Flea Market Love Letters
May 19, 1918.
I have been a long time answering your last letter and I suppose you are wondering what has become of me. Well we moved at last but did not go to Camp Merritt as I thought we would. This camp is about sixty miles from New York City. I like much better here than at Camp Logan. We stay in barracks here instead of tents as we did at Camp Logan. It took us six days to make the trip up here. We went via of St. Louis. We stopped in Little Rock, Ark., St. Louis, Cleveland, Scranton and Brooklyn.
I am going to New York City the first chance I get.
Well the next trip I make I think will be across the pond. Don’t know just how soon it will be but I hope it will not be long. There isn’t much danger in the work that we do. We will get our steel helmets in a few days. They are for protection against shrapnel. We will get our gas masks over there.
I forgot to tell you about the insurance. I took out a policy in your name for $10,000. The rate is $6.40 per month. It is deducted from my wages so I have nothing to worry about. I took it out at Fr. McDowell when I first enlisted but I kept forgetting to tell you about it.
Well how is everything in Pismo? I got a letter from Charlie G the other day and also a letter from Sarah. Haven’t answered either of them yet but will try to after I finish this one.
What have you planted in the field this year? How does Gene get along with the tractor? Charlie told me in his last letter that Henry Anderson had pneumonia. How is he now? Were any of the other Pismo boys beside him called in the draft? Is Paul still at American Lake?
Have you heard anything about Johnnie Govan?
We haven’t been doing drilling since we came here but we have an inspection about every day. This is what our equipment consists of: two suits, two shirts, three pairs of shoes, six suits underwear, ten pairs socks, one hat, one rifle, one bayonet, one cartridge belt, one haversak, one shelt half, one tent pole, five tent pins, three blankets, one mattress cover, tour towels, one razo, comb, toothbrush, hairbrush and soap. All these things are issued to us.
I will have my picture taken and send it to you as soon as I get a chance to go to town. I could have gotten a pass to go to New York last Saturday but I was tired from the trip so I didn’t go. Well I guess I will close now as its almost time for retreat. For missing retreat the penalty is extra K.P.M. or fatigue.
Be sure to answer soon and tell me all the news.
5th Div. Amm.