I make a bet with Minnie that I'll get home from the army before she gets home from teaching school.
Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Stockdale, KS
Nitro, West Virginia
I started this letter yesterday but didn’t get any farther than the date. As it is raining this morning, we will not go out to drill. We have started drilling again, so I will endeavor to finish it now.
Your last letter contained your picture. Am very sorry to say that the letters were not so good as it is. Your letter also contained lots of news that I hadn’t heard. It seems as tho every one is getting home except yours truly. I have hopes tho of getting home in a month. Twenty-thee applications for discharge were sent in but [only] nine of them were approved by the Captain [Captain Sterling C. Robertson]. However, the Major [Major Walter C. Gullion] approved everyone so without a doubt some of them will go through. Those with allotments can get out now without affidavits – a personal application is sufficient. We have heard too that all drafted men will soon be mustered out regardless of discharges. Of course that is hearsay but it only sounds reasonable & fair.
About two hours later... We had to go out & play games & box, etc. We wound up by throwing some of the little fellows up in a blanket. Fine exercise & more fun than drill.
I am very glad you are getting along so well with your boys. Your school is out in about six weeks, isn’t it? You mentioned in one of your letters the fact that you thot I must be having a good time. I wish every one who thinks army life is fun had to put up with some of that kind of fun for awhile. Not that I wish you any harm, however.
Have you succeeded in breaking Old Dobin to be used to skirts yet? They certainly use fine saddle horses around here. I wish I could get hold of one & ride around a little but I don’t suppose I could.
Say Minnie, how would you like to make a bet with me? I’ll bet you treats that I get home to stay sooner than you do & then I’ll bet the price of a [picture] show that I made a good bet. How about it? Can the folks tell you from Clara Scott yet? Or are you the biggest? I am not as fat as I was when I saw you last I don’t believe. I haven’t weighed but I don’t look so fat in the glass. I am glad of that even if I do need the weight.
Must close. Yours internally, -- Ward