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March 3, 1918
March 10, 1918
March 18, 1918
March 24, 1918
Letters between Sylvester and Eva
My week went off considerably differently than I anticipated inasmuch as we were suddenly informed Monday afternoon that we would begin range practice the following day, and I and all of us have spent the greater part of the week on the target range. The men have averaged up pretty well on shooting. I slunk off privately and did a little myself from time to time, just doing average work. The new rifles are first rate shooting rifles, except that the sights are not as good for target work; there is no recoil to the rifle at all.
Yesterday I rested up considerably and to-day jumped in earnest into the Major's & Lieut. June's book, having general criticisms ready on the whole thing by tonight. The Major dropped in at 5:00 or so, and the three of us went over it. They adopted most of my suggestions, and seemed to be pleased with them. For the next two days I hope to have most all my time to devote to working out the details. I have secured Lieut. Taylor to look after my company on the target range.
Sam Sewall died Feb. 13th and was buried in Portland, Maine. I just got the news to-day. He has surely had a long hard battle. Jim Cooper died only 3 days later, which makes three men gone out of our class now since the spell was broken the day after Christmas. [ Sam Sewall was Sylvester's roommate at Yale, and a fellow graduate in the class of 1913 -- David ]
Aunt Elizabeth has sent me up a nice box of chocolates which I am enjoying to-day.
I am considering a week-end down in Jersey in the near future if we are here long enough.
Ralph has probably told you of the Major's being detailed to the Officers' School this last week; this leaves Lieut. June again in command. The epic has never come out complete as the illustrations are not forth-coming very fast. Lieut. June's is out and I gave the Major his just before he left. He insisted I must have something far worse tucked away for publication after he left.
If you see Willis, tell him I have been trying to get hold of Lieut. Means, but have not yet been successful. I'll be glad when they get her straightened out. [note- I have no idea what this means]
Lots of love to all
I like this new paper of mine first-rate and thank you very much for it. [note - paper has gone from cream colored to a pale khaki-green] I'm also much obliged for the pie and cake and chocolate sent up by Ralph & also earlier in the week.
All my spare time during the week has gone into the Major's book and I had it nearly ready for him when he came down to-night. He looked it over decidedly hurriedly and authorized its being sent to the printer, but will undoubtedly give the next proof-sheets, when they come back, a much more thorough examination.
I am acting as a sort of a near half adjutant to Lieut. June attending, adjutant's meetings when he is not able to himself, and helping him out on a number of things which come up, such as weekly schedules, letters he wants written, &c. This with my company and the book isn't making life any more like a summer holiday. But the more the merrier, as they say.
Thursday I went to the automobile show in Boston, which Ralph has probably told you about. I only stayed during the day and started back home about four o'clock with Lieut's June, Fox, & Spaulding in the Major's car. Deck wanted to stay in town, go to a show, & come back late, but the rest of us didn't care about it. I'm not strong for mid week parties up to one & two in the morning, with a useless working day as a sequence.
I forgot to acknowledge Dad's lyrical lilt which he sent me week before last. Tell Dad I trust he won't think I'm unappreciative of budding genius.
This will have to be all for to-night, I have a heavy day to-morrow.
Lots of love
This is a some what belated week-end letter. Yours came to-night and I was surely surprised to hear of Dad's being on his back; it seems so strange to think of him that way. I am mighty glad he's coming along so well.
Probably Lucinthia and Aunt Lucy will have written you something of their week-end. I enjoyed having them ever so much, and hope they had as good a time as they seemed to. A variety of partners was naturally very difficult to get, with only a few there whom I knew, and very few unmatched. With two or three men I turned down chances to trade dances because I didn't dare take the chance of dancing with unknown, uncertainly critical maids. The majority of our dancing was trading between Lieuts. Travers, Taylor & myself; we were the only dancing officers of the Train there.
I received a box of dandy pop-corn balls this afternoon from Catherine Hubbard on behalf of the Camp-Fire Girls.
I am surely glad to get the hint of good news you convey from Binky. But wish he could let me know more about himself, whether he is a 2nd lieutenant or a 1st lieutenant, what outfit he's with, and what he's doing.
This is a short letter to write of nine days' doings, but they have been full, I can assure you, and with plenty of varied activities.
Lots of love
This has been a very quiet week-end; only three of the officers have been around most of the time and one of those sick - Lieut. Thorpe, who's having a miserable time with piarrea, or some name like that, some infection of the gums; and with it lots of trouble with his teeth. John Achorn has been sick for a month, ever since he had his tonsils taken out, in order that he could be accepted for transfer to aviation. On top of his illness, his application for transfer was disapproved. When he came back from the hospital he tried to get back to work, but just caved in, seeming to have something like pleurisy. He went home for ten days and seemed to get a lot better, came back last Wednesday and in a couple of days went right down again, developing fever, coughing blood, & what not. So now he is in the hospital again, and seeming to improve. A long rest seems to be what he needs. [note - these two cases show just how tough it was to be sick in the days before antibiotics.]
It surely seems good to have these beautiful Spring days. The cold out of the air, and the mud almost dried up, let us manoeuver outdoors at will. To-day has been perfect, and I have enjoyed it, even though from the inside looking out most of the time. The Misses Cook and a Mr. Stanley from Worcester stopped to see me a short while this afternoon.
Every morning at 10:30 now the Supply Train goes up to Headquarters of Trains where they go thru calisthenics together with the Ammunition Train, Sanitary Train, and Military Police, to music by the Ammunition Train band. After calisthenics everybody double times around the drillground a few dozen times. Thursday there was a moving picture man taking views of the proceedings, so if you see "calisthenics at Camp Devens" widely advertised at some motion picture house, even if perhaps my name isn't prominently mentioned in connection therewith (for the absent minded cinematographer neglected to ask my name), it might pay you to go & see in the left background m'athletic form and m'commanding mein towering over C co., 301st Supply Train, even if you don't hear "Together-r!" bellowed forth in bovine tones.
Ralph and a Serg. Callahan are having a busy time straightening out Andy's room and job while he is away on a little trip. Andy surely had things in a mess, and there were matters which should have been taken care of as much as 3 & 4 months ago which have come to light. Andy is the Supply Officer for the Train, a chap we all like tremendously, but he surely is no business man. I am exercising sort of general supervision over his job while he is gone and signing papers galore as acting Supply Officer. I'm rather shaky about having my name on some of those 4 mo. old papers.
I surely meant to write to Dad on the 20th, but when it came to the end of the day went back on my resolutions. Ralph tells me Winnie wrote Dad had started back to the office.
I have nearly perfected a little scheme in which I have taken a great deal of interest for some time for my company - what I am pleased to call a Company First Aid Service. I have bought from the Company Fund about $60.00 worth of standard medicinal accessories for the most common ills likely to beset the men - including a huge bottle of iodine, a thousand quinine pills, and the same quantity of aspirin pills; several jars of mentholatum (a frost-bite preservative); a thousand cascara sagrata pills; iodoform; collodion; bandages of varying widths; absorbent cotton; adhesive plaster; oil of clove; and a huge jar of unguentive - that's all I happen to think of now; at any rate I think we are pretty completely equipped. We have also bought a number of small individual bottles & tin boxes for individual allotments of the most standard of the above - unguentive, iodine, cascara, quinine, & aspirin pills. Each chauffeur is to be issued a special packet of the articles I am going to issue individually, to use with his assistant chauffeur, and men with other functions in the company - cooks, mechanics, truckmasters, messenger - who operate separately will each have one. Then in each of the 3 sections of the company there is a First Aid Non-Com who has a larger packet with other of the materials which we have in smaller quantity but may need to be used; and it will be their special duty to assist in all cases where needed. At the head of the Service I have the company clerk, Serg. Fernald, who will keep the main stock, and thru whom all material will be issued. I hope it will prove a workable scheme, and that it will be of value; it has seemed to me that such a scheme would be absolutely necessary when we were likely to be so far away from a doctor, and also for simple ailments it will save time & trouble. Naturally the Company Order which establishes the Service contains regulations regarding the use of the packet, so that the men won't be tempted to use it wastefully, and will be careful to keep it - they will be required to make reports to Sergeant in charge whenever they have used a quantity, and the reason for their use. The Sergeant will keep the record for me, and I shall have this on any company inspections we shall be able to have; at such inspections the packet will be shown, and men called to account where there is a large quantity of material gone without a report in the Sergeant's record.
I am tired of those Travelers' Insurance Co. letters. I dropped that accident insurance because it was no good overseas, and I am covered by my Covenant Insurance. I informed them to that effect but they didn't seem to connect Lieut. B. with Mr. B.; in this last letter of theirs I wrote on the same sheet they sent me, which I hope will enable them to connect me with my former self without too great a strain of the imagination.
Tell Uncle George, please, that the ladies enjoyed his candy very much.
I am sorry about that laundry last week; one thing or another kept me on the jump all day Friday & I just could not get it off. This week however it went the first thing Friday morning and I hope it got to you on time.
I have been asked to write Sam Sewall's obituary for the Class Record.
I have another letter yet, and must get going. Good night.
Lots of love
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