From Em, Charlestown Mass. 9/25/1916

Dear Sam.

Recieved your letter today and I’m glad to hear youre getting along so good. Your card Sat said not to write any more and I thought sure you were going to start for home. The papers had it that you were to start for home by today but since Sat there hasn’t been anything said. You can’t rely on the papers. I guess nobody will know till you are ordered to pack and march to the train (which will be soon I hope).

Mary had the tooth ache last night and she didn’t feel well all day. She went down to the Union though this afternoon. It is lonesome here now without her. Lena is playing the piano and pa is sitting in the rocking chair reading. It is a cool night and feels kind of chilly.

Tom Higgins started for New York this morning. The buyer and asst. buyer took him. I guess he has a good job and if he takes good care of himself he might rise to be a buyer himself some day. I got your paper and read about the parade you had. I guess I would like to see it alright. You say your dish towel is wore out well why not let the dishes or tins dry in the sun. I should think your clothes would be worn out by the way you wash them every day.

There is no news here at all. There is going to be a big suger refinery put up down the end of Belmont st. They are dreging out the river and cleaning up the wharfs down there. I don’t suppose they’ll start building right away though. Of course you know you and I will have to watch them put it up from the window so that they will do it right.

When I mail this letter I’m going to take down my hair and get in to my bath robe and maybe by that time pa will go to bed and then Oh you Rocking chair and magazine. I hope this is your last week down there. We are all well and pa couldn’t be any better. I know when Mary reads your letter she’ll be dissappointed cause your not started for home yet. She is very anxious to see you like all the rest of us. Hoping this finds you well I will close

With Love from all

Em.

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 9/25/1916

Dear Em,

Well here it is the 25th, and still there is no sign of our leaving for home or anywhere else. I got your letter of the 19th in which you openned up with saying, that you thought it was me in the right of the picture post card I sent you. You said I may not be getting fat but that when I got home Id get fatter. Well yes I may not be getting fat but beleive me it’s a sure bet Im not getting thin or am I any the worse for spending this last three months on the border. As “Teddy The Big Stick” would say “Im Feeling Bully” and say folks I am. Eating three good squares every single day, and havent felt an ailment of any kind what ever for at least a month.

Gee but this Gretter guy is there when it comes to putting up the eats. As far as we are concerned Im glad the trouble happened, (for it wasnt until he got the telagram, that he was appointed cook. He makes cottage pudding, raisin puddin, muffins in the morning, griddle cakes, doughnuts, and a lot of such things. I wish you had a peice of the apple pies he made. There was only one thing we all kicked about. Another peice, yes, every thing is fine here now.

Yesterday (being Sunday) two other serg. two musicians and myself (we all live in the same tent although it is more like a house than anything else now,) got a lot of lumber (I guess I have to admit we stole it,) and built up and boarded in this tent as if we were to stay here for life. In the centre of the tent we hang all our over coats, and a stand in which we sergeants place our rifles and round abouts, and the musician’s place their bugles and revolvers. Then we have a water bag in which water that is left over night is as cold as ice water in the morning, and stays so all day. These bags are called desert water bags and hold about 2 gallons. We also have two wash basins that hang tidy all the time. Then we have a little barrel which we use for a waste basket, (and beleive me it isn’t there for an ornament either.) Around the sides of the tent (which is all boarded in) we hang all our cloths. Shelves are plentiful also. Well I could probably go on and fill a couple of sheets of this paper, discribing (our little home) but I don’t know as it would be interesting reading.

We were out on a pretty stiff hike this morning with full field equipment less rations and I must confess I was pretty near all in and glad to get back to (our little home) for it was away after one oclock when we did hit camp. I guess we hiked 8-9 miles all together. It was pretty warm and the packes cut into us a lot but such things come and go, and really we are the best for it after it is over. It is just this way day after day. Get up at five fifteen for reveille, breakfast at six, police up the street and tents, air out blankets and by that time it is seven oclock and time for drill. We either drill, drill drill, or hike, hike hike until eleven or eleven thirty. (today it was after one as I said above) Come in all tired and sweety and beleive me I mean sweet. Wash up and get ready for mess, after which we feel like (Looking for Villa again.) Down to the showers and a complete change of under cloths uniform and all (for me any way). Then a wash tub, wash board, a peice of army soap and a good strong set of arms and back. My cloths are all dry at three or four oclock and in they come. Retreat is at five twenty and mess is at six. After that you can get ready for tomorrow. You can see I use the day up pretty good.

Well Id better cut this out or you will be saying “Doesnt he like to talk about himself”. I see by the El Paso Times tonight where there are about two brigades coming to El Paso to releive Mich and Penn, but no one to releive poor Mass. I guess theyll have to go some to find any body to take our place what? I see where we are to get our state money amounting to $10. per month. I have signed it over to Lena, and if we stay here any length of time I want one of you to let me know if youve received it or when you will. Keep sending your mail just the same and dont let the Post kid you into thinking we are on our way home. We may start home to night for all I know, but that would be to much of a good thing. So keep writing to El Paso as if I was to stay here all winter, and if I should happen to pop up, I think I (personally) would be more appreciated than the answer to letters I probably would not receive.

Youve got to hand it to me for finding some such stuff (as Ive been writing for the last ten minutes) to fill up a letter. Excuse the writing any way, and when I get home to 297 Ill make up for all I havent explained and make things (that I have only partially explained) more clearly understood. A little dark but still

Sam

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