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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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