Camp Cotton, Texas 7/25/1916

Dear Em,

I don’t expect to write more than a few lines for we are waiting to have our feet inspected and after that I am going to be very buisy getting ready to leave this place. I have to take a shower (you know how long it takes me to bathe) and then I have to wash out all my things, including a pair of pants, suits of underwear, two pair of socks, an o.d. shirt, and some hankerchiefs. Then Ive got to get my traveling kit together and pack away all the things I will leave behind. I’ve also got to sew two sets of shevrons. (sergeants stripes on a couple of o.d. shirts so you see I will be pretty buisy from now until taps tonight. There we go for feet inspection, I’ll finish this later.

Well I just found out that I will have to wear a size ten. If I ever hit the ocean I will sail home, what? Every thing is hustle-bustle now, that is Companies L & K. The rest of the Regiment are going some where else but I don’t know when or where.

I just heard my name called at the head of the street, and what luck. It was a letter from you and one from Mary. It is just as you say, these letters do bring us pretty close together.
I always start the other page first, well I’ll get wise when I write a few more letters. I just found out that we are to move about seven miles from here, and you would think the boys were going on a vacation, but I know that it wont be long before they find out that it is going to be anything but such. It is going to mean one day patrol and the next day gaurd, for fifteen days steady.
I am writing pretty fast now before it gets dark and I might get careless but I know you will overlook any error. Send your letters to the same place and I will get them all right.

The money I was going to send home will be delayed now, for a couple of the fellows went broke, and knowing that I had some they hit me and hit me hard. But I will get it next pay day and I will try my best to railroad it home. I am sorry I can say no more, also that I can’t answer the letter Little Mary wrote but I will write a real letter soon.

Sam

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

Published in: on July 25, 2016 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/23/1916

Dear Em,

I forgot to thank Lena for the stamps that she sent with the paper and I will do so now. But I am also going to say that they have just finished the Y.M.C.A. building and from now on, as long as we are stationed here I advize you not to send any more stationary, news papers or stamps, for we got paid yesterday and Ive got enough money for these things anyway.

I am going to send home fifteen dollars if I can get down town again and if you need it why go to it. You may not think it is easy to spend money here but let me tell you it is. As I told you before, we are dry all the time and they always have ice cold tonic and ice cream at the canteen. I am sertainly learning to like ice cream and it seems as though the more of this and tonic I drink the thirstier I get.

Talking about sending stationary and stamps. What does this little girl of mine do but send down a whole box of it, a pad of paper and a book of stamps, also a pencil into which you can feed sticks of lead. She sent two bunches of lead sticks. It costs her twenty four cents to send it and you can see that it is not nessessary. Of coarse I thanked her and all that stuff, but I was not backward in telling her not to do this again. Now I hope you will take the hint, and not send any thing but letters. But do send letters. I hope you will take this the way I send it for I appreciate all you are doing to make me seem at home. I got $4.40 about two weeks ago and $72. yesterday so you see Im not broke, but I am going to try and send some home, for if I hold it long, well its gone that’s all. All you can see down through here is silver and gold. Yesterday I got a ten dollar gold piece and two silver dollars. The minute the fellows got their money in their hands they started the cards and dice going and they have been at it ever since in their spare time. Today being Sunday they are at it all day.

I wish you could see the crowd in this tent just now. I guess this is the hottest day we’ve had here yet, and I know it must be terrible up there. Well cheer up Winter is comming and I hope I will be there with it. There is a lot of talk just now of our pulling out of here next week. I hope so, for the change, if nothing else. I suppose Pa’s vacation will be all over when this letter reaches you, but no doubt he injoyed it. Some of the fellows are going to take advantage of that bill that excuses all married men that are now on the border. Well to tell the truth, no matter how hard it is down here for me I am not or would not quit. Of coarse some of them are married and have three or four children, and I don’t blame them. The City of Somerville was going to do this, that, and the other thing, for all these kind of fellows, but I guess the Town is living up to all that Pa thinks of it, for they are doing practically nothing, from what I hear. Well Im feeling fine and hope you are all the same

With love
Sam.

Dear Em,

I have just got in from drill and received your letter, and don’t be surprised if it is the last one for a few days. Ive told you I think, in some of my others that we are expected to move very soon. I was going to write this letter last night when I though I had all the time up till taps. But the Ninth had to go and start some thing, which pulled the whole Brigade out. I was just sitting down trying to get a comfortable light from a candle to write this, when bang-bang-bang. There wasn’t a one in our tent that paid any attention to it, until it sounded like a machine gun. Then (Call to Arms) was blown, all lights went out, the half finish letter was lost in the scramble for round abouts and rifles. In the mean time the firing continued at great speed.

Well there is nothing more to say about it. We formed our company orderly and quietly, into a skirmish line, as did all the other companies and waited for some real action. Now we all knew, the minute that we heard the first Shot that it was the, (Grand Fighting Ninth’s) out post, that had seen a mule or some thing waving its ears at them or some such thing, and of coarse they thought it was, Villa’s Army. You said that the Boston Papers were full of news from the Ninth. Well here is some news that ought to be put in the papers. Lasts nights afair, ment a couple of hours sleep, and about three hours work this after noon on the rifle, for where we formed the skirmish line we laid down in a bank of soft sand, the most of which was picked up by the rifles. They are new guns and the least bit of dust shows very plain on them, (Part of the game.)

If I don’t eat any more bread when I get home as I am eating now I guess there will be very little bread consumed at 297. Gee I wish I was at that number just now emptying the pan under the ice chest, for I know there is something good in there now. I’d put a disc on the machine, and clean up, wash my own dishes, and yes if it was Saturday after noon I’d water the beans. Don’t forget to keep a cold one on the ice for Dad. I’d make a quart of cold milk look sick in less than a minute just now. You spoke of biscuits and butter, its just like talking millions to me, especially Lena’s. Gee it’s a tough job to keep going with this letter and I hope you can make out the meaning of some of the sentences anyway.

Well its just as hot up there I suppose so why should I kick. Is there any sharks in the Mistic? If I had that bath tub here now, I sertainly would take advantage of the fact that the Hollands have one of their own. Well be good, give my love to all.

Sam.

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

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/22/1916

Dear Em,

I have just got the box of candy that Lena was so kind to send, and it is hitting the right spot. It is just the kind that a fellow can enjoy. I have showted it out to some of the boys and they are of the same mind as myself. Oh, here comes a sand storm, but I am going to continue this letter regardless, and take a chance on the condition of it when it is over. It seems every time I start a letter, up comes one of these blooming showers of sand. I could almost write on this paper just now with out a pencil it is so covered with dirt and dust.

It was Saturday morning inspection, so we got off pretty easy so far. We are to go on out post tonight for twenty four hours, so I will not be able to write again until Monday any way. I got a letter from Little Mary, and say she is some trump. I sent her one, to South Boston, but I guess she will get it some way, in Charlestown. I see you are having a lot of trouble with sharks up that way. I think if this bunch down here could see some swimming water now they would go in, sharks or no sharks. I so hope it will soon get cooler up there before long for I know how hard it is to find a cool spot when it is hot especially in Boston. Down here, if you can get out of the sun, it is really cool, but the idea is to get out of the sun. It is as hot in the tents when the sun is shining as it is in the sun, for the sun beats right down on the canvas and you would think that you were in an oven. Well I should worry, as I’ve always said, if the other fellow can stand it, I can. I hope Pa is enjoying himself in the very short time he is given to do so. (one week vacation)

There is one thing that I forgot to look out for, that I hope you will, and that is my clothes. Please put some moth balls in the pockets of my new suit anyway and the other stuff that is there, for I have really forgotten just what I have got. I guess I have more clothes here than I ever had at home for we change socks and underclothes every day, after a shower bath that we are supposed to take. Can you imagine the washing that we have to do. I have sent last week’s wash to the laundry, but it costs so much that, that will never do. There will be a whole line of clothes strung from tent to tent, when a sand storm, of which we are bound to get today, will come up and make the clothes worse than ever. Gee it’s a lot of fun. I suppose you can imagine my face and mood when this happens to me. Where is that letter from Henry? Tell him he had better write now, for I will keep after him until he does. Give me his address so I can make good this threat.

There is nothing more to say outside of my feeling fine, beginning to eat all I can get ahold of, and working hard to hold down this job. I am getting mail every day now, and I wish I could return all I get in answers, but between, drilling for four hours, washing which takes about an hour, non comps school in the after noon two hours, and drilling recruits, and resting a little, I have nothing to do but write letters.

With love to all

Sam.

Dear Lena,

I suppose it surprises you to find me shooting so many letters, but who could help it when he has such people as you at home that are constantly keeping him in touch with, that home as you folks are. And the greatest thing that pleases me in all your letters, (for it is mentioned in all your letters) is Pa’s health and gamness. You can talk about all your soldiers and there battles. But men don’t always remain soldiers nor are they always fighting battles. But Pa, has always remained a soldier, and he is as game as any man that ever faced an enemy. In other words (He’s there).

I sertainly hated to say good by to him that day he put him self out so much to go to Framingham to see me off. I guess he felt no better, (that is,) the way I judged it. But we all know now that there is going to be no fighting, and that they just roped us into the army. Well the country was for (Preparedness) and we are practically paying for it by serving our young lives down here. But say it is going to make a grand lot of men out of us, and some of us will be glad it happened, (when it is all over) yes when it is over. It must be pleasant to have Our Little Mary around all the time, and tell her I want her to be there when I come home. I have not been sending any mail to anyone outside of you folks and (one) other for the last few days, so I will have to get busy soon and remember some of my other friends. But they are not going to interfere with home anyway.

You see there is so much guard, patrol, and out post work, and when we are not on this duty we are, what they call alarm company. I guess they figure, when we are working we have no time to get sore or discontented, and say I agree with them. Its about time I told you just what we do when we are not doing any thing.

First call in the morning 5.20. Gee this is tough, (get up.) Revielle Roll call, when we all fall in and answer to our names as the First Sergeant calls it. 5.30. Between 5.45 and 7.20 wash up, eat, clean up the tents, furl tents, so that the sun (you know we don’t get much of this stuff) can get at all the clothing and ground under the tent. Fatigue, which is to form the company and have them cover about one quarter of a mile of each company limit and pick up every thing except sand. By that time it is about time to fall in for drill.

At 7.30 the company is march out on more sand and given what we call setting up exercises. And say if every young man in this great country was given this physical instruction (Theres a shot out on the border but it is getting common now so ish ka bibble, there is another.) we would have the grandest set of men in the world. It is a set of execises that developes the shoulders, arms, fingers, legs, chest, and reduces the stomack. I don’t think Ill have to work hard at the latter exercise. I washed out a set of underclothes, pair of socks, face towel, and hankerchief to day, and as usual, just as I got them hung up a sand storm came along, and the only consolation I have is that they saw water. Well Im getting away from the subject now.

After the setting up drill, we are given bayonet drill, which lasts for about one half hour. Then the real work begins. The companies are gathered together into its respective battalions and are drilled in close and extended order until half past eleven. And say kid its hot out in the sun. About ten oclock the boys begin to drop, and are taken to the field hospital for treatment. I guess these are the fellows that don’t know enough to take care of them selves. At half past eleven we come in all played out and we just sit down and rest until twelve when mess blows. Well I tell you its no scramble for eats, especially at noon, but we eat just by habit, for they generally have some thing cold to drink. Then we unfurl tents and get ready for feet inspection, and inspection of quarters. After inspection we hit for the shower baths, and this is the best part of the day. Washing out the clothes that we have changed is next, and by that time school is in progress, until four. 5.30 we all fall in for (Retreat.) or the lowering of the colors. Then comes mess. Nine oclock Tatoo, which means you can go to bed if you want to. Ten minutes of ten call to quarters, and ten, Taps, all lights out and go to sleep. Now this is a days work down here. Of coarse I can find time if I want to but it doesn’t pay to kill it to much. You know how much I stay out of work, well Im the same here. Well don’t get lost in a snow storm.

With love

Sam.

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

Published in: on July 22, 2016 at 12:30 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/21/1916

Dear Em

Have just come in from a hard four hour drill, and take it from me your letter came in just right. I am glad you gave me a little scoulding for writing the way I have been writing, for it seems right after I sent that letter, I have been getting mail from some one of you every day. I got a letter from Mary Higgins, and I intend to answer it. I wrote a letter to Little Mary last week so I guess she has got it by this time. I have not yet received the candy or the letter from Henry, and I will be expecting them anytime now. As for the girl nuf ced. She is a good kid, and dancer and you know that is just my style. She writes very cheering letters and she writes them often too! If you are thinking of me, and you sertainly show it in your letters, what must I be doing away down here of you.

You said it, when you spoke of my taking care of my self. I did think I was going to be sick at first but I took things easy and now, if it was not for the heat of the day, I wouldn’t mind it at all. It is just as you say about answering to quickly, but I have to keep cool with the recruits for it has been my job ever since we struck here to handle these fellows. And say it is some job. Some of them try to get in right with me, (and they are good fellows too) but I have to hold them off, and to do this I howl at them more than the others. This is a fine job isn’t it? Well the sooner I make soldiers of them the sooner I’m done with it so I am working like the devil to accomplish this. I’ve got to go out tonight again to teach them how to shoot. OH what a job, but it is part of the game, so what is the use of thinking of it.

Tell the Studdley girls that I am feeling fine and return my regards them. I sent Mrs. Holland, (and the family) a letter and I hope they have received it by this time.

Tell pa to enjoy himself this week and I am going to try from now on to make this work down here, just play a far a fatigue is conserned.

Well I’ll close in the best of health and spirits. Tell Henry to be sure and write.

With love

Sam.

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

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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 July 18, 2016 at 1:30 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Published in: on July 17, 2016 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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 July 14, 2016 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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 July 12, 2016 at 12:30 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Camp Cotton, Texas 7/8/1916

Dear Em,

I am doing very good in the writing line aint I? But as long as I feel like it and have the time I cant help keeping in touch with you and the folks as much as possible. I received a paper by mail yesterday and I supose it was you who sent it. If so I thank you and so do the rest of the boys. We are doing guard duty for twenty four hours, and then we go on outpost for twenty four more. Although the papers say every thing is fixed up between the two governments, we have heard firing all morning over in Mexico. It seems as though some of Villa’s men are closing in on Carranza’s outpost and the firing we hear are the “Mexican battles” we used to hear so much about. Our duty for the next twenty four hours will be to patrol the line which is only about one hundred yards from our last tent and warn against any attack that the Mexican would be foolish enough to attempt. They are giving us enough to eat and plenty of rest so we are not kicking any in that line, but when we get the hikes, and sham battles, which is bound to come before long, then, life will not be so sweet.

Now I know you like to hear from me as often as possible, so you can imagine how I must feel when I get a word from you. There is a fine breeze blowing today which makes it very comfortable. I wish you could hear the singing that goes on hear nights.

The regiment composed a song on the train which runs,

            We’ll hit the trail for Villa

                        We’re Yankees through and through

            We’ll show the sons of Mexico,

                        What the U.S.A. can do.

            We come from Massachusetts,

                        Victory or die,

            So give a grand old cheer boys

                        As the Eight goes marching by. Ra. Ra. Ra.

This is sung to the tune of “We’ll hit the line for Harvard.” Then the two Somerville companies follow it up with,

            Soma, Soma, Somervilla

                        Panka, Panka, Panko Villa

            Spanka, Spanka, Spanka Villa

                        We’ll beat him black and blue. Ra. Ra. Ra.

The whole battalion made a hit all the way down here with this song and I guess it is going to stick through out the regiment.

ChowLineInclosed you will find a card of a part of the company lined up for mess. If you notice you will find how clean I washed my socks, for I haven’t got my leggings on in this picture. You can also see Corporal Marks who is giving a good account of himself.

They say it is very hot up there. Well it is hoter down here but I bet we don’t feel it as bad as you do. It was 119 in the shade the Fourth. I don’t know where they got the shade unless they went down to El Paso for it.

We had a rain storm again yesterday and although it made the ground a mass of thick clay (of which you carry a ton of it on your shoes,) we were all satisfied, yes thankful.

I am feeling as good, if not better than any time in my life. Pa will probably remember that the last thing I said in regard to my going was the condition of my health. There are three men in the company that are in a bad way. But I guess they will come around all right.

Well give my regards and best wishes to all you come in contacked with, and don’t forget Maggie, and Napoleon. But above all don’t forget to write and I will still remain the same

Sam

P.S. We had some more pictures taken of the noncomps, so expect to hear from me again very soon.

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

Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 290 other followers