May
2012

Camp Ross, June 5, 1918

Camp Ross
June 5, 1918

My dear Maude.
Well still in Camp Ross. I haven’t recd a letter from you lately but we are not getting our mail very regular and I know you have written so here goes.

There isn’t much to write about here. All we do is sleep, eat, and work. 51 of the fellows left on a draft this morning. I don’t know when the next bunch leaves. Whenever it goes I go with it. We heard it was not till a week from today. I sure hope it is sooner tho. Today we passed in review. When we woke up it was raining so we wouldn’t get out of bed. The Com[pany] Comm[ander] came in and tried to make us get up at 5 but some one counted “one-two-three” and everyone threw a shoe at him. He took the hint and left so we stayed in bed till chow time, a quarter till seven.

This bunch of Armed Guards are sure some bunch. If a petty officer or boy kicker (Company Commander) tries to make us do anything we just laugh at him. They call us Avery’s Angels because Avery was our chief in school and because we are so onery. When they send us to Main Camp or Paul Jones to work in about an hour if you go to the Y. you can find nearly every one of them there. We want to go to sea and we all swore not to do any work till they send us. They threaten to make us shovel coal from 9 till 2 at nite but we say, “Go to it. Lad, we shoveled coal before you ever heard of the Navy” and then they think we wouldn’t mind it so don’t make us do it.

The uniform of the day is whites now, everybody even officers must wear them. They are nice and cool and look nice when clean but it sure means a lot of scrubbing. Oh well I should worry, I know how to scrub.

Today after the review, they had some elephants on the drill field. They had a sham battle and one thing another. Looked funny to see 4 elephants there on the drill field with sailors all around them. There were 10,000 in the review this afternoon and they took moving pictures of it.  Maybe you will see them somewhere in Path Illustrated or something.

Well how are things around Harvard? We are having cooler weather now and believe me it is much better too. It rains nearly every nite and that makes it cool during the day time.

I reckon you have taken your hike by now. Where do you hike to? I reckon you could go up to the HooDoo mines all right. I wish I could go up there camping again like I used to every spring.

I sure got the laugh on me this afternoon. I was the left guide and in the rear of the company. The Com. Comm. called squads left but I didn’t hear him. We were going rite alongside the sidewalk and a girl was trying to flirt with me. I was grinning at her like a fool when the company went squads left and I walked about half way down the front before I noticed the company had halted. I sure must have been a pretty site going down the front with a grin from ear to ear and not even noticing I should have stopped on the left end of the company. Believe me everybody laughed like a bunch of fools. I turned around and beat it back to my place and I sure hated that girl then. That’s what I get for looking at the girls. Next time when in ranks I won’t even look at a girl. Oh, well, experience is the best teacher they say and if so I sure won’t have that experience again.

Well darn the luck I won’t get liberty this week and I was figuring on stepping down Broadway and taking in NYC Huell. I will get there the next week if not this week.

We got a letter from a fellow in last month’s class of AGs and he said in Brooklyn City Park Barracks they got liberty every nite and 48 hours every other week. And pie every day except two and ice cream and cake those two. And chicken every Sunday. So I bet I will like it there. Don’t you think I should, all rite?

A bunch of rookies moved in our barracks because of the fellows who left this morning. We sure make life miserable for them.

Last nite while eating chow a couple got in a fite so we made them put on the gloves and go to it. It was sure a good fite too. I don’t think either one was licked. They just fought till they were both all in. Then we went back in and finished chow, which had in the meantime become cold. But it was sure a good scrap and one of them has two black eyes this morning while the other one had a big ear.

I sure will be glad when I get to where I get liberty again. There is no liberty out of Ross unless you have been here 12 days and Sat will just be our 9th. So that will make two weeks aboard. Quite a rare occurrence for me. I always go out even if only go to Waukegan.

I am on guard tonight from 10 to 12. I will try to get a little sleep before 10 but I don’t expect to get much as we have a noisy bunch. The bunch that left this morning had to shove off at 5:15, so they got up at 4 and kept the rest of us from sleeping. We sure did cuss them when they bumped against our hammocks but they were so glad that they were leaving that nothing made them sore.

They should have left yesterday morning and got up, packed and went to headquarters only to find that their health records were not made out. So they had to come back and wait till this morning.

Do you have any more dances in the hall? I would like to take in one or two. Wait till Germany is licked, we will dance then to our hearts content.

I sure have a variety of work over here. Since being here I have loaded sea bags aboard a car, unloaded rock and sand from cars, dug 6 ft ditches, carried timbers and stacked tile. And yesterday afternoon did the work of a chambermaid, swept and swabbed out the officers’ quarters and straightened up their rooms. A fellow came and got 12  of us. I thot he wanted us to shovel coal and tried to get away twice. Come to find out all we had was about a half hours work and then we had nothing to do so I washed all my clothes. They are not dry yet on account of the rain but I guess they will be dry by nite. Well it is about time to eat so guess I had better ring off for this time,

Yours,
Sylvan

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