Camp Cuba Libre.
FLA., July 16, 1898.
Thursday night as the soldiers were laying down on their "flowery beds of ease" thinking they would have a night's repose, the order suddenly rang through our camp to "fall in." Some thoughts we were ordered to Cuba, some for a sham battle, and some thought for Ill., but it was found to be a mistake and that we were to go to the Terminal depot to meet Gov. Tanner. We were all in line and marched to the depot in forty-eight minutes, a distance of two miles, but on reaching the depot it was found that the Gov. would not arrive until the next morning so we went back to camp wet with sweat and much disappointed. Only the 4th Regt. was in the march. On Friday morning the 2nd and 4th Ill. Regts. met the Gov. at the depot and marched to the Winsor Hotel where we had an hour's rest and then continued our march to the camp.
J.A. Rose, Secretary of State, J.S. McCullough, State Auditor, J.A. Rogers, Judge of Circuit Court, D.T. Little, State Senator and J.M. Tanner, Warden of the Southern Penitentiary, were in company with the Gov. After reaching camp the Gov. made a talk to the boys, also J.A. Rose. During the morning they inspected the camp. In the afternoon the troops were reviewed by Gen. Lee and Gov. Tanner in the quarters of the 2nd Ill.
Gov. Tanner presented the 2nd Regt. with a fine banner.
Ralph Handel, Frank Pollard, Jesse Moffet, Harry Hammond and Jesse Kimbro, of Co. "I" guarded the paymaster to the depot yesterday.
Kie Manion, C.A. Mammen, Aus Foucht, Chas. Curry, Henry Wilson, Peter Akerman and Frank Johnson visited St. Augustine last Sunday.
The boys have been made happy by the visit of the pay master.
The soldiers staid in their company streets all day yesterday eagerly watching for their coin. No passes were issued and drilling was declared off.
The amount paid the soldiers here is $200,000. The 4th Ill. redeived $3,473, a part of which was back pay.
As a result of pay day many of the boys were anxious to go down town to enjoy themselves, and as all of them could not get passes many guard lines were run and when down town many bogue passes were used to escape the provost guard, but many were caught and for the next few days there will be plenty of extra duty men.
Rollie Snerley is at the division hospital this week, but is improving.
Co. "I" has placed turning bars in their street and the boys perform many neat tricks on them. The most clever of performances are those of Private Baily of Co. "I".
There were two deaths in division hospital yeaterdaay, one from 2nd Ill., and one from 5th Wis.
"The winds came and the rain descended" and most of our tent floors flosted away.
The 4th Ill. have built bridges in their company streets to walk on and have raised the floors above high water mark.
Many interesting things were seen during the flood of rain, soldiers carrying their clothing and wading the water which was from two to five feet deep, but most noted feature of all was the inundation of the "Planters". It was during a cloud burst last Monday night that the guests of the "Planters" and while they were enjoying a moonlight ball, it was found to the consternation of the proprietor, Ira Snyder, that the platform was floating down the tide. All went on merry floating down the "stream of time" and the two-step went on, till an alligator appeared insight and when he struck the raft musician, Peachy Brannon, struck the monster with his trombone and the music stopped. Finally after dispensing with the monster we went gaily down the stream and landed safely near a huge pine tree which Tom Curry climbed in his haste to escape from other alligators that came around.
Our eagle escaped from our quarters the other day and led Ezra Jenkins and Bill German a merry chase for about two miles till at last they discovered him in a tall pine tree which German climbed and brought him down safely. When he was returned to camp he was greeted with many cheers.
There are several cases of measles and mumps in our regiment this week.
Gen. Lee and his two daughters visited our camp last Tuesday and witnessed dress parade.
Our band now consists of eighteen members and they all have new instruments. They gave a concert at Windsor Hotel last Wednesday night, the Hotel was crowded to the doors and the band was greatly applauded. They will give a concert one evening each week.