Chinamen into this country. This is all out post work.

 

The reserve means nothing more than the word itself. It consists of two or more companies held about one hundred yards in rear, ready to go up into action should the out post be attacked. Interior gaurd is tacken care of by one other company. Their duty is to keep order in camp such as, see that all lights are out at taps, arrest any one that is found outside of camp with out a pass, and to take care of prisoners. All this is just a brief outline of the different classes of guard duty but I guess even this much is plenty enough, for you to say, (Well Now I Don’t Know).

 

This morning two privates from one of the Michigan regiments wanted to take pictures of one of the boundary monuments. Seargeant Smith and I had the sentry hold them until we had time, and then we marched them down and made them take our pictures. We took a chance in doing this but we got away with it and if we get the result of the experience, (the picture) why it will be well worth the chance. Of coarse home it goes if I am lucky enough to get it. I thank Lena for the writing paper, and I am going to see how quick I can use it up, by writing to you. The stamps were just the thing I neaded for I haven’t been to El Paso for over a week, on account of the recruits and all the gaurd we had to stand. I expect to get a pass tomorrow, for I nead a hair cut, and a little change of scenery. If you could see me writing this letter you would wonder how I do it, but I guess I will be better off pretty soon, for the tent squad is talking of making a table to overcome this difficulty.

 

I got Berts postal from Providence and I thank him for the same. By the way John Marks sends his regards; he is doing fine. As for pulling down my pants, we have got our new uniforms now, and maybe I’m not sorry class. And the ball games. I put the fellows that play this game down in a climate like this, in the same class as those that run in the Marathon every year, nuts. Some of the boys just got a water mellon somewhere and gee what a mess we have made. There is some of it on this sheet of paper, but you should worry. I hope Henry is well and do show him these letters. Also send the picture you promised in your last. I hope Molly finds a good place in the old town if she moves. I hope I hear from Renney, he’s a good kid.

 

There is no need of sending news papers unless there is something very interesting in them for the boys here have papers come to them. You said in this letter you haven’t much news. Well let me tell you, even an envelope from you is news. I am very glad to hear that pa is feeling all right. It is half the letter. That was a good one you pulled at the band concert, and I guess you hit the nail on the head too as far as the other fellows are concerned anyway. I sure do wish I was walking Bunker Hill St. instead of this desert.

 

As for being good, well you can’t last long down here unless you do, so don’t worry on that score. I haven’t heard from the shop as yet, but I have sent the boss a letter and I hope to hear from him any day now. I am glad to say we get enough to eat, but sorry to say that I can’t eat much at any time, Ill make up for it when I get home.

 

Well I guess Ill close now and go to sleep after twenty four hours of continual patroling and instructing. Me for El Paso tomorrow, and I think the change will do me good. I will close now by saying Good Night.

 

Your loving brother
Sam.

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

Published in: on June 8, 2008 at 8:15 am  Comments (1)  
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Postcard from El Paso, 7/17/1916

ToltecClubElPaso

Only 112 here today in shade. Sand storms all afternoon. Expect to leave here soon for border duty. Camped just outside Fort Bliss. Nothing but sand and sage brush. Stray shots along border every little while. Feeding fine and all are well.

 

 

 

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

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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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