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June 1, 1919
June 8, 1919
June 13, 1919, On board USS Santa Teresa
June 23, 1919
SBButler Letters, June 1919
A young bombshell spilled into camp this morning in the shape of news that General Pershing himself is to be in the area tomorrow and hold an inspection and review of several of the troops here, among them the 301st Supply Train. Perhaps it seemed at first like just one more thing to do that we hadn't counted on, but my feelings for the most part have been pleasurable rather than otherwise. Put yourself in my place and I think you will believe that one would contemplate with something of a thrill the thought that tomorrow he has his unit, the men he is responsible for, inspected and passed on by the Commander-in-Chief.
Until tonight I had no expectation of having to do more than stand with my own outfit on the reviewing field. But about 6 PM tonight I received a little additional private bombshell in being directed to command 5 other outfits beside my own for the ceremony; that is, I am to command all the units of our provisional battalion which are scheduled for the review. We have to start out tomorrow morning at 5:30, which means reveille at 4:30, and has meant as busy an evening as I have put in for a long time. For the units which I have are as widely separate as a Hospital Unit, a Sanitary Squad, a Remount Squadron, a Laundry Co., a Military Police Co., and a Supply Train. The outfit has to be ready to maneuver in platoons of 6 squads each regardless of companies; and the Hospital Unit and Remount Squadron have a different kind of drill than the rest; hence a slight complication is presented. However we've got it worked out so that I think it will go off smoothly. I hope so. I don't want any slip-ups to have to carry in my memory of my first and only appearance with troops before the Commander-in-Chief.
Goodnight. Wish me good luck. With lots of love and a kiss.
For the first time in ages - it must be most two years - I am writing to you out in the woods. If you wish to see me, picture a middle evening, a forest of young tall pines, a road very near which is lined with white locust trees, and mosquitoes hovering about. So in some aspects this might be Hemlock Manor. But if it were Hemlock Manor, you would be here, I think, so that I guess it isn't.
Of course the chief thing to write you about today is the inspection and review for the Commander in Chief. We got up at four o'clock, and my motley battalions of medics, laundry men, military police, and Supply Train troops left the camp at five-thirty. It was about a five mile walk to the reviewing field, which was an aviation field down near the city of Le Mans. There were gathered on the field about 15,000 men in a formation known as line of platoon columns. General Pershing arrived promptly at the appointed hour, 9:15. At a given signal on the bugle, units were brought to "Present, Arms" or the Hand Salute, depending on whether or not they had rifles. This is known as "presenting the command" to the reviewing officer. Following that comes the "ride around the line", that was my first view of the General - driving along the front of the line at a gallop, with a staff of about 6 officers accompanying him. Then came the detailed inspection of the troops; the General walked rapidly in and out among the platoons, taking in every man with his glance, and asking rapid questions of the commanding officer of the unit he was inspecting; each such commanding officer, as soon as the Commander-in-Chief approached his outfit, reported to him his rank, name, and organization, and fell in quickly on his left. Lieut. Achorn reported for the 301st Supply Train, as I had the battalion; as soon as I had reported as battalion commander, my function was only to drop back and follow as he went thru the units of the battalion, for he wished to ask his questions of the individual unit commanders. Achorn was quick and ready with his answers, and the 301st Supply Train came thru OK. Following the inspection the troops marched down the field in a formation known as column of masses of lines of platoons past the Commander in Chief to the accompaniment of the field music. At the end of the field the troops halted, and were assembled about a little speaking stand from which General Pershing spoke to us.
General Pershing is a splendid looking soldier - tall, erect, and cleancut. He has a voice which is not harsh or even heavy, but a smooth voice carrying with it power, decision, conviction.
We arrived back at camp rather weary at about two o'clock, and all who took part in the review had this afternoon off and will have tomorrow for a holiday. Which isn't so bad. I had no trouble making up sleep this afternoon.
The shades of night (did anyone ever say that before?) are falling and the mosquitoes are multiplying. So I am going to say goodnight, and so back home.
With all my love,
Good morning, dearest. Please, a kiss to prove you love me. I love you. Sylvester
Today was a holiday for all the troops who were in the review yesterday, and I have been doing very little, almost nothing.
I had your nice letter of May 13 today, full of flowers you had gotten on a woods walk. I'm so sorry I'm going to miss finding any of them with you this spring. Never mind, we'll make lots of summer discoveries, if no spring ones.
I have a young tooth which is making itself known this evening,
and so am asking you to let me off with just this little message
of love, my love, which is for you always.
I took a ride down to Le Mans this afternoon, on some question that arose over my pay voucher. After finishing my business, I took a little walk around town, ?ing [sulking? rubbering either are possible] at shop windows, and visiting the local Cathedral. Outside the latter seems odd for the numerous and intricate flying buttresses; it gives no suggestion of the character of the cathedral inside - great tall Gothic aisles, beautiful stained glass work, and altogether quite splendid.
There is no news of the exact date of our movement from here yet. Nobody has moved out of this camp yet since two days before we came, but today one battalion received orders for the 7th, so I think ours is likely to get something tomorrow to prepare us for about the 8th. I hope so. I am so disappointed to miss my reunion at New Haven. There never will be such a reunion again and I had wanted to take you to see a lot of it. In fact, ten days ago, when I cabled you, I cabled Raymond Coe to try and get me my quota of seats for the Commencement Yale-Harvard baseball game the 17th and the Yale-Harvard boat race (the 20th I think); but it looks so I'd only be back in time to pay him for them.
Oh! Well, it's only one thing. I'll have you and all the happy
days we are going to have together. Be good. Always yours,
I love you.
Good morning, Sweetheart, and lots of love and a kiss. Sylvester
[All remaining letters from Eva were not sent but contained in a single envelope awaiting Sylvester's return.]
Well at last the Banquet is over. It was a success. Plenty of good food to eat, plenty of good water to drink and a little dancing afterward. We had forty-six present, which is quite a good crowd.
Miss Quimby came late, just in time to help us end gracefully. She came around and we've been talking until "a wee sma' 'our" and we have just taken her home.
After the Banquet we tried to see if we couldn't run in Mrs. Lewis party, too but the guests were leaving so we didn't even get on the porch.
Miss Quimby had been to four parties before she came to the Banquet and wanted a complete half dozen but didn't succeed.
Goodnight. I love you.
Mrs. Davison takes me to Philadelphia tomorrow to do some shopping. We are going out to Lillian's to spend the night and come home Tuesday.
Today has been a rainy day and I did not to out until Dorcas called me up about two hours ago.
Harry was the limit tonight because his mother was away and told all sorts of horrid things to make us shiver.
I'm afraid the water at the Banquet affected him.
I love you.
See where I am! I've been machining, movieing, shopping and everything today.
Lillian took me out to see the twins today and they are the tiniest, cunningest things. They can't talk yet, being only six weeks old, but one of them has a tooth.
Mrs. Davison and I took lunch at Strawbridge's Tea Room today and enjoyed it so much.
Mr. Nicolsohn drove us to the movies tonight to see "Eyes of the Soul", the story of a blind soldier founded on a book "The Salt of the Earth", which I had read. I enjoyed it very much.
Mrs. Davison is waiting so I'll say goodnight, I love you.
Today I returned from Philadelphia laden with packages and dust also I went up to the Class Day exercises tonight and am dreadfully sleepy.
I had a wonderful trip to Philadelphia.
The Class Day exercises were very good, I'll tell you all about them if you'll ask me.
Thank you for kissing me goodnight. I was wishing you would
as I am so tired. I love you.
[one sheet seems to be missing] Please excuse two half sheets of paper as somehow I am out of everything else.
I have started to read a nature book by Schmucker and like it very much but haven't read enough to talk about it yet..
I am real sleepy so I'll say goodnight. Here is a kiss and
I love you.
Tonight the MacDougals are staying with us. Mrs. MacDougal, Anne Hodgeson and "Baby Buster" in the front room and Mr. MacDougal on the couch. You can see we have quite a houseful of company, and an unexpected one at that.
Baby Buster is a dear and didn't cry much at all while his mother and Dad were at the Eighth Grade Graduation and not at all during the night.
He says he likes me to hold him. I mean I think that's what he says.
It is after one so I'll say goodnight. I love you.
The MacDougals went home today and took Baby Buster with them. I'm sure he hated to go and wanted to stay down in our nice sea air but duty called him.
Today is an eventful day. It is brother's birthday and he has been around several times. I can't imagine why. He says he likes my bird and flower books so much. I suppose I'll have to get him some.
Tonight I was up to the Commencement and enjoyed it very much. It was not as good as Class Day, however.
It is rather late so I'll give you a goodnight kiss.
Today is the 13th, an awful witchy day because it is Friday too.
I was rather hoping you would be here today just because it was the 13th and June, too.
Goodness it is hard to wait and be patient but I realize it is much worse for you.
The pictures I had taken in the cap and gown came today. One of them is quite good and the other is not so bad.
It seems to me something ought to happen today. I love you.
It is almost the 15th and you are not here yet.
There was some mail from you today. June the 4th. Wasn't that quick service. I wish you were here.
Daido and I went over to Atlantic to get here pin fixed and we stopped in to see Dorcas for a few minutes.
Tomorrow I hope we go for a hike; I want to keep from thinking.
I love you.
We rode all last night from Le Mans, arriving here about four o'clock this morning. It was a pretty good time of day to arrive for it wasn't at all uncomfortable to walk from the station to the camp in the cool of the morning. Our whole battalion was just left on a field all morning, except a short time for one of these endless physical inspections. In the middle of the afternoon we were assigned quarters, but what should happen but that at six o'clock we should get orders to move at 6:45 to another camp. So there was a walk at each end of the day. We have found a lot more red tape to go thru here, but have almost finished tonight. It's practically now just a matter of waiting until a boat is ready for us. It surely seemed good to get a new sight of the ocean this morning, with all that that means. I learned today too that the Manchuria, which you wrote one Sgt. Davidson had come home on, was in port here. It would be a coincidence if I should go home on it, too, but it's going out tonight, I think, or tomorrow; at least ahead of us.
You are getting very, very near, my sweetheart. Here is a
Today I had my first contact with America, the first tangible manifestation of the home country again. In other words, we have changed all our organization funds, our own money, and the men's money into American currency. And I am once more carrying American dollars in my pocket. They seem strange enough, after carrying French money for most a year. They seem very long, for the proportion of length to breadth is greater in our paper money than the French.
I found a member of 76th Division officers around here today, among them Lieut. Wade, who was in the 301st Supply Train the first 3 weeks of its existence back in 1917. He is the editor of a daily paper published by the Embarkation Camp. He is a natural humorist and has a paper that is full of sparkle.
Speaking of epitaphs (which probably we haven't spoken of
for 2 years or more) how are these:
"In Memoriam. Hannah Megunticook Washburn. She left us in the bloom of youth at eighty five years old. Who hardly ever told the truth now lies beneath the mold. - May 9, 1643, from a Daughter and a Grandmother"
In memoriam. Thomas Philbuck O'Gilpin, Long service passed in Ridgely Hall, He died a year ago. He's met the Creator Janitor, Where asphodels do grow - May, 9, 1918, from a Mother and Half-niece.
Having no fireplace, I've been playing with a candle-light tonight. Incidentally if I hadn't had the candle lit on my table, I would be writing in the dark, for the electric lights have gone out.
Here's a goodnight kiss, dear. The day you get this, I am going to give a real one right after it. No? You'd just better.
With all my love,
Good morning, sweetheart. Lots more love and another kiss. Your Sweetheart
Twice today our battalion has had orders to embark and twice they have been revoked. So we are staying in camp one more night which I am sure will be our last on French soil.
The nights are beautiful.. I wish I were already home that we might be together under this beautiful moonlight. One thing, though, I don't have to wonder any more how many more full moons will go by before we are under them together.
Just this little short note tonight. I love you. I am coming
Your own Sylvester
I am spending one more night on French soil. I think this is positively the last. When our boat landed this morning it appears that she needed some repairs, but we have definite orders to embark tomorrow morning.
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, and very uncomfortable. This morning we woke to feel a heavy breeze, and on going outdoors all thru the day encountered a veritable sandstorm; with all the dust the wind kicked up. I don't know which is worse, the sand or the heat. Nothing is very bad now anyway - we're going home.
This evening I went down town with Doc, and while there sent a cablegram to Lucinthia to the effect that I was sailing tomorrow on the Santa Teresa and to let you know. I sent it to her because I thought she being right in New York could find out just when the boat would be in. I would be so happy if you could get up there, and I wouldn't have to wait so long to see you.
I love you, sweetheart. Goodnight.
Today is the day I thot you would be here. I thot I would take you in my arms today and really kiss you and really tell you I loved you but you will be here soon I know.
We have been down to Somers Point today - that is Marion, Daido and I. Daido would not have her picture taken. I managed to snap her several times and do hope they are good.
P'raps if you ask me to kiss you now I will.
Dearest, Dearest, Dearest,
A letter from Lucinthia today saying you were sailing the 13th on the Santa Teresa. Oh my. I just knew something was bound to happen on the 13th.
Don't you remember what was to happen June 13th? You really are coming home. Why can't I believe it?
I love you. I love you. I want you.
A letter from your mother today saying your boat would arrive the 25th. A week from today. Oh, I do hope I can see you then if I get to go to New York.
We were around to the Doctor's today and he said I was well. He still wants to see you tho.
We were over in Atlantic today. That is I was and left the school picture to be framed.
Dorcas, Harry and Marion were around tonight and we had a little farewell visit.
Oh, I hate to leave Bricktop. I love you.
We left Bricktop today. I'm so blue. I love you.
Friday, June 21
Good morning, I love you. Your Sweetheart
We have had a long long drive today from Palmyra down here to Cape May. It was so pleasant tho down thru the laurel and magnolias.
The hotel has been closed all winter and everything is dusty. We are living just like campers. It is great fun.
Goodness, I'm sleepy. Please kiss me goodnight. I love you.
We awoke to the tune of the oceans roar this morning. I love it, also I learned to drive a car today - a Buick. I can start, stop, turn corners and steer. Oh I'm proud. I wish you could see me.
We were up to the Hall tonight to hear the band also up past the government hospital for wounded soldiers.
Dearest, soon you'll be here. I love you.
Dearest, Good morning. The ocean is wonderful. Eva
Today has been an exciting Sunday. First I drove up and got the morning paper, the first I have seen since we left Pleasantville. Your ship is due Wednesday. My ship comes in. I want you so.
We drove over to Lake Lily this afternoon and tonight we drove out for wild honey suckle and Magnolias. We had a scratchy time with the briars and climbing trees.
My fingers are covered with stickers from the prickly pear blossoms I got this afternoon. They are just wonderful yellow flowers I know your mother would like them.
I love you.
Tonight we were over to the Children's Seashore Home to visit Marion. She has a dear little room and is getting along very well.
The pictures we took Sunday were developed and none of them were good, in fact, they would print only one and that was awful.
I sewed some today on something. I love you.
Friday the 13th is an extremely good day this time - for we have walked up the gangplank for our journey home.
We find ourselves on an excellent United States ship, the Santa Teresa, built last year for the coastwise trade. There are not quite 2000 troops on board; our provisional battalion forming the most of them. The ship is comfortable, well arranged, and has first-rate bunking, messing, and washing facilities - a perfect palace side of the English tub we came over in. It also is well stocked with reading matter, especially the officer's library. Real ice water, even iced tea with our supper tonight, brought us more and more back to contact with home - and as for the huckleberry pie, you would only have to shut your eyes to be there.
We have not left the St. Nazaire harbor yet. We got on board at ten o'clock this morning, had a boat drill at four in the afternoon, and at 6:10, while we were eating supper, the ship began to move. It only turned around in the inner harbor, however, and moved into the lock connecting it with the outer one. It is now waiting for the tide, which I believe is to come in at 2:00 in the morning. My! but it is hard to realize we are really going home...home and You.
Goodnight with a big kiss,
We got under way this morning at 3:00 while I was sleeping, and are now far from sight of Europe.
The chief event on shipboard has been the birth of a little girl to one of the French "war brides" on board. There is a special company of married soldiers and their French wives who are sailing on the ship, about twenty odd, I should say.
I haven't very much agreeable to write about, for I had scarcely gotten up before the rock of the boat had made itself felt on my constitution; I ate only an orange and a cup of plain coffee for breakfast, held that for five minutes, and since then have eaten nothing more and have spent most of the day on my bunk. In other words, I am seasick with a vengeance, and am not much in the world.
So let me say goodnight, I love you.
All day long I have adorned my bunk, thought what a long journey 11 days was, when each rock of the boat meant a corresponding plop over in the intestines and the brain, and cursed the naval officers inwardly, who are reported to have said they are not trying to speed because they want to spend the Fourth in New York. Incidentally I ate no breakfast nor lunch and in the afternoon felt about the worst of the whole time yet. That must have been the darkest hour just before dawn, for at supper hour, I got a sudden impulse to get up and eat; as I bravely essayed forth and now since almost five hours, have been the proud possessor, inside of me, of the broiled wing of a chicken, a piece of celery, a plate of wonderful American chocolate ice cream, and three cups of iced tea. All evening long I have sat up in the top deck, and with much more cheerful thoughts. following that, there has been a little movie down in the dinner room, and I have sat thru part of that.
But I had better knock wood, for the ocean is blowing up something tremendous tonight, and I am not without a few qualms.
Over 400 miles nearer to you, darling. I do so hope you can get up to meet me.
Goodnight, with love and big kiss.
Shall this be a faithful daily chronicle of eating achievements? If so, I hasten to record that I not only ate supper last night, but breakfast this morning as well. After that I regret to report a relapse and a failure to appear at dinner. However was on hand once more to night, not even hesitating at apple pie.
Poor John Achorn! He's the hardest hit of anyone around, I guess. He's never going to get on a boat again as long as he lives, not even the East Boston ferry - he wishes the boat would hit a mine, and put him out of his misery - and has all such cheerful thoughts. And I, wretched person, having been so fortunate as to chirp up, have been down laughing at him tonight!
All afternoon my little Greek orderly was up here talking to me. It's a nice way to pass the time, he says! Never mind he's a faithful and likeable creature, and I think a good deal of him. He's bright and anxious to know things. He has not much of an education, but he could put to shame many people who have had a great deal more than he has. He has read a great deal, and speaks to an extent in five different languages - Greek, English, Turkish, Roumanian, and French. This afternoon he got going on some stories of Greek, Russian and Turkish recent history, that he had read; and he surely does remember everything remarkably. One has to listen very attentively to get the whole connection of his broken English narrative.
Dear Heart, I hope you are anxious to see me as I am to see you. I wonder if Lucinthia has yet gotten word and passed it on to you.
Here is a goodnight kiss with all my best love.
I have felt first-rate all day today and all the rolls and pitches of the waves pass unnoticed. I have read "The Rise of Silas Lapham", by Howells, a larger part of the time, with average enjoyment. I'll be glad when I have some one to read with.
There was quite a little excitement on board this afternoon, for the ship ran by what looked to be a floating mine, and stopped to fire at it in the hope of sinking it. After a long time it was successful but one of the naval officers told me he doubted very much if it were really a mine. One would have thought the boat was going to topple over the way it listed when all on board crowded over to one side to see the fun.
Lollis has been with me "to pass some more time away" this afternoon and this evening, regaling me with stories of Constantinople and its history. It seems he and his brother run some property there and now he professes to be undecided whether to buy a farm in Connecticut or to go to his property in Constantinople. I think his heart leans to the latter for he opened up a hitherto undiscovered portion of it today and told me of a "nice and good girl who teach there and who write letter." And if he goes to Constantinople he wants me to come there and he will show me a "nice and good time". So I told him I hoped I could maybe after many years when the children weren't too small to leave.
Counting the days now, sweetheart; pretty soon it will be the hours.
Dearest, I love you.
My extremely nice sociable tooth which has been silent for a week has become talkative this evening again. This by way of excuse if the letter comes out short.
This morning I finished "The Rise of Silas Lapham" and decided I had wasted a good deal of time and brain cells profitlessly. I have started nothing new but have taken F. Marion Crawford's "Via Crucis" from the officers library in case I decide to run the risk of more mental profligacy. I have never read anything of Crawford, so don't know whether it is sacrilege to speak in the above manner or not.
There is a great blow-up on the ocean tonight, and the ship is pitching at a great rate. Poor John Achorn, who is staying up with me now is again in the depth of misery, offering $100 for a smooth sea, a couple of hundred for some dry land, and otherwise showing his despair.
This afternoon I have been writing a number of recommendations for different men in the Train who have asked for them to take into civilian life. I think I'll write one for myself as a model husband to present to you upon arrival, something about being "very kind and gentle, if used right", and "capable of assisting in all forms of housework" except those he doesn't believe in doing. He is especially opposed in principle to washing soiled dishes, and is quite likely to develop symptoms of hydrophobia when a pan and some piled china present themselves to view. So be very careful of him.
At the rate we are going, we have just six more days to go. If you get up to New York, I'll perhaps - probably - see you 1 week from tonight, Eva!
With a goodnight kiss and lots of love from
There has been more sea than ever today, which has put a few men back on the seasick list. Achorn and Daly are still wishing they'd never seen a boat. John thinks Robert Fulton was far from being a blessing to the world. Daly, who is usually full of wind, has had to take in his sails on the voyage; he used to tell great yachting stories on land, but not a peep since we got where yachts go. But we know Daly already. It is no disillusionment.
The little youngster born on board will carry Teresa around as its middle name to remember its birthplace by.
Today has been one of those unfortunate days which I wish didn't have to happen. But as long as there exist men who don't know their authority is for just use and not for pure assertion and show, such things will happen. A captain who has a certain job on the ship did a flagrant injustice to one of my men, a shameful injustice, which I have fought all afternoon to get righted, with only partial success. My chief satisfaction has been at the final windup to tell said captain exactly what I think of his act, and to request that he confine his relations with me to what are absolutely necessary in carrying on any official business which comes up between us - this by way of emphasizing my attitude. Tomorrow I shall make a formal written complaint on behalf of the man to the Secretary of War. This will be partial satisfaction, but in the meanwhile the poor man is locked up in the pitchiest part of the ship for 24 hours, the unjust penalty given him by this captain acting with the ship's officers, with out the man being given a chance to speak for himself, or without myself, the man's commanding officer, being consulted at all. Impertinence to the captain in question was the alleged fault; I made a thorough private investigation and found much doubt as to whether there was any; but that's not the point; it is instead that the man was given no chance to confess or deny; or to demand a court-martial.
So you see I am in a good mood tonight. I think I'll have to keep a little Hall of Fame record book of a certain type of man it has been my misfortune to meet too frequently in the army.
How are my curls tonight? Ready to come down for me pretty
soon? I love you, sweetheart. Goodnight.
Can't you imagine how nice it is to sit right across the table from a person you've asked to confine his relations with you to such as are purely necessary in official business? That's where my friend of yesterday sits. Obviously, however, it isn't my part to change seats and relieve the situation. What I have done today in the matter, however, has been to frame a strong letter complaint for the specific act and that such practices are allowed to exist in general, the complaint being addressed to the Secretary of War, thru military channels. How far it will get I don't know, but at least I have done what I could. It is a long time since I have been so incensed, over anything.
We haven't made such good time the last 24 hours, but I still think we ought to land next Wednesday. It's hard to be patient. The voyage has seemed ages long already.
I spent the major part of the afternoon writing a complete brief history of the 301st Supply Train, together with record of all officers connected with it, their date of joining or transfer out, their rank and promotions, their company assignments and duties. This is for forwarding to the Adjutant General of the Army for the records of the War Department.
Our course changes tonight and is henceforth straight for New York. That makes it seem the home stretch.
I don't see where anybody gets this idea of a free boundless life on the ocean wave, for there is nothing seems more confining to me, especially on a comparatively slow boat. Those poor chaps who come over with Columbus! No wonder their enthusiasm waned after a couple of months.
I do hope you are ready to see me and give all your time to me, I haven't had you for so long.
Lots of love,
John Achorn and the Doc are playing Rum or Rummy or whatever you call it, in the cramped space of our little stateroom, which means I am doubled up on my bunk writing to you, also that it is not excessively easy to concentrate.
I never saw any lake or hardly a pond as calm as the ocean was tonight just after supper. It has been calming down all day, so that the sickest men on boat have been feeling themselves again. Now, later in the evening, it has blown up somewhat again, but I never think of a roll or a pitch any more.
All day I have been quite a busy person. With Lieut. Achorn not feeling very well, I have been doing a lot of detail headquarters work, in preparation for demobilization, that I wouldn't be doing otherwise. It's like the days when I was Adjutant myself. among other things today I have been preparing information circulars on government insurance for distribution to the men before discharge. Discharged soldiers may keep this all their lives, and it presents many advantages and opportunities which I want to be sure the men realize. I am afraid so many will neglect and drop it just for lack of giving it thought or of knowing just what they have to do to keep it. So I have tried to compile every bit of necessary information in clear language that the average man can understand, so that no man in my outfit will let it slide thru not knowing what he should do, which would be my fault.
I think - am I right? - that tonight is the end of the last full week in my life that I shall be without you. That's something to think about.
Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you always.
I'm sleeply as can be now for I've been asleep now for an hour and a half while waiting for John and the Doc to finish playing cards. Before then I had been petting my tooth for something over four hours, and am glad to report that it has now subsided. I dread the dentist session after I get home, and I hadn't wanted anything to look forward to but you and pleasant things. If we went due north now we would strike American land well in, at Newfoundland. All those things make us seem a little nearer, nearer, nearer, nearer - and then you!
Dear Sweetheart, I love you. Goodnight
I am getting so near you now, sweetheart, that I can almost feel you beside me. What will it seem to have you right within arm's reach again, to whisper to, instead of write to, and to kiss with no imaginative kisses. Each day coming nearer prolongs itself into most the whole long year that has gone by without you.
At various times today I have been reading "Via Crucis" with a great deal of relish. It is keen and avid and romantic in the best sense of the last word, holding your interest and carrying you along with it from the very first page. It is a romance of the Second Crusade, and I think must interpret expertly the spirit and thought of men and women who lived in those times. I have only a hundred pages to read and am strongly tempted to finish before I put out the light.
Well, sweetheart, there's another imaginative kiss, but the
love it's for is very real. I love you always, you know it.
Tomorrow is full of expectations. The boat docks at 11 o'clock, Pier 3, Brooklyn. From there we go either to Camp Mills or Camp Merritt, where all units will be dissolved and then personnel separated according to localities, after which the men will be sent separately to the demobilization camp nearest their home. As for myself, I don't know yet where I shall be discharged from the service. It might be Upton, Dix or Devens. At any rate, it is not impossible that I should get into New York tomorrow evening. And if you are there - sweetheart, that is almost too much to think of, to grasp all at once.
There is a soldier show troupe on board the ship, and tonight they have given a splendid vaudeville performance for the Army and Navy officers on board. There was a special supper tonight and everything has been in the spirit of a farewell party.
Soon anything but farewells will be uppermost in our minds.
Goodnight, Sweetheart. I love you. Shall I send you a kiss
now, or wait? Or perhaps both wouldn't hurt.
I am ever so lonesome this evening without you, and the two three days I must go without seeing you seem like a thousand years. I go to Camp Upton tomorrow at 12:30. This afternoon it has been necessary for all detachments going out tomorrow to stay in Camp, awaiting definite instructions, which finally came thru at 8 o'clock this evening.
Just after noon I got my men together for the last time, especially to explain the insurance order and circular which I showed you , and which were distributed to each man; and of course also to voice a short and appropriate farewell, after that we separated the men according to the camps to which they were going, and marched them over to a tent district, where they were sent to their respective camp detachments. So that now all but the 58 men who are going to Upton have passed out of my control.
I wanted to call you up and say Good morning and send you my love this morning, but I woke up to find that it was 7:10 and I should have to do more than ordinary hustling to catch my 7:46 train. I just got it. But then, I was just thinking, according to that ideal home rising schedule you have worked out so beautifully, would you have been up between 7:10 and 7:46? I don't believe you can realize what on appalling thought it is, this prospect of committing myself to a life-task of breakfast making, all because one day I hadn't done anything else to write about and was so injudicious as to talk of making breakfast for two as a daily accomplishment!
Leaving as we do, I should say that my present prospects are now good for about Tuesday evening. If I can find that we are going to be further delayed, you can bet I shall try to get into New York from Upton.
I am living just to be with you. I said I wasn't going to write anymore letters, didn't I? But I love you sweetheart.
A goodnight kiss from you sweetheart.
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