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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letter 16 ~ September 19, 1918

Two pictures of the Rifle Range

I tell Minnie about nearly freezing to death on the windswept rifle range.

Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Stockdale, Kansas
Camp Republican
Thursday evening, 10 P. M. [September 19, 1918]

Dear Kid:

I must hurry & get this written because we must have lights out in 15 minutes. We are very late tonight because we were out on the firing line this afternoon. About ½ of the company – the brightest I suppose – were chosen as scorers to keep the score of the shooters, & I was one of them. At 12:10 we were told to be in line. At 12:30, [we were to be] ready to go out whether we had our dinners or not. I got my dinner & swallowed it whole, washed my mess kit, but didn’t stop to wipe it [and] threw it in my bag. [Then I] grabbed my rifle & the whistle blew. We had to lay out on the range from then until nearly dark. The wind was in the north & was as raw as a piece of beef. Then we had to march in & get our suppers. We will have to get up at about 4 o’clock in the morning & go out on the range again. I expect us scorer’s will shoot sometime tomorrow. Nobody got seriously hurt today & I hope they won’t tomorrow. A few of the men in this company have received notices to move tomorrow morning & I expect we all will as soon as we get off the range & get our inoculation.

You asked how long it takes for me to get your letters. I got the letter you wrote Monday last night. It shure is nice of you to write everyday & I hope you feel like keeping it up.

I am going to put on every rag I have to go out on the range tomorrow. I nearly froze today. I got your letter tonight where you said I would try to keep your picture if you took it. Don’t you think that I have carried that watch in my shirt pocket everyday except the two days when it was lost? If you talk about snuggling up against me, you will make me awfully homesick because that is what I want more than anything else. Try & come up Sunday. I may not have any luck seeing you but it won’t hurt to try. Well, I …

Lights out. Good night Darling, -- Ward

  • Camp Republican was located on the floodplain of the Republican River, immediately north of Junction City. Its name was later changed to Camp Forsyth.

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