Camp Cuba Libre
Jacksonville, Fla., June
TO THE UNION:
After a week's lay off I will try to write
to the Union again.
All the boys of Co. "I" are well at this date. The greatest trouble with which the boys meet is the extremely hot weather.
Last Saturday was pay day and the boys are very happy. The soldiers were all paid up from April 26th to June 1st.
The boys are all fitted out in new uniforms furnished by the U.S.
Co. "I" received a supply of tobacco and pipes from the dime society at Vandalia, for which we are very thankful.
The name of our camp has been changed from Springfield to Camp Cuba Libre.
There has been another camp established five miles north of us.
There are now nine regiments in our camp, making about eighteen thousand soldiers in all.
There have been four deaths in the Fourth regiment since it has been encamped here.
Following are the names of the recruits that have joined us: Elmer Zimmerman, F.C. Bullington, Austin Foucht, J.O. Guinn, Bart Sturgess, J.H. Wright, Ed Felwock, Frank Schneyder, Chas, Flemming, Bill Perkins, Fred Spradling, Chas. Cullum, D. Denis, Art Washburn, Ira Snyder, Sam Robison, Cort McKnight, Orvil Bolt, C.M. Klimper, H.A. Minor, T. Aderholt, Chas. Flemmings, and James McKnight. Sargt. Hall, who went after the recruits, and Ira Snyder, who is a recruit, have not yet arrived. We can congratulate Sargt. Hall on his selection of men.
When the new men arrived in camp many such cries as "Fresh fish," "Tender feet" and "you'll wish you had forgotten the Maine" met their ears. They would gaze with surprise on the dog tents which they were to occupy. This makes our Company now number 106 privates, and and they are all big hearty looking men which will add greatly to the appearance of our company.
Capt. Todd held his meeting in the street between Co. "I" and G's quarters last Sunday.
We will have a celebration on July 4th, in which all the soldiers will take part and have a grand street march. It will be under the command of Gen. Fitz Lee.
Last Saturday a monument was unveiled to the honor of "The Lost Cause" in which nine men of every Co. in camp took part.
Capt. Houston received two checks from the Army and Navy League, of Vandalia, for which they have our thanks.
Co. "I" was on guard duty last night and Alfred Hagy caught two ----prisoners.
Tom Curry said that this was the first job that he ever had that he could not quit.
John Short has been detailed to clerk in the commissory department.
Roy Fogler acted as guard at "the Winsor" last Tuesday.
Jess Moffet has lost his whiskers.
"Tim" Courtney is our company barber. He has a hydraulic chair with all modern improvements.
A Leut.in the 2nd Ill. Reg. was shot in the groin last night by a negro. He is in bad condition.
Ed Myers, of Vandalis, has come to Fla. and joined Co. K.
Arrangements have been made by which we receive the Globe Democrat, it is alaways three days late, but is eagerly read by all the boys.
I will bring my short letter to a close, hoping that the next time you hear from us we will be winning victories in Cuba. Thanking the peole of Vandalia for the favors they have shown us, we remain as ever, true to our country.
FROM CAPT. SAM HOUSTON
Camp Cuba Libre
Jacksonville, Fla., June 18th, 1898
TO THE ARMY AND NAVY LEAGUE, Vandalia, Ill.
Dear Friends: I hereby acknowledge receipt of money order for fifteen dollars to be expended to the best interest of our company, also the money to pay expenses on our army store. No receipt was given for the express which was paid, but enclosed you will find a receipt for the amount which was paid out for envelopes, paper and stamps which was badly needed by the members of our company, the remainder of which will be properly expended when the requirements of the members demand it.
As to what shall be done with the balance of the funds that remains in your hands. I think you should hold it for the present, and that it would be an imposition on the good nature and charitable qualities of the citizens of Vandalia to ask for any aid whatever at present.
The members are enjoying good health and our regular rations are sufficient in quality and quanity to support any one in any place. We have more than pork and beans as reported by some. We are issued meat, freash and salt, beans, potatoes, pickels, onions, salt, vinegaar, bread, pepper, tomatoes, and coffee and by practicing economy we are enabled to obtain a surplus of some of the above named articles which we trade for hominy, oatmeal and molasses.
When pay day arrives the boys will have plenty of money to pay all their necessary expenses and to enjoy some of the luzuries of life and if properly cared for will be able to start the current of money homeward.
The other companies of the various regiments are losing some of their members due to sickness and death, we do not welcome a visitation of that nature, but can not expect ourselves more fortunate than they, and if anything of that nature should happen, the reserve fund would be handy to draw upon to give a good christian interment, the absence of it being feared by everyone. But I will assure you that whatever is received from your hands will be properly expended and accounted for.
The books have been received and a Library established, which is of great benefit, many of the boys spending hours of profitable enjoyment in reading. that would otherwise be devoted to less elevating and enlightening associations.
To be remembered my the friends we leave behind is abundant compensation for trials and tribulations we endure. But to be rememberd and cared for as we have been at your hands is like drinking from pure and undefiled waters of patriotism.
That our glorious flag conceived in freedom, preserved by the blood of righteousness, and dedicated to the cause of humanity may be borne by a solid phalanx of a united people and hoisted upon the breatsworks of barbarism, where misery, crime and devastaion reign supreme, and where the air of freedom blows not, and the sweets of liberty ar enever known, is our highest ambiton.
And that God will bless every man, woman and child in Vandalia, who by their virtue, charity and sincerity of purpose strive for the upbuilding of humanity, is the prayer and reverberates from the heart of every boy who wears the "blue" Very Resp.
Capt. Co. I, 4th Regt., Ill. Vols.