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SBButler Letters, June 1918

June 2, 1918

Letters between Sylvester and Eva

Camp Devens
Sun June 2, 1918

Dear Mother,

Ralph stayed down here with me last night and this morning, and this afternoon we are going to drive the Ford up to Lowell to see Cousin James. It will be a fine afternoon to be out, and much too hot to be in. I don't believe it's quite as uncomfortable as it was yesterday & last night, for there is a little breeze blowing. But yesterday the heat just bore down on one; and these barracks just seem to concentrate it on one doubly heavy. It is fortunate that my office is in the coolest corner of the building and my desk between two windows on different sides of the corner.

I decided in the early part of the week, definitely, to give up my company to be permanent Adjutant. Pop was very anxious for me to do it, and the rest seem to think I'm the natural person to hold down the job. Well, I guess I can probably be of considerable use to Pop & the organization in that post; I surely hope so. The time had come to get the officers on a permanent basis, and I cast the dice with little hesitation at the finish. At my own suggestion Moody was assigned to command Co. C; otherwise he would have had to be put over some other company commander, and no little hard feeling would result. I feel like committing high treason in turning my outfit over to him, but I hope he makes out well with it. I have been getting things ready to turn over to him this week, and hope to make the complete turnover by Tuesday anyway.

Thursday the Division was paraded on the big cantonment parade ground; a short and simple affair, as a celebration of Memorial Day. The Division was lined up about the Parade ground in this formation:
[note - once again, this will look best in "text" mode or courier font. -- It should generally look like a large C]

   |                   |      
      |                   |      
         |       ____________|   
            |       |                                     
               |       |             _                       
                  |       |         |_|                   
                     |       |                            
                        |       |_<-------------imagine a circle about here
                           |        --         |        
                               |        --         |     

The general and his staff represented by the square in the middle. The Supply Train, with it's companies lined up one behind another was down in the corner where the circle is. The different organizations were brought up to their places on the ground, as prescribed by the plan given out by the Adjutant at Adjutants' call the night previous. When all the organizations were in place, at the first blast of "Attention" on the bugle, the colors of the different regiments moved toward the center and lined up in front of the General. Then the band played the Star Spangled Banner, each organization being brought to "Present, Arms" by its commander, and officers at the salute, as always the custom in ceremonies. At the conclusion of the music, the command was brought to "Parade, Rest"(right foot about 6 inches to the rear left knee slightly bent, both hands clasping rifle in front), while some chaplain made a prayer. Then another blast "Attention", the command was brought to attention, while the band played America. Then each organization was marched back to its quarters and dismissed.

Everyone says I look just as well as I ever did. I guess it must be the Cook's egg & milkshakes, for it certainly can't be this hot weather. My arm has improved very greatly the past few days, and now hangs at my side quite easily; and there is only about a 15[degree] angle left to be able to lift it straight up. The Doc urges me to keep it exercised. The vaccination on the other one didn't take.

It's getting 'most dinner time.
Lots of love,

P.S. There is almost no likelihood of Eva's being in New York this summer, as Miss Tolbert seems to have decided not to go, and it depended practically entirely on Miss Tolbert's decision. Miss Tolbert is going to Cape May for the summer, where her sister keeps a summer hotel, and Eva will make no change, according to present plans. It would hardly be possible at the present time.

[note - after this, there must be a few missing letters, as there are none until he is on shipboard heading for France in mid July, which is where we will pick him up. In the AEF scrapbook there are his orders to be at the docks in Boston by 4am July 16th for embarkation. Also, Dad says he does not know who Cousin James in Lowell would be. Though from Gramp's letters to Gram we learn that his full name is James Savage and is a distant cousin. -- Susan Czaja (grand-daughter)]

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